To the editor:
A message for Mr. Santabarbara's campaign:
Tom Quackenbush's grandparents came from Italy looking for the American dream of owning their own home and raising a family. Through hard work, they accomplished that, but struggled, like everyone, to pay the high taxes on their home. That is why Tom doesn't believe in raising taxes, as you accuse him of doing. He doesn't want to see other families go through the same hardships his grandparents had gone through.
You say that Tom Quackenbush raised his pay when he was mayor of the village of Fort Plain. Why didn't you check the reasoning behind the village board's decision to raise the mayor's pay?
Tom Quackenbush was on the payroll, working hard for the taxpayers of Fort Plain at a rate of roughly $35 a week -- and doing a fine job at that.
Mr. Santabarbara, would you want to run a village for that kind of pay?
There comes a point when a leader has to lead and make the tough decisions. You would rather hide behind false ads through mass media, than talk about your own record. Clearly, Mr. Santabarbara, you are not a leader who is capable of doing that.
My vote is for Tom Quackenbush.
Vote for 'green' candidates
To the editor:
Will it ever end? Will it ever, ever end? Election season goes on forever, it seems. The ads, the phone calls, the mailings, the commercials. It's even worse than Christmas. Just be deeply grateful you don't live in Ohio.
But no matter how annoying it all is, this election matters. It does. It really makes a difference who wins. Not just the presidency, but on the state and local level, too. But sometimes it's hard to decide who to vote for. Who's got time to study the positions of every candidate in a dozen local races?
As a person who values nature, and also my own health, I always vote for the candidates I feel are responsibly committed to protecting the environment. Candidates who will fight oil companies to keep the water clean. Candidates who will vote for legislation that will protect our health, not corporations. But with all the hype and negativity, it's hard to know who's telling the truth.
The New York state League of Conservation Voters endorses candidates with a proven track record in protecting the environment and public health. Check out their website if you'd like to see which candidates are really "green," and which ones just claim to be. Those are the ones who get my vote. Actions speak louder than words.
Telling fact from fiction
To the editor:
We know as Election Day nears, our mailboxes get filled with political flyers telling us to vote for this guy or that guy, and many times it's hard to tell fact from fiction. We'd like to take a minute to tell you what we know about Angelo Santabarbara.
We have worked with Angelo on the Schenectady County Legislature. He is a family man who cares deeply about our community. Angelo serves on the board of directors for the Autism Society of the Greater Capital Region and owns a cheese-making business which donates all profits to children's charities. An engineer by trade, Angelo established a scholarship program for high school seniors pursuing an engineering degree.
Angelo's dedication to service began after he graduated high school and served eight years in the Army Reserves. When his son, Michael, was diagnosed with autism, Angelo dedicated himself to helping children and families in our community.
Together, we helped bring more than $500 million in private investment to our area, generating over 5,500 new jobs. We know Angelo will take his experience to Albany to fight for our families.
On Nov. 6, please consider supporting our friend, Angelo Santabarbara, for New York State Assembly. If you'd like to learn more about him, please visit www.angelo2012.com.
The writer is chairwoman of the Schenectady County Legislature. This letter was also signed by 12 members of the legislature.
Ways to save money
To the editor:
I read that a majority of the members of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors endorsed Tom Quackenbush. Of course they did. The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors has balanced their budgets by raising county taxes and depleting their reserve funds to dangerously low levels -- so low that Quackenbush himself testified that if they continue at this rate, Montgomery County is destined to fail.
Now they seek to raise sales tax by "a percent or two." This will harm everyone, but our seniors living on fixed incomes and the unemployed will feel this the most.
We know that George Amedore, while serving as our assemblyman, was vehemently opposed to supporting that legislation because he knows how devastating further tax increases would be for the families of Montgomery County. We also know that Angelo Santabarbara is against tax increases. Angelo, like George Amedore, has never voted to increase taxes.
But Tom Quackenbush isn't like George Amedore or Angelo Santabarbara. He testified at a state hearing and said "Let us raise the sales tax by a percent or two. For every percent, that would mean $6 million for us."
