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Rolison Forms BOE Oversight Committee

Published: 3/22/2010

For IMMEDIATE Release: March 22, 2010
Contact: Michael A. Ellison (845) 486-2103

Committee to rein in BOE costs, review policies and practices

Dutchess County Legislature Chairman Robert Rolison (R-Poughkeepsie) today announced the formation of the Board of Elections (BOE) Oversight Committee. This committee’s mission will be to research and recommend policy as it relates to all matters pertaining to the County Board of Elections including space needs for voting machines and potential charge-backs to municipalities to offset skyrocketing election costs.

“When I began my term as Chairman it was immediately apparent that the BOE was ripe for review and reform. In four years, thanks mostly to state and federal election law changes, our BOE’s budget has ballooned 400 percent. I am creating this bipartisan BOE Oversight Committee and giving them the wherewithal to examine current and past election practices with the primary goal being to rein in costs while ensuring voter integrity and access,” said Rolison.

This Committee will deliver periodic reports to the Chairman as well as to the Government Services and Administration Committee at the Dutchess County Legislature. Rolison has asked four Legislators to serve on the BOE Oversight Committee: Michael Kelsey, Alan Surman, Joe Incoronato, Alison MacAvery.

“Since the County Board of Elections reports directly to the Legislature, it is essential Legislators have a mechanism in place to aggressively work toward overcoming the challenges facing our BOE,” said Kelsey, who will Chair the BOE Oversight Committee. “I believe that given the fiscal constraints faced by our County and towns we must look at the BOE and election expenses to reduce taxpayer costs. I thank Chairman Rolison for his support and confidence in this committee.”

“This BOE Oversight Committee will have a lot on its plate, but I know that each of the Legislators assigned to this group are capable and determined individuals who are anxious to produce results for all the residents of Dutchess County,” said Rolison. “They will start by looking at individual practices and costs at the BOE to find ways for them to do more with less so that come time to hammer out the 2011 County Budget we know precisely where and what we can reduce in an ongoing effort to save taxpayer dollars and avoid significant tax increases.”

Rolison and Kelsey said the work of the BOE Oversight Committee has already begun.