No need to always be playing the race card
Re Susan Spring Megg’s Jan. 21 letter, “What are we doing to diversify police forces”: I’m so tired of the race card being played in this great country. It seems to me we have gone backwards these past few years. So sad.
Did she stop and think that maybe there were possibly no candidates of color for the new positions available?
We are all of the human race, no matter what color or ethnic background.
America was built from efforts of all races of people.
Playing the race card needs to stop, and we all need to see each other as one.
Michael P. Croce Sr.
Best form of protest is going to the polls
Re Jan. 21 letter, “Cartoon on Oregon protesters was unfair”: On Jan. 21, Ms. Elsie Colliton had her opinion about the protesters who took over the wildlife refuge.
What Ms. Colliton missed is the point that they are not standing up for their rights. Rather they are protesting the policies of the government. We the people are the government. We elect those who represent us. Therefore, the protesters are protesting us.
Under our form of government, we have the right to vote out of office those that neglect our needs. However, according to figures released by the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, in 54.2 percent of those eligible voted in 2000, followed by 60.49 percent in 2004, 62.3 percent in 2008 and 57.5 percent in 2012.
Voting is one of our most important rights. Yet, we let a few decide who will govern us. Those who do not vote need to stop kicking their heels on the floor and stand up and vote.
Candidates ran to end brush fee, not cut it
Remember last fall when it seemed like all the candidates running in Rotterdam (Republican and Democrat alike) said they wanted to get rid of the brush fee? Which, of course, we all knew was a not-so-hidden tax.
I was so looking forward to that as I imagine the vast majority of Rotterdam residents were.
For decades, brush collection was a service that everyone in town received by virtue of paying their taxes, without an additional fee. Now, we are always going to have people who use services more or less than others.
Some people use police services more than others — if you’re lucky you hardly use them at all. I don’t use the parks much anymore, but I don’t begrudge some of my tax dollars going toward maintaining a place where it’s safe for kids to play. I don’t use the Senior Citizen Center (not yet anyway), but I don’t begrudge some of my tax dollars going toward a place where seniors can gather and participate in programs.
So we should have brush pick-up as a basic service without any additional fees — as it has always been.
I am very disheartened to see that the new Democrat-endorsed majority has a proposal to simply reduce the fee by only 20 percent, from $50 to $40 per year. The voters weren’t asking for a reduction. That would be like a victim asking a thief: “Please don’t take all of my money; leave me $10 in cab fare.” I think the intent was pretty clear to voters that those elected would eliminate the fee, not simply reduce it.
I am happy that they decided to abolish the onerous opt-out procedure. I am also encouraged to see that on Wednesday (Jan. 27) there is to be a public hearing on this issue — unlike the decision to move forward with secret surveillance cameras throughout the town without any public hearing. But as politicians often do, they say one thing and do another. They now claim that they want to eliminate the fee eventually, whenever that is.
They say that the budget situation is worse than they thought so they can’t eliminate the fee outright. Perhaps they should have listened to the warnings of Councilmen Joe Villano and Rick Larmour over the past two years.
Perhaps the new board members should work with the two experienced members in looking at the budget to see where changes can be made, as Villano and Larmour have already identified $1 million for potential savings more than enough to cover any lost revenue in fees.