Amherst, NY (WBEN) - There's growing support for Amherst Supervisor Satish Mohan and his attempts to get a handle on the town's finances.
Board member Shelly Schratz says Mohan is right in delaying payment to scrutinize every check, even if it causes some vendors trouble, because the town needs know what it is paying, and she welcomes his diligence.
During Monday's Town Board meeting and a WBEN interview on Tuesday, Bill Kindel accused Mohan of delaying payment and potentially hurting the town, because some bills were "60- to 90-days late". The Mohan administration is 45-days old, so that would seem to imply that any late bills were the obligation of the previous admininistration.
A source from the previous administration of Susan Grelick tells WBEN all bills incurred druing her term were signed off on the last day of December, and that all town board members get a monthly list of bills owed, called a warrant.
Schratz admits they get a list of bills for everything, but one needs to be "a forensic accountant" to understand it.
To hear what Shratz had to say during an extended interview on Buffalo's Early News this morning, click on the audio link above.
Last year it was the county legislature that became the daily soap opera on WBEN in the morning, this year it's the Amherst town board.. Every time Bill Kindel opens his mouth he sounds more like an ass. Now we hear Shelly Schratz this morning in a compelling interview with John and Susan. She and Bill O'Laughlin say they support what Satish is doing.. Where are the rest?
Satish Mohan is doing what needs to be done. Late fees? Non existant at this point and Kindel is just full of hot air and is simply spewing venom most likely because Satish beat his buddy in the primary.. Once again I will say that the entrenched politicans will do what ever it takes to keep people like us out of office.
It makes you wonder how many other towns, cities and villages are being run so poorly costing the taxpayers thousands or possibly millions of dollars yearly.
Tom Bauerle just read a letter from National Grid saying they waive any late fees and the Applaud Satish for what he is doing.. Interesting, maybe they are tired of getting paid consistently late as apparently has been the practice of the Garelick administration.
WBEN put a call into Susan Garelick and I would be suprised if she returned the call, she will most likely release a statement, if we are lucky.. Isn't it funny how illuzzi is silent about these new revelations.. Prior to this the illuzzi letter claimed that Amherst was a well run town and all Satish wanted to do was to ruin it.. I am enjoying watching and listening to this play out as the politicans scramble to protect themselves. Stay tuned..
Amherst, NY (WBEN) - A few Amherst department heads showed at a town board work session Monday to say their vendors aren't being paid. Supervisor Satish Mohan says the check is in the mail, as soon as the he knows what he's signing.
Mohan says there is no money left in many budgets to pay bills that are coming in, but even then it's hard to tell. "It is not written how much is in the budget, and how much is in the balance in the budget for 2005," says Mohan.
He says Amherst ran a $19 million deficit for the last year the books are complete, that being 2004.
Mohan says he's on a learning curve, and many in the town aren't helping him make the town more fiscally responsible.
We can only wonder at this point just what is going on in Amherst. Bill Kindel has opened his big mouth again claiming Malfeasance in the Satish Mohan administration? Satish on with Tom Bauerle says he is trying to pay bills from September? What was Garelick doing? Is Satish responsible for late fees due to past town board actions?
Kindel sounds like a man with a grudge and seems pissed off that Satish is in office and is micro managing government.. What are they trying to hide, that is my question. Every Supervisor should be doing what Satish is doing, and if decide to run for Supervisor on Grand Island, I will scrutinize every Bill and department.
People are fast to aim at the state and county governments, as they should but everyone needs to look even closer at their local government as I have been for 10+ years.
Satish also mentioned 4 Insurance Brokers wanted to get paid.. That perked my ears up, since when do we pay insurance brokers? Maybe I'm wrong but it made me very curious. He says he found some payments that should have not been made and duplicate payments....
Free Buffalo Says Bass Pro Spending Greatly Exaggerated
Nor is the Waterfront Commission "Locally-controlled"
Buffalo, New York. February 13, 2006. Free Buffalo will hold a press
conference at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday) at its office, 1535 Hertel Ave.
near Parkside to release information it has received concerning the Bass Pro
deal and the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp.
In both cases, the public and the press have been deceived.
Bass Pro is not spending $57 million of its own money on the Aud.
The waterfront committee is not "locally-controlled."
Free Buffalo is the Erie County chapter of Free New York, Inc., a
non-profit, non-partisan New York State public policy research corporation.
It has offices at 1535 Hertel Ave., Buffalo, New York, 14216.
