Last week, I filled out a Constituent Survey, sent to me by our assemblywoman here in the 128th District, Democrat Pam Hunter. As I answered each of the dozen questions, I noticed a pattern emerge.
Question one asked me to identify the most significant issue for our area. No problem. “Keeping taxes low.” Under Other, I added “forcing school districts to consolidate and lower costs.”
Question three asked my opinion on the Consensus plan to consolidate Onondaga County and the city of Syracuse. I checked No. “If Consensus really wants to lower taxes,” I wrote, “it must focus on school districts, not municipalities.”
Question nine asked what I consider the top challenges for business growth in my community. Of course, businesses and property owners of all types “need lower taxes which we could achieve by consolidating school districts.” Question 10, how could the state better help business grow? “Lower taxes by consolidating the school districts.”
Open-ended question 12, suggestions or concerns about improving my community. “How about consolidating the school districts?”
It would be a major societal shift, opposed by the school boards, administrators and most strongly by the powerful teachers’ unions. But one day in the not-too-distant future inspired leaders will be compelled to take on the task. Why? Because it’s the one and only way New York state will ever see a reversal of its ever-rising property taxes.
You know what they say about threes. Liverpool lost a trio of fine fellows Nov. 25 and 26.
Msgr. James McCloskey, who had served as pastor at Christ the King in Bayberry along with several other area churches, died Nov. 25 at age 96. The next day, big Jim Ferris, a veteran of the Korean War who rose to the rank of brigadier general in the New York Guard, died at age 86.
That same day, Nov. 26, Harry Kowalchyk Jr., founder of the National Tractor Trailer School, passed away at age 73. Harry established the NTTS with his friend, William Mocarski, in 1971. The school’s campus is located at 4650 Buckley Road.
Perennial Liverpool school board candidate Nick Blaney may not have yet won his chance to sound off on the Board of Ed, but he has earned the right to sing to the high heavens!
A talented classically trained baritone, Nick will sing at the Palace Theater this coming Sunday. After studying at LHS, Nick honed his chops at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester and the Bel Canto Institute in Florence, Italy.
This year, the Mario DeSantis Orchestra celebrated its 70th anniversary, and the orchestra will host its 11th annual Christmas at The Palace at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, at the Palace Theater, 2384 James St., in Eastwood. The big band will play holiday favorites and new arrangements while featuring performers including vocalists Nick Blaney and Keith Condon, another Liverpool native. Featured instrumentalists include alto saxophonist Joe Riposo, the longtime Liverpool educator with a national reputation as a musician and composer.
“It’s Central New York’s very own Christmas Special,” says Maria DeSantis. “It’s live for one night only on Sunday.” Tickets cost $28, and are available at desantisorchestra.com, or by calling (315) 488-7611.
I bumped into Liverpool Lumber’s top man, Joe Ehle, last week, and the usually well-shaven businessman he was looking a lot like Santa Claus. ’Tis the season!
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