Yes, Convention can reign in state government

Driving around the area, you can’t help but to notice that in addition to the usual signs for this candidate or that one, there are all of these red and black signs calling for a no vote on the proposal to hold a constitutional convention. Looking behind the curtain reveals that many of these opponents are beneficiaries of the status quo, such as public sector employees eager to protect their plush salaries and benefits. In reality, a constitutional convention offers the taxpayers of New York state the rare opportunity to speak up for ourselves.

Putting an end to New York as the highest taxed state in the nation is only the first of many benefits that can come from rewriting the state constitution. Presented with a similar opportunity in 1978, voters in California limited property taxes to one percent of the full property value and restricted assessment hikes to two percent per year. We’re long overdue for a taxpayers revolt here in New York. Just imagine the possibilities. A new constitution could decree that local property taxpayers no longer have to foot the bill for Medicaid or that the expense of funding schools falls on the state. We could roll back the state’s generous mandated social welfare programs to encourage people to work. Local governments would be able to decide for themselves which programs to offer and which to eliminate.

Overall a new constitution could end the culture of dysfunction and bloat in Albany. Asking the legislature to pass term limits, caps on political donations by labor unions, or tougher anti-corruption laws is like trusting the fox to regulate hen houses.

For Adirondack communities especially, a new constitution presents many opportunities. Outdoor recreation could finally become accessible to people with limited mobility and new businesses and development could finally grow stagnant tax bases. Under the current constitution, a power line cannot even be built alongside a highway without getting statewide voter approval. A number of groups are urging a “yes vote for the Adirondacks” for this very reason.

On Nov. 7, we have the chance to take back control of our state. We can put a stop to the endless tax-and-spend, scale back the lavish welfare programs and union contracts, and give businesses a fighting chance. Make New York great again. Vote yes on proposal one.

JOHN CLEVELAND

Gloversville