Grateful to Scirocco for Pinewood sewer attention
I am writing this letter as I am very excited about something that on the surface, does not seem that exciting — sewer pipes on my street.
I moved into my home on Pinewood Avenue in 2008. Our neighborhood is wonderful and I often refer to it as a modern day Norman Rockwell kind of place where people get to know one another and are truly “neighborly.” One of the not so pleasant things about Pinewood Avenue is the current sewer lines, many of which have been backing up into the basements of homes on this street for years.
When this happens, the effort and expense it takes to clean up the resulting mess and damage can be enormous and in many cases can displace a family until completed. We have been told since we moved to Pinewood that replacing the sewer pipes is something that is in the works and finally, seven years later it is actually going to happen, thanks our Commissioner of Public Works, Skip Scirocco.
I would like to publicly thank Commissioner Scirocco for getting this underway. Commissioner Scirocco is actually one of our neighbors and lives on Pinewood Avenue. Since announcing that our street was finally going to get its sewer pipes replaced, criticism is being waged that he is doing work on his own street, suggesting favoritism over other streets that may have issues or that he will personally benefit being the motivation for the work.
To these critics, I invite you to knock on doors on Pinewood and hear the stories for themselves. Better yet, why not stop by and help with clean up when it happens again — which it will if these lines are not replaced. Most of all, stop criticizing and start supporting the solutions that really affect our everyday lives here in Saratoga Springs.
Interestingly, Commissioner Scirocco stands to personally benefit the least of any resident on Pinewood from the street getting new sewer lines, as his house doesn’t even have a basement.
From speaking with many of my neighbors who have lived on Pinewood longer than I have, some over 30 years, it seems that the sewer line problem was prevalent as far back as when the last Public Works administration was in office. Despite repeated requests and meetings, the then-commissioner, Tom McTygue, and his director, Bill McTygue, failed to address this messy problem, despite promises to residents that they would.
At a recent City Council meeting, Commissioner Scirocco announced the plans and cost to replace the sewer lines on Pinewood. In full disclosure, he announced that he is a resident on Pinewood. The City Council approved the work by unanimous vote.
Redoing the sewer lines on Pinewood is long overdue. We have a commissioner in office now who is doing something about this and many other infrastructure problems in this city that desperately need fixing. Commissioner Scirocco’s track record on focusing on the things that matter and affect our daily lives in our city is clearly documented and to be applauded.
Thank you again, Commissioner Scirocco, for getting our sewer lines replaced on Pinewood.
Mike Joyce has changed Princetown politics for the better
Since I moved to Princetown in 1985, I’ve been involved with town government in one capacity or another. I’ve known quite a few people who served on the Town Board over the years.
Some had good intentions and a genuine desire to help residents, like when certain board members worked to bring public water to the south end of town where many wells were so bad that residents had to buy water during dry spells.
Other board members claim they are working to benefit the town, but the actions they take seem to serve only themselves or their supporters, certainly not the residents at large.
When Mike Joyce became supervisor in 2012, it was a breath of fresh air. The previous administration’s dysfunction was evident in many ways, but particularly in its inability to adopt an updated comprehensive plan for the town that a volunteer committee had worked on for several years. In addition, cronyism and nepotism were rife at town hall and there was a notable lack of transparency and fiscal responsibility.
After winning the election, Mike and his team succeeded in cutting costs without loss of service, refinancing the bonds for the town’s public water system, which benefitted residents in the water districts through reduced user fees, and finally adopting the comprehensive plan.
In the interest of promoting open and transparent government, Mike initiated a “State of the Town” presentation, given every year to inform residents of the town’s fiscal and operational status. These are real accomplishments.
Unfortunately, Mike’s continued good intentions and plans to move the town forward have been stymied lately by the controlling voting block of three councilmen who apparently think it’s better to return to days of old.
In fact, they seem to be doing all they can to obstruct any attempt to improve town functions and have appointed unqualified cronies to several significant staff positions. Most disturbing is their selection of an untrained, uncertified individual for the position of building inspector over two candidates who had all the necessary qualifications required by the state.
Actions such as this constitute an irresponsible disregard for public health, safety and welfare and put the town in serious legal jeopardy.
Is this the kind of government we want in Princetown: cronies over qualified people, liability instead of accountability, and regression instead of progress?
In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government... whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.”
Let’s hope, for Princetown’s sake, that’s the way it plays out in November.
Auffredou has all attributes of a good judge
I am please to add my endorsement of Martin Auffredou for justice of the Supreme Court of the 4th Judicial District of New York.
I have had the pleasure of working with Martin since 2011 as Warren County Attorney. He has been a reliable, honest and extremely knowledgeable person to work with. His willingness to listen closely to the public, examine the issues at hand and deliver prompt and thorough opinions and solutions will be a valuable asset in this position.
With over 20 years experience service Warren County, he has gained a great deal of respect from the public and other law makers.
Cast your vote on Election Day and join me in supporting Martin Auffredou for Supreme Court justice.
Robert M. Blais
The writer is the mayor of Lake George.