Category Archives: Valley Viewpoints

Valley Viewpoints: Nobody home

by Frank Castiglia of Fulton

I’m going to give you all the Reader’s Digest version of what happened this past week in my neighborhood.

It all started Thursday morning with a call from my neighbor who had just had buried her husband of 61 years the day before. I thought it must be a real emergency or she wouldn’t be calling at 6 a.m. She was very upset because she had found more cockroaches in her driveway the night before and she was crying and wanted the number of our common councilor.

She said she couldn’t take it anymore. The problem roaches were coming from the rental property next door to her.

Later Thursday, I saw her outside her house and she said she had called our councilor and also the mayor. I told her that I would call both of them myself. I also called the code enforcement office.

When talking to the mayor’s office, I was told that the problem was going to be taken care of. When I got back from work Thursday, I was told by my neighbor that the councilor had been there earlier in the day and made sure all the trash was picked up.

I asked if the mayor had called or been there and she said, “No.” She was told he would call her of Friday.

The code-enforcement officer had been there but did not go in the apartment house at all. I asked her why not and she didn’t know. We then talked to the councilor and found out that the code-enforcement officer that takes care of these problems is out of town for a least a week. I said, “Well, our mayor has said more then a few times how he is a code enforcement officer, why doesn’t he come up here?” She didn’t know why.

Friday came and went and there was no visit from the mayor and no one came to treat the apartment house for the roach problem. The only visitors were the roaches that were passing through the driveway. The neighbor said that the mayor’s office said he would call on Monday.

Over the weekend, the landlord came and spot sprayed for the roach problem. Meanwhile, my neighbor had many people come and treat both her house and lawn and also half way around the apartment building.

Monday came and by 9:30 a.m. no call from the mayor to my neighbor. She called him again. This time she was put on hold and then got to talk to him.

In the conversation, she said that the mayor knew the landlord and they had dealt with her before and they would take care of it (That means he will call her and ask her if she has taken care of the problem: at least that is what has happened in the past).

He also tried to smooth things over with telling her that anything she puts out for collection will be picked up.

I didn’t bother calling the mayor again because once I’ve heard a bad song, I don’t care to hear it again.

Now the point is that nobody from codes office has been inside the apartment house to see for themselves. So I guess nobody is at home.

When you call the cable company they give you a four-hour window for when they will show up to fix the problem. I guess that when you call the city (not the councilor) they give you a five-day or two-week window or don’t show up at all.

Now I would have taken this to the common council meeting Tuesday night but the council has forbid anyone from saying anything negative about any city workers and that includes the mayor. Just another way of “Silencing the Lambs.”

I would like to say thank you to our fine Fourth Ward councilor. She was right up here and did all she could.

Valley Viewpoints: Time for a change

by Rita Hooper of Fulton

I’ve lived in this county for 40 years. It has been a Republican County for those 40 years and long before that I understand.

For years, folks have said we have too many people on welfare, too much is being spent on Medicaid, our taxes are too high, there is way too much unemployment, and my children get educated here but can’t find jobs so they leave…

We have survived Republican and Democrat administrations at the state and national level. The only thing that doesn’t change is the reality that Oswego County remains a heavily Republican county.

I, for one, can’t understand why there were only three Republicans willing to stand with the Democrats to vote against awarding the contract to Info Quick Solutions for imaging services needed at the county clerk’s office. IQS was not only the highest bidder but fared lowest on an overall rating done by a committee of legislators picked by County Administrator Phil Church.

I question whose money the county legislature is looking after.

This issue has dragged on way too long with charges and counter charges too convoluted to go into in this letter. Read past Valley News articles on this to learn the details for yourself.

I’m an unabashed Democrat, I love my adopted county that my kids call home, but I can’t tell you how disappointed I am in what I’ve seen happening in this county.

Amy Tresidder has been a vocal Democrat fighting for all of us in the county legislature.

She states if it doesn’t smell right to you – it probably doesn’t smell right to her.

Our county isn’t smelling too good me anymore. She asks the questions all of us want answers, too.

Mrs. Tresidder is running for state Senate this year. I would hate to see her leave her position as county legislator but I know she will do a terrific job for us in the state Senate.

I hope my Republican friends will check the record of both Mrs. Ritchie and Mrs. Tresidder and see who falls in with your thinking and who has worked for you. See where their funding comes from and ask yourself: “Why?”

Remember the expression: follow the money. Step out of your comfort zone and pull that Democrat lever this fall. What have you got to lose?

