Thursday, February 19, 2009

In Case You Missed It . . .

The bond vote in New Hartford passed last week 432 to 362. (It's taken this long to bring myself to write about this, it is such a disappointment.) If all goes according to plan, payments in lieu of taxes that this project would generate will be used to pay off the bonds that the Town is issuing for improvements at the New Hartford Business Park.

That's sort of like you being able to direct your property taxes into improvement of your own property, isn't it?

Of course, this project will need police and fire protection, road maintenance, and will receive all the other "services" that residents of the Town receive such as assessment services, Town Court services, Town Clerk services, library access, etc., etc. . . . . and you know who will be paying the developer's share of those since his will be going into his road improvements.

Anyway, this is allegedly promoting "growth" and/or "economic development" so that may be why people voted for it.

I caught Michael Hennessey (Minority Leader on the OC Legislature) talking on WIBX' "First Look" show this morning . . . He was looking for funding to extend water and sewer services into rural areas to promote "growth." SIGH! More of the same mentality . . .

People and businesses will not move into the region because someone will subsidize a water or sewer line. They will move here only if the economic climate is such that their businesses will be sustainable . . . For most, we know that our climate is not that way because people are leaving . . . Other parts of the country have significantly lower business costs because taxation is less.

Extending water and sewer lines, or roads, may foster some new construction (because the developer is passing part of the cost to taxpayers) but it is not "growth" . . . it is just sprawl . . . people and businesses simply trading their old places for new ones . . . and somewhere along the line something gets left vacant. Meanwhile, we've just extended the public infrastructure that we must maintain . . . requiring more taxes and fees that drive more businesses away.

. . . AND NOW the whole country seems to be going our way with the "stimulus" package.

A kind reader directed me to this article: The Stimulus will lead America in the direction of Western New York . Essentially Western NY was way "ahead" of the curve in taxpayer-financed economic "stimulus" -- but the poorly thought out projects only made things worse. While occasionally a government project will result in an economic transformation -- like the Erie Canal -- that is the exception rather than the rule. Most taxpayer financed schemes only dig a bigger hole for us to get out of. When this region was in its heyday, it was the product of private enterprize, not government subsidy.

We need to focus on creating a climate where enterprise can grow . . . and forget the "quick fix."

11 comments:

Mango Man said...

Strike,

Did you read yesterday's legal notice in the paper. The Town wants to Bond for more than they are authorized.

Also, they want to Bond for items that were originally voted down in March 2007.

Seems like Fiscal Advisors, Gerry Green, Earle Reed et al., are up to their shenanigans....

When will this insanity of theirs stop?

Titan said...

The Town's ILLEGAL Ad directing the town residents to VOTE YES, too, was wrong and unethical.

It is very clear in these matters that town officials CANNOT use their political office to further their own desires, especially when they concern private developers.

Where is the District Attorney on this matter. Does anyone really think that Tim Trainor - Trainor Associates, 135 Oxford Road, New Hartford promoted and paid for the Ad in the Town Crier?

These people should be tarred and feathered and perhaps, something else?

Small Biz Man said...

It stops when voters understand the issues, and not buy some 30 second media brainwashing bite they were fed. Then they would understand a little better what is going on, and vote out ignorant politicians whose only options now are to keep raising taxes on those least able to afford them.

Anonymous said...

The blog's author put his finger on the compelling question never asked, let alone answered, by our political representatives or our media outlets. Any outlays of public monies, either direct or indirect, beyond basic service outlays( police/fire/plowing, etc.)should be measured and discussed under a growth/cost-benefit analysis. Until the paying public, the taxpayer, demands this standard, money will continue to be wasted, budgets will continue to be out of control, taxes will continue to increase and population will keep leaving.One only has to look at the checkerboarding at Griffiss to the tune of hundreds of millions of public monies, the creation of an international airport with no flights, the massive subsidization of industry to "keep" them here and the chasing of what amounted to be phantom projects and one sees a complete disregard for accountability and fiscal sanity.

Anonymous said...

Does the term “socialism” come to mind?

Anonymous said...

Not only buying an ad in the paper but also infusing the NHSC and sending the information home with the students. I wonder if I wanted to run for office in the Town of New Hartford if the NHSC would allow me to present my platform and send it home with the students.

It is so disappointing that that only 700 people voted. When the Town and the school come back and want another tax increase you will here the complaints then. It is almost time to sell out and move.

Next up a bridge to nowhere and a new court house. Hang on to your wallets.

Strikeslip said...

NHCSD sent students home with flyers to promote this? First I've heard of that, though it would not be a surprise. There may have been some Commissioner's rulings violated by that act because school time would have been spent handing them out.

Regardless, the school-municipal "partnerships" being promoted of late as "cost savings" measures may, instead, be a partnership of vote control. We all know that school employees -- which are ever increasing in numbers with all the part-time help being employed -- have been used as a voting block: Control a salary control a vote. How convenient for the school district to "lend" its block to the local muni.

This is government serving itself and its friends. The public be damned.

At some point, the public will have had enough of the self dealing --- and the results won't be pretty. Check out what happened in Iceland at the end of last year. Even pacifistic people like Icelanders will accept being put upon only so much.

Anonymous said...

I believe this information about the vote was actually in the school news letter. I need to find another copy.

Titan II said...

RE: ANONYMOUS: "INFUSING THE STUDENTS...SENDING FLYERS HOME TO PROMOTE?

Does anyone have any first-hand knowledge of this act? If so, what did the flyer say?

I for one would immediately file a complaint with the State Education Department and too, find out who in the New Hartford School Administration allowed this to happen?

Smells like politics of olden days...similar to what Dan Gilligan pulled in a prior election?

Rotten apples do not fall far from their source...

Titan II said...

Anonymous,

Please let me know where you saw the statement about voting. Town residents need to take action in these matters.

If you find what you are looking for, please make it available to Strikeslip and others.

Thanks,

Anonymous said...

I was told it was in the school newsletter by someone very affliiated with the school. Someone will have to find the last one that went out. I'll go to my source again. Was is in the one tha was mailed to the home?