New York

Letters to the Editor for Tuesday, June 4

Your Voice

Thanks to all who helped after tragedy

This past week, our community suffered a great tragedy when we lost a member of our senior center in a terrible accident during the Scotia-Glenville Memorial Day Parade.  That loss hit our entire community hard, but it was especially felt by the many members and volunteers of our senior center who called Charlene their friend.  
As we continue to carry on through the grief, I want to take a moment to thank the many wonderful people who have reached out to offer help.  There are way too many to list here, but I want to at least acknowledge a few. 
First, I want to thank our county manager Kathy Rooney for immediately springing to action to offer the town any and all county resources. 
Specifically, Kathy was on the phone to me by 10 p.m. the evening of the accident to let me know that she would mobilize the county’s grief counselors to be available to our seniors the very next day.  
Thanks to her quick work, our members got the support they needed immediately and that made a huge difference.   
Second, I want to thank our director of Human Services, Vicki Hillis, for her leadership and compassion during this difficult time.
I know this was hard for Vicki, too, but she put the needs of the seniors at the top of her list and brought a needed reassuring presence.  
Also, I extend a great appreciation to Jamie MacFarland, our former employee who has worked with the seniors for many, many years. 
Jamie immediately offered his volunteer services to come into the center and offer any help he could.  Jamie’s long-time relationship with many of our members provided a great stabilizing presence and his support was deeply felt. 
Jamie even volunteered to drive those seniors who could not get themselves to St. Johnsville for Charlene’s services. 
He drove a contingent of seniors over an hour, one-way, so they could pay their final respects to Charlene.
Regarding transportation services, I want to thank Mohawk Honda for providing our senior center with a loaner van since our own van is out of commission for the foreseeable future. 
The senior van involved in the accident was the only source of transportation for many of our seniors to get to their grocery shopping or to run simple but necessary errands. 
When I called on Mohawk Honda to explain the situation and the need our seniors had, they responded before I even finished my sentence and they had a van for us within the day; free of charge for use as long as necessary. 
That has been a tremendous help to us as we continue to deliver the services our seniors need through this difficult time.     
Finally, I’d like to acknowledge all of the steadfast senior volunteers who have reached out to the senior center and individuals involved in this tragedy to offer their emotional support and operational assistance at the senior center. Our volunteers are simply irreplaceable. 
We as a community will continue to grieve and feel the loss that Charlene’s passing has left behind.  But, I am confident that we as a community will support one another and help each other to get through this. I am proud of the great people who we are blessed to have in this town and although the above named are only a few examples, I am thankful for all.     
Chris Koetzle
The writer is the supervisor for the town of Glenville.

Pay equity? Look at the state Legislature

I just now read the excellent piece by Abigail Disney in your April 28 Opinion section, and couldn’t agree more with it.
She points out that executives frequently make over a thousand times what employees make.
Some employees try to support a family on minimum-wage pay, yet they do the real day-to-day work of the company.
Sadly, many times the workers live on these limited means while the executives have so much more than they need to even live a lavish lifestyle.
This brings to mind the state Legislature, which recently voted itself a hefty raise, although legislators are in town for only the briefest time each year.
During that short stay, they show up more or less for meetings and votes, while their staff has been there daily doing the work.
Many times, staff are there until the wee hours of the morning, sleepless, waiting for the prima donnas to show up, vote or meet. 
And then staff must be there bright and early again that morning. 
I think it’s shameful that the legislators line their own pockets, while the peons don’t get any consideration for doing all the work, even required campaigning.
Does even one legislator share travel expenses or gas money with staff? Did even one legislator give staff members a raise?
Just curious.
Theresa Pettograsso

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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