January 1, 2013

Letters to the Editor: Jan. 1, 2013


---- — Concert, Christmas

TO THE EDITOR: “Outstanding” succinctly describes the performance of the youngsters at the Oak Street School winter concert that I attended.

Kudos to the music director; it was worth the trip from Massachusetts to see youngsters perform so genuinely and adeptly, particularly our grandchildren. All are deserving of an A plus.

Sadly, however, there was a presumably and intentional omission of the crux of the occasion: Christmas.

To be sure, the program contained the symbol of the menorah (fine), a symbol of a “holiday” tree (OK), stick figures of four images of people singing (acceptable), but no image or representation of what the “holiday” is about: Christmas (totally unacceptable).

No Hint of a cross or manger scene, no hint of Christmas. What’s more, this secularistic program also contained no carols of the savior.

Gone are the days when it was OK to sing about Jesus. Gone are the days when it was OK to mention God in school. Gone are the days when it was OK to say a prayer in public.

Shame on this rapidly decaying society — from the White House; federal, state and local politicians; ACLU; and school boards.

God-fearing people — who respect principles on which this country was founded — are increasingly evaporating into a callous, indifferent, apathetic society. Unless America wakes up, Christmas will no longer be a part of our heritage.

With all due respect to all who read this: “Merry Christmas.”


Paxton, MA


Town activities

TO THE EDITOR: As we look forward to ski season, we are filled with warm memories of summer activities, including paddling trips sponsored by the Town of Plattsburgh Recreation Department.

Guided by Recreation & Youth Services Director Melanie Defayette and Recreation Program Coordinator Erin Pranghorn, the trips were delightful experiences full of fun and fellowship.

This year, Mel and Erin combined Saranac River trips with historical tours of Crab and Valcour islands.

On Crab Island, Herman Drollette, Linda and Roger Harwood and Town Historian Gerald Bates brought to life the noteworthy history of our “back yard.” Roger’s subsequent tour of Valcour Island included the lighthouse museum and glacial grooves exposed by last year’s flooding.

Personal experiences expanded with the addition of a lightweight canoe. With generous, experienced friends, we explored Adirondack rivers and lakes, sometimes paddling with ducks and loons!

For winter enjoyment, the town provides myriad activities: The Cadyville park is an important feature for all-season activities. We appreciate the efforts to purchase this fine facility and hope the outcome will be positive.

Thank you, Mel and Erin.




Government makeup

TO THE EDITOR: If you live in Essex County, please lend yourself a hand.

Your residence is subject to taxation from town, county, maybe village. You vote for a town supervisor and maybe even a mayor, but you don’t vote for someone whose sole purpose is to represent you at the county.

The county budget is 14 times the size of the largest township budget, but no one manages only county business. The supervisors are elected by their town citizenship and attempt to manage both town and county government.

New York has 62 counties, only 18 administered through supervisory weighted voting from township elected officials. The other 44 counties operator under legislative government, which evenly provides for a small number of board members elected from equally sized established districts within the county. These legislative boards of as few as 5 members have the sole responsibility to run only the county.

The county residents elect both a supervisor for their town and a legislator for the county. When elected officials dedicate their entire energy and skills to one government, better management is achieved.

The managing editor of the Essex County-based Valley News, John Gereau, published an editorial that showed the cost savings with legislative government could be as much as $300,000 annually.

Eighteen supervisors are trying to agree on how to run Essex County. Weighted voting puts nearly all the decision power in the hands of three members from our largest townships of North Elba, Ticonderoga and Moriah. You’re paying 18 county administrators when only three really run the county.

The prime advantage is better management structure representing everyone equally. Better management means better government, and that is currently lacking.

It’s time for change in Essex County.


Lake Placid


County confusion

TO THE EDITOR: Please help me understand this. A former town supervisor is determined, by the good old boys, to be the most qualified applicant for personnel director, then he is the most qualified to be the county manager and also the only one in the whole county qualified to be the IT director.

Then he comes up with a cockamamie scheme to soak the public in taxes so the Board of Supervisors can increase spending in the future. The Board of Supervisors suddenly finds $2+ million of federal money that no one (?) knew about and refused his plan, and he retires petulantly in a snit.

He shortly thereafter experiences buyer’s remorse, and plans are put into motion to beg him to rescind his retirement, one of the major arguments being his indispensability and the six months needed to find a replacement. Even the Pope isn’t that indispensable.

Combine the above with other statements made by our board of rocket scientists (sorry, supervisors), such as: They cannot cut any workers from an already bloated nepotistic county government. They cannot go a year without giving mid-level managers a pay raise. They need to “bet on the come” with the sale of Horace Nye for operating funds. They did not know about the $2.8 million from FEMA. They did not understand how the accounting is done in the county.

We have the Board of Supervisors saying one thing, the indispensable good old boy county manager saying another thing, and the county treasurer saying a third. With all of this, we the taxpayers of the county are supposed to have confidence in our county government. I think not.

Please, Santa, give us a County Legislature, a professional county manager and possibly some sanity from Elizabethtown in 2013.




Christmas jars

TO THE EDITOR: To whomever left the jars of change and bills on the doorstep of Augur Lake, thank you.

You have touched our family’s heart more than you could possibly know. I cried when I saw it and have passed on the story to inspire others.

I will be passing this forward next year.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you and bless you for bringing hope and faith to humanity.