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From doubters to backers of Fulton County trash plan

Friday, February 21, 2014
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From doubters to backers of Fulton County trash plan

With regard to the Feb. 11 article, “Board OKs trash contract,” we object to our being characterized as against the contract. Specifically the statement, “At Monday’s meeting were Liz and Paul Russo, Johnstown residents armed with a list of reasons Montgomery County garbage should stay out of their county.” This is not accurate. We did not go with our minds set against the proposal.

In our former occupation as science teachers, we always stressed to our students that one should gather as much data as possible before drawing conclusions. In this garbage disposal matter, we felt that we did not have enough information. We had some questions/concerns. We enumerated some of them in a letter to our supervisor, Mr. Jack Callery.

Near the beginning of the meeting, the board said they would entertain five-minute comments from the public. Liz kindly volunteered to read the letter as a public statement. When Mr. [county solid waste director Jeff] Bouchard arrived, the supervisors went into executive session. As we waited outside the council chambers, Liz made the NIMBY comment. (“Nobody wants a dump in their backyard.”) But your reporting was misleading as she was referring not to Fulton County but rather to the fact that Montgomery County had not established its own landfill even though it had been unhappy with MOSA for years.

At the outset, we were not necessarily opposed to the deal but had some questions and concerns. As a result of Mr. Bouchard’s presentation and the board discussion, we felt our issues were more than adequately addressed. However, after the meeting, no reporter asked us if we were satisfied with the information we had received. As a matter of fact, if we were allowed to vote on the resolution, we would have voted in the affirmative!

Having been born and raised in Montgomery County, we wish its populace only the best and now see this deal as a win-win situation. We are also longtime residents of Fulton County and are proud of and grateful to our forward-thinking supervisors. Through their efforts, our county has become a leader in water supply, sewage treatment and sanitary landfill development.

Elizabeth and Paul Russo

Johnstown

A tax by another name in Rotterdam

Our Town Board passed a budget last year assuming increased revenue, not from taxes but from “fees,” not yet collected or approved or implemented by the board until just now coming up on the agenda this year.

Apparently, [Supervisor Harry] Buffardi and [financial consultant and former supervisor John] Paolino not only don’t need to live within a budget with a 2 percent tax cap, they don’t need to let the public comment on the fees at a hearing in a timely manner! This hearing should have happened before the budget was passed. They did not figure our town would have two new councilmen, Joe Villano and Rick Larmour, who are not rubber-stamping their clever way to circumvent the tax cap.

Brush fees are not fair, because there is no unit of measure. Veterans and seniors are not tax-exempt from these fees and they are struggling to live on a fixed income. How can we pass a budget in this day, the way the economy is, when they gave out $126,000 in raises and then they want to implement fees for the taxpayers?

Nice way to hide a tax, Buffardi/Paolino team!

Tracy Donovan

Rotterdam

The writer is the Rotterdam Republican town chairwoman.

Plowing complaint made no sense

It had been snowing for the past three hours on the morning of Feb. 15 when I read Michele Draves’ letter regarding her dissatisfaction with snow removal on her road. I live nearby and my curiosity got the best of me so I drove over to check out the situation. What did I see? Just a mostly level and a very clean road down to the asphalt.

Mrs. Draves complained that during the snowstorm the Schenectady County Highway Department left a three-foot snowbank on Swaggertown Road blocking Country Fair Lane and that the Glenville Highway Department was neglecting her road, inferring the neglect was out of political retaliation. I wonder if her hubris and sense of self-importance could be used to fill large potholes during the summer.

A two-punch major snowstorm that shuts down school districts in the region is a challenge to all highway departments, especially those of towns. We the residents of Glenville understand the reality of snowstorms. It is something that offers difficulties to all. While the state and county primarily deals with wide thoroughfares, the town deals with narrow and many dead-end streets where placement of removed snow is more problematic.

To complain that your road is not cleared of snow during a snowstorm is like complaining to the waiter that your meal has not arrived before you even ordered. And to think that highway crews would neglect an entire neighborhood just to pick on you based on local politics is just plain bizarre.

We live in a good town that is getting better every year. I am willing to bet that if Michele Draves lived in the only house on a road in Glenville, it would be plowed just like everyone else’s.

Kurt Semon

Glenville

Proctors produces for the handicapped

My husband was a COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary] patient, on oxygen and regularly used a wheelchair. We found it very difficult to shop or dine in downtown Schenectady. So when we needed to shop or wanted to go out to dinner, we would drive into Albany.

However, please give credit where it is due. Proctors was always the one place in Schenectady where we could go and see a wonderful show without facing any problems or feeling out of place.

They are truly the “North Star” of Schenectady with regard to the handicapped, and other businesses would do well to follow their lead.

Nancy E. Straight

Pattersonville

Consider all evidence on minimum wage

Don Steiner, in his Feb. 18 letter to the editor, asserts that there is no evidence to support the theory that raising the minimum wage would adversely affect employment. This is not correct.

In a Jan. 30 article in The Wall Street Journal, the debate among economists is clearly laid out. Some feel that an increase would indeed affect job creation positively, while others argue that such an increase “poses a trade off of higher wages for some against job losses for others.”

There are good arguments for and against raising the minimum wage, but not Mr. Steiner’s cavalier dismissal of House Speaker John Boehner’s stance.

Harold Haber

Niskayuna

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