New York

Letters to the Editor

Your Voice

Letter on Spa City Hall full of errors

It was disappointing to see Ray Watkin’s name on a letter containing so much incorrect information.

Watkin’s Dec. 6 letter is best understood as part of the ongoing strategy to spread misinformation by those who want to change Saratoga’s form of government.

Working cooperatively, Mayor Kelly and the commissioners have done an amazing job smoothly and efficiently relocating the entire city government after fire struck City Hall this fall.  

Now they are wisely taking advantage of a stripped-down and empty City Hall to make much-needed updates to that historic structure. 

Contrary to Watkin’s accusations, City Hall was insured to the maximum allowed. The policy even included replacement of historic features and had a rider that paid entirely for the relocation of all city employees to new workspace.

Since insurance policies cover only replacement value, the mayor and commissioners have chosen to take this opportunity to bond money to make improvements to City Hall to make this historic building safer, more energy efficient, and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as adding the state-required second courtroom.

Saratoga is one of the most successful and best managed cities in upstate New York.

Cities that are doing well do not embrace radically disruptive and expensive changes in their form of government.

Therefore, it’s in the interest of those who want change to push forward false narratives such as the phony insurance story seen in Watkin’s letter and elsewhere on social media.
Jane Weihe
Saratoga Springs



Change economy to save Mother Earth

Is climate change — with its droughts, rising seas, food-borne disease, power instability and weather extremes — the real reason we need to eliminate our addiction to fossil fuel?

Or is it the finite ability of our planet to continue support of our consumer-driven frantic bid for happiness, measured by a structurally degenerative linear GDP growth curve that does not include the destruction to our finite planet.

If everyone on this planet lived the way we do in the United States, we would need five to six planet Earths emitting 20 metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere compared to five tons for the average human.

In Finland, this figure drops to 4.2 planets. 

If this linear GDP curve were replaced with a circular doughnut curve and included giving back to the sustainability of the giver (Mother Earth), as Native Americans have long practiced, a true measure of progress could be charted.

We would begin to ask ourselves questions like:

Should we be investing our state pension funds in fossil fuels? Should we ride our bike to the store? Do we need more plastic stuff for the holidays? Do we need to consume all the meat we’re convinced we need?

Should I support a bill for 100 percent renewable energy by 2030? Do we need to pollute our rivers with waste from homes and factories?

Mother Earth is telling us the clock’s ticking and we need to change our economy from a linear, false-success GDP  feel-good report to a realistic doughnut or circular true happiness report ASAP.
Gary J. Lessard, P.E.     


Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Leave a Reply