Spa City must have more accountability

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Again, it was the public policy be “dammed” when it came to the city’s long-standing regulations requiring all developers to pay into a city fund designed to help with long term water infrastructure improvements.One year later, it was the scheme to swap a downtown city-owned parking lot for construction of a new EMS station on the city’s eastern ridge. Even in the face of strong public criticism, it was the City Council’s sheer ambivalence toward good public policy that almost lost the city a key Broadway parking lot and with it nearly $700,000 in value. What proved to be salvation for the city and its taxpayers, last year the New York State Attorney General blocked the transaction as being illegal.It’s time to turn the page and adopt a new City Charter for Saratoga Springs. Vote “yes” on the new mayor/ manager/ city council form of government.Thomas G. McTygueSaratoga SpringsThe writer is a former Saratoga Springs commissioner of public works.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30% My decision to support the proposed changes to the Saratoga Springs City Charter should come as no surprise to those even paying minimal attention to the goings-on within City Hall over the past several years.What used to be a system of political checks and balances within city government no longer exists.City Hall has morphed into a system of self-preservation among a three-person majority alliance on the City Council. The result has been a series of bad public policy decisions that have cost our city dearly.Four years ago, it was the city water connection fee scandal, whereby this “working majority” simply protected the Department of Public Works commissioner in his hour of need when caught giving the store away.last_img read more

Letters to the Editor

first_imgThe agreement establishes a Free Trade Commission, which will have complete control over the USMCA agreement once it is in effect, ultimately controlling tariffs, imports, exports, industrial and agricultural production, etc. — all affecting the economic wealth of the country. This is a direct conflict with Article I, Section 8, of the United States Constitution, which states Congress shall have power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, the states and Indian tribes.Chapter 8 of USMCA guarantees Mexico’s continual control over natural gas and oil. It does not grant this to the United States or Canada. Mexican officials are concerned about control over natural resources. Apparently, U.S. negotiators were not concerned. The loss of these resources would be devastating to any country. The agreement places itself under the jurisdiction of the United Nations. If that is the case, how would this affect the future of the USMCA and the United States, without the nation’s approval?The new agreement may contain export advantage regarding milk and milk products, etc., but these improvements do not outweigh the loss of our nation’s sovereignty in issues of trade and natural resources.George Van SchaickSchenectady GE’s decline began when former CEO Jack Welch transformed GE from a respected, innovative manufacturing company to one that was focused only on raising earnings and the stock price GE increased earnings every quarter during Welch’s 20 years as CEO. These too-good-to-be-true earnings resulted from lay-offs of engineers, scientists and workers from its manufacturing businesses and by closing the labs that supported manufacturing with new technologies and QC. The Schenectady Turbine Technology Lab that supported Power Systems was one of the labs closed.Wall Street applauded Welch’s “genius” for increasing earnings and the stock price. The earnings increases resulted by stripping GE of the engineers needed for new innovative products. This is why the company that gave the world jet engines, gas turbines, unbreakable plastics and silicones did not produce any new blockbusters during the 20 years Welch was CEO.The destruction done by Welch could not be undone by Immelt when he tried to restore manufacturing and rid GE of Welch’s disastrous financial acquisitions. It took a hundred years and generations of engineers and scientists to make GE a successful company, but only 20 years of Welch’s greed to enrich himself with stock options to destroy GE.Mark  MarkovitzNiskayuna Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionWelch destroyed GE through sheer greed More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationCuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccineFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists GOP fails to face new demographicsFollowing the 2012 presidential elections, the Republican National Committee (RNC) commissioned a report to identify the mistakes that resulted in back-to-back losses to Barack Obama.  Among the mistakes noted in the report was alienation of the fastest-growing groups in the country that have gained increasing political influence.  These groups included Hispanics, African-Americans, and Asian-Americans. The report offered up a road map for the GOP to shed its reputation as a party dominated by white men and thus earn more votes from the groups noted above. The RNC report accurately assessed the evolving demographics in the United States. Currently, the population in the U.S. is 61 percent white, 18 percent Hispanic, 12 percent African-American, and 5.6 percent Asian-American, the rest being “other.” A recent report by the Brookings Institution projects that by 2045, the U.S. population will be 49.7 percent white, 24.6 percent Hispanic, 13.1 percent African-American, and  7.9 percent Asian-American, the rest being “other”.Ironically, Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016 by doubling down” on the mistakes noted in the RNC report.However, the 2018 midterm elections suggest that the Trump strategy could imperil the GOP party for years to come.The congressional freshman class of 2019 is the most racially diverse and most female group of representatives ever elected to the House. The new class includes the first Native American congresswoman and the first Muslim congresswoman.The diversity noted above is essentially all on the Democratic side. The Republican congressional makeup remains almost entirely white men. The GOP is ignoring the handwriting on the wall.Don SteinerSchenectady New NAFTA deal is bad for our countryThe recently proposed trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada will, if approved, replace the 1994 NAFTA agreement. The proposed agreement — comprised of 34 chapters (1,809 pages), 12 more chapters than the 1994 agreement —might be described as NAFTA on steroids and is not in the interest of U.S. sovereignty.last_img read more

Rents: higher, lower or standing still?

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Retail overview: the benefit of retail development is felt throughout the region

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New lease liability rules threaten company profits

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A woman of substance

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Flood warning

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Can Paternoster square the circle?

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Standard Life sells 20% of Hammerson

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The man behind the industrious Resolution

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