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Finger-pointing is childish, reflects badly on the mayor

Sunday, March 17, 2013
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Finger-pointing is childish, reflects badly on the mayor

As a parent, I always taught my children that whenever one points a finger at someone, one points three at oneself. Mr. [Schenectady Mayor Gary] McCarthy should learn the same lesson.

At the March 11 City Council meeting, the mayor again blamed the city’s financial woes on Union College. Since I [no longer] work for Union, I will let those at the college speak for themselves.

Suffice it to say, Union — a business with a roughly $300 million annual impact on the community — was threatened by a neighborhood of crack houses, buildings that did not meet code (such as the former Ramada Inn) and rampant crime; so it invested $26 million in cleaning up the Seward Place/College Park neighborhood.

Even though a strong argument can be made that the financial impact of Union’s actions had little effect on the city’s budget, the same cannot be said for the mayor who — first as a council member and then as mayor — burdened the city with the Foster Avenue “Taj Mahal” it did not need and could not afford, and added 22 employees to the city’s payroll in taking over the water treatment plant.

Look in the mirror and stop pointing fingers; even children know one shouldn’t do so, Mr. Mayor.

Roger Hull

Schenectady

The writer, former president of Union College, was the Alliance Party’s candidate for mayor.

SAFE Act’s passage was government at its worst

Today’s national political trend of reacting to our problems with misguided blame lacks integrity. Law-abiding gun owners are being blamed for the actions of criminals in the same manner that teachers are being blamed for bad parenting.

Bad people are difficult to control. If they followed the rules and did their best, they wouldn’t be bad to begin with.

Regardless, too many politicians like to give the persona that they can solve any problem. Action must be taken, any action, even if it’s not a viable solution. The SAFE Act is the classic non-viable solution: It will not have a significant effect on violence in this state. However, it does have a significant impact on our constitutional rights.

The New York SAFE Act was passed in the dead of night without due process. Whether you are for or against gun control, the manner in which this legislation was passed should trouble you.

State Assembly bill A4762 and Senate bill S3498 seek to safeguard our right of due process by limiting the governor’s ability to call for a message of necessity. Speak up for your right of due process before it is too late by asking your legislators to repeal the SAFE Act and support these bills.

Don Steciak

Schenectady

Snowmobiles dangerous? Just give 'em the gun treatment

Re the March 11 article on snowmobile fatalities: It is obvious that legislation is needed to make the trails safer and to protect state residents.

Snowmobiling accounted for more deaths this year than the weapons, ammunition, etc. banned by a law passed in the dark of night on an emergency basis. The “need of urgency” should be used to stop the carnage before this season ends.

I am confident the governor and downstate legislators know what is best for this deadly upstate sport. A senseless, ill-conceived bill can be quickly passed that would criminalize every responsible snowmobiler and subject them to provisions that would discourage them from even owning a snow machine. New York state could be the first state to pass a comprehensive SAFE Act for snowmobiling.

Most, if not all, of these accidents and deaths were the result of people who made some bad decisions and were responsible for their own actions. It was not the fault of the snowmobile, helmet, etc., but we could still ban certain machines and equipment to protect the residents of this nanny state.

This may upset some people, but remember: If we save just one life or injury, it is worth it.

James Retajczyk

Duanesburg

How can Democrats support drone killings?

Is it the tyranny or who’s the tyrant? As we [consider] the opposition to extra-judicial drone killings, one must ask, “Where are all the Democrats who expressed outrage over George Bush’s civil liberties violations?”

As the president continues to seize due process and claim more power, why are not more “liberal” Democratic members of Congress suspiciously skeptical of the consolidation of executive power for the purpose of a “war on terror?”

It is intellectually dishonest to claim moral outrage for water-boarding and then ignore the targeted assassination of American citizens abroad. Most egregious are our senators, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, who have remained mute on the issue. Contrast their shameful silence with the venerable stance taken by Sen. Rand Paul.

In a 13-hour filibuster filled with substance, Sen. Paul’s defense of civil liberties makes it abundantly clear: If you want the Constitution enforced, then you can not rely on the federal government to limit their own power.

