With leaders like these, it’s no wonder county taxes are so darn high
Re Jan. 10 letter, “How high county tax hike for Glenville residents?”: You need look no further than the Schenectady County Legislature, and Judy Dagostino’s leadership.
She is a conservative in name only, and is not a fiscal conservative.
There were several county legislators who overrode the property tax cap and all are up for re-election this year. Let’s put a stop to their re-elections and push for those who are for the people’s budget — one we all can live with.
The county budget is mainly a budget for fatherless children — a state mandate that allows for the rest of us to pick up a burdensome cost while our towns and the city of Schenectady are under crushing property taxes. There is never a single penny left over for getting rid of the worst of the blighted properties that dot the city’s landscape.
It’s also a big failure on behalf of the two Republicans who have been around too long with little to show for it: [Assemblyman James] Tedisco and [Sen. Hugh] Farley.
What? They couldn’t bring home at least a million dollars in all their years of public service to help get rid of the blight, graffiti, vandalism, etc.? Go figure.
2nd Amendment hardly relevant to gun debate
Anyone who reads the Second Amendment should be struck by the fact that the so-called “right to bear arms” is connected to and seemingly dependent upon the need to maintain a “well-regulated militia” for the purpose of “the security of a free state.”
It does not create an individual right to keep and bear arms for your own safety or for hunting and recreational purposes. Hence the NRA and other gun fetishists are getting away with “murder” in the way they invoke the Second Amendment.
Currently, it is anachronistic and has about as much relevance today as the Third Amendment [“No Soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law”].
Weapons of war have no place on city streets
I do not own any firearms. My only exposure to guns of any variety was during basic combat training in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
At that time, all combat trainees were required to become proficient in using an M-16 rifle — a potent and versatile personal weapon of war. It is my understanding that the M-16 is the model upon which the design of many of today’s civilian “assault weapons” is based.
The drill instructors cautioned that the M-16 was a “killing machine” and, in my view, that description was accurate: its power was awesome.
Fast-forward to 2013: As former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords has said, weapons designed for the battlefield now have a home on our streets. I doubt the proliferation of home-grown, legal, easily obtainable weapons of mass destruction is what the authors of the Second Amendment had in mind.
Strock was clearly the best of his breed
The fine Jan. 9 letter from Bob Wojtkowski on Carl Strock’s retirement prompts me to add some particulars: Strock was clearly the only investigative columnist in the Capital Region who followed the outrageous holes in the criminal justice system under the guise of tightening security.
He spent many hours in courtrooms, board of education meetings following the action (or lack thereof), adding his special dry humor to help the reader enjoy his columns on many levels.
He made himself available to review books and be interviewed on local public access TV and college debates on religion, even though the audience may not have shared his views.
He kindly agreed to review my book on drunken driving at the “Books Sandwiched In” program at the Schenectady library. He was kind enough to invite me to answer questions from the audience, including any criticism of his review. I had none.
I hope that public TV and radio will use Strock’s talents for the public’s enjoyment.
The Gazette wants your opinions on public issues.
There is no strict word limit, though letters under 200 words are preferred.
All letters are subject to editing for length, style and fairness, and we will run no more than one letter per month from the same writer.
Please include your signature, address and day phone for verification.
For information on how to send, see bottom of this page.
For more letters, visit our Web site: www.dailygazette.com.