Bass pro? What a joke, they are going to Memphis. It only took 4 months to put together the deal there with no taxpayers money.... Give it up..
The evidence of Tech Valley's emergence as a global power in the high-tech arena is mounting.
One needs to look no further than at the first month of 2006, which featured no less than three developments of major significance.
To begin with, Gov. George Pataki, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced the $435 million Institute for Nanoelectronics Discovery and Exploration at the Albany NanoTech complex of the University at Albany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.
As one of only two such centers in the country -- with the other located in Silicon Valley -- the Institute for Nanoelectronics Discovery and Exploration will provide enabling research that is critical to the future of the semiconductor industry.
Of particular significance is the fact that the UAlbany NanoCollege will assume leadership of a consortium of top research universities, including the likes of Harvard, Yale and MIT, among others.
Second, the announcement of a new research agreement between heavyweights IBM, Sony and Toshiba will mean the attraction of two additional world-class technology firms to Tech Valley.
More bribery coming from Albany and where is it going? In their districts, surely not in Western New York.. Once again we get the short end of the stick.
I was only able to listen to the last half hour of Kevin Hardwicks show on WBEN this morning. The guests were Marc Cappolla and Chris Jacobs, both candidates for the Senate in the 60th district, my district, Grand Island, Niagara Falls and Buffalo. I have to be honest, I was not impressed by either candidate and I am once again disgusted with the quality of candidates being dumped on us.
So what do we do vote again for the lesser of two evils? Or stay home as so many already do, it's no wonder voters stay home on election day and another reason why we need Primary Challenge.
I will say that I sent in my request to the Republicans for an interview for this seat, and once again I was ignored. Why? I guess when you openly scrutinize their candidates as I do, it most likely ticks them off. To that I say, to bad.
Both these candidates are for the government spending millions upon millions of our tax dollars on Stem cell research. I am against it.
Both these candidates are for civil unions and are willing to review legislation considering gay marriage. I am against marriage even being considered, marriage is between a man and a woman and is Blessed by the Church.
Both these candidates say they are for the Right to bear arms but more needs to be done to keep guns off the streets. I am very much a supporter of the 2nd amendment, we as citizens have the Right under the Constitution to Bear Arms. We have more than enough Laws on the books right now, we do not need more Laws. Enforce the Laws that we already have.
Regarding abortion, I am Pro Life. Should parents be informed if a minor is going to have an abortion? Absolutely, how in God's name can anyone, be it a school nurse, a teacher or a member of the federally funded Planned Parenthood be allowed to bring a child in to have an abortion when my son can't even bring Excedrin into school with him to take care of his Migraine headache. A doctor needs parental permission to do anything to a minor child.
So what are they going to do? They say they will bring jobs, cut taxes, blah, blah, blah... Don't we hear this over and over again and again.
A Democrat will do nothing in the Senate and the Republican will vote with Joe Bruno. They are both hand picked from each side, they are both controlled by each respective party. Neither one is anywhere independent and neither one will represent us :We the People"
The Representation in this district is nothing but abysmal, Grand Island is in the middle of the 60th senate district, the north edge of the 144th assembly district the west end of the 10th legislative district and the tale end of the 28th congressional district.
We are represented by (formerly) B.Brown, S. Hoyt, M. Iannello-Ward and
L. Slaughter.. Each and every district has been jerry mandered to be controlled by Democrats.
Time for some real changes and it's time for the people to demand the changes starting now.
It is time to take back the Parties and it's time to get rid of the corruption. It is time to make lobbying illegal, end the stranglehold that Albany has on Western New York, time to reform the Pension system, Medicaid, and re-write the Taylor Law. The Time is now more than ever to hold our elected representatives responsible and accountable for their actions and their continued abuse of the system.
If we are to survive in Western New York we have got to get good people to run for office and with your help Win. I will continue to do my best to fight for the people of Western New York and against all odds run and win in the 10th district for County Legislature next year. I came very close last year, next time I will win and then you will start to hear exactly what is going on in County Government.
If we all voted the way we live, we would see a more Conservative government.
Think about it. Just my opinion, I could be wrong. Will you help?
We had a great time last night at The Liberty Ball.. Thank you Jim, Allen, Paulette and all that attended the event!
Hope to see you there..
Dear Free New Yorker:
We've worked very hard on the Liberty Ball, a way to raise money for Free Buffalo (to compete with the machine's millions) without having to sell our souls--and have a great time as we do at all our parties. Please come, information tables are available for $50. Please call me at 435-8918.
