Local Matters

Community Sponsors


April 2, 2010 - 1:08pm
posted by C. M. Barons in Paterson, New York Budget.

Invoking the obvious, Gov. David Paterson questioned his WOR radio listeners- "When is somebody going to get it?  We have run out of money!"

The governor went on to say that it was unfair, in a climate of 300,000 lost jobs and a 9 percent unemployment rate- private sector wage freezes, salary cuts and furloughs to grant 4% wage increases to state workers.

Unions countered by accusing Paterson of financial mismanagement, and reminded the governor that the contracts sanctioning the raises in question are legally binding.



December 6, 2009 - 8:21pm
posted by C. M. Barons in new york, Paterson, Budget Crisis.

Letter via e-mail from Gov. Paterson's office

Dear New Yorker:

Earlier this week, the Legislature concluded an Extraordinary Session that I convened to address New York State’s worsening fiscal crisis. While the deficit reduction legislation passed by the Legislature provides needed savings, it falls well short of what is necessary to put New York on the road to fiscal and economic recovery.

Although the Legislature failed to join me to adequately address this crisis, we were able to achieve historic reforms that make government more accountable to taxpayers.

This week, we enacted the most important reform to our State’s pension system in more than 25 years, creating a new “Tier 5” that will substantially reduce the cost of government for the long-term. Public pensions have been allowed to grow at an unsustainable rate for a generation – with rising costs for local governments passed on to New Yorkers in ever-increasing property taxes. Thanks to this legislation, New York finally has a rational pension system that provides a secure retirement for hardworking public employees, while controlling costs for property taxpayers.

March 30, 2009 - 3:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in budget, new york, Paterson.

Albany Watch reports on Gov. Paterson defending the "three men in a room" budget:

“None of this makes sense,” he said when asked if the new taxes and fees make sense in the face of the state’s economic woes. “We don’t want to tax the wealthy, we don’t put these taxes in to raise fees, we don’t want to hold our school budgets at zero increase at a time when our children need education. We don’t want to in any way jeopardize anyone’s ability to get health care.

“We don’t want to lay workers off. It’s a response to a crisis.”

Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, D-Queens, said “this is not a happy budget” and defended the need to negotiate the budget behind closed doors, saying “Difficult times call for different approaches” but that transparency is still important.

Elizabeth Benjamin, blogging for The Daily News, also carries a portion of Paterson's defense of the budget.

March 30, 2009 - 8:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Albany, taxes, Paterson.

We keep hearing about how New York is in crisis.

So I find this morning's Buffalo News headline a little shocking: Both spending and taxes soar in state budget.

When you or I find our income greatly reduced, our primary option is to massively cut our own spending. We can only raise more revenue if we can sell our services on the open market for a higher fee. We don't have the option of extorting more money from people, unless we want to risk jail time.

The government, especially New York's government, doesn't work that way.  When it find itself facing revenue shortfalls, not only can it force its citizens to pony up more taxes and fees, it can go right ahead and increase spending as well.

Where on the measure of common sense does this fall?

The lead of the News story, with its list of new taxes and fees, along with the total amount raised, is stagger:

The state’s new, inflation-busting budget will require New Yorkers to pay more to go fishing and hunting, drive a car or motorcycle, have life insurance, operate the lights and heat in their homes, buy cigarettes, own a cell phone and drink beer, wine and bottled water.

Single taxpayers making more than $200,000 a year will see a jump in taxes, as will bus companies, nuclear plants, food processing companies, racehorse owners, farmers, pesticide applicators, grocery stores and anyone wanting to open a hospice.

In all, the total number of new taxes, fees and various assessments and surcharges will top $7 billion in the new budget that state lawmakers will vote on beginning Tuesday. The governor’s office put the number at $5.3 billion, but that misses a number of levies.

That's $7 billion that will be sucked out of state's economy. That's $7 billions in lost jobs, lost opportunity and lost economic growth.

The News also reports that items such as the end of the STAR rebate program, will cost taxpayers a total of $10 billion when all is said and done.

That's $10,000,000,000.

Meanwhile, spending is skyrocketing to an astonishing $131.8 billion.

With a $17.7 billion deficit to wrestle—up from $16.2 billion just a week ago — Paterson and lawmakers turned to every possible revenue source to go along with $6.5 billion of assorted cuts to hospitals, nursing homes and other programs. Rounding out the money to fill the gap is $6.2 billion in federal stimulus aid.

