But here in Ulster County, towns are balking at the county executive’s plan to have them plow the county’s roads in their own municipalities, and to pay them to do it. They drive over the roads anyway, with the plows up, to get to their own roads. The county exec says he’ll pay them $1.50 for every $1 it costs them, and that he’ll still save money by trimming the county highway department significantly. Some towns say they don’t even want him to study it. C’mon, guys…at least stay with him until he presents the figures. Let the guy try.
Too many times efforts to improve efficiency by cutting government layers are derailed by those who resist infringements on their bailiwicks, those complacent in positions, confident that their line items get lost in the myriad pages of budget documents.
While we’re far from libertarian, and enjoyed immensely Alan Sussman’s Point of View in this issue (see Page 10), you still have to ask yourself, (and I know, it’s repetitive, we say it all the time) how many governments to you need? Or, as Mario Cuomo used to put it, you should have all the government you need, but only the government you need.
Here’s what we think is a bad idea — allowing the sale of wine in supermarkets. Simply put, for a one-time licensing fee for the supermarkets, a one-time windfall, you’d be putting thousands of existing stores, wine and liquor establishments, mostly small businesses, of the kind that we always say are the backbone of the American economy, out of business. You’d kill them dead and Hannafords and Super Stop and Shop (stores we frequent and have no beef with, so to speak) and other chains that send profits out of state, would clearly reap the benefits. Don’t do this. ++