Letters To The Editor

Letters To The Editor 02.04.21

Poestenkill – Vote NO on the Blank Check Taxing District, Part 2

In the Jan. 21 edition of The Advertiser Harold Van Slyke wrote “HOWEVER, Mohawk is not under contract with Poestenkill and must honor their contracts with these municipalities first, potentially leaving Poestenkill residents waiting for emergency service.”

Ridiculous. Harold is making stuff up.

I don’t have a contract with my doctor. I call, visit, get treatment, then pay my bill.

When a Poestenkill resident calls 911 for a medical emergency, the Poestenkill First Responders and Mohawk Ambulance do everything humanly possible to quickly respond to the call, safely.

To do anything else would be unethical, and possibly illegal.

Mohawk has stated they will sign a contract with the Town if we wanted, and stated the contract would have no impact on our service – not better, not worse.

The Town Board officially designated Mohawk as our ambulance service. They provide excellent ambulance service for babies, for seniors and everyone in-between, and have been doing so for many years.

Please vote no on the blank check ambulance district vote on March 30, 2021, from Noon – 8PM at the Sullivan-Jones VFW in Poestenkill.

Dave Hass, Councilman, Town of Poestenkill

Poestenkill Ambulance Vote

I would like to draw your attention to some very important statements included in the Poestenkill Town Board Resolution calling for a referendum to potentially establish an ambulance tax district. It calls for a “single town wide ambulance district (including preliminary costs and costs incidental to such establishment).” Since all property owners will now be part of this tax district will those residents in the outlaying areas be better served? What might those preliminary and incidental costs be? “The costs of operating the district will be accounted for on an annual basis.” “During the first year the cost will be approximately $85.18 for a home with an assessed value of $225,000,” what about year two and thereafter?

The Resolution goes on to say: “all properties and property owners will be benefited”, “it is in the public interest to establish the District”,” none of the properties in the District will be unduly burdened by the creation of the District”. I beg to differ, I do not believe that all will benefit, I do not believe it is in the public interest, or that we will not be unduly burdened. In creating an ambulance district you will be creating a taxing district. You may eventually be paying for a service that has no guarantee of being any better than that currently in place, and which you are receiving absolutely free of charge. Yes, this is just the first step-a vote to establish an ambulance district does not necessarily mean that it will come to fruition but please consider the cost ramifications to yourself and those who may not be in a position to afford a tax increase if it does. 

Thank you for your attention, June Butler, Poestenkill Town Board Member

Poestenkill Ambulance

The debate continues. I’ve seen a few articles and most of them seem to communicate in such a way that one may think we need to and will automatically support this initiative. I feel we need to take a step back before committing to raising our taxes. Everyone knows this wont be free! Mohawk Ambulance has a very nice newly expanded presence in Brunswick capable of providing up to 8 ambulances. It would make sense to me to see how this new operation goes and how well it supports the needs of our residents before rushing to conclusions. We have seen data indicating an average wait time of 17 minutes noting some wait longer. It would also be true that some wait less. Regardless of the type of service you have, your actual location will dictate response times, contracted or not.

Questions; what are the response times for our neighboring communities that have their own ambulance services? What are their annual costs for these services and related expenses? What will the total costs to Poestenkill residents be along with the actual increase to our taxes per household?

I vote no!

David Anderson, Poestenkill

Rensselaer County Leadership Exposes Seniors to Additional Risks

Rensselaer County recently provided those over age sixty-five the ability to register for a limited supply of COVID vaccines. This came in the form of a link (which crashed), and then a phone number (which quickly overwhelmed the Department of the Aging). The most recent method, a Gmail account, creates another issue for those already frustrated: identity theft. By providing your personally identifiable and sensitive information to an unsecured email address, you have become a significant target by bad actors and cyber criminals seeking to benefit from the misfortune of vulnerable groups. How will that data be safeguarded? Who is monitoring a mailbox that numerous employees have access to? With the rapid changes in how the county asked you to provide that information, what was their review process for this decision? A responsive leadership would have spent time preparing for the vaccination process and planning a proactive approach that did not include pointing fingers or causing further distress among residents likely to rely on a fixed income or neighbors to assist them with technology. The County’s failure to embrace and understand modern technology means you and your family will end up working even harder towards goals with simple solutions. The County has the information they need to communicate through voter registration or DMV records. There is no need for the County to actively make the situation worse by adding cyber intrusions and identity theft to already overwhelmed seniors. I recommend that readers visit https://www.usa.gov/identity-theft and https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/identity-theft for useful information on preventing and detecting identity theft.

Justan Foster, North Greenbush

The Un-Silenced Majority

I have read many interesting articles and letters in the Advertiser. Here is my own. Many of us watched in disbelieve 4 + years ago when former President Trump won the election. I remember feeling sick to my stomach that night, unable to sleep. Never mind that he won with 3 million less vote. We accepted the loss and started organizing. In the meantime, children were separated from their parents, and then put in cages. Solid science and facts were erased from the EPA regarding the biggest threat facing humans, Climate Change and Global Warming. The endless lying from Trump, and the blatant cozying up to the “many good people” on the White Supremacy fringes continued. I walked in countless marches in support of Racial Justice, which off 92% were peaceful country wide. The people I met at these events and formed deep friendships with are some of the most decent people I have ever met. I remember BLM organizers rushing to help two young (white) teenagers that where near fainting in the hot sun on a march in Saratoga Springs while the police on their scared horses chatted with people wanting to drive into us in their pickup trucks. These are real experiences. My grand father dug up his hunting rifle, put on his skiis and joined his friends in the mountains of Norway blowing up Nazi storage depots and sink war ships in the fjords during 2nd world war. He saw friends; artist, work mates and journalists shipped off to German “work camps” and understood deeply that Fascism is real and can happen anywhere and anytime. Black Lives Matter is about fighting Fascism in America. The assault on the Capital was about installing it. The mob’s message was clear. Dragging their Confederate flags and displaying their Holocaust denying shirts is a fact. The Right has some major soul searching to do. They are now in bed with these guys. We all need to educate ourselves. The election was won fair and square. Now the real work beings. Much is to be done to secure a livable future for all.

Line Henriksen, Averill Park

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