Skidmore bullying Greenfield with its eyesore solar project
It appears Skidmore College’s deception promoting the construction of an eight-acre solar field on Denton Road is going to be accepted by an institutionally predisposed Greenfield Town Board.
I say deception because this is not a Skidmore project. This is a Dynamic Energy LLC project. Dynamic Energy is a Pennsylvania-based business that combs the country, promoting commercial solar energy projects to nonprofit institutions. Dynamic Energy leases the land from the nonprofit, applies for and receives government grants, and installs the solar panels.
Skidmore will not use the electricity being produced, but will get to brag about its leadership in the “sustainability” movement, while enjoying millions in dollars in energy credits when the power is sold back to the public utility.
Meanwhile, residents of Greenfield receive nothing. Saratoga County and the school district receive nothing.
Remember, Skidmore is a nonprofit organization. If you google “Dynamic Energy,” you will find a number of “Dynamic” LLCs at the same address and phone number. It’s difficult not to envision some kind of solar investment “boiler-room” operation. IT makes sense that someone would figure out how to take advantage of the current government support for “sustainable energy.”
Look at Solyndra, Abound Solar, and Fisker. Like them, Dynamic Energy is receiving millions of taxpayer dollars to build this “green energy” project on Skidmore’s property. Skidmore College has hidden the real applicant under its academic robes and deflected any criticism as an attack on them — a treasured institution within the community. Meanwhile Dynamic Energy avoids closer scrutiny and appears to be primarily “helping” Skidmore with its quest to be the Queen of Sustainability of academia. The disingenuousness is galling.
Instead of the intellectual conscience of the community, Skidmore is behaving like a greedy 800-pound gorilla. Skidmore prefers to build an industrial utility in a Greenfield neighborhood than upset the utopian refinement of its 600-acre campus in Saratoga Springs.
So the residents of the Denton Road neighborhood will have their highly prized view shed violated by eight acres of black glass, and their property values diminished. The residents of Greenfield will forgo any future development in this desirable residential area that would have greatly supported the community’s tax base.
All this because the Greenfield Town Board prefers an industrial utility in our neighborhood, even with its potential industrial hazards, rather than upset the fickle 800-pound gorilla of Saratoga Springs.
The writer is a Denton Road resident.
Disturbed by Koetzle’s post-election surprise
I am writing to express how upset I am to find out that the Glenville town supervisor has proposed to give himself a raise from his current salary of an additional $63,000 just days after he ran for re-election at his current salary for a part time supervisor [Nov. 15 Gazette].
Not to mention that salary will be $20,000 more than the only other Schenectady County supervisor with a larger town and budget. The manner which Mr. Koetzle chose to pull this off totally lacks any input by the public. It is totally devoid of any process. So much for transparency in government!
This is not a change to be taken lightly and deserves more thought, and the citizens should have an opportunity to weigh in. The budget vote is only a day away. This is the kind of thing that turns voters off. We had the dog-and-pony show for the public input on the budget already, and now this is dropped in our laps like an afterthought? If we allow this to happen, then what do the next four years hold for us?
Perhaps if Mr. Koetzle were truly passionate about this, he would have made those passions clear prior to the elections. He has been on the Town Board for six years and in the current position for four. He certainly had ample time to make his concerns known but he chose not to.
The voters deserve better than this. It isn’t right, it isn’t proper.
It is an understatement to say I was surprised when I read the Nov. 15 Daily Gazette article, “Koetzle may get full-time position.”
As a recent candidate for town supervisor, I actually raised the issue of the need for a full-time supervisor. But I also promised the voters that I would conduct a complete audit of Glenville’s budget and its programs, including exploring a change in the role of the supervisor from part-time to full-time, absolutely seeking public input, to make sure the taxpayers were getting the best bang for the buck.
Mr. Chris Koetzle was silent on this issue during the campaign. In fact during the League of Women Voters forum, Mr. Koetzle led the voters to believe that he was better suited for this part-time position because his private-sector job gave him more flexibility. Now he admits that “. . .there were some things he just couldn’t do for the town. . .,” and “From day one, it was always very difficult.”
Now, after Election Day and after the public hearing on the 2014 budget, it is absolutely outrageous that Mr. Koetzle thinks he can force this change in less than one week without adequate public review and comment. It is equally outrageous that Mr. Koetzle proposes to keep Mr. McFarland on part-time and not look for creative ways to combine positions and reduce town spending.
I hope our Town Board realizes how inappropriate it would be to vote on such an important issue so quickly and slows the process down. They should seek resident input and hold a public hearing on the change. The taxpayers of Glenville deserve better than this and should have a say in whether our supervisor receives a $63,000 raise.
Why won’t library let patron replace lost book?
Recently, I had the misfortune of losing a book I had borrowed from the Schenectady County Public Library. I did nothing for five days in the hope that an honest citizen would find the book and return it to a local branch. My hopes were high but I did not delude myself into expecting it to be returned. I was not disappointed.
I went to my local branch on Nov. 16 to make restitution. I was told it would cost me $28-plus to pay for the loss, even though the book can be purchased new at Walmart for $16.40; at Amazon for $17.37 and at Barnes & Noble for $17.71. The library has always accepted book donations but I was also told I couldn’t make restitution by bringing in a new copy of the book. They would refuse it.
The library recently cut branch service hours because of budget problems. Is it any wonder they have budget problems when they insist on paying top dollar for books that can be purchased for significantly less?
Chain restaurant not best but better than nothing
What are we to do in Burnt Hills area when we are hungry? Where can we go to eat?
One by one, this area has lost so many places to dine: The Old Homestead, Ecobellis, Jonesville Store, even Friendly’s, Teresa’s and Pizza Hut. Although there are “fast food” places around, including Chinese takeout and diners, there is a paucity of full-service menu restaurants. Thankfully, some establishments have been rebuilt or redesigned.
The [Oct. 30] article about a restaurant chain looking at the property on Route 50 was read with great interest. This action by MSF Mayfair LLC is promising. I would rather have a local owner restaurant, but I will look forward to the new “chain” restaurant. It’s a start.
Shameful that nothing made in America anymore
Have you noticed with all the catalogs in the mail lately, that it’s almost impossible to purchase anything made in the United States.
One of the catalogs I received even has the notation “imported unless otherwise indicated.” In that catalog I found one item made in America. And it’s some of the most widely recognized retailers. I happened to be in a major department store the other day and there was a display of kitchen items of a very well-known celebrity, and as I picked up these things, each and every one of them said “made in China.”
We should be ashamed of ourselves because we feed this system by purchasing the products.
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