Sebelius hired wrong company, should be fired for fiasco

Thursday, October 24, 2013
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Sebelius hired wrong company, should be fired for fiasco

The so-called rollout of Obamacare is a nightmare. The most recent problems are with the Internet site where folks are supposed to be able to sign up for insurance. Millions have gone to the site or tried to get on the site — mostly to no avail.

Some call it a minor computer glitch. In reality, it is a computer fiasco.

How did this happen? The secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, was in charge of constructing this complicated system. She hired a Canadian firm, CGI Federal, which was given a contract worth over $200 million — with no responsibility to complete that work for that price and on time. Now they are in overruns at taxpayer expense — likely to run into half a billion dollars. To make matters worse, this contract was given to CGI without requiring competitive bidding.

CGI has a reputation for failing to deliver. Major decisions were made behind closed doors at HHS without oversight. It is interesting to note that the Canadian government, in 2012, fired CGI’s parent company for missing three years of deadlines and developing a substandard product that proved unworkable.

It will now take several months of continuous patches to the website that was built with old technology and full of security problems just to gain basic functionality — like giving the correct information to insurers.

The government apparently did not test each section and did not do a trial run because they wanted to rush to put up the website.

Sebelius, who had three years to get ready, should be fired.

Don Cazer


Preserve Princetown town court security

It’s a sad state of affairs when the supervisor of Princetown believes court security is “much ado about nothing” (Gazette editorial page, Oct. 14, 2013). How does one justify protection for the public by the number of cases a court hears?

I cannot fault the Gazette’s opinion, because it is based on Mr. Joyce’s misrepresentation of the facts. These are the facts that either Mr. Joyce doesn’t know or intentionally leaves out.

Mr. Joyce claims there is a decline in Princetown town court cases, and yet it still has collected more than $1.5 million and is the second highest town court in Schenectady County reporting fines to the state comptroller over the past three years. With this said, Mr. Joyce and the town board approved budgeted monies for court security for the 2013 calendar year — and yet, according to Mr. Joyce, security and the clerical budget had to be cut because of the decline in court cases. Once again, how does the number of court cases overshadow the need for public protection?

Mr. Joyce and the Gazette belittle the importance of Princetown court by stating it is a parking and speeding ticket court. First, Mr. Joyce does not even know that the town of Princetown has no parking violation bureau. Second, the town of Princetown has adjudicated cases from violations, misdemeanors and felonies to civil, small claims and summary proceedings. These cases pertain to Vehicle and Traffic Law, Penal Law, Environmental Conservation Law, Public Health Law, Alcohol Beverage Control Law, tax laws, transportation laws, as well as Princetown local laws.

Mr. Joyce intentionally leaves out incidents that have occurred in the past, including the man who came to court under the influence of alcohol with a gun, several threats upon personnel in the Town Hall, and unruly behavior disturbing court proceedings. All these incidents place the public in harm’s way.

I will not relent when it comes to the need for two security officers in the Princetown court, just as Sheriff Dom Dagostino won’t. Security, not just for the town of Princetown court, is like an insurance policy: One never really wants to use it, but if the need arises it is in place to protect the public. Obviously, Mr. Joyce does not feel this way.

Michelle A. VanWoeart


The writer is town justice.

Mont Pleasant kids a model of good behavior

Recently there has been a great deal of negative news about Mont Pleasant Middle School students: insubordination, fighting in school and after school, lack of discipline and all-around chaos, bullying and violence.

Recently, I attended a matinee performance of “Sleeping Beauty” [at Proctors]. Seated with friends, we noticed a very large group of teenagers enter the theater, walk politely and quietly to their seats in the upper balcony. I asked them what school they were from, and they said Mont Pleasant.

Were these the students I had been hearing about all week? They were very polite and friendly and obviously enjoyed the show, evidenced by their behavior and enthusiasm, as part of a very appreciative audience.

Let’s hear more good news about the good kids. There are a lot of them out there.

Anita Riccio


The writer is a retired teacher.

Good example set by job for disabled woman

In 2012, I approached [Princetown Supervisor] Mike Joyce concerning the possibility of the town participating in an internship in which my daughter Denise, a young lady with Down syndrome, would be involved. Mike was very receptive and stated he would bring it before the Town Board.

The support received from the board and Mike Joyce was overwhelming. Mike provided Denise with all the means needed for her success. It resulted in Denise being given the opportunity to work as the town’s mail clerk.

I would be remiss not to give special thanks to Ila Oby-Mead (bookkeeper and Denise’s on-the-job supervisor), who showed kindness, patience and encouragement every step of the way.

The Employment Training Program [EPT] is a state-funded program through the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. This program provides a job coach for training. The coach works hand-in-hand with the employer and the potential employee. The goal of the program is to help the participant become suitably and gainfully employed.

This is a great program, and I wish to thank [EPT Supervisor] Gloria Hart for her support. My hope is that other employers will follow Princetown’s fine example and provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Lillian Tietz


Letter writer the one who’s really in denial

Gary P. Guido’s Oct. 23 letter, “Republicans still in denial over damage inflicted on U.S.,” is a classic case of Obama damage denial.

To those who think like Gary, ask yourselves this: “Who has doubled the amount of debt that Bush put us in?” “Whose social change has destroyed the middle class and created more poor?”

And: “Who has more dead and wounded in a war that he promised to end five years ago than Bush had in eight years?”

Terry K. Hurlburt


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October 24, 2013
7:16 a.m.
CarolynMB says...


October 24, 2013
7:19 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Terry K. Hurlburt, people just don't know because unfortunately people don't care about politics. I had a person at work talking about how great the Today Show is with getting out the news. I asked him if he knew that NBC and the Today Show were responsible for doctoring 911 tapes about George Zimmerman? He called me a liar and when I printed proof his response was "ok whatever, it must be true it's on the internet" and walked away. People watch mainstream news or none at all, they have no idea that more soldiers have died under Obama than Bush, they really don't know that Obama is doubling the debt and acting like a dictator. We don't have valid reporters anymore, look at the stories this paper puts out. Obama and his people get out on the news and start attacking people as Birthers about his place of birth and conspiracy theorists for Benghazi Fast and Furious, NSA, IRS and all of the other scandals. Now when it comes to his socialized healthcare that is costing jobs and raising taxes by redistribution of the wealth in America, he has his people all over the TV saying that the GOP are domestic terrorists and want America to fail because they don't want to help poor people. People need to wake up before it's too late.

October 24, 2013
7:58 a.m.
gina99 says...

Anita-Wake up and start demanding better reporting. For too long the media has been looking the other way at the gang explosion, lack of opportunity and the same elite incompetents running for re-election in Schenectady. Students behaving at a show is no cause for rejoicing. Change is coming because it has to.

October 24, 2013
6:19 p.m.
Phils2008 says...

wmarincic, it's worse then not caring. Democrat voters dont want to know. The less they actually know, the less chance that the handouts will stop. Keep sending the money and we'll hear no evil see no evil and speak no evil. There has got to be some modicum of common sense in liberals yet they cant even acknowledge the possibility that the party leaders lie to them. Zimmerman was a classic example of liberals doctoring the news feed to their ignorant constituents. What did those liberal voters do? They demanded justice. I've seen more interest in reality, common sense, and thought from an animal cracker then I do from most liberals.

October 24, 2013
6:39 p.m.
nanmossey says...

I wish there was a "Like" button on some of these comments!

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