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Oneida County kicks off municipal government consolidation challenge to encourage savings

Payne Horning
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente

Oneida County is offering a deal to any municipal government that comes up with plans to consolidate services.

For any municipality that creates a program to consolidate government, Oneida County will match its first-year savings. County Executive Anthony Picente says creating more effective and efficient services is vital in today’s labor market, when fewer people are interested in government jobs.

“For the longest time government never had to worry about that," Picente said. "Not that we didn’t have vacancies, but we’re seeing that more. The last couple years something happened, obviously the pandemic, but something more happened, that the workforce has changed, the desire in the workforce has changed, the interest in various functions has changed."

Picente said when it comes to salaries and benefits, governments are competing with retail and other businesses they've never competed with in the past. This program applies to any government service, from police and fire agencies, to tax collection or parks. It's meant to encourage local governments to take a hard look at what they do and where they can achieve savings. Picente hopes this one-time incentive can create true government consolidation.

"It’s not so much a nudge, or a push, it’s for everybody to take a pause and look, and just evaluate," Picente said "That’s the way I would characterize it."

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.