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June 11, 2009



DiNapoli Convenes New Leadership Institute at Hofstra

Institute to Help Local Government Officials Navigate Tough Economy

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s newly created Local Government Leadership Institute (Institute) will offer elected local government officials a forum to discuss regional issues, explore collaboration opportunities and discuss current challenges in government. The Institute’s inaugural event is hosted by Hofstra University’s Wilbur F. Breslin Center for Real Estate Studies and The National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University.

“The need for effective, skilled leadership has never been more important,” DiNapoli said. “The current fiscal crisis has brought the challenges local governments face to the forefront. But this environment is also a great opportunity for greater collaboration between local governments. We need new approaches for doing government business. The Local Government Leadership Institute brings local government leaders together to learn from one another, to build relationships, and to collaborate.”

DiNapoli said that one of the more valuable aspects of the Institute is that it gives officials from different levels of local government an opportunity to exchange ideas and effective practices. This type of cross training fills a void in current training programs, which tend to group village officials with village officials, school officials with school officials, and so on. DiNapoli said a well-trained pool of local government officials is vital to initiating shared services and successfully implementing cost-saving reform measures.

The theme of the 2009 Institute is, “Beyond the Fiscal Crisis: How to Build Partnerships and Leverage Opportunities.” Through panel discussions and interactive case studies, the 2009 Institute will focus on Municipal Shared Services, Comprehensive and Capital Planning and Developing and Leveraging Public and Private Partnerships. The panels include a mix of local government leaders, state officials as well as representatives of private industry that will discuss real world examples and the leadership skills that led to success.

“I commend our Comptroller Tom DiNapoli for convening this conference and Hofstra University for providing the forum,” said County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi. “The issues being addressed today are critical to the future of our region and our state and they must be dealt with seriously by the diversity of individuals who have come together today.”

Hofstra University’s Wilbur F. Breslin Center for Real Estate Studies and National Center for Suburban Studies provide a unique opportunity to support a certain part of New York State. Compared to other areas in the State, Long Island is densely populated, has a high median income level and relatively low poverty. At the same time, property owners on Long Island pay some of the highest property taxes in the State. The Institute will help expose officials to the latest expert thinking on a range of important, useful topics.

"We established the Wilbur F. Breslin Center for Real Estate Studies to act as a forum for real estate industry professionals, government officials and community leaders to come together to discuss the issues facing residential and commercial development on Long Island, and the Local Government Leadership Institute is an extension of that same idea that the best way to forge solutions to regional problems is to bring people together to discuss common goals,” said Richard Guardino, executive dean of the Breslin Center.

“Local and state governments need to work together to address the problems facing suburban areas such as Long Island and to help them develop their economic strengths, grow in environmentally sustainable ways, and build a strong, diverse, and resilient middle class,” said Lawrence Levy, executive director of The National Center for Suburban Studies. “The leadership and management training offered by the Local Government Leadership Institute will be invaluable to accomplishing those goals."

The next Leadership Institute will be conducted August 13-14 in partnership with Cornell University’s Community and Rural Development Institute in Ithaca, New York.

Visit the Local Government Leadership Institute Web site at: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/lgli/index.htm for more information about the Institute, including agendas, registration information, cost saving ideas from the State Comptroller’s Office and links to Hofstra University’s Wilbur F. Breslin Center for Real Estate Studies and the National Center for Suburban Studies and Cornell University’s Community and Rural Development Institute (CaRDI).

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