Valley Viewpoints: County attorney unfair

by Town Supervisor Edward Williamson of Granby

Residents of Oswego County read the front page and page 5 of the Sept. 1, 2012 issue of The Valley News. On page 5, Richard Mitchell advertised and I quote, “The County must go with the lowest bidder.”

That seems odd when about two weeks ago the county awarded the Imaging bid with document to (IQS) Info Quick Solutions, which was the second highest out of five bids and could cost the county taxpayers between $180,000 to $300,000.

Where were the honesty and consistent rules by Richard Mitchell or our 15 legislators who voted to award such a high bid? I guess it matters who your friends are.

A town must follow the guidelines by the comptroller’s office as to awarding a bid; it appears that the county only does it when they feel like it. Is this honest and concerned government for our people?

Valley Viewpoints: Soccer leadership

by  Chris Hansen of Fulton

A sure sign of fall is the start of Fulton Youth Soccer. The season kicks off its first games today and goes until Oct. 20.

We will be losing three longtime supporters and board members at the end of the season, Sheila Carvey, Dia Barrow, and Tony Pafumi.

Sheila has been the president of the organization for three years and works year round on soccer issues from uniforms to field layout to our field of dreams project.

I will miss her leadership and charismatic way of keeping a meeting running on point. Both Tony and Dia have been helming their positions as travel team coordinator and secretary for a few years and will be missed.

So with their sad departures, we have a need to fill three board positions. We will not be taking a new person and putting them into an officer position right off the bat.

We are fortunate to have members willing to step into the higher roles but need folks for other positions. I have been with the board for almost two years now and can honestly say that we would not put a new member into a role that is above their ability.

Many people think that committing to the soccer board is overly time consuming and that is not true.

We meet one Sunday a month for and hour or so and discuss our individual tasks and use e-mail to communicate other smaller things.

As an age group coordinator, I spend time before each season putting together teams, getting coaches and fielding phone calls.

We also ask that board members spend some time in the snack bar helping out and fielding questions as they come up.

I have really enjoyed my time on the board. My children have been playing soccer here for nine years and I like seeing all that goes into making it work.

There’s much more going on behind the scenes than I could have imagined and it’s because of people like Sheila, Dia and Tony that keep it running.

So if you see them on the field, tell them thanks for their help or just good bye; let them know we appreciate all they do for our kids.

Valley Viewpoints: The best president?

by Phyllis Langdon of Fulton

I don’t know about all of you, but my husband and I still do not know which candidate will make the best U.S. president. Neither candidate will tell us what they are going to do for our country. Instead, they are telling is all the bad decisions and plans the other one will be doing if elected. The only thing they both agree on is changing Social Security and Medicare as we know it.

These have both been changed thousands of times over the years, that’s why we are in the mess we’re in. It isn’t the “baby boomers” or “retirees” responsible for the “mess,” it is the government and all the additions and changes they have made to Social Security and Medicare over the years.

How many people receiving these benefits have worked and contributed to these benefits? If Social Security and Medicare were being used for what they were intended, we would not be running out of money in the future. Why not take the money for the ones who either did not work or perhaps could not work and contribute to Social Security or Medicare and create a new Social Spending Program for them and leave our benefits alone.

The government now wants to stop all Social Security raises in the future. How about cutting all government raises for the next 10 years and see how they like living as we do. Many of them are already overpaid for work not done. Stop the unnecessary government spending and you would save millions.

Government employees continue to reap the benefits while the middle class and seniors continue to become poverty stricken. Of course this is their plan, to rid the country of all seniors and middle class so everyone can be controlled by the government.

Everyone is worried about Romney being a Mormon, well maybe it’s time we put God in office. He has been taken out of schools and events when His presence is the only thing that will save this country. Perhaps we need a strong Christian in office. I don’t know Romney is the answer. Can he separate his convictions and do what is best for all America or will he become like all the others and choose the way of all politicians?

My husband and I are registered Republicans, but that doesn’t mean we vote Republican. We want the best person for the job, not a particular party. Many have said they are not voting this year, because they do not like either candidate. Many of our young people do not vote. What is the answer? Politicians and Americans alike need to think “What Would jesus Do” and than decide what they need to do!

Valley Viewpoints: Stuff-A-Bus support

by William Crist, Superintendent of Schools Oswego City School District

Thanks to the tremendous outpouring of support we received from the community and the tireless effort of our many volunteers, the Annual Stuff-A-Bus Campaign, a partnership between Oswego County School Districts and United Way of Greater Oswego County, was a resounding success.

The donations of school supplies that we received from individuals and businesses, the work of the volunteers who sorted and distributed the school supplies, and the cooperation we received from businesses that graciously hosted a bus and served as an official drop site for school supplies is appreciated more than words can express.

