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Saturday, November 01, 2014
Canajoharie, NY ,

Joshua Thomas
New York State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk speaks to those assembled at the Town Board of Minden meeting last Thursday.

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Tkaczyk speaks about her work

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - Updated: 10:01 AM

By JOSHUA THOMAS

C-S-E Editor

MINDEN -- New York State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk attended the Town Board of Minden meeting last Thursday, speaking to the assembled crowd, which filled each seat in the meeting room, about work she's done at the state and local levels, also welcoming questions.

Tkaczyk said she's trying to get out and meet all the local town and village governments in her district, which includes 28 school districts and 48 towns and villages. She mentioned that she's attended almost each school board meeting at least once.

After thanking the Town Board of Minden for the work they do, stating, "I know it's a lot of work to serve at the town levels, and you don't get thanked enough for the time you put in and the work you do," adding, "it's important, and it's important that we work together," Tkaczyk invited continued input from district members, stating, "don't wait until May to tell us you have a bill to get through," as the committee process shuts down in May.

Tkaczyk mentioned that she was involved in adopting the flood-related property tax assessment relief program, which allows individual municipalities to opt in to allow tax breaks to flooded properties.

Minden did opt in to this program, which Assessor Robert Harris said allowed 10 village property owners, and seven homeowners outside the village to receive much-needed property tax relief, based on last year's tax roll. Many of the applicants have already received the relief.

Tkaczyk said she was also involved in securing additional CHIPS funding to help fix roads damaged during the past year's severe winter. CHIPS had not been increased in several years.

Tkaczyk mentioned that she's advocating for mandate relief, and is also working diligently to consolidate the state's two primary dates into one, as the federal primary is currently held in June, with the state and local primary taking place in September.

She said that the double primaries costs Montgomery County 50 million dollars every two years.

"We're wasting money, in my opinion," she stated.

Tkaczyk also explained that one of the reasons she wanted to become a senator was because of her experience on the Duanesburg School District Board of Education.

She said, "I want to make sure rural schools like mine aren't dismantled, but get the resources they need."

She explained that five years ago, 55 percent of school funding in Duanesburg was culled from state aid, with the other 45 percent coming from property taxes. Now, those two numbers have reversed, and Tkaczyk said, "That, to me, needs to go the other way, because it's not sustainable."

Board Member Tom Yager wondered if there's anything that can be done about increasing heat and electricity costs, to which Tkaczyk replied, "there's renewable energy that we need to invest in."

Supervisor Cheryl Reese, after having attended a week-long Municipal Clerk's institute at Cornell University, where she learned that in a room full of 35 clerks, she was the only one that felt strongly that there's hope for New York, stated, "I feel there's hope for New York because we have people in office that are putting us in the right direction."

She asked of Tkaczyk, "what can we do as a board for the taxpayers of Minden to help bring hope to New York, and especially our little piece of New York."

Tkaczyk said that much can get done when people "work together to identify where we want to put our energies," all moving in the same direction.

She also commented on the lack of high speed internet in rural areas, explaining that the lack of access to it keeps people from moving in and prevents businesses from expanding. To make sure that every area has access to high speed internet, she said, "could expand economic development in upstate areas."

     

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