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City manager will work better than commissioners

Sunday, September 30, 2012
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City manager will work better than commissioners

At long last, an initiative to change Saratoga’s form of government to city manager/council will be on the ballot in November.

Thanks to Saratoga Citizen, a group of civic-minded Saratogians, voters will be able to vote for the form of government they want. A city council/manager form would mean Saratogians would no longer have to bow and scrape before the mayor and commissioners during public comment time at city meetings, but would actually elect four city councilors whose job would be to address their concerns.

I attended a number of meetings sponsored by Saratoga Citizen over the past few years and learned that the proposed change to a city manager form of government would [keep] the vast majority of the city’s charter intact. The major changes would be the replacement of the four commissioners with four city councilors who would focus on legislative priorities and constituent issues; and the hiring of a city manager, by the mayor and city council, who would supervise the various departments and the day-to-day operation of the city.

I was impressed by the presentations by a few city managers that Saratoga Citizen invited to speak at some of their meetings. They were from cities comparable to Saratoga and were very positive about how removing politics from city management made government much more efficient.

Since the deputy commissioners’ positions would be eliminated, the money saved would more than offset the cost of the city manager and a few key administrative positions. Also, because of reduced responsibilities, the combined salaries of the city councilors would be less than the current commissioners.

A new form of government would help Saratoga Springs in terms of efficiency, accountability and responsiveness to the people. If Saratoga Springs is to get its budget under control, and ready itself for future challenges, it will need a much more professionally-run government.

In November, Saratogians will have a chance to choose one.

Barbara Trypaluk

Saratoga Springs

More people might pay taxes if they were lower

Re the Sept. 26 article on the city of Schenectady being downgraded by Moody’s Investors Service: I read with amusement Mayor Gary McCarthy’s response to the credit downgrading of our city.

He stated that “if everybody paid their taxes, we wouldn’t have an issue” — basically admitting the city hadn’t collected $12 million in taxes.

This made me think of how promoters would try to fill a half-filled stadium. They would lower ticket prices.

Is it possible the city could collect more money if the bill was lowered?

Peter Butryn

Schenectady

Patrick Henry quote just one made up by Barton

At the end of the Sept. 21 letter by Jeff Horn, he cited a quotation allegedly made by Patrick Henry, which said, “This great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians. Not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is for this reason people of other faiths are afforded asylum, prosperity and freedom to worship here.”

Just one problem: Patrick Henry never uttered or wrote those words. After very little research, I found the unmistakable fingerprints of pseudo-historian David Barton all over this spurious quote.

David Barton is a darling of right-wing extremists and other Christians who have been duped into believing every word he says and writes. Barton has a BA degree from Oral Roberts University and apparently took the same distorted history courses that [Rep.] Michele Bachmann did. Oral Roberts University professors teach that the United States was founded as a theocracy and should become one again. Hmm... I don’t like the sound of that!

Barton insists that our country is a Christian nation (it isn’t); that the Founding Fathers were devout Christians (they weren’t); that separation of church and state is a myth (it’s real); and that the U.S. Constitution was founded on biblical principles (it’s a purely secular document).

Barton has a habit of misquoting the Founding Fathers, and in the case of Patrick Henry’s above quote, as well as a completely made-up quote of John Adams, Barton has had to publicly retract his allegations as to the veracity of these quotes, saying that he “can’t confirm them.” Of course they can’t, they’re not true.

The bottom line: Take David Barton’s revisionist books with a huge dose of salt. He is not to be trusted.

Cynthia Swanson

Niskayuna

Story sold physical therapists short

Re Sept. 24 article, “Woman with CP makes big strides with trainer’s help”: While I applaud Kerry Wiley for taking control of her life to try to eliminate the functional limitations caused by her spastic cerebral palsy, I want to clarify and correct two facts relating to physical therapy.

First, while there “is a difference between a physical therapist and a trainer,” it is important to note that the difference between the two is that physical therapists are medical professionals with three to five years of specialized medical post-graduate education at an accredited college or university, as well as being licensed by the state in which they practice. And the care they provide is a covered benefit under government and commercial health insurance plans.

