Category Archives: Valley Viewpoints

Reporter discusses job, meeting

I would like to take the opportunity to correct Oswego County Legislator Louella LeClair on a couple issues that she apparently has quite the distorted view of.

I was recently contacted by a legislator from another county who had been in attendance at the Sept. 25 New York State Association of Counties afternoon workshop on the Freedom of Information Law, presented by New York State Committee on Open Government Executive Director Robert Freeman.

It was alleged that Mrs. LeClair stated at this conference that I (stating my name) had “lost” my job with The Valley News.  This is completely false. I left The Valley News of my own choosing (quit) for reasons that are none of Mrs. LeClair’s business.

Mrs. LeClair also allegedly told everyone present at this workshop that I had my ear to the door of an executive session held by one of the legislature committees and, when the door was opened, I fell through.

First, I will note that Mrs. LeClair was not in attendance at the Sept. 26, 2012 meeting in question, so I am not sure how she can state as fact that I “fell through” the door. It was alleged that I had my ear to the door of an executive session by Legislator John Martino, who at the time was likely very well aware that I was working on an investigative story in regard to his relationship with a county vendor (which was subsequently published).  Is it a coincidence that Mr. Martino would attempt to discredit me at the time I was working on a story about a questionable bid that he was involved with?  It’s a rather important fact Mrs. LeClair failed to mention to the conference attendees.

While Mrs. LeClair apparently has no problem spreading malicious and defamatory hearsay, I carefully checked the validity of the story that was originally relayed to me from the out-of-county legislator with other legislators who were present at the workshop.  I also called Mr. Freeman the morning of Oct. 7 and he confirmed that the information was relayed to me accurately.

I recall when Mrs. LeClair first won election to the Legislature when she ran against then-incumbent Russ Johnson.  The day after the election, Mrs. LeClair sent a letter praising my reporting of county government.

Conversely, ever since Mrs. LeClair took office, I have received  countless telephone calls following Republican caucuses from legislators telling me that Mrs. LeClair had said vicious, nasty things about me, yet, during her tenure in office, I had written very little, if anything, about her. I’ve even had legislators tell me that she is “obsessed” with me.

Mrs. LeClair was in attendance at the conference in her official capacity as an Oswego County Legislator. It’s something she may want to remember the next time she chooses to make defamatory comments about anyone because, by doing so, she is putting the taxpayers at risk.

Why Mrs. LeClair feels compelled to tell her fabrications about me is beyond my comprehension but it would behoove her to keep my name from rolling off her tongue.

In closing, I would like to thank all of the readers who followed my 22 year tenure at The Valley News and now it’s time to put to rest the rumors that I was fired. I am with another media, extremely happy there, and very appreciative of all of you who continue to follow my work. I had a good run with Ron and Vince Caravan. They were true representatives of the fourth estate and it was a privilege to be a part of that Valley News era.

Carol Thompson

Oswego

Pillow case dress project complete

Thanks to the many hands of church members, friends in the community and strangers who donated time, effort and material, the pillow case dress project has been completed at North Volney Methodist Church.

The final total was 110 dresses in various sizes that will go to help those in need.

The dresses will be donated to Hope4Women International, who will send them to Appalachia in the southern United States. This is an economically depressed area where there is a great need for many things, including help with good clothing.

This was only possible through the combined efforts of so many people. We at North Volney wish to thank all those who donated pillow cases and materials left from their own sewing projects.

Some people were not even sure where North Volney Church was located, but they wanted to help. One special lady who was unable to come to the church but likes to sew made 30 dresses in her home for this project.

We will bless these dresses during a church service and send them on their way to be used in health and happiness by their new owners.

Beverly Beck

Phoenix

Obamacare increases costs, benefit consultant says

I am writing to clarify some information written in Scott Allardice’s article about the Town of Granby’s employee health benefits plan (Report: Granby, town highway workers, could save with ‘Obamacare.’ Valley News, October 16, 2013).

KBM Management recently presented to the Town the renewal of their current health insurance policy for non-union employees, as well as an alternative to the union employee’s plan currently being negotiated with the Teamsters.

Contrary to the wording of the article “Obamacare” will not change the way the Town provides benefits, but will negatively impact the costs associated with the benefits.

The Town’s plan for non-union employees is increasing in cost as mentioned in the article; however, the amounts listed in the article are monthly increases, not annual.

This equates to a family policy increase of $1,680 per year. The Affordable Care Act is helping drive costs higher by imposing additional mandated services, benefit structure changes and taxes that are applied to premium.

The alternative policy proposed by KBM for all employees, both union and non-union, is not a direct effect of the healthcare reform law. This same plan design was proposed three years ago, the last time the union and Town negotiated their employee benefits.  This alternative is KBM’s recommendation to help keep the Town and employee’s costs in check by offsetting the increased premium drivers associated with Obamacare.

Brooks Wright

KBM Management, Inc

Employee Benefit and Risk Management Consulting

Fulton man supports Crandell, Castiglia

I would like to put forth an endorsement of Tim Crandell for 3rd Ward Councilor.

Tim is an active member for the 3rd ward community, he regularly attends the monthly meetings and speaks up with his concerns. I myself do not attend all the meetings, however, I can say that his opponent seems to have been conspicuously absent from most of them that I have attended.

In fact, he is virtually an unknown commodity, so I cannot speak to his qualifications or lack of them, if any.

