(This is a letter from NYS Governor David A. Paterson to all residents of the State.)
This is a winter of reckoning. And I write to you today not only about the state of our State, but also the state of our self-government – a fragile instrument of popular will that is breaking under the will to be popular.
All too often in Albany it is easier to deny reality and demand what we cannot afford than to accept that years of living on the margins of our means would one day have to end. Cultures of addiction to spending, power or approval have doomed empires, and now they threaten the Empire State.
But I do not write you today to replay old grievances or reclaim lost ground. We are here to rebuild. Rebuild our State’s economy into a national model of ingenuity and strength. Rebuild our people’s confidence in the stability of our State. Rebuild our manufacturing base to meet the energy standards of this enlightened age. And most importantly, rebuild the trust that the people of New York once had in their government.
In the Dec. 31 issue of Port News an article appeared under the headline ‘Port Washington Plans for Tomorrow and Beyond’. In it is the following statement...’Residents (Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington) took the lead in beginning to investigate what Port’s shape and character could conceivably look like’.....It goes on to say...’For example, the recently completed Bay Walk on Shore Road grew from such an idea’. Nothing could be further from fact than this last statement! For once and for all, let’s set the record straight! The Bay Walk project was conceived by Tom Imperatore, past planning board chairman of Port Washington North and its present chairman emeritus. Tom gave “birth” to this idea when Tom Pellegrino was mayor of Port Washington North. When the project came out of its incubating stage, countless meetings were held with numerous professionals, the community and to be sure RMBPW as well, whose input was solicited. In addition to Tom Imperatore who kept on spearheading this project, Irwin Kellner, a member of the planning board, and the writer of this letter were intimately involved in that process. Bay Walk was and continues to be a Port Washington North-led project.
Joel Katz, what qualifies you to decide how any of us should cast our ballots for school board trustees? Isn’t the essence of a free and democratic society the right to cast a vote of one’s conscience in the privacy of a voting booth? On the one hand, you state, “Don’t our board members know that our right to vote is the most precious right that any of us has in this country? It is that right to vote and the respect for the results of votes that enables us to change governments and to pass laws, without having to resort to the violence experienced in many other countries.” [emphasis added]. [Note: You ran for a seat on the board and were defeated in 2005-06, the year the budget was defeated twice. I voted against that budget and did not vote for you as trustee. That’s American democracy in action!] Yet, rather than trying to earn my vote, you are busy minimizing the votes of anyone who didn’t support your candidates.
As a 2009 graduate of Schreiber, the letter “Put an End to Publishing the High School Honor Roll” upset me. I was one of the students who earned a place on the honor roll every semester. I always did my best in school and seeing my name in the Port Washington News was an added bonus. Ms. Hamper-Gilmore’s assumption that people in my generation are so apathetic about what is happening in their town that they won’t read the newspaper was hurtful. I never looked for people who weren’t on the list. That was not a goal for me, and it was not why I read the Port Washington News.
I was in Arizona on the 15th of this month and so was unaware of what had been discussed at our school board meeting that evening, until I read the summary of the discussions in the Dec. 17 issue of the Port News. I must tell you, straightaway, that I was appalled by the comments made by some of our board members with respect to the number of polling places that our school district now utilizes. Don’t our board members know that our right to vote is the most precious right that any of us has in this country? It is that right to vote and the respect for the results of votes that enables us to change governments and to pass laws, without having to resort to the violence experienced in many other countries. Don’t our board members also know that it is the sacred obligation of every level of government in this country that is engaged in the voting process to encourage, as much as is possible, participation in that process by the citizenry and also, to facilitate, as much as is possible, the voting process for the citizenry. And also, I do hope that our board members know that monetary costs, whatever they may be, are never to be taken in account when encouraging or facilitating the voting process. If we have board members, or PTA/HSA/Parent Council co-presidents, who do not understand these concepts, then they should be removed from office immediately, because they should have nothing to do with the education of our children.
(Editors Note: This letter was sent to Mr. Jay Walder, MTA Chairman and Ms. Helena Williams, LIRR President, and to the Port News for publication.)
Both of us are disappointed and troubled by the proposed service cuts to Port Washington line. We supported the MTA plan because we were promised that enhanced funding would curtail the proposed service cuts, which would directly affect commuters in our districts. We voted in good faith. Imagine our shock when we were told those service cuts are back in full. Frankly we feel betrayed by the MTA board.
We would like to express our concern about the possibility of the installation of several cell phone antennas on the Bayles Building at 299 Main Street.
Please stop publishing the high school honor roll in the Port Washington News. High school students are still developing as learners and experiencing their academic struggles personally, and within their families and should not have the additional stress of being measured up by the entire community. Families who are trying to work out difficulties in terms of their children’s academic achievement shouldn’t be reminded every two months that a large portion of the children are making the honor rolls while their children are not.
Thank you to all the people who came out to vote and supported me for police commissioner. I really appreciate it. I believe the police department does a good job for the residents, however, I would hope that the commissioners would follow through with some of the issues that I would have addressed. I would like to see them install a text line to the PWPD for reporting, increasing police presence on Main Street after school dismissal, increasing police walking Main Street and increasing public communications in addition to having an open dialogue regarding budgeting. I would also like to see the district further discussing incorporating Manorhaven into the police district. Thank you again.
I would like to extend my sincerest thank you to everyone who voted in the Special District elections on Dec. 8. Local government only works if there is local participation.
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