Ball’s Mount Kisco Stop Includes Legislative Recap, Raging Grannies

State senator briefs village trustees on the recent state legislative session.

Bringing his to Mount Kisco, state Sen. Greg Ball stressed getting more help locally on fiscal issues.

While the newly enacted property tax cap, which limits the annual levy to the lesser of two percent or inflation, was not seen as perfect, Ball described it as bringing mandate relief to more prominence as an issue.

“We’re going to have to tweak this thing to get it right,” Ball said of the cap.

Still, Ball described the cap as providing relief for homeowners becoming overburdened.

Mayor Michael Cindrich urged there to be more attention paid at the state level for mandates such as having local governments continue to give full pay to employees awaiting word on disability compensation, as well as stormwater regulations for communities in New York City’s watershed.

Responding, Ball urged communication with his mandate advisory council. He also acknowledged, however, that some mandates “represent progress,” citing special education requirements for school districts that are above federal guidelines, despite cost concerns.

Describing a notable example of unfunded mandates, Trustee Anthony Markus pointed to state requirements for local governments to contribute to employee pensions. He also raised Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal for a new pension tier.

In response, Ball acknowledged recent volatility in annual contributions, and noted his support for legislation—it was vetoed by Cuomo—that would have allowed local entities to borrow money to cover their pension obligations.

“Promises that have been made, need to be kept,” Ball said of current pensions.


‘Raging Grannies’ Make Their Voices Heard

Folks at the meeting got a proverbial earful from a group at gatherings of Republican officials.

Three members of The Raging Grannies, a left-leaning group, broke into a chorus right after Ball’s talk wrapped up, with a song critical of his vote against same-sex marriage legalization in June (see attached video).

The Grannies have disagreements with Ball on a number of issues., including immigration, Indian Point and terrorism.

Referencing recent homeland security-related hearings Ball held with U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) on Islamic extremist groups, member Sunny Armer felt they were unfairly directed.

He held hearings, the Croton-on-Hudson resident said, “to persecute Muslims.”

At one point in his talk with trustees, Ball discussed the status of Indian Point, and said that he opposed immediate closure, arguing it will mean higher electric bills, lost jobs and excess spent nuclear fuel. As a solution for the latter, Ball advocated recycling it.

Armer responded by saying  that fuel recycling was unsafe.

“The longer you run the plant, the more spent fuel is produced,” she said.

Ball did, however, signal openness to replacing the plant, and described the matter as a homeland security issue in which there could be federal and state assistance.


Other Issues: Vets Assistance, MTA Tax

During his talk, Ball gave a run through of a number of issues that he has taken personal interest in.

On issues for military veterans, he advocated creating identification that gives visibility to people who endured combat injuries such as traumatic brain injury, as a way to let law enforcement know, citing a nearby incident in which a veteran was detained after an encounter with a police officer.

Ball also said he supports getting the state to utilize federal funding for establishing veterans' cemeteries, which passed in the state senate.

The state senator also reiterated his call for the repeal of the controversial MTA payroll tax, as well as a forensic audit of the agency. He hopes that there will be legislation for a phased repeal next year.

Ball also addressed legislation that he supports on topics such as animal abuse and battered women.

Sunny Armer August 10, 2011 at 05:47 AM
Thank you, Tom Auchterlonie, for excellent coverage of this meeting and of Raging Grannies WOWW
Sunny Armer August 12, 2011 at 10:15 PM
I’d like to set the record straight. This article described Raging Grannies WOWW as “a group that has made a point to protest at gatherings of Republican officials.” That is not true. We are non-partisan. We protest anyone who supports policies we disagree with. We went to the NRC public meeting on June 2 in Cortlandt and protested the NRC, which has no party affiliation. The meeting was covered by Croton/Ossining patch in a video at http://ossining.patch.com/articles/indian-point-relicensing-meeting#video-6397722 (we are seen at the end). The Northern Westchester Examiner (June 7)mentioned us in an editorial: As one of the majority of NRC-bashing speakers remarked, the NRC should stand for “No Real Credibility” since the federal agency has been nothing but Indian Point’s lapdog, which the always crowd-pleasing “Raging Grannies” accurately pointed out during their musical number that even had some NRC officials entertained.
Pam Walton August 13, 2011 at 03:41 PM
Celebrate the Raging Grannies with RAGING GRANNIES: THE ACTION LEAGUE, a new 30-minute DVD for progressive activists. These women do not go quietly into old age! They inspire us with their dedication to social justice. The DVD won the 2009 National Mature Media Merit Award and was a prize winner at Big Muddy Film Festival. Listen to an AARP Prime Time radio show about the film and the Action League Grannies at http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/advocacy/info-07-2009/raging_grannies.html You can watch a preview clip and purchase the DVD at http://www.pamwaltonproductions.com And if you're a Granny, contact us for a special discount.


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