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BEE Party emerges
October 26, 2011 - John D'Agostino
It appears the Southern Tier Tea Party Patriots will be changing their name soon.
After a commentary, published in today's edition, it appears we now have a newly named BEE Party in the county. As a group, the TEA Party nationally stands for Taxed Enough Already! But our Southern Tier segment, in a discussion with a member Tuesday, told me he fully believes that local control, especially on the county level, is better than national and state control.
Local politicians — in a county that is one of the highest taxed in the nation — have done a good job of controlling spending and tax rates?
Local politicians have not raised any fees?
Local politicians do not want to raise the sales tax?
Local politicians have done a good job of running an efficient government?
According to the BEE Party, Albany and Washington are bad. Local control is better.
I may disagree on that point with the BEE Party, but one thing me and BEE can be certain on this: Albany and Washington have been the great enabler when it comes to allowing entities locally and throughout Western New York to make a bad situation worse.
How else can you explain a Ripley school district enrollment of 380 students and a $10 million budget? Eighty-five percent of that funding comes from the state. With numbers like those, there is greater incentive to have a Ripley district than not.
Which brings us to the BEE Party. For the Believe Elected Excuses Party to include a sentence in their commentary that says "90 percent of our budget (is) being dictated by Albany," shows the BEE Party is conveniently forgetting the past. Instead, BEE BEE-lieves the concept being put forth by the county executive.
But this year's budget mess, in large part, goes back to the BEE Party stance that local control serves residents really well.
Just how well?
County officials did nothing in the fall of 2010 except wait till the last minute to propose any sort of other deal, raid the reserves — nearly $3 million — and pass on a nearly 9 percent tax hike to residents.
How did officials here expect the problems of an $18 million budget shortfall to disappear the following year during a fiscal crisis by doing nothing? Any Tea Party would strongly oppose that!
But thanks to the newly named BEE — Believe Elected Excuses — Party, there's even less reason to expect, and demand, more accountability from local officials.
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