Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos talks to members of the...

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos talks to members of the media outside his office following a meeting of Senate Republican on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014, in Albany, N.Y. Credit: Albany Times Union / Paul Buckowski

For public officials, the thinking typically goes that you wait until after the election to wrestle with the risky stuff.

So three weeks after the polls closed, delayed actions are dominating government news.

On the national front, President Barack Obama made clear in early September he would stall his sweeping executive order on immigration until after the midterm elections on Nov. 4, as a few Senate Democrats urged.

In the end, Republicans won back the U.S. Senate and tightened their hold on the House. But some Democrats believe their candidates could have fared even worse if Obama's order lifting the threat of deportation from millions of immigrants living illegally in the U.S. had come beforehand.

On the state front, Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) declared himself after Election Day decisively in favor of increasing legislators' pay. But he said he won't agree to hiking the minimum wage or approving taxpayer financing of campaigns in exchange for a salary hike.

Back in the saddle, poised to return as majority leader, Skelos can speak more openly of his options. Pay hikes for lawmakers don't prompt public cheering even when various corruption cases aren't smoldering, as they are these days in Albany. (They can only be approved by lame-duck legislatures, to apply to the next class, as may occur next month.)

In Oyster Bay, the town board last week approved a stealth 8.8 percent property tax increase in its 2015 budget. Only 35 days before the Election Day, the town had discussed a budget without such a hike.

This week, the nonprofit Empire Center for New York State Policy, which pushes free market principles, said in an analysis of 2013 data that Oyster Bay had the highest per capita debt and spending of any town of more than 100,000.

Maybe -- just maybe -- someone found it inexpedient for town Supervisor John Venditto to push a major tax jump at a time when his son Michael Venditto was engaged in his successful run for State Senate.

Other notable fiscal developments in Nassau also came after Election Day.

Under apparent pressure from Nassau County's fiscal monitor, legislators dropped efforts to scuttle a 3.4 percent tax hike proposed in October by County Executive Edward Mangano. And they moved to boost the two election commissioners' salaries 31 percent, retroactive to July 1.

Also, it was only after the re-election of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority began parsing the details of next year's fare and toll hikes and related discounts. To be fair, customers of MTA trains, buses and bridges had plenty of warning from earlier financial plans that costs were headed upward again next year.

Timing is key in politics but can't always be tightly controlled, especially when it involves the judicial branch of the government or incidents on the street.

The latest rioting in Ferguson, Missouri -- following a grand jury's decision not to charge police Officer Darren Wilson in the on-duty shooting of Michael Brown on Aug. 9 -- came postelection. So will a grand jury decision, still awaited, in the controversial death of Eric Garner during a police confrontation on Staten Island.

Voters see violent incidents of all kinds captured on video and rerun repeatedly. Another election cycle always awaits. Many of those images could linger.


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