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Mar 14, 2011 3:57 pm
Assessment reval hearing will be Wednesday
The Register-Star reports that the Greenport Town Board in Columbia County has rescheduled the Special Assessment Revaluation Hearing from March 2 to March 16 at 6 p.m. at the Greenport Town Hall. The purpose of the meeting is to provide the Town Board and Greenport property owners an update on the status of the 2011 assessment revaluation program including schedules for the mailing of assessment change notices, the overall extent of those changes and procedures for informal property valuation status meetings with property owners, together with information involving filing of assessment grievances. Peter Ostrander, Greenport’s sole assessor, and a representative from the county Office of Real Property Services will also report on details regarding the revaluation and factors involving the impact on future tax rates. The reval is being conducted by the town without outside contractors as a means of saving taxpayer dollars.

Whither Re-districting reform
Several items in the Times Union’s Capitol Confidential blog outline where things stand for now regarding the redictricting of state assembly and senate districts this year, as well as congressional districts around New York. On the one hand, Senate Republicans are pushing to keep things as they are, their only way, several pundits are saying around the state, to maintain any GOP power in New York these days. On the other, yet another new group has emerged calling for doing the “gerrymandering” in a nonpartisan way, the better to start activating “real reform” of Albany politics.

Entergy says Indian Point can withstand earthquakes around here
The owner of the Indian Point nuclear power plant on the upper Tappan Zee of the Hudson River near Croton, Enetergy, is saying the facility has many layers of protection and could survive the kind of earthquakes that happen occasionally in the northeast. Their statement comes on the heels of revoiced concerns from local environmentalists and scientists pointing to an August 2008 paper in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, that voiced rising concerns for a major earthquake in the New York metro area, while others have raised questions about rising sea levels and increasing tidal activity in the Hudson.

Assembly Democrats to OK revised ‘millionaires tax’
The Albany Business Journal reports that Democrats in the New York Assembly are set to approve a limited version of the “millionaires tax” enacted in 2009 as part of their budget plan. The Assembly budget plan, filed over the weekend, extends the hot-button tax for one more year--and only on those making $1 million or more. A vote is set for tomorrow on the plan to raise about $1 billion for the state in its 2011-12 fiscal year. Democrats hold a 99-51 advantage in the chamber, and several key Republican senators have also gone on the record in favor of a “true” millionaires tax, instead of letting all surcharges lapse this budget year. The state faces a $10 billion deficit, with a budget due by April 1.

Ladies First
Dick May’s Seeing Greene blog came out with a new entry on March 11, breaking the news that the Catskill Golf (& Country) Club is getting its first woman president, Donna Meo, and that Linda Overbaugh will be retiring as executive director of the Heart of Catskill Association (also known as the Catskill Chamber of Commerce) after 12 years on the job (following six as a founding volunteer).

Taconic Hills denies inequitable apportionment of sports equipment
John Mason of the Register-Star reports that Taconic Hills Central School District Athletic Director James Derby is denying charges that he hasn’t been fair in how he’s split up equipment costs between sports teams, spending more on soccer than baseball. The school’s faculty and support staff associations have alleged that teams coached by school board members were receiving more equipment than other teams. The district has also come under fire because the state Board of Education says that school board members should not be hired by the same district they serve, as coaches Donald McComb and George Lagonia Jr. do. There’s also a nix on siblings serving, as has also happened on the Taconic Hills board.