CHEERS - To student representation. Gloversville High School senior Sarah Ellis will take a seat at the table with members of the Gloversville Board of Education in the newly created position of student representative. All boards of education are given the perspective of taxpayers and administrators, but now, Gloversville's will have the opportunity to hear the voice of the group the board affects the most - the students. This was a good move by Gloversville. We encourage all members and administrators to listen to and respect this new voice. Please do not just patronize her. This student wants to play an active role. "I think I will be able to bring a new light to the board so that they will be able to see exactly what goes on in the high school and what I have experienced in the middle and elementary schools," she said.
CHEERS - To the first of many. While 11th-hour plans are being completed for our nation's presidential inauguration, the inaugural Fulton Montgomery County Regional Chamber of Commerce annual dinner is in the local history books. Some 400 people attended and paid appropriate recognition to individuals and businesses for their community accomplishments. Now it is time for all members to combine their professional energies into getting fully involved in the changes the region should see, take hold and begin to make our community business base a force to reckon with.
CHEERS -?To good legislation. During the recent federal "cliff-hanger" crisis, there were a number of items that we are fortunate did not go over the rock face. Thanks to the action an area representative, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who sponsored legislation that extended two Medicare payment options that are critical to rural hospitals, such as St. Mary's and Nathan Littauer, funding was saved. The fact is hospitals stood to lose millions of dollars, and you, or someone you love, could have been personally affected with cutbacks in local health care. The senator chose the backdrop of St. Mary's to reinforce his belief in the importance of the Medicare-Dependent Hospital Program, which will help maintain the means that are essential to this community's populace. There is plenty we can all disagree with or complain about that comes out of Albany or Washington. This isn't one of them. Take in the words spoken by St. Mary's CEO Vic Giulianelli: "This is a vital program that enables seniors here in Fulton, Montgomery and Hamilton counties to have ready access to high-quality health-care services." Thank you, Sen. Schumer and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, for being proactive on behalf of rural hospitals and the services they provide.