Orchard Park Town Board approves Government Efficiencies Task Force
(Orchard Park/East Aurora Sun, 19April14)

Orchard Park town officials have OKed the creation of a task force to identify savings and methods to improve efficiency at town departments.

Councilman Michael Sherry will head the Government Efficiencies Task Force, which will likely consist of five to seven members. Town officials are looking for people who “have knowledge of not only budgets and budgeting but of organizational operations … so we can draw from their expertise within this task force,” Sherry said.

The task force will use business strategies known as “process management and improvement” to identify ways to cut costs and produce more efficient town departments. “It’s a series of various practices and principles that are intended to analyze and improve the processes within organizations {to achieve} greater efficiencies and effectiveness,” Sherry said.

The idea for the task force has been in the works since early this year, officials say, and is not a response to Gov. Cuomo’s property tax freeze. That statewide initiative would require local municipalities to cut spending or otherwise their residents would not be eligible for a property tax rebate.

“It’s not a one-for-one response. We had already planned on it, but it will certainly help us in light of the budget that was adopted in New York State,” Sherry said.

Town officials hope to have a plan by late summer that outlines areas and initiatives for possible savings. Sherry, the liaison to Orchard Park schools, says he has already had discussions with the village and the school about improving efficiency.

But the discussions with other department heads may have to wait until the task force is assembled.

“Once we get the core group together then we’ll map out how we will look at this,” Sherry said.

The task force will primarily be responsible for town departments, but may also aid village departments when practicable.

“Right now our responsibility is to the town. This was planned to be implemented specifically to look at town departments and processes,” Sherry said.