December 13, 2006

Dryden's jewels on Emerald Necklace

This morning's Ithaca Journal highlighted the Yellow Barn State Forest and Hammond Hill State Forest in an article on conservation efforts along the Finger Lakes Trail, as the County Legislature brings in a planner to help protect public land from development.

More specific to Dryden, the Journal reports on last Thursday's Town Board meeting, focusing on the many questions around sewage lines and monitoring in the Cortland Road Sewer District, north of the Village of Dryden. Sorting that out will make the Empire Zone area there much more attractive.

Dryden residents who live in the Ithaca City School District may get a dose of sticker shock from climbing estimates of repair costs being built into a bond.

At the state level, legislators are gathering for a last lame-duck session that could lead to:

deals on judgeships and other jobs for loyalists of Gov. George Pataki, pay raises for state lawmakers, more charter schools and civil confinement for the most dangerous sex offenders after their sentences end.

A lot of other projects are also in the final deal-making mix - but is there really any good reason to hold this session at all? Is there any good reason not to wait until the new Governor is in command?

The Journal's editorial takes on the legislative pay raise proposal in particular. It's an easy target, especially given that the low rate of turnover means that legislators basically get to keep whatever they vote for themselves.

I can imagine two good reasons for raising the salary significantly: to attract new blood, and to limit the potential for corruption by making sure legislators are comfortable enough not to bother. Given the legislature's record, however, I'm not expecting any improvement on either of those fronts, so maybe it would make more sense to cut their salaries substantially rather than raise them - in the hopes of driving a few of them out.

Posted by simon at December 13, 2006 5:17 PM in , , , , ,
Note on photos