To the editor:
Regarding the possible change in the way Montgomery County does business, i.e., "the charter" vs. the current board of supervisors, we are being admonished to learn the facts before we vote in November.
Unfortunately, in the huge jump into the abyss of "improving government" there are few facts available on the actual workings of the proposal. There are printed guidelines, and then there are suppositions and even more questions. The facts will only become visible if and when this proposition becomes law. Then it will be too late to change our minds.
For example, what are the qualifications to run for the county executive? According to the charter, he or she need only be a qualified voter in the county. That's it. Some are worried that the treasurer should be a qualified person, but the county executive needs no qualifications. Get a few people to back you and you can run for the office. Boy, is that democracy or what?
How about the pay for the county executive? We won't find that out until and if this thing passes muster in the fall. With many school administrators raking in $150,000 to $200,000 a year, what are we going to have to pay to attract good, qualified candidates?
While we're on the subject of money, has anyone crunched the numbers to see what this "new" government is going to cost us? We'll still have our town supervisors (paid), and now nine legislators (paid) going to Fonda instead of the 15 supervisors, and a county executive (paid) and all the assistants (paid) he or she needs to run the office.
The most dangerous part of the "charter" is the power that is vested in the county executive. The executive makes virtually all the appointments, tells each department how it is to be organized and run, and does all this with the supposed blessing of the legislature. The county executive, in reality, will create the flow charts and the legislature will look to him or her as the point person to provide the necessary information to get the legislature's approval. A county executive may "get things done" but we as taxpayers may not like the process or have much to say about it for four years.
By all means, read the "charter" before you vote.
Earl F. Spencer,
Score one for the hunters
To the editor:
Once again, congratulations to the Recorder for providing the public at large a true and accurate example of what the typical American outdoor sportsmen, and women, are really all about by publishing the two excellent articles, "Deer meat to feed seniors" and "Near and Deer," written by Heather Nellis, Recorder news staff.
It's also noteworthy to point out Heather made sure to mention the SDEC report stating sportsmen who hunt in New York state contribute nearly $690 million to the state's economy annually through hunting-related expenses.
News coverage like this enables the average non-hunting grassroots citizens to realize that anti-hunting, anti-gun ownership advocates who continually endeavor to paint a totally negative perception of the people who actively participate in the sport are simply distorting the facts with nothing but outright false information.
No matter how it's dressed up and presented, baseless propaganda is easy to recognize and completely ignore. Thankfully, most people possess the intelligence to always do that.
Get the facts before voting
To the editor:
It's that time of year again: election time. This year the voters in Montgomery County will make history by voting yes or no for a new charter form of county government. I am asking all members of the voting public to take the time and educate themselves on the new charter. Over the past 30 years the county board of supervisors has looked at this topic at least four times formally and talked about it forever.
The public can review the charter by logging on to the Montgomery County website, attend a local meeting on the matter, or reach out to one of the nine members of the charter commission for information. This charter form of county government does not change city, town, or village governments but instead brings Montgomery County in line with the majority of the counties in New York state that have made changes to their form of government.
Earlier this year the board of supervisors formed a subcommittee to look at a possible change in county government. Following the request by the subcommittee, the full board of supervisors appointed a nine member charter commission. Among others, the charter commission included three attorneys, all of whom reside in the county, and a former county supervisor. The board of supervisors then reviewed the charter and by resolution placed it on the November ballot for the voters of Montgomery County to vote on.
While I believe this county charter form of government will be good for the county, I urge you to get the facts before the November election.
James F. Post,
The writer is vice chairman of the charter commission and mayor of Palatine Bridge.