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Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Nov. 2

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Nov. 2

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Candidates: Prove your common sense

This is an idea that may be good for our country. With elections coming up, it may be good if everyone who wants to run for some kind of office has to take a federal test that has to do with common sense. If they can’t pass the test, they can’t run for public office.
In fact, a test like this should be given for people that want to work for the state, city, village, etc. This alone will make for better workers in all areas. It’s time to hire smart people in all areas with common sense. It’s time for a change in the right direction.
Sid Gordon
Saratoga Springs

 
Look at school board record in town race

I received a political mailer from Rosemarie Perez Jacquith. She claimed that she held school taxes below 2 percent cap. What she doesn’t acknowledge is that taxes can still go up 2 to 4 percent and still be below or at the tax cap. Residents in Niskayuna are drowning in high taxes and the chief offender is the school board. Is this something to “crow” about?
This candidate also claims she required transparency while on school board. Really? Where was the transparency when the school board elected to extend the superintendent’s contract for five years with a salary over $200,000 with no residency requirement? He commutes from Herkimer, contributing not one penny to our tax base. Where was the accountability to the Niskayuna residents?
We have a school board that loves to spend our tax money. Do we need this attitude on our town board? You decide on Election Day.
Linda Rizzo
Niskayuna


Thanks for the free coffee at drive-thru

I was at Dunkin’ on Carman Road a few days ago in the drive-thru. When I got to the window, the person in the car in front of me paid for my coffee. I know it sounds silly for me to thank that person, but you have no idea how great that made me feel.
Sue Malone
Guilderland


Patrick is heavily invested in Sch’dy

I am writing this letter in support of Carmel Patrick’s candidacy for the City Council of Schenectady.
I have known Carmel for 15 years. She worked with me at Senior Services of Albany (now known at LifePath). She helped with revenue development, building collaborations and partnerships to help create new ways to provide the needed services for the elderly. She worked very well with the elderly, their families and other staff members, as well as with people and organizations in the community.
Carmel has a passion for Schenectady. She is a creative problem solver and has excellent judgment about what is important. While working in Schenectady, she has used her talents to help community organizations like Schenectady County Community College, miSci and the Schenectady County Library, to name a few.
I believe Carmel would be an outstanding member of the Schenectady City Council.
Ann DiSarro
Schenectady


Dems will work to make Milton better

 Milton Supervisor Ostrander has attacked his Democratic neighbors again with Trumpian fear mongering.
He stated on one of his political cards that “We are standing strong in Milton to protect our streets and schools from the dangerous policies from Albany Democrats.” Last spring, the Town of Milton Republican Committee also smeared its Democratic neighbors when it implied that Democratic candidates would be responsible for restricting freedoms, supporting illegal immigration licenses and giving preferential treatment to convicts in Milton. Just recently, several Milton Republican Committee members supported the attacks on social media of shaming a gay Democratic worker. These destructive tactics create an atmosphere in the town of Milton where residents have been given permission to attack their neighbors. Our town is better than this.
One thing is for sure: The team of Zlotnick, Kerr and Isachsen has pledged to represent all residents of Milton fairly. Divisive rhetoric, hate messages and dog whistle fear have no place in Milton. We are proud Democrats working to make the town of Milton a better place for all our neighbors. Vote Nov. 5.
Ellie Dillon
Ballston Spa
The writer is chairperson of the Town of Milton Democratic Committee.


Spa City needs four more years of Kelly

Saratoga Springs needs Meg Kelly as its mayor for another term. She is a no-nonsense and honest leader who has made progress in solving issues in the city.
She has a consultative and collaborative style that serves the city well. When a new parking garage for the City Center was mired in controversy and lawsuits, she brought together all the stakeholders to work on a solution that led to construction of a new parking structure.
Meg Kelly has shown how innovative thinking can be used to solve a hot-button problem. In this case, it was the controversial City Center gun show that she ended by renegotiating the lease between the city, which owns the property, and the independent City Center board, which programs the facility.
Kelly is an effective administrator in overseeing the functions of her office. The processes for building and development generally took 14 weeks for a standard request (including for individual homeowners). Meg worked with the departments involved to streamline the process and cut the time nearly in half.
We citizens of Saratoga Springs need Meg Kelly for two more years and she has my vote on Nov. 5.
Cynthia Corbett
Saratoga Springs


