Let’s give credit where it’s due.
In our May 29 edition, County Rep. Clark Oliver of Oneonta was tweaked in this space, along with his fellow Democrats who voted against 59 layoffs without offering an alternative.
They ducked a hard decision, thus losing credibility with their colleagues, it was argued.
Last Wednesday, Aug. 5, the county board was considering a measure to set aside New York State’s 2-percent property tax cap – yes, something that’s bound to be unpopular with a majority of voters.
(As County Attorney Ellen Coccoma explained, the idea isn’t to necessarily go beyond the cap but, if forced to do so, to avoid penalties that would be imposed unless the cap is lifted in advance.)
The county board’s leader, Chairman David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield, as appropriate, put the measure on the table, but it required a second.
Who stepped forward? One of the county board’s junior members, Clark Oliver, District 11 (Oneonta Wards 1 and 2). He explained, “If we don’t raise property taxes, we’ll just have to think about cutting crucial services.”
The board as a whole will now have to act on the tax-cap question at its September meeting on the 2nd.
Oliver’s decision to provide the second is in line with his arguments against the layoffs: That people being laid off will be hurt, and also citizens at large who require county services.
In this space, we support the layoffs as necessary, but – as always – we respect – in fact, welcome – people’s opinions to think otherwise.
Last week, Clark Oliver stepped up and made a tough decision that was in line with his previously expressed opinions. Guts and consistency. Not bad for a freshman – or a
veteran, for that matter.