Letters (July 16-23)

mail-letter-sqVolunteers need support

Is this an election year? I haven’t yet seen the contentious topics surface so I was wondering. If it is I feel obliged to nominate one: treatment of volunteers.

Saugerties has lost sight of the fact that the processes of government are on the shoulders of its unpaid boards and commissions. The paid staff and paid elected officials have the responsibility of the functions of government but volunteers from among the electorate carry out the actual processes citizens see when they encounter government.

One of the functions the citizens pay for is vetting and then convincing the best minds in the community to volunteer their time to actually carry out the work the municipal law requires; work that requires hours of preparation per month and commitments to long meetings and hearings. This is, of course, without the benefits of being able to posture for election and brag about all they have done for Saugerties. In Saugerties they’re not even given a “thank you” bash each year like in our surrounding communities.


It’s really a small thing for the paid staff to recognize they are there to support these volunteers by keeping accessible records of board and commission work and just minimally being aware of which one of these volunteer bodies covers which task of government so they can know how to use these records. There seems now to be no appreciation of this in the training or management part of the functions of government.

What I’d like to suggest if an election year makes it a proper time to have this discussion: Who will best accomplish and commit to that supervision responsibility?

Michael Sullivan Smith


Political opportunism at parade

The July 4th parade is an opportunity for Saugerties to celebrate our independence from England and our unity as a town and nation. It is not, in my opinion, a venue for political electioneering from prospective candidates. As past chairman of the Saugerties Democratic Party I was always told that the parade committee allowed elected officials past and present to march and town political committees to participate. To my knowledge, it did not permit political signage or floats from individual non-elected candidates.

I was angered to see political floats from candidates Angie Minew and Gaetana Ciarlante permitted in the parade. This was nothing more than blatant political opportunism. I was gratified to hear that their floats were not permitted in the final judging process.

There is plenty of time, and appropriate opportunities, for candidates to meet the voters and present their credentials. The July 4th parade is not one of them. It is my hope that the Parade Committee will clearly outline the rules and regulations governing political candidates before our next parade.

Mike Harkavy


Heidcamp not controlling GOP

People join the Conservative Party because they embrace specific values and principles and want to elect like-minded individuals into office. Too often, however, someone gets the Conservative endorsement, runs as an Independent and then votes with the Democrats. In other words, they use the Conservatives to help them get what they want….tell me, what is the sense of that?

The bottom line is this, the County Conservative Committee, of which I am but one member, have decided that we’ve had enough of being used. We don’t want people who simply collect endorsements… we want leaders who will work toward limiting our government, lowering our taxes, etc. We want our candidates to pledge allegiance to Conservative principles, not to report to me or anyone else and, to reiterate, this decision was made by the County Conservative Committee. It includes the entire County of Ulster, all of the towns therein.

The Conservative Party advertised for those seeking the Conservative endorsement to send their resume to Gaetana Ciarlante. Joe Roberti Jr. and Allyson Barbaria were the only registered Republicans (two out of 3,200) to respond. A committee, consisting of nine members, interviewed the prospective candidates. Both of the candidates were endorsed because they were in line with Conservative values and had no problem signing a pledge to uphold our Party’s principles— the claim that the candidates would have to report to Mr. Heidcamp is a figment of Mr. Lantz’s imagination (Letters, July 9).

As to Fred Costello, Freddie declined to sign the pledge that had been adopted by the County Conservative Party. Still, we allowed his father to put his name into nomination for a vote. The truth is, Freddie lost 37-7.

Why in the world would registered Democrat Charles Lantz be so concerned about a Republican-Conservative coalition? Is he afraid of a united front? Probably. I believe Mr. Lantz’s letter is nothing more than an attempt to sway the public using elementary psychology, a feeble attempt to generate some anger among Republican voters so they come out and vote against the Conservatives’ candidates and thus frustrate the unity between the parties. No matter whom the voters may chose to nominate, I’m sure most people are smart enough to follow their conscience rather than Mr. Lantz’s dribble.

George Heidcamp
Chairman, Saugerties Conservative Party


If it can be done, Minew can do it

I am the first person of probably many to say I don’t have a political bone in my body. I recently said that to a friend of mine, Angie Minew. She said, well Jess, political bone or not, politics are all around you and affect your daily life from your pocketbook to the things you read, like, and your day-to-day.

Angie has been in my family since the first day my mother saw her out with her daycare singing songs marching around and simply just caring for the community. My children have attended her childcare program since the start and we hold the title to any grandfathered in clause that’s for sure. Her family welcomed mine in as their own. I always joke with her that she is the president of “team 2-day” if it can be done Minew can do it for sure! I have personally had help advocating for my children as well as witnessed the devotion to others all while never missing a step with her own. The amount of time and energy Angie puts into everything she does could exhaust anyone. Personally I don’t believe she sleeps which benefits all of us no-political-bone-having people because fact-checking is who she is. I am proud to help work on her Ulster County Legislative district 2 campaign and wish her all the best of luck.

Jessica Torelli