To the editor:
I never thought the day would come that I would be praising The Recorder. The change of ownership of The Recorder is the best thing that has happened.
Congratulations and much success to the Kosineski family. I hope the people of Amsterdam and the area they serve support the paper. We can now boast that The Recorder is "Our Hometown Paper" owned by hometown people who love our community. I for one can honestly say that for the first time in years I actually read the paper instead of the obituary page and a few selected letters to the editor. God bless.
Mario Villa, Amsterdam
Bring back open government
To the editor:
Several comments have been made recently concerning the illegal appointments to the golf commission. Here is what I found out:
There are currently two town of Amsterdam residents that have been appointed to the golf commission. When I asked the current chairman of the golf commission which individual gave them permission to appoint town residents, he told me corporation counsel [Gerard] DeCusatis.
There are three sections of the city charter that deal with this issue. In Article 1, under C-8-2, Definitions: "officer also includes those appointed to any board or commission"; under Article II Chapter 14 Qualifications of City Officers, it says that an out-of-city resident must be approved by a four-fifths vote of the Common Council. Part 1, Chapter 28, is totally dedicated to the golf commission. Under Chapter 28-1-D, it states "all members serve without pay." To me this would include any reduction in greens fees for the commission members.
For too long now the corporation counsel has been running the city and making decisions that are not his to make. Our charter very clearly states how this is to be handled, yet, he chose not to follow it. Unfortunately, since the mayor took office, she has had the golf course in her sights ... to what end I do not know, although the recent actions by the golf commission would be a good indication. What concerns me equally: Where has the common council been all this time? Why have they not addressed this issue? I realize that our city finances are of a more important concern, but the business of the government must still be addressed. Properly and legally.
In light of the fact that these appointments are illegal, (having found no resolutions appointing them) I ask that the two gentlemen involved submit their resignations immediately and that two city residents that are members of the golf community put their names in for the positions. Should no city resident apply, then these two gentlemen may submit their names and with a four-fifths majority vote of the common council they may serve. I trust that our corporation counsel can prepare a resolution with appropriate names or blank spaces so this can be addressed at the next meeting of the council on Oct. 1.
It is a sad day for our city when innocent individuals are used to play the mayor's and attorney DeCusatis's games. No doubt these gentlemen have devoted much time to this endeavor of the mayor's, but now it is out in the open and it will be stopped. We have a city charter that was put in place to keep things like this from happening, but it seems with this administration all eyes must be kept wide open.
Golf courses all over the country are going belly up due to the recession. Just how much more do you think you can keep raising the fees and nickeling and dimming the players before they stop playing all together? We are an economically depressed area, with many courses within a short driving distance to choose from. Before long you will have no players left. This interference has to stop. This interference must be corrected at the next meeting of the common council on Oct. 1.
And just in case there are other non-residents of the city that have been appointed to any boards, commissions or committees by the mayor, without the proper common council approval, I request that they be contacted to submit their resignations and notices can be posted so city residents can submit their names to serve on "their" boards. The mayor may not like some of the residents of this city, but they are the ones that elected her and they should darn well be able to serve their community. The turnover in board members in some cases has been unbelievable. Stop the hand-picking and bring back "open government."
Diane Hatzenbuhler, Amsterdam
'Affordable' is a relative term
To the editor:
I am doing what I swore I would not do and throwing in my 2 cents worth of narrative on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Come Oct. 1, we will have health care "exchanges" offering their plans at a premium of $267 to $365 monthly for a single person. This is what Barack Obama is calling affordable? For a man who sits in public office and has all of his needs paid for by the working class, this may be "affordable."
Envision a middle aged woman who works a 40-hour week at a $10 an hour job, pays taxes, rent, utilities, auto insurance, auto registration, supports an elderly parent, dares to be a responsible pet owner, what can she afford, Mr. Obama? Wrap up and present the package however you want, but universal health care will not solve the problems of the working poor, nor help the elderly.
A system of socialized medicine where the highest earners pay the highest amounts would be preferable. That way, the truly needy would get the health care they require.
In our nation of competition, greed, ego and corruption, I doubt we will ever see a "fair" health care system. Thank you for allowing me my amendment to free speech.
Francine Farina, Amsterdam