Volunteer snow removal
Before the next snowfall, the village of Saugerties could be “shovel ready” by having signup lists of volunteers for clearing the village sidewalks at both the junior and senior high schools, the Saugerties library, and Boys and Girls Club.
There must be some physically able enough who are interested in giving back to their community for what they are receiving from the taxpayers.
Prevent future deficits
I read that the town of Saugerties is “negotiating with Winston Farm concert promoters for a direct donation to pay down the town’s deficit.” If successful, this will be a positive development for property owners paying $200,000 this year to offset the town’s $660,000 deficit (11/18/13, Daily Freeman). The large deficit is the main reason the town’s bond rating was reduced by two financial firms in recent years.
The size of the deficit is shocking considering the town had a $786,000 surplus in 2007. A major contributing factor to the present deficit was the risky decision to defer $400,000 in Safety Net and election costs. The bill came due in 2012.
Americans became familiar with the concept of “moral hazard” during the recent financial crisis. Moral hazard is an economic term stating that people are willing to take undue risks if they don’t have to bear the consequences. Proponents of moral hazard argued that government shouldn’t bail out banks/people that made/undertook risky mortgages because without consequences, nothing would prevent the beneficiaries from making the same bad choices in the future.
Securing a donation to offset the town’s deficit would be a good thing. However, it’ll be meaningless unless the Town Board majority makes a greater commitment to control spending and avoiding the risky decisions that created the deficit.
Joe Roberti, Jr.
The writer is chair of the Saugerties Republican Committee
The irony of Winston Farm
The Winston Farm without argument possesses the best logistics for business development probably in all of Ulster County and equally it is said “what goes around comes around,” or something like that. Since Woodstock ‘94 Saugerties has been promised concert centers and a variety of other “trinket” businesses to be built on the property seemingly with or without the knowledge of the owners! After the disastrous 1994 attempt at creating another SPAC on the site it has been slated for much more of nothing.
However, today’s circumstances are nothing more than a result of yesterday’s decisions. And, the present gloom and doom now so deeply imbedded in the hearts of Ulster County residents may be called the “irony of the Winston Farm.” For the newcomers to Saugerties, this makes little sense, but the life-long residents may well understand. Saugerties could have been the hub for technology and perhaps the largest economic development success in the past 60 years for a great deal of Ulster County.
The founding forefathers, in all of their majesty, controlled and paved the destiny of the town and county. Their policy of “containment without change” maintained a cheap labor force during the 1930s and 40s. As they virtually controlled the labor force, the opportunity to provide the area with water and sewage at little or no cost from the WPA, during the New Deal, was met with threats to job security. Support of the WPA was a threat to the local “capitalist tool,” as ethnic labor owed its soul to the company store. Although the majority of the tax base lies outside the village of Saugerties, these surrounding and supporting hamlets only recently ( from an historical perspective ) received sewage and water.
Throughout the years, the Winston Farm, because of its demography, was the chosen site for such notable entities as American Can, Ford Motor, Endicott Johnson, Eastman Kodak, IBM and more notably, Ulster County Community College. But, the power structure found many excuses for keeping them out, predominately lack of water and sewer. And now again, as in 1994, we hear of the benefits of yet another concert promising the same as was promised in 1994, the year IBM left Kingston taking nearly 9,000 jobs with them. The fact that there is a Thruway exit right at the property’s entrance is no accident as is the fact that Ulster County is the only county with three exits off the Thruway. There were big plans for this area.
This policy of containment without change is what I like to call, “the irony of the Winston Farm.”
A note of appreciation
We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the wonderful people in the village of Saugerties, the Saugerties school district, the town of Ulster, the city of Kingston and the surrounding areas; the American Cancer Society, Dr. Joanne Porter and her team of doctors, all of the dedicated nurses; all of our family and friends, both near and far, who have supported Morgan Finch through prayers, letters, cards, gifts, fund-raisers and donations during the last six years while she fought her battle with leukemia.
Morgan completed her journey to heaven on Feb. 10, but her heart will remain forever within all who knew and loved her. She is our “Angel.”
It has been an extremely difficult time for our family but your care and concern has continued to help us through and we will always be very thankful.
Ronny and Brittany Finch
The issues: Where our state senator stands
Senator Tkaczyk has been a huge supporter of education here in the Hudson Valley, talking with parents and students about the realities our schools are facing. She has addressed the issue by signing on to the Cathy Nolan letter which 82 other NYS Legislators also signed, requesting more school aid from NYS. We have been impressed with how she has listened to the community at regional school board and PTA meetings and are encouraged to have her support on issues that are crucial to the health of the Hudson Valley like public education. —Kat Fisher
Senator Tkaczyk was very well received at her recent visit to the Saugerties Board of Education meeting. Her work to secure fair funding for rural school districts has been ongoing. This effort crosses all political party lines and affects all property owners in town. —Michael Harkavy
As a former chairman of the Polk County Republican Party here in Florida sorry not impressed! —Peter Karashay
A dreamy tale
From comments posted in response to our article about the filming of “I Dream Too Much.”
Saugerties never ceases to entertain. Best of everything to you, Katie Cokinos, on your upcoming release. —Partition Street Wine Shop
Thanks for this great article! We enjoyed filming in Saugerties in the snow. Anyone who wants to support our film and get the latest updates, please visit the official I Dream Too Much Facebook page at Facebook.com/idreamtoomuchfilm. —Ed McWilliams
Wonderful to see all these young people involved. Great job! —Marjorie Block
Happy it is OVER!!!!!! —Patti Sullivan-Klausner