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Op-ed column: Special committee could develop ideas to turn Schenectady around

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The city of Schenectady is drowning in red ink. More than ever, the time for fiscal responsibility is now, but you wouldn’t think that by the way Mayor Gary McCarthy has responded to the latest audit by the state comptroller’s office. According to auditors, annual deficits are projected to rise and rise until the city’s overall debt brings it to the brink of financial disaster. The city needs to “take action immediately.” McCarthy believes otherwise. ...

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comments

gina99
November 25, 2012
7:50 a.m.

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Another committee? City voters had a chance to turn the City around in 2011 and dump working together incompetents. With the exception of Vince Riggi they voted to change nothing. Governor Cuomo must now come in and appoint a State Control Board.

manjoe
November 25, 2012
7:58 a.m.

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The solution is simple. Dissolve the city and let the county take over. End of story.

jswagner
November 25, 2012
9:25 a.m.

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Ask the mayor to resign and appoint a new mayor.

tonijean613
November 25, 2012
11:49 a.m.

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Manjoe- nice thought and good luck- We shld try to push to dissolve County level govt-mush easier and let the State divide up all sales tax revenue regardless of where it is collected. We also need to establish a higher commercial property tax rate, and a rate for Non-for profits so they pay something if not more toward taxes- Example- Union College just takes property off the tax rolls-while they roll in profits
Simple measures- Mayor and City Council need to - freeze ALL over time, stop paying for unused vacation time, and instead of cutting jobs- cut high end pay (on all earning over 75,000K)-across the board 10-15% and clearly stop the use of take home cars. The Mayor should also be forcing all city employees and cops living outside Schdy back into the City so they too are contributing to the tax rolls here. It's not rocket science.

wmarincic
November 25, 2012
4:12 p.m.

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Ok tonnijean and any state and city employee anywhere in the state has to live in the town they work in. Schenectady has a residency law for police and fire department personnel and after 5 years they may live where they want. You have a problem with the police having the same rights as the rest of us? Typical liberal tax tax tax.

justapto
November 25, 2012
4:59 p.m.

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manjoe is correct; there are too many overlapping government entities. The county should run everything and abolish all other levels of government incompetance and duplication.
No more town highway department, no more village police/fire departments, no more city police, fire, highway, school system etc. The county shares all assets within the county.
Freeze all employees ate every level. Then don't replace retirees with new people for 5 overlapping jobs.
No lay offs, no loss of current employees, lower taxes less government waste.
Watch the huge budget surplus and rise in efficiency 3 years down the line.
Works in Nevada and other states that don't tolerate the waste we have here.

gina99
November 25, 2012
9:02 p.m.

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Funny how they always point to Union College which unlike Proctor's pays a PILOT. Toni how about Proctor's paying full assessment property taxes for taking Key Bank permanently off the City/County tax rolls? Or the coffeehouse? Or the Arcade businesses? Proctor's has a $100,000 for a new financial officer but zero for struggling property owners. McCarthy refuses to budget or cut any pork. Gov Cuomo must appoint a State Control Board. The County can't manage it's spending any better and is no answer. They just raised taxes 6% without the new home.

cfield
November 26, 2012
9:48 a.m.

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Committee not the answer - even if the parties involved agreed to it, it would take months to get up and running and where is the guarantee that the solutions identified would be the right ones, or that they would be effectively implemented as designed?

The City is a medium sized company with 600 employees, and an annual budget of approximately $80 million dollars. Additionally, the company has a significantly larger budget with retiree benefits and debt service. If you owned this company would you have a CEO with no business experience and its' board of directors (Council) having little more to offer in this area? There are two answers to this problem - ceremonial Mayor, and City Manager with the education, experience, and PROVEN track record to manage a company this size. And, while you're at it - change the Council format to ensure that each neighborhood is represented by an individual chosen from that neighborhood - that way, the loyalty is weighted towards the residents and minmized re: political party affiliation.

This is not a knock on any of teh present govt. leaders, rather, I think teh present model is a poor fit for the circumstances.

wmarincic
November 26, 2012
12:01 p.m.

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Cfield. I agree.

robbump
November 27, 2012
7:47 p.m.

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Camels are said to be racehorses that were designed by committees.

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