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Letters to the Editor

To the Times of Ti: I felt the need to respond to Gov. Spitzers latest proposal to limit the liability of private homeowners as a way to encourage more hunters and fisherman from out of our region to come to the North Country and boost our economy. While this is a noble sentiment, I sit here shaking my head wondering when Albany is going to understand the plight of the average Joe trying to scratch out a living here in the Adirondack Park. We build economic development zones and we store boats in them or worse they sit empty. We have no problem attracting stores but the average worker there doesnt come close to making $25,000 a year. Where are the good jobs in the county (aside from International Paper)? They are in the school systems or the county systems and who pays the bills for this? Thats right, its you and me Joe taxpayer. I know there is a price to pay for living in the beauty of the Adirondacks. I know this because I travel an hour and half everyday to work at IBM in Essex Junction, Vt., and have been for the last 10 years. We, as citizens, need to let our elected officials know that their efforts are not good enough. We are in the year 2007 and our cell phones dont work in a lot of places in the county. If we cant get something as simple as cell phone coverage, how do we expect to attract any businesses? Now I am sure the politicians are going to fire back at me and say, What is your solution? It is easy to sit in your home and hammer away at your typewriter but harder to make things happen. I agree with that so here are some of my suggestions. Privatize as many things as possible that are now run by our county like the nursing home in Elizabethtown. It loses money every year and the costs are paid by the taxpayers. Go find the people who are involved in PARC in Plattsburgh and talk to them or (better yet) hire them. They turned that area around and it is now thriving. I am sure they have made good business connections while up there and we all know the value of a good connection. Make economic development a top goal and have it addressed at every weekly board meeting. Ask hard questions to those in charge of our economic development like how many businesses have you contacted this week? What leads are there? What do we need to do as a board of supervisors to help you make economic development happen? etc. We have a huge forestry area in the North Country and only a few sawmills. Yet just across the lake in Bristol, Vt., they have two large sawmills that have been operational for years. With Lowes coming to Ticonderoga I would think locating this type of operation in southern Essex County could be a viable enterprise. Sell the concept of doing business in Essex County to everyone. That means going to every trade show and job fair in a 200 mile radius. This is where you are going to find prospective clients. They are not going to come to us, we must go to them. We need good jobs in this county to thrive and not just survive. Every year our costs of staying here go up. Every year homes are bought up by people as second homes and the availability of affordable housing is dwindling. So lets roll up our sleeves and get to work. If any of our elected officials would like to contact me and brainstorm ideas, my number is in the book. William Buell Crown Point

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