Is there something in the Albany water?

In Response by Mr. Long IslandLeave a Comment

As the self-proclaimed “Mr. Long Island” I try to stay on top of the news. On good days I try to figure out what’s really going on and on days when I’ve had my Wheaties I try to come up with solutions.
But lately I’ve been reading about the goings on in our state capital – that would be Albany, New York, for those of you who skipped State Capital Day in 11th grade social studies – and not only can I NOT come up with any solutions, I can’t even figure out what’s going on.
Take yesterday, for example. According to the New York Daily News#mce_temp_url#, Governor Paterson was in town cutting the ribbon on a NEW state park. But wait, you say! Isn’t the State of New York closing many of the state parks it already has? And doesn’t the state have state parks it hasn’t gotten around to developing, i.e. the property in Jamesport, because it doesn’t have the resources?
Good questions, Grasshopper. But then again, this is the same governor who is calling for massive cutbacks in the New York State labor poop while at the same time doling out raises to those in his inner circle. His rationale? They work hard and deserve it.
Here’s a news flash for you, Mr. Governor. Lots of New Yorkers work hard and deserve raises. But we ain’t getting them because the money’s not there. The money’s not there at the state level, either, if what you have been preaching to us for the past year or so is true. So no raises for your crew, no matter how deserving.
While I am at it, do you mind if I ask where all the money New York State taxpayers send to Albany is going? It’s not as if NYS is in the situation it is in because the State has kept our tax levels artificially low all these years. We pay top dollar and for years the top dollar was justified because we had  the Crown Jewel of State Parks systems to boast about. Well, that’s no longer the case, yet we’re still forking over barrels of cash to our elected leaders on the Hudson. What gives?
One of the explanations given for why New York State is opening one new park while closing so many others was this (again according to the Daily News): ” Though it sits on state-owned land and was built with $50 million from the city and state – including $21 million earmarked by Paterson two years ago – its maintenance budget comes from rents and fees paid by private entities like the Chelsea Piersentertainment complex.
Statewide, 81 parks and historical sites are closing or cutting their hours because of the ongoing Albany budget crisis, according to a list on a state Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Web site.
New York State’s parks are mostly magnificent and woefully under-utilized.  Perhaps more intervention from the private sector is the order of the day. Years ago Parks Commissioner Bernadette Castro transformed a downtrodden kiddie playground at Robert Moses State Park through corporate sponsors. New York State should explore more opportunities along these lines.
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