Legislature Urges Clarification of State Law on Political Caucusing
Calling the measure a “feel-good resolution” to justify actions during the Legislature’s leadership dispute at the beginning of this year, Legislator Randall said he has never been comfortable with the matter of caucusing and believes all matters should be discussed in public. Legislator Luz Herrera objected to the resolution, claiming it’s an effort to pretend that everything is right with the current practice of caucusing.
Legislator Jim Dennis said political caucusing carries educational value, since all Legislators do not serve on all committees. Legislator Martha Robertson maintained, “I think we do our business in public, and I am proud of that.”
Contact: Nathan Shinagawa, Chair, Government Performance and Workforce Relations Committee, 280-7557; Legislator Tyke Randall, 898-3995.
Legislature Adopts Climate-Smart Communities Pledge
Legislator Proto said he’s troubled by some of the language in the resolution, including what he sees as a hint of possible state financial assistance from supporting the pledge, which he called disingenuous to the public. Both he and Legislator Hattery suggested there are many questions that still need to be answered on the issue of global warming.
Contact: Planning and Public Works Commissioner Ed Marx, 274-5560; Pamela Mackesey, Chair, Planning , Development, and Environmental Quality Committee, 273-6203; Legislator Frank Proto, 277-4875.
Peter Jackson Recognized as Distinguished Youth
The Distinguished Youth Award is cosponsored by A&B Awards and Engraving, Bangs Ambulance Service, Purity Ice Cream and the Cayuga Radio Group.
Contact: Legislature Office, 274-5434.
Among other actions, the Legislature
§ Awarded more than $200,000 in tourism program grants under four separate grant programs, funded through Room Occupancy Tax dollars. Actions included approval of a contract with the Community Arts Partnership to support the Tourism Program’s ongoing arts and cultural organization development program. Legislators amended recommendations of the Strategic Tourism Planning Board, restoring $2,000 in Community Celebrations funding for rededication of monuments in Ithaca’s DeWitt Park
§ Adjusted payments to City of Ithaca agencies which receive sales tax proceeds under the Municipal Sales Tax Agreement, appropriating just over $65,000 in contingency funding to the agencies to reflect a 6.9% increase in sales tax collections over the budgeted amount for 2008.
§ Authorized an agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration and an initial payment of more than $140,000 to the agency for costs associated with relocation of one of the airport’s localizer arrays, as part of the Airport Improvement Project. With nearly all the expense to be reimbursed by the FAA, local cost will be just over $3,500.
§ Approved $2,800 in support for sponsorship of the Diversity Consortium of Tompkins County’s biannual Community Roundtable Event, to take place May 7. The vote was 10-4, with Legislators Proto, Sigler, Randall and Hattery voting no, and Legislator McBean-Clairborne excused. Legislator Proto questioned financial support of the event in this time of budget constraints.