CHEERS - To the right response. Our local state representatives, Sen. Hugh Farley and Assemblyman Marc Butler, are on the record. Both oppose a proposal to increase the base salaries of state legislators. The state Legislature may take up the proposal upon legislators' return to Albany for the next session. If passed, base earnings would increase to more than $100,000. Our state would hold the distinction of having the highest-paid state representatives in the country, according to the Empire Center for New York State Policy. There is no doubt that if this comes to the floor, it will be brought there by downstate representatives. Many of them say they are underpaid. We're confident both Farley and Butler will stick to their word.
JEERS - To even the thought of it. Montgomery County taxpayers have been given the "preliminary" budget figures for 2012. It comes with a deficit of $4.1 million. Board of Supervisors Chairman Shayne Walters said this is a wish list from county departments. Who would even suggest these wishes could come true? Our wish is that county departments be directed to keep all requests for 2013 at current costs or only slightly higher so the county can stay within the state-imposed 2 percent cap in a tax-levy increase. Just one preliminary figure includes more than $26 million for social services. Something needs to be done to address these outlandish increases in assistance.
CHEERS - To planting the seed of education. Some naysayers may criticize it, but the innovative new FM Forward program between Park Terrace Elementary School and Fulton-Montgomery Community College is exciting, and needed. Children (and their parents) entering kindergarten this September will begin a direct relationship with our community college. Those involved suggest this program could be a pathway taken from elementary school to college. A big cheer to Principal Stephen Pavone, Park Terrace teachers, FMCC President Dustin Swanger and the FM Foundation. We encourage individuals and businesses to reach out to the students and offer support. Don't wait for a call, just do it.
CHEERS - To a class of good people. The Gloversville High School class of 1961, following its 50th reunion last year, decided to continue to get together and is looking for ways to "pay it forward." Members of the class, some who remained in the area and others who visit or have relocated, are meeting regularly and looking for small but meaningful ways they can show their appreciation for Gloversville. Our community is fortunate this class has taken such a positive step. We thank the class and hope many others will as well.