Monthly Archives: July 2012

ENDORSEMENT! NEW YORKERS FOR GROWTH AGREES WITH MANDATE RELIEF PETITION AND URGES ITS MEMBERS TO SIGN

BEST4NY has a new ally. New Yorkers for Growth is a group of concerned citizens, that supports fiscally responsible candidates for

state office. It has been in existence for more than five years and helped elect more than a dozen responsible legislators to state and county seats. New Yorkers for Growth has also worked to put key fiscal issues on the radar in New York State, such as, repeal of the Triborough Amendment, pension reform, and mandate relief. New Yorkers for Growth wholeheartedly supports BEST4NY’s efforts and has called upon its supporters to sign our petition to roll back Triborough and stop the flood of unfunded mandates from Albany.

Please visit the New Yorkers for Growth website and support its efforts at its website HERE and/or by “liking” them on Facebook HERE

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SIGN THE BEST4NY MANDATE RELIEF PETITION

BEST4NY has launched an online Mandate Relief Petition addressed to our state government. FOLLOW THIS LINK TO READ AND SIGN THE MANDATE RELIEF PETITION or f

ollow this link directly to the signature page: Sign the petition The 1200+ (as of today) signatures include the New York State School Board Assocation; NYS Assemblymen Robert Castelli, Steve McLaughlin, Steve Katz, Ray Walter, Jane Corwin; and many elected school and town board members around NYS. Other endorsing organizations are New Yorkers for Growth, American for Prosperity (NY Chapter), and Unshackle Upstate. Further details in the post below.

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LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIALS DISCUSS THEIR DESPERATE NEED FOR MANDATE RELIEF AT BEST4NY'S PUBLIC FORUM ON JUNE 11, 2012

On June 11, 2012, BEST4NY held a public forum and information meeting in Hastings-on-Hudson entitled “HOW STATE MANDATES AFFECT CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS  AND DRIVE UP THE COST OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN NYS.”  The following panelists discussed various aspects of the NYS Legislature’s failure to grant meaningful mandate relief:

Paul Feiner – Supervisor, Town of Greenburgh

Eileen Baecher – President, Board of Education Hastings-on-Hudson School District

Niki Armacost-Trustee, Hastings-On-Hudson

Francis Frobel, Hastings-on-Hudson Village Manager

Vincent Toomey– Attorney, Labor & Employment Law

“Last year I had to do something for the first time that I had nightmares about, I had to lay people off,” said Supervisor Feiner.  “Mandates are forcing government to destroy people’s lives.”

Press coverage is HERE

Watch the event:   Part 1 – Introduction and first 11 minutes                  Part 2

County, school, and municipal elected officials throughout NYS desperately need mandate relief.  They are drowning in the Legislature’s red ink and are forced to lay off workers and cut local programs and services in order to pay for NYS’s excessive and unsustainable spending.   The Legislature’s no mandate relief policy is a policy of spoiling the favored child (mandated spending) and starving the orphan (local spending).  Local county, school, and town budgets have two parts – local spending and state mandated spending.  By imposing the tax cax without mandate relief, the Legislature forces local government to destroy local people’s lives – local property taxes are applied to  the Legislature’s unsustainable and excessive state spending.”

Because the Legislature’s mandated spending is dispersed and hidden in county, school, and town budgets, voters and community members typically do not realize the extent of the problem and  the Legislature’s responsibility for it.   Local officials are caught in the middle.     BEST4NY recommends that voters and local elected officials through NYS organize mandate relief forums and information meetings in their own communities to inform their neighbors and mobilize public support.  Voters need to create a new mandate relief majority in the NYS Legislature – one Senator and one Assemblyman at a time – either by pressuring incumbents to change their positions or by electing new legislators.

Incumbent Senators and Assemblymen and candidates can use BEST4NY’s Mandate Relief petition as a vehicle to inform the public and to give legislators a MANDATE FOR MANDATE RELIEF by encouraging voters to sign the petition.   Supervisor Feiner and Board President Baecher and many other elected officials have signed.

Please contact us if you would like assistance in organizing your own Mandate Relief forum.

