Hauppauge (WALK) - Would you vote to have one fewer politician in Suffolk? County Executive Steve Bellone hopes so.
Bellone (pictured above) proposed yesterday that the jobs of county comptroller and treasurer, both elected positions, be combined into one job, and he wants county residents to vote on his plan. He released a report that said merging the two posts, and replacing them with one chief financial officer, would save taxpayers just over $1 million a year. Staffs would also be merged and duplicative jobs could be eliminated.
The current comptroller, Joseph Sawicki, and treasurer, Angie Carpenter, are both Republicans, while Bellone is a Democrat. Bellone insists, however, that his proposal is about saving money and not about politics. Suffolk is facing a projected deficit of $250 million through 2014.
He hasn't released any legislation, but Bellone says he will ask the county legislature to put a referendum on the ballot this November. This would allow voters to decide whether or not the comptroller and treasurer jobs should be combined.