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Letters to the Editor
Copyright © 2002-2012 Mid-Hudson News Network.
Contents may not be reproduced in any form without written consent.

We welcome your opinion on any subject of interest to Hudson Valley residents.

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This column may include "Opinion" pieces, submitted by public officials, and "Letters", submitted by citizens.

The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of www.MidHudsonNews.com or anyone associated with this website.

Letters are published in the order they are received, and will remain here for 30 days. Contributors may have one letter published per 30-day period.

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City School Board Member’s – “Police Diversity Plan” Falls Short

In response to Randall Johnson’s call for a City of Poughkeepsie Police Diversity Action Plan ……. ”comprehensive roadmap” to recruit more women and minority police officers in the city” (Mid-Hudson News  1/25/15), Mr. Johnson suggests that the city should hire a Minority Recruitment Police Officer to help recruit at local high schools, churches, and community based organizations.

Mr. Johnson’s plan is very narrow in scope and it falls too short to yield the result that we would need. Recruiting and building a diverse police department goes way beyond talking to the youth at the high school. It encompasses a multi-prong approach that addresses both community & police relations and workforce diversity. Unfortunately, due to his lack of municipal experience, his plan is not cost efficient or an effective way to diversify the city’s Police Department.

To hire a Police Minority Recruitment Officer at $77,971 (including benefits), would be economically unwise. We must strategically deploy our police force and available resources and direct them in a way to protect our community.

As Mayor, I would call on our retired City of Poughkeepsie Police Officers to assist us in recruiting minority applicants. I believe we can train several retired volunteer police officers to talk about law enforcement careers throughout the school year at the local area high school and colleges as well as places of worship.

Secondly, I would request assistance from the County in recruiting efforts throughout the county to find qualified and dedicated minority applicants.   

As a City Councilman I have spoken on the need to diversify our police department as I believe that our police force should be reflective of the neighborhoods they serve and protect.

As a direct result of our outreach efforts with the City of Poughkeepsie Council members, our elected County Legislators and community, the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department had nine minority applicants for November’s civil service exam. The City is currently waiting for the applicants’ test scores. It is my sincere hope that our efforts will have enabled some of these applicants to score high enough to be considered for an interview and future employment with the City of Poughkeepsie. 

As Mayor, my administration would continue to build collaborations and foster strategic partnerships with institutions of higher education (Dutchess Community College, Marist College, SUNY New Paltz), businesses, and military recruiters as our outreach and recruitment efforts must adhere to the new civil service qualifications set by Dutchess County on August 29, 2014:

The initiative I undertook to increase minority applicants in taking the civil service exam is just another example of the experience and leadership skills that I would employ as your next Mayor.   

Robert Mallory
3rd Ward Councilman
Mayoral candidate for the City of Poughkeepsie
(January 28)

 

Sheldon Silver

I am not sure which is more repugnant: the fact that Sheldon Silver was again overwhelmingly elected by the Assembly Democrats to serve as Speaker of the Assembly or that Assemblywoman Didi Barrett voted for him knowing that he has stood by and done nothing for the female employees who have been sexually harassed and assaulted by members of the Assembly.

I am deeply disappointed in Ms. Barrett. She has shown a callous disregard for the victims and for her constituents who had trusted her to exercise better judgment.

I won’t forget this and I hope her voters don’t either.

Felicia Ritters
Poughkeepsie
(January 23)

 

Sheldon Silver

Whether we elect them to govern, legislate or sit on the bench, we want to believe these people serve above the fray and with adherence to fair play.  When they don't they betray the very foundation of our democracy. Corruption may aid those in power at times but it is almost always what ultimately disarms them of it.  

A resignation is in order for Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver, if the charges against him are credible and true. 

Stephen L. Krasner
Town of Newburgh
(January 23)

 

Arlington School delay

I am writing to express my opinion on the failure of Arlington Central School to call a two hour delay and closure at a reasonable time on Friday 1/9. I was one of the lucky ones who did not leave yet from my home but I know of other students and staff that had already left their house and were driving in horrible conditions. The schools failure to act at a reasonable time could have caused severe consequences. I feel the administration needs to be better prepared for storms that might hit and be prepared to make the call at a reasonable time. This is why two hour delays were put in place because if you are not sure about the conditions at least you are given two extra hours to make that call. I hope in the future Arlington does a better job to prepare for these storms to help keep everyone safe.