Raising taxes is not the solution -- but to politicians like Tom Quackenbush it is. Let's elect Santabarbara. He will find ways to save us money, not ways to take more money from us.
The best way forward
To the editor:
As a young person, I am concerned about the future of our community. Unemployment remains high, taxes remain high, and opportunities are few and far between. Government seems to have failed. It's time for a change.
For the past few months, I have been following the proposed county charter in the news. I am convinced that this is the way forward for the county. The charter won't solve all our problems, but it will at least give us a chance to solve them.
Do we want to continue to run county government the same way year in and year out, even though it doesn't work? Or do we want to try something new?
I ask you to vote yes for my future. What do you have to lose?
Four court vacancies
To the editor:
As the November election draws near, there are still many who are questioning the number of candidates running for Supreme Court. This year, three of the judges in the district are reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70, and one, the Honorable Joseph M. Sise of Montgomery County, is seeking re-election. This has created four vacancies to be filled at the November election.
Those running on the Republican and Conservative lines are Judge Sise, Montgomery County Judge Felix Catena, Warren and Saratoga Counties Family Court Magistrate John Ellis, and attorney Thomas Buchanan of Schenectady. All have been endorsed by the New York state Republican Party and the New York state Conservative Party.
Judge Sise, a native of Amsterdam, has served as an assistant district attorney in Bronx, Fulton and Montgomery counties, Montgomery County judge, and since 1999 as a Supreme Court justice presiding over 6,500 cases. In addition he has conducted over 200 trials during his career as a practicing attorney.
Judge Catena, also an Amsterdam native, has served as Montgomery County Court judge since 1999 and as an acting Supreme Court judge since 2000. Prior to that he was Amsterdam City Court judge from 1995-1999. He has presided over several thousand civil and criminal cases as a judge and conducted more than 150 trials in both supreme and county courts in 11 counties.
John Ellis, a native of Franklin County, has served in his position in Warren and Saratoga counties since 2005, having heard over 35,000 cases in Family Court in that time. Prior to that he was a Franklin County assistant district attorney from 2002-2005, and served as an 82nd Airborne Division chief legal assistant from 1990-1994.
Thomas Buchanan has served as a litigator for many cases before the New York state Supreme Court throughout his career. He is currently an attorney with Hacker, Murphy in Latham.
Each of these candidates is highly qualified to serve as a New York State Supreme Court justice and will fairly and honorably serve the citizens of the 11 counties that comprise the Fourth Judicial District. They do not sit on the bench in just the county in which they reside, but travel throughout the district as needed. They have each displayed dedication to their chosen profession, as well as commitment to their families and communities. Each will bring an honest, fair and conservative approach to the court at the same time respecting the rights of those appearing before them.
The writer is secretary of the Fulton County Republican Committee.
Support the charter
To the editor:
On Nov. 6, I urge you to vote "yes" to the proposed county charter. As a member of the commission that created it, I believe that this document provides a way forward for our county. For the first time ever it will allow voters to elect a county executive to oversee the complex day-to-day operations of this $93 million enterprise.
My experience in both the public and private sector has led me to believe that a county executive is necessary for the most efficient administration of county government. As former CEO of St. Mary's Hospital, I understand the importance of strong executive leadership. Such leadership provides clear direction and encourages efficiency.
As a past president of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, I recognize the need for our county to have a voice in Albany, advocating for economic development and job creation. A county executive will provide that voice.
As a former head of a county department, I have first-hand experience with the workings of county government. I have seen how the current system, in which each department has 15 different bosses, simply doesn't work. A business needs a leader, not a committee, in order to oversee its budget and its bottom line.
On Election Day, flip your ballot over and vote "yes" for leadership and efficiency.
Town of Florida
Good luck in retirement
To the editor:
Thank you Donna Nevulis for your many years of service to the youth of Amsterdam both as the Amsterdam High School golf team coach and as my assistant for many years at the junior summer clinics.
Good luck on your retirement.
The writer is the golf professional at Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course.