Amedore no one to talk on the subject of women’s rights
Former Assemblyman George Amedore’s May 27 letter to the editor expressed widely shared condemnation of Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s sexual harassment of staff.
Given his concern about sexual harassment, one would think that George is a champion for women. Unfortunately that has not been the case. As an assemblyman, he voted at least twice against legislation that would protect women from sexual harassment (Assembly bill A.8195-A in 2011 and A.1470-B, Chapter 481).
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Amedore had many opportunities to support legislation that would benefit women. Yet his voting record shows a remarkable disdain for women’s rights.
He voted five times against legislation that would have ensured women who do the same work as men receive the same pay. (Assembly bills A.6130 in 2011-12; A.3911 in 2009-10; A.2712 in 2008; A.6448 in 2011-12; A.1119 in 2009-10; and A.957 in 2008.
He voted against a measure requiring hospitals to provide staff training and services to better assist victims of domestic violence. (Assembly bill A.7585 in 201-12.
And he voted against a resolution calling on the governor to commemorate Reproductive Rights and Justice Week in New York (Assembly bill A.9148 in 2012).
The fact is, George Amedore’s voting record is distinguished by its lack of support for women and our rights. If he really wants to establish himself as a champion for women, rather than scoring political points, there are many local organizations serving girls and women who would welcome support from a successful local businessman.
Nisky board has done its job, voters must do theirs
I attended the May 28 and May 29 meetings of the Niskayuna school board as they grappled with the recent budget defeat. For those who have been attending these meetings over the last few years, it’s clear that the volunteer board members have worked very hard to control costs while maintaining high-quality education in the face of rising pension costs and decreasing state aid.
The recent budget meetings included an excellent presentation summarizing both the additional budget cuts set for the June 18 budget vote and the mandatory cuts that will be put in place if the June 18 vote is defeated (and the district must operate on a contingency budget).
Even more interesting was a summary of the cuts and taxes the school district has imposed over the last five years. Did you know that between the 2009-2010 budget and the current one, Niskayuna has cut 176 full-time employees, representing a 28 percent reduction in administration, as well teachers, teaching aides and others?
Did you know that a “no” vote this time will force a contingency budget with cuts that eliminate all levels of athletics, as well as music ensembles in the elementary, middle, and high schools; that reduce kindergarten from full- to half-day; and reduce staff by another 28 employees?
This presentation is available on the school district’s web site, www.niskayunaschools.org, but for those who would prefer to review the information on paper, I’ve printed out copies. There are reference copies of the May 28 and May 29 presentations at the Niskayuna Public Library circulation desk, as well as the bulletin boards at both the Town Hall and Community Center.
I urge all eligible voters to review the school district’s recent budget history to make an informed decision for the June 18 vote. Moreover, regardless of how you vote, I encourage every New Yorker to contact their state legislators and let them know that the system they have created, in which costs and tax levies rise even as the school district cuts 176 full-time employees and numerous programs over five years, is unsustainable.
Good job on search, with one glaring exception
On behalf of the family of [Broadalbin residents] Mark and Brent Richards, I would like to thank the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Troopers and friends for their effort in the search for Mark and Brent.
The family would also like to thank the individuals who reported the sightings of their beloved family members. Although the news was sad, it brought closure and peace to the family.
However I believe that Sheriff Thomas Lorey owes the family a public apology for the crass statement he made [along the lines of “they may have just run away from home,” as well as other tasteless remarks.
Shame on Sheriff Lorey for making such a statement.