John Sokolewicz

Malta

Gazette wrong, town right, on cable rate fight

The recent settlement between Time Warner Cable and the attorney general ends a four-year dispute centering on the town of Glenville’s assertion that Time Warner was overcharging subscribers for service [March 8 Gazette].

This dispute gained attention from Gazette editors, who quickly opined that the dispute was hardly worth the fuss and that I, in particular, was just being “combative” and “defensive.” After digging deeper, the Gazette realized its error and clarified its position in a subsequent editorial, finally agreeing it was worth the fight but predicting that the town could not beat Time Warner. I am happy to report that the editors were wrong in both cases.

Last week, Time Warner did indeed agree to pay our residents back their full $1.2 million in overcharges. Our residents will get between $150 and $300 back for overpayment. This fight was worth it and this Town Board was correct to pursue this matter on behalf of our residents.

Credit for our residents getting their money back belongs to many people, but in particular, town attorney Mike Cuevas, for all of his research, analysis, and responses and official notices to Time Warner; for his work convincing the attorney general to take the case in the first place, for his trips to New York City to meet with Time Warner, and for his recruiting other towns to the cause.

He also put in a lot of time working with town employees to assemble the documents needed and provided support to the attorney general’s office. Mostly, I want to thank him for his willingness to take on the case — at no additional cost to the town — when all others thought it was futile.

I am proud to serve with this Town Board for they have always remained resolute in their duty to serve the residents’ best interests despite criticism from the media, and we are all fortunate to have the good counsel of Mr. Cuevas.

Chris Koetzle

Glenville

The writer is town supervisor.

Gun debate has reached a standoff, so drop it

Re the NRA rally against Gov. Cuomo’s gun bill [“Pro-gun voices converge,” March 1], I feel the ralliers are wasting their breath.

While I believe it’s pertinent to exercise our right to speak against what we believe is wrong, this whole gun battle is becoming monotonous. Both sides value their opinions so vehemently that neither is able to come to a solution that’s in everybody’s best interest.

Is Cuomo’s bill in violation of the Constitution or does it all depend on your interpretation of the Second Amendment? I believe more controversy has arisen by banning assault weapons than the assault weapons themselves have caused, and it’s evident that this is a battle that simply cannot be won — by either side.

Gov. Cuomo has only sparked a fire, and there are no reasonable means of extinguishing it in sight.

Sam Gifford

Delanson

The writer is a student at Duanesburg High School.

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comments

March 18, 2013
8:11 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Mayor Gary Mccarthy has been watching too many Obama made up telepromptor speeches. What King Gary has learned is , blame, blame, blame and don't take responsibility for what he has caused. From everything I know and have been told, he was not a good investigator, he was a terrible councilman and now he is a terrible mayor. Let's see if the Gazette continues on their quest to stop the truth and delete this comment too.

March 18, 2013
8:23 a.m.
cidbil says...

The first time Gary McCarthy crossed my radar, I said to myself, "Political Hack"......nothing he's said done has changed my opinion.......He's a beady-eyed sleaze ball, and he and his ilk represent everything that's wrong with politics...JMHO

March 21, 2013
4:37 p.m.
tplansing says...

James Retajczyk, In response to your letter. I can't agree with what you wrote more! Having been an instructor in Safe Snowmobile Operation Courses put on by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. And having been a Park Police Officer, I too have seen too many instances of people who own snowmobiles being east side of a horse going west! (to put it politely). Many of those doing the dumb stuff, I ticketed for those violations, unfortunately, there is not law against stupid.

If only our downstate legislators would take the time to equate the Automobile with the snowmobile, them maybe a quickly pushed through bill much like the SAFE Act, would go through banning cars and trucks thus eliminating many of the accidents on our roads that kill and/or maime so many people each, would eliminate all drunk driving related accidents, because those figures haven't reduced that much over the years, and car/pedestrian/small child accidents haven't been reduced that much either. So downstate legislators and Mr. Governor, maybe that is what you needed to do instead of aiming at your poorly conceived gun legislation. Take aim at cars and trucks on the roads. Outlaw them first and see what happens first. Before going after the state's LAW ABIDING GUN OWNERS!

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