Letters to the Editor - Millerton News - 11-2-17

Community deserves Pearson

Eastern Dutchess has a stable economy and strong assets, but we must address our challenges to translate these strengths into continued prosperity. This means collaborating with county government to thoughtfully mitigate resident concerns; and it means electing representatives who actively engage citizens and advocate for our priorities. In Dutchess County’s 25th District, including the Towns of Washington, Amenia and Pleasant Valley, this means electing Jimmy Pearson as County Legislator.

A former U.S. Naval officer, Pearson’s work ethic and dedication to service are unparalleled among candidates and have served him well throughout his campaign. Pearson has already demonstrated exceptional capacity: engaging residents through tireless conversation across his district, work that’s matched by an understanding of complicated subject matter and broad critical thinking skills. And his military service, as well as work with public agencies such as SUNY, has shown his capacity to succeed in complex bodies like the county legislature.

Pearson champions active representation, pledging to be an assertive voice for our community. He’s justified in noting that our district has neither strong county representation nor active public servants in the legislature. Pearson’s critique underscores the need to legislate while promoting constituent service.  Thus, Pearson’s priorities — to strengthen emergency services with a reliable, cost-effective regional approach; to improve public transportation to connect residents to opportunity; to promote the environment for job creation and economic prosperity — are issues informed through relationship-building with residents, business owners, and community leaders.  His outreach is backed up with a commitment as a public servant, evidenced by his ongoing participation in town and county meetings.

To capitalize on our assets and address challenges - for our community to thrive - we must have active, engaged elected officials who can address concerns through effective public service.  Indeed, we deserve the best representation; in County Legislature, we deserve Jimmy Pearson.

Allan Co

Pleasant Valley


The truth or not the truth — that is the question

I’d like to clarify some falsehoods and outright mistruths that most news media and some politicians are spinning for sensationalism and their own agendas --— Re: The Military Oath of Enlistment. “I am one of those who took and lived by this oath --— so let me set the record straight - Each military enlistee swears an enlistment oath to defend the U.S. Constitution and this nation against all enemies foreign and domestic and pledges loyality to the country, its commander in chief, and those officers appointed over them. They know up front that military service involves significantly more danger than they would normally experience in civilian life. They know there is the possibility of losing their life serving and protecting their country. These men and women and the less than 1 percent of this country’s population --— the best of the best this country has to offer. Up until the last few months a service member’s loss of life was respected and held sacred by most living in the country. But recently the callous, nasty side of humanity is raising its ugly head — commencing during our last presidential convention when Gold Star parents were paraded in front of the public for a disgraceful political agenda. Even more recently a Congresswoman chose to grandstand herself at the expense of a grieving widow who lost her husband in Niger. By so doing this Congresswoman destroyed the sanctity and honor this hero so well deserved. Yet another shameless display of arrogance and political elitism.

We, joining the military, don’t go into the service expecting to die, but we all know this possibility exists and yet we willingly and selflessly do so.

Sometimes today I wonder why, but we still do and most retirees would do it again if their country needed them. It’s sad to me, as a Vietnam Vet, that past common decency, respect and honor are so seriously eroding in this country. It could be so much better and once was.

Larry Conklin



Irresponsible journalism

While Peter Greenough’s leaving a rude message in a public place was poor judgment, for which he has publicly apologized, we feel that his transgression has been overshadowed by what unfortunately we must call your irresponsible journalism. True, his act was a violation of the civility which we value, and which we are right to expect, but frequently do not receive, from private citizens and public officials alike.

We have two objections to your coverage of this matter.

First, and most important, your devoting two front-page articles and two editorials to this trivial incident is totally out of proportion.  No property damage was done, and the unfortunate message could be removed simply by wiping the dust off a window.  While you devote massive press space to this minor affair, you pay very little attention to major issues in our community, such as housing, education, jobs for young people, parking, poverty, divisiveness between long- and short-term residents (clearly implicated in this case), preservation of the environment and efficient and effective governance.

Second, nowhere in your extensive coverage of what Mr. Greenough did thoughtlessly in a minute is there any mention of the extensive community service, going back for years, performed both by him and by his wife, Christine Bates, from which all of us have benefited.

Cavin Leeman 

Diane Zimmerman



Acker qualified to be judge

We are the parents of Christi Acker, a candidate for New York State Supreme Court in the Ninth Judicial District. I urge you to consider voting for her as I believe she has the experience and qualifications to be the Hudson Valley’s newest Supreme Court Justice.  

Christi grew up in Putnam County, graduated North Salem High School and the College of Holy Cross and then continued her education at Villanova Law School. She paid her own way through Law School and spent most of her professional life in Putnam. For the past seventeen years she has served as  Court Attorney to County Court Judge and Acting Supreme Court Justice James Rooney.  She is in her third term as Town Justice in the Town of Pine Plains where she now lives with her husband . She was elected to that office, running on both Democratic and Republican lines, in all three elections. 

