Sullivan County Legislators Alan Sorensen, Cora Edwards, Cindy Gieger, Kitty Vetter and Gene Benson were honoring their election promises to ensure the best deals and services for taxpayers when they tabled an IDA request for $110,000 until costing and other information on the food hub project was made available for review. Instead of providing the information, people with interests in keeping the status quo on this deal unleashed a storm of criticism, dismissing costing concerns as being invalid and politically motivated, needlessly jeopardizing both the project and the county’s economic recovery.
However, then the legislators’ due diligence turned up a county-owned, 34-plus acre parcel, directly across from the 7-plus acre privately-owned land, that was available for the food hub at no additional cost to taxpayers. This alternative showed the county could save thousands of dollars and still proceed with the project as planned. But IDA attorney Walter Garigliano demurred, committing only to “take a look” at the new information.
When there is a larger, ready-to-go property, equal to or better than a smaller private parcel that will cost taxpayers $110,000, the choice is self-evident. These five legislators have consistently worked to keep governmental processes open, to eliminate backroom deals and wasteful practices that are the true causes of spiraling taxes, lost jobs and economic malaise in the county. Saving hundreds of thousands of dollars, and ensuring the wellbeing of Sullivan County residents, has earned them our thanks and support, now and on Election Day.
Star D. Hesse
[A news article about the food hub debate is on page 3.]