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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

Showing posts with label Planning Department. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Planning Department. Show all posts

Letter to the Editor: Planning Department Vital but Should be Separate

Written By Cicero on 11/19/14 | 11/19/14

Just a few of my thoughts about the plan to dissolve the Schoharie Planning and Development department. Planning is a very important part of our counties government structure. It affects all privately owned properties both residential and commercial in every town in the county. The planning boards and zoning boards of appeal in our towns rely on the county department for help on many issues every year. Help writing laws, comprehensive plans, defining agricultural areas, preparing maps, gathering demographic information and many other needed services. Planning should be an independent department titled Planning and Zoning. It should never have been combined with development which is another important area that I know very little about but I think it should stand alone. All towns have zoning laws even those that reject zoning. The NY State Department, the Attorney General’s office and Bar Association all except the following definition of zoning. Zoning is any law or regulation that “regulates the use or development of real estate”. The town boards in towns that have voted down zoning still pass zoning laws. Towns that simply have subdivision regulations really have a form of zoning. Our county has some excellent planners in the present department Shane Nickle, Lillian Bruno and Zachary Thomson they are very good and work hard serving our towns. Regardless of who heads the department these people and others give great service to the hundred plus volunteer board members throughout the year. They serve our county well. Regardless of what the County Board decides to do about Mrs. Terry the planning department should be reorganized as a standalone department because every property owner in our county needs it.

 Respectfully:
 Peter Shulman

Opinion: Alicia Terry's Termination is Well Past Due

Written By Editor on 10/29/14 | 10/29/14

It's a well worn piece of commentary at the County Building. Not every conversation goes like this, but the variations have been heard too many times to count.

"How did Alicia Terry even become Planning Department Chair?"

"Her daddy and granddaddy were County Clerk."

Whether or not Terry was hired as a legacy may be an opinion. What is a fact is that in her twenty years running Planning and Development, Schoharie County has suffered failure after failure.

- She did not step in in 2001 when Interknitting announced it would be leaving Guilford Mills to prevent the closure and loss of 700 jobs.
- She bungled the sale or use of Guilford Mills for years before County Treasurer Bill Cherry stepped in and had it sold in months.
- The Guilford failures included a logging company, Intelligent Fish, and Butternuts Brewery.
- Bungled the prospective deals to bring Lowe's to Cobleskill.
- Forged the AECOM contract without Board approval, costing the taxpayers millions.
- Not following through in Sharon hotel renovation. Multi-million dollar promises from Terry and Korean investors still go unfilled years later.
- Worked with Cassandra Ethington to manipulate county government.
- In 2012 the County unemployment rate reached 12.2%, nearing Depression levels.
- Was directly involved in at least one questionable firing during her tenure.

In fact, her one "accomplishment" was her front-and-center involvement in the $9 million water line extension from the Village of Cobleskill to Howe Caverns. A project engineered by former Mayor Mark Galasso that just happened to benefit his relative Emil.

Former Middleburgh Mayor Gary Hayes says that Terry was a 'go to' person for Middleburgh's economic growth. No recent publication or statements from Middleburgh officials seems to back that up.

Alicia Terry is well-educated, for sure. But failure after failure has shown no learning and no initiative to solve Schoharie County's myriad economic problems.

Treasurer Bill Cherry's budget is bold. It is also necessary.

If you are on the fence, just ask yourself this: is the County better off due to anything, anything that Alicia Terry has done.

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