Cara Moore
Pleasant Valley
(January 14)

 

No to Civil Forfeiture Law in Orange County

Imagine law enforcement seizing your money, property or car without you being convicted, indicted or arrested for a crime.  In order to get your property back, you have to prove that your property is innocent because law enforcement will claim that the property is allegedly connected to a crime.  If you are not successful in getting your property back, law enforcement will sell it, and the proceeds will go to law enforcement agencies and county government.  This is Civil Forfeiture.

Many Republicans, Democrats, conservative activists and think tanks support reforming this law due to its abuse against Americans and encouraging policing for profit.  A state judge in Pennsylvania called the civil asset forfeiture process “state-sanctioned theft.”  This law ignores the 4th, 5th and 15th Amendments of the Constitution.

 All the Orange County Legislators were provided with documentation of factual cases of civil forfeiture abuse; law enforcement agencies and local municipalities using the proceeds of forfeiture properties, cash and cars to balance their budgets; articles from conservative think tanks like The Heritage Foundation against this law and public comments from citizens, attorneys and former police officers expressing their view against this law.   The Democrats voted against this law, but thanks to the Republicans, this could be law in Orange County.

The Republican legislators voted for expanded and intrusive government, and disregarded our constitutional rights.   Please contact County Executive Neuhaus and ask him not to sign this law.

If the Republican legislators believed in limited government, the Constitution, not balancing budgets on the backs of taxpayers, and still support law enforcement, they would not have voted for this law.  Now the Orange County Executive has an opportunity to do the right thing.

Sonia Ayala
Town of Blooming Grove
(December 29)

 

Brabanec thanks voters

I want to thank all of the voters in the 98th Assembly District for their trust and confidence in me to be their next state Assemblyman. Our district has been without a representative for close to a year, so there is a lot to catch up on. I have many positive ideas on how we can make our state a better and more affordable place to live and raise a family.  

I have been working hard the past two weeks to get my local district office set up and staff hired so we can address any and all of your issues and concerns going forward. In the next few months, I will be putting together advisory committees on many important issues concerning our area which will help our staff formulate meaningful legislation we can present on the Assembly floor for consideration. If you are interested in serving on any of these advisory boards, please contact my district office. At the present time, our district office will be located at 123 Route 94 South, Suite 2 in Warwick. We will also be very active in the community by holding open houses around the district, attending community events, and keeping everyone informed about what is going on in Albany.  

I am honored to serve you in this very important position and promise that I will always do my very best to look after your interests and reform New York to truly make it the Empire State once again. I hope everyone has a very happy holiday season and a prosperous and healthy 2015!

Karl Brabanec
Deerpark
Assemblyman, 98th District
(December 29)

 

Guidelines

We encourage submission of diverse opinions, but reserve the right to reject any content that we deem to be potentially libelous or slanderous, or in our opinion, clearly in violation of prevailing community standards of good taste.

Letters must be submitted directly by the author and include the author's hometown (published) and phone number (NOT published).  We do not accept 'on behalf of' letters sent by second parties. 

Letters should:

  • Address a specific issue of local (Hudson Valley) interest
  • Be limited to a single topic
  • Be limited to about 250 words or less (we are very flexible on this). Very long letters may be edited for excessive length.
  • Be written in a normal style i.e. No all UPPER CASE, or NO upper case when appropriate (at beginning of sentences), excessive use of italics, or failure to use standard punctuation including periods (.) at ends of sentences.

We do NOT accept:

  • Anything that in our judgment violates prevailing standards of decency
  • Anything that appears, in our judgment, to advocate, explicitly or implicitly, acts of discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, domestic relationships, or physical or mental limitations
  • Attacks on personal integrity
  • Anything that appears, in our judgment, to be libelous or slanderous
  • “Form” or “seminar” letters (or letters that appears to be)
  • Letters, or content, that appears intended to promote a business, product or service
  • More than one letter per contributor, per 30-day period.

Letters to the editor of midhudsonnews.com are accepted by e-mail only (NO faxes) to: media@statewidenews.com .

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We will NOT publish "anonymous" letters.

 

 

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