There are times during the legislative session in Albany that you just scratch your head and think, “This is a ‘no-brainer.’” Two such bills were passed last week by the New York State Assembly, and each I am proud to have voted for.
Onondaga County’s Department of Social Services – Economic Security is responsible for providing public benefit programs to the citizens of our county. More than 120,000 members of our community will receive some benefit through DSS-ES this year. The benefits available vary greatly, from Temporary Assistance and SNAP (food stamps), to energy assistance (HEAP), day care subsidies, child support and medical insurance (Medicaid). The downturn in the economy has increased the need for these programs dramatically. In fact, 25 percent of Onondaga County’s population qualifies for assistance in some way through DSS-ES.
As we enter the last days of this year’s legislative session, there’s one issue that continues to echo loudly in the halls of the Capitol — the Education Investment Tax Credit (EITC).
Last week’s election results were pretty disappointing. We’re certainly not lamenting the candidates who were elected into office. No, we’re more concerned with the dismal voter turnout in both the village of Liverpool and the village of North Syracuse, where less than a fifth of registered voters made their way to the polls.
The Cazenovia Town Board spent more than one hour last week hearing arguments for and against a proposal to create a new water district in and around the Seven Pines neighborhood.
The Cazenovia village election occurred on Tuesday, June 16, and with none of the three candidates having any opponents, the incumbent mayor and two trustees were all reelected to their respective positions.
The mayoral race between former North Syracuse village trustees Gary Butterfield and Chuck Henry was too close to call on Election Night. Just 10 votes separated the two candidates after the polls closed at 9 p.m. June 16, with Republican Butterfield pulling in 274 votes and Henry, a Democrat, at 264. Village Clerk Dianne Kufel said 49 applications were filed for absentee ballots. Those votes will likely have to be counted before a winner can be declared.
The Manlius Town Board voted 4-3 last week to draft a local law resolution to reduce the number of planning board members from seven to five.
While Cicero Police Chief Joseph Snell recommended that the town install a stop sign on the northwest corner of Matilda Gage and Asa Eastwood, neighborhood residents said at a June 10 public hearing that they wanted to see more enforcement of speed limits rather than more signage.
The DeWitt Town Board last week paid the village of East Syracuse one-fourth of its usual yearly payment for services, and said that no more money will be forthcoming until the village proves to the town that it actually spends town money on fire protection and that it has not been overcharging the town for services.
It is not a secret that New York is a challenging state in which to do business because of our high taxes and oppressive regulatory scheme. Some, but not all, of these policies originate out of New York City which faces different demographics and economic conditions than we do in Upstate New York.
Residents of the Lamson Road area continue to raise questions about the proposed water district the town of Lysander is considering.
Two elected positions in the town of Fenner will not have incumbents running during the December elections, it was announced at the June 11 Fenner Town Board meeting. Town Highway Superintendent Frank Hyatt, who has held the top highway spot in the town for the past 25 years, announced he will retire at the end of his current term of office, while Town Councilor R.E. Sears, a two-year incumbent on the board, announced he will not seek reelection because he will attend the police academy at Cazenovia College.
Mayor White, Trustee Hebert and newcomer Christina Fadden Fitch all unopposed in village election
Politics can be unpredictable, but not here in Liverpool. For most of this young century village candidates have run unopposed, and that’s the way it will be when voters cast their ballots June 16, at the Village Hall.
Several readers wrote in with their opinions about the North Syracuse elections: