Rotterdam officials put taxpayers at risk
To ViaPort, or not to ViaPort — the question is, if you did it right the first time, we would not be in the mess we are in now.
The question is not if it costs $5 million or $9 million, without the rent vs. buy option in the lease agreement, it was not a fiscally responsible decision.
If the previous town board had released the lease agreement and held a public hearing before they voted, we would not be in our current mess.
In Dec. 2021, the previous town board voted to allocate the $1 million as a down payment to Via Port.
At the meeting Joe Mastroianni, now councilman, appealed to the board to table the vote on it until there was better financial data — a wise suggestion that they ignored.
In the Aug. 5 Gazette article (“Board nullifies ViaPort lease deal”) Councilmember Herrera stated she, “could not in good conscience” subject the town to legal action with ViaPort.
As a former town board member, I can’t understand how the previous town board did not understand the lease agreement or follow New York State Town Law. The previous town board consisted of two attorneys, Herrera/Signore, a financial consultant, Tommasone and two businessmen Christou/Guidarelli.
In another Gazette article (“Town to vote on nullifying ViaPort lease agreement”) in the Aug. 2 Gazette, Council member Christou accused the former town attorney, Ms. McGuirl, of misleading him and not doing the right thing for him.
Bottom line, by their actions, the taxpayers stand to lose $1 million and face legal action by ViaPort.
Reauthorize Peace Corps in Congress
On July 18, you published (“Guilderland man set to join Peace Corps”), a piece on Taylor Pangman of Guilderland who will serve in Uganda with Peace Corps. As a Guilderland resident, a returned Peace Corps volunteer (China 2016-18), and the current advocacy coordinator for the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of NENY, I want to applaud Mr. Pangman, thank him for his service, and thank your paper for publishing about Peace Corps, especially now that volunteers are re-entering countries.
As the advocacy coordinator for the region, I’ve been lucky to be included in fostering the growth of Peace Corps with our elected officials, as well as tasked with spreading information within the population.
Many of those who have served share Mr. Pangman’s passion for their positions in-country and service. They also bring that passion back with them.
Congress can support this new generation of Peace Corps volunteers by passing bipartisan reauthorization legislation that is currently advancing through the Senate and House.
As the leader of the Senate, Sen. Charles Schumer will play a critical role in the coming months to make sure consideration is given to pass the Peace Corps Reauthorization Act and send this legislation to President Biden.
Nearly 15,000 New Yorkers have served in the Peace Corps since 1961. We need to honor their service by passing legislation that supports those who are willing to answer the call to service.
I want to wish Mr. Pangman luck, as well as let him know we’ve got a spot for him in our group when he returns home.
Opposed to more mandates for covid
The COVID-19 virus and subsequent variants created havoc in the lives of many persons who lost loved ones and who suffered themselves.
But also it caused great loss to businesses, households and organizations which were prevented from normal functioning.
In addition, mandates caused severe mental distress and harm to many seniors who were confined to their homes or prevented from seeing family. Children, too, developed emotional and mental distress from restraints put on them. Hospitals were severely overwhelmed because of mandates requiring staff to receive the vaccine. Staff retired or quit rather than do that.
Hospitals had to resort to paying “travel nurses” much higher wages to staff the facilities.
But we see now that vaccinated people contract the virus, serious side effects have been found in some people, and some boys develop heart problems. We don’t know what long-term effects will manifest.
We have been informed of the dangers, the potential safeguards, and the recommendations of the government.
Now let’s let people decide for themselves and their families whether or not to choose vaccines. Enough on the mandates.
Keep church, state separate in America
Sadly, writer Art Henningson in his July 22 thinks that “Government and religion go together” and the “concept of an agnostic Constitution is the product of the godless left.”
Our Founding Fathers and the very first Americans adopted the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Constitution would not have passed without the Bill of Rights.
For Mr. Henningson’s edification I note:
First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Now that secular government that our forefathers created has been whittled away at, even though the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is designed to protect minorities from the majority, a majority that is Christian.
When my father shed his blood for our great nation in the fields of France in World War II, the Pledge of Allegiance did not contain the words “under God.” Blame Sen. Joe McCarthy or President Eisenhower.
And the Supreme Court has ruled that Christmas is not a religious holiday and allows public funds to transport children to religious schools and provide religious schools with secular books. And religious institutions do not pay taxes.
Politicians say God Bless America. Some separation, huh?
According to Mr. Henningson, the Founding Fathers and the first Americans must be godless leftists. Practice any religion you want, or don’t. Just keep it away from our government.
Bruce S. Trachtenberg
Rotterdam Night Out was fabulous
National Night Out in Rotterdam was a fabulously free event hosted by the Rotterdam PBA and the town of Rotterdam, which truly helped with building community.
There were many food trucks, pony rides, goats and ducks, a giant climbing wall, a dunk tank which was a hit, vendors, and a huge car show.
The town’s police and fire departments reflected comradery and support to our neighborhoods.
A fire truck’s ladder extended upwards honoring the American flag. The sheriff’s K-9 unit held a display and advised, “if you see a K-9 vehicle with lights flashing and siren, to call 911” because this reflects distress — please be aware.
There were tables and tents set up for your convenience with many garbage cans and a D-J played music of all types. Parking was easy and plentiful. A professional fireworks display ended the evening.
This event was enjoyed by all who attended. A big thanks to the organizing committee which did a thorough job and to those who supported this project.
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