Cuomo calls for a ‘soup to nuts’ review of educational issues

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Cuomo calls for a ‘soup to nuts’ review of educational issues. On April 30 Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order #44, establishing a 25 voting member “New NY Education Reform Commission” to be chaired by the retired chairman of Citigroup, Robert Parsons. Once again the need for “reform” comes into play. Why? E.J. McMahon, a senior fellow at the Manhattan …

New York State Redistricting Process – ‘You be the judge’

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

On Nov. 17, 2011, six politically active voters filed an action in the U.S District Court Eastern District of New York, naming Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, as Speaker of the Assembly and, members of the New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR)  as Defendants. The complaint …

DiNapoli: Are Industrial Development Agencies Productive?

In Audit Findings by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

The Office of the New York State Comptroller issued in early May an Annual Performance Report on the New York State’s public benefit corporations (Industrial Development Agencies) that were created to facilitate economic development in specific areas by attracting, retaining or expanding businesses. To accomplish this mission these organizations offer financial assistance in the form of tax-exempt debt financing and …

Are we being sold a “Bill of Goods?”

In Columns by Hal Peterson1 Comment

My first guest column, “Reforming New York’s Dysfunctional State Government” was published in the Herald back in August of 2010. It addressed political and operational irresponsibility evident in Albany and noted that if not corrected, it could lead to a new phase of fiscal instability beyond anyone’s imagination. Progress is in the eye of the beholder. The New York Times …

The Governor Will Now Take Your Question

In Breaking News by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Last September, Governor Andrew Cuomo set up a web site to field questions from New Yorkers. Hundreds of inquires were posted. Six months later, sixteen innocuous questions were actually answered. When asked why so little, the governor’s spokesperson commented “he answered as many as possible.” In fairness to the governor today’s issues are too contentious and complicated to deal with …

Operational Review of three Economic Development Entities Audit I.D. # 3456 Issued by the Authorities Budget Office -December 20, 2011 Executive Summary:

In Audit Findings by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

In addition to the Schenectady County Dep’t. of Economic Development and the City of Schenectady Dep’t. of Development, seven local authorities have been created for economic development purposes. The audit found the mission statements of all authorities is similar i.e. create jobs and spur development, increase property values, expand the local tax base and increase sales tax revenues. To accomplish …

Cuomo mandates reform of $140 billion state pension system.

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is currently insisting that the State Legislature approve a new Tier VI pension plan that would require “future” government employees to pick between a defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan that is similar to a 401(K). The subject of pension reform is hardly a new concern. Back in June of 2010 the Governmental Accounting Standards …

Let’s build a new, New York

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

On Feb.1, I had the opportunity visit Molloy College and listen to the Governor’s presentation explaining his current executive budget and reform plan. Its formal title “Building a New New York …..With You.” Attendees received an information card that set the theme for the meeting. “Thanks to the tough choices we made last year and the historic reforms and bipartisan …

“Have we seen this movie before?”

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

On January 14th, the New York Times reported that “President Obama on Friday announced an aggressive campaign to shrink the size of the federal government, a proposal less notable for its goal – the fight against bloat that has been embraced by every modern-day president – than for the political challenge it poses to a hostile Congress.” This paragraph is …

Get with the program, Hal

In Columns by Hal PetersonLeave a Comment

I’m sure you’re well aware that I’ve become a bit smitten with judging Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s performance over the past few months. Why? It’s not that I don’t like the guy. He has shown a lot of cheek since he took office, which seems to be reflected in recent polls. On Jan.1 his public relations staff issued a press release …