Letters to the editor

For the good of all the citizens

To the editor:

It is time for the mayor and Common Council to transcend the norm of Amsterdam politics for the good of all the citizens in our city.

We have a number of pressing issues that plague our city. We have infrastructure that needs to be maintained in an affordable manner. We have tax and user fee increases that are challenging to our businesses and residents. We have increasing debt in our city's government, and a lack of job opportunities for our residents.

I urge the council to make a balanced offer to the mayor on this golf course issue. The study from Union College cited by the mayor is outdated but not unuseful. Just because the contract for the pro is due does not mean we should move forward on a new, three-year contract, citing five-year-old, outdated statistics. Sign a one-year contract with the current golf pro, Joe Merendo. Use that year to gather more information regarding the golf course.

We should conduct a new competition pricing analysis. We should implement some of the marketing strategies from the study cited by the mayor. Attract youth by providing youth camps and programs. Attract new customers by holding marketed tournaments at the Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course. Offer discounted long-term membership rates for golfers coming from other golf courses.

All of these good ideas can be implemented without changing the overall structure of the golf course.

Since we are all interested in increasing usage of the golf course, let's take some good ideas from both sides and meet in the middle. Implement these changes, look at their effectiveness over the next year, and revisit the contract next year. For the time being, leave the idea of purchasing and leasing golf carts out, and let Joe Morendo continue as pro.

If both sides can agree to meet in the middle and move on, we forego a drawn-out court proceeding. Move on to more important business.

Karl Baia,

Amsterdam

Making up for lost time

To the editor:

After a 42-day stint, divided between St. Mary's Hospital and the Wilkinson Facility, I am about to contribute to make up for lost time.

In my absence, several things have transpired. I observed my 87th birthday and I was reminded by my wife that on Feb. 12, we will observe our 62nd wedding anniversary. We sure did fool a lot of people, but we have been blessed. We had five children, two of whom are deceased, but the remaining three have made sure that we are not hurting for anything. We get 21 meals a week, and as I am diabetic, they make sure I have all the "goodies" I want. I get seven baths a week, and we are monitored twice a day by each child. Right now there are just four occupants in our house: My wife, myself, an 8-year-old dog and a 15-year-old cat. We couldn't be happier. We are grateful despite the bad times, that we were allowed not only to exist, but to flourish. I hope the readers of this article will realize how grateful they should be for this community we live in and the beautiful inhabitants.

Next week, I plan to revisit a unit that no longer exists -- Mount Loretto. There is a great deal to be revealed, all of a pleasant nature. I tried to inject a certain levity, because quite frankly, I can find nothing negative about this city and its occupants. I am grateful for the opportunity to have an outlet which allows me to extol the virtues of Amsterdam. See you next Saturday.

James J. Sheridan,

Amsterdam

Making Christmas a happier time

To the editor:

Christmas is such a happy and joyful time of the year. Children look forward to Santa coming and bringing them gifts. Some children are lucky to receive just one gift and others receive a lot of gifts.

The Grandma Lorraine Program has been in progress for a few years to help children and their families so they can have a few gifts at Christmas. The committee would like to take this time to thank the businesses in the three towns and the individuals who took time to help at Christmas. It is because of you that this program is successful every year.

Julie Crouse and her family heads up this program and she has done a fantastic job. The following people help me out at the Fort Plain School with this program and I would like to thank them for their help: Colleen Cushing, Tara Hayes, Paula Colvin, Joanne Kennedy and Beth Close.

Christmas was made happier for many children because of all of you. Thank you and we hope to have all of you next year when The Grandma Lorraine Program starts again. Happy New Year.

Lori Fredericks,

Fort Plain