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News stories tagged with "local-government"

Cuomo urges government consolidation

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says New Yorkers are crushed by taxes and consolidating local governments is a way to ease the burden. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

Cooperation, common ground sought in Long Lake

More than 160 people, from government officials to special interest groups from all spectrums, gathered in Long Lake yesterday. They set aside their differences to talk about the challenges that Adirondack communities are facing and to look for common ground. It was the second annual meeting of the Common Ground Alliance, a group that hopes to find opportunities to replace conflict with cooperation. Jacob Resneck reports.  Go to full article

Local government leaders praise Finch deal

Local government leaders don't often favor big conservation deals. But the plan unveiled Thursday drew glowing reviews from town supervisors in Indian Lake and Long Lake. Town boards haven't had a chance to review the deal in detail, but Long Lake's Greg Wallace described it as a "win-win" project. He spoke with Brian Mann.  Go to full article
Spitzer says property tax cap is a "blunt instrument" but may be necessary (File photo)
Spitzer says property tax cap is a "blunt instrument" but may be necessary (File photo)

Property tax cap would reshape North Country economy

One of the most anticipated parts of Governor Spitzer's State of the State address was his proposal to confront spiraling property taxes. Spitzer established a new bi-partisan commission that will search for answers to the problem, possibly including a cap on property tax hikes. But here in the North Country, property taxes fuel everything from local highway departments to senior health care and after-school sports. They also fund a huge percentage of high-paying jobs. As Brian Mann reports, a cap on property taxes would shift the foundation of the North Country's economy.  Go to full article
Gov. Eliot Spitzer in Potsdam
Gov. Eliot Spitzer in Potsdam

Spitzer vows to rebuild and streamline economy

Governor Eliot Spitzer made several stops in a whirlwind tour of Potsdam and Canton yesterday. He vowed to rebuild the Upstate economy, but he said local officials will have to help with some belt-tightening. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Critic: conservation easements threaten Adirondack towns

Today, we continue our occasional series examining the rapid spread of conservation easements in the North Country. Over the last decade, pro-environment groups and the state of New York have bought easements on more than 700,000 acres of private land in the Adirondack Park. Many pro-environment groups see easements as one of their best tools for preserving ecosystems and open space. This summer, the Nature Conservancy announced the purchase of another 160,000 acres from the Finch, Pruyn timber company. But many local government leaders have expressed alarm about the easement movement. Fred Monroe is town supervisor in Chester and heads the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board. Monroe told Brian Mann that the proliferation of massive conservation deals threaten to stifle economic development in small mountain towns that are already struggling to survive.

Program Note: Next week, we'll talk in-depth with Mike Carr, who heads the Adirondack Nature Conservancy. Carr is the architect of some of the biggest conservation purchases in North Country history, including the recent Finch, Pruyn deal.  Go to full article

Spitzer, Little seek local gov cost cuts

Last week, Governor Eliot Spitzer unveiled a new statewide task force designed to cut the cost of local government in New York. The state has more than 4,200 local government entities. Here in the North Country, some towns and villages serve only a few hundred people. In a statement, Spitzer said some government entities might be outdated. The Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness will include two elected officials from the North Country. Mayor Jamie Rogers, from the village of Lake Placid, and state Senator Betty Little, with both take part. Sen. Little has already made local government efficiency an priority in the state Senate. She spoke about the issue with Brian Mann.  Go to full article

Judge clears way for St. Lawrence jail

The St. Lawrence County legislature will vote to borrow money and award contracts for construction of a $33 million jail on Monday. A court ruling yesterday approving a union-only labor agreement paves the way for a project years in the making. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Strong passions at the task force meeting in Canton
Strong passions at the task force meeting in Canton

Unity Proves Elusive in NYPA Talks

St. Lawrence County leaders and citizens regrouped late last week after what they perceived as a major rebuff by the New York Power Authority. In 2003, they negotiated a settlement of $115 million and several hundred acres of land in exchange for the county's role in power production on the St. Lawrence River. But last month, Governor Pataki announced Western New York stood to get almost a billion dollars for the Niagara River power project. Many in St. Lawrence County felt cheated. At a meeting in Canton, state representatives urged calm. People preached teamwork. But what was billed as a planning session for the future became a rehashing of the past. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
State Senator Ray Meier
State Senator Ray Meier

Bill Introduced To Keep Traffic Fines Local

17 state senators, including North Country Senator Ray Meier, have introduced a bill that would repeal a controversial change in vehicle law approved in the state budget last month. The law would give the state, not towns and villages, the lion's share of the fines from speeding tickets and other traffic violations. Senator Meier told David Sommerstein the law is a direct result of the dysfunctional budget process.  Go to full article

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