‘Mechanism’ is an option

Financially troubled cities and schools are breathing a sigh of relief after hearing state Gov. Andrew Cuomo say last week he is ready to join in the discussion to assist “distressed communities.”

But the governor cannot let these entities off the hook. Elected officials, through poor decisions in the past decade, have only added to municipal woes through current contracts, health insurance plans, pensions and other benefit packages for employees. If those officials were serious about changing the lavish spending ways, they could do what the governor’s director of operations suggests.

“If you’re unwilling or unable to solve a problem in fiscal management in a city, there’s a mechanism for that: You ask the Legislature to create a financial control board, and the financial control board will solve the problem for you,” said Howard Glasier.

Though not popular with municipal workers, the control boards have a history of stopping a government’s financial hemorrhaging. The quicker the results, the better.