Thursday, April 4, 2013

Kingston School Board Promotes Poverty not Prosperity

The Kingston School Board is kidding......right? The Kingston Area is reeling with 9.4% unemployment, which is a full 2 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate of 7.3 percent. We are closing 4 elementary schools and we are stilling giving teachers raises and raising taxes and on top of that you want to start universal pre-K. Please come to your senses and realize that you are destroying the ability of the Kingston area to attract serious businesses that will pay decent full time wages so families will want to settle here. Studies have shown that the positive effects of Head Start wear off around the 3rd grade. Universal Pre-K will siphon school funds away from basic reading writing and arithmetic and will put another burden around the necks of family and business taxpayers. Kingston School Board members, please start looking at the big picture. You are destroying the Kingston area, making it a 2nd rate community, whose product is poverty and not prosperity.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Unfair Committee Power Issue

I agree with the Ulster County Legislature minority on the unfair Committee Power issue. However, we citizens of NY State have been living with this unfair "Committee Stopping Votes on Laws" for a long time. For example, Assembly Speaker Silver (majority party) appoints the Assembly committee chairpeople. He basically tells them (and other majority lawmakers on the committee) what to do, otherwise these committee chairpeople will be removed. Therefore, if NY State citizens propose a reform bill such as "repeal of the Triborough Amendment", it will never be voted on in the Assembly, since it will die in committee. This says that the full body of the Assembly will never get a chance to vote on the bill, and we local voters will never get to see how our local assemblymen vote on the bill. Therefore, we citizens will be deprived of information on the true voting record of our assemblymen. Therefore, the majority leaders in the NY State Assembly and Senate have more power than the will of the people. Most reform ideas take several years to build a majority. With majority leaders appointing committee chairs, they have the ability to stop reform and citizen wishes.  To add insult to injury, the only way to change this unfair committee power system is for the majority party in the NY State Assembly to propose and pass a rules change.  Any bets on how likely that will happen?  Maybe the courts should be involved?