Letters to the Editor for Dec. 2
Saratoga doing just fine without casino gambling, thank you
Gambling seems to be the talk of the town, the city, the area.
Why let New Yorkers go to New Jersey or other states to gamble? If people want to gamble, they will. I agree, I guess. New York state needs the tax money from this kind of business.
I grew up in Saratoga, when gambling was at its peak — lots of clubs in Saratoga and Saratoga Lake. It was like Las Vegas; all the clubs were going full blast, the race track and harness track were in full swing, the town was really jumping. The hotels were full. It was really something to see.
This took place in July and August; after Labor Day, it was over, Saratoga did have a few places for people to work, like Saratoga Hospital, Skidmore College, Marvin Millworks (later becoming Espey Manufacturing Co.), the Saratoga school system, Van Roulette Co. on High Rock Avenue, the phone company and a few others.
Lots of folks worked for GE in Schenectady. The bathhouses and hotels employed lots of folks mainly in the summer. Then came winter, the living was easy, not too much action and, like the locals used to say, it won’t be too long till next summer. That’s the way it was back then.
Now, say from around the 1980s, Saratoga has been getting better and better. In fact it has had a great comeback and is a great place to live without gambling. Saratoga has major industries: Quad/Graphics Corp., Ball Canning Co., Espy Manufacturing Co., a Target distribution center, Saratoga Hospital, Skidmore College, etc.
We have big-time buildings, movies, you name it we have it: a thriving downtown, an economy going like gangbusters, all without [casino] gambling. We do have a racino with all kinds of slots for our area; that’s enough for us.
Let the Las Vegas-type casinos go to an area that has been going downhill for over 50 years — they can use three or four casinos there. It’s the Catskills. It’s close to New York City and other major areas with lots of people. This will be a great break for the folks in the Catskills. They are in need of something like this. Saratoga is doing just fine without it.
I grew up with gambling; there are too many reasons not to have gambling in Saratoga. Let’s give it to an area that needs it. Saratoga has a great future without it.
Charlton firefighters don’t need so big a fund balance
An Oct. 30 Gazette article stated that the Charlton Fire Department was going to impose a 46 percent tax increase for the coming year to shore up its reserves. This need is attributed, in part, to the former treasurer’s absconding with close to $500,000 several years ago.
It has subsequently come to mind that the commissioners have the unique characteristic of being self-appointed, and yet have the power to tax. Granted, they are elected; but considering that no campaign is waged, no platform presented, little publicity extended, families and friends of the department make judgment on the qualification of the candidates for commissioner posts.
With the above in mind, the subject of increasing the tax levy to replenish the reserve completely bypasses the residents of the community. In layman’s terms, part of the “nest egg” of each resident is thereby transferred to the “nest egg” of the department. The benefit of the interest earned is transferred as well.
The request for a new firehouse has been twice rejected by voters. So equipment needs aside, the additional assessment is for a project the majority of the town residents do not want.
I am not questioning at all the need for a new firehouse, and I have the utmost regard for the volunteer firefighters who give their personal time for public service. I am only questioning the reserve need, its potential vulnerability and making such a request in light of our current tough economic time.
John G. Sakrison
Book’s cost is not only one library must bear
Re the Nov. 18 letter from Marc Duquette, questioning why the library has a policy that does not permit replacement of materials purchased at a discount in lieu of replacement fees:
The library does purchase materials from our vendors at significantly reduced prices. However, the replacement of library material is not as simple as purchasing a copy for personal use. Included in the replacement cost are additional processes, including barcoding, spine labels, ownership stamps, other necessary identifiers, and adding the item to the library catalog.
We understand our patrons may not always see these “behind-the-scene” processes, but please be assured that the library tries to apply every efficiency.
We always encourage everyone to ask questions and, if interested in learning more about the library, to consider attending any of our board meetings, which are listed on our website at www.scpl.org.
The writer is president of the Schenectady County Public Library board.