CHEERS — to fighting welfare fraud. Montgomery County has restructured its welfare fraud unit to pursue violations more aggressively. The unit now has two full-time employees in addition to part-timers, and as a result, fraud arrests are going up. Cracking down on violators saves money. For example, the county says its efforts saved taxpayers $411,000 last year by preventing false or inaccurate applications.
JEERS — to litigation between localities. The city of Johnstown took the town of Johnstown to court to lower the assessments on two city watershed properties. A court order will reduce the assessment on one parcel from $1.49 million to $1.3 million, and the assessment on another from $58,500 to $23,400. We hear local leaders often talk about the need for cooperation among municipalities. Instead of fighting each other over property assessments in court, why can’t they reach an agreement outside of litigation?
CHEERS — New York state leaders have reached an agreement to increase funding for the care of the state’s disabled residents. The money will be used for pay raises for direct-care workers, including those who work for Lexington Center and Liberty in our area. The employees who care for the disabled have a lot of responsibility as they help people with their daily needs, medications, appointments and travel. Yet, the workers make relatively little money. We are happy to see the state trying to help compensate these workers fairly.
CHEERS — to No Bottom Left Behind. The Capital Region diaper bank, based in Johnstown, provides free diapers to thousands of families in need each year. The founder, Victoria Yusko, says other assistance programs often fail to cover the cost of diapers. Her organization is filling a vital need, and it’s getting support from donors. Diapers, on average, can cost $70 to $80 per month. No Bottom Left Behind is providing a valuable local service.
CHEERS — to the Dollar Tree. Downtown Gloversville has seen an uptick in activity lately now that the Dollar Tree is open for business. The Main Street store, which fills a vacant building formerly occupied by a drug store, has been attracting a lot of people and creating positive vibes. The store not only fills a retail void downtown, but provides an important economic boost to the city.
CHEERS — to a father-daughter dance. About 1,500 people showed up at Gloversville Middle School last Saturday for a dance that featured fathers and their daughters. The event, open to girls from preschool through 12th grade, gave the girls and their dads an opportunity to bond with each other and socialize. The sophomore class fundraising event not only included dancing, but also face painting, raffles, formal photos and other activities. We were happy to see such a nice community event.