Silver Creek Village Board Cooperates Toward Landmark Legislation

While the national media has been fixated on the presidential race of late, noteworthy news has been made at the state and local levels.

A well-done goes out to the Silver Creek Village Board and the town of Hanover Board for nearing an agreement on a contract that will allow the Sheriff’s Office to provide police protection to both municipalities. It’s an example of what can be done when you work together. Hopefully it’s the beginning of a trend.

I can understand Democratic County Chair Norm Green’s chagrin at the campaigns of candidates Senator Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton failing to include Chautauqua County in their delegate selection process. Norm and I worked in management for the same company for many years and I know him to be, first and foremost, a loyal son of Chautauqua County. Norm, your displeasure with both campaigns calls to mind what I told you back then: you should have been a Republican.

At the risk of sounding like a spoil sport intent on raining on everyone’s parade, let me begin by stating that the 900 potential jobs created by Athenex are a good thing. However, wouldn’t it have been better if those jobs had been created at not one company but five or six? When you put all your eggs in one or two baskets the loss of those baskets can be catastrophic. Remember Carriage House and Petri Baking.

There is also something unseemly about our governor coming to bear gifts. With a truly healthy business climate, this area would be able to count on more than one job provider and the state wouldn’t need tax holidays to attract businesses.

The Albany attitude toward taxes and taxpayers was recently illustrated by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s defense of a proposal to raise taxes on millionaires as a fair way to raise revenue. While Republicans oppose this and Gov. Cuomo is not currently supporting the move, who knows what the future will bring.

Did you ever wonder why millionaires Bob Rich, Tom Golisano and Terry Pegula are residents of Florida? The answer is there is no state income tax in Florida. In fact, New York has the lowest growth of millionaires in the country. This might be fine for class envy types, but does nothing to foster investment and entrepreneurship in New York and by definition healthy job growth.

Recently, Speaker Heastie said the U.S. remains the only industrialized nation in the world not to offer paid family leave. This comes at a time when Democrats seem ashamed that the U.S. is the only country without a single payer health care plan. I remind you that while our economy is growing at a slow rate with little job growth we are not in a deep recession as are many European socialist nations where such plans are available.

I see that Sen. Schumer is asking college newspaper editors to urge students to express support for a legislative package called the RED (Reducing Educational Debt) Act. Forbes Magazine pointed out that since 1985, while the consumer price index rose by 115 percent, the college cost inflation rate rose by nearly 500 percent. A factor contributing to this situation was readily available low-interest student loans guaranteed by the government, leading to a spending spree in higher education. Senator, it seems like the unintended consequences of legislative action are rearing their ugly heads again.

Sen. Schumer seems to be paying a price for his opposition to the Obama administration’s nuclear weapons deal with Iran. Schumer recently joined with New York City officials to complain about administration plans to reduce funding for a grant program to offset municipalities security spending. Presidential spokesperson “earnest” Josh Earnest essentially said that the senator was wrong about the Iran deal and that when it comes to funding for homeland security he will be proven wrong again. Josh, I know you guys in the White House do things the “Chicago way,” but tell your boss to give the senator a break.

Senator Schumer wants a Zika Czar appointed to lead the war on that disease. Isn’t the Centers for Disease Control capable of leading the fight? Certainly the zika virus is a serious issue but a czar will do nothing but add another layer of bureaucracy that presses down on our lives and freedom.

Lest anyone think I am singling out Senator Schumer, keep in mind that the senator has never been one to avoid reporters, microphones or cameras of any kind.

Finally, at the state level corruption still has its rewards. At least that’s what you have to conclude after it was announced that ex-Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, both convicted of public corruption, will be drawing sizable public pensions. Who said that honesty is the best policy?

Thomas Kirkpatrick Sr. is a Silver Creek resident. This piece first appeared in The Dunkirk Observer.