CHEERS - To sincere volunteers. Dozens of volunteers took the time on Thanksgiving morning to make the holiday brighter for hundreds of local residents in need. The volunteers gathered at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Gloversville to prepare and deliver 1,600 Thanksgiving meals, complete with turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and other traditional fixings. The Council of Churches in Gloversville and Johnstown coordinated the annual meal. The service provided by these volunteers comes from the heart. We are fortunate to have such caring, generous people in our midst. We salute all of the volunteers who worked to provide this meal and who worked at similar events throughout the region on Thanksgiving.
JEERS - To overnight on-street parking bans. Gloversville and Johnstown again are starting the annual on-street winter parking bans. They go into effect in both cities Sunday. The bans may make plowing at night a little easier, but they create hardship for many local residents who either have no access to a driveway or have driveways that are too small for more than one vehicle. Again this winter, some people will be forced to park on lawns, creating deep ruts and ruining the grass. Some people will be forced to park blocks away in rented spaces or a public lot. Odd-even parking rules would be much kinder to the public.
CHEERS - To a tax decrease. Fulton County adopted its $85.3 million budget for 2014 earlier this week. It includes an average tax-rate decrease of 6.3 percent. Gloversville's county tax rate will drop from $9.22 per $1,000 of assessed property value to $8.50 per $1,000. The city of Johnstown's county rate will fall from $12.85 per $1,000 to $12.06. This is good news for county taxpayers, who pay far too much in county, school and city or town taxes. It would be nice to see schools and other localities also cut taxes.