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Bill’s 5 Cents

Feb 18, 2024

June 28, 2023

Letter to Clarkson Democrats:

I am reaching out to Democrats in Clarkson to inform and engage citizens. Hopefully, some of you will join our local committee. Our next meeting will be July 22 at the Seymour Library.

Town of Clarkson: At Tuesday’s Town Board meeting I asked why they had held a clandestine meeting on 5/16/23. They gave me several excuses. First, they claimed it was posted on their website. I pointed out that it was posted only hours before the meeting. Then it was, that there was only one bid and that the Highway Superintendent, Bob Viscardi, was absent from the previous meeting. Finally, after more discussion, they said that the one bid they had was good for only a few days.

   Martha Clasquin clarified that our concern was about the sudden unannounced nature of the meeting. It gives the feeling that the Town Board is trying to conceal town business.

David Behnke said that the Town should provide information and guidance to Lee Hicks to meet the red tape paperwork needed to sell used cars. (It would make Clarkson more business friendly).

Public Hearing: Unsafe building on Ridge Road. The owner said he was willing to start working on the building as soon as his Stop All Work order is lifted. Town Attorney, Keith O’Toole, and Building Inspector, Kevin Moore, discussed issues around the need for building permits and it seems that there was agreements and the Stop Work order would be lifted. Work should start soon on the building.

Please remember to return your bottles and cans to: Upstate Brockport Bottle and Can Return Center; 199 Main Street in Brockport (behind Dominio’s Pizza). Donate the proceeds to Clarkson Democrats. We greatly appreciate the donations; Thanks

If you have any comments or suggestions please contact me: wfine@rochester.rr.com. Thank you.

Bill

June 21, 2023

Letter to Clarkson Democrats:

I am reaching out to Democrats in Clarkson to inform and engage citizens. Hopefully some of you will join our local committee. Our next meeting is June 24th at the Seymour Library.

Town of Clarkson: The town board meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:pm. For the month of May the second and fourth Tuesday were the 9th and 23rd. At their May 9th meeting the town board discussed a bid from Rochester Colonial to replace windows at the town hall. Rochester Colonial was the only bidder and their cost was for $48,784.00. Since this was the only bid and was more than $23,000 over what the board estimated the cost should be they decided to table the discussion until the next meeting. The next announced meeting would be May 23rd. However, the Town Board met on May 16th and approved the $48,784.00 purchase of the windows. There was a brief discussion about Good Neighbor Day and the meeting was then adjourned. There was no announcement for the May 16th meeting. There was no mention of a May 16 meeting at the May 9th meeting and no announcement in Westside News. The $48,784.00 purchase was decided at a special unannounced meeting out of public scrutiny. It is very odd that the Town Board held a special meeting, a meeting with only one thing on the agenda without informing the public.

State: State Senator Rob Ortt was in full bluster at the end of the legislative session. Mr. Ortt pontificated that Democrats had not made New Yorkers safer or more affordable. He pointed out that at the start of this legislative session Republicans put out a comprehensive Rescue New York agenda. Republicans said solutions are easy, lower cost of living, and restore sanity to the criminal justice system. However, when I look up the Rescue New York agenda in the N. Y. Government Senate web site, it reports that Republicans put forward no legislation to advance this agenda. Mr. Ortt, it seems, is all bluster and no substance.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley and Mr. Ortt were sponsors of bills A01842/S00868 and A05331/S05183 this past year. The first bill would prohibit municipalities from the distribution of literature containing explicit warnings regarding the ownership or use of a firearm. As a warning that firearms are dangerous and to use with caution might discourage gun ownership. The second bill allows Orleans County to impose additional rates of sales and compensating use taxes.

Please remember to return your bottles and cans to: Upstate Brockport Bottle and Can Return Center; 199 Main Street in Brockport (behind Dominio’s Pizza). Donate the proceeds to Clarkson Democrats. We greatly appreciate the donations; Thanks

If you have any comments or suggestions please contact me: wfine@rochester.rr.com. Thank you.

