One of the many good things about preparing the past two weeks' columns - "2011: The Year In Review, Parts I and II" - was that it was a terrific reminder of everything that we were able to accomplish by working together this past year. Without question, 2011 was a non-stop whirlwind of activity and one of the busiest, and most productive, years ever in our state capitol.
2011: WHAT A YEAR!
I was proud to continue my leadership role in a legislative session that will remembered as historic because of everything we achieved, including enacting an on-time budget, closing a $10 billion budget deficit and beginning a long-term effort to rightsize the cost and reach of state government. All of these were excellent starts.
GOODBYE TO 2011, HELLO TO 2012 AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO KEEP NEW YORK MOVING FORWARD
Without question, the goal of achieving a more affordable, safer, stronger, smarter New York remains. We still need more private sector jobs for all the unemployed New Yorkers. We still need less job-killing government bureaucracy and lower taxes for job creators. We still need real unfunded mandate relief for local governments and school districts. Moreover, we still need far greater transparency, openness and accountability in Albany. Bottom line? We still have plenty left to do!
MY THANKS TO OUR MANY READERS AND FOR THE CONTINUED OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE YOU
Each of the aforementioned issues will be front-and-center as part of my 2012 legislative agenda when session reconvenes this January. However, the purpose of this week's column - which will likely run right before Christmas and some days into the observance of Hanukkah - is to offer my best holiday wishes to all our weekly column readers. Over the past few years, slowly and steadily, we have built up quite a readership and following on-line. I enjoy authoring these weekly columns so you have "news you can use" about what is happening in your state capitol.
In addition to thanking all our readers for another wonderful year, I want to thank the many area newspapers and websites who routinely run my weekly columns. Without you, there would be no weekly column, so thank you!
Finally, I want to thank all my friends and neighbors across the 129th Assembly District for the opportunity to continue serving you and represent our community in Albany. I believe that public service is a public trust and, since 2000, you have continually placed your trust in me. I thank you for that trust and promise to continue working hard every day to earn it. I am very proud to serve you and prouder still to call our beautiful Finger Lakes community my home.
REMEMBER THE "REASON FOR THE SEASON"
In closing, whatever your beliefs, whatever your expression of faith or spirituality, I ask that you try to do one simple thing during the holidays. In between all the hustle and bustle, the presents and catching up with old friends, find a quiet moment to reflect on the true reason for the season - and then do your very best to relive this holiday spirit everyday:
"Glory to God in the Highest,
And on Earth,
Peace and goodwill toward men."
On behalf of our entire family - my wife Lauren, our sons Britton and Clayton, our daughter Kylie, and our grandson Everett - our very best to you and all your loved ones for a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and many wishes for a safe, healthy and prosperous New Year!
As always, constituents wishing to discuss this topic, or any other state-related matter should contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.