Letters To The Editor

Letters To The Editor 05.19.22

FOIL release ties Seggos to Whitewash

With respect to obtaining justice for the taxpayers of the APSD whose property, the Algonquin Middle School in Poestenkill, has been damaged by the contamination of the well-field, with the taxpayers getting handed the bill while those responsible are not held to account, it has been an open question whether NYSDEC Commissioner Basil Seggos himself has been a part of the whitewash because his Executive Deputy Commissioner Sean Mahar was a part of the whitewash team.

While circumstantial, that was not proof that Seggos, and by extension, the Office of the Governor, were directly involved in the cover-up in January of 2021 and subsequent whitewash beginning with the Wholleber/Enck Media Circus in Poestenkill on 27 September 2021 where Mahar was in attendance.

Proof of the involvement of Seggos was recently obtained through a FOIL request where in a letter on NYSDEC letterhead dated February 8, 2022 to Greg (last name redacted) of CCCDW, RE: Algonquin Middle School Area groundwater, Dareth Glance, the newly-appointed Deputy Commissioner of Office of Remediation & Materials Management, stated as follows: 

“Thank you for your letter of January 26, 2022 regarding several locations the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is actively investigating for per- and polyfluoroakyl (PFAS) in the Town of Poestenkill.”

“The Commissioner asked that I follow up with you as I am DEC’s new Deputy Commissioner for Remediation and Materials Management.”

In response to CCCDW’s statement to Seggos that “Finally, we have collectively struggled to understand the methodology being used to carry out this investigation,” she confirmed her role as a whitewasher by informing CCCDW that DEC’s evaluation of potential sources of PFAS at and around the Algonquin Middle School are being performed in “general conformance” with existing DEC guidance.

That is a deceitful response, however, to mislead CCCDW, because the standard is substantial compliance.

Paul Plante, Poestenkill

Should North Greenbush be more transparent in providing notice of land use actions?

We all like to know what’s going on in our community. Just look at popular apps such as NextDoor and neighborhood Facebook Groups. Some of the most frequent questions seen on these sorts of sites are “What building is going up on this street?” or “What business is being built in that shopping plaza”? But citizens are entitled to accurate information from town government instead of social media speculation The North Greenbush Planning Board recently held a public hearing on a large solar farm proposed for the Mammoth Springs vicinity. Many speakers were disturbed that the only notification was a sign placed on the subject property alerting readers of a pending land use action. Some stated that individual written notice of the proposed solar farm and the upcoming hearing should have been provided given the development’s scale. However, the town of North Greenbush only requires posting of signs, written notice in the Troy Record and publication on the town website for proposed zoning and planning actions, regardless of the project’s size. Some might argue that these methods are inadequate as they place the burden on neighbors to actively seek out information about a proposed project by stopping to read the signs (which can be a dangerous activity on a busy roadway) or by regularly visiting the town website to determine what might be happening in their community. Instead, the town should take the initiative in communicating with impacted residents. Through my work on other land use matters, I have learned that some municipalities mail notices to property owners within a certain distance from proposed projects. This certainly could be done in North Greenbush with cost to be paid by the applicant. So don’t just complain on social media. Contact your town board member if you believe the town should provide individual written notice of land use actions to neighboring property owners.

Mary Frances Sabo, Defreestville

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