No one's laughing at Joanie's 'big joke'

Joanie Mahoney admits that she may have come on too strong when she first took office. After being sworn in as county executive on Jan. 1, 2008, she was rarin' to go and perhaps she overplayed her hand on the subject of government consolidation, she said shortly before New Year's Day.

Nevertheless, she insisted, "We need less 'Us versus Them' and more regional cooperation."

Mahoney suggested that Central New Yorkers abandon their allegiance to arbitrary geographical boundaries because it's simply "too expensive" to maintain so many individual small governments.

"But I'm certainly not one to come in and tell people they've got to change things they've been working on for many years," she backtracked. "It has to be a partnership. We have to work together."

She even hinted that her rocky relationship with the county Legislature can be repaired. Conjuring up her best Pollyanna imitation when discussing the hot and hostile legislators, Mahoney said with a wry smile, "Things are getting better all the time."

Yeah, and it's going to stop snowing any day now...

New aide gets earful!

Meanwhile, the county's newly appointed director of inter-governmental relations, Travis Glazier, has been busily meeting with supervisors of the county's 19 towns and mayors from the county's 15 villages, all of whom are anxious to hold on to their individual fiefdoms.

Mahoney's hand-picked assistant, who replaced Ben Dublin, certainly got an earful from the honchos of the hinterlands. Their noses are still way out of joint about the way Joanie jerked lucrative sales tax revenues out from under them last year.

No sense of humor?

Local governments aren't the only ones reeling from the sales tax fiasco.

Home owners in the town of Salina can't believe what they're seeing when their 2011 tax bills arrive in the mail. If you're one of those whose assessment has just skyrocketed, you can complain to people like Town Supervisor Mark Nicotra, but he's unlikely able to provide more than heartfelt sympathy. Town taxes on his own Lyncourt home zoomed up from $239 last year to $510 this year. He blames Mahoney.

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