‘Local control,’ GOP-style
The GOP discovered that so-called “States’ Rights” was a good subterfuge to sabotage a more liberal federal government. We first saw this during the Civil Rights era where Southern governors stood in school house doors, wearing “never” buttons that said “no” to integrating public schools.
The States Rights pseudo-libertarian talking point was that local government was “closer to the people” than those snotty bureaucrats in far away Washington, DC. Sounds almost believable, right? There might even have been some truth in it.
Except that it turned out to be just another GOP lie. The NY Times recently had an article about so-called pre-emption laws. This is the latest ploy used by Republican statehouses to thwart leaders and voters in liberal municipalities. These pre-emption laws have barred cities from regulating landlords, building municipal broadband systems, raising the minimum wage, demanding background checks for would-be gun owners, legalizing marijuana, or raising taxes on the rich to support public education.
And it’s not just the Southern states. New York City couldn’t even lower its speed limit from 30 to 25 mph last fall without permission from Republican legislators in Albany!
And thanks to the Urstadt Law, New York City can’t pass stronger pro-tenant laws than the upstate landlord-owned Republicans would allow.
Now what could be more local than city speed limits, rent protection, and public schools for people living in New York City?
Pre-emption is as if someone in the state legislature representing my section of Manhattan, was able to eliminate deer hunting near the Canadian border!
I also wouldn’t blame an upstate farmer for getting angry either if Manhattan representatives tried to tell him how to farm.
Pre-emption, however, is never used to reduce the power of more right-wing areas. It is only used to prevent liberal municipalities, towns, and districts from voting on measures that best serve their local needs.
And you don’t have to be a Republican to support pre-exemption. Our so-called “Democratic” Governor Cuomo might as well be a Republican because he made sure the New York Senate went GOP in the last election.
Elliot Markson, ST
Another tale of never-ending noise
To: Town and Village,
As a follow-up to recent letters and articles in your fine paper, count me in as being one of those residents being disturbed all throughout the day.
The disturbance is not sirens, tree cutters, college students feeling their oats, but no, the noise that we have to put up with is from extremely disrespectful neighbors who moved in above us almost two years ago. Residents that don’t belong here, residents that have no idea what it’s like to live in a once great “neighborly” complex and residents that fear zero – and I mean zero – repercussions from management!
Please don’t give me this “malarkey” about “acceptable” times during the day! As professionals that have to do a good amount of work from home, try writing, participating in conference calls or even trying to think straight with young children continuously running through the rooms and even the common area hallway, thumping on the thinly carpeted floors (yeah, yeah the 80 percent carpet rule!) and a maid that moves furniture, scrapes and bangs non-carpeted areas every single weekday. We find it difficult to have a peaceful dinner or enjoy a movie or TV show.
At one time we thought that management was our ally in getting this rectified, especially when their literature and property updates state, “Founded complaints, especially when they are reoccurring, are addressed by management through an aggressive notification and response process” and “Do everything possible to minimize the noise you create and to be respectful of your neighbors and our community.”
However, this is not the case. Public Safety has been great every time that we have to bite the bullet and call in the “above and beyond” noise, as per management’s recommendation.
They have a tough job here, with approximately 30,000 residents. There have been numerous (11) confirmed reports, but we, as the life-long, lease-abiding residents have to suffer, while the offending, disrespectful “neighbors” carry on, upsetting our quiet enjoyment, practically daily! Perhaps it is because the offending tenant who has no fear of repercussion from management is in a “market rate” apartment? Hmmmm, sure seems that way!
In closing, we are at our wit’s end but will continue to remain focused and have faith in the system. The system that has our landlord stand by us, have our Tenant’s Association stand by us and if need be, have our elected officials stand by us. We are so right here and these disrespectful “neighbors” are so wrong, and we continue to hope that our landlord will handle this correctly.
Name withheld, PCV