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Barclay visits for town hall meeting

For the last several weeks, 124th District Assemblyman Will Barclay has been making his rounds.

The town hall-style meetings have sent him traveling to Skaneateles, Camillus and Baldwinsville to allow him time to talk to his constituents and hear their concerns.

In Skaneateles, Barclay talked at the SAVES building on Fennell Street and hosted a crowd of concerned residents from the area as well as Union Springs, Jamesville and a pair from Onondaga Central School -- teacher Steve James and senior Jon Toth.

Barclay entertained questions about the budget, property tax cap, infrastructure and other topics.

"It's an interesting time in Albany," Barclay said. "It is the first time in 40 years that a Democrat is senate leader. I see it more as a shift. I don't really see this as a partisan thing."

One of the assemblyman's biggest concerns to get out to the residents was the deficit reduction plan -- which Barclay said was a plan struck in the backroom. The plan allows government to put "huge assessments on insurance."

When the assembly received the plan, they had about three hours to review it before going to vote, Barclay said.

"We've got to start running this state like a small business," Lee Buttolph said. "The state is a terrible place to do business. Health care went up 14 percent."

Buttolph works for a small family-owned lumber business in Jamesville.

Barclay said one of the things of concern to him is the unemployment rate, but there is no easy solution.

"The only way to get jobs here is to lower the cost of doing business in New York," he said.

Lower the cost of doing business wasn't the only conversation regarding money.

"I'm interested in meaningful property tax reform," said Bill Hecht, a resident of Union Springs and former resident of Skaneateles. "There are a lot of people on fixed incomes, and they're getting hammered by property taxes."

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