10 — Recorder, October 13, 2012
Broadalbin tiff
must end now
Pay me now...or later
It’s really too bad that a relationship between two elected officials in the town of Broadalbin has deteriorated to
the point where a mediator is being called in to settle
repeated disputes between Supervisor Joe DiGiacomo,
Highway Superintendent Lance Winney, and town
employees. We hope bringing in a third party will clear
things up once and for all and bring an end to the problems
that have dominated the town since January. It should
never have come to this, however.
Since Winney took office, he’s had continuous run-ins
with DiGiacomo and employees of the highway department — from arguments about cutting back trees near the
highway garage, to road projects being halted. The clashes
have been costly to the town, culminating with the Fulton
County Board of Supervisors’ decision to rescind a contract with Broadalbin for snow and ice removal on county
roads, a loss of more than $70,000 in revenue to the town.
With all the finger-pointing taking place, it’s hard to tell
who’s right and who’s wrong in this fight. Winney believes
it’s because the DPW employees remain loyal to former
longtime Highway Superintendent Don Loveless, who was
ousted in the last election. DiGiacomo and the DPW
employees say Winney doesn’t have a clue about how to do
the job and has created a hostile work environment.
The conflicts have not only affected the town’s ability to run
its government smoothly and efficiently, it’s an embarrassment to those who live in Broadalbin. They deserve better.
With the supervisor and highway superintendent jobs
being elected positions, both DiGiacomo and Winney
need to understand where their authority starts and stops
when it comes to conducting town business. Likewise, the
highway department employees need to get past the fact
that Loveless is no longer their boss. In the same vein,
Winney should do his part to create a better working environment in the DPW, recognizing that some of the
employees have been in their jobs for several years and are
familiar with how things can operate.
For whatever reason, the various sides in these ongoing
battles have been unable to resolve the conflicts on their
own. It’s unfortunate, because everyone involved is a paid
professional, but none of them are acting that way. The
town’s already lost much-needed revenue because of the
disputes. How much more can Broadalbin risk losing?
The town board voted Tuesday to spend $500 to bring a
third party in to clean up this mess. Is it ideal? No. The
town has better ways to spend taxpayer money.
Is it necessary? Sadly, yes. But if it winds up bringing an
end to this ongoing nonsense, it will be money well spent.
For the Recorder
A recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau
sent some chilling news to anyone in New York
state interested in the welfare of our children.
The report indicated that a staggering number of
children in the state’s larger cities live in poverty. (According to the 2011 American
Community Survey, that means for a family of
four, a yearly income of less than $22,350.) The
implications of this report are staggering when
one considers the future of the state. To quote
just a few of the results for cities with a population of more than 65,000, Syracuse ranked ninth
in the nation with more than 53 percent of its
children below the poverty line, followed closely by Schenectady, which was 13th on the list
with 50.8 percent while Albany was ranked 91st
at 37 percent.
As usual, when given sour news of this type, the
pundits immediately jump to the role of education in breaking the cycle of poverty. Education is
where the pundits go whenever there is a problem
which needs to be solved from sex education to
bullying to bicycle safety. While I agree with the
pundits this time, there is no way that schools can
solve this issue given the current state of education in New York state. School districts are hemorrhaging too much for administrators and teachers to have the time, money or resources to break
the cycle of poverty. In a manner of speaking,
they are facing their own poverty crisis. Gov.
Cuomo set the tone in the first budget he crafted.
This spending plan cut $1.2 billion in state aid to
schools. While the governor and his supporters
indicated that this cut would not hurt children,
there is no doubt that they have. School districts
in the Capital District alone have laid off more
than 2,000 staff members in the past three years.
Additionally, school buildings have been closed
and academic and extracurricular programs have
been eliminated in every school district in the
area. The state aid cuts coupled with a 2 percent
ceiling on local property tax levies for school has
hemmed in school administrators on both sides.
Additionally, not one unfunded state mandate has
been removed from school districts. As a matter
of fact, the new annual professional performance
review program for evaluating teachers and principals, one of the largest unfunded mandates in
the history of the state, has been put in place by
the legislature at the insistence of the governor.
This mandate will cost millions of dollars and
untold amounts of time on the part of school
administrators and teachers, and in spite of what
the governor insists will not improve teaching
and learning one bit. As a matter of fact it will
take away from the process due to the inordinate
amount of time this misguided plan will take to
The Associated Press
Saturday, Oct. 13, is the 287th day of
2012. Sunday, Oct. 14, is the 288th day,
leaving 78 days in the year.
