Why are you the best candidate for this office?
I have worked incredibly hard over the past four years to make sure that my constituents are well-represented. As a result of this effort, I have been able to develop strong relationships with other legislators and county department heads. It has also allowed me to develop working relationships with residents, businesses, neighborhood groups and community organizations throughout the second district. In my next term, I am going to continue build these relationships to resolve the issues that are most important to everyone. This includes working to continue reducing taxes, eliminating regulations that make it more expensive to live and do business in Onondaga County and to increase the safety of the residents.
What are the major issues facing the district, and what will you do to address them?
The biggest issue facing Onondaga County is the burden placed on it by New York state through unfunded mandates. These are programs that are offered and managed by New York state but required by law to be funded by the individual counties. Although these programs are not all bad, the result of the state offering these programs without having to tax for them is similar to ordering dinner in a restaurant and leaving someone else with the tab. These programs tend to be much more expensive than they would be if either the state or the county was responsible for the content AND the cost. For the past few years, the cost of state mandated programs to Onondaga County was greater than the property taxes collected. Without having to pay for unfunded mandates, Onondaga County could fund all of its operations with sales tax revenues alone. I am very confident in Onondaga County’s ability to manage its own operations responsibly, but when there is such a large cost put on us without having any control over it, it makes the future far less certain. In my opinion, Albany should take over the costs of these programs or allow the individual counties to tailor the programs to their needs and ability to pay for them. Without one or the other, it is simply a matter of time before counties begin to collapse under the weight of these programs.