Dodson, Collins are best for Rotterdam

There are two candidates running for the Town Board in Rotterdam.
The Town Board faces a challenge by sensible Jack Dodson, a civil engineer, who has raised several issues with the town concerning unfettered housing growth and its impact on our resources like water, traffic, police and other first responders.
Dodson has been pressing our supervisor for a comprehensive plan of the town’s growth, and finally (after a considerable amount of growth has already taken place), the board announces plans for a comprehensive plan, at election time.
Molly Collins is a write-in candidate for town supervisor who has also questioned the plans for the future of our town. Collins will freeze future development until a well-constructed plan is in place for all town residents to see. She puts the interest of our residents ahead of developer’s grandiose ideas.
As a longtime Rotterdam resident, I want my town back. I want to hear from my representatives when something forever changes the neighborhood I live in before it gets approved by the board.
Help save Rotterdam on Election Day by casting only two votes — one for Jack Dodson and a write-in vote for Molly Collins.
Bud Vincent
Rotterdam


Jaquith will be fair and diligent in Nisky

I’m encouraging you to consider the many positive, impactful qualities of Rosemarie Perez Jaquith, who is seeking election on the Niskayuna Town Board.
Many of you have met her, as she has been cheerfully walking Niskayuna door to door introducing herself and most importantly, listening. This dedication is indicative of her natural inclination for public service.
Rosemarie is blessed with many skills, exemplified in her position as administrative counsel for the state Legislative Bill Drafting Commission, as well as a six-year school board member and past president.
Rosemarie is not only a savvy attorney, administrator and school board member, but also a loyal and compassionate individual who whole-heartedly cares about people. She maintains a broad perspective, being a first generation Cuban American and raising three children. Rosemarie’s devotion to the welfare of children extends beyond our community, as she is an instrumental, founding member of the St. Baldrick’s Head Shaving Event at Proctors, raising over $500,000 toward pediatric cancer research.
Rosemarie works diligently for what she believes in by inspiring and fostering lasting change. She is a never-endingly passionate and balanced individual.
A vote for Rosemarie is a vote for someone you can trust to work fairly and diligently.
Stacy DeBritz
Niskayuna

 

Respect large groups of generous bikers

I have never been so compelled to respond to a letter until the question of shutting down the road for motorcycles appeared. I was privileged to be involved as one of the “noisy, smelly motorcycles,” which was a fundraiser for the Toys for Tots organization. For the uninformed folks out there, this program is run by the United States Marine Corps and the toys are distributed for folks who cannot afford to buy their children gifts for Christmas.
I’m not sure if this event qualifies as a “noble cause” for those who might have been “inconvenienced,” but it sure was an honor for me to be involved again this year. Please know that any time you see a group of bikers en masse, they are most likely involved in a fundraising event, the scope of which is massive. We come from all walks of life and occupations. I hope this explanation provokes folks to be more informed and understanding the next time they experience a little delay in their travels. Thank you to all the bikers who took the time to give and participate in such a great cause.
Sue Emanuele
Schenectady


Send a message in Nisky; vote for GOP

I would like to suggest two things to voters in Niskayuna.
First, go on YouTube (Town of Niskayuna) and watch the beginnings of the Town Board meetings (Privilege of the Floor) from the last six to nine months and listen to the painful frustration of the citizens of our community.
Why, you ask? The current Niskayuna board needs some change. The Democratic majority has done nothing but obstruct the business of the town. And in the last six months, they have run a smear campaign against the candidates and family members of the Green and Republican parties and the organization Progressive Schenectady.
And second, hold your nose and vote for the candidates on the Republican line. I know because of national politics this is very hard for many. But Niskayuna Republican candidates are not far right. They are moderates who care about what has been happening in our community. Time for change, at least until the Niskayuna Democratic Party can clean up its act. Time to bring back respect and decent citizen-focused leadership on the board. Vote for Syed, Chao, O’Donnell and Simone. Send a message.
Margaret Brennan
Niskayuna


Honor color guard with correct names

I must admit I’m very upset about pictures on pages 1 and 2 of your Oct. 17 Clifton Park and Halfmoon paper. It would have been nice to have labeled the color guard properly. From left to right is Allen Ayotte, Paul Toomey, David Brinkmoeller, commander of the post, and in the background is John Dahoda who is also shown on page 2. Mr. Dahoda is a World War II vet. The VFW is made up of combat veterans only, and our post is 1498 of Halfmoon/Clifton Park on state Route 9. A little more research from the reporter would have been very, very nice.
Glenn Linneman
Clifton Park