In 1586, Mary, Queen of Scots, went
on trial in England, accused of committing treason against Queen Elizabeth I.
(Mary was beheaded in February 1587.)
In 1792, the cornerstone of the executive mansion, later known as the White
House, was laid during a ceremony in
the District of Columbia.
In 1890, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th
president of the United States, was
born in Denison, Texas.
In 1944, American troops entered
Aachen, Germany, during World War II.
In 1944, German Field Marshal Erwin
Rommel committed suicide rather than
face execution for allegedly conspiring
against Adolf Hitler.
In 1960, John F. Kennedy and Richard
VOL. 132, NO. 48
KEVIN MCCLARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Publisher
GEOFFREY E. DYLONG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Associate Publisher
BRIAN KROHN . . . . . . . . . . . . .Advertising/Marketing Director
KEVIN MATTISON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Executive Editor
CHARLIE KRAEBEL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Editor
WILLIAM BRZEZICKI . . . . . . . . . . . . .Business Office Manager
CREE LEFAVOUR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Chairman
SIDNEY LEFAVOUR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .President
NICOLE LEFAVOUR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Vice President
BRUCE LEFAVOUR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Secretary
DAVE MURDOCH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Treasurer
An independent newspaper founded in 1878
Published in Amsterdam, N.Y.
implement on the local level. Further, the governor touts his evaluation plan as one that will
make it easier to fire ineffective teachers which
would aid the cause of educating all children in
the state not just those who live in poverty. Rest
assured that nothing could be further from the
Children living in poverty are the most difficult
to educate for a number of reasons. This is borne
out by volumes of research which has been conducted at universities around the nation and the
world. Education is most likely the only way to
solve the problem of poverty; however, ironically,
the schools are too poor to meet the challenge.
In the words of advertisements for a popular
automobile oil filter, the residents of New York
state are in the position of, “you can pay me now,
or you can pay me later.” We need to either take
immediate steps to properly fund education in
this state or to accept and embrace the results we
are getting at present and possibly even worse
results in the future. We cannot expect worldclass results on a shoe-string budget.
What is the answer? It is simple, however
expensive. The following must be done immediately:
New York state schools need to be funded at the
appropriate level. The cuts implemented since the
advent of the Cuomo administration need to be
restored and the reasonable increases that should
have been granted in the past three years need to
be added to the funding stream.
Every school district in the state must implement full day pre-kindergarten and kindergarten
programs for all of its students. These programs
should be fully funded by the state. Numerous
studies indicate that early education is the key to
success in later years of schooling and life. This
knowledge can no longer be ignored.
The Cuomo teacher evaluation plan needs to be
scrapped immediately. Instead of the monumental
unfunded mandate being imposed on the backs of
school districts, changes need to be made immediately in Section 3020a of the New York state
education law to enable schools to remove ineffective teachers without a process which often
takes years and costs upward of $500,000 per
Should we do this? Yes. Can we do this? Yes.
Will we do this? The jury is out. But it is really
pretty easy to calculate the results either way:
You can pay me now … or you can pay me later.
JOHN METALLO is an Amsterdam native who
currently resides in Slingerlands. He taught in
Gloversville for 14 years, was principal at Mayfield
High School and superintendent of schools in Fort
Plain. He is a retired teacher who was also principal of Albany High School and an adjunct instructor
at the University at Albany and SUNY Plattsburgh.
Nixon held the third televised debate of
their presidential campaign (Nixon was
in Los Angeles, Kennedy in New York).
In 1964, civil rights leader Martin
Luther King Jr. was named winner of
the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1987, a 58-hour drama began in
Midland, Texas, as 18-month-old
Jessica McClure slid 22 feet down an
abandoned well at a private day care
center; she was rescued on Oct. 16.
Thatcher is 87. Paul Simon is 71.
Demond Wilson is 66. Sammy Hagar is
65. Marie Osmond is 53. Jerry Rice is
50. Kelly Preston is 50. Nancy Kerrigan
is 43. Sacha Baron Cohen is 41.
is 96. Roger Moore is 85. John W.
Dean III is 74. Ralph Lauren is 73. Cliff
Richard is 72. Harry Anderson is 60.
Greg Evigan is 59. Lori Petty is 49. Joe
Girardi is 48. Natalie Maines (The Dixie
Chicks) is 38. Usher is 34.