In this current campaign,  she is rated as “highly qualified” by the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commission, the only candidate so rated. She has also been favorably rated and endorsed by a wide spectrum of community groups as well as her professional peers, Their ratings and comments may be reviewed on her website Judgeacker2017.com. Thank you for your consideration.

Charles J.  Acker

Barbara Acker



Chance to fix legislative problems

The election next Tuesday can start to fix a big problem with the Duchess County Legislature. Its problem is that it’s a one-party institution. Worse, the one party has a super-majority. It doesn’t listen to any other point of view — it doesn’t have to. That’s undemocratic with a small “d.” Unchallenged majorities of any party are never a good thing, as we all know, and super-majorities are much worse.

Electing Dick Hermans is an excellent step toward changing this situation. Dick is a good man, a principled Democrat, a successful small businessman who understands small communities and how to care for and nourish them. His Oblong Books and Music is a fine employer and a big part of the revival of Millerton. At the Harlem Valley Rail Trail, the staff and volunteers he’s led as head of its association have built a trail that’s the gold standard for rail trails, with much more trail soon to come. My friendship and admiration for Dick go back a long way and have been cemented when we both joined the Board of the Irondale Schoolhouse. 

Vote for Dick because he’ll be a strong, new voice in Poughkeepsie. Vote for Dick because he’ll do a great job for you. Vote for Dick because he’ll make the Dutchess County Legislature more accountable to us all.

Sia Arnason

North East


Pearson for County Legislature

Jimmy Pearson will make a great county legislator. He has already reached out to his constituents to understand their needs and concerns. Among these are strengthening emergency services, improving public transportation and protecting the environment as an economic driver for the Hudson Valley. Jimmy will work energetically to represent us in the Dutchess County Legislature.

His experiences growing up here, serving in the U.S. Navy, and running his own small business have given him the skills to advocate fiercely and effectively for our district. 

Vote Pearson for  Dutchess County legislator.

Leo Blackman



To my fellow residents …

I have just put a stamp on the envelope of my absentee ballot and mailed it off to Poughkeepsie as I will be out of town for business on Nov. 7th. I love voting and feel deeply fortunate to be in a country where my voice is sought and it actually matters. 

It’s still astonishing to realize that my grandmother couldn’t vote. She was 27, married and the mother of one of her three children before she could vote. I was lucky enough to grow up assuming that my voice mattered and have taken the privilege of voting somewhat for granted. That changed when I recently met a woman from South Africa who introduced herself by saying: I wasn’t born free. She was born before 1994, the date for universal suffrage in her country. It was a sobering moment for me to understand that this beautiful smart woman for many years of her life, wasn’t seen as worthy enough to be given the right to vote.

I haven’t always lived in a small town but have grown to appreciate Millerton’s rich texture of residents and issues over the past 12 years. One thing that is absolutely obvious here is that all votes matter. Many elections are won or lost by very small margins — sometimes 5-20 votes!

So you’ve guessed it, I’m writing to encourage each reader to take advantage of our great privilege of living here in this time where we are able to vote.  We have that right and let’s not squander it by staying home. Our Town Board is a powerful voice for our community as is our representative in the Dutchess County Legislature.  

There are important issues on this year’s ballot with amendments to our state constitution and the issue of convening a new constitutional convention.  Don’t miss the chance to let your voice be counted.

I encourage you to vote for Ralph Fedele and Chris Kennan for Town Board, Dick Hermans for Dutchess County Legislature, Robin Lois for county comptroller and Christi Acker for New York State Supreme Court judge.  

Our county and our Town Board have for too long been managed by one party, to the detriment of government reflecting the views of the entire community. It really is time to diversify the thinking in our communities. All of the Democratic candidates — and I know most of them very well — are civil, committed to public service and open to dialogue and transparency. Their election would permit our community to move forward with good people working cooperatively across party lines to effect positive change for our towns. Who knows, this bipartisan way of working could spread up to the state and possibly the federal levels!

Please vote.

Jennifer Dowley



Write in Chamberlin’s name

I, Stanley Whitehead, endorse Megan Chamberlin for Town of Amenia Highway Superintendent.

Megan is a hard worker, dedicated, concerned employee of the Town of Amenia and most of all honest and experienced. She knows what has been done to our town roads and what needs to be done. She has been involved in many of our past “State of Emergencies” such as flooding and blizzards. I am sure she will continue to maintain and improve our town roads while keeping the highway budget down. Please, Nov. 7, Election Day write in Megan Chamberlin for highway superintendent.

Stan Whitehead


The writer was Amenia’s elected highway superintendent  1994-2018.