Friday, November 21, 2008

Larry's On the Case . . .

Per Larry Tanoury, Jr., the County is proposing a money-grab from its municipalities that host OTB facilities by ending a law that shares OTB revenues with them:
In this case, the city of Utica will lose over $35,000, Rome over $30,000, New Hartford over $20,000, Deerfield/Marcy over $20,000, etc.
But the story gets WORSE . . .
Although the Utica Common Council members (republican and Democrat) expressed great concern over this, the other members of the Utica delegation supported this cost shifting measure. According to a media source, the Mayor of Utica also didn't have a problem with it.
Looking at the places adversely affected, this proposal should be easily defeated. But it's clear that the legislators are not thinking about their constituents . . . rather, they are thinking about their own county positions first.

With the exception of Larry, Utica's county legislators (and county government in general it seems) are among Utica's worst enemies.

On that note, here is a cheery idea from Westchester via the Buffalo Pundit: Considering county life without the County Government .


Greens and Beans said...

Okay, let me see if I got this strait . . . The Oneida County Legislature, the majority of which is Republican, along with the Republican Oneida County Executive has proposed to extract over $35,000 from the City of Utica via the political piracy of OTB revenue sharing funds. And the Democratic Mayor of Utica, over the Utica Common Council’s great concerns regarding this money grab, does NOT have a problem with this Republican fleecing? What am I smelling here . . . incompetence and/or collusion? I realize that in the scheme of this economy of scale, in terms of having $35,000 seem trivial opposed to the $millions that is squandered by each of these government entities each year, but what is the real message here?

I think that I get it now! I'll wager that the Mayor of Utica intends to kick-in the $35,000 as an indirect gift to Oneida County. He can take the money out of his own salary each year to make up for this shortfall to the Utica taxpayers? That’s it! The Mayor is obviously in the Holiday spirit! AGAIN.

clipper said...

I definitely agree that there is an extra layer of government that could be eliminated, whether it be Town and Village, or County government.

Here in Tennessee there is no villages or townships. There is either municipal or county. It applies to taxes, services, school districts, and highway departments

Our taxes in NY state were over $3000. Here, our taxes are only $700 total, for a property of equal value. Does that tell you anything about how efficiently a government CAN be operated if politics and layers of government are eliminated?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post, Strike.

VERY interesting link about Westchester! Imagine the outrage of our politicians if we "dared" to raise this issue here.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Tanoury is to be commended for his integrity and honesty as a public official.

In contrast, we have cigar smoking Dan Labella who is arrogant in the Democratic Caucuses and should be removed from his position. This man is NOT above the law!

Larry, there are many of us who will support you in your endeavors to bring good government to the people.

Happy Holidays to all.

Greens and Beans said...

I am really put back by some local elected officials who claim to be indifferent in terms of their communities having to forfeit OTB revenue sharing. Utica Mayor David Roefaro has softened his original stance with his indifference towards having the City of Utica take a $35,000 loss in revenue. In today’s OD Roefaro now said that “ . . . we are not happy, I understand the predicament he’s in.” (He must not have liked my suggestion to have him reimburse the City taxpayers out of his annual salary to compensate for his unconcerned attitude regarding the $35,000 revenue loss).

Verona Town Supervisor Owen Waller took the same stance when stating that he thinks that having his Town loose $8368 is “not a major problem” for Verona. Vernon Town Supervisor Myron Thurston is very understanding when he states that “all of us have got to share in the economic hard times . . .“ These folks seem to forget that this money grab is subsequent to the County executive, out of the blue, wanted to grant some County employees 20% wage increases! Some local elected officials seems to recognize the “hard times” the economy is in, except when it comes to rewarding County employees - laced with political appointees - hefty raises. Times are indeed hard. Some Oneida County taxpayers are looking at possibly losing their jobs, as their County Executive seeks to heftily reward his County employees. Some would consider this to be an insult to those who are looking to possibly lose their jobs during this Holiday season.

The only official besides County Legislator Tanory, who realizes this is just a clear-cut revenue grab, is Clayville’s Mayor Nancy Sheppard. She rightfully is looking out for Clayville taxpayers. Notwithstanding the fact that Clayville does not realize a large amount of OTB revenue sharing from Oneida County, but “every little bit helps.” She then added that “Anything they take away from us is kind of a bummer.” Who would not agree? Every dollar any municipality looses in revenue sharing is another dollar that the taxpayers will have to make up.

Then there is the conciliatory quote made by the Oneida County Board of Legislators Democratic Minority Leader Mike Hennessy of Sherrill “. . . the repeal of a cap on gasoline taxes could offset the loss in Off Track Betting dollars for the municipalities.” No thank you Mr. Hennessy, I am sure that nobody appreciates having you reinstitute any County gasoline taxes during these “hard times.”

Some of them really don’t get it. Do they?

Greens and Beans said...

Given the economic crisis that the entire planet finds itself in, I could not believe that any local public official in Oneida County would not have a problem dealing with any revenue sharing funds being eliminated. Earlier in this blog I questioned the competence of those local officials who expressed their indifference to Oneida County’s proposed money- grab.

At first Utica Mayor Roefaro said that he had “no problem” with the Oneida County’s proposal to keep Utica’s annual $35,000 share of the OTB revenue. On 11/23/08, only after taking quite a shot from this blogger, the Mayor changed his tune by cleaning up his stance by stating that “. . . we are not happy, I understand the predicament he’s (Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente)in.” (http// NOW, to answer my own question posted on 11/21/08: “What am I smelling here . . . incompetence and/or collusion?” It is obvious the answer can only be INCOMPETENCE!

The Observer Dispatch reported today (11/29/08) that some City of Utica officials are concerned that “sales tax revenue is down, while city spending is up.” Utica Comptroller Michael Cerminaro said “We’re at a critical point in this right now because we’re looking at the city of Utica’s budget increasing next year at a time when fiscal policy indicates that it shouldn’t.” Utica’s Senior Auditor Joseph Artessa said “it’s a time full of turmoil and uncertainty.” Even the Union seems to be concerned. President of the Civil Service Employees Association Unit 772 at City Hall Deborah Day said “union members seem to be concerned about how the overall economic crisis could affect their jobs.” ( ).

Do you think that Utica’s $35,000 in additional OTB revenue would come in handy facing the fiscal crisis that most of the Utica officials purport to find themselves in? The fiscal crisis we are having on the Planet Earth is not a massive hallucination, it’s REAL! Will someone please telephone the Mayor’s Office to remind him that he is not on “Fantasy Island?”

Wait one minute . . . perhaps Mayor Roefaro is practicing to run for the New York State Legislature. New York Governor David Paterson has a right to be disgusted with the New York State Legislature’s refusal to responsibly deal with this matter. ( Perhaps a multi-national recession is not severe enough for them. They must be waiting for a total global depression before they decide to recognize the financial atomic bomb looming just around the corner.