Letters to the Editor

For the second year in a row, the topic of ethics reform is being used as a bartering chip to determine how over $140 billion of our tax dollars will be spent. 

Last year the Governor bartered with GOP Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and IDC Leader Jeff Klein to shut down an ethics investigation, known as the Moreland Commission. It was only after they shut it down that they finally got around to working on the budget. This was done in a closed door meeting without input from other members of the legislature.

This year the Governor is bartering with ethics once again. Governor Cuomo has even stated that he’s willing to delay passage of the budget beyond the March 31st deadline if the legislature does not agree to his proposed ethics reforms.

I have only learned about Silo Ridge this week, after reading an article about it in the New York Times.

I read the article with great sadness and alarm. I love the Hudson Valley-the unspoiled, beautiful Hudson Valley. Having been born in NY State and with family members still there, I visit as often as I can and I never tire of its beauty. I have seriously considered moving back to NY, and may still, but to think that 800 plus acres in one of the most beautiful areas is going to be developed makes me ill and very sad. At the moment I live in Connecticut and I've seen how developers have ruined once lovely suburban towns here for the sake of greed. 

I hope with all my heart that the citizens of the Hudson Valley will help to carefully guard and protect the land that they have chosen to live on. Please support organizations like Scenic Hudson and other Land Trusts; once the developers get the land it will never be the same.

Sincerely,

Claudia Manis

Connecticut

Posted: 3/18/2015

I was pleased to see your editorial promoting the end of suburban planning and supporting open space.  But you didn’t address the equally antiquated real property laws that have encouraged suburban development.

When unused open space (by people, that is) is taxed at its maximum potential value, it only follows that it will fall to development, as that is where the maximum value lies.  If these undeveloped open spaces survive, they only serve to subsidize the partially developed areas, which continue to enjoy relatively low taxes.  Once land is developed, and the open space disappears, taxes rise and the inefficiency of suburban living is realized. 

One improvement would be to use income taxes to pay for schools.  School districts would become more uniform if Federal taxes were distributed equally for educational purposes.  This measure would, by itself, slow suburbanization.   

 

Jane Geisler

Verbank

 

October 25, 2014

The right to vote is the foundation of any democracy. This year on Election Day, Tuesday Nov 4th, we will vote with a paper ballot when voting for Governor, Senator, Representatives, Etc.  Please remember to flip the ballot over since there are 5 proposals on the back, 3 from the State and 2 specifically for Amenia voters.

Amenia Planning Board has received a letter related to bonding the completion of construction of the various phases of the golf course and of the infrastruture necessary for the completion of the project.

Because the current level of construction of the golf course is extensive, involving multiple earth-moving machines and changing the contours of the landscape, the town is properly concerned that the work be completed properly.  The town has asked for a completion bond to secure risk the town might face if the developer should fail and abandon the project mid-stream. 

The developer declined to furnish a completion bond, but has offered a cash sum in lieu of a completion bond.

The following letter addresses this issue.  

To the Editor:

We are concerned that the meetings of the Special Populations Workgroup established by the County Executive to plan for the new jail remain closed to the public.  This is the most critical workgroup to provide a foundation for reducing recidivism and ultimately the number of individuals housed at the jail.  No credible explanation has been provided for closing the meetings.

Since 2008, the number of social workers at the jail has been reduced from three to one.  People in the transitions program receive significantly less counseling.  Allocating only $150,000 of the projected savings from bringing the offenders back to Dutchess County to programs suggests a lack of genuine commitment to reform.

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