Letters to the editor

Posted 10/16/19

October 17 to 23

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Letters to the editor

Posted

Everyone deserves equal treatment under the law

In your September 25 article, “Farrell Running to Become Judge,” Sullivan County District Attorney Jim Farrell spoke at length about the bail and discovery reform legislation that will take effect next year. Mr. Farrell criticized the legislation, and also misrepresented the legislative process that resulted in these reforms.

I supported these reforms because everyone deserves equal treatment under the law. In the current system, defendants who can afford to make bail are released on their own recognizance while those who cannot afford bail are held in jail until their day in court. This is not equal treatment. Under the new law, defendants who are at risk of fleeing (the actual purpose of bail), and those accused of violent crimes, are remanded to jail regardless of how much money they have. For those accused of non-violent crimes, there will now be one system of justice, instead of the current double system, where you go home if you can afford bail, but remain in jail if you can’t.

While considering this legislation, we carefully evaluated the experience of other states, like New Jersey, which implemented bail reform with no discernible increase in crime. We heard from district attorneys, law enforcement, public defenders and stakeholders from every part of the justice system. These major reforms are the result of serious and lengthy deliberation.

Justice fundamentally depends on fairness. These reforms will help ensure that defendants accused of the same crime will receive the same justice, and that money does not determine which path they take through the justice system.

State Senator Jen Metzger
42nd District

An endorsement for Pat Robsinson

The current Wayne County District Attorney, Patrick Robinson, describes the DA job as one about “crime and punishment” and “law and order” and decidedly not about politics. Politics, he claims, plays no role in the prosecution of someone who engages in criminal acts. Our laws are clear and if someone breaks those laws, they must be held accountable and no one gives a “hoot” about anybody’s political beliefs.

Pat’s experience is unmatched. He has worked for 25 years in the Wayne County DA’s office and 21 of those years as first-assistant prosecutor. Those years of efforts have resulted in 78 jury trial prosecutions.
Pat’s opponent on the ballot is a fine local resident who has little prosecutorial experience, especially with respect to jury trial prosecutions. In that important category, he has a total of three prosecuted cases.

At a recent Robinson campaign meet-and-greet, I got to meet a retired PA State Police officer who now lives in North Carolina. He told me, “I support Trump, but Pat is hands down the best man for the DA job here in Wayne County.” In an informal poll, more than 30 percent of the supporters in the room were crossing party lines on Pat’s behalf. Clearly, Pat’s message of “firm but fair” is not just talk, as the room was filled with ex-prosecutors, public defenders, law enforcement officers and average Joes like me.

On Tuesday, November 5, I urge my fellow citizens, Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike to vote for the most experienced candidate, the current Wayne County DA, Pat Robinson.

John Pace
Honesdale, PA

Green Party of Wayne County endorses Jocelyn Cramer

I met with Jocelyn Cramer, and we spoke about all relevant matters. She is a first-rate environmentalist, and the Green Party will do well to endorse her.

On November 5, Pennsylvania voters have an election to tend to—we can cast our vote for two of the three commissioners of Wayne County. Because we can vote for two of the three commissioners, it is important not leave the voting up to others. In this election, Jocelyn Cramer is running and brings the expertise of having worked on energy-efficient buildings as a board member of sustainable energy fund in Allentown and as executive director of SEEDS in Wayne County. She has now brought together the business owners, the banks and the technology for energy efficiency and sustainability.

It is a relatively new thing to bring the banks and tax assessors to the environmental table, but now, everyone can be proud to be an environmentalist. The Green Party of Wayne County hereby endorses Jocelyn Cramer for one of the commissioners of Wayne County. As citizens, we have an obligation to vote on November 5 and not leave it up to someone else to do the voting for us.
Peace and let’s protect the Planet.

Mort Malkin
Milanville, PA

Addressing concerns about building identification

At a recent Town of Highland Board meeting, a citizen voiced concerns about 911 building address identification. I would like to take this opportunity to address his concerns and clarify our town’s requirements.