First Annual Liberty Ball
February 11th, 8-12pm, Leonard Post, 2450 Walden Ave., Cheektowaga
Featuring the Jony James Blues Band
cash bar, casual dress
The party of the winter!
Like all our fundraisers--this is make or break for us. We are forming a finance committee to seek larger donations, but we need time to get that ball rolling.
Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - Erie County Executive Joel Giambra wants to spend a weekend at the Beaver Hollow Conference Center in Wyoming County with members of the Erie County Fiscal Stabilty board to plot strategies for the county's four-year fiscal plan, but his proposal is raising some eyebrows on the control board.
Board Treasurer Anthony Baynes tells NewsRadio 930 WBEN he thinks such a meeting would be improper and unethical, and he does not plan to write a check to over the expenses of such a retreat.
Sheila Kee says she too, has reservations about the proposal and does not think such a meeting would help board members remain objective about the county's budget process.
To hear Barbara Burns' report, click here audio link. To hear Joel Giambra's response on Buffalo's Early News this morning, click here audio link.
Honestly....... I don't think this is a bad idea at all. I know some have said that there is ethical concerns, and I just heard one of the members of the Fiscal stability say, we are hear to critique the 4 year plan, we helped write it and it would be hard to critique it.. True but there are other major concerns effecting Erie County that can be addressed here. To be honest, they have to be addressed if this county is to move forward. If they are not addressed we will go no where but backwards as we are now.
I give Joel Giambra credit for being the only one using the bully pulpit to call out Albany, they need to be called out as the majority of our problems start there, bad legislation is enacted there, becomes Law and "We" have no choice but to abide by them. The Unfunded Mandates, Medicaid, Union influence, The Taylor Law, Pension's, Authorities, etal.... Our representatives, Hoyt, Peoples, Schimminger, Volker, Tokaz do not do their jobs or should I say in some cases "can't" do their jobs. Downstate politics dominates everything, Silver and Bruno control their votes using thug tactics and threats of withholding money, but I digress..
The major problem in my humble opinion is the "Mind Set".. Yes the mind set of our "Elected Erie County Legislators".... I have been saying this for years.
When the majority in the Legislature say that our government is not broken and that our problems are basically “All Giambra’s Fault”, we have a serious, serious problem..
When they say that and most importantly "believe it" prove they have no desire to reform or restructure county government, all they want to do is shift the blame. Everyone in government is to blame and they have no choice but to sit down and discuss all the issues with an open mind and come up with a conclusion that Erie County Government is badly broken.
It is Not all Giambra's fault, one person could never do this with out help from Legislators. Each legislator has to vote on the budgets passed every year. So to only point the finger in one direction is being completely disingenuous.
The county’s structural deficiencies are a result of politics influencing and determining governance, so when we hear Len Lenihan say we don't influence legislators, he is Lying, plain and simple.
I only point out Lenihan for one reason. When I was running in the 10th district I had the opportunity to have many conversations with my favorite Legislator, who will go unnamed right now. He told me that he was sure the Republicans would love to see him step aside because he was called a loose cannon just like I am labeled.
This directly from Cindy Locklear.
Government as “an employer of first resort”, as a means of rewarding political an party insiders for their political activity, regardless of need or qualifications is a disease of catastrophic impact.
Case in point is the recent discovery that the "New Chief of Staff" position created by the Democrats was the Campaign Manager for the "New Majority Leader" Maria White and a close ally of Len Lenihan and Sam Hoyt..
I have also been told Lenihan had the Democrat's caucus in Democratic HQ, And each staffer must work/volunteer for the party to keep their jobs.
So you tell me. Is there a problem with the mindset? I say absolutely YES!
What can be accomplished at this meeting? Anything of any real substance ? I don't know but I think it is worth a try. Until we can focus on the issues at hand we are going backwards. At the first meeting this year the legislators voted to add more jobs, open up and expand their district offices with 1.5 employees and create this new position.
They either haven't gotten the message, are ignoring the message that we are fed up with the status quo, the quid pro quo's or beleive Maria White, that they have a mandate to continue exactly the same policies that put us here to begin with.
Remember it was ok in their book to hire Duzsa for 9 months to increase his pension and Kuwick has a cushy job at the water authority which will enable him to retire in 3 years with a pension of $63,000 a year.
Something has to change, no question in my mind.
The Democrat-controlled Erie County Legislature has approved its rules for the year, continuing the dictate that the chairwoman has authority to hire and fire all staff, even aides on the Republican side.
