Thursday, 05 September 2013 00:00
It seems part of the human condition to become so focused on that which needs correction that we often fail to appreciate our progress. It’s true in our personal lives, our work lives, and certainly when it comes to how we view government. In 11 years of public service I have yet to meet anyone whose first observation about government is how great it works.
But today I’ve got some terrific news that’s definitely worth celebrating. This past week Moody’s Investor Services upgraded New York State’s bond credit rating from “stable” to “positive.” While I realize that doesn’t sound like a particularly electrifying statement, it actually carries enormous significance. “Positive” is Moody’s Aa2 rating and their third-highest possible. In announcing their optimistic outlook, they cited – are you ready for it? – “the state’s resilience during and after the Great Recession, closing state budget gaps, reduction of government gridlock and its relatively well-funded public employee pension system.” How about them apples?
And this comes on the heels of a similar move last year by Standard & Poor’s, when it notified New York that we may score our highest credit rating since 1972 by passing a fourth straight on-time budget.
What does this all mean? Quite simply, that we’re doing the right thing. We’ve passed three consecutive on-time budgets, we’ve kept spending growth below a self-imposed two-percent limit, and we’re not borrowing. We’re doing what everyone else has had to do which is live within our means and we did it during one of the most difficult financial downturns in our nation’s history.
The most important ingredient in this comeback, to all of us as everyday New Yorkers, is that we haven’t raised a single tax or fee in these three years. That didn’t used to be the case. Albany was the land of tax-and-spend, with new ones being laid by the dozen at every session. Sadly, all the energy of government was harnessed to find new ways of getting your money to pay their bills, rather than finally buckling down and figuring out why those expenses were out-of-control to start. My senate colleagues and I went in with a different point of view: that government does not have the right, just because it’s government, to be unaccountable. In fact, we wanted to be as cost conscious as we would be in our personal lives. We held the line.
Whether or not people agree with what has come to be known as a “Republican” approach to governing, it is working for New York. That’s because we’ve partnered with a
Democratic governor who agrees that finances are at the heart of any comeback. So while we celebrate the new credit rating, we also celebrate the reality that common-sense and partnership are what got us here.
We know we’re not done. There are challenges ahead, but if the recent past is prologue, we’ll meet them head on, together.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 04 December 2013 14:08) Saturday, 07 December 2013 00:00
The first-grade classes at Hillside Grade School recently held its Thanksgiving Feast. The students made “apple turkeys,” recited poetry, sang songs, and made butter for their corn muffins. During class, they learned about the first Thanksgiving and how children long ago lived.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 04 December 2013 14:03) Friday, 06 December 2013 00:00
A cold windy day did not stop the Manor Oaks School students from running in the Second Annual Turkey Trot recently. Gym Teacher Ms. Innella coordinated the event. In order to take part in the run, students were asked to bring in canned food. The food was donated to local families in need, so they can enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner.
The kids had fun running the race. Some students dressed up as Pilgrims, Indians and even turkeys for the costume contest.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
Students at Charles Water Karate & Fitness, located at 122 Hillside Avenue in Williston Park recently participated in the studios 33nd Black Belt Graduation.
“Our goal at Charles Water’s Karate & Fitness is to facilitate mental growth enabling our students to reach their highest potential as human beings,” says Grandmaster Charles Water owner and director of the school. “Our studio teaches students how to defend themselves responsibly while instilling self-confidence, self-discipline and respect for others.”
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
The foundation for character building and success starts at home. The schools and role models that impact your child’s life assist in reinforcing the aspirations that you have for your child’s development and future.
Children learn this is Karatatot, a unique program offered by Charles Water Karate & Fitness, located at 122 Hillside Avenue in Williston Park. Karatatot is a combination of exercise and karate in a format specifically designed for children ages 4½ and up. In a fun filled and nurturing setting your children learn concentration, discipline, respect, as well as an understanding of self defense at his or her own level. Children learn child safety and stranger training. They are becoming better students at school and better listeners at home.