It's not enough to just close the budget gap, Gov. Paterson and the legislative leadership just can't wait to spend more money.  As the D&C reports, the new budget increases spending by 9 percent, or about $10 billion. Again, in tough times, you and I must cut spending, but not the government -- it just raises taxes and fees and takes more money out of your pocket.

And what's with using $6 billion in federal stimulus money to balance this bloated budget? That money should go to things that, you know, supposedly, allegedly will stimulate the economy, such as new infrastructure projects. Or helping small businesses. Not to increasing the size and scope of government.

Fiscal mismanagement like this should be an impeachable offense. Albany is out of control.

December 1, 2008 - 7:34pm
posted by Daniel Jones in politics, Democrats, Obama, Hillary, Paterson.

Now that the almost inevitable selection of Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State is official, the already drawn out speculation of who will fill her seat is in full swing and will no doubt dominate news coverage for the next few weeks.  I was thinking today though, what if Governor Paterson had to choose from Genesee County, seeing how close the Democorats are to having a 60 vote majority, the likelihood of him picking a Republican is slim....so popular Republican Assemblyman Steve Hawley, or really any other known Republican would be out of the question.

In this fun hyothetical, or shall I say, localthetical, who would Governor Paterson pick if he had to choose from Genesee County leaders?

Obviously, in terms of name recognition he would start with major Government leaders, so number 1 on the list would probably be Batavia City Council President Charlie Mallow.  Love the guy or hate him (personally I like the guy), he brought the City into the black, worked across the aisle to bring proposed tax increases far down from their original expectations and was the leader of two tickets that led to Democratic control of the City Council, he's also shown that he has the fundraising ability to help large scale fundraising efforts in Batavia and county wide. 

Perhaps Paterson would also consider the straight-shooting Rosemary Christian, with her reputation as a fighter and her popularity with the local ethnic communities, she wouldn't back down to Republican pressure in the US Senate.  Paterson also might be credited for picking a 'maverick' , who sincerley votes with her conciense and puts the interests of working people first. 

The level headed Kathy Briggs may also play a factor in Paterson's mind, she also has shown that she can work well across the aisle and still stands up for what she believes in, her background as a teacher may also be a major bonus, Briggs also has good relations with the local Conservative party, and could possibly pull their support. 

Ed DeJanerio would also be given obvious consideration, he's defined himself locally as a scrappy campaigner who doesn't just beat his opponents, he gives them an electoral thrashing through careful and positive messaging and by hitting every single house in his district.  Ed is a careful and moderate leader in the County Legislature who focuses on constituant services.

Batavia School Board President Pat Burk would cleary be the "education" choice, he's been working with education on the board before I was even a thought in anyone's minds he's lead the district through thick and then and has brought Batavia into respectability state wide, especially with Batavia High School being such a high-performing school.  His selection would also be a bonus because of his work with the State School Boards Association, Burk could act as a representative on education on behalf of President Obama statewide. 

Paterson could also pull a triple whammy by selecting School Board Member Gary Stich, the current President and CEO of Oxbow corporation, thus adding private sector bonfidias along with an obvious interest in education with the know-how and connections to turn around the upstate economy, I'm not entirely sure of his partisan affiliation, so obviously some agreement with him caucusing with the Democrats would have to be worked out (if he isn't already one).

Maybe Paterson would reach into LeRoy for his selection, former party Chair Ray Yaccuzo has been active in environmental issues and has been a community leader outside of politics for most of his life, in addition he has valuable executive experience being the former mayor of LeRoy. 

Speaking of former LeRoy mayors, Jim Delooze would also recieve close attention, he also has good relations with the local Conservative party and really put his heart and soul into Leroy.  Despite his defeat in his last election, it appears that his careful budgeting and smart governing left LeRoy in a pretty good position, and with his energetic campaign style he certainly would be an asset to the Democrats.

There's also possible picks from the surronding towns, such as Barb Kapperman, a former candidate for County Treasurer and who has had much experience working with Government finance, can you say budget balancer?

Now we go back to the reality of Governor Paterson's possible picks, Andrew Cuomo, Brian Higgins, Byron Brown, Nydia Valesquez and Steve Israel, all great possible picks without a question....but just think of all the great choices Governor Paterson would have if he was limited to Genesee County.

Subscribe to



Copyright © 2008-2020 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button