A public explanation is needed
To the editor:
The disqualification of Montgomery County's application for a casino gaming license is unquestionably a devastating blow to our area. All that remains now are many unanswered questions as to how our elected and appointed officials so dismally failed us. The residents of our community certainly deserve a thorough explanation.
To restate the questions put forth in The Recorder editorial of Aug. 9, 2014: "How did our local officials get hooked up with this investment group to begin with? Did they pick us? Did we screen them? Just lucky?" We agree that these are important questions that need to be addressed. And there are many more. Here are just a few: Who knew what and when? Why weren't any other developers/investors sought? Was there a genuine effort to ensure that a complete and timely application made its way to the state? Were the Montgomery County Business Development Center, the Montgomery County Industrial Development Agency, and the newly formed county legislative body (together with all relevant committees) fully and aggressively engaged or was it just business as usual? Why in early February of this year were Clairvest and our local government officials so certain of the project's great chance for success only to change their tune later? Who or what influenced them to so sheepishly back off (special interest groups, developers in other counties, local business people, complacency, etc.)? Was any outside consulting service approached to perhaps act as a liaison between the developer and the county to aid in the application process? Why wasn't the public informed that Clairvest intended to submit nothing more than a grossly incomplete application even after being told by state gaming officials that a 60-day extension was out of the question? Was the application submitted merely to appease the public knowing full well that its rejection was virtually guaranteed?
To date we have gotten nothing but lame excuses from our officials and have witnessed them pathetically dodging accountability and shifting blame in all directions. Now all we hear are promises of a bright future and how things are going to change for the better. We hear of new projects and bigger budgets for those in charge of developing them. Seems like just talk designed to calm our anger and have us forget about the bungling of a potential mega-project.
The stakes here were much too high and what was lost much too significant to allow this issue to quietly die in the minds of Montgomery County residents. Until all involved are forthcoming with satisfactory answers a cloud of distrust and suspicion will hang over them, and rightly so. Our confidence in them needs to be restored in a big way. We believe that now is the time for an official inquiry into what happened and why. Our leaders need to explain to us why they should be allowed to keep their jobs.
Michael L. Cantiello,
Hi-ho (Sheldon) Silver ... away
To the editor:
Mr. Cuomo, we are glad to hear that you came up to Indian Lake to take that raft trip. I'm sure that helped to promote rafting.
I was wondering if you might come up north again to Speculator via Route 30 and notice all the new imported weeds and fire wood for sale signs along the way. Also, all the tourist and boats on the lakes, that we already have? They tell me some of the lakes are becoming polluted. Take time and visit the state campsites and you will notice attendance way down at times and also they are selling fire wood. In my opinion, this will hurt people along Route 30, and others trying to make a little money that way.
I noticed in the papers that you want to create jobs and tourism up here and around Hynie Mountain. DEC is promoting building more lean-tos around our remote lakes and ponds. Some of us feel this will make those lakes the same as Lake Pleasant with all the camps around it.
Perhaps we could direct some of these people to state campsites instead and tell them to stop selling fire wood because this hurts jobs up here.
On your next trip up, come in an old pickup truck with a disguise, and stop and visit with people selling fire wood and small farmers, people that have to work for a living, that are just making it, and people that are here for less crime and quiet. Have you noticed crime has doubled in Gloversville and Amsterdam? I think this will cause different thinking for you and give you clearer information.
Have you noticed how many people have signs that are against the safe act?
Much obliged for your time.
P.S.: The Lone Ranger would be a good disguise. He tried to help us when I was a kid. He wore two pistols and gave out bullets.
Lewis N. Page Sr.,