Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

September 15, 2012

our view: Cheers and Jeers

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Cheers:

More than a decade later, the City of Lockport is joining the 21st Century! Residents and property owners will soon have the option to pay fee and tax payments online. The service is expected to be introduced gradually over the next year, starting with the refuse bill and soon encompassing bills in several categories. This service has been offered by other municipalities for years — Hartland and North Tonawanda come to mind. Considering that we’ve been able to purchase entertainment and sports tickets online for years, and the long-running success of PayPal and similar services, we say it’s about time Lockport got on board with providing convenience in the digital age.


We’re sure everyone would agree that taxes flat-out stink. No one likes them — except maybe masochists — and most believe we’re over-taxed. But, of course, government officials never met a tax idea they didn’t like. It’s gotten so bad that there’s a debate going on in Albany over whether lap dances at “gentlemen’s clubs” should be exempt from taxes because it’s “art.” If only government officials could learn to live within their means instead of putting their hands on everything.


President Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention was remarkable in how he clearly showed the difference between the two camps. His speech also explained that there are certain things we all want, but there’s only so much that we can afford. The question is, how do we do it? It’s up to us to decide. Time has been very good to Clinton, who wasn’t very popular when he left office, but even some Republicans have softened their stance on him over the years. His speech showed why.


One race is over, and another is in full throttle until November. We’ll be assaulted with radio and TV ads from supporters on both sides telling us how horrible the other candidate is. Registered voters will also be prone to that bane on humanity: the robocall. While we can protect ourselves from most of these by registering on the Do Not Call list, political calls are permissible. Why is this? Politicians obviously sought to protect themselves and their cronies, in the name of free speech. We disagree. Free speech ends at our front doors. What these call are subjecting us to is harassment.


To the Lockport School District for introducing a system that allows parents to see what their children are purchasing at the school lunch counter. Schools over the past few years have implemented online systems in which parents can check up ontheir child’s attendance, performance and even homework assignments. This new system allows Mom and Dad to see if their child is purchasing a good lunch or junk food. While there’s always the chance for authorities to abuse a system such as this, it’s an overall win. We’re not a fan of Big Brother, but Big Momma? Absolutely.