On Monday morning, county clerks from several upstate New York counties delivered a petition to Gov. David Paterson's office in Albany, asking him to put the brakes on an initiative to phase in new license plates starting next April.
Later Monday, state Senator James Seward, R-Milford, and state Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, R-Guilford, both opponents of the plan, sent e-mails to The Daily Star indicating the license-plate plan is dead because Paterson has agreed to look for other ways to close the state's budget gap.
Under the license-plate mandate, included in the state's current budget, plates were to be issued during the next two years as registrations came due. New blue-and-gold aluminum plates, to be made by convicts at the state prison in Auburn, would have cost $25 apiece, and the program was slated to raise about $129 million, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
The plan was unpopular. On Thursday, Kathy Sinnott-Gardner, Otsego County's clerk, and about 20 of her peers met in Herkimer to plan their Monday trip to Albany.
On Monday morning, she said that about 100 people _ clerks and their supporters _ had gathered near the governor's office, although he did not meet with them.
``We're going to take the petition to his office,'' she announced as the group started in that direction.
On Monday afternoon, Sinnott-Gardner said the group was not allowed into the governor's office but delivered the petition to the Capital mail room. It contained about 106,000 signatures.
Last week, Paterson's spokesman, Morgan Hook, told The Daily Star his boss was willing to ``revisit'' the plan to sell new license plates if someone could show him how the state could make up the revenue the program would generate.
Sinnott-Gardner, whose office oversees two DMV offices in Otsego County, said she believes the state should cut its budget rather than force the public to buy unnecessary license plates.