Government Operations and Community Development

The Mandate: A substantial number of properties in New York are owned by corporations or limited liability companies. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for those corporations and limited liability companies to abandon properties once the property has become unprofitable. Once abandoned, these properties blight the community, often becoming a safety hazard. Cities and villages are then left to shoulder the cost of remediating the properties and, in many instances, demolishing unsafe buildings. Although local governments may place the costs they incur in remediating a property as a lien on the property, the municipality's abatement/demolition costs frequently exceed the property's resulting value, leaving the local government and its taxpayers paying for the costs of the property.

Read more: Hold Limited Liability Property Owners Accountable for Their Neglected Properties

The Mandate: Enacted in 1885, the Scaffold Law holds contractors, employers and property owners absolutely liable for gravity-related injuries, even if the worker was grossly negligent. Municipalities are large property owners, and as such, are faced with widespread liability for accidents that occur on worksites beyond their supervision.

Read more: Scaffold Law

The Mandate: Local municipalities are required by state law to retain and manage an immeasurable number of various documents, which requires a significant expenditure of time and money by the municipalities. In 1989, the Local Government Management Improvement Fund was created to assist the municipalities in complying with the mandate and to improve local government records management. The money is collected by County Clerks on every deed and mortgage filed in their offices by local citizens, which is then distributed back to local governments through a competitive grants program.

Read more: Local Records Management