Bill

June 7, 2023

Letter to Clarkson Democrats:
I am reaching out to Democrats in Clarkson to inform and engage citizens. Hopefully some of you will join our local committee. Our next meeting is June 24th at the Seymour Library.Ju

Around Town: The Town Board is looking to make needed repairs at the current Town Hall, 3710 Lake Road. They advertised in the Westside News for bids. Rochester Colonial was the only one to respond and their estimate for window replacement was $48,784. The Town Board was estimating that window replacement would cost about $25,000.
Lee Hicks of Big Time Service, 7978 Ridge Road, asked permission to sell cars at his location. He was informed that his property is not zoned to sell cars and he would need to get a special permit to sell cars. Keith O’Toole, the Town’s Attorney, explained to him the difficulty of changing zoning laws and that it couldn’t be done before next year. Mr. Hicks said he would be back in a couple of weeks to again ask the board to change zoning laws.
Big Ash Fireplace & Stoves is looking to establish a location in Clarkson. Bringing new businesses into the area is a good sign of growth and vitality of the Community.
Federal: The Federal government passed the debt ceiling bill with Republicans claiming that they forced a reduction in federal spending. However, the Congressional Budget Office sent a letter to Republican leaders on April 26, explaining the budgetary effects of work requirement for Medicaid recipients. In the letter they wrote: “In the agency’s estimation, under those requirements, federal costs would decrease, the number of people without health insurance would increase, the employment status of and hours worked by Medicaid recipients would be unchanged, and state costs would increase.” The CBO did outline ways to increase employment among Medicaid recipients such as providing child care and other services.

Please remember to return your bottles and cans to: Upstate Brockport Bottle and Can Return Center; 199 Main Street in Brockport (behind Dominio’s Pizza). Donate the proceeds to Clarkson Democrats. We greatly appreciate the donations; Thanks

If you have any comments or suggestions please contact me: wfine@rochester.rr.com. Thank you.

Bill

May 24, 2023

Federal Level: The House of Representatives passed H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act on 5/11/23 on a straight party line vote. According to the published summary of this bill it would require the government to resume construction of the border wall, prohibit states from imposing licensing requirements on immigration detention facilities and prohibit the government from processing asylum seekers who arrive at places other than at ports of entry. Immigration is an issue and has been an issue for some time. President Joe Biden sent immigration legislation to the House of Representatives on his first day in office but republicans refuse to consider the legislation. Meanwhile, border crossings are down by nearly 50% since Title 42 was expired.

State Level: State Senator Rob Ortt, Minority Leader, is blaming Democrats for the immigration crisis. There is a possibility that perhaps some migrants seeking asylum will be moved to upstate areas because of a lack of shelters elsewhere. The mere possibility of asylum seekers coming to our communities calls for the Declaration of Emergency shows the lack of preparedness and the level of fear — mostly fear. Republicans oppose temporarily housing migrants in unused college dorms. We overcome fear with knowledge and understanding. There are multiple peer-reviewed scientific studies that show that immigrants invigorate local economies, and that crime does not increase with an increase in undocumented or documented migrants. I find it hard to believe that Republicans are ignorant of all these studies over the past 20 years. I find it much more likely that Republicans are playing on people’s prejudices and fears for votes.

Local Level: Town Board Meeting 5/23/23 Lee Hicks of Big Time Service again asked for permission to sell cars from his location. Town Attorney Keith O’Toole informed him that his property was not zoned for car sales. There was discussion about property at 8438 Ridge Road that is an eyesore and in need of repair. The owners seem to be dragging their feet on needed repair. Also there was discussion about several properties with overgrown lawns.
Please remember to return your bottles and cans to: Upstate Brockport Bottle and Can Return Center; 199 Main Street in Brockport (behind Dominio’s Pizza). Donate the proceeds to Clarkson Democrats. We greatly appreciate the donations; Thanks

If you have any comments or suggestions please contact me: wfine@rochester.rr.com. Thank you.

For reference on immigration. This is a small sample of articles and research.
American Sociological Review: June 17, 2013 vol.78 issue 4
Cato Institute working paper Oct. 13, 2020 number 60
Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice. Nov 21, 2016 vol 15 number 1 pages 52-77
Criminology March 25, 2018. Vol 56 issue 2. Pages 370-401

Bill

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