Proud to support Jaquith in Niskayuna

Having had the pleasure to work with Rosemarie Perez Jaquith on the Niskayuna Board of Education for two years, I have never met anyone more committed to the well-being of students. She always moved forward with a strategic vision and the community’s best interests at heart. Her experience as an attorney, director and president of the Niskayuna school board, among a multitude of other things, all contribute to her being an ideal candidate for Niskayuna Town Council. A dedicated public servant, an admirable leader and even better friend, I am proud to endorse Rosemarie Perez Jaquith for the Niskayuna Town Council.
Ambreen Aslam
Niskayuna


Ostrander hasn’t served Milton well

It’s time for a change in the town of Milton election. We saw what happened in the village of Ballston Spa when the John Romano-led Republicans ruled for over 20 years. A huge fiscal deficit, reduced services and manpower cuts to the bone. Milton is headed in the same direction.
Scott Ostrander tells you what a great fiscal job he’s done as supervisor. What he doesn’t tell you is while Milton raised your taxes, the towns of Malta, Ballston and Charlton, just to name a few, have no town tax. These towns have used their sales tax money with fiscal responsibility. Meanwhile, Mr. Ostrander is the Milton puppet, with his employee friends pulling the strings. He appointed a non-resident of the town on the budget committee, telling the taxpayers in the town how to spend their money. He hired an animal control officer friend at over $42,000 who won’t pick up anything but dogs. There are other examples of this. If the other towns can do it, so can Milton. I urge you to vote for fiscal responsibility. Vote Zlotnick, Kerr and Isachsen.
Jim Capasso
Ballston Spa


Support Sherman’s Park referendum

The people of the town of Caroga have a decision to make. Do we choose to support a plan to attract more folks to come to our town by providing family entertainment through music and other unique planned events?
Voters need to keep in mind that even in its heyday, Sherman’s Park would not have been successful if it relied solely upon the residents of Caroga to maintain and support it.
People traveled from Schenectady, Cobleskill, Amsterdam and many other places because Sherman’s had a great reputation as an affordable, accessible and popular outdoor and indoor recreation spot.
When the amusement park was closed, Caroga began its descent into an economic decline.
If the referendum is defeated, we may end up with a town-maintained park with a “horseless carousel building,” instead of a wonderful live-performance and community-focused center. Several years of noted successful efforts to re-build that base of fans and visitors could come to a halt, denying the best chance that Caroga has seen in decades. The voters of the town of Caroga hold the future for folks well beyond its boundary limits who will not have this opportunity to voice their support.
If you enjoy the rodeo revival, the jazz, the programs for children and the possibilities for lots of great music, you need to come to the polls and vote “Yes,” supporting the CAC referendum.
Martha Price
Caroga Lake


Vote for Jaquith to get good decisions

As a Niskayuna resident and voter, I will cast my vote for Rosemarie Perez Jaquith for Town Council. Rosemarie has a track record of supporting diversity efforts and listens to voices from all backgrounds. From my experience working with her on the school board, I observed that she is always meticulous in analyzing issues from every angle and aims to make decisions to benefit all involved. I believe Rosemarie’s expertise and energy at the Town Council will benefit all Niskayuna residents. I wish her the best on Nov. 5 and urge my neighbors to cast a vote for Rosemarie.
Jennifer Zhao
Niskayuna


Duanesburg needs Collins on town board

Duanesburg voters deserve to know the truth about what is happening in this town.
One-party rule is becoming an increasing disaster. Voters are pretty much left in the dark, with little to no communication about town business, and not one elected official has defined office hours so you can talk to them.
Most towns have already announced their budgets for next year, while Duanesburg leaders are delaying announcing theirs for obvious political reasons. They scheduled a “tax cap override meeting” for Oct. 24.
What happened to the over 2 million town budget surplus we had?  Not only will taxes go up, but the additional check we get each year from the state for about $300 will go away if they exceed the tax cap. It’s also sad that they are hoping that the delay will get them past Election Day without anyone being the wiser.We deserve better and can start the process on Election Day by voting for Tom Collins on the Conservative line for the unexpired term on the Town Board. Tom is a proven professional with government and business experience who can help put the town back on the right track.
Robert Cuttita
Duanesburg