Personal trainers, on the other hand, have no mandated education or formal training requirements, nor are they subject to state licensure or accreditation.

Second, the statement that “PT focuses on a body part that has an injury, malfunction or deficiency” is misleading. While physical therapists may focus care on a specific region of the body “that has an injury, malfunction or deficiency,” such as helping patients recover from knee, hip or shoulder surgery, they are trained and licensed to look at the entire body and, through a process of examination, evaluation, diagnosis and intervention, identify the sources of functional limitations and develop a treatment plan to treat the whole person, not “just a body part” to help restore motion and mobility.

Matthew R. Hyland

Valhalla

The writer is president or the New York Physical Therapy Association.

Sure, Romney is wealthy; so what’s the big deal?

Why do Obama supporters and the liberal media continue to vilify Mitt Romney because of his financial status? He has enjoyed success in the business world and, as a result of that, he has accumulated wealth. Isn’t that supposed to be part of the American dream? Why should this be viewed as a negative? Would we rather have someone who has failed in their endeavors running our country?

And much attention has been given to the fact that he paid a 14 percent tax rate on his income taxes. Capital gains are taxed at a 10 percent rate, so obviously his overall rate is going to be skewed because of that.

We all pay the same rate on capital gains. He did not set the IRS rates, so why should he be criticized for paying the amount required by law? Are there people who voluntarily pay extra tax because they feel their rate is too low?

Has Barack Obama sent a few extra thousand dollars to the IRS when filing his taxes each year? I doubt it.

Bob Bradley

Glenville

Who are Koch brothers? Moyers tells all tonight

For those readers who might like to hear more about the Koch brothers and their role in this presidential election, please tune in to Bill Moyers at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30, on PBS (WMHT).

He will devote the entire program to these two billionaire oil magnates and their influence on where this country is going.

Lillian Stern

Schenectady

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comments

September 30, 2012
12:51 a.m.
dan says...

I have some easy answers to Bob Bradley's questions. 1) No one (at least not the reasonable people) is blaming Mitt Romney for his financial status. It's how he got there... piling up the bodies of the working class to work his way to the top. Shamelessly taking advantage of legal loopholes, and shipping American jobs overseas. Profiting by making America worse off. These are not the actions of a man we'd want running the country. 2) Just about all capital gains are essentially free money given to primarily upper class Americans... aka those who don't need the extra money as much as others. People aren't angry at the law, which allows for the rich to pay less income tax than the middle class. Almost everyone, including a lot of the rich, agrees it should be changed. But Mitt doesn't. He wants the middle class to pay more, not people like him. 3) There are people who voluntarily pay more, including Mitt. Not because he felt he didn't pay enough, but rather because he's running for president and was embarrassed by how little he was actually paying. But then, he could get the money back (and probably will), after the election. See http://www.businessinsider.com/romney-ta... . 3) It doesn't really matter how much Obama paid, but since you bring it up- is it really fair that he paid over 20%? Almost 150% the rate of Mitt Romney's?

September 30, 2012
4:51 a.m.
dmorgan says...

I agree with Peter Butryn that taxes should be lower, but many that don't pay are landlords collecting the rent and putting it in their pocket. It's a game, how long can I get away with this before the city catches me. Shame on the city for letting it go on so long.

September 30, 2012
9:10 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Cynthia Swanson

It is obvious that you did "very little research" since you are wrong on almost everything. Before you post you might want to do more research. BTW MSNBC is not a research tool.

September 30, 2012
9:13 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Lillian Stern

When is PBS going to give equal time attacking George Soros who has destroyed whole nations economies and what his role is in American politics? I can guarentee you that it will never happen as PBS is another liberal arm of Soros.

September 30, 2012
9:30 a.m.
wmarincic says...

dan goodspeed you fail to mention that Romney has also given over 18% of his net income to charity year after year. Biden les than 1% Obama less than 14%. I would much rather have a POTUS that has built dozens of businesses and put thousands of people to work than a community organizer that is putting millions of people on food stamps.

