Letters to the Editor (9/15-9/22)

Film explores Israeli peace movement

To complete an initial cycle of four films on Palestine, shown the third Tuesday of the month at the Saugerties Library, we will show the film Voices from Inside: Israelis Speak. Our first three films have presented the lives of Palestinians, largely from a Palestinian perspective. Our upcoming film offers a balance in that it explores Israel/Palestine from the perspective of Jewish Israelis within the Israeli peace movement. Voices from Inside: Israelis Speak will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20 in the Saugerties Library Community Room. The producer, Margery Wright, will be on hand to talk about the film and to answer questions.

Jane Toby

Catskill

 

DA doesn’t take corruption, conflict of interest seriously

At a time when Ulster County residents are struggling with high unemployment and falling property values, it has been a major disappointment that the district attorney has failed to protect our tax dollars from corruption. During his four years in office, we have seen him repeatedly refuse to act in furtherance of the public trust: From the mind-blowing cost overruns of the jail debacle, the mismanagement issues at the Resource Recovery Agency and the questionable practices of the former health department chief, to the case against Timothy Matthews and the related issues raised about how the district attorney and law enforcement officials account for public funds used in undercover investigations, the current DA has shown little regard for public integrity.

As long ago as April, I called on the current DA to recuse himself from the case against Lt. Matthews, formerly of the Kingston Police Department and Ulster Regional Gang & Narcotics Task Force, because his role as a potential material witness is an obvious conflict of interest. A shadow is cast on the case where, in providing funds to the police for undercover drug-buys and similar activities, the DA himself authorized thousands of dollars in cash to the very man now indicted for stealing public funds.

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Moreover, the DA has refused to disclose to the county comptroller his protocols for safeguarding our tax dollars in these secret investigations.

It is time for Ulster County voters to tell the DA that public integrity matters. I am ready to be the People’s DA.

Jon Sennett

Candidate for Ulster County district attorney

New Paltz

 

DA is distracted or dismissive

It’s almost been a year since we learned that Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency’s chief executive was fired after employees complained about bullying, sexual harassment, documents being falsified, improper storage of waste materials and unsafe work conditions.

Apparently, some of those concerns were investigated by the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office, which supposedly found no immediate evidence of criminal wrongdoing but said the state Attorney General’s Office should be brought in to investigate. The trail goes cold here. Am I the only one wondering what happened?

Add this to the non-investigation of the Ulster County Jail cost overrun debacle, and you get a picture of a local District Attorney’s Office that is either distracted or dismissive of serious crimes that affect taxpayer pocketbooks in a big way. It’s time for a change.

There’s a candidate for district attorney this fall who combines a strong track record of being tough on crime with non-membership in the good ol’ boys club. That’s why I’m voting for Jon Sennett for DA on Nov. 8. Jon has a 17-year track record of being tough on crime, and has overseen a staff of 20 in the Bronx District Attorney’s Office. He’s made Ulster County his home. It’s time we give him a chance, and to put into office a fighter for taxpayers.

Linda R. Sakai

Town of Esopus

 

We need more jobs, Romney

Romney’s campaign predicted that his overall plan would lead to 4-percent annual growth in the U.S. economy and create 11.5 million new jobs over four years. The campaign did not provide details of how it reached those projections, which are certain to be challenged by Democrats, independent groups and perhaps his GOP rivals.

It’s true 11.5 million new jobs sounded great, but when we have 40 million people out of work this year, the numbers pale. The 11.5 million is over his four-year term in office. How many jobs a year does that add up to? Do the math. Also there will be many, many more high school and college graduates looking for work in the next four years. Where do the people now fighting in other countries find work if they are lucky enough to make it back home to the United States? There has to be more to being president than just creating 11.5 million new jobs in four years!

Barbara Terwilliger Ambrosano

Saugerties

 

Town gov’t needs a change

The current Saugerties supervisor has been in office for the past 12 years. The incumbent Democratic Town Board members seeking re-election have been in office for 8 years. Given their horrendous records, can we really trust them with another term?

Under the present administration, town property taxes have doubled. Due to the towns poor financial condition, the town credit rating was lowered. Unfair property assessments have many in Saugerties struggling to save their homes.

The hallmark of town government under the current Supervisor is the total disregard for the concept of open government. The Supervisor allowed over 12,000 to be spent on Opus 40 without a town board vote. Worse he claimed the money came from a discretionary fund that doesn’t exist! The town board allowed a part-time town justice to receive 18,000 in health insurance without a public vote, or discussion. Recently the Supervisor held a Town Board meeting to discuss the proposed Glasco low-income housing project at 8:30 in the Morning!!!!

Enough is enough its time for new leadership on the Saugerties Town Board. On Election Day Please VOTE for Kelly Myers for Supervisor, Joe Roberti Sr. and Pam Riggins for Town Council.

Paula Augustine

Saugerties