This year, the GOP minority will not protest, largely because of the more cooperative tone that new Chairwoman Lynn M. Marinelli has set, said Minority Leader Barry A. Weinstein, R-Amherst.
This year, too, there is a benefit for the tiny Republican minority of three. Marinelli appears willing to let them spend $45,000 to hire workers for the downtown office - the Republicans' first "central staff" in almost a year.
Weinstein figures that amount will finance two or three part-time aides who can research and write resolutions and help the three-member caucus put more ideas before the full Legislature.
"I'm looking for people who have writing skills and financial skills," he said.
The Legislature has been shifting money from full-time salaries to part-time wages as members have shown they prefer having more part-timers. In a departure from last year's belt-tightening, the Republican caucus will again have more aides than legislators, as the Democratic side does now.
Marinelli, D-Town of Tonawanda, said the Republican aides can be hired without exceeding the Legislature's current budget. In one of its first acts this year, the Legislature expanded its budget by $100,000 to ensure it could hire a complement of assistants, mainly to run its 15 district offices.
The Democrats get a political hack for $78,000 a year and the Republicans get to hire a couple part timers using $45,000 because Lynn Marinelli is willing to allow them to? Isn't that nice.
The Republicans are at such a disadvantage here, last year they were not allowed to replace their staff because Holt said so. But once again we have to look at the fact that they voted to increase their budget by $100,000 do do what? to hire people to staff their district offices, the very same offices that most of them decided they could do without during the budget crisis.
I guess in their minds the budget crisis is over, boy are they sadly mistaken.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8th, 2006
1535 Hertel Ave. FreeBuffalo.org
(716) 566-7720 cell (716) 435-8918
President Executive Director
James Ostrowski Paulette Peterson
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Free Buffalo and Free Niagara to Release Annual Report
Jim Ostrowski To Blast Economic Development Bureaucracy
Buffalo, New York. February 7, 2006. Free Buffalo/Free Niagara will release their annual report on Thursday at noon (February 9th) at the Pearl Street Grill (second floor) in downtown Buffalo (corner of Pearl and Seneca). At the same time and place, Free Buffalo President James Ostrowski will deliver remarks entitled “Political Parasitism and Decision Paralysis Plague Economic Development in Buffalo.”
A copy of the annual report will be made available at the press conference. A copy will be posted online at 9:00 a.m. that morning at http://freebuffalo.org.
The report outlines the origin of Free Buffalo at a November 29, 2004 press conference in front of Memorial Auditorium opposing government subsidies to Bass Pro. Ostrowski’s remarks will delve into the causes for the lack of progress on Bass Pro and critique the multiply-bureaucratic approach to development that has served our area poorly for 45 years.
The annual report reviews the exciting events of 2005 and shows that the tax revolt was and is real and did have a large impact on events even though it was astronomically outspent by the political class. An ambitious agenda for 2006 is laid out including reports on Medicaid and state pensions and profiles of state legislative leaders facing re-election in November.
Free Buffalo and Free Niagara are the local county chapters of Free New York, Inc., a non-profit, non-partisan New York State public policy research corporation. It has offices at 1535 Hertel Ave., Buffalo, New York, 14216.
Free New York is the research and policy arm of the Upstate tax revolt.
The event is free and open to the public. All political parties and candidates and public officials are welcome to attend.
New Era Cap Co., a maker of baseball caps, has filed a proposal with the city of Buffalo planning board to convert the former Federal Reserve Building in downtown Buffalo into its new headquarters. The plan is almost certain to be approved, since it represents a significant new relocation into the CBD, one that has been supported by both the state and local governments.
It also represents an increasingly rare example of an American manufacturer that makes its product in the United States and that also needs to expand. "For 87 years, the company has been located in the Buffalo area," Raymond Barry, New Era Cap's CFO, told CPN this morning. "So our loyalty to the area is fairly strong, and our skilled workforce is here. We needed to expand, but we'd also like our headquarters in a more centralized location."
Last fall, the company agreed to buy the building for about $4.9 million from Ciminelli Development Co. The Federal Reserve Bank of Buffalo had moved out to another building in downtown Buffalo. All told, New Era will occupy all of the building's usable space of 86,000 square feet, according to Barry.
New Era Cap also plans for $5 million to $6 million in renovations not only to the building's office space, but also to create a small amount of retail space for its products and a baseball cap museum. (New Era Cap makes all caps worn in Major League Baseball.)
