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Politics and Government

Onondaga County wants to consolidate human services agencies

There could be changes coming to the human services agencies and departments in Onondaga County government.  County Executive Joanie Mahoney says there's a two-fold reason for a proposed realignment.

In her recent State of the County address, Mahoney  encouraged local governments and entities to consolidate as a way to make government more efficient, as well as save taxpayers money.  And she's proposing to take her own consolidation advice.

Mahoney says the idea for a revamping some of the  agencies and offices in county government  that offer help to families, comes from a basic question.

"What's the best way to deliver services for children? And it is to have all those services under one umbrella.  So if a family comes in need of help, we don't have to send them to a bunch of departments.  We're doing the same thing with adult services," said Mahoney.

The other plus of streamlining departments -- it's going to save money.

"The benefit to people is we don't need a separate administrative office for each of those departments. We can have one fiscal officer that's overseeing more and continue to reduce the size and cost of county government," she said.

Mahoney says the county would do even more if it was allowed by the county charter or state law, but some agencies like Veteran's Services are required to have their own department.  She expects to propose particulars of this consolidation later this year.