Everyone deserves to have day in court
In his Feb. 5 letter to the editor [“Trying escapee was a waste of time, money”], John Metallo of Slingerlands lambasts the government for affording David Sweat (the surviving half of the Dannemora Prison Break Two) a trial to convict him of escaping from that state prison last June and scoffs at the verdict that orders Mr. Sweat to serve seven more years on a life sentence and to pay restitution.
While I concur that this trial may at first seem a frivolous waste of time and state taxes, I nevertheless welcome it as a sign that our Constitution is not being abrogated. All citizens are entitled to due process under the law.
When the day comes that an omniscient being such as Mr. Metallo is able to determine exactly who is entitled to a trial in the United States, I hope I shall be spinning in my grave.
Lori McIlwaine Hammond
Salary focus should be on administrators
Your Feb. 2 editorial [“Time to rein in outrageous state salaries:] singling out SUNY as having some of the highest paid employees in state government doesn’t tell the whole story.
The salary figures you cite are in many cases misleading. A number of the SUNY employees on the Empire Center list are top-notch physicians — providing vital care for patients — who earn much of their income from private sources through their clinical practice plans and royalties from protected intellectual property.
Their underlying base pay funded by taxpayers is much, much less.
On a wider scale, we appreciate Gov. Andrew Cuomo for raising the issue of high salaries for SUNY administrators as faculty and staff salaries stagnate, and as SUNY continues to expand its exploitative use of adjunct academics, who earn poverty level wages.
We hope that the governor’s stance signals a commitment to shift more financial resources to where they are needed most — in the classroom.
Frederick E. Kowal
The writer is president of the United University Professions.
Residents must unite to get rid of brush fee
This letter is in reference to the Feb. 1 Daily Gazette article, “Brush Removal Fee Continues To Burn.”
Promises, promises, promises and more broken promises. All I can say is just another broken promise by a politician. Oh, when they are running for their position, they are so filled with promises.
Both people that were running for one position in the town of Rotterdam promised to do away with the yard waste fee. Was it ever stated, "Yes we promise to get rid of the yard waste fee in increments?" The answer to that question is absolutely not. We never heard anything about getting rid of the fee in increments. Are these politicians' self worth not enough to get them where they would like to be? Again the answer is no. That is why they feed us their broken promises.
The best part, according to The Daily Gazette article, describes how they still don’t really have a plan in place, other than to do away with this fee in increments.
This, my friends, is not what we as residents were promised. OK, now the fee war is on. I am going to my neighbors who pay this fee. I will agree that I will be the property address where the yard waste will be picked up. Therefore, there will be one fee divided by maybe four or five neighbors.
This will work out perfectly. We don’t want to lose any of our dedicated highway department employees, as they don’t get replaced due to retirements or layoffs. There will be plenty more work by having to paint squares at all the new addresses that opt out of the fee. What is going to happen then? Are we going to be limited as to how much we can put out?
As town residents, we have got to pull together with this yard waste fee issue.