How to destroy the U.S. from within

If I were a foreign power trying to wield destructive influence within the United States:
1. I’d try to blur the line between patriotism and racism: I’d promote the phrase “white nationalism.” Further, I’d set demographics against each other by discussing all negative interactions between individuals through racial and gender lenses.
2. I’d push to reduce financial incentives to be productive: those that give nothing to society should be quite comfortable; those that achieve should be heavily taxed.
3. I’d degrade personal responsibility; everyone’s problems (student loan debt, incarceration, etc.) would be cast as the fault of society.
4. I’d subvert democracy by insisting that laws and due process (immigration law, burden of proof, statute of limitations, etc.) can all be ignored as politics dictates.
5. I’d want more people to be stoned, so I’d support marijuana availability.
6. I wouldn’t look for root causes for antisocial, psychopathic, sociopathic or suicidal behavior. Rather, I would disarm everyone that obeys the law. I might promote a term like “gun violence” to help people ignore other violence.
7. I’d alienate law enforcement by selective amplification of any police misdeeds or by outright distortion of tragedies where misdeeds did not occur.
8. If my country had a massive carbon footprint, I’d push unilateral carbon reduction by the United States to solve global warming.
9. If I had worked hard to impose a rapacious trade arrangement to drain the wealth from the United States, I’d relentlessly attack anyone who challenged it.
Norman Perazzo
Glenville


Slezak has makings of a great judge

What makes a great judge? In my 40 years of law practice, having appeared before dozens of judges in many different courts, I’ve concluded that the characteristics of our best judges are: unbiased listening skills; the habit of staying current in the law; the ability to apply the law to the facts of my case in a fair and impartial manner. And judges who do all of this, while displaying a demeanor that is respectful to both the attorneys and the parties before them, are exceptional.
Rebecca Slezak is one of six candidates for four openings in the Supreme Court, 4th Judicial District. She’s smart, fair, up-to-date in the law and demonstrates civility in every area of her life. She’s had 17 years of relevant experience as an associate court attorney in Montgomery County Family Court, where she has assisted Judge Philip V. Cortese by mediating settlements between adverse parties, presiding over settlements placed on the record in the absence of the Family Court Judge, researching the law and drafting decisions for the judge’s review and signature. She has what it takes.
I strongly endorse Rebecca Slezak for Supreme Court. She will serve our community well in this position.
Cristine Cioffi
Schenectady


Plan travel with the environment in mind

When planning a vacation, avoid crowds by researching destinations off the beaten path for a higher footprint and deeper enjoyment. Look at eco-tourism options through travel companies that support sustainable development, avoid negative environmental impact and financially support local communities. Look close to home.
We live in a stunning, varied, and diverse area. Look with fresh eyes while treading lighter and possibly spending fewer dollars. Step into green travel with a lighter environmental footprint by intentionally eating and shopping at local places dedicated to fair trade. For example, consider  independent hotels, mom and pop eateries, and homestays.
Enjoy. This planet is filled with breathtaking experiences. The greener your steps, the better others can enjoy their travels.
Renate Reeves-Ellington
Delmar


Vote for GOP slate to best serve Milton

As many of us know, Milton has long been the hotbed of political turmoil, and this year proves to be the same as so many in the past. The Republican Committee in the town of Milton opted not to endorse two of its incumbents this time around. Those deposed are unhappy. However, the committee, unlike many other political committees, does not endorse incumbents who don’t do their job.
Drama, grandstanding, making up fairy tales and personal ambition are not in the job description for town supervisor or Town Council.
These deposed incumbents very cleverly, after losing the Republican primary, have sought and received the endorsement of the Democratic Party in Milton. This does not speak well of the Democrat Committee. Rather than endorsing one of their own, they have taken in two characters who were found to be unworthy by their own party. The decision to do so smacks of a power-play rather than a decision seated in the best interests of citizens regardless of political affiliation.
Vote Republican this year. Vote Ostrander, Bianchi and Soden, Milton’s GOP team, three intelligent and levelheaded people, and let’s bring Milton politics back down to Earth at long last.
Doug Bennett
Ballston Spa


Dump Syed over Pro Nisky party effort

I am writing because I find troubling the candidacy of Niskayuna Supervisor Yasmine Syed. She seems like a pleasant person, but what she did earlier this year in attempting to create the Pro Nisky Party is concerning.
Ms. Syed said the new party was nonpartisan. Yet the help she recruited came from Nick Langworthy, then head of the Erie County Republicans, who thereafter replaced Ed Cox as chair of the state Republican Committee because he thought Mr. Cox was not sufficiently supportive of Donald Trump.
Mr. Langworthy, on the other hand, is a full-throated supporter, who assisted Ms. Syed by sending Erie County volunteers to Niskayuna to obtain signatures on a petition to create this new party.
Read about it yourself in The Gazette by searching Pro Nisky online.  
Did Ms. Syed truly believe that she was not going to be beholden to Mr. Langworthy?  I can think of only two explanations for her statements. Either she thinks Niskayuna voters will believe any poppycock so long as it is said in a sincere tone, or she is excruciatingly naive, poised to be used by Mr. Langworthy for his own statewide purposes. I suggest looking elsewhere for the next supervisor.
Jerry Jasinski
Niskayuna


