Scotia’s Kastberg must try harder to share with Glenville
I think Scotia Mayor Kris Kastberg was unfair to Governor Cuomo in his April 6 Viewpoint, “Stranglehold.” The unfairness is inherent, in that the good mayor is thinking as a village mayor, while the governor has to think of what is in the best interest of the entire state.
The biggest problems of upstate New York surround generations of negative economic conditions. Those have led to lost population, declining tax base, lost jobs, neighborhood deterioration, empty storefronts, closing schools, crumbling infrastructure and other deficiencies. That is not good. I would bet those same conditions exist in Scotia.
I’d guess, too, that most Scotia residents support the idea of growing commerce and opportunity in the community. Clearly, the mayor doesn’t have the unilateral ability to turn things around. He would certainly have a better chance through a combined effort with Glenville, the surrounding town he failed to mention in his column.
No village is an island unto itself. Do the village and town have a combined strategic master plan? Why not? Isn’t it reasonable to have that plan to promote mutually beneficial job-creating initiatives? Here’s what we know: the current confusing, duplicative and competitive system ain’t working.
For the betterment of the citizens of both Scotia and Glenville, I think Mayor Kastberg should put down the pen and dedicate his time to push for a new combined model of governance with the town of Glenville.
Salvaggio departure improperly handled
On April 5, The Gazette reported on the severance package that Niskayuna school Superintendent Susan Kay Salvaggio received. Less than a year after the Board of Education voted 4-2 to extend her contract, the current board, with new board members in place, voted 4-3 to end her tenure.
As a taxpayer and a parent of students, I am very disappointed. I perceive such a move as a flagrant squandering of taxpayer money and recently allocated state funds. Surely that $139,000, plus additional costs (health care, legal fees and the cost of an interim superintendent), could have been better spent on our children’s education. Hire additional teachers, restore cut academic programs or reinstate freshman sports and other extracurricular activities.
Due to a non-disclosure clause, the residents will never know what actually transpired. There are no indications that anything so grievous occurred that warranted such an abrupt departure. The contract should have been honored. Not only was it the right thing to do, but it would have saved the district a considerable amount of money.
In my opinion, Ms. Salvaggio’s departure does not end the problem; rather, it is another manifestation of a culture of conflict that exists. The board has not controlled the tension, rather it has cultivated one scenario after the next. It is time our students came first.
I call upon those responsible to resign from the school board because of their financial impropriety. The lack of leadership has prevented our school district from moving forward and permitted these conflicts to exist.
One dog park enough for Scotia-Glenville
The April 7 front page story about dog parks in Scotia and Glenville sounds like a “good-news” story until you think about it just a little.
I am a dog owner and live within the Scotia village limits. If these parks are built, my tax dollars would be used to support both dog parks when one would be sufficient. This planned duplication of services is a small but telling example of the inability or unwillingness of our local governments to work together and consolidate services of any kind.
It is no wonder we are unable to make the tough decisions necessary to cut the cost of government through consolidation. Instead of planning duplicate dog parks, our village and town governments should be planning how to build one government for the town of Glenville.
Robert E. Smith
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