Colton man announces legislator candidacy
Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 9:18 am

To the Editor:

I am writing to declare my candidacy for the position of St. Lawrence County legislator for district 7, which includes the towns of Clare, Colton, Hopkinton, Parishville, Piercefield, and Pierrepont.

Property taxes are a crushing burden for the residents of the county, and the county legislature must do all it can to lessen that burden. Albany requires homeowners to foot the bill for services that it orders the county to provide. These unfunded mandates represent over 90% of the county budget. But the funding of these mandates is really a responsibility of the state, not of local government.

Governor Cuomo's recent State of the State address offers no unfunded-mandate relief for homeowners. When the plight of the working poor and the elderly is either ignored or exacerbated by Albany, local government must step forward and stop the state from continuing to perpetrate these injustices.

The county legislature should also keep a wary eye on big energy companies that exploit or seek to exploit the natural resources of the county, companies such as Avangrid, part of the $105-billion Spanish company Iberdrola, and Brookfield Renewable Partners, part of the $240-billion Canadian conglomerate Brookfield Asset Management. Such companies constantly strive to increase their profits at the expense of residents. Brookfield Renewable threatens legal action in order to have the assessment value of its assets reduced, resulting in astronomical increases in property taxes for homeowners; Avangrid is currently being sued by electricity consumers in New England for participating in a scheme that resulted in residents being overcharged $3.6 billion.

If elected, I will do everything in my power to reduce property taxes and to make sure that the citizens of St. Lawrence County have a fair say in the management of the county's natural resources.

Kevin Beary