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Westchester United in the NYT: Universal Pre-K

Westchester United in the NYT: Universal Pre-K

Thursday, January 23, 2014
The New York Times

Andrew M. Cuomo arrived at The New York Times in an expansive mood on Wednesday. Reporters being reporters, they barraged him with the usual, “Hey, you going to let New York’s new mayor tax the wealthy in pursuit of prekindergarten” questions.

He smiled, jaunty: No problem. Prekindergarten with every bell and whistle the mayor could imagine — it’s all going to happen. “Whatever he needs,” he said of the new mayor. “As fast as he can phase in, we’ll fund it.”

Just one detail: The mayor will not accomplish this with a tax increase on the wealthy. Oh, and you know, the governor confided: “Nobody has a good estimate on what it is going to cost. The mayor appointed a commission to figure it out.” He smiled.

I got Michael Gecan on the telephone. A few years back, he and others fromWestchester United, a citizens’ group, pushed the governor to make good on 45,000 promised jobs from the Tappan Zee Bridge’s rebuilding.

For months, they couldn’t get a straight answer. Then a spokesman for the governor clarified that the governor was talking about 45,000 job years, which could mean 5,000 people working nine years. Or something like that.

What, I asked him, do you make of the governor’s latest promise? “It looks good, it sounds good, it just has to happen. It has to be real, right?”

Right.