Kim, Montagnino back safe Saratoga
Saratoga Springs, like all American communities, must improve police transparency and accountability.
Under the governor’s executive order, our city’s Police Reform Task Force made significant evidence-based recommendations.
First, “defunding the police” wasn’t advised and is totally unacceptable. Democratic Mayoral candidate Ron Kim (a former Public Safety commissioner who resisted police cutbacks) and Public Safety candidate Jim Montagnino, know this better than anyone.
They understand how important it is to have a fully funded professional police force that everybody can be proud of, regardless of color or ethnicity.
Second, no more “Darryl Mount”-type incidents. It’s unknown if there was police misconduct in this case. Yet, the defensive response to Darryl’s injury and death opened the door to all sorts of theories. Nothing erodes faith in our police more than such confusion.
At minimum, we are entitled to transparency, especially when human life is involved.
Ron Kim and Jim Montagnino favor what the task force recommended, a civilian police review board whose mission is to look objectively at controversial situations. Independent review means accountability, credibility. Kim and Montagnino are committed to a safe Saratoga Springs for everyone.
Niskayuna board lacking credibility
With respect to John Della Ratta’s Oct. 2 letter (“Niskayuna delivering transparent gov’t,”) I have to ask: how gullible does he think we are?
No one has suggested that the town’s “plan” to cut 4% from the budget was a secret. The state comptroller said that it was improper and resulted in the board adopting an unbalanced budget.
And Mr. Della Ratta’s assertion that the town cannot release details of investigations in violation of HR policies or law to satisfy “prurient” interests is the most absurd of all. The town has done so twice this year.
Most recently, the town released the contents of an anonymous email accusing the deputy chief of police of misconduct without holding a hearing to determine whether those allegations had any basis.
Finally, we just learned that for more than a week, Mr. Della Ratta attempted to conceal the fact that he was arrested for DWI.
Transparency in government?
The hypocrisy is palpable.
This board’s mismanagement has already cost Niskayuna in terms of its credibility, reputation, and actual dollars. I don’t know how much of the town can be salvaged or restored, but neither is possible with this town board.
The writer is a retired Niskayuna Justice Court clerk.
Freight train crews are unsung heroes
To the unsung heroes of the pandemic: not once during the pandemic have I read or watched or listened to a story where a nod to or an ode to or a thank you was given to our freight train system and its rail workers.
While truckers (essential, thank you) can haul one to four shipping containers, freight trains are capable of hauling hundreds of shipping containers in one run or the equivalent of miles of shipping containers.
Like truckers, freight trains and rail workers didn’t stop moving during the pandemic, there was no working from home, they did what they always do: delivered! They, too, have been front-line workers, essential to our survival, essential in keeping the country moving.
Next time as you watch those rail cars pass you by or when you hear that train whistle, remember how lucky you are and take a moment to imagine the goods that freight train is hauling — toilet paper, lumber, fuel, corn, auto parts — the essentials of everyday life. I am thankful for our freight trains and their rail workers, may God bless them and keep them safe.
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