January 21, 2013

Letters to the Editor: Jan. 21, 2013


---- — Dissolution vote Jan. 22

TO THE EDITOR: In a recent edition of the Valley News there was a full-page ad concerning the upcoming vote on dissolution in the Village of Keeseville. The ad cost $500 and no person(s) or organization took responsibility for the ad or its content.

I think if people feel strongly about dissolving the Village of Keeseville, then their name(s) should accompany the message. Many of the items in the article were vague.

One item is that there would be a significant property-tax decrease. In the recent dissolution study, single-family structures assessed at $100,000 would see a slight savings. However, if your home was under $100,000 your taxes may increase.

The trash-collection process would be eliminated, although it serves about 90 people, most of whom are senior citizens. This would create another burden for them. They are now only charged $3 per bag for curb-side pickup. The village has an excellent water and sewer system. Dissolution will mean that these two systems will be split up between the two towns. That will make it necessary to hire personnel to operate them.

In the paid advertisement, the question was raised of how the the money raised was not a tax, but a service charge. Do you think that those service charges won’t go up for village residences?

Dissolution studies have been carried out over the years to see if it was in the best interest of the residents to dissolve the village. The current study could not prove huge benefits for village residents and in some cases their property taxes will go up. I urge all residents to please vote on Jan. 22 from noon until 9 p.m. at the Village of Keeseville offices.




Closing contradiction

TO THE EDITOR: As a former editor for the Empire State Postal History Society and current president of the Vermont Postal History Society, I don’t believe that your headline about the North Hudson Post Office was completely correct. It really wasn’t saved, since most if not all of the post offices were not really in danger of being totally closed.

The Postal Service knows fully well that national politicians will not stand by and see a service vital to their constituents vanish. Actually, since early in 2012 the list of potential closings was modified and became a list of “affected post offices” in relation to customer-service hours.

The initial news from the USPS that thousands of post offices were to be closed might be viewed a beginning negotiation stance in the USPS’s battle with Congress to gain more revenue. After the uproar settled, the USPS has come up with a new avenue to help with its cash-flow problem: decrease the number of hours that post offices will be open. Better than closing the post office, but another inconvenience to the local patrons.

For the most part, the only post offices closed in the last few years have been those such as Keene Valley, which closed in 2010 when a rental agreement couldn’t be struck with the building’s owner, or West Hartford, VT, which was destroyed by Tropical Storm Irene in 2012.

Both the Keene Valley and West Hartford post offices have been replaced by a new type of village post office run by private businesses. At the VPOs, there is limited service, but usually expanded hours to receive mail.