Saturday, February 9, 2008

No Sand for You!

Schoharie Town residents accustomed to backing up to the local municipal salt shed and appropriating a bucket or two of road salt/sand to use on their driveway or walkway, are in for a nasty surprise for the rest of this Winter.

The Town Board of Schoharie, acting on a request by the Town Highway Superintendent has adopted a policy restricting the ability of Town residents to take Town road salt for their own use.

What is the rationale behind this new restrictive policy? The Highway department cites an increase in salt costs due to the busy Winter season. However, no rationale can justify what is at heart a simply boneheaded policy. While Town officials have the right to restrict use of their Highway Department’s resources, they are wrong and reckless to do so. First of all, it is the Town taxpayers who own the salt, and it is extremely inappropriate for the Town Board to deny them access to it.

Secondly, it presents a major safety risk to people and property. How many will slip and fall because the Town denied them a cup of road salt? How many cars will slide down driveways potentially endangering people and other property?

Now that we know the Town Board and the Highway Department in Schoharie is committed to cutting costs at the expense of safety, is it fair to assume that road plows will reduce the amount of salt they use on the roads?

Schoharie Town officials need to be made aware of what a stupid and reckless policy this is. I hope they take a step back and look at the bigger picture. If they don’t, they should get sand-blasted in the next election.

26 comments:

A Nanna Mouse said...

I recall the T-J reporting that there was an issue of someone wanting more sand than the highway super allowed. I do not recall an amount being mentioned, but let's look at that as a complicating factor. Should the town provide unlimited sand for the driveway that's really a two-mile private road? Next they will want delivery service and plowing service for the driveway. The town board might better have limited each home to a fixed amount - say two bushels a year, bring your own basket. But stopping it altogether is not as bad as made out -- one can buy a bagful for $3 or $4 at Bush Lumber, or if you have a pickup, get a truckload for the same from the Galasso quarry.

Anonymous said...

Taxpayers pay for the gas and oil that goes into the DPW trucks. Next time your low on fuel just pull in and grab a few gallons. While filling up snatch that shovel you've been meaning to buy --but-- just didn't have time to go to Kelly's. And don't hesitate to use the heated barn for an oil change they'll leave the key under the mat for you.

Anonymous said...

Typical liberal response. Welfare for the "saltlessly challenged" segment of Schoharie County. Next you'll be clamoring for salt vouchers. Better yet, why not studded snow tires to the first 10 residents who show up at the salt pile.This blog should be "Dumbs along the Mohawk"

Sean Thomaston said...

"Taxpayers pay for the gas and oil that goes into the DPW trucks. Next time your low on fuel just pull in and grab a few gallons"

Obviously, I'm not suggesting this. But the Town's have been allowing people to take small quantities of salt/sand for a long time. It's become an expected and established practice. To stop it now seems arbitrary and did I mention, stupid and reckless.

Someone suggested that people might want to take too much to salt an excessively long driveway. Yes, there's always the possibility that someone may abuse the system. But there are plenty of cases where the Town is trying to weasel out of providing service to people all the time, "abandoning roads" to become private driveways. Look at Tinkley Hollow Road in Middleburgh.

I hope the majority of Schoharie townsfolk don't share your apathetic attitude to this loss of basic rights.

A Nanna Mojse said...

"Loss of basic rights?" Excuse me! Life, liberty and pursuit of the sand pile, right?

Sean Thomaston said...

No, just the pursuit of a bucket or two of road salt that no one is going to miss that could make the difference between whether or not a senior citizen falls going in and out of their home, or a child or pet gets run over by a sliding car in an unsanded driveway.

Supporting this policy is just plain mean. I know you're all better than that.

Anonymous said...

I hope the majority of Schoharie townsfolk don't share your apathetic attitude to this loss of basic rights.
The basic right here is that as a resident your taxes provide for sand and salt to keep the "public roads " open. What would you say if a renter who pays no taxes asks for salt?

Sean Thomaston said...

Renters more or less pay their landlords' taxes...

The issue here is that Schoharie Town officials have made a stupid and dangerous decision.

