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What you need to know for 08/23/2017

Rotterdam Democrats have only themselves to blame for REMS mess

Rotterdam Democrats have only themselves to blame for REMS mess

*Rotterdam Democrats have only themselves to blame for REMS mess *How about a little compassion for

Rotterdam Democrats have only themselves to blame for REMS mess

Sheila Schaninger’s Dec. 20 letter, “Scare tactics a success for Rotterdam GOP,” highlights the recent issue of the Rotterdam EMS [Emergency Medical Services] contract and the town election that followed the decision by two board member to disband the paramedic program and get rid of REMS.

Ms. Schaninger places the blame of the election results in the hands of the GOP for “scare tactics,” instead of where it really belongs, with Mr. [Supervisor Harry] Buffardi, and Mr. [Deputy Supervisor Wayne] Calder!

The ill-planned attack on the town’s paramedic program and REMS was the straw that broke the camel’s back with residents. While I have sympathy for Ms. [Board member Nicki] DiLeva, I feel she was thrown under the bus and made to be the sacrificial lamb of a plan derived by Mr. Calder to take care of his son-in-law and granddaughter, who both work for Mohawk Ambulance service, over what the residents who elected them wanted.

While Mr. Buffardi and Mr. Calder made baseless claims of vandalism by REMS employees and residents, and called the action of REMS supporters “a disservice to themselves” and their protest signs “stupid,” they themselves used all their scare tactics and intimidation skills to silence people while using town employees to dig up dirt on REMS.

It wasn’t Mr. [board members-elect Joe] Villano, and Mr. [Larry] Lamour who broke state Municipal Law by allowing Mohawk to occupy and work out of the Senior Citizen Center at taxpayers’ expense, all the while filling Mohawk Ambulance service owner James McPartlon’s pockets; it was Mr. Buffardi and Mr. Calder — all done behind the Town Board’s back without approval and under the usual “Rotterdam cloak of secrecy.”

While they brought shame upon themselves and the Rotterdam Democratic Party, the residents, along with the bipartisan support of Mr. Villano, Mr. Lamour and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara fought to keep the residents’ voice heard, and secure their future and safety by ensuring the service of REMS.

If there is any finger-pointing by town Democrats, it should be right at themselves. The town will do well being served by men and women who remember that they serve the residents, and not their own personal agendas.

There is more than enough shame to go around in the most recent disgusting display of politics in Rotterdam. All Ms. Schaninger needs to do is pick up her share!

Stan Wilgocki


The writer is a former Rotterdam Police Department paramedic.

How about a little compassion for homeless?

Re Nancy Pitts, a 54-year-old woman found dead Dec. 12 outside the Saratoga Springs Senior Center [Dec. 17 Gazette]:? I felt sad but also outraged that Nancy Pitts had to sleep outside in freezing weather, with only a few blankets for cover.

Lois Celeste, senior executive director at the center, stated that the homeless were passively condoned to seek shelter outside the center as long as they were gone by morning. What a cold heart this woman has!

The Saratoga shelter has 33 beds, but these beds are reserved for people who have made a commitment to stay well. Therefore Nancy Pitts, a sick, homeless person who needed help, was left to die.

Police Chief Greg Veitch seemed to shrug off Nancy’s death as the rights of the individual to live in a manner of their choosing. Where is the feeling for an individual who is sick and in need of help?

Saratoga Springs is an affluent city. I am ashamed of that city’s lack of compassion. Why doesn’t Marylou Whitney, a socialite fond of hosting galas, focus on this problem?

Somebody needs to help these sick, homeless people.

Mary E. White


Voters should weigh in on Koetzle’s money grab

Once again our elected officials are hoodwinking the constituency and bilking the system.

[Glenville Supervisor] Chris Koetzle’s latest move to create a full-time job for himself from a part-time job [Dec. 19 Gazette] (which, by the way, is what he was elected to) is just another example of why we the people cannot trust our elected officials.

I read a statement quoting one of the board members who said that they were elected to the board by the people to make just these kinds of decisions and that we should let them do their job and trust their abilities. From my perspective, when voting, I find myself trying to figure out who is the lesser of two evils and not who is better qualified or represents my views and opinions.

This issue should be settled by a vote of the people whom they serve. We can ill afford to have the fox guard the henhouse any longer.

Lief Larsen


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