Letters To The Editor

Letters To The Editor 03.11.21

Poestenkill – Vote NO on the Blank Check Taxing District, Part 6

$2000+ per call instead of $0.

That’s what the blank check taxing district will cost you.

Will we get improved ambulance service? Don’t know.

Will we get faster response times? Don’t know.

Will we get better patient outcomes? Probably not.

Will we get an ambulance stationed in Poestenkill? No. Not even being considered.

We will be on the hook for $225,000 in the first year even though NO alternative service has been identified, NO negotiations have taken place, and NO decisions have been made about what we even want. We don’t even know how the $225,000 will be spent.

Is this madness?

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


1. $225,000 divided by about 100 ambulance calls per year is $2,250 per call. I rounded down to be conservative.

2. All services ALSO bill the patient. The service that gets the contract is going to make a killing.

3. Mohawk provides ALS and BLS ambulance service. Same as Sand Lake and North Greenbush.

4. Four years ago no ambulance service offered a guarantee that they would be faster than Mohawk.

5. You have about 6 minutes for cardiac arrest. It doesn’t matter if the ambulance arrives in 12 minutes or 14 minutes. Too late. The Golden Hour rule for trauma patients is: no statistical difference in patient outcomes as long as they get to the hospital within an hour.

Dave Hass, Councilman, Town of Poestenkill

Improve New York State Government

Efforts by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state health health department to conceal information about Covid-19 deaths are symptomatic of longstanding problems that need addressing by the state legislature.

A lack of transparency about internal operations exists in many state agencies.  Government officials often violate the Freedom of Information Act by ignoring or rejecting requests for information.  Professionals employed in state government dare not express their expert opinions in public if they disagree with announced agency policy due to fears of retaliation.  Because top agency officials are appointed and can be fired by the governor, they are answerable to him, not us.  Consequently, there is often no integrity in the decision making processes.

Decisions touted as based on science and protecting public health and the environment, are often purely political in nature, and probably influenced by corporate campaign contributions.  This is especially so at the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) where legally required environmental impact statements for major projects (Lafarge tire burning in Ravena) are waived, dumps are sited immediately adjacent to brand-new schools (Rensselaer) and expanded on river banks atop unlined hazardous waste dumps (Colonie), and poisonous hazardous wastes incinerated in urban areas (Cohoes) without test burns or public notification and decades of heavy emissions and permit violations.

When it comes to protecting public health and the environment from dumps and incinerators, the state government seems to have learned nothing from previous disasters and lacks common sense.   What ever happened to the wisdom that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

Tom Ellis, Albany

Poestenkill – Vote NO on the Blank Check Taxing District, Part 7

www.poestenkill.org – This is the address of a new website that contains documents pertinent to the upcoming ambulance tax district vote. It is not an official page of the Town of Poestenkill. It is a private website dedicated to providing information.

On this website, you will find:

— A factsheet on the upcoming election

— The ambulance proposals from 2017

— The Map, Plan and Report which details the upcoming vote and what it means

— The Town Board resolutions from September and December 2020

— PulsePoint brochure

— My 2017 presentation arguing against the taxing district in 2017

— Copies of recent letters to the Advertiser in favor of keeping our excellent system

Other than clearly labeled opinion documents, the rest of the site contains unbiased information so voters can be fully informed.

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

Dave Hass, Councilman, Town of Poestenkill


Is this the right time for a Poestenkill Ambulance Tax District?

No one is against better, faster, more effective ambulance service everywhere in Poestenkill. How much of an improvement at what price will not be known before the March 30th vote.

The Poestenkill Town Board has voluntarily committed to a funding referendum only for the first year’s costs.

The tax district gives the Town Board unlimited power to raise taxes, year-after-year, without a referendum. Poestenkill taxpayers have no control over future increases. This is the reason the tax district is being described as a blank check.

Taxpayers need to be given a comprehensive, sensible, affordable multiyear plan before authorizing unlimited spending and tax increases by the Poestenkill Town Board.

Owen Goldfarb, East Poestenkill

Vote Yes on the Poestenkill Ambulance District

I have a real problem with Poestenkill Councilman Dave Hass’ “blank check”/vote no letter. Has Mr. Hass or a loved one ever recently needed emergency police/fire/EMS in Poestenkill? If you or they have, what time of day or time year was it? What was the weather like? Was it a weekday, weekend or holiday? Regarding the accident you allegedly came across in 2019, you fail to mention any of these facts. How long did it take the fire apparatus (not personal vehicles), police, and ambulance to get to the scene? As a 35-year, just retired 911 Dispatcher for Renss. Co., I can assure you that response times vary greatly based on the aforementioned variables! I live in a bordering town that has an ambulance district and I thank God we do, because I have had to use EMS 3 times, each time being a true emergency (not just because I didn’t feel good), and one of those could have cost me my life if there wasn’t an ambulance in our town. Not mutual aid (which is basically what you rely on from Mohawk, Empire, or any other EMS provider), but our own ambulance service. I can assure you you wouldn’t be telling residents to rely on the help of others that are not there to help. Such is the situation in Poestenkill today. I know many of your current and past firefighters and EMS personnel, both through my 911 affiliation as well as when I rode both EMS and fire department in North Greenbush and Wynantskill, respectively. The people of Poestenkill need to know how long it could take for an ambulance to get to them. No system is perfect, but your town is far from having “excellent” service, especially when it comes to an ambulance being in-town or close by on a regular basis. I implore the people of Poestenkill not to vote with your wallets, but quite literally with your hearts, because your lives may depend on it.

Michael Veshia, Wynantskill

Vote NO on the Blank Check

The Poestenkill Town Board held a meeting on March 4, 2021. As with all town board meetings they are open to the public. I had the opportunity to attend this meeting. There was one thing on the agenda of this meeting and that was “ambulance district”. The only place this meeting was posted was on the Town Website. The meeting was held at the town hall and was also a zoom meeting.

The Town Supervisor opened the meeting with a public comment period. One person attending the meeting asked a question in reference to the ambulance district. They wanted to know some information about the shared services the town was working on with the County. The Supervisor abruptly interrupted, and stated he would not entertain questions about the ambulance district. He said if you wanted to have a question answered, to put it in writing and someone would answer you. This is not the first time the Town Supervisor has “cut off” people with questions in reference to the proposed ambulance district.

Why would you have a Town Board meeting and not attempt to answer a taxpayers question? I think the Supervisor was very wrong in not allowing questions at a public meeting. People are asking questions in order to get information on how to vote in the upcoming ambulance district vote. Why would you not want the voters to get all the information they need to make their decision?

Lou Basle, Poestenkill

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