Cheers and jeers

CHEERS – To cleaning up. Many cheers to the Gloversville and Johnstown police departments, New York State Police, Community Narcotics Enforcement and Special Response Teams, all of which took part this week in local drug raids and the arrests of seven suspects. Gloversville Police Chief Donald VanDeusen’s statement after the arrests was on the mark: “Taking these people off the street is important to us because not only does it enhance the quality of life for the neighborhoods which they are living in and dealing in by getting rid of them, but it also eliminates their behind-the-scenes actions of intimidation and violence that they use to continue their efforts in the drug trade.”

JEERS – To unnecessary hurdles. The Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board apparently needs to be reminded it’s a public entity, and therefore, the vast majority of its information should easily be accessible to the public. The Fulton County Board of Supervisors hired a company to design a system to possibly consolidate water and sewer services within the county. The sewer board decided the sewer plant will not release any more information to the “SMART Waters” system consultant without permission of both cities’ common councils and mayors. Sewer board member Kevin Jones – director of the Gloversville Department of Public Works – said the consultant was told by his city to file state Freedom of Information Law requests with the city clerk’s office. Jones said that’s a “reasonable” process for the sewer plant to follow as well. Forcing the consultant to file FOIL requests is a waste of time and an unnecessary hurdle.

JEERS – To the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Last weekend, the Toyota Bassmaster Weekend Series took place in the Great Sacandaga Lake. Last weekend may be the last time the tournament will take place there, thanks to the state. Businesses and people who were positively affected by the tournament can send notes to the DEC to express “gratitude” for fees charged for the tournament’s use of the state’s Northampton Beach and for the long turnaround time in providing the organizers with a permit. The tournament’s manager, Joe Angelone, told a newspaper the lake is a great place for fishing, but the tournament won’t be coming back for at least four years.