Letters (1/24-31)

Joe needs to go

Disrespectful “Leader” Joe Roberti Jr. is tremendously out of line with his last two weeks of mindless dribble in the paper. To bluntly put it, Joe needs to go. I have never seen such weak representation of a party on any level. Joe thinks it is appropriate to publish untruths, slander others, and further embarrass himself with his disrespectful, childish behavior. This outrageous rhetoric is something I would expect from a radical third party, not from the local leader of a party born two centuries ago. We cannot substitute name calling for reasoned debate!

I know many, many honorable, intelligent, respectful Republicans in the town of Saugerties and I ask….how can they allow this loud mouth spinster to represent them? He is an embarrassment to Saugerties, to Ulster County, and the Republican Party in general. For a party desperately looking to define itself, it has become abundantly clear they need qualified leadership. Joe never states how his party is going to move our town forward; he routinely defends our supervisor who has proven time and again that she can’t handle the job. Cut your losses Joe and try to fade into whatever dignity you have left. I am not a Republican, but I believe the negative atmosphere he creates for the town politics is bad for everyone.

Two weeks ago you recalled memories of Greg Helsmoortel’s tenure as supervisor. You know what I remember? I remember bills being paid on time. I remember a tangible economic development policy. I remember when town employees were not ridiculed in public at a Town Board meeting against their Civil Service rights. I remember a supervisor who worked to the bone every day for the betterment of this town. Remember when town board meetings ended before 11 p.m.? Yea, sure Greg got a raise when the economy was good, but I don’t remember him demanding a 43 percent increase before he even served one day for the town of Saugerties, while Saugerties was cutting positions. I remember Greg composing a budget that included all the town’s liabilities, and not surprising everyone with a 10 percent increase, blaming it on the county, and failing to accept the responsibility of a mistake. So Joe, you want to start the campaign season in January this year, be careful what you wish for. Every week that goes by there is another element to remind us about how professional this town’s government once was.


Paul Rinaldi


Myers an amazing leader

I am writing on behalf of Mrs. Kelly Myers, town supervisor. When Mrs. Myers came into office she was not only faced with dealing with financial deficits but had the great challenge of modernizing government in Saugerties.

Ms. Myers entered office with an $88,000 deficit, $500,000 in unpaid welfare and election charges, damage to the community from Hurricane Irene and the hostility many people felt because of the loss of a long-term supervisor that was in charge for many years. Despite these challenges, Mrs. Myers has not only had a successful first year but has made numerous strides in reforming town government.

Kelly’s vision of modernizing town government started with appointing department heads to revise current practices and elicit accountability. She ended the practice of awarding no bid contracts and required Town Board members to review bills before being paid. She was able to recover $138,000 in state grants. Without her diligence, the town would have lost $1.3 million in grant monies needed to develop Kings Highway. She has worked closely with Doug Myer, highway superintendent, and FEMA to recover funds needed to repair and rebuild the infrastructure of our town due to damage caused by Hurricane Irene. Kelly has also shown a great amount of perseverance in her fight to stop the polluting of the Esopus Creek. Mrs. Myers has taken a tough stand against developers trying to profit at the expense of hardworking taxpayers. In addition, she has proposed $250,000 dollars in tax cuts because of her diligence in dissecting our current budget and setting priorities for our community. She has reached out and formed working relationships with other elected leaders such as Peter Lopez, NYS Assemblyman. The above mentioned are just a small tribute of what Mrs. Myers has accomplished.

Mrs. Myers has made tremendous progress in the short time she has been in office, but much more work needs to be done. She needs the support of the Town Board and the community to continue making the tough choices necessary to bring Saugerties into the 21st century.

She has proven that she is an outstanding leader that has kept true to her word of bringing positive change to Saugerties. She functions with integrity and is willing to stand up for what she believes is in our community’s best interest. Her work ethic is impeccable as she has spent countless personal hours revitalizing how our government functions. So the next time you see her, thank her, because she truly earned it. But above all, be thankful that we have been blessed with an amazing leader and continue to support her efforts!

Pamela Riggins


Common complaints about fracking

Having contributed 28 (0.001%) of the 204,000 comments on the proposed regulations for high volume hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) that were recently delivered to the DEC, I call attention of Saugerties Times readers to three themes that must have been common in all 204,000.

First, there is no scientific basis for many of the proposed “regs.” For example, 556.2 relates to the many circumstances in which releases of methane are permitted. There is no attempt to estimate the impact of those releases on the global, regional, or even local environment. Jessica B. Gilman et al just published in Environ Science and Technology (Jan. 13, 2013) a study estimating that about half the volatile organic compounds (ozone-depleting ) in ambient air near Colorado oil and natural gas operations are attributable to those operations.

Second, while operators are informed they need to measure many qualities and file reports on some, there is nothing said about penalties for late or inaccurate reports, nothing said about validating reports, nothing said about elements missing. 560.5(f), for example requires reporting of a waste dropoff but not of what was loaded at the source.

Third, legalistic terminology is used to hide problems. Diesel fuel is a useful additive to solutions injected for fracking, but so vile in drinking water that it was not, like other fracking chemicals, exempted by loophole from the Safe Drinking Water Act. Yet proposed Regulation: 560.6(c) 24 does not prohibit the use of diesel fuel as an additive to the base fluid (water); it only says that it “may not” be the base fluid itself.

“Regulation” is not a solution. Tell Gov. Cuomo you don’t want New York to allow fracking.

https://www.governor.ny.gov/contact/GovernorContactForm.php phone 518-474-8390 US Mail: The Hon. Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, Capitol Building Albany NY 12224.

Stephen Shafer