Letters to the Editor, Aug. 25, 2011

Please get involved in budget decisions

I am writing in order to reach out to the people in the community of Ulster County.  Because of the economic turmoil that our nation is in right now, it has left many of us wondering how we will ever survive. On a local level, the economic turmoil is going to mean that many cuts in many important places will be happening. I have read in the newspaper and attended local government meetings and it seems that a big concern is tax increases and how not to burden the taxpayers. As a taxpayer and a community member who utilizes mental health services through the Ulster County Department of Mental Health, I would like to be asked what my thoughts are on raising taxes and/or losing the much-needed services and programs that my family utilizes on a weekly basis. I know that in reality, all of the taxpayers in the community cannot be individually involved in this painstaking decision-making process in developing a budget. But, that is why we elect representatives from each district that we live in to represent us and be our voice in the decision-making process. As of right now everything is on the table. That means all services, programs and agencies are on the table. Our county executives and representatives are looking at everything and trying to figure out what is imperative to stay and what can be cut as to not raise taxes so much to become a burden to the taxpayers. This is a very hard task that needs to be done and I am sure that the people involved in the budget-making process do not want to be in this situation and cut the things that are important for our community and its residents’ survival.

I am asking all of you in the community to come out to local government meetings and county meetings. Talk to the county executive’s office, our local elected officials as well as our senators and tell them what is important to you and your family. If you utilize services in the county, whether it is mental health services and programs, employment training programs, alcohol and substance abuse programs or care of our elderly, please write letters about your experiences with programs and services you are involved in and what the outcome could be if they were to be lost. Call your local legislators and the county executive’s office. In order to make the decisions that are beneficial to our community they must hear from the community. Education of what our needs are is crucial. Remember, we are all taxpayers and we are entitled to get the best care possible.  I have written letters, talked to Michael Hein and talked to representatives in our legislature. They have been more than willing to take the time to listen to me and respond to my concerns and questions. Please help educate our county officials and executives in what our needs are to survive and ensure a safe and healthy future.

Amy Russell

West Hurley


Support Polacco

Although I am not a Republican, the approaching party primary of Sept. 13 provides an opportunity for independent thinkers to acknowledge the contributions of Alderman Ron Polacco to neighborhood and public safety in Kingston.