After living for ten years outside of Saugerties I have returned. I love my hometown, but there is one thing I had forgotten about during my time away that I find more than a little irritating: the winter parking restrictions.
For what it’s worth, I understand the point of prohibiting parking during the overnights during the winter season; it is important to be able to clear the roads in the event of a severe snowstorm. But the restriction has a few unfortunate side effects. For starters, it is just plain inconvenient for those of us that are not lucky enough to have off-street parking. I happen to be lucky enough to live about a block from the nearest municipal lot and the exercise is probably good for me, but anybody who has to park in the center of the town and hike to the edge in bitterly cold temperatures probably doesn’t appreciate their nightly and early morning walks.
Secondly, it adds a lot of unwarranted congestion in the municipal parking lots. On nights when there are Town Board meetings and other events, it is almost impossible to find a spot because the parking lot is being used for its originally intended purpose.
Thirdly, it really isn’t necessary to ban overnight winter parking on streets all the time. There is a better way this could be done.
I would propose that instead of simply prohibiting overnight winter parking, the village should adopt a system in which parking is prohibited on alternating sides of the street — odd days on the odd side of the street and even days on the even side. This would serve several purposes: first, everybody would be able to park close to their residence; secondly, it would still allow for roads to be cleared in case of winter weather (and let’s be honest, while I applaud the work that our highway department does, it is very rare that both sides of the street are ever completely clear within 24 hours of a storm); thirdly, it may allow for additional ticketing opportunities for those that do not comply with the new system, thus increasing village revenues; and lastly, it would allow for a reduction in congestion in village municipal parking lots. Such a system could allow for a total ban during periods of heavy snowfall.
It is my hope that the village officials take my suggestion seriously as I have met a considerable number of village residents that would welcome this type of a change.
Saugerties should address political contributions
In 2013, Orange County enacted a “play-to-play” law. The law enacted strict limits on political contributions to elected officials from entities that provide services or work; that are involved with the sale or lease of any land/building; or, who received a grant or loan with the county. The law contains the following passage: “large political contributions from those seeking or currently performing business with the county may raise concerns on the part of taxpayers and residents as to their trust in government contracts.”
I believe the town of Saugerties should adopt a similar law with a provision limiting donations from developers with projects pending before the Planning Board.
During my political career, I’ve seen how large contributors either seeking lucrative government contracts or promoting controversial development projects can influence local elections. A search of the State Board of Elections campaign finance database will show several questionable donations to local candidates in the past few election cycles.
I referred a copy of Orange County’s law to a member of the Town Ethics Committee and requested they look into a drafting a law for consideration by the Saugerties Town Board.
I believe that passage of a Saugerties pay-to-play law will send a strong message that “The Old Boys Club” is dead and that access to our government is fair and equitable to all. It will foster public confidence and trust in our government by showing that important decisions are determined by policy and not campaign donations.
Joe Roberti Jr.
For the vets
During the State of the County address delivered by Ulster County Executive Mike Hein last week, Mr. Hein announced the plan to erect a monument that recognizes the ultimate sacrifice that many veterans from Ulster County gave to this country. The monument will be comprised of a wall that has all of the names of every veteran from Ulster County who gave their lives in the line-of-duty from every battle dating back to the Revolutionary War. In addition, a statue that will be placed in the middle of the displayed wall and it will be built from donated funding provided by Woodstock Harley Davidson. The monument, which will be built in front of the Ulster County Building on Fair St. in Kingston, will have funding provided from the Ulster County budget after a special vote of the Ulster County Legislature allocates and approves such funding. The end result will reflect the collaborative efforts between the County Executive’s office, the Ulster County Legislature and private business (Woodstock Harley-Davidson) which commemorates the ultimate sacrifice that many veterans from Ulster County gave to this great country.
In addition, I wanted to remind everyone to purchase raffle tickets from the Lamouree-Hackett American Legion Post 72 on John St. in Saugerties for their raffle on Super Bowl Sunday. Tickets are $10, and they can be purchased from any of the members at the American Legion Hall which is located at 30 John St. Their telephone number is (845) 246-6769, and good luck to all those who purchase raffle tickets on behalf of the American Legion Hall, as it all goes towards helping the veterans that they support.
Ulster County legislator