I’m disappointed in Knox ‘progress’

To the Editor:

I never thought I would be compelled to write another letter concerning the future of Knox.

I find it very convenient that officials up for re-election in Knox are suddenly jumping on the bandwagon with residents, who are voicing their opinions about the lack of services over the years. It seems they are scrambling to actually do something for once, just because the election is right around the corner.

One letter mentions the “beautiful” park we have, yet when I look at many of the facilities, I wonder how long it has been since a board member actually went down there. The tennis courts are in need of dire repair; they look like an arid desert and the nets are even missing. How is one supposed to enjoy the sport with no nets or lines for reference?

Another area is the deserted soccer fields toward the lower part of the park. The fields were apparently a major milestone for the town, yet what is done with them today? They remain unused and decay with the rest of the town.

Before I left for college, I went to the park dozens of times, and have never seen anyone play on the fields. The fields were meant to be used for the Town of Knox Youth Soccer Program, but, after only about a year, the program was moved to Berne, where the fields are able to be used due to less rocks and more grass.

If we have such a “beautiful” park, then why does the town move the program to Berne?

Lastly, the boardwalk in the wetlands is in dire need of repair. This has been neglected for years. Again, it is convenient that the supervisor calls for volunteers to help rebuild the boardwalk, when the election is coming up soon.

Is this where our tax dollars are supposed to be going to? It does not seem so.

This “fiscally conservative governance” one board member described is the biggest lie I have probably heard to date. You cannot even come close to calling our taxes “low” or your governance “conservative.” Stop trying to mislead your constituents.

Your “Taj Mahal” town hall, yes, under budget, was far too expensive and a waste to the citizens of this town. The handicap accessibility was the right thing to do, but you did not need to waste so much more on the entire building.

So much more of that money could have gone to other projects to improve the town. Board members claim that we need to maintain our rural/country character, yet the town hall is far from it, being very contemporary and modern. There is no “old country” about it.

The board and supervisor lack perspective on what Knox is and can become. Opening a business district will not take away our sense of community and livelihood. Knox once had a store, gas station and post office, yet it still remained a small, dynamic community.

Why don’t you do what the citizens want, open a business district, extend it to the Knox-Gallupville Road, and stay out of the way of future businesses?

Last I checked, that is what a fiscally conservative governance does. The decaying buildings in town now are, again, taking away from our “country/rural appearance” and becoming an eyesore.

Also, I personally want to know why the town board feels that it is above the law? Resolution #127 states: Resolved to advertise and post all vacant paid and unpaid positions within the Town on the website and in the official newspaper.”

I personally have nothing against the appointed official, but the law is the law, regardless of how small our town is, and uninterested they may think people are in the position. You did not advertise the position in the official newspaper, or on the town website (which I should add is in need of dire transformation, too). 

I would also like to express my disgust and anger at the political signs that the town officials deem appropriate, placed along a cemetery across from the town hall. I didn't know the deceased supported them this election.

Granted, yes, it is not in use anymore, but still, it is a disgrace to see the lengths some people will go to display a political sign in a town where barely half the town votes. Do they feel placing the signs across from the town hall will make people more apt to vote for them?

I am actually surprised to hear they didn't place some along the current Knox cemetery. