Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Paterson has given the State Legislature a two week notice that serious work has to be done to lessen the tax burden increase on New Yorkers. I can’t believe he’s cutting their summer recess short!

What do you think will get done in Albany?

Paterson called back the state Legislature to the Capitol on Aug. 19 to start tackling a $6.4 billion budget gap in the 2009 budget that threatens to disrupt state services.

This is a result of an estimated budget gap of $26.2 billion budget gap over the next three years.

Paterson said on TV: "Our economic woes are so severe that I wanted to talk to you personally this evening on where we stand, the fact is we confront harsh times. Let me be honest, this situation will get worse before it gets better."

Now, I don’t want to startle anyone, but since when do politicians tell it straight-up?

We may know what’s coming, but these guys in Albany and DC usually tell a rosy ”Everything will be fine” speech. Paterson called on lawmakers to come back to Albany to find remedies to the state's fiscal problems that are also impacting the current 2008-09 fiscal year, which runs until March 31.

Paterson continued: "For too long we have done less with more and paid more for less. Now government will do what families have done when their incomes have fallen: we will cut spending. Government will learn to do more with less."

Here on the local level, the city and towns are struggling to deal with the eminent energy expenses, while sales tax revenues and discretionary spending are down across the county.

Expect all town boards and the Common Council to tie down what little they can to weather this perfect storm. Preliminary figures for next year have me second guessing the worth of some programs and employees. Oh, imagine taking property off the tax rolls now!

The state is experiencing the most serious budget shortfall since 2002, when the deficit was more than $10 billion after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In the 2003-04 fiscal year, the state had to close an $11.5 billion gap. The City of Kingston had to hit the 7% mark that year, and did it hurt!

According to an article in the Albany Times: Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco, R-Schenectady, said the test will be whether Paterson, unlike his predecessors, has the courage to override powerful special-interest groups.

I would second that concern for that is the true test here.


Anonymous said...

Paterson has the courage. Spitzer had the courage. Even Pataki had the courage the first year he was in office. It's the legislators who don't have the courage. If they buck the big public unions, like the teachers and the hospital workers, their contributions will dry up and they'll have a fight to be reelected.

Anonymous said...

Alderman Mike- a great post. Quoting the article, Paterson continued: "For too long we have done less with more and paid more for less. Now government will do what families have done when their incomes have fallen: we will cut spending. Government will learn to do more with less."

Your own statements regarding the local level should be a fact, but will the CC actually determnine ways to reduce debt etc. The Mayor has been able to increase our bond ratings, but we are continuing to spend. Income for the city appears to be reduced in many levels- garage income is gone, parking machine income, tax revenues, while the one aspect of additional revenues appears to be from our mutual friend and neighbor- Time Warner Cable. The contracts established are way below what could have been, but no one seems to care. The old concept : "is anyone out there, does anyone care" appears to still be in place.
Our disgraced governor made an incredible speech early this year where he discussed magnficent plans for economic development. It appears to be lost on the burner and probably never to come forth again. Here in Ulster County, the IDA loans along with Ulster Tommorrow are still hollow words. Tomorrow being the significant subject pronoun. Like the ageless Orphan Annie still sings- "The sun will come out tomorrow- " well here, tomorrow will definitely come, but with what price. It is time for some out of the box thinking which will bring in business to the city and the county-
sorry for the meandering- but ......
so in my usual ending: Go visit your physician- Cancer is cureable, but early detection is necessary...............
Shelly Z

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,you being an alderman,and at city hall alot,have you noticed any action taken to reduce utility costs fuel use etc.i notice foremen take trucks home,if they are on call that is fine,but if not,then why is it allowed,city hall like the rest of us really have to tighten the belts.Central hudson wants an increase because consumers are cutting back and it effects the bottom line,so if we cut back and they go up atleast we break even

Anonymous said...

The slience is deafening - what is the City of Kingston and Ulster County doing? Adding staff - what dopes we are for nominating and electing this economy killers.