This letter is an invitation — and an appeal — to all residents of the Port Jervis City School District to attend a special public forum with state Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther at 6 p.m. Monday in the Port Jervis High School auditorium. This forum is organized and hosted by Port Jervis district administrators and the Board of Education.
Representatives from the City of Port Jervis, Town of Deerpark and the Tri-State Chamber of Commerce have been invited to join school district officials to discuss with Gunther a number of important concerns that need to be addressed at the state level. A question-and-answer session will follow.
The primary focus of the evening: tax relief.
For example, a very significant portion of school district expenses are mandated — but not paid for — by the state. District administrators have identified a number of very costly state-imposed requirements that could be altered, trimmed or eliminated, with potential cost savings in the millions of dollars. School district representatives will highlight these issues and request specific changes.
Deerpark, Port Jervis and Chamber of Commerce representatives will make similar appeals to the assemblywoman. Collectively, the issues to be addressed on Monday significantly affect local taxpayers. The reforms that will be requested would provide meaningful tax relief.
Please attend. Encourage friends, neighbors and relatives to attend also. Taxpayers, residents, business owners, students — all segments of the community — should be there. For this meeting to have any real impact on Gunther, she needs to see that concern about New York's incredibly burdensome taxes is widespread. Your presence is crucial.
Member, PJ Board of Education
Sunday July 26, saw our second week of a farmers market on the grounds of the Port Jervis Deerpark Humane Society. It was once again well-attended, even with overcast skies.
This week, produce from Morgiewicz Produce of Pine Island was available. Beets, lettuce, onions and freshly dug black dirt potatoes were available, along with new zucchini and radishes. It was a sold-out day.
Judy Obermeyer of Garden Creations had corn and farm-fresh organic eggs. She also had great herbs. Panzarella Foods also did well with their gourmet Maryland crab cakes and artisan breads. The shelter's bake sale table went well, as did Buck's Best local maple syrup.
We are looking to enlarge the market with an eye toward a weekly market next year. There is plenty of room for vendors and lots of parking available. As an added bonus, the Friends of the PJ Library has a paperback book sale Sunday and of course you can meet some of our shelter pets who are up for adoption.
Come see us Sunday, rain or shine. This event is sponsored by the shelter as a community service more than a fundraiser so please come and sample our market, tell or bring a friend and, if you know someone who might qualify as a vendor, don't hesitate to let us know.
Thanks to all of those who are helping to make this a success.
Humane Society board member
The Pike County Child Death Review Team will present its second Reality Tour 1-4 p.m. Sept. 12 at the First Presbyterian Church in Milford. We need volunteers.
The team reviews all deaths in Pike County from birth to 21 years in order to help determine ways that might prevent future deaths. The team has determined more drug prevention programs are needed in Pike County.
The tour is recommended for children 10 and up accompanied by a parent. Advance reservations are necessary; space is limited. Parental consent is required, along with a $5 registration fee.
Participants follow the fate of a fictitious teen addicted to heroin through a peer pressure scene, an arrest and prison experience as well as a dramatic emergency room overdose scene — and a funeral scene, all performed by community volunteers.
A narrative by the "addict" precedes each scene including the constant reminder, "I'm just like you." The message combats the youthful belief that, "it can't happen to me."
We are extremely grateful for the support we have received. We are still in need of more volunteers, especially youths ages 10-18 for the peer pressure scenes.
Team leaders will have a training session for new volunteers and a run-through of the scenes for current volunteers at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 11 at the First Presbyterian Church.
If you would like to know more about this program, would like a registration form or can help in any way, please call Jill Gamboni, 296-3447.
A demonstration of some of the scenes can be found at www.realitytour.com. You can also download a registration form for our Sept. 12 tour on this website.
Please consider attending or helping with this valuable resource in our community.
Reality Tour director
Contrary to Ms. Otto's July 24 letter in the Gazette, stating committee members are elected every two years, they may be appointed any time to fill vacancies, by the committee chairperson.
Some individuals, for the title of committee person, might be willing to trade their integrity. She certainly doesn't sound like the same Linda Otto who, less than a year ago, told me how impressed she was with my in-depth research into every issue I address.
