“They always disappoint us,” cynically mused a veteran campaign operative character on “The Wire” after helping elect an insurgent Baltimore mayor to replace an entrenched corrupt one.
Hello, Kathy Hochul – and that sure didn’t take long.
While making herself readily available to big donors, our new-ish governor ignores the pleas of St. Clare’s Hospital pensioners betrayed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, abetted by a stand-aside State of New York. The governor won’t even meet with these fraud victims. While these august institutions might wish for tRumpian teflon immunity, this stink sticks to them like white on rice.
Meanwhile, the NYS budget includes a $850 million Buffalo Bills boondoggle, further enriching a frack-gas billionaire and America’s richest sports league.
Akin to that outrage, that same state budget allocates $10 million for a hockey arena in what should be riverside parkland along the Mohawk in Schenectady but which instead holds a casino and condos for our own oligarchs. Instead, this will replace a perfectly serviceable ice facility on the campus of Union College, a private institution.
Why pay public money for private facilities most taxpayers will never see nor use, and which would cost us money out of pocket if we tried to enter them?
Meanwhile, anyone who’s driven, bicycled or walked in Schenectady lately knows the crying need for road repairs. Anyone who’s watched Eastern Avenue and other roadways become rivers as water mains fail also knows there’s trouble under those same roads. Back on the cratered surface, how about protecting us from wild-west driving?
Spend our tax dollars on what we ALL need – rather than waste it on big-ticket toys for the few.
While paid media hypes these projects – and inexplicably wastes time reporting the travails of opening a Chick fil-A – really? – it’s gratifying to see retired newspaper people raising alarms.
Rex Smith, retired editor of the Albany Times Union, blogs persuasively and with clear reasoning and unerring moral compass at https://www.upstateamerican.com/.
Another retired editor, Ken Tingley of the Glens Falls Post-Star, similarly raises issues and comments knowledgeably at https://substack.com/profile/27639514-ken-tingley.
And Sara Foss – former reporter and columnist The Daily Gazette – offers lucid commentary at https://www.albanyproper.com/author/sarafoss/.
The Department of Hold It, Right There!
Just as Joe Biden could win every single electoral vote by enforcing the Do Not Call List, somebody could reap boomers’ billions by providing un-changing services and technology.
For us of a certain age, few upgrades ever improve things. Most innovations don’t, either.
So, how about keeping dependable, familiar systems and technology stable and understandable rather than racing to tinker, confuse and render obsolete the stuff we already have and – oh, yeah! – raise prices?
If it works, leave it alone.