Monday, July 30, 2012

Taking Power From the People

It's odd that this aspect of the Coroner/Medical Examiner controversy is not being discussed.

What the public is made to believe is that one of the County's ELECTED Coroners has not been doing his job properly, has caused problems because of it, and that this is why we need to go to a Medical Examiner system.


Is it not odd that for all the controversy we, the voters, do not know who this person is? That we, the voters, are being denied the opportunity to throw this person out of office ourselves?  Usually no one pays attention to the coroner's election because there is no controversy.  Well now there is.

We can debate the merits of  Coroner vs Medical examiner all day. What we should not be debating is giving the public a say in this process .... but there is no debate.  The decision which has been THE PUBLIC'S for generations is simply being taken from us by the Board of Legislators and the County Executive.

This needs to go to a referendum.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Upstate Transportation Tax

Nice to see Assemblywoman Tenney speaking out against the new Thruway toll hike on trucks.  More of .... no ... ALL of our upstate legislators should be raising hell over this outrageous selective tax on transportation between most major upstate New York cities.  All the talk from the governor about wanting to help the Upstate economy is just that ... Talk.  Same goes for the state legislature.

The Thruway needs to be treated like other Interstate Highways in New York State.  I-81 from the PA to the Canadian border, I-87 from Albany to Canada, I-88 from Binghamton to Albany, I-86 across the Southern Tier, I-390 south of Rochester, I-84 in the lower Hudson Valley, I-495 from NYC to Riverhead, Long Island -- They are All FREE.

Why should the Thruway have its own separate bureaucracy at this point in time?  The Federal government at former US Senator Moynihan's urging gave NYS the money to pay for the Thruway in the late 1980s -- It should have been made free then.  The original bonds for the Thruway were paid off in 1996 -- The Thruway should have been made free then.  What has happened since is that because this was a separate stream of revenue --- and provided a nice place to put patronage jobs -- the no-longer-needed structure of the Thruway Authority was maintained.  So main-line Upstate cities are stuck with the transportation tax that is not imposed elsewhere in NYS.

It is a drag on our economy.

The time to dismantle the Thruway Authority and fold its responsibilities into the Department of Transportation is NOW.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Thinking Beyond the 911 Grant? Of Course Not!

From the OD: Oneida County's 911 system in financial bind 
The 911 center, which fields emergency calls from Utica and New Hartford and all the other municipalities in the county, is seeing $1 million drop out of its budget in 2013 as a pair of state grants run out.
And a hoped-for infusion of new funds related to surcharges on cellphones failed to make it through the state Legislature before its session ended in late June.
Now, county officials are trying to figure out a way to pay for the center, which costs the county almost $1.8 million even with the help of the expiring grants.
The only reason the 911 system was solvent all these years was because people in Utica and New Hartford were paying for the system like other county residents but they were not getting the service.   Now that both municipalities have joined County 911 the County cannot make ends meet!

Margaret Thatcher once said that the problem with socialists is that they eventually run out of spending other people's money. Oneida County just did . . .

And you thought Republicans were running Oneida County!