Suffolk County Comptroller candidate Jim Gaughran announced his plan to cut government spending by auditing departments in an effort to rein in perks such as taxpayer-funded cars and cell phones -- just as he did as Chairman of the Suffolk County Water Authority where he cut the number of take home vehicles among top staff by nearly two-thirds.
“When I got to the Water Authority the economy had just collapsed, so while Suffolk families cut back, I knew we had to as well,” said Gaughran. “So I led by example, refusing a taxpayer-funded car, cell phone and credit card and eliminating many of those same perks for water authority employees.”
Jim Gaughran became Chairman of the Suffolk County Water Authority in 2008. He immediately took action to increase accountability, reduce spending and root out waste and abuse. Jim saved millions by reducing the number of commuter cars from 43 to only 15 for essential staff, eliminating credit cards and reducing staff by nearly 7% without any layoffs. Realizing that many of the newest cars were being used by top managers as take home vehicles, Gaughran redeployed those vehicles to front line workers, saving not only the cost of buying new cars, but saving on maintenance as well.
Gaughran will conduct a thorough audit of vehicles in Suffolk County, looking at where there may be opportunities to reduce take home vehicles and making sure that assignments are done as efficiently as possible. Gaughran will start by leading by example, refusing a taxpayer-funded car, and cell phone, freezing his salary and contributing towards his healthcare. He will work with the County Executive and Legislature to root out waste, fraud and abuse.
“Every dollar of waste is a dollar of additional taxes or a dollar we're shortchanging vital services," Gaughran said. "As the County continues to dig itself out of a fiscal mess we can’t afford to waste a single taxpayer dollar on unnecessary perks. As Comptroller, I’ll lead by example and refuse a taxpayer-funded car and cell phone and conduct an audit of all county departments to eliminate any unnecessary spending on those same perks. This isn’t our money, it is the taxpayers', and so I'll monitor how it is being spent by both Democrats and Republicans.”