Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, Jan. 23
1) They voluntarily chose not to make a pension election at their orientation meeting with payroll. The New York State Police and Fire Retirement System (NYSPF) require that if no election is made, they, by default, be placed in the 25-year plan. They then had up to one year, from the date of joining the retirement system, to change to the 20-year plan if they so wished.2) They did not act on correspondence from the NYSPF during this one-year option period.3) Recently, they sued the town over this pension issue and lost their case in court. These members were put in the proper pension system. Taxpayers should ask the Town Board what it will cost the town if these four are allowed the benefits of the 20-year plan vs. the 25-year plan. Members can retire with no age restrictions and they start collecting their pensions immediately after filing for retirement. Let’s hold people accountable for their own actions or lack thereof. Don’t ask the town taxpayers to foot the bill for this costly redo.Sandra BusinoAlplaus Clay was a political genius, but in sum, his compromises were an 18th Century exercise of kicking the can down the road. Brands notes the last compromise included a tougher fugitive slave law. How in the name of Dred Scott does any historian think that was a great idea?Political compromises to solve problems are essential. But I’m afraid the real legacy of Henry Clay lives on in the worst sense with our current politicians. Our national debt, unfunded public pensions and growing entitlement shortfalls are all examples of pushing problems off to future generations.David OchsePorter Corners Pelosi, Schumer not honest or respectfulAfter viewing on TV the meeting President Trump had with her majesty Pelosi and prince Schumer, all I could see was two nincompoops displaying arrogant claims on the border. A few years ago, they wanted the same things for the border that the president wanted. They know full well what is taking place on the border. They really should be honest with the president and say, “We know the wall is needed, but we dislike you so much, we will not agree on the wall.”Pelosi and Schumer should be working for all the people in this country, not just a few.And at the meeting with the president, they both showed a lack of courtesy toward the president by not facing him and not really looking at him when speaking. Arrogance personified.Shirley H. GuidarelliSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? We rely on many species, such as the many pollinators. If we don’t know what happens to them if there’s a nuclear war (we don’t), maybe we shouldn’t have started the nuclear age in the first place. Nothing lasts forever. Civilization won’t, and neither will the nuclear age. What happens with our large nuclear arsenal when it’s over?Nuclear powers should try to get along to avoid a crisis. Being allies with Putin isn’t the answer, but starting up the Cold War again sounds even worse.You’re better off admiring presidents before the nuclear age (Washington through Hoover) more and admiring less those during the nuclear age. That’s how important this issue is. Americans tend to do the opposite.It’s claimed horseshoe crabs go back 450 million years. All species should attempt to be the horseshoe crab. Why do I have a feeling humans won’t come close?Colin YunickCharlton Get along to avoid a potential nuclear warVasili Arkhipov was a Soviet officer credited with preventing a Soviet nuclear strike during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He’s mostly forgotten today, but it’s believed we came close to a nuclear war. Abortion has severe long-term effectsIf you want to know what’s wrong in America, just read Don Steiner’s Jan. 17 letter and you will see how blind we have become to the murder of innocent children in this country. Hitler has nothing that even comes close to over 50 million innocent girls and boys being ripped from their mother’s womb and disposed of like yesterday’s garbage. Fifty percent of those children were most likely girls. Where’s their right to choose? The Democratic Party is so self-absorbed that this is supposed to be a positive claim to fame for them? No lasting effects? It’s easy for you to say that, Don, as you were allowed to live and have a place in this world. Meanwhile, you celebrate the death of 50 million children. There are 50 million long-lasting effects that you will have to answer for one day.Denise CrisciScotia City must realize the benefits of its treesSo let’s see, the city of Schenectady will no longer replace trees it removes. This is despite the fact ordinances require it and the fact that trees clean the air of pollution, calm aggressive drivers and can lower summer sizzling sidewalk temperatures by 10 degrees. The city can stop the tearing down of affordable housing options and instead allow construction built of flammable particleboard far out of the reach of the average person. And it will not replace city sidewalks.It’s time for city workers to move their desks out onto the summer sidewalks, where the heat can rise above 100 degrees, let their homes be demolished and replaced by new developments they can’t afford and which create more sidewalks that DPW can’t keep up with. And let’s find out if city pensions are invested, as I suspect, in construction companies that can make campaign donations and fill the city to the brim with developments that few can afford to live in and overburden the city’s Public Works Department.The people who work on your cars and stock the grocery stores for you cannot afford to live in these new developments. They are living in the inner cities, forced to ride the bus and deal with the relentless summer heat on the treeless streets. They’re very likely to develop asthma from the filthy air and from trying to make their way down the broken sidewalks as they wait for the city bus to take care of them. All the while, city officials sit in air-conditioned offices and think of new ways to tax them.Beth R. JacobsNiskayuna Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionTaxpayers shouldn’t pay for pension redoIn reference to The Daily Gazette’s Jan. 7 article about the town of Niskayuna’s contracts, the statement Denise McGraw made about four long-term members of the force, who were not put in the proper pension system when they started their employment, is incorrect.I worked 22 years administrating payroll and personnel practices in the Comptroller’s Office at the town of Niskayuna. These members have three facts in common: Clay’s compromises delayed solutionsI started to read Professor H.W. Brands’ recent column in The Gazette on compromise with the hope I would find something I agreed with. But while I still believe that compromise is essential in politics, I wonder if the author could have possibly chosen a worse set of examples than Henry Clay’s compromises. As Brands points out, Clay repeatedly engineered compromises between the free and slave-holding states, which worked out great, at least temporarily (for everyone but the slaves). But it was only a viable strategy as long as new states could be admitted. The fact the Pacific Ocean existed made a lot of future compromises unlikely. What didn’t get addressed was the underlying problem: slavery.