Learn How to Protect Your Village from Cyber Attacks:
There is no doubt the world is different than it was just ten years ago. Most villages conduct routine business online – providing residents with ability to pay their taxes, apply for permits and licenses, and research local laws and regulations without leaving their homes. The proliferation of cyber services has also increased the threat for cyber attacks. This type of intrusion is rapidly becoming more common as criminals become more sophisticated in their abilities to hack into secure networks.
The January 9, 2018 General Membership Meeting will focus on how villages can enhance their cyber security and make their files and transactions safe from hackers. Our guest speaker will be Brian Rauer, executive director of the Mid-Hudson (NY) Better Business Bureau and general counsel of the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan New York.
Mr. Rauer, an attorney, is a member of the Westchester County Consumer Advisory Council. He previously served on the Board of Directors of the NY County Lawyers’ Assn. (NYCLA) and is pastchair of the NYCLA Cyberspace Law Committee. Mr. Rauer hosted/presented a regular business/consumer tips segment on a nationally syndicated radio show and has presented an extensive array of programs on key topics of public interest including cyber security, identity theft prevention, privacy, scam avoidance, customer service/retention, advertising pitfalls, and ethical business practices.
This will be an important meeting for all village officials and we encourage mayors to invite their village clerks.
Please mark your calendars for Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at the Westbury Manor, beginning at 6:30 pm.
A Changing of the Guard:
As you may know, Warren Tackenberg, after 17 years as our Executive Director, became Executive Director Emeritus on December 31,2017. We did not use the word “retire” because he is not going away. He will continue to be a member of our Executive Board and will perform some duties, including orchestrating our September Annual Dinner & Testimonials.
Ralph Kreitzman has taken over. He was our President for two years, was the mayor of the Village of Great Neck for eight years, was a member of the NYCOM Executive Board for four years and has been active in the NCVOA for well over 15 years.
Happy New Year! I hope you and your families enjoyed the holidays and that you had an opportunity to rest, spend quality time with your loved ones and friends, and recharge for the New Year. 2018 promises to be an especially challenging and exciting year for us and the entire county as we welcome a new administration. I look forward to the year ahead and am optimistic villages will play an important role in helping County Executive-elect Laura Curran advance her agenda for changing Nassau County.
Our main priority in working with the new administration is garnering county executive and legislature support for villages to receive a guaranteed portion of the sales tax equal to the percentage already granted to the towns and cities. As I mentioned in previous messages, this requires our state legislators to enact a change in state law. It is critical the NCVOA demonstrates our villages are united in this effort so we can secure a Home Rule message to send to our state legislators in time for the upcoming legislative session.
Governor Cuomo Looks to Continue His Plan to Reduce Government
As we begin the New Year, many mayors and trustees are wondering what’s in store for local governments as the budget season gets underway in Albany. For the past several years, restraints on local governments have continued to escalate - from the 2% tax cap, to increased unfunded mandates, to consolidation mandates, to village dissolutions. At the same time, AIM funding has not increased in eight years. As village officials, we constantly are challenged to do more with less.
Governor Cuomo will deliver his 2018 State of the State address on January 3, 2018. As he outlines his plans and goals for the next budget year, it appears he will continue his efforts to reduce government. In a December 19, 2017 Newsday article, the governor stated, “It’s time to take the shared services panel to the next level”, promising a more intense effort to consolidate local government functions.
The Opportunity for Substantial Savings is not with Villages
For the record, NCVOA member villages have been sharing services for years. And we are not alone in our position that villages are the state’s most efficient form of local government. In the same Newsday article, E.J McMahon, head of the Empire Center, an Albany-based conservative think tank, called the governor’s heightened shared services plan: “Symbolic and unimpressive. The savings were minimal drops in the bucket and it won’t get much better than here. Our taxes aren’t high because of local government duplication, overlap, or failure to share services. In fact, they are high mainly because salaries and staffing levels are high, especially in school districts and downstate suburban police departments.”
As village leaders, we must make every effort to ensure our respective state legislators fully understand the integral role we play in providing cost effective services to our residents, as well as the state’s responsibility to provide fair and adequate fiscal support.
Please contact your state legislators now - before the budget negotiations begin. We must not lose the opportunity to have our voices heard in Albany.
January Meeting Features Cyber Security Expert
To increase efficiencies and improve services for residents, villages are expanding their online capabilities. With the increased reliance on the internet there is an increased risk of hacking from outsiders.
Brian Rauer, executive director of the Mid-Hudson (NY) Better Business Bureau and general counsel of the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan New York will be the guest speaker at the upcoming January 9, 2018 General Membership Meeting. He will provide attendees with tips on how to effectively enhance a village’s cyber security, ensuring files and transactions are protected from hackers.
This promises to be an interesting and informative meeting. I look forward to seeing you Tuesday, January 9, 2018, 6:30 pm at the Westbury Manor.
Mayor Robert T. Kennedy
December 2017 Meeting Attendees
(and a good time was had by all)