Cheers and jeers

CHEERS – To Wheelerville school. Wheelerville students and members of the Caroga community decided to step up and support a good cause: Angel Flight. School Superintendent Richard Ruberti said students collected money by setting up coin buckets in local stores and seeking donations from fellow students, school faculty and local organizations. After a six-month effort, the students raised $2,700. Students and other school representatives presented the donation to Angel Flight at an assembly last week. Angel Flight is a nonprofit organization of pilots and volunteers who arrange free air transportation for people who have medical needs. The organization has a tender connection with the area. Sadly, an Angel Flight that was headed from Massachusetts to Rome, N.Y., crashed in May 2013 in Ephratah, claiming the three people in the plane – the pilot, the patient and the patient’s wife. The students at Wheelerville showed great generosity and respect in their fundraising efforts.

JEERS – To feeling the need to raise taxes. Local school districts received some good news earlier this month when the state Legislature adopted a new budget that included more aid to schools than the schools had anticipated. This should have been good news to property taxpayers as well, but in many cases, the state aid will have little effect on what the taxpayers will have to contribute to their schools. Instead of eliminating tax increases, many schools are finding ways to spend the extra aid in their budget proposals. It doesn’t take long for school and government officials to realize this: No money is easier to spend than the public’s.

CHEERS – To a waiting period. The Fulton County Board of Supervisors this week expressed support for a waiting period in New York for new state residents who want welfare benefits. Currently, there is no waiting period before people who move to New York from other states can start collecting welfare benefits. The county is calling for the state Legislature to establish a “reasonable waiting period requirement.” Considering how much welfare benefits cost working New Yorkers, a waiting period would be a welcome change.