Plan for a casino-free future
Overall, the good people working on the revisions to the Saugerties Comprehensive Plan have done a great job of incorporating public comments into the latest draft of the plan. I do remain concerned that the mention of casinos as a possible business in Saugerties is still in the plan (p.44, section 9.20). Why not remove section 9.20? Our town has been quite vocal in the past about not wanting a casino, with its accompanying social problems and low-paying jobs. Please remove this section so there will be no doubt to anyone in the future that casinos are not good business for Saugerties.
The writer is a candidate for Ulster County Legislature, District 1
Rail trail or railroad?
I have begun to educate myself about the proposed Catskill Mountain Rail Trail and I think there are some very important issues people raise. First of all, there is confusion about what will happen to the existing railroad, which many people, including me, are fond of. I have looked at the county executive’s proposal and the Planning Board’s documents and it is quite clear that the trail supports the continuation of the railroad where it is currently operating successfully in the western part of the county. In the 22 years the railroad group has had a lease on the corridor, it has created a route from Boiceville to Phoenicia that operates seasonally and serves three quarters of its annual ridership. Large sections along the rest of the route, which goes from Kingston to Pine Hill, are in a deteriorated condition with bridges and trestles that cannot be repaired.
I also wondered why there couldn’t be both rail and trail together. There are a number of reasons it turns out, but the simplest is that the rail is only a single track and putting a trail next to it would be impossible in many places. The engineering and construction would be too expensive and the resulting trail would offer some challenging terrain for users. And then again, to rebuild the railroad would be even more costly and segments are damaged beyond repair for rail use.
The multi-use trail that is being proposed will not only bring more visitors to the railroad, it will bring more people to the entire corridor and connect to other rail trails in the region. Long trails become destinations where people who bike and walk know they can spend more than just a few hours. We rode the 400-mile Erie Canal Bike Route a few years ago and it was a terrific experience of NY State history. Four hundred riders of all ages and abilities take the group trip every year.
I have decided to join with other residents working in support of the proposed rail trail. This is a unique window of opportunity for our area and one which comes with considerable funding. Our county executive has made a strong proposal and New York State is holding $2 million for the project.
It is true that our mountains have some of the world’s best hiking trails, but for many, those trails are daunting. The Catskill Mountain Rail Trail will be open 365 days a year for recreating and for bicycle transportation. It will be available for seniors and for children, for getting to work and for teaching children about wilderness and our history, and it will be fully handicapped accessible along its almost 40 mile length.
I urge you to examine this proposal for yourselves. Visit the Ulster County Planning Department’s website which has a feature on the rail trail proposal ulstercountyny.gov/planning/cmrt.html. Ask them for an informational presentation in your area. Get involved!
Schirmer for Town Board
Please support Bill Schirmer for Town Council. I’ve known Bill in his capacity as a past president and current member of the board of directors of the Saugerties Fish and Game Club for the last several years. I assisted Bill in his running of the last two years Youth Fishing Tournament at the Blue Mountain Reservoir. Bill did an outstanding job organizing this event and the success was measured by the smiles on all the children and their parents’ faces at the end of the day.
Bill will be an asset to the Town Council where he can implement his ideas for responsible economic growth, with fiscal conservatism. Bill is an honest and up front individual, he will put an end to the back room type of politics that I’ve witnessed with three of the current town council members. I hope you join me in supporting Bill in the upcoming Republican Caucus, June 19, at the Senior Center.
Support Mower for highway superintendent
Saugerties Republicans: Mike Mower, a member of the Republican Party for the past 36 years, is seeking the Republican nomination for the position of Highway Superintendent in Saugerties. Mike has spent the greater part of the past 36 years as a dedicated employee and now owner/operator in his family business, which encompasses excavating, trucking, mechanical repairs and services to small, medium and large vehicles. Since taking ownership in 1997, Mike has gained knowledge and experience in running all facets of a successful business, which will be a great asset to the Town of Saugerties. I have had the opportunity of witnessing the daily operation of the business and was very impressed by the devotion and consideration Mike has for his customers. In the cutthroat world we live in today, I find that to be a very refreshing quality. You will not find a more dedicated, honest, and positive individual than Mike.
Let’s bring the honesty and integrity back into the Highway Department.
If you are a register Republican please come and support Mike Mower at the Republican Caucus on June 19, 7 p.m. at the Senior Center, Market St.
Mower can do it better
A friend of mine, Mike Mower, is seeking the Republican nomination for the position of highway superintendent in Saugerties. I have known Mike for about 20 years, and his father Duffy for 15 years before that. Mike is the third-generation owner/operator of a successful trucking/mining/excavating/heavy truck repair business in Saugerties. Mike is a hard-working, knowledgeable businessman — just who we need to manage our Highway Department. Mike brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in all aspects of highway department business. From buying and repairing heavy equipment to managing a large crew of employees, Mike does it very well. Mike comes with an added bonus. He lives and works within eyesight of the town highway department. He already knows where everything is! All this and you also get a really nice person. I asked Mike why he wanted to give up his business for a political job. Without hesitation, his answer was, ‘I know I can do it better and my family is in a position to take over the business.’ Republicans in Saugerties would do well to make Mike Mower their nominee for highway superintendent. If you know Mike, I know you will support him. If you are a registered Republican Mike needs you to attend the Republican Caucus on June16 at 7 p.m. in the Senior Citizen Center on Market St. and cast you vote for him.