The success of the Stuff-A-Bus Campaign would not have been possible if not for the collaborative efforts of the Fulton, Phoenix, Hannibal, Mexico, APW, Pulaski, Sandy Creek, Central Square, and Oswego school districts, the CSEA, and OCTA.

Their efforts, along with that or our many volunteers and Stuff-A-Bus committee co-chairpersons, JoAnn Conzone, and Melanie Trexler, executive director of United Way of Greater Oswego County, helped to put smiles on the faces of hundreds of children who as a result of the Stuff-A-Bus Campaign now have the school supplies they need for a successful start to the school year.

It was moving to see the expressions on the faces of the families that received school supplies for their children.  Their gratitude was immeasurable.

Thank you to the countless number of community members who donated school supplies and to the businesses that served as an official school supply collection site.

Your concern for the youth of Oswego County is greatly appreciated.

Valley Viewpoints: Running the race

by Wes Belcher of Fulton

A few weeks ago, the Fulton YMCA had the Caruana Race. This weekend, the YNCA held another fundraiser race.

In both races, members of the Fulton varsity cross country participated. Not because they were made to, they did so on their own.

In the Caruana race, our guys did quite well, taking first in the youth category and in the top three and four in the adult category.

This weekend, they took four of the top five places in the adult class. These runners were Kyle Loftus, first place; Bailey Lutz, second place; Jimmy Martin, third place; and Jake Belcher, fifth place.

Keep in mind they were running against accomplished adult runners.

The community turned out and there were older runners, older walkers, kids, moms, dads, firemen, policemen and all in all it was well attended in both the 5K and the 15K.

People were in their yards cheering these folks on, clapping and generally having a good time.

Too often, we (and I am guilty of this) see only the bad side of kids and our community in general. This was a chance to let these runners know we appreciate them and the YMCA. This was a well attended community event.

These kids run voluntarily four to six miles per day, lift weights, and are good clean representatives of our City. Mr. Carrol, the coach, is a great guy and the kids and adults love him. He is faithful to our city and our youth. All in all, a good clean activity for these kids, and adults also.

So…why has there been no media coverage? They give out medals at a small ceremony, but no news people in attendance. I think it is sad and disappointing that it goes uncovered. Good job to all involved.

Valley Viewpoints: Clean house

by Steven D. Burdick of Fulton

Even after the little girl in Scriba went to Heaven after contracting EEE last year, Phil Church and his legislature gang still told us “sheeple” here there would be no mosquito spraying.

Anytime a mosquito lands on a person in Oswego County, that person feels like they’re playing Russian Roulette if they get bit.

Patty Ritchie has been campaigning this year on “Fight the Bite,” and even though mosquitoes are rampant with EEE in our area, not enough has been done.

Everything our Oswego County government needs: parts, equipment, office supplies, should be put out to bid. This would save millions of dollars.

Keeping the “pencil sharp” by getting the best deals. And then they should not state there is not enough money for mosquito spraying. Jobs should be given to the fairest bidder, not just a person or corporation who “scratches” our Oswego County politicians backs. (And I’m not talking about mosquito bites.)

Bid requests should be advertised in the local newspapers and kept track of who the county is doing business with, how much the county paid and give other local businesses a good shot to supply fair bids and have fair opportunities to keep the money and jobs in this area. This plan would save local taxpayers money. This is the free enterprise system!

Local businesses, like mine, should be encouraged and patronized by our county. My business has been bypassed often in favor of their cronies. They have a monopoly on their towing services list. It’s like organized crime.

The political forces send their own “officer unfriendly.” The biggest crime in this area may be the police force.

There are some really good officers around, and my hat goes off to them. But some political bosses around send their charges off to do their dirty work for them.

Was it wrong to protest Hitler?

One of my employees was incarcerated for nine years, a young family man who graduated from Central Square High School. The law went after him like a pack of wolves, only to have his conviction proven false by New York State’s highest court.

Governor Cuomo has the right idea by tightening the reigns on our law enforcement groups.

Our area needs jobs to keep our good young people in our area, an also work for our local businesses. Everybody in Oswego County must get behind this idea, not just a select few but our true leaders, businessmen, school teachers, bankers, who are not afraid to stick their necks out in the middle of a battle.

Our youth and businesses need to come first for this area to prosper again. It’s like the old saying. “Where’s the beef?
Where’s the jobs?

Above the door of the Cherry Street School in Phoenix is engraved “Opportunity Awaits Youth” and it can happen again as soon as they “clean house” of our Oswego County so-called leaders.