The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

 

JuLY 8, 2011


St. Andrew


As a politician, you know you’re doing something right when even members of the other team are cheering you on. Robert Castelli, our state Assemblyman, praised the “monumental” job Gov. Andrew Cuomo has done since he took office in January. In between holiday events at the Homestead this Independence Day, Mr. Castelli added that Mr. Cuomo has accomplished “99 percent” of his agenda.

Mr. Castelli is not so far wrong. This week, Mr. Cuomo released a list of his accomplishments including the first-ever cap on local property taxes, the greatest strengthening of rent regulations in decades, strong new ethics requirements for Albany and the historic passage of a gay marriage law.

What is most impressive is how Mr. Cuomo has opened the discussion process to all New Yorkers. He has won bipartisan support on a variety of issues, in a state where partisanship usually trumps policy.

Addressing property taxes and the oppressive burden they place on homeowners was a huge shift. Mr. Cuomo has not only sought to limit spending through the cap but he has addressed out-of-control benefit and pension costs with pension reform legislation that would impose a new tier system on future employees and save taxpayers $93 billion over the next 30 years, a figure that does not include New York City. The bill also includes, at the request of Mayor Bloomberg, a separate pension reform proposal for New York City.

There’s a Jewish expression — “dayenu”: it would have been enough. But in addition to pension, tax cap and marriage equality legislation, there have been major steps on mandate reform, a reasonable hydrofracking policy and the first concerted state action to shut down the unsafe Indian Point nuclear plant.

These steps by Mr. Cuomo are not pandering to the public. Legislators from George Pataki to David Paterson have been shilly-shallying on any kind of major reforms. Maybe it’s the times that make the man, or maybe it’s the man who makes the times.

For him to keep this up will be pretty tricky. The balance between business and public welfare, unions and taxpayers, religious lobbies versus civil rights advocates, Democrats versus Republicans — is precarious at best. Skeptics could add that the state risks shifting burdens to local municpalities, and that cost reductions may be an illusion. They might also add that without legislative changes to the Triborough Amendment, the Wicks Law and other rules, comprehensive reform could be stymied. And with ballooning pension costs, even with changes, the state could be over its head in debt.

So Mr. Cuomo’s sophomore year in office could be even more critical for his legacy. If the governor continues his march to reform and sustains the enthusiasm for progress in our state, we will all be the beneficiaries. For a state with the most “dysfunctional” government in the nation, the idea of substantive change is refreshing. It may be three men in a room in Albany making decisions, but for once they are exercising the will of the people.

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The official newspaper of the towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

Editorial

NEWSSTAND LOCATIONS

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Perks – 197 Katonah Avenue    

  4. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  5. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  6. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    

  2. Connie’s at Northern Westchester Hospital
    400 E. Main Street    


South Salem/Vista

  1. JNR Pharmacy – 222 Oakridge Commons;
    Route 123   


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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