Press-Republican

April 19, 2013

Letters to the Editor: April 19, 2013


Press-Republican

---- — Clear-cuttingconcerns

TO THE EDITOR: The headline in the paper on Friday, April 5, amazes me. Clear-cutting is good for our Adirondack forest? Not so.

Nature does not clear cut but burns. That allows certain species to generate growth (Jack pine, for instance).

Of course, nature is outdone by man-induced fires, which outweigh the good of nature. We have been given a great gift, a treasure, and we are destroying it to benefit the 10 owners of approximately 700,000 acres of Adirondack Park land. They will receive monetary reward from the market’s “demand for green-certified products.” I am quoting the article. In the end, it is all about money.

Who gave the commissioners permission to change “requirements?”

ELIZABETH GREGORY

Plattsburgh

+++++

District health plan

TO THE EDITOR: Plattsburgh City School will host a public meeting at Stafford Middle School on April 23.

It will give the School Board the information and moral justification to finally switch employees from Health-Care Plan A to Plan B, a savings of $1 million per year.

Plan B has identical coverage, but is much more affordable and much richer than most employer plans.

For years, the union pressure on the board has kept Plan B closeted because it would cost employees a little extra. Imagine how that $1 million belonging to the taxpayers could have benefited the children and reduced taxes?

Right now, the switch can be made without negotiation, and the board should keep it that way. The district needs flexibility, without delay, in controlling health-care costs.

Even though, the board can make this switch “unilaterally,” the union leaders will undoubtedly seek to “make whole” any switch from Plan A to Plan B. “Make whole” is union talk for shifting the minor difference in cost from them to the taxpayers.

This is not acceptable. Taxpayers have needlessly paid too much, because of the delay. “Making whole” would be too little too late.

Taxpayers want the board to move all active and retired employees to Plan B. Employees/retirees will have the option to remain in Plan A but will be required to pay the difference. Is that too much to ask?

The union leaders make this sound like a war on their benefits. It is not a war, but a no-brainer, win-win way to help our school out of its fiscal crisis and finally have some resources to better serve our children.

Attend the public meeting at Stafford Middle School at 6 p.m. April 23. You will be outraged this has taken so long.

WALTER CHMURA

Plattsburgh