Sick Of Freeloaders
To The Editor:
I am a firm believer in results. Everyone in all of the five boroughs can complain all they want, but checking all of the statistics every major crime in the city has gone down. I have three married daughters to get around. My fears are not what there were three or four years ago. Why? "Rudy"—that’s’ why. I am paying more taxes all the way around—it’s worth every penny. I say you get what you pay for. Better pay means better workers. If you are not willing to work, don’t expect the city and me to pay your way. Move. I am sick and tired of freeloaders. I put in 37 years including five years military time. I don’t expect my time to support others.
Long Island City
New Replaces Old
To The Editor:
Are Forest Hills and Rego Park the only areas to get consideration in keeping their neighborhood?
In Astoria, on 12th Street, a tree–lined block with many old homes, circa early 1800s, an old mansion is scheduled to be torn down and replaced with three three–family homes. Granted the plot of land is 90–feet wide by 150–feet deep and just may be legally zoned (but I’m not sure) for the homes planned.
Twelfth Street may be the only street that has pre–civil war homes on it. Many were used for the Underground Railroad to hide the escaped slaves before they were set free by President Abraham Lincoln. Some of the homes had tunnels to allow the slaves to get to the waterfront to board ships to Canada and freedom without being seen by anyone who was opposed to the cause.
One of the most wonderful homes is going to be destroyed and replaced by brick houses.
Should this be allowed to happen?
Name withheld upon request
ÊTax On What’s Free?
To The Editor:
Parks Commissioner Henry Stern promulgated final Parks rules, including "pay for play" fees, in the City Record during the Thanksgiving holiday lull.
City Hall served up this new tax on the poor during this holiday season so it would face no obstacles. Stern signed the new rules Nov. 22nd and they were published in the City Record on Nov. 29th.
The only tangible change in the "pay for play" rules is ambiguous language that "casual park use by visitors or tourists" would be protected.
The city administration’s proposal to require permits for relatively small groups and gatherings flies in the face of the city’s long history of free access to open common space.
To charge for the use of public space, to impose a tax, when our tax dollars already (ought to) provide for our parks, smacks of dividing New York into two cities—one where those who can pay get to play and the other where those with no money get to stay home.
New York City, unlike adjoining jurisdictions, has more than 300 years’ history of free access to common land and parks. This includes opportunities for the public to gather informally to play ball, observe wildlife, picnic and barbecue in designated areas.
This openness sets New York apart as a special place. Already, significant public space, including many parcels of parkland, limits public access through the granting of concessions to private operators.
The city must reaffirm its past with its citizens to provide open and free access to public space. It also must move away from attempts to turn our public parks into private playgrounds. City Hall must abandon this tax by any other name and maintain free access. Let our people play.
Bronx Borough President
To The Editor:
The recent release of United States Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s 23rd annual study dealing with the disparity between tax revenues being sent to Washington by New Yorkers and the amount of federal assistance flowing back to New York was revealing. Sadly, in the twilight of his illustrious political career, he has finally begun to question the wisdom of this economic redistribution of wealth.
For starters, billions of dollars have been lost over the past decade due to the administrative costs. Moving tax dollars from the city, county and state level to Washington and back eats scarce tax dollars in overhead costs. Better to leave tax levies at the most local level of government to save these administrative costs. It is time to reexamine which services might be better contracted out and/or performed by the private sector.
The success of federal aid programs to New York City and New York state is dependent upon many issues. For example, will the city and state continue to provide the local matching funds necessary to obtain federal grants? Are current federally funded programs being completed on time and within budget? Are all federally funded staff positions exempt from any current or future hiring freezes? Failure to fill grant funded staff positions could delay implementation and adversely affect management of projects. This, in turn, could make it more difficult to compete against other cities and states for limited federal discretionary dollars.
Our representatives in Washington impact our level of federal aid. Remember the old saying, "He who has the gold, rules." With Republicans in charge of both the House and Senate, does it make any sense for New York City with one exception, to elect all Democrats, who are in the minority? Assuming Republicans continue to control Congress, it would be logical to send Mayor Rudy Giuliani to Washington. Not only would he be a voting member of the majority party, he would be in an excellent position to educate those from more rural states on the value of investing in our cities. Building bridges across party lines means sending down a balanced delegation to Washington. Meaning no disrespect to our future new resident Hillary Clinton, but I seriously doubt she would be able to build any bipartisan alliances.
While our economy is prospering now, eventually there will be a slowdown. This will inevitably result in a decrease in tax revenues and government assistance at all levels. Big Brother on the Potomac may not be as generous in the future.
Just as the private sector is downsizing, government must do the same and become more efficient. Taxpayers live within their means, and so must government at all levels—city, state and federal. The era of deficit spending and reliance on Washington to solve all our problems should end with the new millennium.
SeekBox Tops For $$$
To The Editor:
This year our school is participating in a fund-raiser our entire community can get involved in without a great deal of effort. It’s called Box Tops for Education and is sponsored by General Mills.
The program helps accredited public, private, parochial, military and home school associations of schools with kindergarten through eighth grade in the United States and Puerto Rico that have a 501(c) (3) or 509 (a) (1) tax-exempt designation to raise money to purchase items not covered by shrinking school budgets.
We are asking our students, parents, neighbors, relatives and friends to save Box Tops for Education logos fromGeneral Mills cereals, snacks, BettyCrocker fruit snacks,Yoplait yogurt multi packs or Go-Gurt, Lloyd’s Barbeque Buckets and GeneralMills products to raise money for our children’s education. Our school will receive 10 cents for every box top that is collected.
Please help support the children in our community and send in your box tops to our school at the address below. This program runs throughout the entire year.
Long Island City