Fall is the time of year when many graduating high school seniors start to look toward the future. According to the New York State Education Department, in 2010, 82 percent of high school graduates in New York entered postsecondary education which includes either two- or four-year institutions.
This column is dedicated to our veterans. I am pleased to host the CNY Veterans Parade and Expo held at the New York State Fairgrounds. Each year, this event gets bigger and better and this year was no exception. Fair officials estimated that more than 8,000 spectators and participants came through the gates to salute and honor the extraordinary service that our Central New York men and women in uniform have contributed to defending America’s freedoms.
To the editor: I wish to thank each of the voters of the 129th Assembly District for allowing me to continue to represent you in the New York State Assembly. Please know that I will return to Albany committed to working in a bi-partisan fashion to represent all of my constituents. My office remains open to hearing from you on any concerns, problems or issues you have with state government. I truly believe that New York State is on the right path to restoring economic viability to upstate New York and I will do my best to continue bringing resources back to our district that enhance the quality of life for all our residents. Again, thank you for electing me your assembly member.
Onondaga County Comptroller Robert Antonacci has failed in his attempt to become the state’s next comptroller. Antonacci, a Republican, earned 55,155 votes in Onondaga County to Democratic incumbent Tom DiNapoli’s 66,602. Statewide, Antonacci said he earned more than a million and a half votes, setting a record for an Onondaga County candidate.
DeWitt Police Chief Gene Conway has beaten out Toby Shelley for the Onondaga County Sheriff’s seat. Conway, who earned 66,569 votes to Shelley’s 58,829, said he was honored to have been chosen by the people of Onondaga County.
Neither John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) nor Dave Valesky (D-Oneida) had an opponent this election season. The lack of opposition allowed both state senators to coast easily back to the state legislature, earning 65,967 and 35,515 votes, respectively.
Longtime Judge Brian DeJoseph will return to the New York State Supreme Court bench, having beaten Republican challenger Robert O’Leary by a margin of 76,907 votes to 46,540.
Longtime Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli easily beat a challenge by Republican Rick Zaccaria, holding onto his seat as the 129th District assemblyman by a margin of 18,732 to 7,262.
Republican John Katko has ousted Dan Maffei from the 24th Congressional District seat. Katko claimed victory on Election Night by a margin of more than 18,000 votes. Though Maffei had obtained a court order impounding absentee and military ballots, it’s unlikely they’ll change Tuesday night’s outcome.
Last year, the town of Lysander caused a stir among residents when the tax rate for 2014 jumped nearly 37 percent. In 2015, residents can breathe a little easier — taxes are down. The Baldwinsville Messenger recently sat down with Town Supervisor John Salisbury, Councilor Andy Reeves and Comptroller David Rahrle to discuss Lysander’s 2015 budget. The expenditures for the proposed budget total $4,963,026, which is a 3.6 percent increase over the 2014 adopted budget’s $4,789,071.
Taxes in Van Buren will likely hold steady in 2015, according to Supervisor Claude Sykes and comptroller Greg Maxwell. “This is not the final [budget], but it’s going to be close,” Sykes said. “We strive to keep things stable.” The expenditures for the proposed budget total $4,772,343, which is an $18,396 increase over the 2014 budget’s $4,753,947. The proposed 2015 tax levy totals $3,165,750, up 0.2 percent from the 2014 levy of $3,158,916.
For too long, New York’s system for drawing electoral maps has been broken. Under current legislation, members of the New York State Legislature draw the lines for legislative and congressional districts. Those lines are redrawn every 10 years by a committee made up of sitting legislators. That means that the people responsible for drawing the lines are the very people who benefit from how the lines are drawn.
Though it doesn’t yet have a budget to present, the town of Lysander will seek public comment on it next month. The Lysander Town Board voted Oct. 20 to authorize Town Clerk Lisa Dell to advertise for public hearings for the 2015 preliminary budget and a local law to exceed the 2 percent state tax cap. The hearings will be held at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 6, in the auditorium of Lysander Town Hall.
Republican Congressional candidate John Katko has received the backing of Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney.
The Lysander Town Board voted Oct. 2 to hire a management consultant for the Lysander Radisson Community Arena, of which the town took control last month. Robyn L. Bentley-Graham signed a contract Oct. 3 with the town to manage the daily operations of the ice rink and create a business plan to ensure the arena’s future profitability.