Monday, November 24, 2008


Just like the City of Kingston and every town across the nation, New York State is in a financial mess. With the second highest taxes, (second only to California) New Yorkers pay the most taxes per capita in the northeast.

Having stated that, I had the displeasure of seeing our state leadership as a panel on PBS13 over the weekend. Gov Paterson seated in the middle, with Dean Skelos on one side and both Silver and Tedesco on the other. Malcolm Smith was a no-show. It’s just as well.

As the program went on, I realized these guys have no intention of taking any big steps to cut spending and decrease pork. So I have to ask, does Governor Dave have a plan B? He has asked the NY representatives to come back to Albany on several occasions and had little success in cutting spending.

I know from experience here on the Council level what we can and can’t alter regarding minimum operating funds, state regs and contractual agreements, but NY is a big state, and heavy with bureaucracy. Surely there is fat hiding somewhere.

Paterson offered a slashed version of the budget with funding cuts to Schools and Medicaid, while increasing tuition costs at SUNY and CUNY. With that kind of threat, you’d think the obstinacy of the Legislature would diminish. Not a chance. Skelos and Silver are fine with Paterson taking the heat, so long as no-one touches their line-item pork.
[Hey, why don’t the Aldermen get pork?]

The last tool Paterson could use is the power to order our reps back to Albany weekly. Doing this during the holiday season would actually be fun to watch. He could also lay off a chunk of the state workforce. Let the pink slips hit the mailboxes right around Christmas. With State Senators like our own Bill Larkin, spending over 1.2 Million in office expenses in the last 18 months, even he might turn off some lights at night.

And where was Smith during this Faux Leadership meeting? Was he too busy with his new economic team for 2009, or did he know this was just theatrics for the sleeping legislature?

Now I’m off to a City Budget meeting. I’ve got my scissors.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So what happened at the City budget meeting last night nothing in the papers. Did you use your scissors?