I am running for New York State Senate in the 24th Senate District, because I am tired of hearing about toll hikes and tax increases. Are they really necessary?
Maybe we could avoid tax increases by cutting waste. The government should sell off over a million square feet of unused office space throughout the state. More than a quarter of the state’s office space in New York City, and in the Albany, is vacant. Specifically, in Albany, the 42-story Corning Tower government space, is one-third empty. The government also needs to rid itself of the millions of dollars it spends on 850 toll-free numbers, many of which have not been used in months. With all the government waste cut, over the next five years, we could save about $120 million annually in tax dollars.
Before they raise our tolls for the Verrazano Bridge the MTA needs to trim down that $100 million in annual overtime. Instead of thinking about raising our tolls and acquiring an airport 2 hours away from New York City, the Port Authority should be thinking about getting a handle on $1 billion in annual debt.
Maybe we could avoid toll hikes and tax increases altogether by looking for new ways to raise money. A recent audit recommended the MTA should make more of an effort to get advertisers. I think it is a good idea. Another audit said the Port Authority should allow two hotels to open at JFK. Again, I agree.
New York City could bring in over a billion dollars in extra income, if commuters from outside New York City paid their fair share for our services. By eliminating runoffs with Instant Runoff Voting, the City could bring in $20 million dollars. $12 million could be saved if the abatement to long-term parking in Manhattan was rescinded. Another $53 million could be saved by charging charter schools for the pubic school space they use.
The sources of income are clearly there. All it takes is for the political will to be there. Though we are very blessed to live in the United States and in Staten Island, we should not have to pay for irresponsible government!
Also, I do not feel that the borough we call home should be the Forgotten Borough, or the Missed Borough, or the Borough of the Dump. We could definitely do better than that!
Maybe it is time we just started doing that. Instead of jobs leaving this borough, being trailed by empty promises of better days to come, maybe we could actually start bringing jobs into this borough. Jobs which will make this borough prosper, and raise our image.
With the closing of Arthur Kill Prison we have just such a possibility. With the vast tracts of undeveloped land on the West Shore, we have such possibilities. With the approval of the New York Wheel, we have such possibilities. The borough we call home should be much more than just a corridor between New Jersey and Brooklyn.
Please stroll around my website and explore who I am, what I believe in, and what I would like to do if I have the honor of serving as the State Senator for the 24th Senate District in New York State.
I hope you like what you see, and you will join with me in stopping the government waste of our money, and continue to make us proud to be Staten Islanders!