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Letters to the Editor
What you need to know for 01/20/2017

Quackenbush’s ‘enormous pay hike’ still was below minimum wage.

Quackenbush’s ‘enormous pay hike’ still was below minimum wage.

*Quackenbush’s ‘enormous pay hike’ still was below minimum wage. *Obama deserves another four years

Quackenbush’s ‘enormous pay hike’ still was below minimum wage.

As deputy mayor of Fort Plain for over 40 years, I had the great pleasure of serving with Tom Quackenbush in the village of Fort Plain from 1997 to 2002.

Since I have firsthand knowledge of what happened during those years, I can personally say that the accusation attacking Tom for his “enormous pay hike” distorts the truth.

In 1998, the Village Board of Trustees decided that when the mayor’s seat became vacated again, there would need to be an incentive to hold the once-ceremonial position. As deputy mayor at the time, I decided to put forth a resolution to raise the mayor’s pay. As a result, the board voted to raise the mayoral pay from $3,000 a year, which amounted to $2.80-an-hour for a 20-hour week, to $5,000 a year, or $4.81-an-hour for a 20-hour work week. Note that the hourly total is below the minimum wage.

I can vouch for Tom’s leadership as mayor and the outstanding job he did while representing his village and the taxpayers. As mayor, Tom has a list of legislative accomplishments that have greatly benefited our village. Tom helped to secure a $1.2 million grant to build a water tower to provide increased water pressure to areas of the village in need. He started the neighborhood watch program, which helped keep our village safe.

At a time when keeping local services was important, Tom did his best to balance state mandates while fighting tax increases. He also brought job creators to the area, like Access Transportation and its 43 employees.

Tom has always put the taxpayers first, which is exactly the kind of representative we need in the Assembly. Vote for Tom Quackenbush on Election Day.

Loring S. (Dutch) Dutcher

Fort Plain

Obama deserves another four years

As we approach Election Day in the states, I cannot help but wonder why we do not have huge voting lines? So many talk about how much freedom means to them, yet, given the opportunity, do not go out to vote.

I’ve been hearing people say, “I’m so disappointed with Obama; he didn’t do this, etc.” By now we are familiar with these etceteras. I, too, am disappointed, yet I am so very afraid of what our country will become if we have Romney and Ryan in charge.

Will the people in Schoharie County be happy to have no farm subsidies? No aid for flood victims? Will we be happy to have our social programs privatized? Will we be content to start yet another war?

Come on, all you fence-sitters, you college kids, you poor and middle class, and you conscience-driven wealthy — get up, get out and vote and give our president another four years.

Jackie Donegan

Schenectady

Dieterich has the energy and experience to get things done

For too long, we have listened to the rhetoric spewed by our lawmakers, watched them at public functions smiling at the cameras. What have they really done for us?

Ask a person from Schoharie how much relief they obtained from FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency]. Talk to a local farmer and learn how difficult it is for him to feed his animals and his family with a stalled farm bill and meager milk subsidies. Hear a typical homeowner describe his trouble paying taxes and keeping his family warm and fed.

We need new faces and new energy from our representatives in Albany and Washington. I have heard [GOP candidate] Bob Dieterich, and am convinced that he would be an excellent representative in Congress.

Bob has served in the military, has three lovely daughters and is a respected professional in the Capital Region. He has clear ideas and a vision for the future of this area. I believe he deserves a chance to show us what he can do.

I urge everyone to get out and vote. We need representatives that understand our needs and will restore some of the former pride in this region.

Jane Slezak

Amsterdam

Candidate Matt Doney will promote jobs for the North Country

I was honored and privileged to represent the North Country in Congress. I drove 1,000 miles weekly in a district larger than nine states to learn about my area and constituents. Few could match that pace. Then I met Matt Doheny.

You’ll often find Matt wherever two or more people are gathered. He’s got the energy and enthusiasm for the job that I once had. People think one person can’t do anything in Congress. That isn’t the case!

I was a freshman congressman when Army officials discussed creating new light infantry divisions. Fort Drum was not the Army’s first choice. We assembled a first-class team of community and government leaders locally, as well as my Washington and Albany contacts, to make the case.

It worked. On Sept. 11, 1984, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger called me to say he’d be announcing Fort Drum as host to a new light infantry division.

I share this because I know Matt Doheny can lead our district’s team and help create needed jobs. He has much greater experience than I had. His passion will make it all work. Please vote for Matt.

God bless my old district and its constituents, and God bless America.

Dave Martin

Hedgesville

The writer was a representative for the 26th Congressional District from 1981 to 1993.

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