Comments by jerryrock
Posted on February 5 at 7:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)
More appropriately, the NYS Division for Human Rights should intercede. The City of Amsterdam to date failed to adopt any local policy of non-discrimination, The city has discriminated against this group because of their religion and country of origin.
Posted on February 4 at 8:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)
There is a "set in city code" way for the Controller to go forward. Chapter 214 (Taxation) of the Amsterdam City Code details exactly how and when the Controller should collect delinquent property tax. The fact that Amsterdam had no forclosures or auctions of surplus properties in over 5 years is due to the incompetance of the elected officials at the expense of the taxpayers.
Posted on February 1 at 5:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)
Their financial backers pulled out after the properties continued to be burglarized. The city began a targeted code enforcement effort on the same properties they let rot for years. When the priperties were not being repaired quick enough for the cities liking, the violations and fines contined until the Buddhists had enough. They offered to sell each of the parcels for one dollar each. A representative from Sunlight recycling bought all of the properties and planned to scrap them. The properties were legally sold 2 years ago and no longer the responsibility of the WPHO. This year the religious organization was again targeted, this time by the Assessor who is trying to illegally revoke the religious tax exemption for the parking lots belonging to their 2 temples. There is no rational reason for this move other than to harass this religious group. This is also being usef as a smokescreen to cover up the fact that Amsterdam has not forclosed on or held a public auction in over 5 years. Any property held by the municipality is supposed to be sold at auction within 6 months of acquisition. The city now has over 600 properties for which 5 years woth of taxpayers money was used to pay guarenteed tax to the Amsterdam School District, this because of poor management and failure to do their jobs. Because of this the city has failed to collect 13.39 million in back taxes that are counted as assets in the city budget that is already in shambles. THIS is what the AG's Office needs to investigate.
Posted on January 30 at 8:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)
The owner of the River Ridge Complex and proposed expansion Paul Guttenberg, who purchased the property in 2013, has already received 1 million dollars from NYS in economic development grants, a sales tax exemption and a PILOT. Now they want the City of Amsterdam to bond for $500,000 and install improved water and sewer lines to accommodate this business, for which they will, be paid back in installments, a legal way for a municipality to loan money to a private business. Amsterdam is a financial mess, after a failed NYS audit, still does not know how much money it has in fund balance. Because of poor leadership, has not foreclosed on property or sold surplus property in over 5 years and is owed 13.39 million dollars in back taxes. Meanwhile, other local startups that would create new jobs in the city were denied economic stimulus grants or any other financial aid from the city. This project was developed by Montgomery County Business Development Center and any further financial aid should come from the county, not the cash strapped city.
Posted on January 7 at 5:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)
Over half a million dollars and none if it is going to be used to actually demolish blighted property. Instead it will be used to fund the bureaucrats responsible for letting conditions deteriorate in the first place.
Posted on January 4 at 11:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)
Several new businesses trying to open in Amsterdam applied for NYS Regional Economic Development Grants. These businesses would have created new jobs to help Amsterdam's economy. None of the local businesses that applied received any money. Why, because Amsterdam's self-serving Mayor Ann Thane left them off of her priority list that was submitted to the state. Instead she promoted her pet project, artwork for the not yet built pedestrian bridge and a facelift for city hall. Her pet projects received over half a million dollars in taxpayer funded state grants while local businesses suffer. The whole Regional Economic Development Grant process is a political farce, a front to fund political pork.
Posted on October 24 at 6:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)
The Charter proposal strips the Common Council of power and gives the Mayor even more power. It gives the Mayor total control of 4.5% of the city's $28 million dollar operating budget without any input from the Common Council. It gives the Mayor power to transfer money between funds without approval from the Common Council and to contract, create new positions all without Council approval. It removes checks and balances in place, making Amsterdam even more of a dictatorial type of government than it is now. Our fund balance is already at at all time low and our credit rating has dropped because of the spending of our current Mayor. She will soon bankrupt our city. VOTE NO TO THE CHARTER CHANGES
Posted on August 7 at 1:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)
The guy who just happened to have a "sludge hammer" in his hand presents more of a danger to people than the dogs in question.
Posted on August 5 at 8:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)
Get your facts straight, it is an ordinance modifying the Streets and Sidewalks code. It is not targeting any social or ethnic class. It was passed by a super-majority of the Common Council who directly represent the citizens of Amsterdam. We should NOT be encouraging or endorsing our children to play in the streets. There are enough recreational facilities for the kids to play in. Wake up and realize the real issues in Amsterdam are being ignored.Our finances are in shambles, two factories just announced they will be closing putting hundreds out of work and people want to whine about an ordinance designed to keep our streets safe for everyone, not just children. "Legislative intent: Playing basketball on or near city streets present a traffic hazard and the City desires to prohibit the use,construction, maintenance of basketball equipment whether movable or immovable on city streets and sidewalks and to prohibit the positioning of basketball equipment in such a way that play will occur on city streets or sidewalks."
Posted on August 5 at 11:16 a.m. (Suggest removal)
According to the CDC "In 2010, nearly one in every five children between the ages of 5 and 9 who were killed in traffic crashes was a pedestrian." This is about traffic safety. NYS passed a law stating all children under the age of 14 must wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. Has it changed anything? Do you still see kids riding bicycles without helmets? This modification of an existing ordinance has been blown way out of proportion by local media. If you do your research you will find similar ordinances enacted all over our country. It is a protective measure, not punitive. There are plenty of parks and school yards off the streets where kids can safely play basketball. The group Wishful Thinking was founded in Amsterdam at the former Bacon School to give the kids a place to play basketball and keep them off the streets. the modified ordinance did have a positive effect. It had the city administration and recreation department scrambling to repair/replace existing basketball facilities in our parks! My advice to the scofflaws mentioned in the article, get some exercise and walk to one of our many parks and recreation facilities!