Letters to the editor November 2 (election edition)
A thought on bullying
Our most basic responsibility as human beings is to care for the least among us. In the school setting, this means the grown-ups should look out for the children. We should love them and treat them like they are our own, because they are.
Striking a nerve
It’s clear I strike a nerve when TRR feels the need to editorially comment or rebut every short letter I write, even though they have thousands of column inches every week to write what they please.
In the latest example, TRR implies that because of the non-disclosure agreement between Ned Lang and Tusten Town Board, there was nothing to write about regarding his civil rights suit against the town. In my opinion, the story is important because it is about free speech and a town board bullying a community member with a misuse of town laws, a subsequent cover-up, a person who didn’t back down, and who was eventually victorious, at least in part. It’s also a story of a town board picking on people who oppose them and interpreting codes to punish people.
So a simple story, regardless of the non-disclosure agreement, would consist of the facts of the case, the timeline, the complaint and counter-complaint, the insurance deductible, and the issues under discussion and a question to the board about why they wanted to keep the settlement secret. So, while TRR may claim it’s an impossible task, others would call it Journalism 101.
In support of Barbara Winfield
I am writing in support of Jeffersonville resident, Barbara Winfield, who is stepping up to provide the residents of the Town of Callicoon with a choice for town board. Too often we see board members run year after year unopposed who have become ineffective and lacking good attendance... not Winfield!
Winfield is a true public servant with experience in local government as a village trustee and member of the library board of directors. She is well known as someone who believes in an informed public and is currently going door to door meeting the residents of the Town of Callicoon. Bravo, Barbara!
Barbara Winfield will bring a new level of participation and collaboration to the Town of Callicoon board. It’s truly time for a change. Thanks to Winfield the voters now have a choice on November 7.
Thankful for Winfield
I was so thankful when I learned that Barbara Winfield is running for the town board of the Town of Callicoon. Barbara’s candidacy gives me hope and encouragement for the future of our town. Winfield is a long-time resident in the village of Jeffersonville. Her contributions include recent service on the village board for six years and current service as Library Trustee (re-elected for a second five year term).
Winfield is a business savvy person with substantial marketing experience. She is also a writer and author. Her leadership on the board helped bring to fruition the Back Yard Park Project. Barbara has proven that she gets things done by listening to residents, building consensus and making informed decisions.
We need a councilperson like Barbara Winfield. I will definitely vote to elect Barbara Winfield.
Callicoon Center, NY
Write in Pamela Wilson for judge in Wayne
My friend, Pamela Wilson, is running a write-in campaign for judge of the Wayne County Court of Common Pleas in the 22nd Judicial District.
Wilson was a candidate in the May primary, but didn’t secure enough votes to get her name on the ballot in November. In the months since the primary, people approached her to say they intend to write in her name on November 7. Gratified by their support, she decided to put her name before all of Wayne County’s 32,000-plus voters for their consideration.
Pennsylvania’s closed primary system denies third-party and Independent voters a say in which names will appear on the ballot in the general election. Over 5,000 Wayne County voters registered as Independents, Libertarians and Green Party members didn’t get the opportunity to vote. Out of the 27,320 registered Republicans and Democrats in Wayne County, only 7,744 came out to the polls in May. A mere 1,534 votes separated the two candidates.
Wilson has a private law practice in Honesdale and serves as a master in custody and divorce cases. She has gained judicial experience in hearing these cases, and she has a wide range of experience in civil matters from her private law practice. As a former assistant DA and the current special prosecutor for the Dessin Animal Shelter, she also has experience in criminal law.
As the owner and operator of a small business, Wilson understands the challenges that most people face because she has faced them herself. She is not a politician, and you may not have seen her name in the newspaper, but she has been working hard in an area of the law that doesn’t get accolades, but is arguably the most important part of the law because it deals with our families.
I support Pamela Wilson for judge of the Wayne County Court of Common Pleas. I am proud of her for having the courage and conviction to once again put her name before the public and ask for their votes.
Donna Brady Miller
[See related story on page 1B of Election 2017.]
Voting-the ultimate power for change
Anyone looking to effect change in government must be dismayed by low voter turnout in recent elections. In these days of “pay-to-play” political corruption, people may boycott elections as a form of protest because they feel that their vote won’t make a difference. This is a huge mistake, because the essence of political power in a democracy is how many people turn out to vote. Declining to vote, especially in low-voter-turnout elections, multiplies the power of small radical groups whose voter turnout secures control of legislative agendas for their big-donor, special-interest backers to the detriment of everyone else. Elections can be hijacked in this way, but only if we, the voters, allow it.
Democracy works only if people fight the massive infusion of special interest money by voting. Widespread public participation ensures control of government remains with the people. Our votes empower our representatives to act on our behalf, protecting our freedom, our rights and our quality of life.
Before November 7, research the candidates who best represent your interests, then look for those who can work together to resolve those issues. Because of their ability to work together for the common good, I am voting for Carol Wingert for Town of Tusten Supervisor, Jill Padua and Jane Luchsinger for town council, David Holland and David Casey for town justices and write-in candidate Crystal Weston for town clerk. For county treasurer, I am voting for Nancy Buck to continue her principled and effective execution of the duties of that office. Elections are won by those who turn out the most votes. On November 7, let’s all vote for the candidates who will deliver the good government we deserve.
The observation deck and the Tusten council race
Re: the observation deck in Narrowsburg, discussed in “The Council Race in Tusten,” TRR Oct. 26:
There has been consistent harping over the years by a few misguided people that local taxpayers were going to be forced to pick up the complete tab for this worthwhile and long overdue project. Here are the facts:
The funding for this project was secured with two New York State Local Waterfront Revitalization Grants by a forward-thinking town board, past and current.
There were two grants. The first was a $77,000 matching grant from NYS, approved by the town board in 2011, for the design, survey and “blueprint” for a waterfront revitalization plan (WRP). It included three modules:
a) Overlook deck
b) Veterans park
The original NYS grant was met with fierce opposition from Councilmember Lang; plenty of articles in local newspapers back that up.
The second grant, for $106,000, was secured in 2012 by a former councilmember.
Due to a conflict with the ongoing Narrowsburg Interstate Bridge, this grant was then redirected/repurposed by Supervisor Wingert to be used for the overlook deck, which is now under construction.
If the second grant had not been redirected to the overlook deck module of the WRP, the money would have been lost to Tusten and would have gone to another town in New York State. Local taxpayers would then have had to absorb the complete cost when the overlook deck was finally rebuilt. And the town would not have been eligible to receive that second NYS grant without having done the work that was secured by the first grant back in 2011-2012.
Let’s give credit where credit is due. Thank you to a smart supervisor and other board members, past and present, who made this possible.
Before you head to the polling booth on November 7, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions and to get the correct facts.
Town of Tusten Councilman, Narrowsburg, NY