Today is: Wednesday, June 19, 2019
National Award-winning,
Family-run Newspaper

Established 1891
Callicoon, NY | 845-887-5200
Monticello, NY | 845-794-7942
To immediately access any story, please enter the Story Number in the above box.
Wednesday, June 19, 2019


Vote for Susan Harte

To the editor:
I am the chairperson of the Town of Bethel Republican Committee. The Committee met earlier this year and nominated Bethel resident lawyer, Susan Harte, as our Republican Party candidate for Bethel's Town Justice position. Even though the Town of Bethel Republican Committee designated Susan Harte as the Republican Party candidate, she is being challenged by the Democratic nominee, for the right to run on the Republican line in the general election (due to a special rule which allows judicial candidates to primary any party line - even those to which they do not belong.) Therefore, it is imperative that all registered Town of Bethel Republicans vote in the primary Tuesday, June 25th, at the Duggan School from noon to 9:00 p.m. Without your vote, a Democrat, not a Republican, will represent the Republican line on the ballot in the fall.
I have known Susan for over 15 years. She works and lives full time in the town of Bethel. She very actively supports and volunteers for many local community organizations and is a staunch supporter of our law enforcement community. Susan's opponent has been the town judge for 20 years. I believe it is time to elect a judge who will make sure that the Town Justice Court serves the people well and respects their valuable time. (You may recall the headline in last year's Sullivan County Democrat dated May 2, 2018, entitled “Board and Justice Court Spar over Posting Hours”).
If you require an absentee ballot, please contact the Board of Elections at (845) 807-0400. Again, I urge all registered Republicans in Bethel to vote in the primary to ensure you have an option to vote for a Republican candidate, on the Republican line, in the fall general election.

Susan Brown Otto

Good to see Al

To the editor:
I've known Al Dumas for 6 years now and know him to be a fantastic kind of man.
To see him taking on the responsibility to clean the War Memorials is just like Al.
It's nice to see someone that wants to preserve and make clean memories of our loved ones from war at a time that others want to destroy those memories by removing them from site and history.
Too bad his boss, that let him start this endeavor, won't let him finish the work which is for the public.

Don Dittmer
Lake Huntington

Deny the Tarpon/ Verizon Tower

To the editor:
Town of Thompson Planning Board Members, State Assemblywoman Gunther, County Legislator Sorensen, Senator Metzger,
As a concerned Fourth Generation resident of Wanaksink Lake I attended the Planning Board meeting to learn what Tarpon and Verizon had submitted, and to hear from two professionals we tax paying landowners hired -- a highly qualified RF Engineer, and an attorney specializing in cell towers. I went from being concerned to angry!
I'm not angry that we residents spent our own money to hire outside experts. I'm happy we did. I and many of my neighbors are prepared to spend more. What made me angry?
I learned the cell tower application has numerous deficiencies. I learned that independent expertise should have been made available to you, our representatives, at no cost! That indeed, it was the responsibility of the applicants to pay for real tests delivering real information upon which you could make a proper decision. I learned there was misinformation being peddled, that willing site owners had not been contacted. I learned that the proposed tower height of 184 feet can be even further increased without review. I learned that rather than evaluating impartial expert analysis that should have been done, self-serving corporate expediency, greed, and conflict of interest regarding the site owner were attempting to ram this proposal through your board.
I learned that according to our charter, you are responsible for protecting the beauty of the land we have worked hard to preserve for generations!
We all want improved cell service, but we do not want the natural beauty we cherish desecrated by an ugly steel tower rising high above the tree canopy.
It is not necessary, and it is not right! The RF Engineer said the impropriety of this site proposal was one of the most egregious he had reviewed, and he has seen thousands.
Our expert team has identified suitable alternatives to this plan.
I urge you to deny this application and move forward with a tower placed in a less intrusive location. There are viable alternatives to achieve our shared goals.
Over two hundred and sixty families living around Wanaksink Lake (that's a lot of people, mine now includes Fifth and Sixth generations) will be enraged if you allow this tower to needlessly ruin the beauty of our cherished lake.
Please do the right thing! Deny this application!

Mark DeMuro
Rock Hill

Dodging and dumping

To the editor:
I guess I have to object to the scolding tone of the SC Democrat's editorial a few weeks back, and accompanying article featuring quotes by Dan Silna of the new Eldred Preserve.
First, the Town of Eldred has been nothing but accommodating to the Preserve's renaissance, approving the gigantic project in record time. The only time anyone in the Town has been anything but cordial was when the Preserve dodged paying school and property taxes, and when many in the Town found out that the Preserve was attempting to gain permission to dump 17,000 gallons a day of treated wastewater into a trout stream.
The Democrat didn't alert the residents. The Preserve didn't alert the residents. The residents of the Town who were paying attention figured it out, and demanded a dialogue in the form of an open meeting with the DEC. So one could say that it was the Town that was courting dialogue and the Preserve dodging it, not vice versa. Same was true with the tax dodge.
In the same issue, Preserve developer Dan Silna, previously incarnated as an original partner in Chapin Estate, says that the ‘community needs his project.' I would disagree with that, though I do believe it could have been more true if the Preserve wouldn't have dodged their tax bill from which the Community would have benefited.
In fact, with no taxes being paid, and the project's thirst for tradesmen, hospitality staff and other assorted local workers (always in short supply), to us small business people who have been investing in Eldred for 20 years and struggle to maintain our businesses with good help, the competition from the Preserve is actually the opposite of what we need. For every worker the Preserve lures away, an Eldred or community business will be harmed. Considering this may or may not be an economically viable plan, the small business community might be competing not against a better business plan, but a deep pocket that can weather unprofitability - an unfair playing field for sure.
So while Mr. Silna may need Eldred as a palette for his legacy project, I would suggest Eldred really doesn't ‘need' - in any fashion - the Preserve. It must be an uncomfortable position to maintain, as the organization that is doing less for the town economically than the neighboring and much ballyhooed gas compressor station - which did not ask for a penny off their taxes.

Editor's note
The Eldred Preserve project has received a number of tax breaks from the Sullivan County Industrial Development Agency (IDA), including mortgage and sales tax abatements for a period of time. The IDA often does this with the goal of attracting development.
The quote by Dan Silna that appeared in our April 5 story “As project nears completion, more jobs open in Sullivan County” referred to the need for a large community event and banquet hall.
“We will be able to host 125 people for an event and sit down 160 people for dinner,” Silna said. “We are doing this because the community needs it.

Chuck Petersheim

Copyright © 2019 - Sullivan County Democrat