Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Kingston's problems go way beyond the recent recession. That is why Kingstonians have every responsibility to complain and dispute its extremely high level of property taxes, water and sewer rates and sales taxes. Starting in 1995 and continuing to this day, after IBM left Kingston, our Mayor and councils should have been downsizing expenses to match the dwindling population and drastic reduction in local wages and wealth. Instead, what have the mayors and councils been doing? They have steadily raised property taxes, water and sewer rates and sales taxes. Let me say this. Any future union contract negotiations MUST INCLUDE the CITY'S ABILITY TO PAY bargaining point. As things stand now, 2 years from now when the contracts come up for renewal, the negotiating climate will be drastically different. The Federal government is drastically in debt, the state government is almost bankrupt and the city is facing more debt and lower population and less wealth. If you look at the present and future picture this way.......considering Kingston's 15 year post IBM decline coupled with the present and future dim prospects, you can better understand why more and more Kingstonians cannot tolerate this year's 9 percent property tax increase and water and sewer increases and why it makes sense to talk about NO TAX INCREASES FOR THE NEXT 5 YEARS. It is the only way.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Avoid Kingston Bankruptcy - Convert 1 Paid Fire station to Volunteer, Drastically reduce Fire Dept.Emergency Calls
We all know the facts. The City of Kingston has a declining population and a declining average annual salary. How can you ask its residents to pay 9 percent more in property taxes on top of years of property tax increases for both City and School taxes. The city is very close to bankrupt. The city may be forced to borrow money next year in order to pay for the 7.25 percent raises coming to Police and Firemen. Then, the city will be forced to raise taxes even further - 10 percent or higher in order to pay the bonds which pay the Police and Firemen's raises. Then, more Kingstonians will leave and more poor people will take their place. Are you starting to get a picture of the downward spiral the City of Kingston is now in. My argument is that the DPW is almost barebones. We need the Police for daily protection. We absolutely cannot afford to have firemen responding to emergency calls any more. We can contract with 3 ambulance companies with paramedics and locate them uptown, midtown and downtown for optimum response times with higher level service than the fire dept. EMTs. We should try to encourage the Fire union to get ahead of the curve and begin planning for one of the 3 paid stations to convert to a top notch volunteer company such as Ulster Hose. If we want there to be a City of Kingston that is not a welfare colony, we better start making these plans now!
Friday, December 4, 2009
The following aldermen WHO WON RE-ELECTION this year voted YES to RAISE Kingston TAXES 9% for 2010 in one of the worse financial years in recent memory........Bill Reynolds....Charlie Landi.....Tom Hoffay.....Shirley Whitlock..........These aldermen along with.... Mayor Sottile....... have set the stage for one of the most painful budget years ever in 2011, where the Fire and Police unions will be getting DOUBLE RAISES.......AND the US and NYS governments are flirting with BANKRUPTCY. Throughout 2010, we should be reminding........Bill Reynolds ....Charlie Landi.....Tom Hoffay.....Shirley Whitlock.....Mayor Sottile.....that they did a poor job on the 2010 budget that has set the stage for further DECLINE of Kingston RESIDENTS and BUSINESSES.