To the Valley News:

I’ve done a few double-takes at Mr. Randy Preston’s comment concerning the citizens of Essex County being “apathetic” when it comes to public comment concerning the recent budget talks. As citizens of Essex County, we are also citizens of the United States and, if Mr. Preston hasn’t noticed lately, the buffoonery of elected representatives has hit the point where it is difficult to any longer write satire because politicians taking themselves seriously and trying to do their job is more satirical than the best satire possible. As I read the article, it was hard to tell if it was bad writing or if it was just the writer trying to follow the wandering illogic of the Supervisors. Margaret Bartley was uncouth enough to throw in a comment like if the parents know the babysitter is abusing the children, but keeps bringing the kids back then they must be doing a good job when she says people didn’t leave the area when the taxes were higher. Perhaps Ms. Bartley is not aware that upstate New York has one of the largest percentage of people in the U.S. with a college degree moving out of the area and I ask her to poll her community to see how many young families are able to remain in the area. I believe our Essex County supervisors should take a deep breath and remember the forces that they’re representing. The apathy that Mr. Preston identifies might simply be that people have given up dealing with barrels full of monkeys playing with our taxpayer dollars because bravery is not charging into a hopeless situation, but choosing wisely which battles to enter. Regardless if a single percentage of eligible voters come out to vote our Supervisors into office and regardless of the handsome salaries they pay themselves compared to neighboring counties, we can only hope that they would not be so apathetic towards their own constituency as to disgrace them publicly. But once again, we “apathetic” taxpayers are reminded why public comment just embarrassingly adds to the absurdity and tomfoolery we see play out in our newspapers and televisions all the time.

Gavin Johnston


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