May 26, 2006

Sheriff's race opens

There isn't much Dryden news in today's Journal, but there is a fair amount of county news worth exploring.

Former Ithaca investigator Brian Robison announced his run for sheriff yesterday, running as a Republican against two-term incumbent Democrat Peter Meskill.

(The Journal doesn't ever seem to report on political party happenings, but Meskill received the endorsement of the Tompkins County Democratic Committee last night, as did County Clerk Aurora Valenti, State Supreme Court candidate Elizabeth Garry, Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, and Congressional candidate Michael Arcuri.)

The county also hired a new deputy administrator, Paula E. F. Younger, after a long selection process.

The Journal's editorial (which is weirdly formatted in the print edition) urges the county to give tax relief on gas prices, arguing that:

there are many families for whom $90 can break the budget, and these are not the people to forsake because you have a righteous grudge against the oil barons and the politicians they control.

While I agree with the Journal that I'd like to help the people who need to to have that $90, keeping gas prices low keeps those same people vulnerable when prices go up next time. We're not discovering oil the way we used to, and worldwide demand is climbing.

Cheap gas makes it a better option to find cheap housing way out of town, where there aren't a lot of nearby services, and drive all over. When gas prices climb again - as I have too much confidence they will - this kind of 'relief' isn't going to help the people who were saving money by making that choice.

There are much better ways to help people whose budgets are in danger of being broken than to lower the price of gasoline for everyone. If the state was actually interested in helping them, they might well have done that instead of tinkering with the gas tax, and the county would do better to look for ways to help the people who really need help.

Posted by simon at May 26, 2006 8:11 AM in , ,
Note on photos