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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for March 23

Letters to the Editor for March 23

  • Volunteer effort to rid Scotia of geese has grown too costly
  • Farley clueless on police dis
  • Volunteer effort to rid Scotia of geese has grown too costly

    Volunteers agreed to rid Scotia’s Collins Park of the geese, and Mayor Kris Kastberg bought the idea. The volunteers were to do the effort at no cost to Scotia residents.

    All of a sudden, a cost of hiring a dog at $500 per month was thrust on Scotia taxpayers in 2007. I have been told that this cost will be levied again in 2008.

    In my thinking, whenever you volunteer to do a job, the cost is paid by the volunteers, not Scotia taxpayers. Scotia had the opportunity to rid the park of the resident geese, but the geese people thwarted the effort at the time.

    I strongly believe that the cost shouldn’t be put on Scotia taxpayers, again or in the future.

    Pete Goutos


    Farley clueless on police discipline vote

    I read with utter amazement the interview with Sen. Hugh Farley in the March 18 Gazette.

    In the first place, Farley apparently didn’t know that the Schenectady police were disciplined through arbitration, not by the commissioner or mayor. In fact both have requested the Legislature not pass the bill mandating cities to use arbitration.

    The commissioner’s lack of authority to discipline the people he supervises appears to be one of the major factors in controlling the police department. Doesn’t Mr. Farley ever read the newspapers? Why didn’t he consult with the mayor or the commissioner before voting for this legislation?

    Furthermore, he says that it’s not his role to seek out the opinions of his constituents. “I have to do what I think is right,” he added. In other words, after he has been elected he can ignore what his constituents may want. The arrogance of that attitude is unbelievable! What oracle does he consult to determine what is right?

    Why do we keep sending people with this attitude to represent us? No wonder we have the most “dysfunctional Legislature” in the country.

    Robert Burgess


    Plan for ‘Downtown Malta’ not very realistic

    I would have thought the Gazette would be savvy enough not to fall for the pretty, but unrealistic vision for Malta presented March 12 to the public [March 19 editorial].

    A grass median and faux Victorian lighting do not a village make, nor do pictures of strolling citizens visiting the quaint shops. It all sounds so lovely, but a dose of reality will paint a very different picture.

    A lot of the vision is based on “unique local retail businesses like clothing, hardware and book stores,” and that is where reality ends. When was the last time a small local bookstore opened and stayed open? Barnes and Noble and Borders aren’t exactly small. No small hardware store would open with Curtis Lumber only a few miles away.

    Instead of selling the residents snake oil, send the architects back to their respective drawing boards and come up with a plan with real businesses that can thrive Monday through Friday, not just on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

    Polly Windels

    Ballston Spa

    Too many unruly teens ruining Rotterdam mall

    I’m writing out of concern for the out-of-control situation at Rotterdam Square Mall, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.

    As a Rotterdam resident and taxpayer for over 20 years, I’m sure that most town residents will agree that we would prefer to spend our money elsewhere than have to put up with the outrageous behavior going on there. From approximately 3 p.m. on Friday afternoon, the mall is congested with groups of teens loitering, riding skateboards, running and screaming, none of whom seem to be buying a thing.

    I most recently witnessed a young man urinating on the wall outside Kmart — right out in the open! The revenues of the stores there have to be down because adults who have the money to spend are staying away while the mall becomes a playground for those not spending a dime!

    CDTA buses are loaded with kids coming from the Albany area; after all, the curfew at Crossgates is 5 p.m. for those under 18.

    It’s time Rotterdam stepped up to the plate, too. We need a curfew immediately.

    Estelle Peek


    Montgomery County rushing building lease

    I have read with interest that the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors will be voting [soon] on a proposal to lease a new, though not consolidated, office building. Though I have been out of office for three months, how quickly things change.

    From the Aug. 14, 2007 General Services Committee Meeting: “Supervisor [Brian] Cechnicki cautioned the supervisors that certain decisions need to be made prior to requesting RFPs [requests for proposal], such as site location and lease vs. purchase options, so he cannot support either RFP resolutions. Responding to a query by Supervisor [David] Dybas, Chairman [Thomas] DiMezza stated that the purpose of the RFP is to get a construction firm on board who can research the options for us, including lease and purchase options.”

    In addition to that, I recall multiple answers of “this is only to look at our options . . . this does not mean when we get the proposals in that we will be voting on a new building.” How quickly we forget.

    I think a new office building is a good idea. Building it while maintaining three or four of the existing five office structures is ludicrous. How are savings achieved while maintaining expensive overhead costs? Plus, this process has been done through the less-than-open Needs Assessment Committee, with a few presentations to the full board, and no meaningful discussion of the final product should be.

    Before some attempt to discredit me because I never attended a committee meeting (and surely point out that “the meetings were open to anyone who wanted to attend”), that’s not the point. The point is that a vote on this project is occurring despite the assurances of last year’s leadership. Weekday meetings at 10 a.m. of a made-up committee can provide only so much public vetting.

    I would hope the media and citizens would demand more of county leadership.

    Brian S. Cechnicki


    The writer is former supervisor for the town of Root.

    Oil dependence driving U.S. foreign policy

    Your March 17 guest editorial, “Lame energy policy,” rightly asserts that “time is running out” to fix the major security risk posed by American dependence on foreign oil. The editorial doesn’t go far enough in blaming President Bush alone because every administration and Congress since the 1973 Arab oil embargo has failed to adequately address the issue.

    While Brazil became energy-independent with flex-fuel vehicles and ethanol, we frittered away precious time with temporary measures. A vast amount of oil wealth is in an unstable region that is a hotbed of Islamic terrorism, and some of this wealth supports this radicalism. We cannot effectively fight terrorism as long as we are captives to oil — a captivity that drains our economy, leaves us open to supply cutoffs and warps our foreign policy.

    Without oil, the Mideast would be an anachronistic relic of a bygone era with little strategic importance, and terrorism would be more of a nuisance than a threat.

    Eric Retzlaff


    Why can’t public servants seem to do their jobs?

    In the wake of the recent gubernatorial scandal, I have several questions.

    (1) Are the state police officers who were guarding former Gov. Spitzer the same ones he used to investigate state Sen. Bruno?

    (2) Are the state police officers who were guarding former Gov. Spitzer and who were not aware of the governor’s sexual liaisons, somehow related to the Secret Service personnel who were guarding President Clinton, and who were not aware of the president’s sexual liaisons?

    (3) How long will federal prosecutors stonewall the American people before they announce that former Gov. Spitzer will not be charged with any crimes, thereby enabling him to continue with his ambitious quest for the presidency?

    Charles Maetta

    Ballston Spa

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