"State and local officials have been very cooperative," Barry noted. If the plan goes through, the company will take advantage of a variety of incentives, including ones from the Empire State Development Corp., Erie County Industrial Development Agency and the City of Buffalo. At the same time it moves its headquarters, the company also aims to use its former headquarters space in Derby, N.Y., a town near Lake Erie southwest of Buffalo, to expand its next-door manufacturing space.
This will be good news if the deal goes through...
ALBANY — The next time you see a road crew resurfacing a street, take heart: It's likely the next generation is paying for it, not you.
That's because every year, the state borrows the money ($283 million this year, a proposed $289 million next year) that it distributes to local governments for road maintenance.
That's not the best use of borrowing, one lawmaker claims, since debt should be used for things like new roads and bridges, buildings and other projects that last for decades.
The current state practice "is like borrowing every year for your grocery bill," said Assemblyman William Parment, D- North Harmony, Chautauqua County.
Parment, a 24-year veteran of the Assembly, is one of those rare lawmakers who actually reads the thousands of pages of charts, graphs, numbers in the state budget. Gov. George E. Pataki presented his spending plan to lawmakers last month. They have until April 1 to make changes and adopt a spending plan.
Early in his tenure, Parment recalled, the state used to provide cash to the localities for such repairs. But during one of the state's periodic budget emergencies in the '80s, the switch was made to borrowing, when Mario Cuomo was governor. It has been done every year since.
Well, a few hundred million here and a few hundred million there, pretty soon you have some serious debt: now a total of about $3 billion for past road projects and repairs, according to Parment.
Last year Parment discovered that the payments the state was making on interest and principal on the mound of debt ($291 million) was actually more than it was spending that year for the repairs ($283 million).
This might have been a good year to stop the practice since the state expects to end the fiscal year on March 31 with a surplus of about $2 billion. But most of that money is earmarked either for tax cuts or more spending.
The Democrats being led by Sheldon Silver are sure to stop any tax cuts and will do everything possible to increase spending as they always do. They will use their scare tactics....... and of course our representatives from Western NY will go along with it..
Theoretically, the state constitution requires that voters approve any such debt. That's what happened last fall when borrowing $2.9 billion for transportation projects was approved.
What, you don't remember seeing ballot questions every year for the past couple of decades about whether the state should borrow $200 million or $300 million every year for road projects?
No, you didn't miss the questions. You never had a chance to say yes or no. Most of the $49 billion total debt that New York taxpayers are on the hook for wasn't approved by voters. Instead, the money is borrowed by state-controlled entities like the Thruway Authority, which can borrow without voter permission. Then the money is funneled to counties, cities, towns and villages, which then use it for road repairs. The state then pays the debt service on the bonds. Got that?
More reasons to get rid of the Authorities, with the legislators clearly on their side they have driven us further and further into debt. Where do all the millions go collected in the toll booths? I know one thing, all the tolls collected here go to take care of the roads down state in Hudson Valley.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- School lobbyists on Monday assailed Gov. George Pataki's school aid increase as too little, and trashed his proposed family tax credit for tutoring and private-school tuition.
The advocates testified before the Legislature's budget hearing as supporters of Pataki's $500 tax credit for parents gained an influential new lobbying partner, the state Business Council.
"There is growing concern about the quality of education available in our public schools especially for less fortunate New Yorkers, and there is also greater interest in choice," said Matthew Maguire of the state Business Council. "New York pays top dollar for what tends to be middle-of-the-pack performance ... and they are getting tired of it."
Pataki's proposal, new this year, would provide a $500 tax credit to parents with children living in underperforming school districts, including all of New York City.
The credit could be used as reimbursement for tutoring, after-school enrichment programs, SAT preparation, or _ the most controversial use _ toward private-school tuition.
The proposal already supported by Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno and the faith- and business-based TEACH NYS is also a target of school boards, teachers unions and many Assembly Democrats, who control that chamber. The credit would cost the state $400 million.
"Creating an education tax-credit program would allow New York to join the half-dozen other states providing families with this type of financial assistance on the cutting edge of education reform," said Brian Backstrom of the Albany-based think tank Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability.
Another one....... As far as I am concerned right now anything to help the students is the way to go.. Our schools have failed us and they continue to fail us. Just throwing money at it is not focusing on the problem. We spend more money per student than the national average and I beg do differ, I think we get less than middle of the pack performance..
Ask any business owner that interviews a recent graduate from high school.
I think this is a consorted effort to dumb down the kids to force them into college thus keeping more jobs ie: highly paid professors with pensions and healthcare we in the private secter will never see.
Want to fix the system?
