Cheers and jeers

CHEERS – To winning combinations. Last weekend, the love of reading was demonstrated at two venues. There were those dog-lover readers, more than 200 of them, who packed Gloversville’s SkyHeart Place. They all were eager to meet Tom Ryan, the author of “Following Atticus,” the book chosen for the Gloversville Reads program. Those attending enjoyed not only the author, but also his companions, Atticus and Will, miniature schnauzers. Meanwhile, in Johnstown, hundreds of people enjoyed playing miniature golf in the aisles of the historic 1902 Carnegie library. The large and diverse crowds at both local events were outstanding representations of the love of books and community. One can count on Dr. Seuss for great quotes:?”The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

JEERS – To ignoring law and the public. The Northville Central School District Board of Education approved a $10.2 million budget Tuesday without having copies available to the public or press. We remind the district and the public this is wrong. Public bodies such as school districts are required by state law to make available the documents they discuss during a public meeting. Members of the public should be as outraged as the press that public entities continue to blatantly withhold information discussed at public meetings. The purpose of the newest part of the state Open Meetings Law is simple: Those interested in the work of public bodies should have the ability, within reasonable limitations, to see the records scheduled to be discussed during open meetings.

CHEERS – To flushing them out. Twenty-four Fulton County residents recently were charged with welfare fraud. Thank you, investigation teams. One 30-something-year-old couple was accused of defrauding the hard-working taxpayers of more than $22,000. With the exception of one 23-year-old, all of the alleged abusers were in their 30s, 40s and 50s. They are old enough to know better and certainly young enough to work two jobs, just like many other people must do to support themselves and their families. Welfare fraud is a crime. If you suspect abuse of the system, don’t sit back; call your county’s Department of Social Services.