Vote for LWV debate winners in Spa City

The winners of the League of Women Voters debates in Saratoga Springs are obvious.
Mayor: Meg Kelly accomplished more in two years than the previous mayor accomplished in four. The new City Center garage and Geyser Trail are two high-profile examples.
Finance: Michele Madigan kept taxes flat for 8 years. Her challenger obviously doesn’t understand how to develop and manage the city’s $50 million budget. For example: The challenger doesn’t even know that New York state requires Saratoga Springs to keep a reserve fund, a critical safety measure. It’s frightening that during eight months of campaigning, she didn’t care enough to learn about the job.
Public Works: Skip Scirocco has improved the water infrastructure and increased our water supply. Additionally, he’s leading the complex reconstruction of City Hall after it was hit by lightning. His challenger was antagonistic, flinging accusations rather than solutions, proving he would hinder the team successfully running Saratoga Springs.
Public Safety: Robin Dalton, the newcomer, has done her homework and obviously is ready to step into this leadership position.
County Supervisors: Matt Veitch and Steve Mittler would make the best team to help Saratoga Springs at the county. Please join me and vote for these debate winners.
Bonnie Sellers
Saratoga Springs


For Nisky town clerk, Martinelli is the best

I am writing in support of Michele Martinelli, our current Niskayuna town clerk. In my opinion, the primary focus of the town clerk’s office is to provide residents with efficient and courteous service on a daily basis. If you have visited or called the town clerk’s office since Michele Martinelli has become clerk (for information on a water main break, a dog permit, a copy of a birth certificate, a block party permit, etc.), you know firsthand that she and her deputies make residents feel like valued customers.
There has been a lot of focus during this election on the posting and approval of Town Board meeting minutes. Although Michele Martinelli is responsible for preparing the minutes, the Town Board needs to approve them. Approved and draft minutes can be found on the Niskayuna website. In addition, a live stream of all Town Board meetings can be found on both Open Stage Media and You Tube. One-hundred percent transparency.
Michele Martinelli is a hardworking public servant who has earned another term as our Niskayuna town clerk.
Shari Brunner
Schenectady


Glenville slate looks out for your taxes

Glenville Town Board candidates Andrew Kohout and Eric Buskirk are misleading voters. Kohout and Buskirk don’t understand that taxes collected and tax rates are two different numbers. This is inexcusable for candidates for a position that will vote on municipal budgets.
Additionally, I reviewed the Scotia Code of Ethics, and Kohout has conflicts of interest due to his appointed village position. State advisory ethics opinions are consistent with my opinion.
Increases in town tax rates are less than Kohout and Buskirk’s misleading numbers presented in a recent mailing. Glenville has grown the tax base while keeping tax rates near inflation rates. The town is promoting responsible growth in the Amsterdam Road, Freemans Bridge Road and Town Center commercial areas to increase the tax base, reducing the tax rate increases.
I’m a former mayor of Scotia and Glenville town councilman and have a taxpayer-friendly track record of cutting spending utilizing a zero-based budgeting approach.
Glenville Supervisor Chris Koetzle, Council members Gina Wierzbowski and Jim Martin also prudently manage taxpayer dollars; lean budgets, growing the fund balance (rainy day fund) and reducing debt, which will serve taxpayers well when the economic cycle inevitably turns.
I will be supporting incumbent Council members Wierzbowski and Martin.
Jim Denney
Scotia


Rybak will support transparency in town

I am registered to vote in town of Clifton Park. I have been concerned about a number of issues, and one that really upset me is the votes of the Town Board.
So many of the votes are 5-0. It was mentioned at the League of Women Voters debate that issues are resolved before the actual town board meetings.
Negotiations are done behind closed doors, leaving members of the public to wonder when the discussions were held. When the town board voted to rezone the school property that contained 37 acres of pristine woodland, it enabled the school board to market the land as commercial property. Were it not for the actions of a group of concerned citizens, the property would resemble the “wooded” property behind Ravenswood Restaurant on Routes 146 and 146A. Instead of a nice neighborhood of single family homes, hundreds of condos are proposed. Many developments along Ushers Road and Par Del Rio, for example, have many saved woodlands. We need new viewpoints expressed at town board meetings.
I hope to have issues discussed in open forums, and I will be voting for Kerensa Rybak for Clifton Park Town Board.
Nancy Bellamy
Ballston Lake
The writer is the secretary of the Clifton Park Democratic Committee.

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