Informational sessions have been held in Putnam County about a Shared Services Initiative. The New York state-wide initiative requires county officials to develop localized plans that find property tax savings by coordinating and eliminating duplicative services.
Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell says video conference court appearances is a concept that the county has embraced. She says no one is being denied the right to go before a judge through the concept. Odell says a defendant can get every right available, without any violation while saving taxpayers the cost of wear and tear on vehicles and personnel cost.
Odell says not every defendant wants to take the ride or be paraded in front of the public. Sometimes they prefer to sit and wait and allow the judicial process to take place behind closed doors.
Odell noted that sometimes they are transporting up to 14 defendants to different municipalities, which requires man power and the back filling through overtime. She says it can be anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000 depending on how many and where the transports are going.