Better late than never?
When it comes to New York state's budget, well, we're not absolutely sure.
About the only thing certain about the legislative circus that resulted Tuesday night in the Senate passage of a $136.5 billion budget is that it avoided setting a record for tardiness.
As it was, when the smoke (and mirrors) finally cleared, the budget was 125 days late, a scant eight days shy of the Aug. 11 record of shame established in 2004.
Were all this year's negotiations, hand-wringing, posturing and name-calling worth the result, which increases state spending by 2.4 percent?
That depends on your viewpoint.
With Democrats in control of the governor's mansion, the Senate and the Assembly, they certainly should have been able to get things done with more alacrity.
In a way, it's hard to argue with the statement Tuesday by Republican leader Sen. Dean Skelos after the final portion of the budget was passed, 32-28, without a single Republican vote.
"Today, Senate Democrats finished voting on a budget that raises taxes by nearly $4 billion," Skelos said. "Today's action also completes one of the latest budgets in state history. What did taxpayers get as a result? They got higher spending and more taxes, but not a single initiative to create any new jobs or improve New York's economy."
Of course, the Republicans _ reflecting the tactics of their party colleagues in Congress _ are anything but blameless. Even in the minority, they have a responsibility to help govern rather than to just say no to everything and then second-guess legislation passed by the Democrats.
Gov. David Paterson, for his part, seemed relieved to finally get the budget out of the way as he prepares to leave office at the first of the year.
"Today the state finalized a budget that closes a $9.2 billion budget gap," said Morgan Hook, Paterson's communications director. "This was done primarily through spending cuts and with no borrowing."
Hook, however, may be a bit too optimistic.
"A fiscally responsible budget," he said, "will help our state turn the corner on this economic crisis and put us on a path to recovery."
That, of course, is yet to be seen.
From a local standpoint, we are disappointed that a bill that would have given the State University system more control over how much it charges for tuition didn't even get to a vote.
The SUNY colleges in Oneonta, Delhi and Cobleskill and their students would have benefited from passage of the bill.
We hope it passes next year ... and not 125 days late.
Better late than never?
Schools must find ways to deal with threats
Anonymous threats to schools are nothing new. Through the years, they have consisted -- among other messages -- of anonymous phone calls, magazine or newspaper lettering glued to a letter, and scrawled warnings on a bathroom mirror.
City should improve access to river
Many cities make the river running through it a focal point for its scenic qualities. By doing this, they attract more people to their city to spend some time there and also utilize the stores, restaurants and hotels.
Otsego County veteran's director is top-notch
The veterans of Otsego County are being well-served by Jack Henson, director. I feel he is the best director that has ever served in this county.
On our Opinion: Cheers
To the DEP's "The Watershed Experience," the Oneonta High School Envirothon team, and to ROPS rebate funding.
Make sure Blodgett project holds water
Many thanks to Dennis Finn and the Planning Commission for allowing unrestricted public comment on the Blodgett Drive housing project at the commissionâ€™s May 15 meeting. Most who spoke are residents of the area who know the safety and drainage issues well.
We need a law against Google Glass
Itâ€™s a technological marvel; a product ahead of its time, or at least ahead of the law for the time being, that is.
- Monday, May 20, 2013
Make sure you vote in school tax election
School superintendents have it anything but easy in these challenging economic times. In addition to dealing with myriad day-to-day and semester-to-semester issues, they have to have Solomon-like political acumen and management skills.
No foreign aid until our needs are met
I couldn't agree more with Sal Furnari's letter published in the Weekend edition. I would also like to add that when I was growing up I was taught to "take care of my own first" and then share with others.
THIS WEEK'S POLL
It's sad to see Rich Murphy retire
It was a sad day for Otsego County when Rich Murphy announced his intention to retire from the county board at the end of his current term.
Liberal media only care about themselves
Sounds like it all depends on 'whose ox is being gored' when it comes to the illegal phone tappings of reporters.
Street Talk: May 20, 2013
Do you think that recent high school graduates have a harder time finding a job than previous generations?
- Saturday, May 18, 2013
Casino in our area worth talking about
If Gov. Andrew Cuomo has his way, casinos will be awarded to three upstate locations.
Public financing could cure pols' paranoia
Paranoia is an irrational fear of persons, places or events that have no basis in reality.
Resort proposal is just too big
Belleayre Mountain Ski Center is a New York state taxpayer-owned recreational area. People who have paid for BMSC with their hard-earned dollars should not have to also pay for the infrastructure necessary to assure an enjoyable ski experience for the visitors to a private developer's monster mega-mall/spa resort on a mountaintop.
- Friday, May 17, 2013
Take precautions to prevent kidnappings
It has been nearly two weeks since the arrest of Ariel Castro in Cleveland on rape and kidnapping charges for acts that should send a chill through the spines of everyone in America.
Redistributing wealth just isn't fair
Yesterday a dozen of us were eating lunch in the break room where I work, most of us complaining that all we could afford was peanut butter and jelly and bologna ... except for Rob.
Hoping many will adopt a grave
It's that time of year again; adopt a grave. I am hoping when you buy flowers or a plant for a family member or friend's grave that you will buy some for another grave. I wish everyone would open up their heart and honor someone else by putting flowers on their grave. My hope is that groups, families and youth groups adopt a cemetery or a grave, and at least once a year that person or persons will be remembered. I started out with two and now am up to 14. It doesn't have to be expensive; just what your heart tells you to do.
- Thursday, May 16, 2013
IRS, Justice actions violate our trust
After the recent actions of the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Justice Department, belief in the integrity of our government is hanging by a very slender thread.
Blame Dems for Social Security woes
In his inaugural address President Kennedy said: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.'
- Schools must find ways to deal with threats