Press-Republican

Read

May 18, 2014

Governor inspires renewed shared-services effort

Suddenly there is talk about consolidation. Bring it on.

Just a couple of years ago, it was almost impossible to get some local politicians in the same room together. Now, the Town of Plattsburgh is sitting down with the city to figure out how we can save money by working together. The city, town and county are looking to share other services, and each is now considering how it can reduce various office costs like photocopying and scanning. And even Beekmantown and the City of Plattsburgh’s school superintendents supported a study to look for ways to reduce costs by sharing services between them.

Cynics among us might conclude that this is simply a feel-good exercise designed to go through the motions but with no real intention of changing anything. I disagree. Some real savings are surely going to occur, even if they might not yet be large. And, it is that first step down a path along which no politician has dared venture up to now.

This is a process. It is one that people like Assemblywoman Janet Duprey and Sen. Betty Little have been encouraging, and even offering seed funds, for many years. However, while those carrots seemed insufficient to foment real change, Gov. Cuomo carries a big stick. It looks like his furious waving of his tax-cap club is actually working.

Of course, some call the governor’s proposal an electioneering gimmick. Others predict the demise of the Civil Service. But then again, still others applaud the governor for going where few others dared tread. They are looking at the tax rates of other states and lamenting that it is very difficult to attract young people when our local tax rate in upstate New York, as a share of our income, is the highest in the nation, by far.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Read
  • colin_read.jpg Good organizations lack drama

    Groups that accomplish their objectives do so with a minimum of distraction and politics, focusing instead on creativity and a dynamic vision, according to columnist Colin Read.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Parking fines a short-sighted policy

    Tourists should be encouraged to do business downtown without fear of getting tickets, according to columnist Colin Read.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Technical training a key part of education

    Recently honored, Champlain Valley Educational Services offers meaningful careers for those not heading for college, according to columnist Colin Read.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Constitution withstands test of time

    The nation's founding document is a delicate balance that we should continue to nurture, according to columnist Colin Read.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg This region helped shape a new nation

    As we celebrate our nation's history, we must also appreciate the key role the North Country played in the founding of two countries, according to columnist Colin Read.

    June 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Diversity of views a key to progress

    With today's mobile society and 24-hour media, like-minded people tend to congregate together stifling diversity of opinion, according to columnist Colin Read.

    June 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Local heros needed to inspire us all

    It takes individual talent and initiative to truly move a community forward to fulfill its economic destiny, according to columnist Colin Read.

    June 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Fee on carbon needed

    Creating incentives to curb emissions is critical to containing climate change, according to columnist Colin Read.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Governor inspires renewed shared-services effort

    Tax-cap plan has provided incentives for municipalities to get together to try and increase savings and efficiency, according to columnist Colin Read.

    May 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Pipeline issue has no simple answer

    If Alberta oil is not transported through Keystone, it will cause more pollution to send it to China, according to columnist Colin Read.

    May 11, 2014 1 Photo