Village board ‘surrenders’ following recreation vote, says Potsdam man
Thursday, May 1, 2014 - 6:39 am

To the Editor:

Once again, most of our Potsdam Village Board members demonstrated that they have all the backbone of a chocolate éclair.

A few months ago, they unanimously declared that the new budget would not include recreation spending and that it would be much more efficient to have the Town of Potsdam take it over. The Town, in turn, said “no” and called for a referendum on the subject.

Our trusty village reps then went on a campaign to get out the “Yes” vote, led by personal efforts/pamphlets by the mayor himself-who firmly said, “there is no plan b” if this failed.

So what was the reaction from the Town of Potsdam? Per Supervisor Marie Regan, they were “neutral,” followed by newspaper remarks indicating something that seemed entirely different. Coupled with some resistance that was already there, that was perhaps enough to cause the defeat of the referendum by a narrow margin.

And the reaction of the Potsdam Village Board?

When faced with the hammering of certain recreational enthusiasts, they backwatered faster than a kayaker on the Black River. Despite their previous unanimous vote to turn funding over to the town, they decided in favor of once again sharing in funding the program. The one lone exception to this was Eleanor Hopke- a “Profile in Courage” as far as we “Four Hundred” who voted “Yes” are concerned.

We will remember her and we will also remember the actions of Steve Warr, Ron Tischler, Ruth Garner, and Steve Yurgardis whose “plan b” now has a new name called “Surrender!”

As we see the horrific damaged condition of our village streets and wonder about our financial ability to fix them; the failure and continued mess concerning the dam, etc., etc., we might also think of the thousands spent on this particular program that could just as easily have been efficiently subsidized by a lone government - the Town of Potsdam.

Once again -why on earth do we constantly have two governments when only one stable one is needed? These two governments have constantly battled each other, and we taxpayers pay the fiddler. Two might have worked in the horse and buggy era, but not today.

Perhaps a bankrupt village will someday bring us to the realization that we need a change. If we keep up with this kind of nonsense, that day may not be far off.

Dick Hutchinson, Potsdam