Obama hired Jeff Inmelt as his jobs Czar who right after sent thousands of jobs to China. How many GE jobs have gone to China in the last year Dan? I will tell you GE cut 32,000 US jobs while building plants in Bejing China.

When I was growing up I was taught that success was a goal to strive for, not a negative like Obama portrays it. I'm so sick of the class warfare and the lies about Romney. We saw what Obama has done these last 3.5 years, he increased the debt more than Bush did in 8 years but he is still blaming Bush. Whos mess will Obama inherite if he is elected again?

September 30, 2012
2:41 p.m.
wmarincic says...

dan goodspeed watch this video then tell me whos fault the financial mess is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=cMn...

September 30, 2012
7:27 p.m.
Fritzdawg says...

wmarincic: I would suggest that it is YOU who need to do the research, as Cynthia Swanson is absolutely correct.
BTW: FOX, AM radio, and the nonsense on WND, and Free Republic are not research tools.
Nor is the rancid drivel spewed by Michael Savage.

That quote, was written by an unknown author for the periodical The Virginian in 1956. Commenting on Patrick Henry's famous "bequest" of Christianity in his will, and not by Henry himself.

September 30, 2012
7:48 p.m.
wmarincic says...

As usual fritzdawg you liberals fail to read. I said almost everything now go sit by the tv and watch Brian Williams make up some more news.

September 30, 2012
8:03 p.m.
Fritzdawg says...

wmarincic: So then me the the parts of her letter that are correct, or incorrect.
Especially given most of her letter was about that quote.

September 30, 2012
9:17 p.m.
wmarincic says...

1st the seperation of church and state was a letter to Danury Baptists stating the protection of the church from the state and that there will be no government religion.

http://www.allabouthistory.org/separatio...

Also most signers of the Constitution were Christians.

http://www.jameswatkins.com/foundingfath...

September 30, 2012
10:07 p.m.
smith says...

Dan has a point but what is its relevance to being president? Kennedy had money from bootlegging and that's the cash that got him to the White House.

September 30, 2012
10:12 p.m.
smith says...

It's the elephant in the room Peter; you're not supposed to say that, but since you did, I will say I was looking at the houses offered by the city and cringed at the thought of paying $150 a week just for taxes. Who needs that noose around their neck?

September 30, 2012
11:16 p.m.
Fritzdawg says...

wmarincic:
You cite AllAboutGOD.com, and some internet televangelist's blog as sources.

You're kidding right?

And you have the nerve to call Cynthia Swanson's sources biased.

Fact is, many(not all)of them were Christians, but they all agreed that religion has no place in government.

October 1, 2012
2:34 a.m.
dan says...

Personally (and most people I know agree with me), I don't think donations to churches should count as tax-deductable charities. There really should be a separation of church and state. If you take those out, Romney's charitable donations fall to the single digits, far below Obama's. But that doesn't matter. This conversation has nothing to do with Obama. My only point was to clarify Bob Bradley's misconception of why Romney is so disliked and distrusted. If there are any questions on that matter, I can easily explain further. But I won't get sucked into unrelated Obama conversations. Everyone does know there are more candidates than Obama and Romney, correct? If you haven't already, I recommend going to http://www.isidewith.com/ to see which candidate you most agree with. And in response to smith- did bootlegging really hurt America's economy as much as closing down factories and sending thousands of jobs overseas? I don't necessarily agree with bootlegging, but prohibition was overturned for a reason.

October 1, 2012
9:51 p.m.
wmarincic says...

Well Dan that is you, I donate to my church and we were feeding hundreds of people per month. That is the difference between liberals and conservatives, we are willing to give away to people less fortunate than us and yet they still vote for people like you.....

October 1, 2012
11:25 p.m.
dan says...

To me, it's perfectly fine to give to your church, especially if you can directly see the good it's doing. I just don't think you should get a tax break for it. The catholic church has spent millions of its donations on defending molester priests, and millions bringing bibles to 3rd world countries when food would be a much better option. I'm also of the firm belief that religious organizations really shouldn't be getting tax breaks either, but that's just me. The Mormon church is especially known far more for its evangelicalism and missionaries than it's charitable work.

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