More government follies in Potsdam Hydro affair
Monday, February 7, 2011 - 11:01 am

To the Editor:

Since some folks have inquired about the results of my letter to Andrew Cuomo (then Attorney General) concerning the issue of the Potsdam Hydro affair, I am happy to report that in a letter dated Oct. 27, 2010, I was informed that the case had been turned over to the “Public Integrity Bureau of the Attorney General’s Office” for further action.

Per their letter, they state (and I quote) “the Public Integrity Bureau seeks to vindicate the public’s interest in honest government. When government actors or private individuals acting in concert with them, engage in corrupt, fraudulent, or other illegal behavior in the course of their public duties, the Public Integrity Bureau may investigate or take enforcement action.”

Good enough. I trust that my complaint to the Attorney General and from others who have called or written him, that we may just have gotten the ball rolling on this entire affair. My first clue that we struck a nerve came from a village trustee who evidently read my original article and called me (the very next day) wondering if I was going to accuse anyone of “malfeasance in office”--that is, wrongdoing by a public official. Interesting thought, but to which I replied--“probably not.”

Following all that, came the resignation of the Village Administrator; plus the subsequent and very abrupt public move by the village to obtain the missing parts of the dam and get them under cover “ before snow flies.” Snow has now flown in abundance, and the building remains uncovered with only a few parts resting outside by the river in very cold hibernation.

Do you see progress? And why, in the name of common sense, did a village government outsource such a big project into both Canadian and Italian hands? Why not American sources such as GE right down in Schenectady or other places in New York?

I sincerely hope that all of this will lead to a grand and successful climax, but I know you will forgive me if I remain doubtful.

I reluctantly feel that the final solution to our village problems is to concentrate on the local elections this fall when we have the opportunity of replacing Mayor Tischler and Trustee Regan, or perhaps (better yet) simply dissolve the village and go to one government. I think Trustee Steve Warr is doing a great job in leading us to that latter conclusion and he needs our support!

Dick Hutchinson

Potsdam