National Grid should consider own impact
I had to chuckle at the Jan. 29 Gazette article [“National Grid blames Schenectady, contractor for damage”] notifying its readers that National Grid intends to sue Jackson Demolition and the city of Schenectady over the damage to some of its equipment associated with the horrific Jay Street fire in the amount of $44,000.
I thought of responding while driving my car down newly paved city streets that have been torn up by National Grid contractors for the purposes of replacing gas lines throughout the city that the company haplessly patched and sealed.
I thought further of the damage to city trees as National Grid contractors trimmed recklessly around their power lines without regard to the structure, stability and life of the trees. And as day turned to night, I thought of the number of streets with non-working lights, which add to the dangers of the neighborhoods, even years after the inoperable lights are reported.
I’m quite sure that if a cost comparison was done on the damage caused by National Grid and its contractors throughout the city on a daily basis, the company might reconsider the $44,000 it is seeking from the city and Jackson Demolition.
Don’t waste money on frivolous land buy
How many local boards of education could ask the taxpayers to spend $1 million for property for which they have no plan and have no need? Scotia-Glenville can.
The Board of Education wants taxpayers to buy property because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This is a false choice. The property has been for sale, without success, for years and years. What is the hurry? But playing to their narrative, they want taxpayers to decide seven days from when an “informational” (propaganda) flyer appears in taxpayers’ mailboxes. But forget all that for just a second.
The real travesty is this: What is really disheartening, one might say even slimy, if one was in a “political” mode is this — is that 1,000 or so Scotia-Glenville snowbirds now in southern climates had until Feb. 2 to request an absentee ballot. This was the day their local mail contained the so-called “informational” flyer. So forget about voting, snowbirds of Scotia-Glenville. You’ve been purposely excluded from voting on this issue. My guess is many senior voters take a dim view of such wasteful spending. And that would be bad for the school board. So they hatched a plan to vote without you.
On the merits of the purchase consider these thoughts:
1) Who in Scotia-Glenville has paid $136,986 per acre for vacant land?
2) The land has been for sale for many years with no buyers. To most people, this would mean a buyer could negotiate a huge price reduction. But not Scotia-Glenville; we will pay top dollar because we are Scotia-Glenville. Our taxpayers always say yes when it’s for the “kids.”
3) Construction costs will be huge for whatever they decide is a good idea and taxpayers will be burdened with that bill for years for come, most likely more than $10 million for a 50,000-square-foot building. And by then, we will be told it will be time to revamp our existing school buildings for the future.
Weren’t we just assured our last building improvement projects would keep Scotia-Glenville years ahead of needs?
4) When our Board of Education does think of a worthy construction project (one that will have all their names on a nice bronze plaque in the entranceway) taxpayers will be hit with the operating costs — let’s just say 50 staffers at $75,000 per year forever and ever. That’s nearly $4 million a year. (I’m using Common Core math here to estimate). Who’ll pay that bill every year?
5) The property will be removed from the tax rolls, forcing the school board, Town Board and even the Village Board to make up lost revenues by adding to our already-too-high tax burden. They forgot to do the math on that in the propaganda.
The Scotia-Glenville Board of Education should not be in the business of spending money on frivolous ideas. They should be free to publicly discuss ideas for the future, but not free to ram something down the throats of taxpayers.
And maybe our school board should consider this: Perhaps the most responsible thing a school board can do is leave parents and grandparents with more of their hard-earned money to invest in their families as they see fit. And surely they should never plan votes which would effectively eliminate hundreds and hundreds of responsible citizens from expressing their views.
Stick to trying to perfect your work on the real needs of Scotia-Glenville children — reading, writing and arithmetic.
Rich people are afraid of Sanders’ policies
Re the Jan. 29 editorial, “Sanders is running a campaign of untruths,” from the Washington Post: I don’t know who authored the article, but I do know that Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, bought the paper last year for a song and a dance — $250 million. For a guy worth over $20 billion, that’s a pittance.
Bezos and the other billionaires are scared to death of Bernie Sanders because once people find out what democratic socialism really is, there will be a mass movement, the likes of which nobody has ever seen.
The only question is whether the movement metastasizes before Orwell’s world sets in.
Scotia-Glenville is already taxed enough
I have been following the story concerning the purchase of land that the Scotia-Glenville School District is considering.
Superintendent Susan Swartz has made the following statement: “There may be opportunities in the future to make use of this property, so we would be irresponsible if we did not consider buying this now.”
Mrs. Swartz, I believe it would be irresponsible to ask the taxpayers of this district to make a purchase of $999,999 for these possible opportunities. All of the options you have suggested are dependent on children and students from other districts (pre-school opened to other districts, a “pod” to draw students from other school districts, an alternative education setting for students currently at Conifer Park, Schenectady County Probation and Family Court).
While these suggestions are noble, I feel that our school district is already taxed enough and this purchase would not be wise.
Youth Chorale gave a great performance
I read with interest Bill Buell’s Feb. 2 account of Proctors and Capital Rep’s 2016-17 Broadway Bash held last evening.
While Mr. Buell’s reporting was on target for the most part, he failed to acknowledge the presence of and contribution of 19 members of the Capital District Youth Chorale [CDYC] to Caitlin Burke’s stunning rendition of “Climb Every Mountain.” CDYC sang solid three-part harmony on the number and made Ms. Burke’s performance a bit of a hair-raiser. The CDYC should be justifiably proud of its representatives and their contribution to Proctors and Capital Rep’s Preview of an exciting 2016-17 Season.
The writer is a member of the CDYC Board of Directors.
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