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2014: What’s to come in your hometown?

While most of us are trying to commit to more gym time or spending more time with family, our local municipal leaders are resolving to provide better services, more efficient government and more value for our tax dollars.

While most of us are trying to commit to more gym time or spending more time with family, our local municipal leaders are resolving to provide better services, more efficient government and more value for our tax dollars.

Having the experience at the town level will be helpful when working toward attaining these goals as all municipalities face similar issues and have limited budgets. I look forward to continuing working with various municipalities to help save taxpayer dollars at every level which is a benefit to all residents.

Certainly, 2014 will be a challenging year; however, as long as we stay committed to working together we can make government more efficient and have it better serve the community.

Town of Clay

Councilor James Rowley

As we begin a new year in Clay, one of my goals as town councilor is to deal with new mandates that emanate from Albany on a regular basis in a manner least detrimental to Clay taxpayers. My new year’s request is to have the governor stop advancing schemes that are fiscally unsustainable and do nothing to help local governments and school districts cope with their fiscal difficulties. The newest Albany initiative comes from the governor’s Tax Relief Commission’s proposal to burn through $2 billion on property tax rebates. This proposal hurts Clay’s taxpayers because these precious dollars could be used to help bring much needed jobs to Central New York. A short term, one-shot tax rebate will not begin to solve the long term problem of high property taxes in New York state. While the governor’s goal of local government consolidation is understandable, the Tax Relief Commission’s proposal is the wrong way to do it. It may take a constitutional convention, but the governor must first change the laws under which local governments and school districts are organized and operate. Without this type of fundamental change, government consolidation on a scale necessary to have a chance of bending the cost curve which drives high property taxes in New York state is not possible in my opinion. In the meantime I am confident the Clay Town Board will effectively manage all the mandates and new initiatives imposed by Albany in a fiscally responsible manner.

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