NYS ASSEMBLYMAN STEVE KATZ'S and LOCAL ELECTED LEADERS URGE MANDATE RELIEF AT PRESS CONFERENCE

See this terrific video of NYS Assemblyman Steve Katz's Mandate Relief Press Conference on May 18, 2012. Assemblyman Katz has signed BEST4NY's online Mandate

Relief Petition. In this video, he and several local elected officials do a masterful job of explain

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ing the mandate relief problem facing NYS. More and more local elected officials are no longer willing to take it any more. Officials with him were:

MaryEllen Odell, Putnam County Executive

Mike Griffin, Patterson Town Supervisor supervisor@pattersonny.org

Warren Lucas, North Salem Town Supervisor wlucas@northsalemny.org

Jim Langlois, Superintendent of Westchester/Putnam BOCES jlanglois@pnwboces.org

Thomas Manko, Mahopac School Superintendent mankot@email.mahopac.k12.ny.us

Jane Sandbank, Brewster School Superintendent Phone (845) 279-8000 jsandbank@brewsterschools.org

There is a huge disconnect in New York State between local elected officials (school and town board members, Supervisors, Mayors, County legislators) who desperately want mandate relief and voters who don't understand that fact. Because voters don't understand what their local leaders want, voters can't help. But voter awareness is growing, because local leaders are speaking out more, as in this press conference, and also because the Legislature's withholding of mandate relief is igniting a statewide explosion of teacher layoffs and local service cutbacks.

The mandate problem is easy to understand in general terms. As Renssalaear County Executive Jimino explain so well, it’s like 3 people going out for dinner, 2 order burgers to save money, but the 3rd orders a bottle of wine and surf and turf and then insists on splitting the bill 3 ways. Emphasizing mandate complexity is one way the Legislature deflects efforts to fix things. Asking voters to tell the Legislature which mandate to cut is a divide and conquer strategy that also deflects and frustrates mandate relief. The Legislature did not ask local governments which local spending cuts they preferred before imposing the tax cap. Imposing the tax cap shifted to local government the hard and divisive job of figuring out what and how much local spending to cut.

The Legislature needs to accept the same hard responsibility it forced upon local governments and apply the tax cap to its own, mandated state spending which it has hidden in local budgets. Whenever the Legislature speaks about its state budget restraint, voters must not be distracted and must ask, “Why aren't you counting your off-state-budget, fiscally irresponsible mandated spending as well?”

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has said (see video) that “Albany legislators are spending addicts.” When the Legislature reduces its state budget spending, but allows its mandated state spending hidden in local budgets to escalate uncontrollably, it's a case of spending addicts reducing their public drinking, while continuing to drink to excess in private.

Assemblyman Katz and the other elected officials appearing with him deserve great praise for their leadership in this critical effort of Mandate Relief.

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WESTCHESTER LEADS U.S. IN PROPERTY TAXES – ROCKLAND IS 3RD, PUTNAM 12TH. AND BEST4NY IS IN THE NEWS

GOOD NEWS – BEST4NY is in the news. Read the buy real viagra

tpage&nclick_check=1″>Journal News and watch ABC's Eyewitness News on Channel 7 Good, because our mission is to spread the word to our NYS neighbors about mandate relief, better education, and smarter taxation, and work with them in building a legislative majority of NYS Senators and Assemblymen who support these goals and want to rescue NYS residents from their state's downward spiral. It's not just the NYS economy. It's also the NYS Legislature.

BAD NEWS – Again, Westchester County is ranked no. 1 with the highest property taxes in the U.S. A gold medal for failure. Rockland is in 3rd place. A bronze medal for failure. Putnam is in 12th place. The data is HERE Westchester and Rockland Counties – California on the Hudson in the making?

And who's standing on the podium and being awarded those gold and bronze medals with Taps for fiscal responsibility echoing mournfully in the background ? The current majority of the NYS Legislature which blocks mandate relief and is keeping NYS on course toward bankruptcy. Those Senators and Assemblymen are up for re-election this November. They hope to be returned to office by voters too preoccupied with federal elections to understand those legislators' responsibility for dispersing and camouflaging state spending in county, school, and city/town budget and then shifting the cost of that spending to those local governments.

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