To give you an idea of how messed up things are for State Senate Democrats as this is being written, their gay pride event scheduled in Manhattan yesterday was protested by (wait for it) gay pride organizations. I can’t read that line without giggling.
1. A reader wants to know if it is legal for Nassau County to borrow money through bonds to pay for the cost of employee retirement incentives. The very short answer: No. That’s why a special law must be passed by the state legislature authorizing the action. Villages, towns, school districts and other taxing districts borrow money all the time without state legislative action, but only for purposes already outlined in law. This is a special situation which a local government cannot take on its own authority. Whether or not long-term borrowing to meet personnel expenses is a good idea is another question.
In the end, the State Senate Democrats were greedy, and they’re paying for it. Even if by the time you read this, they have made whatever deal or paid whatever blackmail to regain a 32nd seat and technical “control” (whatever that means at this point), they got greedy and now it all smells rancid and ruined.
Several weeks ago, a guy named Travers who lives just off Route 43 in Rensselaer County (just across the Hudson River from Downtown Albany) was moving some things around in the attic of his house. He came across two old books with pages filled with a beautiful old handwriting. He had just found the official records of what is now the City of Rensselaer and two adjacent townships covering the years 1796 to 1802. The records include meeting minutes, tax records, ordinances and a treasure trove of genealogical information about local families. They had been lost since at least the 1840s. The records, which have been turned over to local officials, may have been in the house when the Travers family bought it generations ago.
It is amazing to what extent some people will bitterly resist change, even when that change actually represents a wide highway of expansion and profit. For example, a new study by the respected Norwegian School of Management demonstrates that, contrary to years of hysterical claims by the recording industry, people who download music from free file-sharing sites actually buy ten times as much music than others.
The current and coming local finance crises offer opportunities to employ technologies that not only reduce costs but free up resources that can start to clear wish lists.
Despite nationwide uncertainty, support for proposed school budgets exceeded previous records on Long Island.
Of the 58 school districts wholly or partly within Nassau County, we have 57 passed budgets as of this writing, equaling last year’s stunning results. Across Nassau and Suffolk counties’ 124 districts, voters in only three districts did not approve their budgets, a record in the post-World War II era.
2. There is no government or political party body actively dedicated to meaningfully raising standards of behavior in our local affairs.…
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Michael Miller is a freelance writer, designer and strategic consultant who has worked in state and local government. Email: email@example.com