Queens residents are facing budgetary time bombs, some political, some personal, many out of our control.
Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered the state budget on time and filled with necessary budget cuts. The end result of Albany’s spending cuts will be more pain from City Hall.
Nearly 4,700 mostly new teachers face the elimination of their jobs because Mayor Michael Bloomberg failed to get Albany lawmakers to change the Last In First Out (LIFO) element of the teachers’ contract.
Some 20 fire companies face elimination as well.
While over 100 senior centers in the city were saved by budgetary moves, dozens of day care centers in the city face the axe.
Co-ops and condos have been targeted for ridiculous real estate tax increases by the city’s Department of Finance, who wrongly compared them to commercial properties in many cases, causing their taxes, due in June, to increase by double and triple digits over last year’s. The standard answer of rolling back the taxes by 50 percent simply will not do when they are 10 to 20 times higher than they should be.
Summer jobs for our youth will be scarce, as budget cuts have removed funds used to run strong employer programs.
Prices are going up at grocery stores and meat markets around Queens. Your shopping dollars buy fewer products.
Our utilities go up annually by double digits.
The price of entertainment — movie tickets, plays, cable television — continues to climb and climb.
Last, but not least, the price of gasoline is hovering near the all-time high of $4.11 a gallon that we saw on July 11, 2008. By the time you read these words we will probably have broken this milestone too.
Where are our politicians? Where are the federal hearings? Why are the different brands of gasoline all priced the same? Why do they all go up on the same day, Friday?
We can all attempt to conserve fuel by car pooling, planning out shopping trips and shopping closer to home. We can ride mass transit to work and to play, but we need our elected leaders to protect us from price fixing.
In the meantime, be sure to check our web site, qns.com, for the cheapest gasoline prices in the borough every day.