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Amsterdam, NY ,



Letters to the editor

Thursday, October 17, 2013 - Updated: 9:35 AM

Making this a better place to live

To the editor:

I would like to make some comments about Debra Baranello, candidate for alderperson, in Amsterdam's 3rd Ward. I've known Debby for nearly 30 years and she has been an employee at the Cataract Care Center for 23 years. One could not ask for a better employee. She arrives early for work every day and looks and acts in a most professional manner. Her honesty, integrity and work ethic, are without question. In addition to her regular duties, Debby supervises employees in four offices. Patients marvel at how fast and efficient she is and they wonder if her feet actually touch the floor.

I have seen Debby grow in her community involvement. She is frequently seen cutting neighbors' lawns, picking up trash along Route 5, cleaning the rose garden behind City Hall, planting bulbs along Market Street and at City Hall, donating bulbs for the West End's Memorial Park and serving on the city's Citizens Review Board. A life-long resident of Amsterdam, Debby's aim, is to make her town a better place to live.

If the residents of Amsterdam's 3rd Ward want their town to be a better place to live, elect Debra Baranello as your next alderperson.

John R. Kearney,


Giving every thing he has

To the editor:

I have had the privilege of knowing Matt Ossenfort since coaching him in high school lacrosse. It has not been a practice of mine to write letters of support for political candidates; however, sometimes in life you feel so strongly about something or someone you want to share that with others.

I could list the numerous personal reasons that will lead me to vote for Matt Ossenfort: leader, caring, solution oriented, loyal, charismatic, a true "people person," honest and courageous. However, electing the county executive of Montgomery County shouldn't come down to a popularity contest, it should be based on the most qualified candidate and the person who can lead the county department heads while working collaboratively with the members of the new legislature .

Matt was chief of staff to Assemblyman George Amedore, he currently works as a senior legislative analyst for the New York State Senate, he is a founding member and president of the Habitat for Humanity. Matt has a bachelor's degree in political science and history from SUNY-Albany and while working full-time will proudly obtain a master's in business administration at the end of one more semester. I feel it is important to mention Matt's impressive career and his dedication to furthering his education.

Matt's youth, his passion, his experience, his vision for this county should be seen as the assets needed to lead this county into the implementation of a new county government. It would be easy to write the same old letter, that it is time for a change. These are campaign slogans that have been used too frequently and offer no solutions and only point out the mistakes of the past.

Matt's campaign is based on solutions, not finger pointing. He knows the importance of the dedicated professionals that work daily at the county office buildings to provide the services that we all need. He knows it takes qualified individuals to implement a leader's vision and the jobs shouldn't be based on nepotism or cronyism because that limits creative thinking. He has a plan to tackle high unemployment and taxation by implementing the regional business plan. He has the experience of analyzing legislation and has identified nine unfunded state mandates that compromises 90 percent of our tax levy.

I have always been extremely proud of Matt Ossenfort. As a young man he gave his team everything he had, day in and day out. What makes me even prouder is to see a man who brings that same dedication and effort to all aspects of his life. I have no doubt Matt will be a great leader and I will proudly vote for Matt Ossenfort as the Montgomery County executive. I hope you will join me.

Matt Beck,


Trying to take away our privileges

To the editor:

My name is Donald Zarecki. I live in Amsterdam. I am presently a Muni golf course paid annual user.

I would like to know when will the taxpayers of the Small City with a Big Heart start to realize that they do not pay for the labor, maintenance or upkeep of our great venue.

The mayor stated in her recent comment in 2008 that she vetoed the pro contract because it did not protect the interests of the taxpayers. Guess what? The taxpayers of Amsterdam do not pay to run and maintain this historic facility.

The golfers at Muni front all the money to run this facility.

We as golf members do not like the city's tactics to derail our great venue that Art Carter started.

I am one individual that is sick and tired of our legislators trying to take away our privileges that we pay for.

The mayor should think of how to promote this Robert Trent Jones golf course.

As a resident, taxpayer, Veteran of Vietnam and a senior citizen it's time we in Amsterdam stand tall.

I support the rehiring of Joe the Pro.

I am only one person but there are a lot of people out there that know Joe and I know they feel the same way I do.

Thank you.

Donald Zarecki,


Figuring out the math

To the editor:

No wonder why our finances are messed up. At a Common Council meeting Tuesday night Mayor Thane stated, "We do know that there are approximately 40,000 rounds of golf played a year." Being a former member of the city golf commission I know there is no way of telling an accurate number, some play nine holes some may play one or two holes. Also, annual fee players are not counted like greens fees into the computer system.

Second, she stated, "If only 10 percent of those rounds of golf involve rentals at $20 a pop, that's $80,000." Here is the math: 10 percent of 40,000 is 4,000. But two people on a cart make it $40,000, not $80,000. Did the mayor inform the council that the pro pays his employees (they are not city workers), he purchases the carts, he gasses the carts, has insurance on carts, and does maintenance on carts also? All of a sudden the $40,000 plus his $25,000 (check other pro salaries) isn't a pretty good clip in Amsterdam. I did this math pro bono to the city, not at $90 hour of people coming in.

Maybe a vote for Barone, Russo, Hatzenbuhler and Agresta can do the correct math.

Sandy "Rogo" Roginski,



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