Sheriffs checking for warrants at social services office
I am infrequently compelled to voice my opinion in a letter to the editor, however after reading Mr. Rinaldo and Mr. Rothberg’s letter in your Oct. 23 edition I feel I must speak up. First, let it be known that I fully support “the economic safety net” as championed by the Democrats as originally intended. Secondly, I whole heartedly support Sheriff Van Blarcum and commissioner Iapoce’s position on warrant checks being conducted at the Department of Social Services. The suggestion by opponents that if warrant checks are done at DSS they should also be done at the DMV is not convincing — people doing business at the DMV etc. are not receiving a taxpayer-subsidized benefit, they are conducting a business transaction.
For far too long, DSS, along with social security disability, have been rife with abuse and fraud. I believe if you are going to receive a free benefit from the taxpayers you should be a responsible citizen of the community, and a law-abiding citizen. There are DSS recipients who live in hot beds of criminal activity — just look at Colonial Gardens and Broadway east in Kingston, among others. I would also support mandatory drug testing prior to receiving any benefits, along with random testing.
I see the results of this in my community every day. For example, in my neighborhood two 26-year-old men never work a day. One is on social services, the other is on social security disability. They always seem to have enough money for alcohol, tattoos and cigarettes though. Another on disability is doing work for cash, carrying two 80-pound bags of cement out of our local hardware store and playing volleyball and bowling every week. I could give many more examples of the same activity.
Some would argue that these are but a small portion of the users of both systems. But I believe the abuse of the system is rampant and is unsustainable in its present form. Both of these programs were devised to help our citizens who were down on their luck or suffered a disability maintain an acceptable standard of living. Just imagine for a second if people were honest and only received this great benefit when truly in need, how much better we could take care of the people truly in need.
Nick Steyer Jr.
These checks are another front in the attack on poor people in America. Indeed, as someone who was quoted in the article said, the people who access DSS are a vulnerable population. How would such checks go over if everyone entering the county office building were checked? It wouldn’t happen because the people who enter there are more diverse economically and racially.
Are Ulster County residents asking why the DSS site was chosen in the first place? The Sheriff says this will either stop people from getting “free benefits or clean up their stuff.” The operative words are “free benefits,” as if people aren’t legally entitled to such assistance when they need it. These warrant checks are a waste of precious police time which could be more usefully used to apprehend real criminals. Instead, the checks are an example of class and race discrimination. The head of DSS says he defers to the Sheriff’s Office in matters of security procedures. What is this bureaucrat talking about? There is no security issue involved in these checks. Was the county executive asked about this entire debacle?
Let them do it for people renewing their driver’s licenses while they’re at it. There are more people with warrants than those that use DSS. How about for everyone entering the courthouse? Or entering the library? The grocery store? The mall? Checkpoints everywhere! Oh wait…
Julie Tepfer Misiano
Oppose dissolution of historical review board
The inhabitants of the village of Saugerties have supported historic preservation since the creation of the Main and Partition Streets National Register Historic District in 1984. At the same time, the village gained Certified Local Government (CLG) status — a sought after designation by many local NYS municipalities when it passed a local law protecting the historic business district and historic zoning overlay districts by creating a Historic Review Board. The districts, the Historic Review Board and the CLG designation have enhanced our hard-gained status as an historic community.
There are now rumors afloat that all these efforts in behalf of our historic heritage stand to be destroyed by possible actions of our elected village officials which, in order to change the zoning map’s historic overlay boundaries to accommodate the demolition of one historic structure on Partition Street, would take a course designed to dissolve the Village Historic Review Board and also our CLG status.
If these rumors are correct, then I would recommend that the citizens of the village condemn, with vigor, these possible actions by letting our village officials know that their proposed actions are unacceptable. Backroom self-serving discussions to dissolve the protective apparatus of the local law that protects our valued historic structures are not in the best interests of the village of Saugerties community.
Michael Sullivan Smith
Lawmakers’ opinion sought on transfer station’s fate
This is an open letter to Saugerties county legislators. Recently our town received a letter from Tim Rose, executive director of the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency, announcing (what was then) their upcoming budget hearing and telling us of the projected increases in their disposal fees. He also stated they reserved the right to adjust all fees and/or cease the roll-off service to transfer stations beginning July 1, 2015. It is this statement that causes me concern. That means shutting down the town’s transfer station, forcing users to either contract with private haulers or travel with their trash to UCRRA’s Kingston facility.
I, along with others, would like your opinion on this matter.
Better yet, visit the transfer station for an hour or so, mix with the users, talk with them, explain your stand. Even better, pick a day, any day, from Tuesday through Saturday, to visit with your constituents at the transfer station. I’ll have flyers handed out stating what day you will be there to discuss these matters and will provide a table and chairs for your convenience where you can take your time conversing with your town residents in addition to other users form Woodstock and Shandaken, our contractual neighbors.
This is an important matter. What are your thoughts?
We are located at 1765, Rt. 212, between Glasco Tpke. and Zena Rd.
Marie Post Manage
Town of Saugerties Transfer Station