Tim Crandell can be seen most mornings at about 6 a.m. at a local grocery, buying coffee a he heads to his job locally. Tim spends his days at work looking out for his employers best interests and maintaining business. As a potential employer in the position of taxpayer, this is exactly what I want in an elected official … somebody who will watch the pennies and dimes and watch out for our interests.

Tim is a personable guy, he is concerned and interested in what goes on in government. Tim will work for us and with us, he is completely without guile, he is an honest and stand up buy … something we need more of. Tim works for a living, he gets dirty and is not afraid of hard work … again .. something we need.

I am sure he will treat a spot as Councilor with the same diligence and respect he treats his regular job — he is a man of the regular folks and will act that way when elected. In other words, he will not live in an ivory tower. He know how things work and live in the real world. In other words, he will base his actions on fact, not feelings.

In the legislative race on the east side of Fulton, Mr. Castiglia is a very good choice. He is concerned not about what health benefits he can maintain at taxpayer expense, or other perks the taxpayers supply, much like current legislators in many cases. Again, Mr. Castiglia is a concerned citizen who gets it.

You readers may notice that my endorsements cross party lines. The reason for this is that as a taxpayer and lifelong resident, I want what is best for us the taxpayer and think that these two men can provide the dedication and service we need.

We recently made headlines as one of the most heavily taxed cities in the country. Any anybody trying to sell a home on the river about the taxes and how they affect selling homes.

In a city with an approximated 40 percent tax base and in a state where we now officially have more people on welfare than working, I say enough is enough. Enough with the touchy feely way of doing business locally and at the county leve. We are paying the freight and it is time we elected people who will recognize that.

Crandell for councilor; Castiglia for legislator.

Wes Belcher

Fulton

Hooper favors Mahaney

I moved to Fulton two years ago after 40 years in Hannibal (with a five-year absence.)

But Hannibal will always be home to me and my family. It was a privilege to be able to serve the people of Hannibal as a member of the Town Board.

I wish I were there to vote for Dan Mahaney for Highway Superintendent. Dan is an honorable man who has worked hard to bring a level of professionalism to the highway department.

He has sought and received grants that have enabled us to do more with less Hannibal taxpayer money. He has developed relationships with town residents, vendors and neighboring highway departments that have benefited Hannibal.

He has overseen the maintenance of abandoned cemeteries. He has attended schools and training as required (suggested) by the state.

He is up in the middle of the night, checking roads and conferring with the school superintendent regarding school closing. (I know because I’m one of those night owls that have seen the truck go by when I lived in town!)

I urge the voters of Hannibal to vote for Dan Mahaney — a person who makes Hannibal a priority, a person who has kept our roads safe for our children and ourselves, a person I’m proud to call friend.

Rita Hooper

Fulton

Candidate asks for support in election

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Joe Susino and I have been proud to call Oswego home my entire life.

Service to my community has been a cornerstone of my life, and I am running for Legislator in order to continue that service.

From my time working for the Town of Oswego, to my 13 years as a volunteer firefighter with the Town of Oswego, along with my current work as an EMT with Menter Ambulance, I have always been giving back to and serving our community.

I have used the phrase “Ready to Serve” to describe my candidacy, because that is truly who I am. From day one as your Legislator, I will be ready to go, and ready to listen to you in order to provide thorough and personal constituent service.

Of the 25 county legislators, my opponent is certainly one of the loudest on the Legislature; but I don’t believe that yelling is the way to get things done. As your Legislator, I will offer a different style, by listening more than I speak, representing my community, and offering solutions to our county’s complex problems.

I’m humbly asking for your vote for Legislator on Nov. 5. I encourage you to reach out with any questions and concerns at 575-0840.

Sincerely,

Joe Susino

Oswego

Pringle supports Granby trio

I am writing this in support of the three most important people in the town of Granby.

I grew up in Granby and have since moved out of Granby because of the taxes. If Ed Williamson was Town Supervisor back then, we probably would still live in   Granby.

Ed has done a great job for the people and should keep doing a great job.

Now for two candidates that are running for Granby Town Council. I hope you will all give them your support. They are  Brenda Frazier-Hartle and Eric Clothier.

Brenda is a hard worker and she will look out for the people. Eric Clothier will also look out for the people he also is a good worker. Brenda and Eric are both energetic and you need new blood.

So when you go to vote don’t forget these three people.

I know Ed has been there and you need to keep him in, he has done a lot for the Town Of Granby and Ed will fight for you and so will Brenda and Eric.

Don’t forget to get out and vote Nov. 5.

Thank you for your support,

Sue Pringle 

Oswego

Polish Fest committee thanks the public

On Sept. 21, the Fulton Polish Home held its 8th Annual Polish Fest.

We would like to thank everyone who attended and helped make this Polish Fest a tremendous (the best one yet) success for us.

And, a special thanks to those who helped sponsor or volunteered to work the event.

Whether you were preparing food, serving food, selling raffles, cleaning up, etc., your time and efforts were greatly appreciated.

Proceeds from the event are earmarked for building improvements ensuring that this widely used community facility is in good shape for all in the community to use. This year, the heating system needs attention and we hope to assist in the cost of the repairs.

Once again, thanks to all who attended.  We trust you enjoyed the food, music, and good company at Fulton Polish Fest this year.

If you did, you are invited to come back again next year as we have already set the date of Sept. 20 for the 2014 Fulton Polish Fest.

Once again Dziekuje!!!

The Fulton Polish Fest Planning Committee

John Kruk, Chairman