In the Town of Highland, under our zoning (Chapter 36), the numbering of buildings is required. The characters on the sign must be between three to six inches in height on a reflective background, and the sign itself is to be between three to six feet above the ground to prevent snow from obscuring the numbers. This requirement is to aid the fire department, ambulance corps and law enforcement in locating you in the case of emergency.

Residents can obtain compliant address signs sponsored by the American Legion Ambulance Corps simply by completing a form available at the town hall and sending in a $20 fee to cover its fabrication and mailing.
On another subject, daylight saving time ends on November 3. As we move into the heating season, everyone is reminded to change any batteries in their smoke detectors. I would suggest that, this year, residents consider upgrading their smoke-detection devices. Everyone should be aware that according to New York State law, any building that contains a device that could emit carbon monoxide, or has an attached garage, is required to have a carbon monoxide detector.

There are many new options available for both hardwired- and battery-powered smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Many are available that interconnect wirelessly with any activated detector, sounding all alarms within a building. Any local hardware retailer will be able to discuss your situation and present options.

Dave Preston, CEO Town of Highland
Eldred, NY

Keep Kuebler and Hubert in Callicoon

If you ask any successful businessperson what their secrets for success are, most will tell you it is largely due to the people they are associated with. Employees, department heads, partners, etc. The same can be said about successful governing boards—yes, even municipal Boards can, in my opinion, be considered successful.

The Town of Callicoon is fortunate to have a town board that has been consistently financially responsible as well as continually trying to improve quality of life for all residents of the town. These two issues, along with public safety, are always a priority in our decision-making process.

Dave Kuebler has been deputy supervisor every one of the 10 years that I have served the town as supervisor. He has not only fulfilled the duties of the supervisor’s office in my absence, but he has always been involved in the daily activities of the office as well. Dave Kuebler is dependable, reliable and continues to work hard toward the success of the town.

Chris Hubert, one of the youngest members of the town board, was unanimously appointed by the board to fill the unexpired term of long-time, well-respected councilman Howard Fuchs, who retired last year. Chris Hubert has been an excellent addition to the town board. His conservative, family-first values are truly remarkable. He is a career educator who is genuinely and passionately concerned for the future of his students. He is currently pursuing state education funding to enhance the town’s joint youth program. Chris Hubert has not only brought his youth to the town board, but also some fresh new ideas.

Please allow the town board to continue to work hard for you: the residents and business owners of Callicoon. Please vote on November 5 to elect Chris Hubert and re-elect Dave Kuebler to the position of councilman.

Thomas R. Bose
Callicoon, NY

In response to James Steinberg

Recently this newspaper published a letter to the editor by former Monticello Superintendent of Public Works, James Steinberg, questioning my fitness for office. The letter, intended to damage my reputation and candidacy for the office of county clerk, is based on a legal complaint he filed against me with the sheriff’s office after a Village of Monticello meeting during the time I was village manager. What Mr. Steinberg and the Democrat failed to tell you was that the complaint filed by Steinberg, alleging that we had words and a minor physical altercation, was looked into by both the offices of the sheriff and the district attorney; 24 hours after filing the complaint, he withdrew it. Furthermore, immediately thereafter, he agreed to take the remainder of his sick days and relinquish his position with the village.

Neither I nor the people supporting my candidacy will engage in this ugly form of innuendo and smearing and question my opponents’ temperament for office, as has been done to me repeatedly in some media outlets. Instead, my team and supporters remain focused on a necessary and positive message regarding my 16 years of distinguished public service and leadership—elected and appointed—and the many ways I will usher the clerks’ office into a well-functioning, stream-lined, 21st-century, user friendly and profitable operation.

Political hatchet jobs should not be tolerated by the press or voters. May the more qualified candidate win.

David Sager
Town of Delaware, NY

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