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Letters to the editor

Nothing remains

the same

If history teaches us anything, it’s the often-unpleasant principle that nothing remains the same forever, and even good things we’d like to preserve long term have a course to run. The recently-announced purchase of The Leader-Herald by the Schenectady Gazette interests, bringing with it the sudden ending of job security for probably almost all of the current Leader staff, serves as a reminder of this principle.

Being privileged to be a bi-weekly columnist for the Leader since January 2006, and therefore an occasional observer of how hard the ever-smaller Leader staff has worked to continue bringing readers a quality home-town daily newspaper, I admit I greet this situation with sadness. I also feel it is the correct moment for me to conclude my column’s presence.

It’s been a real pleasure to produce for the Leader and its readers over four hundred articles on the ‘doings’ of our early Fulton, and sometimes also Montgomery and Hamilton county citizens these past 15 years, rediscovering and retelling their stories, many humorous, some tragic, but hopefully all informative and entertaining.

Possibly I may edit some of these old tales into a book, as many have suggested, but for now I just wish to thank Leader editor Patricia Older and former Leader photographer, Bill Trojan for their help in bringing these stories to Leader readers, and to those readers who’ve offered largely positive comments and suggestions over these last 15 years.

PETER BETZ

Fort Johnson

Johnstown needs

appointed treasurer

The revelations at the most recent Johnstown Common Council meeting underscore the need to change the organization structure of the Johnstown city government. Currently, the treasurer position is an elected position with accountability only to the voters. If the voters don’t like the job he or she is doing, then they can vote him or her out of office at the end of the four-year term. In the meantime, a bad situation could get much worse. That is currently the case in Johnstown.

By all accounts the current treasurer has, for all practical purposes, stopped performing the treasurer’s job for at least the past six months with zero accountability — presumably while still collecting a paycheck. The treasurer has chosen not to respond to inquiries or communications from other city officials, has not attended Common Council meetings, has not provided financial statements to our city leaders (how can you run a business or government without knowing where you stand financially?) and has isolated himself from the people necessary to properly perform the treasurer’s job and help keep our city running. The only accountability is to himself and to the voters of Johnstown. That does not seem to be working very well.

It is time to revise the Johnstown City Charter and change the Treasurer’s position from an elected position to an appointed position. While there may be drawbacks to having an appointed position, the benefits far outweigh any potential downside. Immediate accountability would be instituted in the position and, hopefully, city officials could begin working together as a team to move our city forward.

I strongly encourage our city leaders to implement this change as soon as possible.

JOHN SAGAN

Johnstown

I choose to

not vaccinate

A gentleman wrote a letter to the editor July 19, about people who did not get a COVID-19 vaccination. He attached a number of names and titles to describe them, I guess I must be one of those “deplorables” as I have not gotten my shot.

My reason is quite simple as I am one of those people who does not run off and do what the government wants them to do without first checking with those professionals who have wisdom in that field. My health care practitioner advises against the shot because I have a heart condition that makes the risks higher than the benefits. I am sure other people fit this scenario as well. You see everyone does not have blinders on as the writer of the post, July 19. He makes a perfect chump for the government, and as the late W.C. Fields once said “never give a sucker an even break, don’t smarten up a chump and you can’t cheat an honest man.” My dear fellow, I’ve had COVID-19 and I am supposed to be immune to it for a time. You see if you pull your head out of the sand or what ever other place you may have it buried, not everyone thinks as you do, and may have a better solution than the government. By the way, people such as I have a name for people like you, we call them a jerk.

BOB HAMMOND

Fort Plain

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