I have an idea to help reduce the cost and waste of the various county governments. I call this plan “M&M,” after my two nieces, who sometimes fight over the same toy.
Instead of one large ring to rule them all, Monroe County can continue the tradition of smaller, more responsive local governments.
1) The entire police bodies of Monroe County, the city, the sheriff’s department, and all the towns would buy the same uniforms, with individual patches for each unit. They would buy the same cars, with individual side markings, and the same police forms. All of their guns, cars, office supplies, and insurance would be bought by one purchaser, and all of the maintenance would be handled by one department.
2) All of the highway departments, school districts, volunteer ambulance departments, and fire departments would buy their vehicles and supplies and handle their maintenance together.
3) Finally, get rid of the County Legislature. The costs and burden of these middlemen add another layer of wasteful, government bureaucracy.
The county should be run by a board of town and village supervisors and the Rochester mayor. These are directly elected officials who must respond to their constituents. They have a clearer understanding of the problems that affect their neighborhoods, urban sprawl, economic development, and school-district problems.
We can work together to solve our county problems without the heavy burden of a large, expensive metro government. The people can still elect their own town governments, but at a reduced cost.