Stupid, because they have no examples of anyone seriously abusing the system...

and dangerous, because people rely on the Town supply for their own personal use for walkways and driveways.

It doesn't really matter whether we're talking about public roads or private land. If someone slips and falls on a private driveway, the Town rescue squad is still going to have to respond...

So where are the rescue squads in all of this? They MUST see this as a wretched policy.

To all of you who have posted defending this policy, it just shows what you're really all about.

No surprise to me, but you might benefit from a look in the mirror...

Anonymous said...

Sean,
What is your take on the Kenneth Vonthaden incident in the village. He is the blind person who railed at the codes enforcement officer at the last village meeting. Do you think the village should provide a special service(free sand & salt) to accommodate him during storms?

Sean Thomaston said...

"Do you think the village should provide a special service(free sand & salt) to accommodate him (Kenneth Von Thaden) during storms?"

I wouldn't take issue with it, and I doubt few would.

However, Mr. VonThaden wasn't really requesting special service, he was requesting that the Village enforce the law so that homeowners shovel the snow in front of their house.

If allowing people to take a reasonable amount of sand/salt from the municipal stock pile will make us all safer, it's not only a good idea, but a moral imperative.

If any person with a handicap makes a special request for accommodations it should be considered.

However, the problem Mr. VonThaden was complaining about applies to everyone, just a lot more so in his case.

The Village needs to start enforcing the law, that's all. Start issueing warnings, and if that doesn't work, send out the Codes people, have them do it and send the deadbeats the bill.

Anonymous said...

"Renters more or less pay their landlords' taxes..." True. What % of their rent 4 that...30 TO 50? Their neighbor can't know, but wants to.

Sean Thomaston said...

"Their neighbor can't know, but wants to".

Do the math...

Go to the Schoharie County real property parcel search service at
http://www.schohariecounty-ny.gov/remote/RPSSearchMgr?menuItem=New , find out the assessment of the property then calculate their tax payments based on the rate in your municipality. Then find out the going rental rate for that apartment, multiply by number of rental units on property, then multiply by 12. Take this figure and divide it into your neighbors' annual property tax rate.

This should give you a rough idea of the percentage of your neighbors' tax bill that is being covered by rental income.

I wouldn't say this formula would hold up in a legal determination, but it should suffice to satisfy your curiosity.

Anonymous said...

"...it should suffice to satisfy your curiosity." Dunno...there's something about numbers: 174, 250(???). Darndest thing, that curiosity. :)

Anonymous said...

It doesn't really matter whether we're talking about public roads or private land. If someone slips and falls on a private driveway, the Town rescue squad is still going to have to respond...
******************************
Well the rescue squad's response is hardly the issue.

MY private driveway is MY responsibility. That means MY private pocket pays for the means to make it safe for invited parties.

Anonymous said...

Another "moral imperative" is for people to use some common sense. At the time Mr. VT fell, there was ice all over the sidewalks and no sighted person would be caught dead walking on them. He's a fool who uses his handicap as an excuse when he wishes.

Sean Thomaston said...

This is the mentality that puts people like Dubya in the White House (repeatedly).

Anonymous said...

This is the mentality that puts people like Dubya in the White House (repeatedly).

"Heated sidewalks for the handicapped". 2009 mayorial Campaign slogan of A.I. Makay. This is the mentality that puts 21 year olds in office repeatedly.

Sean Thomaston said...

A.I. MacKay and the "21 year old" are doing a fine job.

Hopefully the T-J's asinine editorials won't succeed in convincing people otherwise.

And no, "heated sidewalks" aren't necessary as long as deadbeat jerks are forced to shovel away the snow in front of their homes like their supposed to.

And of course, a little bit of sand/salt which can be taken for free from your local municipal salt shed (unless in Town of Schoharie) would help a lot as well.

So far you've ridiculed a blind man and insulted the Mayor because of his youthfulness (which is irrelevant).

How will you top that? Advocate target practice on the homeless? Burn down an orphanage? Drown a kitten?

Too bad you never outgrew being a run of the mill, schoolyard bully.

Anonymous said...

A.I. MacKay and the "21 year old" are doing a fine job.