She mentions in her letter that her committee considers a potential candidates' community involvement before bestowing its endorsement. Is that why they selected the chairperson's grandson-in-law in 2007, just a few short months after he arrived in Deerpark at age 28?
Or is that why they selected the chairperson's husband for supervisor in 2003? Reminds me of a TV show, "All in the Family."
Ms. Otto accuses me of being confrontational. I, in fact, will always oppose 125 percent tax increases and 340 percent increases in town debt service, like those forced onto every Deerpark taxpayer this year by Ms. Otto's former candidates for town office.
Oh! By the way, has Ms. Otto forgotten it was her former candidates who borrowed or bonded almost $2.2 million last year? Maybe she is just upset that I keep reminding the public of her previous candidates' insatiable borrowing and spending habits.
I voluntarily host a public access television show called "Voices of the People" twice a week, as well as serving on the executive board of the television station.
I founded, with other Deerpark residents, and am the elected president of Organized Taxpayers Association of Deerpark. I regularly attend and participate in town board meetings. I also served as a fiscally conservative school board member in Rockland County. How is that for community involvement, Ms. Otto?
I understand that Ms. Otto, as a committee person, is just carrying out an assignment for a superior. But why doesn't Ms. Otto just send out her candidate to debate me on the air for all to see and hear?
Then the voters can decide if they want more expensive, family-run government or a candidate committed to a serious tax cut, in the Republican primary Sept. 15.
Daniel A. "Tony" Cea
Organized Taxpayers Association president
This letter is to enlighten Mr. Cea and his three stooges. I cannot believe they are so illiterate that they couldn't read my previous letter correctly.
I specifically said in my previous letter that Karl Brabenec is the Town of Deerpark Republican Committee's "endorsed candidate" for town supervisor, not "the Republican candidate."
If something so simple can be misconstrued, how can one hold a very responsible elected position in town?
Alice C. Bigger
Deerpark Republican chairwoman
The headline to this letter might read, "Taxpayers' president Daniel A. 'Tony' Cea files petitions in Deerpark supervisor's race."
I would like to thank my fellow Deerpark Republicans for helping us to secure a ballot spot in the Sept. 15 Republican primary election. We received nearly four times the required number of nominating signatures. It took lots of knocking on doors to accomplish our task. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and talking with everyone.
Though I am a registered Republican who favors small, affordable government, I pledge to represent equally all town residents, regardless of party affiliation. Every eligible Republican who is an independent-minded, free-thinking individual, who doesn't like being told who to vote for by some inner-circle power broker, might consider Daniel A. "Tony" Cea as our Republican candidate for the general election, by supporting me on Sept. 15 in the GOP primary.
Unlike my opponent, an incumbent Deerpark Town Board member, I promise not to support any town budget that doesn't reduce our town property taxes by at least 10 percent, and I will not borrow and bond to artificially achieve my goal. I will live within the approved budget limits, not supplement spending with more debt.
Thanks again to all our volunteers and to tall of you for successfully bringing us one step closer to our goal of bringing honest, sensible and affordable town government back to Deerpark. Thank you also for bringing us one step closer to ending inner-circle control over Deerpark Town Government.
Daniel A. "Tony" Cea
I would like to extend my sincerest apologies to the people of the Town of Deerpark for getting a little hot under the collar during the July 20 Town Board meeting.
I ask the people of Deerpark to understand that for months I have kept quiet while Supervisor Gary Flieger and Councilwoman Viola Sinsabaugh have made numerous attempts to tarnish my reputation and positive record as town clerk.
Although no one can be 100 percent sure, I have a good idea what their motives are behind these attacks. I am a member of a committee that sent both of them a specific letter informing them the committee made a vote of "no confidence" in them.
The letter outlined the committee's displeasure about their votes on the 2009 budget and their motions and votes that were not correctly reflected in the final budget.
I will proudly stand by my signature on this letter as I feel they both have done a disservice to the residents of this town.
Again, I am sorry for my display of emotions — but it is only human to get carried away when someone tries to tarnish your positive record and personal integrity.
Deerpark Town Clerk