Thanks to a great article by Joe Rizza, in The Illustrated News last week, we see that Senator Craig Johnson has again violated the trust of his constituents.
Last month, my wife and I both availed ourselves of the opportunity to email the senator regarding our opposition to unfunded mandates for school programs, a scenario which transfers the debt for state-mandated programs to the local districts in lieu of the funding that should have come from New York State, but was removed from the state budget by Governor Paterson and his budget gurus as a cost-cutting measure. Some of the funding has been replaced due to stimulus funds and that’s good, but not a total fix.
Thanks to Jim McHugh and the New Hyde Park Civic Association, we had the opportunity last week to hear about the proposed budget for 2009-’10 from the school board officials of the New Hyde Park and Sewanhaka School Districts and the New Hyde Park Public Library. How do these folks do it? Not only have they managed to prepare a budget with minimal increases, they have also arranged to absorb the $325,000 cost of the payroll tax that will be assessed against the districts, with the”promise” that the money will be returned to the districts next year. Should we hold our breath?
Can we use “credibility” and Senator John’s name in the same sentence? He was quoted as saying on April 14, “I’m not going to bail out the MTA with people’s tax dollars. I don’t agree with a payroll tax.” Now, my wife and I received a letter from his office in response to our letter opposing the MTA tax and in his letter he appears to have capitulated to the Albany machine which now, due to its majority standing in the New York State Senate, has backroom meetings which the Republican senators are not even told about and they passed legislation which hurts the taxpayers. His letter contains a very interesting statement. He said, “I was one of the last members of my conference to support this package. I did so only after ensuring that our schools were held harmless from the payroll tax and that an outside forensic audit and other transparency requirements were met.”
Now, I ask you, the reader, whether this is really what happened, or is this another smokescreen to hide the true ambition of a dishonest senator? What has happened to the “public” in public servant? Is this his way of greasing the skids so he can slip into a position on the MTA board? The last time we heard from him regarding the MTA was when he attended a massive meeting of unhappy voters regarding the Third Track Project and his sudden support only appeared when he saw how upset all of the residents were with this project. After all of those involved in opposing the project brought the community to its feet, Senator Johnson finally jumped on the bandwagon, waved the flag of opposition and promised to vote against it.
Somehow, I’ve lost faith in the senator and hope that the voters in his district see the folly of re-electing him when his term ends.
Eric Spinner, New Hyde Park