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February 11, 2013

Manor activist sees glimmer of hope

(Continued)

On Friday, the state Association of Counties sent an advisory to county board clerks statewide, alerting them that Gov. Andrew Cuomo had told the Watertown Times newspaper that he was open to approving increases in local sales tax rates if the proposals were supported by county boards and the Legislature.

“If it is passed, I’ll sign it,” Cuomo was quoted as saying.

The memo read: “If your county is seeking additional home rule flexibility — given this new stance from the governor — we encourage you to work proactively with your Senate and Assembly representatives to seek the introduction of new home rule legislation.”

“This is what can happen when you begin to go down a road,” Kosmer said. “Nothing can happen if you do not begin that journey.”

Whether the advocates of keeping the Manor a public home can persuade the board to study new ways to avert privatization remains to be seen.

Rep. Katherine Stuligross, D-Oneonta, chairwoman of the Manor committee, said the outcome of the vote on the Kosmer plan could have been different had board members known that Cuomo may be open to approving local sales tax increases. However, she added, of those constituents who contacted her regarding a possible tax increase, most indicated they opposed the idea.

Board Chairwoman Kathleen Clark, R-Otego, said that privatization is “the right track, as sad as it may be. I think the landscape is changing and I don’t think its going to get any better.

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