February 6, 2006 -- Retired U.S. Navy Adm. John Ryan be came SUNY chancellor two months ago; how quickly he picked up the lingo of a freshman's first letter home:
Send more money. Quick!
Here's a better idea for Ryan: Take a tip from CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein — who not only knows how to build an academically successful university in tough fiscal times, but also understands that Albany is not an ATM machine.
Last Monday, Ryan was crying to Mom and Dad Taxpayer for more dough, as he gave testimony before the state Senate and Assembly's fiscal committees.
SUNY needs $120 million beyond what Gov. Pataki proposed in his budget, Ryan proclaimed. Oh, and another $193 million to boost the full-time faculty, please.
When Pataki suggested, for example, that lawmakers allow the school to hike tuition $500 if need be, the free-money crowd — i.e., SUNY, and its Democratic supporters in the Assembly — went to DefConOne.
No way should students be made to pay a greater share of the costs of their education. If more money is needed, someone else (i.e., you, Mom and Dad Taxpayer) should pony up.
Never mind that Albany's own budget is built on borrowed cash and the highest state-and-local tax burden in the nation.
Never mind that SUNY's tuition is less than the national average — $5,491 this year, reports the College Board — even though New York's cost of living is way above average.
It's all up to us, just continue to give them more and more, it doesn't matter how they spend it just send them more.. Will it ever end?
February 6, 2006 -- Whatever moral claim state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno has on the loyalty of patriotic New Yorkers of all political persuasions disappeared in a puff of self-serving rhetoric last week.
Bruno, fearful for his perks and privileges, turned his back on his president, his party — and the tens of thousands of young Americans now in harm's way fighting the War on Terror.
Bruno called on President Bush to "get the troops out of [Iraq] and bring them home," adding: "It's about time."
But is the majority leader's demand truly sincere?
His declamation came in direct response to a reporter's question on whether he was concerned that President Bush's unpopularity in New York over Iraq might further jeopardize the GOP's already tenuous grip on the Senate. Bruno's answer: He was "concerned" about "the [poll] numbers that relate" to Bush's popularity.
So now the state's second-ranking elected Republican is firmly to the left of Sen. Hillary Clinton on the War on Terror.And no surprise, either.
Bruno is so tight with tax-and-spend Democrats like Dennis Rivera and Randi Weingarten that he might as well be a tax-and-spend Democrat himself — all in defense of keeping his majority.
That is, in defense of his privileged position in the capital.
But there are some things in this world that are more important even than preserving Joe Bruno's control of the New York state Senate.
And one of them is the expectation that someone of his stature not engage in seditious politicking during wartime for any reason, let alone one so base as that which motivated Bruno last week.
For shame, senator. For shame.
I will be criticized again for my opinion regarding the Republicans but I hold fast to my opinion that the Party is falling apart and Thank God I am not alone.
If the supposed leaders in this party would just listen to people, read the blogs and forums all across NYState. The Republicans are fed up with the way Bruno and the leaders are acting and most importantly governing.. They are driving the party further and further to the left and they wonder why they are losing elections across the state.
I had the guts to stand up to the RINO's here and will continue to do so, yet because I do, they don't even have the courtesy to respond to me when I offer to run for Senate in the 60th district.
The Republicans lost here because they dissed the Tax Revolt candidates. The group in the 10th are a bunch of misguided misfits that care only about their Power and control than the people they are supposed to represent. Oh, least I forget the vengence and payback for standing up to them.
Instead of being out in front and leading this state in the right direction, they fight us causing the whole state to fall further into the abyss of high taxes, corruption and being labeled the most dysfunctional in the Country.
Welcome to New York, toll booth ahead.
LEGISLATOR TIMOTHY M. KENNEDY: "The public doesn't want to see a repeat of last year."
No Mr.Kennedy we don't, and just as you were pert of the problem last year you are again this year.
Erie County lawmakers Thursday bowed to pressure from some Assembly Democrats and agreed to share with cities, towns and villages another $12.5 million in sales tax income next year.
Had both sides dug in, taxpayers would have stopped paying the so-called "temporary" penny on the sales tax, and the rate would have fallen by default to 7.75 cents on the dollar come March 1.
What a novel idea, lower the sales tax to 7.75, that would be the best thing to happen to Erie County. Then maybe then we could see some real reform and the restructuring of County Government if not the dismantling of it.
But County Hall would have slipped into its second tailspin in two years and would have had to jettison workers to make ends meet. Credit agencies would have reviewed Erie County's already-low bond rating, and the state-appointed fiscal stability authority would have transformed itself into a hard control board.
