J P Sullivan
NEEDED A CONSERVATIVE MEMBER OF CONGRESS FROM THE 21st DISTRICT
Our survival as a nation depends, in large part, who is elected President, Vice President and to Congress in November 2008.
The candidates for Congress in the 21st District fall far short of what we need. The eight, or so, Democrats are cut from the same liberal/progressive cloth. They present the partyline game plan that calls for bringing home the troops and focusing on the usual domestic issues like universal health care, gay marriage, etc. Race and gender take precedence in their campaigns.
Of all the hundreds of thousands of enrolled voters in the 21st CD, is there not one veteran, wounded warrior, widow or parent who will step forward as a candidate for Congress and address the realties of the what we must face?
That national security is the priority issue. If we are not safe, none of the domestic issues will matter.
That national security involves combatting terrorism abroad and at home, as well as securing our national borders and dealing aggressively with the presence of millions of potential undocumented (alien) hostiles and their native-born, anti-social, malcontent allies in our midst.
That America, and our way of life, is dependent on a continued flow of affordably priced oil.
That the long term U.S. military, air and naval presence, in the oil producing regions of the world is essential to ensuring that flow of oil. In short, the troops aren't coming home.
That drilling for oil, keeping the national petroleum reserve full, moving quickly to utilize our vast coal reserves, rebuilding our rail system and restoring our manufacturing base are all essential to our survival.
Petitioning to qualify for the ballot begins June 3. Petitions must be filed by July 10.
Will this conservative candidate please step forward and will voters resident in the 21st District, step forward to help that candidate gather the necessary number of valid, enrolled 21st CD resident voter signatures to qualify for the ballot?
ANOTHER ALBANY CITY SCHOOL PROPERTY TAX INCREASE
It is May once more, and with it comes yet another Albany City School property tax increase. When will it end?
More money does not translate into improved school performance.
The Albany City schools are exhibit A for the maxim: MORE IS LESS. Annual per capital pupil costs are among the highest in the state, while academic performance ranks among the lowest. Albany High has a drop out rate in excess of 50 percent.
School property taxes account for about 60 percent of property tax bills for homeowners in the City of Albany. They pay the freight and get little or nothing in return. The majority of the city school student population comes from homes that pay little or no property taxes.
Sadly, far too many students do not want or try to learn in school. Their behavior, and lack of discipline, creates a environment that is detrimental to those students who want, and try, to learn.
Only about a third of the city's housing is owner occupied. The city homeowner population is a mix of the elderly, on fixed incomes; and a growing number of single professionals. Both groups have no children in the school system, but are forced to pay for it.
Homeowners ,with children, send their children, to private or parochial schools, if they can afford to. More often, than not, families with young children, sell their homes and move out of the city, rather than face the prospect of sending their children to the Albany City schools.
The future of Albany depends on aggressively dealing with two interrelated conditions: (1) the growing crime and anti-social street behavior, and (2) the failure of the Albany City schools.
As for city schools- costs can be reigned in and performance improved by:
1. Disbanding the city school district and school board; merging the city schools with city government. Create one, NOT TWO, property tax rolls. Make the Mayor and Common Council responsible and accountable for the administration, financing and performance of the city schools.
This will require a Home Rule Request to the state legislature and sponsorship of the necessary legislation by the Members of the State Senate and Assembly who represent the City of Albany.
The proposition should be placed on the November 2008 election ballot, when two school board seats are up for election in the City of Albany.
2. Return to a K-8 neighborhood school system in the City of Albany. Neighborhood schools are best for kids, parents and the revitilization of city neighborhoods. Student performance/behavior can be more easily monitored. Parents can more involved in the education of their children, when all attend the same school. Neighborhood schools are essential to maintaining the stability of and revitalizing city neighborhoods .
Elimination of school bussing would conserve fuel, lower school budgets and result in healthier, less overweight children.
The above should also appear as a November 2008 ballot question in the City of Albany.
3. Adopt and enforce a strict code of conduct and discipline for students in schools, and on city streets when traveling to and from schools. Replace gang colors/insignia with school uniforms.
4. Trim top heavy school adminstrations. Make teachers responsible and accountable for city schools.
More can be done, but the above is a good start.
J P Sullivan
Governor Paterson signed Grannny's Law 5/2/08
This law increases the penalty for assaulting a person 65 years, or older, to a Class D Felony, punishable by up to 7 years prison time, where the perpetrator is more than 10 years younger than the victim.
Questions - what if there are multiple perpetrators? Is that gang assault? Is the penalty the same or greater? What if the perpetrator(s) are juveniles?
Does Granny's law need to be amended to address the penalties when multiple perpetrators are involved, and/or they are juveniles?
J P Sullivan