A Tale of Two Surburbs
Newsday reports on a study that shows Long Islanders pay higher taxes but do not get better service than a similar area of northern Virginia.
"The reason, according to the study, lies in Long Island's 439 units of local government, school districts and special districts. In Fairfax and Loudoun counties -- Washington, D.C., suburbs with about half Long Island's population -- there are 17 such districts."
It is well past the time for Long Island to consolidate its school districts, fire districts, and other services. Nassau and Suffolk could get by with 1 school district each, broken down by region, or perhaps even 5 school districts each. This would make things more efficient without affecting the excellent quality of most public schools here.
One thing I noticed in the article is that while Newsday reports that spending for fire departments "excluding personnel" is twice as high on Long Island, the volunteer fire personnel actually bring the overall cost below northern Virginia. The only thing to be done with the fire departments is to consolidate the fire districts, and watch their spending, as these arrests show.
The report, as well as many other info for Long Islanders can be found on the Long Island Index.