The county is in a tailspin because of the inept group of legislators in the majority. They still just don't get it and when we hear statements from the new majority leader like " we have a mandate" a mandate for what? Creating a new position at county hall for your campaign manager for $78,000 a year? To have any jettison of workers the legislators would have to get rid of all the patronage jobs their friends and campaign workers have.
During the debate, proponents of the plan said they gave in when key Albany lawmakers vowed to help them make up the $12.5 million in 2007.
Once again the state will come and help? the are the ones that make sure we stay in this fiscal mess. By the way, where will they get the money to "help"?
The government has no money unless it comes from the people.
"It is, in my view, by no means a disaster for any of the parties involved," said Majority Leader Maria R. Whyte, D-Buffalo.
Really, you don't.. Interesting point of view from a socialist. How did you ever get to be majority leader in your infancy as a legislator? Promise to vote for Marinelli and give the job to Kusick at the water authority? Just curious..
Tokasz watched county lawmakers debate and then distributed a statement, signed by himself and Assembly Democrats Sam Hoyt, Crystal D. Peoples and Mark J.F. Schroeder, all of Buffalo. All expressed a commitment to help the county save.
Isn't it amazing how the assembly democrats can come together to Force Erie county to do something but arevirtually useless when it come down to doing anything to "Help" Erie County and Buffalo. When Sheldon Silver says Jump!
in unison all of them say "How High?"
The Assembly majority leader also described as "fear mongering" County Executive Joel A. Giambra's prediction that dividing money with municipalities will trigger a property tax increase next year to make up the difference. Tokasz and State Sen. Dale M. Volker, R-Depew, when interviewed Wednesday, said the state can help close the gap.
The only fearmongering I see here is from the bullies Tokasz and Volker, but don't worry they will be there to help the little people out.
"This is probably the worst legislation I have ever seen in my history with the Erie County Legislature," said Legislator Michael H. Ranzenhofer, R-Amherst, who also predicted that it will spur higher property taxes. "People are tired of having more money taken out of their pockets."
"They put a gun to our heads," said Minority Leader Barry A. Weinstein, R-Amherst.
I agree with both of you and I know it will spur higher property taxes because the majority party will not, I reinerate, will not restructure and fix the problem.
It's all Bush and Giambra's fault, never look in the mirror.
Voting against the measure were Weinstein, Ranzenhofer and Legislators John J. Mills, R-Orchard Park, and Thomas A. Loughran, D-Amherst. Thank you Gentlemen.
The Assembly Democrats say they drew their line in the sand because Erie County is one of the few in New York allowed to avoid sharing the proceeds of sales tax increases with its cities, towns and villages. They also wanted Giambra to make good on an old promise to share more sales tax income if the governor and the State Legislature ever saved counties money on Medicaid. Albany officials have since capped the growth of each county's Medicaid bill.
Well, you haven't and whenm you do, let's talk OK.. If you think capping the growth of the medicaid bill is fixing the problem you had better go back to school. All this will succeed in doing is raising the state taxes, we pay anyway so how is this fixed? We pay more for medicaid than twice any other state in the country, it's broken..
Get your house in order in Albany Mr. Tokasz and Mr. Volker before you continue to dictate policy to all of us here in Western New York.
There is another big deadline for the Erie County legislature. This time they must decide how to share their new revenue. News 4's George Richert has the latest.
Erie County legislators worked into the night, in closed door meetings, trying to come up with some consensus.
The original proposal to share 30 million dollars of the eighth penny sales tax, has now been reduced to 12 and a half million, and if county lawmakers aren't willing to share that much, state lawmakers will discontinue the extra tax next month..
FYI.... They don't care about how this will effect anyone but themselves and money........ Jobs we must keep all the jobs we have given to our friends and campaign workers. Eliminate the extra penny, do the RIGHT thing for once!
It seems that Cindy Locklear is having problems with her blog so I copied and pasted this article she wrote. I liked it so much I wanted to post it here for you all to read.
As I write this Article we are 16 days into the County’s 2006 Budget Year. Despite the efforts of some to portray the passage of the Budget and accompanying tax increases as a monumental achievement, the harsh reality is staring us in the face. The structural defiiciencies that haunted the prior years’ budgets were not addressed by the County Administration nor recognized by the outgoing Legislative Class of 2005. In fact the county’s solvency status appears to be a ‘day to day’ phenomenon.
