Peace in the hills

Illustration by Bruce Ackerman

As the Bruce Ackerman cartoon above indicates, it’s been pretty quiet in Woodstock lately, a rare and welcome hiatus from the vehemence with which our citizens express their strongly held views. Maybe it’s the mild winter or a honeymoon for the new Jeremy Wilber administration. Or perhaps we’re just basking in the glow of the Giants’ victory in the big game.

The issues are still out there. Ahead of us is a decision on the configuration of the elementary schools in the Onteora district, a critical factor for the parents of school children and for all the property taxpayers in the six towns touched by the boundaries. Following this decision, currently slated to be made on February 28, the board will have its budget to get passed, and the reconfiguration itself will loom largely in that discussion.

The town board of Woodstock still has the Town Hall project in front of it. This discussion is decades old at this point, has been talked about every which way and we’re waiting to see if the latest plan will conform to budgetary requirements and reach the magic bell known as consensus. There’s still the question of how to bring greater cell service to the western side of town, and there appears to be cooperation on possible expansion of soccer fields at Comeau.


Shandaken inched toward what eventually will be a referendum on whether to accept New York City’s offer to build a sewage treatment plant for the hamlet of Phoenicia. It’s got a new proposal for farm stand regulations and is hopeful that the work on the streams will allow it to withstand the next deluge. It is hoping for an economic revival with the purchase of some commercial property, but much attention is being paid to the Onteora controversy, with the town fighting for the district to retain Phoenicia Elementary as a working entity.

Over in Olive, much of the concern is also about the Onteora plan. We’ll have to be stating our opinion on this situation in the coming weeks, before the board’s decision.

But hey, it’s February, a relative quiet time. We’ll bask in the warmth of the sun and not worry if we might face drought conditions later in the year without a melted snowpack high in the mountains. We’ll watch the Republican primaries and caucuses for president, entertained by the abuse heaped on candidates by one another, and not worry, for now, that one of these guys could actually be elected president. We can dream of future Super Bowls, defeats of Dallas and Philadelphia along the way. It’s time for a break from fighting with each other. We’ll get back to it soon enough, we like each other too much to refrain for long. ++

There are 2 comments

  1. Harold Cragin

    The decision is made on the Onteora Princton Plan. They said as much, even months ago. They will fritter away the taxpayers money for a 1 year plan to keep one building functioning. And split the other 2 schools in half. So we will have a nice half filled over payed for School model to bring us into debt. Its an irresponsible use of our money and I’d be surprised if the taxpayers think this is viable and or wise.

  2. Stephen Thomas

    Another “I am a member in good standing in the cult” pronouncement by Brian.

    Do you really think this reflects honor on you?

    We already know you’re a member of the cult. Do you need to remind us in everything you write?

Comments are closed.