Congratulations to all who made it so far into Terry Bernardo’s speech. Here is more of the same:
delivered by Terry Bernardo on January 2, 2013 – Part 4
- We must address the massive increases in Safety Net. Regardless of who pays the bills, this will continue to impact local taxpayers.
One issue that cuts across every community in New York State is the problem of drugs. Our substance abuse experts tell us that drug addiction can start with drugs legally prescribed by a doctor, or recreational drug use by normal, rational people.
I’m sad to say that I know several families that look normal but their world is devastated by a loved one’s drug addiction. It’s easy to write these people off for getting what they deserve for breaking the law, but it’s not a few people anymore. The problem is becoming far too widespread for… (unintelligible). Our common goal must be to lower the number of drug arrests, to lower the recidivism, to lower the need for Social Services, and improve the quality of life for Ulster County residents.
I am asking the Legislature to set up a Special Committee to examine how we can reduce drug abuse, including prescription drugs, and develop a strategy to reduce drug-related crimes. I’m asking Legislator Richard Parete to lead that Special Committee along with Legislator Mary Wawro. These two colleagues chair both Law Enforcement and Social Services Committees, which will help create policies and curbing drug abuse in Ulster County. I’m asking them to examine everything from the treatment of drug addiction to URGENT task force, from Social Services to prosecutorial ability.
I want to make Ulster County the most drug-free nation in the county… [laugh]… county in the nation!
Also, the economic development must be our common vision to have any impact on quality of life goals. Governor Cuomo has declared that New York State is open for business. We have projects in Ulster County that are trying to get open for business. We as a Legislature must continue to advocate, support, guide and fight for these projects.
One of the things I’m pleased about in the budget is the realignment of our economic development operations. We’ve long needed a singular point of contact for job creation efforts in Ulster County. Now we need to ensure that this office is effective, with clear Legislative oversight.
We also need to continue to focus on a few key projects for our county. For that reason, I’m asking you to help to resolve to ensure positive reality for four key projects in 2014. I’m calling it “Four in Fourteen.” If we can achieve success in these four projects in 2013, we can create hundreds if not thousands of jobs, and change Ulster County for the better for years to come.
In the area of tourism…
FIRST – We need to ensure that the Williams Lake project has a shovel in the ground this year. By continuing to hold the DEC’s feet to the fire, retail growth and jobs will follow.
SECOND – Now that Belleayre is secure in its operation, we need to push the DEC to take steps to advance the cross-roads project.
THIRD – Now that we helped the Hudson Landing advance, we need to ensure that we continue to be supportive and encourage the State agencies involved to move the ground ahead.
LAST – I would like to see concerted efforts to focus on resort development. The desire for Casino gaming that some have is nice, but the reality is we cannot depend solely on helping one resort.
I would like to see a concerted effort to promote our destinations and non-destination resorts in towns like Lloyd, Rochester, Wawarsing, Saugerties, Shandaken, and also to lobby the State for Video Lottery Terminals – VLT – for no more than three resorts in this area – if they want them; and just to be clear, I said VLT is for those who want them, I know that Saugerties does not. Just to be clear.
If you have an opinion about the Casino Next Door, post a comment now or forever hold your peace.
– Jon Dogar-Marinesco
NOTE: If I missed a few letters from the speech, the remedy is simple: let Terry Bernardo post the actual speech, and I will correct my mistakes, if any.