It takes very little in the way of “unforeseen circumstances” to topple the Budget and the Four Year Plan into disarray. Example No. 1 is the anticipated $200K that will be needed to run the Special Election to fill Mayor Brown’s vacated senate seat. Example No. 2 is the Assembly’s proposal to share the “Eighth Penny” Sales Tax with the cities, towns and villages.
It is not hard to imagine that if these types of imbalance-causing events could surface in the first 16 days, that other significant budget blowing problems are yet to arise.
Amazingly, in the past few weeks I have heard some of my colleagues say that our government is not broken and that our problems are basically “All Giambra’s Fault”. My feeling is that the people who say this have no desire to see a wholesale reformation of our government and merely hope to lay blame to avoid change.
While it is indisputable that Giambra has to account for severe and critical failures of foresight, management, fiscal responsibility, governance and fair representation, the overarching issue is the “elephant in the living room”. The county’s structural damage goes beyond the anemic budget and straining Four Year Plan.
The county’s structural deficiencies are a result of politics influencing and determining governance. Government as “an employer of first resort”, as a means of rewarding political an party insiders for their political activity, regardless of need or qualifications is a disease of catastrophic impact. According to the recently published Buffalo First “Book of Lists” the top four local employers are federal and state government, Tops Markets and in fourth place Erie County. This is an “upside down” economic model that is unsustainable.
Western New York suffers under an almost indecipherable cacophony of overlapping and duplicative taxing, regulatory and service delivery entities that demand scrutiny and in the end must be harmonized. This will be a painful process requiring severe remedies to address the realities of insolvency.
I am working hard to reconcile the competing needs of the various members of our community and to reverse the fiscal onslought borne by the taxpayers. I urge you to monitor your elected officials in all levels of government. Encourage your representatives to examine their motives and allegiances. Demand accountability. You deserve no less.
Author’s note. This is a retype from an article published in the Bee Papers on Jan. 19. It was originally written on Jan. 16, 2006. This text is slightly modified from the article published in the Bee Paper. ~cel~
I want to say that after reading what she had to say I feel vindicated in so many ways. In my last Press Conference I called the Erie County Gov't nothing but a bloated, overgrown beauraracy. It has grown to be a 1.1 billion dollar drag on our local economy and an employment agency for the politically connected.
I am so glad that Cindy won and at least we have someone telling it like it is from the inside looking out. So we can start to understand why so many worked so hard, spent so much money to defeat us in the primary.
If the parties were really about representing the people they would have gotten behind more of the Primary Challenge candidates, could you imagine if we had all won? The "Real People" would be in the legislature instead of Political Hacks as the majority of them are.
IF the Republicans in the 10th district really cared about the "people living" in the 10th district they would not have obstructed my run, violated elections laws repeatidly just to be vindictive and do what ever it took to stop me.
Thing is, they didn't and they won't stop me in my never ending persuit to eliminate corruption, abuse and to help get this area back on the track to prosperity and a growing economy.
I am in this for the long haul, one defeat does not constitute the loss of the war, and it is a war. A political war and the people will win!
News 4 has learned a compromise may be in the works on a formula for sharing the sales tax millions from Erie County. But Senior Correspondent Rich Newberg reports it's not a done deal yet.
When the Erie County legislature meets Thursday, they could vote on a compromise plan to share the eighth penny of the sales tax.
Giambra is still against sharing the eighth penny, and so is Democratic Erie County legislator Cynthia Locklear of West Seneca, who first wants all governments involved to meet and agree to serious reforms that would save money.
Locklear said, "There should be a process to rationalize all the delivery of services, the costs and benefits of those services, figure out who pays what, and then understand whether or not sharing of that penny is necessary."
Giambra said, "I'm very much encouraged by legislator Locklear's proposal. I think it's a very sound, rational, lucid way in which to move this discussion forward."
Cindy Locklear may have as many as five legislators agreeing with her, which means the legislature would not have 10 votes to approve the sharing of the $12.5 million.
There seems to be a growing feeling that the state should not get involved in tax decisions on the local level.
Assembly Majority Leader Paul Tokasz said that while the state may insist that Erie County share some of the eighth penny of the sales tax, it would also call for the task force that Cindy Locklear wants to create.
We need someone to run a Primary against Tokasz..!
Go Cindy! Cindy was endorsed by us at Primary Challenge, I liked her from the beginning as we had many opportunities to talk about issues. She has a good level head on her shoulders and she is not part of the system we need to break down. I have said for years, it is the mind set with the politicans.. We have got to change the mind set or nothing will change.