When is a bridge too far? In this writers eyes never. Taxpayers for years have been building bridges. All government entities in one way or another have all been built on the backs of the taxpayer. For as far back as one can see, never has there been a self funded government enterprise. For where would the start up costs have been derived from?
There are functions that have been built by the people that provide a usefulness for the people as a whole, but when that need is superseded to a point of internal demise, then my friends that need has reached a level in which the structure is being compromised. You see never should there be a point in which one part of the bridge is more important than another. All welds,bolts,cables,girders and platforms are designed in such a way as to work together. Failure of just one of these points creates a failure in the system.
We have reached a point now in which many of the bridges we have built are in jeopardy of collapse. Schools, municipalities, towns ,villages and on and on. Why? Well for one, as portrayed in this articles title line never should there be a point where the very builders or taxpayers are unable to work on the very school or municipality that they helped to build. That job involves funding. When you have superintendents receiving 400k to overlook an average structure (yes one school is average) while the person that overlooks the whole state receives 180k something is seriously wrong.
Why and how have we reached this point? Could it be as the governor stated, 10500 special districts with no clear oversight? That could very well be one of primary causes. You see for every one of these districts you have an under the radar board that negotiates these very salaries. When I say under the radar that is defined through voter turnout or interest. With elections being held on varied dates as opposed to the general elections it’s almost as if secret ballot elections are being held on the very taxes that affect homeowners the most. Here you have turnouts in some areas of 10 or 15 , that’s people not percent. So now I ask who would know the most about these elections? Voila, the ones that are directly involved with the most to gain. How would they advertise these elections? To the entities that would benefit them the most.
When salaries, benefits, pensions and are negotiated it generally comes down to the boards 3,5 or 7 members vs a who’s who of special interest groups.Special interests for special districts no surprise there. Also adding fuel to the fire, many if not all of these board members belong to the same special interest groups that they are negotiating with. Are we beginning to see a picture here? Is this not a clear conflict of taxpayer interest?
How can we remedy this situation? Well many times in the past residents have put forward their own candidates as the founders had hoped. These may well have been local residents who have let’s say, have a stronger representation for the tax payer. The problem that arises with this, for some strange reason a local election starts to garner sometimes 30k,40k or 50k dollars in opposition. It’s at these times when special interests start to unify funds to go against the local guy or gal. Now arises yet another question. Where did they get that kind of money? Would that not in essence be the money of the taxpayer being used against them? Ponder that one. Why the local election? That answer is found in the game of the Domino Theory where as, when one domino falls the rest will follow. This theory is well known for that is the model that was used to escalate the taxes to their present altitude.
The 2% cap antidote has been devised and cherished as a possible way in which to stymy the growth of cost overruns to these local districts. This proposal was put forward by Governor Cuomo, who else would identify the issue as being so out of touch with sustainability when compared to his own salary. So the people are happy, they see a solution, one that may finally control these runaway expenditures. The vote takes place in both the senate and assembly, it passes with great ease, not even an issue and now it goes to the governor for his final approval. The taxpayers have crashed the toll gates they start to rejoice……..
But wait…has there been a cover-up? A conspiracy? Have the taxpayers once again been duped? It seems a bill has been introduced through the back door in the dark of night that adds exclusions to the tax cap.Who proposed it? Who signed it? This bill has now made it through both the senate and the assembly almost beating out the tax cap bill to the desk of the governor! Yet all is quiet ,we hear the silence of the night as the crickets chirp in the background. Have the special interests struck again? Is this yet another joke on the taxpayers of Gothem City(aka GOT THEM)? Well it comes down to the governor will he sign both bills or one? Will it be the special interests or the taxpayers?
Will this N.Y.S. TAX CRISIS be solved or will it forever be A BRIDGE TOO FAR?
A collapsing bridge.
By A. Hanson