CHEERS – To a proposed tax decrease. Gloversville Mayor Dayton King is proposing a 2017 city budget that includes a 2 percent tax decrease. The city’s property tax rate places a tremendous burden on property owners. A tax decrease would be a step in the right direction. The decrease would bring the city’s tax rate to a little under $21 per $1,000 of assessed value, which is still an unreasonably high rate for our area. We strongly encourage the city council to maintain the mayor’s proposed tax cut as it reviews the budget proposal and later adopts a final plan. We’d like to see the Gloversville Enlarged School District follow suit with a tax cut as well. The district’s current rate in Gloversville is $21.70 per $1,000.
JEERS – To failing to provide a candidate. City of Johnstown voters will see the name of one candidate for mayor on the November election ballot. The candidate is Vern Jackson, a current city councilman whom the city Republican Committee selected for the position. The local Republican and Democratic parties had the opportunity to nominate a candidate following the death of Democratic Mayor Michael Julius in July. Julius’ term was to expire at the end of 2017. The Republicans came through with a choice, but the Democrats didn’t find anyone. Jackson may be a very good candidate for the job, but it’s unfortunate the voters won’t have a choice. Julius was a Democrat. His party should have given resident another option on the ballot.
CHEERS – To handing out computers. Several local schools are loaning laptop computers to students. At some schools, students can take the computers home. More and more, students are using computer devices for their assignments and homework. The trend makes sense, considering today’s electronic world. The laptops give students access to a wealth of information to help in the learning process. In the Gloversville Enlarged School District, students in grades three through 12 are using Chromebooks, and students in grades six through 12 can bring them home. The approach helps put all of the students on a level playing field, since some families can’t afford computers for their children. We suspect more schools soon will be providing laptops or other devices to their students.