RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT
2010 was an eventful year. Voters
reclaimed the House of Representatives.
That is good. I did not get to go to Congress.
Maybe in 2012? Anyway, Paul Tonko is now
in the minority and will have a tough time
getting re-elected in 2012...that is if the
21st District isn't among the 2 congressional
districts that will be lost when redistricting
Colonel Gibson won the 20th District. He
is the Congressional go to guy for getting
things done in the Capital District. He
serves on the Armed Services and Agriculture
committees which benefits Watervliet Arsenel
and local farmers.
Obama, Pelosi and Reid managed to push
through the lame duck Congress, some
misguided legislation. The START treaty
with Russia is a farce. Repeal of don't ask
don't tell does nothing to improve the
effectiveness of our military. The military
is not a social networking venue for those
obsessed with their sexual preferences.
One's sexual preference is a personal
Can al Qaida and the Taliban expect to
see soldiers flaming in drag on patrol?
Obama did not get the Dream Act, Amnesty
for illegals, and Cap N Trade through the
111 Congress. Not likely that the 112 Congress
will pass these either.
Energy prices are on the rise again. As a
result food prices are going up. Had Cap
N Trade passed, our energy bills would
Obama is coming to Schenectady next
Tuesday, to promote "green energy" and
to prop up his allies at GE and minority
The Hudson River PCB dredging project
should be scrapped. The labor and millions
of dollars redirected to rebuilding/improving
the aging water/sewer systems of Albany, Troy
Waterford. Cohoes, Watervliet and other
President Obama is blowing in the wind
with regard to pushing wind energy and
battery powered vehicles. The latter have
limited ranges and will be priced beyond
the meams of middle and low income people.
Obama would do better to advocate oil
drilling, tapping our vast coal reserves
and the Marcellus shale deposits of New
York and rebuilding/expanding our
conventional rail systems as well as
building light rail lines to connect
cities, suburbs and rural areas. These
actions would be major moves toward
spurring economic development, jobs
and energy independence from foreign
Here in New York State , some balance
has been restored in government with
the State Senate going back to Republican
control. This is positive for Upstate
because all the major statewide elected
officials are from downstate.
Governor Cuomo has relaxed security
at the Capitol In Albany. Not a good idea.
Mayor Jennings announced, Friday
that State St is being redesigned to
accommodate more buses filled with
minions of special interest groups that
invade Albany every Tuesday, during
legislative sessions to lobby legislators.
Albany City taxpayers have to pick
up the tab for policing and clean up
after these mobs.
Constituents who want to lobby their
representatives can do so in their home
districts. No need to create a circus day
at the State Capitol every Tuesday.
Additionally, when the Black and
Puerto Rican Legislators come to Albany
in February, to party, do so on their own
dime, not at taxpayer expense. Pay policing
and clean expenses as well.
As for the legislative agenda:
1. Consolidate Albany city schools
with city government. Establish one
property tax bill/date to fund both.
Return to K-8 neighborhood schools.
Trim top heavy administrative positions.
Give teachers more freedom to devise
meaningful practical curricula aimed
at graduating productive good citizens.
Make the Mayor and City Council
responsible/accountable for the operation
and performance of city schools.
2. Stop playing Tax Crap games. A tax cap
is not property tax relief. It is nothing more
than a guaranteed property tax increase
which takes the decision making away from
local voters. Zero school budget increases
will be a good start this year. Take away
unfunded state mandates. In subsequent
years reduce school spending.
How will all the cash incentives proposed
by the Governor in his State of the State
address be paid for? With more spending?
How about enacting a school spending/aid
and property tax rate formula geared to
graduation/drop out rates? Schools with
a 50 percent drop out rate would get a 50
percent reduction in spending/state aid?
Property tax payers would get a 50 percent
reduction in school taxes? Sounds like a plan.
3. The voting public does not have to smooze
with elected officials. Just do their jobs
and skip the photo ops. That is all that
the public expects. We are busy trying
to survive in our everyday lives, hoping
that elected officials act in our best interests.
We know how to write or call you, if and
when the need arises.
Best wishes to all for a Blessed, Safe, Joyful
Just in case, anticipate and be ready for
whatever may befall us in the days ahead.
My focus, will be on neighborhood issues
However, state and national issues will not
be forgotten, particularly as they relate