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Suffolk County Executive Ed Romaine Delivers 2024 State of the County Address

Romaine Lays Out Vision for his Four Year-Term as Executive; Provides Update on Essential Services in First 100 Days


HAUPPAUGE, NY— Suffolk County Executive Ed Romaine today delivered his first State of the County Address, laying out his four-year vision to rebuild Suffolk County safer while summarizing his administration’s accomplishments in his first 100 days of office. The County Executive addressed the Suffolk County Legislature and public officials at the Rose Caracappa Auditorium in Hauppauge.

Top priorities of the administration include strengthening municipal finances, public safety, improving county facilities, cyber security, prioritizing public works projects 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,” said Romaine. “We have already taken significant steps since January 1 that serve as cornerstones of this administration, with much more to come.”

Highlights of County Executive Romaine’s 2024 address include:

Strengthening County Finances:

In 2024, S&P Global Ratings upgraded its long-term rating and underlying rating (SPUR) on Suffolk County’s general obligation (GO) bonds outstanding to 'AA-' from 'A+’ with a stable outlook.

In addition, the County reached an agreement with the Suffolk Coalition of Public Employees to extend health care benefits for employees, saving $100 million over a five-year period.

The county executive also announced a new Centralized Grants Office to make sure Suffolk County gets its fair share of state and federal funding.

Romaine also vowed “to not submit a budget a budget that exceeds the state-mandated 2% property tax cap.”

Investing in & Prioritizing Public Safety

County Executive Romaine announced in January new leadership for the Suffolk County Police Department: Acting Police Commissioner Robert Waring, Kevin Catalina as Deputy Police Commissioner and Belinda Groneman as Deputy Police Commissioner.

The County Executive also announced the addition of more than 200 members of law enforcement and enhancements for public safety, including funding for new public safety vehicles and body cameras.

Romaine also highlighted changes made in the county’s Traffic and Parking Violations Bureau (TPVA), which improve operations and help ensure fairness to those who must come before traffic court.

Improving County Facilities

County Executive Romaine is committed to improving unmaintained county facilities as part of an approach to enhance constituent affairs and improve employee morale. The County Executive announced his intent to seek alternatives and potential renovations for Suffolk County Police Headquarters, H. Lee Dennison Building, the Medical Examiner’s Office Building and more.

Re-Acquisition of John J. Foley Property in Yaphank

Suffolk County announced the intent to re-acquire the former John J. Foley nursing home property in Yaphank, citing significant cost savings. The County intends to use the facility to ensure compliance with New York State’s criminal justice laws related to juvenile and adolescent offenders.

Cyber Security

Suffolk County is still recovering from the crippling 2022 cyberattack that hindered municipal operations and compromised sensitive information. County Executive Romaine ordered the full audit of spending related to the attack, announced the hiring of John McCaffrey as Chief Information Officer/Department of Information Technology Commissioner and committed additional resources to ensure enhanced security measures.

Public Works and Enhancing Infrastructure

The County Executive’s proposed $489 million capital budget rebuilds Suffolk’s infrastructure, sewers, parks, and roadways. The proposed budget invests in capital projects, prioritizes new and upgraded sewer projects and improvements to roads, bridges and transit. This also includes $106 million for sewer projects and $120 million for improvements to roads, bridges and transit.

Reforming Social Services

Suffolk County has taken immediate and swift action to reform the Suffolk County Department of Social Services. In April, County Executive 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 immediate aftermath of a special grand jury report about the handling of the case of 8-year-old Thomas Valva, who died in 2020. In addition, the County Executive is committed to filling hundreds of vacant positions and reform processes within the department, leading to more efficient services.

Protecting the Environment & Preserving Open Space

County Executive Romaine announced his commitment to environmental preservation along with open space preservation and farmland protection. The County Executive recently appropriated $15 million to preserve farmland. Since taking office, nearly 100 acres of farmland and open space throughout the County has been preserved with additional acquisitions planned later in the year.


Categories: County Executive


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