October 9, 2013

Letters to the Editor: Oct. 9, 2013


---- — Ensel a leader

TO THE EDITOR: My time as a student at Plattsburgh State was one of the happiest and most rewarding periods of my life. Peter Ensel was one of the professors most responsible for that experience.

I have carried the lessons I learned from him — lessons about much more than just academics —through my entire life.

I am proud and fortunate to have stayed in touch with him in the years since I graduated, and I encourage everyone to support him in his candidacy for the City Council.

From PSUC to the Rotary to the Red Cross and more, Peter Ensel has been a leader for many years, and I passionately believe in his platform of stabilizing taxes and utility rates while promoting development and growth.


Plattsburgh State Class of 1990



Building solutions

TO THE EDITOR: If you live in Ward 1, you have a unique opportunity.

On Nov. 5, you can make Rachelle Armstrong your City Council representative.

Why should you vote for Rachelle? Here’s why my dear Republican friend and I will be voting for her.

Rachelle cares about democracy. She visits with her neighbors. She asks what’s on our minds and listens. We talked about local, state and national problems and about solutions.

She emphasized the need for open, respectful dialogue among people from varying backgrounds and viewpoints willing to listen to each other, not speak at each other.

Rachelle understands the fine arts of listening and of bringing people together to find common ground upon which to begin building solutions for a prosperous, optimistic future. I admire and support that approach.

Aren’t you tired of the in-fighting and heel-digging that characterizes politics on all levels? I am; so is Rachelle.

We agreed that Plattsburgh is a small city with big potential. She believes that, working together with all stakeholders, a sensible strategic plan for Plattsburgh is needed. I agree.

It’s time for visionary leaders from city and town governments, businesses and the general public who are willing to work together to formulate, champion and accomplish such a plan. Rachelle is that kind of leader.

Rachelle has grand ideas, but she has not forgotten about the ever worrisome issue of increasing taxes. Rachelle is a very practical optimist. She respects that you and I fund the government and takes seriously her role in assuring that our tax dollars are spent wisely.

I’m voting for Rachelle Armstrong as my Ward 1 voice on Plattsburgh’s City Council. So is my Republican friend.

We’re voting for civility and progress. It’s time. I hope you agree.




Watering cedars

TO THE EDITOR: Just how much does the City of Plattsburgh taxpayers have to give to have a company that is worth more than $23 billion?

I was really amazed when I was driving down Main Mill Street and saw the cedar trees for Bombardier being watered with water from the hydrant located in front corner of their property on Main Mill Street. As a taxpayer, you know if you water your lawn with city water you are paying for the water that goes through the meter and for the sewer, even though it does not go through it.

The city does not tell you go ahead and water your lawn, and we will guess-ta-mate what you used and not charge you sewer rates. I am sure that this was not even the case with Bombardier. I am sure it was free water, as it came from the hydrant, which does not have a meter on it.

This hydrant was not shut off properly, and as a result leaked all weekend long, again at the expense of the taxpayer. This is not the first time they have watered their trees, and this is not the first time this company has been given the “key to the city,” and I am sure it won’t be the last, but why do the taxpayers have to pick up the tab?

Is this the reason our water and sewer rates are rising? This same area has had four leaks within 1 1/2 years due to the large number of trucks for Bombardier running over the road and the water or sewer mains being broken.

At whose expense are they repaired? The taxpayer.




Jackson experienced

TO THE EDITOR: As a city councilor for the last six years, I know how important experience is.

Chris Jackson is running in Ward 6 under the Experience Matters party, and I urge all voters in Ward 6 to vote for him.

Chris and I have worked together over the last six years, and he understands the budget process thoroughly. We saved jobs at MLD together, and he supported my efforts to save jobs at the library. He understands the limits on the budget caused by the tax cap and how each fund affects the other.

There are a lot of new ideas being floated out there to expand services, but nobody is telling the public how they are going to pay for them. Chris is well aware of what we can afford and changes we need to make on how the city is run.

Improving our information-technology systems is important for future growth and improving efficiency. There are some major decisions that need to be made very soon about water dams, and Chris has been part of important capital-project decisions for the last six years.

When I got elected, it took time to get up to speed on how everything works, and since Chris is the only current councilor that even has a chance to return, it is very important that someone with experience gets elected.

For the city’s future, I wish I could vote for him.


Ward I councilor



Plan A, Plan B

TO THE EDITOR: Your article about PCSD saving $1,300,000 annually by switching from health insurance Plan A to Plan B was an eye opener.

Plan B is still a very rich plan and much better than what most employees have in the private sector. The School Board has a financial responsibility to the district. Why has this not happened?

Taxpayers want the move; employees do not — understandable on both sides. Taxpayers want to pay less in taxes; employees do not want to lose a health-insurance plan that is excessively rich. Something has to give, and it seems the taxpayer has given, given and given.

Why not move all employees to Plan B and offer Plan A to anyone that chooses, as long as they pay the difference in premiums? The school would still save the $1,300,000-plus each year, and employees would have a choice. Many businesses do this.

The employee can make this decision based on their use of the plan, cost to them and other factors that range from peace of mind to just not wanting to change to something new with a step down in benefits.

This recent article states that retired teachers pay absolutely nothing toward their family-health insurance. Did you know that teachers and their spouses get their Medicare B paid by taxpayers? Do you?

It seems grossly unfair to have taxpayers paying for all of this.

Renters, you should pay close attention to this, for when taxes go up, so will your rent.

This move does not require opening up negotiations, although the School Board and unions want everyone to believe it does.