CHEERS - To a soaring eagle. It appears Eagle Chevrolet, an automotive dealership in Johnstown, will be spreading its wings of expansion. This is good news for our area, and we applaud the cooperation between the city and town of Johnstown. The dealership's expansion involves property in both municipalities. This is not the first time the two localities have dealt with an expansion of a business or land use, and it certainly will not be the last. A proposed agreement would allow 11 percent of the property taxes to be paid to the city and 89 percent to be paid to the town. No annexation of land would be needed, and sales tax revenue would go to the city. The proposal needs to be approved by city council and the Town Board. We're confident both groups will pass it and the outcome will be positive. We suggest the municipalities develop a long-range plan for similar future endeavors - a plan developers, businesses, municipalities and taxpayers understand from the start, eliminating the element of surprise. Our area needs to grow. Aggressive planning for the future is essential.
JEERS - To poor oversight. There was good news in the city of Amsterdam this week. The city controller found more than $300,000 in an investment account. The money apparently could have just as easily been under someone's mattress. The money may go back to the early 1990s. We can't help but wonder why the financial professionals in the controller's office over the years were unaware of the money.
JEERS - To a non-crime. There will be a great deal of concern about a ruling from the New York State Court of Appeals on Tuesday that determined viewing kiddie porn isn't a crime. Possessing, producing and distributing child porn is still illegal, but the court decided "possessing" kiddie porn and viewing it on the Internet are not the same thing. Although she agreed with the ruling, Judge Victoria Graffeo wrote in her opinion, "pornography on the web is digital and intangible and cannot be covered under the term 'possessed' in the state law. The Legislature needs to revisit this definition if its intention has been to extend the scope of proscribed conduct to the intentional Internet viewing of child pornography." Legislators appear to be moving quickly to close a legal loophole that permits people to view kiddie porn on the Internet. Make sure you express your views to your legislators.
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