Fine job=garbage riots
fine job=landlord fiasco
fine job=no lowes
fine job=no sidewalks on main st
fine job=donats brow debacle
fine job=planning board uprising
fine job=no fluoride in water
fine job=no hyett-Palma resolve
fine job=so bad mcguire still here
fine job=so bad gilmore back

the "union street experiment" has failed. Make like the circus and roll up your tents and leave town.

Anonymous said...

Common sense never elected Dubya.

The "landlord fiasco" cannot be laid at the feet of Sellers and MacKay. That one belongs to the slumlords themselves.

Lowes coming in or staying out is based on more than the Village's actions. I'm not sure that not having a Lowes is such a disaster anyway.

I walk sidewalks on Main Street every day. What is "no sidewalks on main st" supposed to mean?

The "Donats Brow debacle" has other people involved...ask somebody on the TOWN Board about that end of the mess.

Planning board uprising? The village planning board couldn't uprise with an elevator.

No fluoride in water. Please. The human race survived just fine without fluoride for a couple three years. Try and find a toothpaste without fluoride. When "Crest with fluoride" was introduced cavities went down dramatically, and it isn't necessary (or even recommended) to SWALLOW the stuff.

****************************
So far you've ridiculed a blind man and insulted the Mayor because of his youthfulness (which is irrelevant).
*****************************
I didn't ridicule a blind man. I said he was a fool and a con man.

I see a reference, but no "insult" to the mayor based on his youth. The idea might have been better stated with a reference to lack of life experience. Say, like, how to get along with people whose ideas differ from his own and identify enough with their concerns to convince them that his ideas are better.

Anonymous said...

I walk sidewalks on Main Street every day. What is "no sidewalks on main st" supposed to mean?

If you were wired to the political machine like you think you are, you would know what I meant. Mr Know it all (= "A.I Mccay") took a simple 100000 job and totally f**ked it up. It wound up coming in close to 350000. He did that all by his lonesome. The "Kid" was smart enough to distance himself from that loon McCay on that one. The farther the mayor stays away from the "crazed scotsman" the better off he will be.

Sean Thomaston said...

I'm going to have to request clarification on the term "Union Street Experiment". It's the second time somebody used this term and I'd like to know what its user is trying to convey.

It seems like an attempt to imply that certain political forces are unrepresentative of the Village as a whole. From what I can tell, this is not at all the case.

Especially considering that the people with the real pull all live up by Terra Heights and Davies Lane.

Anonymous said...

you said____"It seems like an attempt to imply that certain political forces are unrepresentative of the Village as a whole. From what I can tell, this is not at all the case.

I say_____"overrepresented would be an understatement"

You want clarification__ here goes numbnuts.No galasso lives on Terra Heights...

Sean Thomaston said...

"Here goes numbnuts"-

It's really amazing how much force and elegance this adds to your argument.

By the way, the preceeding post does not offer the clarification I requested. Still wondering what "union street experiment" or "union street gang" is actually meant to mean.

Are there smoke-filled rooms in the back of Natural Foods and More that I don't know about? Is the future of Cobleskill being plotted in the back of Backstreet Music?

Anonymous said...

"union Street"
Where the elitist left meets regularly sipping fine imported teas. Brainstorming "PAYT" garbage articles on Google. Cutting and pasting their "original" ideas into a new local law. Where anti war protesters huddle on the street corner. Where skateboarders meet to map out the next neighborhood to terrorize. The back tea room where the Strother Campaign started, sputtered, and choked. The street where Thilett campaigned and got her 15 votes against Gilmore. The only other street that comes close in the leftist tradition is the aptly named "High" Street. Home to the Golding Cafe. Where sixty year old balding adolescents desperatly cling to that long forgotten allure of the beatnik sixties.

OMG if you haven't figured out that I am just busting balls by all this crap you need a life line. I am retired and bored to tears. just having some fun dialogue. Don't take any of this shit to heart. Love your blog

Anonymous said...

Some of these comments are hilarious.Ithought once the writer's strike in hollywood was over this place would take a literary hit to the chops. not so. keep up the livel;y banter. It sure makes wintry evenings at home enjoyable.