Tuesday, October 06, 2009

This Region Is Done For . . .

New Hartford officials can't (or won't) figure out how to cut their budget without cutting services.

We've heard this same old song over and over again. Meanwhile, we can find money to keep a superfluous call center going, find money to extend water and sewer lines for particular developers, move to a bigger (but not better) airport that has no scheduled passenger service, pay millions for "job creation" while the total number of jobs dwindle. . . . . On and on and on . . .
The taxpayers get hit up for more . . . but have less to show for it.

This region is done for unless Drastic changes are made in the way we govern ourselves. NH is run only for the benefit of Developers and other "takers." Utica, meanwhile, has turned into a freak show. And the same stories are repeated multiple times with varying degrees of incompetence in all the other area towns and villages and at the county level.

We have far to much government -- far too many people sucking off the public teat -- and far too may people to have to keep an eye on. There needs to be (1) massive reorganization with consolidation and (2) removal of all financial incentives to those making the rules (ie all legislators, town, village and city councilmen etc).

If there were no pay and benefits for legislative types, many of the scum we have occupying office won't bother to run. Most of those left would be volunteering their time in the interest of their communities -- and will not likely be controlled by the "powers that be" because there will be no loss of pay/benefits to be threatened with.

Consolidation would reduce the number of slots that we would have to find volunteers to occupy, and reduce the number of legislative bodies for us (and the media) to watch. Consolidation should be aligned with our population centers -- Greater Utica, Greater Rome, and, perhaps Boonville. These centers would provide all the typically municipal services that are centered on those communities -- including water and sewer -- which require a dense population to maintain. County involvement in any of those services would devolve back to the enlarged municipalities. Towns would be eliminated and the county would take over with bare bones government to ensure public order.

Elected officials won't do this because their existence will be threatened. This has to be something that the people have to start talking about and demanding.

Without massive reductions in governmental costs, this region has not a prayer of "enticing" jobs to come in --- and not a prayer of surviving, much less growing.


Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more. Included in your analysis is the realization the public employee expenses must be brought under control with elected officials bringing realism and guts into union contract negotiations. Public salaries when one understands benefits and annual increase provisions are out of control. It is impossible to cut government spending and taxes until this is done. One way is, as you suggest through consolidation; the other through tough management and political guts. The Onandaga County Executive has recogniozed the problem and is asking the public service unions to cut and sacrifice. That is never mentioned here at any level.

Anonymous said...

Companies here and headquarted elswhere and those who may be studying locations moniter on a regular basis. The political and fiscal mess of the area does not go unnoticed beyond our boundaries. Perhaps Demio runs to Europe to recruit thinking the notice doesn't extent globally.

Greens and Beans said...

Town Supervisor Brian Scala, The Marcy Town Board and the Marcy Town Highway Department exercises government professionalism with sound fiscal management. It is no easy task to professionally manage a municipality in this recessionary fiscal cycle. The Town of Marcy is one of these municipal governments that stand out as a rose in the field of Oneida County dandelion governments. Notwithstanding all of the Town acreage that is tax exempt like the State Prisons, Central New York Psychiatric Center, NY State DDSO, SUNY IT, State Canal System, NY State Thruway, NY State Power Authority, and the properties like a major retail warehouse facility and a major international utility delivery company both filing tax assessment challenges, Marcy has proficiently managed to lower taxes seventeen times in the past eighteen years! All this is in light of the fact that Marcy has managed to grant their municipal employees 3.3 percent pay raise.

Note to other Oneida County governments: Look to the properly managed governments who deal with similar municipal obstacles, and emulate their success.

Anonymous said...

This is how a city with competant leadership creates a budget. Take note New Hartford and the rest of the Mohawk Valley.

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- The city must cut 50 jobs and more than $1 million in services, implement paid parking and raise taxes 7.8 percent to balance next year's budget, Finance Commissioner Kenneth Ivins said Tuesday.

The drastic cuts and new revenue stream are necessary to avoid a nearly 40 percent tax increase next year.

The proposal would eliminate 50.5 positions, including seven police officers, seven firefighters. a police investigator, a traffic control officer and an animal control officer. It would leave the city's building inspector position unfilled and not fund several garage and street laborer positions. The employee cuts would save the city $1.73 million, while the nonemployee reductions total $1.1 million.

Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=850155#ixzz0TG29U9F0

Anonymous said...

Millions of taxpayer dollars are expended every year by the state and county governments to cover the hole left by the Oneida Indian Nation's failure to pay taxes. Thousands of jobs have been lost due to the closure of taxpaying businesses that could not compete with OIN. Now with the liquor license, watch more and more restaurants in CNY go under. This is the single biggest problem with this area. Our economy is not strong enough to support a non-contributing casino (the only one in the US.) Every other casino in the country pays taxes or revenue shares with state and local governments. Why do our officials fail to understand that fact and why don't they simply enforce our laws and collect the tax? If OIN paid its fair share, it has been estimated by state hired economists that our taxes across the board would be reduced by over 40 percent. After paying taxes, the OIN would still be the most profitable business in the area -- of course they would -- so would any monopoly. The isn't rocket science.

Strikeslip said...

I will have to disagree that the OIN is the single biggest problem in the area. While I do not doubt that some jobs have been lost due to completely unfair (due to tax disparity) competition between OIN and non indian businesses, many jobs have been created. I have yet to be shown a study that demonstrates that OIN has caused more losses than gains.

Assuming arguendo that OIN paid its taxes, do you really believe that things here would be any different? I do not. More taxes would only fund more wasteful spending and more self dealing by those pulling the government's strings. ...

Government (state and local) is this area's single biggest problem: Too much of it, too expensive, and incompetent.

If government operated properly, we wouldn't be having a problem with OIN or any of the other myriad of issues that have become such a burden on the tax payer and have driving virtually every good job away.

Anonymous said...

Both good posts. There is no legitimate reason for the Oneida's not to pay taxes.They are not a soveriegn nation and have been awarded a multi billion dollar gaming business by the state.But,the dictum that the more money the government takes in, the more it spends is the basic problem. Basic governmental structural and conduct reform would be necessary even with additional tax revenue.