New York’s public sector has cut more than its share of jobs
Your Jan. 23 editorial asserts “private sector employers typically lay off workers they can’t afford ... while public-sector ones have kept raising taxes.” You go on to say this is happening all over the state and in Schenectady in particular, and it is a “recipe for failure.”
The fact is, New York is No. 5 in the nation in reducing local government employment, according to the U.S. Census. Total private-sector employment in New York is up more than 4 percent since the lows of the recession. Meanwhile, over the past 10 years, government employment is down 2.7 percent in New York.
Compared with the national decline in public-sector employment, New York’s reduction is double the national decline of 1.35 percent over the same period.
In the Capital Region, total government employment is down over the past decade by over 6 percent, a decrease double the state decline and more than four times the national reduction in the same time frame.
The picture you paint of indifferent elected officials casually raising taxes in lieu of painful staffing cuts is demonstrably false. The more than 30,000 jobs lost, many by lay-offs, at school districts across the state and region demonstrate the public section has trimmed jobs at great pain.
As a parent with children in grade school, I have seen what these terrible cuts mean to public education. And make no mistake, the number of employees in county and city/town government are down also.
The recession and pain of the lagging upstate economy has hit every sector hard. We are fortunate that our county Legislature has kept an unrelenting focus on cooperative cost-cutting and aggressive economic development, coupled with a commitment to protecting vital services like nursing home care for the frail elderly. This has made a huge difference in how Schenectady County has weathered the recession and gotten a jump start on the road to faster growth.
Brian L. Quail
The writer is the county’s Democratic election commissioner.
Bow Tie should do better for Sch’dy
I would like to applaud the Gazette for its Jan. 30 editorial “Where’s Oscar? Not in Schenectady” on the film selections offered at Schenectady’s Bow Tie theater.
I remember specifically when the Bow Tie was negotiating to build in Schenectady, the company promised to have foreign films and “anti-mall” movies. Much to our surprise, this has not come to fruition.
Wouldn’t it be possible to offer one or two screens to these promised movie types? Not everyone can afford a trip to Albany for a movie at the Spectrum Theater.
Downtown Schenectady businesses [should] pressure Bow Tie’s owners [for] movies that would attract the customers who might take advantage of the restaurants and small businesses downtown.
Thank you for publishing your editorial. I totally agree.
Please say Kosciuszko, instead of Twin Bridges
Happy birthday, Brig. Gen. Thaddeus Kosciuszko, born Feb. 4, 1746. You are one of my many heros. Thank you for serving our country.
You fought during the Revolutionary War. In the winter, with no shoes or boots, one blanket to cover three men, you were a prisoner of war, you fought at Saratoga Battlefield.
It hurts me deeply because the media has taken the respect from you by calling the Northway bridges [named for you] between Halfmoon and Colonie the Twin Bridges. You are a veteran and have done so much for our country. The media needs to show you more respect. The generations today do not know about you.
I called all the TV stations recently and asked if they knew who Brig. Gen. Thaddeus Kosciuszko was, and they said no. I asked if they knew the name of the bridges on the Northway between Halfmoon and Colonie. They said the Twin Bridges. I said no, it is not.
This is 2014, I would hope the media would learn how to pronounce words and take a class on history. I’m sure you get paid enough.
Carol Pingelski Hotaling