Press-Republican

November 8, 2013

Letters to the Editor: Nov. 8, 2013


Press-Republican

---- — Self-serving glorification

TO THE EDITOR: The government shutdown had nothing to do with the interests of “by the people and for the people.”

It is a self-serving glorification for those so-called leaders.

Since the 2008 election there have been numerous letters to the editor here about the U.S. becoming a socialist country. Socialism is a “political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”

On the eve of the shutdown, the Rules Committee of the House of Representatives changed the rule that would allow ANY member to move to vote to open the government with a clean resolution. The House Rules Committee passed House Resolution 368, under House Rule 22. House Resolution 368 gave that exclusive right to move to a vote to House Leader Eric Cantor or his designee.

Any House member supporting House Resolution 368 should be fired/recalled and sent back to their districts immediately! Once we have any resolution in our government that gives the exclusive right to anyone for anything, we move towards dictatorship, not socialism. A dictatorship is a form of government in which absolute power is exercised by a single dictator.

Congratulations, House of Representatives, you are a dictatorship. You changed our political structure and you have brought us to the edge of default. You made us a laughing stock in the world. It is time you were all sent packing immediately.

When you go, there should be a resolution that forces you to leave all your perks and lifetime benefits behind and become one of the faceless, nameless people in this country who struggle to feed their families and eek out a meager existence.

DEBORAH RIBIS

Plattsburgh

+++++

RSVP 40th

TO THE EDITOR: Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Clinton County recently celebrated our 40th-annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon with 100 attendees.

RSVP would like to heartily thank Peru Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 309 for the generous hospitality again this year. RSVP would also like to recognize Darleen Kiniry and Ruthie Fisher of the Peru Senior Nutrition Program at the VFW for their tremendous service at the event.

Sincere thanks go to area businesses that supported the silent auction: Claims Connection, Ground Round Grille & Bar, Mickey’s Restaurant & Lounge, Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub, North Country Food-Co-Op, Pizza Palace, Price Chopper and Walmart.

RSVP would also like to acknowledge Clinton County Office for the Aging and Clinton County Public Transit for providing bus transportation for luncheon guests. RSVP appreciates the partnership with community non-profit organizations and agencies over the past 40 years.

Finally, RSVP would like to thank our wonderful 12-member Advisory Council for planning this successful recognition event.

KATE GARDNER

Director

RSVP of Clinton County

+++++

Plattsburgh budget

TO THE EDITOR: Town of Plattsburgh’s preliminary budget shows the Town Council still wants to override the tax cap.

The council claims to have cut it to the bone. Yes, the highway property tax still goes up 37.6 percent and the council exceeds the cap by only 12 percent or $393,000. (tax cap plus 12 percent equals 14 percent increase).

While 14 percent is better than 47 percent, the real issue is why go over at all? Here’s how to avoid using an override to pay off the $393,000 and keep the town moving forward:

First, use unlisted sales tax the County Treasurer’s Office projected. Bill Brudvig and I talked about how the town low-balled the county’s conservative projections by $360,000. Now they are only leaving out $36,000 for 2014. Add that to $21,000 they left out of 2013, and you have $57,000 to reduce property taxes.

Second, use Clinton County’s 2013 end-of-year sales-tax “bonus” to reduce the levy. The town gets $300,000 or more. Another $300,000 off property taxes.

Actual expenses for each of the last four years are $200,000 to $400,000 under budget. Plattsburgh will have about $300,000 unspent dollars for 2013. Using these existing revenues, we have about $657,000 to balance the 2014 budget and put cash into savings.

So, $393,000 over cap, minus $57,000 unlisted sales tax, $300,000 bonus, $300,000 unspent equals $264,000 in the fund balance (produces a 7 percent General Fund reserve). 

The tax-cap override is unnecessary. Their austerity budget still needs to acknowledge the existence of revenue money. There is still time to “find” these dollars and make the town healthy.

TOM METZ

Plattsburgh

+++++

Absentee ballots

TO THE EDITOR: I’m enrolled in the Working Families Party; I helped in recent weeks to offer absentee ballot applications to voters whose circumstances qualified them.

Those to whom I supplied absentee ballots included, among others: a single mother with a small child and a newborn infant, an aged invalid mother and her middle-aged caretaker daughter, and a very elderly and infirm gentleman who lives alone and who was barely able to open his door.

I asked each of the several voters to whom I supplied absentee ballots to complete their own ballot, place it in its envelope, then seal, sign and date the envelope, as required by the Board of Elections.

If I happen to know how two or three of them voted, it is because they told me after completing that process.

Be careful, Republicans, what you ask for. One or two told me they voted for some of the Republican candidates.

Since Betty Lou LaJoy and I went through the same careful training process and adhered to the same set of rules, I trust her.

I hope we check Republican absentee ballots as carefully as they promise to check ours. Truth to tell, I think the Republicans have been running scared.

BILL COWAN

Plattsburgh

+++++

Seized horses

TO THE EDITOR: I would like to applaud Essex County for the action they have taken to seize horses and prosecute Shelly Wing.

Forty horses suffering and one dead. Furthermore, I want to state that I disagree with the plea and concerns expressed by Joanne Curtis that was reported by the Adirondack Daily Enterprise to have been made to the board. Curtis stated that she did not consider Wing to be a criminal, just a person who had fallen on bad times.

Bad times are producing animal-cruelty cases all across the country. However, bad times should never allow anyone to impose suffering on defenseless animals.

Arrogance and pride have their influence in most of these cases, not ignorance. Frequently, we hear, “I loved them so much that I could not get rid of them.” Yet, seldom do we hear about the owners seeking help over the prolonged period that the animals were allowed to famish and suffer.

Any person capable of some form of love could not see their animals endure to such ends.

The Enterprise reported that Curtis told them livestock owners throughout the area and around the country are under stress and that many are facing situations like this, she said. “They aren’t criminals,” she said. “They’re people just trying to hang on.”

This really makes me sick. I owned and ran a retail business for 10 years. That is like saying, when times were tough, mugging someone for money would be OK.

If someone chooses to own an animal, they have a responsibility to do the right thing, tough times or not.

I applaud all those who have taken action in this situation, and I do hope that if others are out there inadequately providing care to an animal that someone does intervene.

SCOTT GRADY

Lake Placid