October 1, 2013

Letters to the Editor: Oct. 1, 2013


---- — Plan B


TO THE EDITOR: In the Plattsburgh City School District budget, Superintendent Short warned the School Board that re-installing staff and programs was risky.

However, Fred dragooned the board into allowing him to go binge shopping with the taxpayers’ credit card.

Short was right; the irreverent Fred was wrong. PCSD is worried about the new lower tax cap and the impact of Obamacare. So far, Obamacare shock waves have forced UPS and IBM to reduce their coverage.

Plan B would save $1.3 million per year and still offer better coverage than the best state employee health coverage.

For years, the board granted hefty contractual benefits and put them in “locked boxes,” where the union and board must mutually agree to reopen contracts before renegotiation can occur. It never happens, even though both parties know the benefits are no longer sustainable.

Discovering that coverage could be changed to Plan B without collective bargaining has the unions sweating bullets and the board hiding behind “client/attorney” privilege.

Per teacher, that change is minor but would give significant tax relief to the working poor, self-employed and businesses struggling to afford health care that hardly compares to Plan B.

Marino and Krieg are scrupulously supporting the taxpayers. Fred and others are allied with “vested interests,” maneuvering to pirate that potential windfall of $1.3 million into another “locked box,” with taxpayers footing the bill.

Healthcare Consortium consultant Locey has already provided information recommending that the district move to Plan B. Districts that made this move reported employee satisfaction and significant savings.

If there is a vote on Plan B, any board member or their immediate family who directly benefits on this issue should abstain, as Clay ethically did at the Housing Authority.

Integrity and self-respect over self-interest would be a profound statement.





TO THE EDITOR: Regarding savings of $1,300,000 annually at Plattsburgh City School District by moving all employees from the current Plan A to a more current and affordable health plan B, $1,300,000 is about $70,270 for every day of school, every year.

This cannot be ignored.

Asking the School Board to make this change is not employee bashing. Everyone deserves an elite plan; reality is, few employers can afford to provide such rich benefits.

The current health plan A has not changed (except for enhanced mandates) in almost 30 years. It is like time has stood still at PCSD.

Plan A has a $50 deductible; Plan B a $250 deductible. Both plans provide ER and inpatient and many more benefits at zero cost to the employee.

Plan A provides 90 days of almost any prescription medicine at $8 (mail). What do you pay? Plan B would be a three-tiered co-payment plan, like most modern plans.

The majority of the School Board members do not want to initiate this move to Plan B. Why? The board knows the savings. It is time to act; studying should be done by now. This information is not new.

School employees do not want to change plans. Who would? In many other groups, employees are routinely moved to a health plan with more cost-effective benefits.

New information has come out that this change to Plan B can be made without negotiations. For some reason, the majority of the School Board still does not want to act. Why?

If you feel this move should be made or want more information, call the associate superintendent at 957-6000. It’s only a phone call. It is time to let your opinion be known.





TO THE EDITOR: Good article in the Press-Republican. Yes, we need to save Chateaugay Correctional, not only for the negative impact it will have on Chateaugay and all the towns around, but also how many more empty, deserted properties is New York state going to reduce in price by millions and still not sell them, but let them rot.

The taxpayers pick up the bill and another eyesore for upstate New York. And Governor, Upstate New York is not just 10 miles north of Albany.

So everyone needs to come to the rally at Chateaugay Rec Park at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5.

We need to support this rally and let Albany know where Upstate New York is See you all there.





TO THE EDITOR: I would like to thank everyone who helped my family and myself during my recent health problems.

I really cannot find the words to adequately tell each and every one of you how much your prayers, cards, telephone calls and visits helped my wife and myself cope with this rare health condition. 

The staff and my colleagues at Essex County and the Town of Westport could not have been more supportive in jumping in and making sure that the work that needed to be done during this time got done.

The support from the public was beyond belief. It really makes one appreciative of how, when the chips are down, everyone is willing to jump in and help in any and all ways that they can.

A special thanks to the Wadhams Fire Company for their generous support.

My doctors assure me that within a few weeks I will have made a complete recovery. Again, I cannot thank all of you throughout the North Country and beyond who have been so generous to my family and myself.


Westport town supervisor



TO THE EDITOR: I want to thank everyone who volunteered to get the signatures needed to try to save our village.

Most of you feel like I do that dissolution of the Village of Keeseville is not going to solve our problems, only bring us new ones. Many shared their confusion on the way the ballot was worded.

On Oct. 22 from noon till 9 p.m., we will have another vote. The only word you need to rememter is “no.” This means you are not in favor of the dissolution plan.





TO THE EDITOR: I am writing to the people of Plattsburgh’s Ward 1 to encourage you to support and vote for William “Bill” Ferris.

I have known Bill for many years and have seen him in many situations act with kindness, integrity and good character. He is a business owner in Plattsburgh who runs his business with all these character traits. He would bring all of this to running the city in a more productive way. 

With all the strife and dysfunction in politics today, Bill would bring a better way to get things done.

I urge the voters of Plattsburgh Ward 1 to vote for William “Bill” Ferris. You won’t regret it.