The chair of the legislature’s Law Enforcement and Public Safety Committee, Jack Hayes, spends far too much time attending to the operational end of our criminal justice system and far too little on the financial end.
Thomas P. Kadgen, Shokan
Last week, I asked the county executive and the legislature to call upon their humility and integrity when deciding the fate of Golden Hill Health Care Center (GHHCC). I am saddened to learn that humility, integrity, compassion and respect played no part in the decision of the county executive to sell the facility to a “local development corporation” or LDC.
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli issued a report on April 14, 2011 titled “Use of Local Development Corporations Out of Control.” The report finds that “officials [are] using LDCs to skirt the law.” The report goes on to say that “local governments are supposed to use LDCs for economic development purposes, but we found that isn’t always the case. Time after time, our auditors uncovered LDCs being used to skirt the laws governing local government operations.” DiNapoli also finds that “often the use of an LDC costs the taxpayers more money because state finance laws are avoided.”
County Executive Hein’s decision to privatize was revealed through his proposed 2012 budget. His decision, announced at a press conference, demonstrates a level of disrespect to the residents, their families and county employees that is indefensible. The people who live and work at GHHCC deserve better than to read about their fate in the newspaper. They are all members of our community who live and work and pay (or once paid) taxes in Ulster County. The right way to inform them of such an important decision that affects hundreds of lives would have been to hold a meeting, walk the halls and show the people some respect by talking with them directly.
I do not understand how my community and country became a place where people fail to demonstrate “The Golden Rule” — to treat others as you would want to be treated. Every decision seems to be based on profitability and treats people like a commodity. The county executive is running unopposed. Raise your voice at the ballot box with a write-in candidate or leave Hein’s spot blank. The people must stand up and speak truth to power.
Make a call, send a fax, write an e-mail or pay a visit to the county executive, your county legislator, state Comptroller DiNapoli or state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Together, we can make a difference.
“A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.” — Charles H. Spurgeon
Melinda Terpening McKnight, West Hurley
Class warfare, clarified
With the phrase “class warfare” being bandied about, let’s see if we can range the target and fire for effect.
Thirty years of attempted demolition of labor power, starting with President Reagan’s breaking of the PATCO strike and culminating in the shenanigans of various Midwestern governors regarding public employee bargaining rights, is class warfare.