City and State Politics

In Breaking News by Hal Peterson0 Comments

Pleased to announce (using Goggle analytics to map performance) an improving trend of site usage, return visits and retention time. This is especially important with State Senator Dean Skelos announcing (last week) that he has formed a new coalition government, combining the Senate Republican Conference with the Independent Democratic Conference, led by Sen. Jeff Klien. As part of the deal, …

What’s not to like? Let’s do it in New York!

In Breaking News by Hal Peterson0 Comments

Four advocacy groups recently joined hands, to once again encourage Governor Cuomo to act on their recommendation to use of the Internet to facilitate the processing of all New York State Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests. This law specifies that “a free society is maintained only when the government is responsive and responsible to the public, and when the …

New York State local governments in fiscal stress!

In Breaking News by Hal Peterson0 Comments

With a growing number of local governments facing significant fiscal stress, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced on Sept. 24th plans to implement an early warning “monitoring system” that would identify municipalities and school districts experiencing signs of budgetary strain so that corrective action can be taken before a full financial crisis occurs. DiNapoli’s office intends to distribute the details …

An Imminent Financial Crisis!

In Breaking News by Hal Peterson0 Comments

During the fiscal year 2011-12, the state comptroller’s office collected and analyzed more than 4,000 annual financial reports filed by local governments, school districts, public authorities and special taxing districts to determine liquidity, reliance on one-time revenues, levels of short-term debt and occurrences of non-discretionary spending etc. The results of this examination were just released in a report titled “New …

DiNapoli: IDA Reform Needed

In Breaking News by Hal Peterson0 Comments

As noted in my May 22nd “Breaking News” posting, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli recently issued a critical performance evaluation of public benefit corporations.  To address an extensive array of problems he is now calling for legislation to encourage some 114 Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) “to do a better job of highlighting the economic benefits of the projects that receive tax …

You’re Right to Know!

In Breaking News by Hal Peterson0 Comments

When Governor Cuomo ran for office he vowed to “operate the most transparent administration in New York State history.” In the process of doing so, as reported in Breaking News on April 10th, he set up a new web site to field (in chat room fashion) questions from New Yorkers on a personal level. Unfortunately, as reported in the New …

“Give me a break, we are working together.”

In Breaking News by Hal Peterson0 Comments

A comment made by Richard Bamberger, a spokesman for Gov. Cuomo when it was revealed that “Democratic administration ghostwriters” were e-mailing to business advocacy groups achievement   quotes that they were encouraged to use. Two organizations were involved, one called “Unshackle Upstate,” acquiesced and issued the following statement: “For two years in a row, Governor Cuomo has shown New Yorkers, that …

J.P. Morgan advises select clients of massive underfunded pension liabilities

In Breaking News by Hal Peterson0 Comments

J.P. Morgan Chase just advised it’s clients that they hold 15.1 million shares in the New York State Common Retirement Fund and 10.7 million shares in the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System currently valued at over $237 billion. They also reported extremely serious shortfalls in funding of state and local pension systems, that if not addressed, could have a …

The Governor Will Now Take Your Question

In Breaking News by Hal Peterson0 Comments

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 …