Finally a candidate with financial management experience
Your May 13 story [“Democrats select ex state official for supervisor run”] reported that Bill Casey, a veteran of public administration and financial management, is seeking the elected office of Clifton Park town supervisor. Thank you, Bill Casey, for entering the race for local government leadership and for elevating the discussion of the cost of government.
For several years, we all have been listening to Bob Ward of the New York State Business Council that New Yorkers bear the heaviest tax burden in the country due to the cost of the proliferation and duplication of local government. Not only does this proliferation of government entities drive up the taxes we pay today, but piles on the obligations of pensions to be paid in the future. This is a chronic disease! Every expert I read states that the only way New Yorkers can get out from under our heavy tax burden is to tackle this problem.
[Former-Gov.] Eliot Spitzer announced a grant program to consolidate government soon after he was elected. [Attorney General Andrew] Cuomo is acting on it now. So I am thrilled to see that Bill Casey isin favor of working with other local government entities with a goal of consolidating services. Bill Casey gets it.
There are less expensive ways to run government. And he has some immediate ideas for cutting the cost of local government.
Unfortunately, in a county dominated for years by the same political party, the idea of consolidating and reducing government won’t fly politically. Would the political party that holds all of these salaried government jobs jump at reducing their own patronage numbers? I doubt it.
Hopefully, Casey’s candidacy will open up the discussion on this most significant way to reduce our tax burden. We need to have this conversation locally and remind the state of New York that we need less duplication, less proliferation, fewer government entities.
’Bike to work’ should be a regular routine
Saratoga Healthy Transportation Network would like to thank all those who participated in the “Bike to Work Challenge” on Friday, May 15. The community’s enthusiasm and team spirit made the event a huge success. We had over 180 people register in teams to compete for several trophies made from bicycle parts.
Thank you to Stewart’s Shops for donating ice cream certificates for all of the riders, and to the Bread Basket Bakery for providing all the delicious pastries for the breakfast table. We hear that Quad Graphics riders rode en masse to the Geyser Road Stewart’s at lunchtime to get their free ice cream cone!
It was encouraging to see so many people choosing the bicycle as an alternative to the car for their commute to work. Some biked in from as far away as Hudson Falls, Albany and Troy. Many participants said that the morning exercise made them feel energized for the day’s work ahead.
I heard one woman exclaim that if she were to do this every week, then she may not need her gym membership. That is one of the many benefits of using the bicycle as a means of transportation. More bicyclists riding to work also means less congestion, less pollution and less carbon emitted into the atmosphere. Choosing the bicycle as a means of transportation also forces us to confront how and where we live in relation to our work. It makes more sense to live close to work; city planners begin to integrate bike lanes into road construction projects; the community becomes more vibrant and livable; everybody wins!
So the next time you pass by a commuting cyclist in your car, don’t honk at them to get out of the way, give them a friendly “thumbs up” for being an agent of progress!
The writer is chairman of the Saratoga Healthy Transportation Network Bike to Work Challenge.