Letter: Voter apathy multi-faceted issue

Editor, The Spotlight:

Mr. Carter posits that there is apathy in board elections. He has heard people say that voting in New York and Bethlehem is just not worth the time it takes to vote. The question is why do people feel this way? I argue that the dearth of knowledge of local issues are the primary cause and that learning about the issues is almost impossible, caused by three underlying issues: the elected members and candidates are more interested in pushing party affiliation and make no mention of issues in an informative way throughout their tenure nor during the election process; the press does not cover the issues in ways that inform but rather as reporting of what elected officials say; and the parties themselves are totally silent.

Some examples: Mr. Clarkson had studies done concerning creating wards, changing the elected status of some officials and town governance organization. To what purpose and to what end? The town budget raises rates but at what cost to those in our community who live on fixed incomes that put them near the poverty level? Have homes on such people been foreclosed for tax collection? Why do taxes on property owners go up when major tax rebates are given to unneeded banks and groceries? What is the cost of the Vista Park infrastructure and maintenance and what is the source of income to pay for and maintain this structure? There are more important issues that each of us could contribute.

The point is that these need to be covered throughout a year and not only at election time. The Times Union and Spotlight need to provide more in-depth stories, and the political party members should press their parties for positions in order to influence them.

Richard Reeves-Ellington


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