Guilderland needs a “real manager”: Town repairs, as best as possible, damage done by violation of environmental laws

To the Editor:

May I begin by referencing your editorial of Oct. 3, 2013, which began with a quotation by Margaret Mead: “ Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

The big question is who, when, and where might there be such a group to serve Guilderland and does the majority of the population really care? I don not think so.

From 1992 until 2013, there was a continual attempt to require adherence to prevailing town, state, and federal environmental laws, especially as they relate to stormwater management and the resultant adverse impact on our property and the public water supply, the Watervliet Reservoir. Attempts included numerous telephone calls, letters, letters to the Enterprise editor, etc. with no results.

Contacts were not only to Guilderland officials but also to officials in Watervliet and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Region 2. Even a representative of the Sierra Club did not show any interest.

Following is a brief chronological listing of some of the specific experiences:

— 1992: Commencement of installation of 24-inch plastic drainage tile through wetland;

— 1994: Placement of thousands of cubic yards of fill to bury the tile, etc;

— 1994, 95 and 96: Continuous fill placement, grading, etc. in wetland areas;

— 2001: Fill delivery continues;

— 2002: New related project begins on north side of west Old State Road begins with “grubbing.” I could not determine if a permit was issued;

— 2003: Town of Guilderland receives MS 4 designation and assumes responsibility for New York State Environmental Regulations;

— 2005 to 2009: Continuous efforts to require adherence to environmental laws;

— January 2010: Commence installation of six-inch domestic water line from Princetown to serve new homes in West Guilderland;

— May 12, 2010: Threatened by developer. Guilderland and police called — no charges filed;

— December 2011: Zoning and Stormwater Management Officer Rodger Stone retires;

— 2012: Town assessor fired. No reason identified. Recently working in our area. Did he offend a political ally?

— November 2012: New stormwater officer appointed, Bud Darpino. Zoning Officer Don Cropsey retires. Don Albright assumes responsibilities;

— May 29, 2013: Meeting with [Supervisor] Ken Runion, Don Albright, Bud Darpino, and the undersigned at which time some of the historical information and data was shared with the group. This resulted in agreement by the town that remedial action would be taken to repair some of the damage caused by neglect and deliberate failure to require adherence to prevailing law.

Shortly thereafter, a large contingent of town highway manpower and machinery descended on our property and repaired, as best as possible, a great deal of the damage and destruction brought about by previous failure to mange prevailing laws.

Returning to my opening statement regarding sentiments of the Guilderland population, I do not think that either of the candidates for supervisor will focus on real required governance and management for our town. A real manager is needed.

Earl A. MacIntosh Sr.

Guilderland

Editor’s note: This letter was received last week. The Enterprise does not run election letters the week before an election, to allow for corrections if needed.

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