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Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, Oct. 16

Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, Oct. 16

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Board candidate has conflict of interest

I was surprised to learn that Andrew Kohout is running for the Glenville Town Board, not because of qualification issues but because of ethics.
He’s a political appointee of the village trustees enjoying a full-time salary as the village public works superintendent.
I teach civics and government. Scotia’s ethics law states, “…if observed, can enhance public confidence in local government.”  Mr. Kohout does not inspire confidence when he desires a public office in the town that directly conflicts with the obligations of his village office.
Can Mr. Kohout as a Town Board member negotiate to consolidate the town and village public works departments knowing his village office could be eliminated? Common sense answers: “no,” and ethics answers: ”He should never be placed in that situation.” He will encounter multiple serious conflicts of interest that would prevent him from serving the town or village wholeheartedly at the same time.
Village employees can’t incur any obligation of any nature that leads to conflicts of interest. The village Ethics Law further forbids the public works superintendent from accepting other employment which will impair his independence of judgment. Ethics laws and good judgment guide people in public office to place the people above themselves.
Kurt Semon
Glenville


Trump doesn’t know Constitution

President Trump has taken actions and made statements in the last two weeks that reveal his narcissism, egotism and ignorance.
After withdrawing our support for the Kurdish SDF  in northern Syria, he tweeted that if Turkey took advantage of our withdrawal by attacking the Kurds in the area, he would destroy and obliterate their economy because of his “unmatched wisdom.” He claims that Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution gives him unlimited power. Presidential powers are delineated in Article 2 and thus, by definition, limited. Article 1 gives Congress the duty and power to oversee the Executive Branch. The power of compelling testimony and deliverance of documents is obviously necessary to carrying out this vital function. Trump’s cohorts now claim that the president cannot even be investigated for criminal activity. He has stated that Sen. Mitt Romney should be impeached for daring to criticize him, calling Romney a “pompous ass.” There is no impeachment process for congressmen in the Constitution. Romney’s criticism was of the abuse of power involved in Trump’s holding back funds to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression until President Zelensky conducted an  investigation of Biden, in order to weaken his potential candidacy for president.
Anthony J. Santo
Rotterdam


Why won’t state fix Northway signs?

If you travel the Northway from Exit 13 to 15, you may have noticed two large signs that are knocked over. One between Exits 13 and 14 was hit by a tree and gave information about attractions at Exit 14. The other is the exit sign for Exit 15. Both have been broken since August, but our state has done nothing about them, even though there is a state highway department site located at Exit 15. You can bet your bottom dollar that if the signs had mentioned Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s father, they would have been fixed the following week.
John White
Ballston Spa


Supervisor Syed has earned second term

Two years ago, Niskayuna Supervisor Yasmine Syed was elected by more than 3,000 votes.
As supervisor, she advocated for debt reduction and greater fiscal responsibility while striving to maintain our quality of life and the many benefits we enjoy living in our Niskayuna community. Unfortunately, the current majority on the town council has routinely stymied her ideas and efforts for change by their 4-1 vote against her proposals.
Under state law, town supervisors are entitled to appoint office staff. But Syed’s effort to appoint a bookkeeper was denied by the board. The bookkeeper position would have been able to better monitor the council’s requests for bonding and other issues that may not have qualified as an emergency or special need. Unnecessary bonding requests add to our current $42 million town debt.
We need greater cooperation between our elected officers so that the welfare of our community and all its taxpayers are prioritized over the self-interests of the few.
I strongly urge you to join me in supporting the mandate voters gave Supervisor Syed two years by voting for her and her team in the coming election.
Lorene H. Zabin
Niskayuna


Find compromise on late-night bar hours

It seems that the proposal to impose new closing hours on Albany bars is a knee-jerk answer, easily done with the flick of a pen.
Unfortunately, the proposed option does not allow the two most interested parties, late-night customers and bar owners, any chance to work on a solution.
Who are these late customers anyway? Some are probably people who just got off work themselves and relish a chance to relax. Others are obviously people who should not be drinking. Let the bar owners come up with a compromise. Work with law enforcement and save those often quiet hours for those who act responsibly.
Polly Windels
Ballston Spa


Need NFL coverage in Sunday paper

We just switched over to start receiving The Daily Gazette at home.
I’m a big NFL football fan and look forward to the sports section in a recent Sunday paper.
When I opened The Daily Gazette sports section and read through it, there was not one article on the NFL. Nothing.
We have all these great games to be played later in the day and there was zero coverage on the day’s games ahead. That is shocking to me.
Clearly the sports editor does not understand sports or the importance of the NFL to us sports fans. I don’t see me renewing my subscription if this is the lack of coverage I’m getting.
This a really dropping the ball on The Gazette’s part.
Brian F. Squadere
Rotterdam

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