Tuesday, April 20, 2010

OUR TOWN by Ray Mooney

The federal government has accumulated huge deficits – in the trillions of dollars. So, too, has New York State – into the billions of dollars. You may well and truly feel powerless to do much about those.

Our town, East Greenbush, has also accumulated a mountain of debt – into the millions of dollars. Hard to believe – but true. Years of too much spending have caught up with up with our town. If you read the Times-Union, the Advertiser or follow any of the four blogs devoted to our town you probably have a sense of the wide array of other issues facing our town and our leaders.

However hopeless you might feel about events at the federal and state level you should not, and hopefully do not, feel powerless about events in our town. You can, and should realize you can influence things.

What does it take to influence what goes on here in our town?

• First off – please attend the May 12 meeting of the Town Board at City Hall at 7:00 P.M. You will meet a number of friends and neighbors who are interested and committed to working to address our town’s problems. You do not need to speak out – just listen. You can decide later to what extent you want or need to get further involved.

• Next – read everything in the Advertiser, everything available on the town’s web site and everything on the four blogs devoted to our town. As just one simple example – on the town’s web site you will find under documents available for downloading the recent financial consultant’s report on the state of our town’s finances. Well worth reading if you care about your tax dollars at work – past, present and especially future.

• You can interact, in today’s day and time, with your elected officials. Letter writing campaigns are no longer the “in” thing. E-mail is faster and easier. Some of our elected officials are gracious enough to respond.

• You can vote – every time. The future votes that will take place here in our town are probably the most important town event that there will be in our lifetimes.

Your political affiliation or political party interest does not matter – your involvement most certainly does.

Please attend the May 12 Town Board meeting. Your very presence will provide support to the people that care deeply about what is happening now and will happen in the near future here in our town.


  1. Good suggestions, Ray.
    Keep writing.

  2. As usual Ray Mooney makes a lot of sense here. The issue is simply the value of participation in our local government and how we can all work together to improve the quality of life in East Greenbush. We have problems but they are not insurmountable especially if we continue to get increased input from a wider variety of sources. We need good ideas and involved citizens, not personal attacks and more finger-pointing. And we are getting good ideas now and more people are paying attention. But Ray is right, let's not take the basics for granted: it does matter if you participate. I'm an anthropologist by profession and my hero is Margaret Mead who once famously said "Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. In fact I doubt if anything else ever has." Come to the meetings, speak your piece, and stand shoulder to shoulder with a diverse group of people from all over the political spectrum who feel we can create a more open and transparent government, improve the way we do business as a town and reclaim East Greenbush as a great place to live and work. And we can do it without name-calling or mud-slinging. The time for politics is past, we need to get back to governing.

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