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Kieran Lalor: Term limits are the only way to achieve true ethics reform in N.Y. state government

I have not always been a fan of term limits because I feel public service is a “calling”. When your community asks you to put your skills, experience, and character to work for the betterment of society you do it humbly, passionately and ethically. It takes a strong man of principle to know when their job is done and time for fresh ideas, President Washington was a man of such ideals. While urged to seek a 3rd term he decided not to, because America had just fought a war to throw off the yoke of monarchism and he did not want to become “King George”.

Sadly, a lot of today’s politicians act like it’s their divine right to be in “power” and, along with a complicit political system, they think they are smarter and wiser than the citizens they represent, thus legislate against the will of the people.

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Finally, the true cost for 13 years of “No Tax Increases” for Fishkill

town-seal1After 13 years of trumpeting “no tax increases” the Town of Fishkill Supervisor Joan Pagones now says that the new New York State 2% Property Tax Cap is going to create a problem for Fishkill.  The question that springs to mind is “Why?”  Why, after 13 years of not raising taxes when everything around us is going up do we suddenly have a problem with a 2% increase?  How did the Supervisor magically maintain the status quo, even though surrounding Town’s budgets dictated increases of 5, 15, 20 or even higher percent increases?  Thanks to a New York State Comptroller audit, we now know it was done with a shady shell game of borrowing, improper budget transfers and outright theft from districts that have gone lacking.

By Supervisor Pagones’ own admission the Town is “roughly 30 million dollars in debt”.  Like a teenager with a credit card Pagones has no concept of living within your means, and sadly the Town of Fishkill is now on the hook for her bill.  The honorable thing to do would be resign with humility but instead she chooses to deny, dispute and accuse anyone trying to review true budget numbers of “troublemaking”.  Her only goal has been re-election and for 19 years it worked, but there’s a new wind blowing in Fishkill.

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NY property-tax cap may hit cash-poor cities: report

The Supervisor of the Town of Fishkill had a few choice words for Midhudsonnews.com:

Fishkill Town Supervisor Joan Pagones said her town’s financial recovery plan is working well.
“We feel confident the plan is going to continue to work; it has worked this year; we’re right on target for 2011, and all communities will have to dig a little deeper and make more spending cuts,” she said.
Yet in the report the Moody’s analyst, in the following excerpt, found it necessary to mention which Towns were of concern for further downgrades:

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