This is a letter to the editor from Jason Leifer, Dryden Town Supervisor. To submit opinion letters, please review our letters policy here and submit them to Managing Editor Thomas Giery Pudney at

“Three men in a room” has long been the criticism about how Albany works, but unlike many political aspersions, this one is absolutely true. Albany is populated by politicians and staff who privately say one thing but publicly refuse to put their foot down with leadership and the Governor even when what leadership is doing is simply wrong. Representatives expect us to accept that this is how the game is played if we want to get anything for our legislative districts.

This year, we ended up with a budget that looks more like it came from Mississippi than from New York. It cut healthcare, it didn’t fund education adequately, did nothing to solve the broadband access crisis, did nothing for residential and commercial renters and landlords who will be hurt immensely by the Governor shutting down the economy, and of course did nothing to solve the revenue problem by raising taxes on the wealthiest among us, who will also be the ones recovering the fastest after the COVID crisis has abated. We have a Governor who asks you and your families to sacrifice your livelihoods and pay more property taxes while letting his friends and benefactors off the hook by leaving in place the tax rebate on stock transfers. This is wrong, and enough is enough.

I understand that the Governor is popular now. He has made good strategic public health decisions in this COVID crisis. But the Governor’s budget is a short-sighted disaster, and he should be called out on this. When you have a revenue issue and you have some of the most well-to-do people in the world living here and benefitting from all of the things the great State of New York does, it is not wrong to ask them to contribute more. In fact, failing to ask them to contribute more is immoral.

New York is a great state. Our education system, from our public and private K-12 schools to our public and private colleges, is one of the best in the world. New York’s culture, arts, and recreation are second to none. Our business climate is improving, too. Bottom line, the quality of life in New York State is much better than that in most places in the United States. If we want to keep it this way, we should do more to support and grow the things that make New York great, not smother them with platitudes and lame excuses about why something cannot be done, which is what we hear from our representatives and their staff in Albany—privately of course, because they would not want to anger the “three men in a room” to whom they have ceded all their power

Jason Leifer

Supervisor Town of Dryden and  a candidate for the New York State Assembly District 125.