Ed Romaine delivers State of the County


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In his first State of the County address at the Rose Caracappa Auditorium in Hauppauge on Tuesday, Suffolk County Executive Ed Romaine provided his vision for his four-year term.

Top priorities include strengthening municipal finances and public safety, improving county facilities and cybersecurity, prioritizing public works projets and enhancing infrastructure and social services reform.

“When I took office, I stated that this administration would be rooted in the values of hard work and accountability so we can build a future that is safer and more affordable for Suffolk County,” Romaine said.

“We have already taken significant steps since Jan. 1 that serve as cornerstones of this administration, with much more to come,” Romaine added.

Among the highlights, Romaine said, included S&P Global Ratings upgrading its long-term rating and underlying rating on the county’s general obligation bonds outstanding from “A+” to “AA-“ with a stable outlook.

Romaine also announced a new Centralized Grants Office, which aims to ensure that the County gets its “fair share” of state and federal funding.

Romaine set that this September he would submit a budget for next year that “will not exceed the 2% property tax cap.”

To help the county continue its recover from the 2022 cyberattack, Romaine ordered a “full audit” of spending related to the attack, hired John McCaffrey as chief information officer and Department of Information Technology commissioner and committed to bolstering resources aimed at enhancing security measures.

Romaine also recently appropriated $15 million to preserve farmland. Since Romaine began his term, officials say that nearly 100 acres of farmland and open space throughout the county have been preserved. Additional acquisitions are planned later in the year, according to the county.

Romaine also has plans to improve county infrastructure, rebuilds Suffolk’s infrastructure, sewers, parks, and roadways, as well as reform the county’s Department of Social Services. In April, Romaine named Dr. John Imhof as the new commissioner of the Department of Social Services, working under Deputy County Executive Dr. Sylvia Diaz. The leadership changes come in the aftermath of a special grand jury report about the handling of the case of 8-year-old Thomas Valva, who died in 2020.

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