Thank you to Krestia DeGeorge for watching the actions of the County Legislature, and to City for its coverage of the proposed water treatment plant ("A Rush to Borrow," Metro Ink, December 20). If only the pages of City could shout.
The "urgent" passage of the proposal to permit the Monroe County Water Authority to borrow money for its proposed Webster water treatment facility is unexpected, since the Water Authority agreed to delay building of the plant for 18 months. Because of the proposal's introduction as a matter of urgency (this phrase was most disturbing), "it thereby bypasses much of the public scrutiny that most legislative proposals get," DeGeorge writes.
Puzzling to me, also, is the need for any borrowing; Water Authority leaders have stated at their presentations that funds to cover its cost have been achieved by adding charges to all ratepayers' bills over the past few decades.
This water treatment plant is unnecessary and too costly. Between the city and county water authorities, the water supply needs of the region are currently met twice over. Plus, there are at least 15 treatment plants in our area now; surely some of them, such as the plant at Kodak, which produces 50 million gallons per day and may not be needed in the near future, could serve.
Beyond the cost to taxpayers is the threat of continued sprawl, with its attendant costs, in an area with dwindling population. With the profit potential of land newly furnished with water pipes, we can look forward to such esthetic additions to the landscape as strip malls, big box stores, and housing developments.
But this plant will be built --- every go-ahead has been granted --- unless we visit the CountyLegislature and give comments prior to the monthly meeting, unless we write to legislators and let them know this water treatment plant is not right for MonroeCounty. Again, I commend City, and I look forward to further investigation into the issue, particularly of who benefits.
Christine Sevilla, Pittsford
The computer problems that paralyzed the county clerk's office may have been avoided with better management and a service-oriented staff. Comments such as "something like this is hard to predict" and expressing displeasure after the fact do not inspire confidence.
This month, experienced computer service people have been laid off in an effort to save money. The countyIT staff has half as many people as it did 10 years ago. The staff who actually do the work are being cut, while this year's budget has added a "deputy director." Are the taxpayers in Monroe County really saving money? County employees will have to work overtime to get things back on track.
This is not a "glitch"; it is a shutdown of county services for one week. Do these same people provide support for the public-safety computers?
This has a serious impact on our community's commerce and well-being and should be looked into further by someone outside of the county clerk's office. If there is no oversight we could end up with another fiasco, such as the Water Authority, where cronyism and self-serving were placed above "civil service."
Patricia Nelson, Averill Avenue(Nelson's brother-in-law was among the IT staff members laid off.)
AND SEX OFFENSES
Thank you for your article "The Missing Pieces in the Sex-offender Debate" (December 20). There is a lot of unfounded hysteria in this debate.
Your article rightly pointed out that sex-offender recidivism is lower than generally thought. The actual number of sex offenders who are imprisoned for new sex crimes is lower than probably even you think. Between 1985 and 2001, a total of 11,898 sex offenders were released from New York State prisons. Only 253 of these (2.1 percent) were returned to prison for new sex crimes within three years of their release ("2001 Releases: Three Year Post Release Follow-up," State of New York Department of Correctional Services.)
Sources and more info are available at http://theparson.net/so.
C. David Hess, West Henrietta (Hess is pastor of West Henrietta Baptist Church and is the New York Representative of SOhopeful International, an organization working to "change the way Megan's Law and similar legislation mandates the registration, tracking, and community notification of non-violent, low-risk sex offenders," according to its website (sohopeful.org). "We are making this effort in order to strengthen the Sex Offender Registry and make it more effective, to help it to accomplish what it was originally intended to do," says the website.
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