Cheers and jeers

CHEERS -?To the bell ringers. Friday, our area’s Salvation Army held its first Kettle Kick-Off breakfast. Unlike the hype of early holiday shopping and the marketing of the hottest toy of the season, the Kettle Campaign kicks off the season of giving to people in need. Lieutenants Jennifer and Javon Anderson have done an exemplary job in coordinating the services of the Gloversville Salvation Army. Friday morning’s event brought the message of assurance that the dollars and change dropped into the world-renowned red kettles brings a touch of joy and peace to many lives affected by misfortune. We cheer all the volunteers who will stand by the kettles, ring a bell and give of their time – for someone in need.

JEERS – To continuing to share the cloak of secrecy. The name of the school district may have changed, but keeping the public uninformed and allowing the rumor mill to run rampant apparently continues. Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Central School District Superintendent Laura Lawrence has been placed on paid administrative leave. Whatever the circumstances that led to this action, the decision was not unanimous. The school board’s vote was 4-3. No explanation was given and no formal charges have been filed. It was reported the situation has nothing to do with Dan Russom, a former superintendent of the O-E school district who was placed on paid leave and then retired, or Chris Fatta, a former principal in St. Johnsville who also was placed on paid leave and then resigned. The cloak of secrecy is worn by all involved. Taxpayers should demand better explanations.

JEERS – To no choice. Election Day has come and gone. The armchair quarterbacks are analyzing the strategic plays that caused a candidate to win or lose. But there is one statistic that should be a major concern to everyone: the growing number of uncontested races. For example, in Montgomery County, 50 percent of elections had only one candidate. These included two new county legislature seats, two city alderman spots, five seats for superintendent of highway, several town clerk positions, Citizens Review Board vacancies and others. More than 50 percent of the races could have been won by the candidate simply voting for himself or herself. This lack of interest in political office comes at a time when strong leadership urgently is needed and when much of our government is in critical condition. The response appears to be indifference.