Letters (Feb. 6-13)

mailFamily thanks firemen

We wish to convey our heartfelt thanks to all of the fire companies for their amazing effort, dedication, and their display of professionalism in fighting a terrible fire at our West Saugerties home on Wednesday, Jan. 29.

Approximately eight fire departments responded to the call and although the home resulted in a total loss because of the extensive damage, the firefighters took great care in attempting to protect as much of our personal belongings and treasured family photos as possible. Several firemen stood from the second floor calling to the family in hopeful efforts of locating several irreplaceable, sentimental items, such as a wedding band and a late passed family member’s ring. In particular, we owe much gratitude to the first-responding companies of Centerville-Cedar Grove. Our special thanks to those who were first to arrive on the scene and then proceeded to coordinate an amazing effort to control and extinguish the fire. Too often these dedicated volunteers do not receive the positive recognition they so well deserve. That afternoon these men and women went above and beyond our expectations.

Again, we cannot convey adequately our thanks to all the responding companies for their efforts that day. You are a very dedicated and devoted group and we are grateful to live in a community served by so many caring volunteers. Our best wishes to all of you for your continued health and safety.


To our community: Words cannot express our sincere gratitude for each and every one of you! From the neighbors who brought coffee and offered resources, to those who sent well wishes and prayers, to the overwhelmingly generous donations received from many individuals and businesses. Our special thanks to the Morse community, Village and Woodstock Apothecary. Our family has always valued living in such a strong community and can never say thank you enough to those who have thought of us during this difficult time. Because of you we are hopeful for a new start and bright future.

John & Marie Hommel & Family


Hackett responds to former legislator

In response to Bob Aiello’s letter entitled “Down the drain.” First thing: Aiello, yes I do believe in consolidation and shared services, but only when it will save the taxpayers money. Consolidation of the town water department with the village water department in my mind would save the town water users money. Aiello math 101, if the village sells water to town, town raises price to sell to their residents would the price of water be higher? Let’s ask a third grader this question.

Next Aiello smart meters. I am a member of the Village Board not the Town Board. I had nothing to do with the Town Board decision on smart meters. If I did I would have fought for giving the residents a choice! If you want a smart meter in your home you got it. If you don’t want it you don’t have to have it. Although there may be a charge if you didn’t want it. Simple as that.

Next my good friend Chris Allen. Aiello yes Chris is a friend I met him on his campaign through another republican committeeman, one of your friends. What is your point Aiello? I have a lot of Democratic friends. One is my wife. I have the honor to work with all parties.

Next (fire truck): Chris Allen never promised the village a new fire truck. He said he would work hard to see if he could find funding for the village. Aiello guess what so has a congressman, assemblyman, and a county executive. I guess they want to work for the residents of the village. They must feel as I do that public safety is very important. A lot of people have offered support in trying to find funding for the needed fire truck. I can think of only one that didn’t offer to help: That would be you, Aiello.

Last: You keep bringing up that I’m a Republican committeeman. Yes Aiello, I am. As a committeeman I have made a few mistakes. First I carried petitions for you. Second I endorsed you two years ago over another Republican who would have done a better job then you. Aiello you are down the drain.

Donald Hackett
Village Trustee


I did it my way

I held the office of Ulster County Legislator for nine terms or 18 years. People often asked me how I got interested in politics and, being a “people person,” I did what I always did. I told them the truth and cited an opportunity to help the segments of society that needed it and to do so in a manner in which I felt was the “right thing to do,” regardless of party positions. I agree with Mario Cuomo when he once said “the idea of family is the bedrock in which my political philosophy rests.” So is mine.

A lot of intelligent people told me to do different things or to vote a certain way; I thought about it. But the popular opinion of intelligent people can be off and so I didn’t listen. I always thought that when you have a powerful instinct, you ought to go with it and I always did, much to the dismay of the leadership. I am very proud to say that everything I did during those nine terms, I did my way and on my tomb stone will read, “he did it his way.”

I am not saying that my political career is over and I am not saying it is but if I had to describe my experiences in those 18 years I would do so perfectly with a quote by Ernest Hemingway. “If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially.”

Robert Aiello


Successful pancake breakfast

The Mt. Marion Fire Department would like to thank everyone who came to the pancake breakfast on Jan. 28 for Brian and Randy Brandt. We are grateful to Mirabella’s, Partition Street Wine Shop, Two Brothers Pizza, Hungry Bambino’s Pizza, Opus 40 and Mara’s on the Way for your generous donations. We also need to acknowledge the Ruby Fire Department for allowing use of their hall along with the many members of the department who helped out. Your kindness is truly appreciated.

Mt. Marion Fire Department
Mt. Marion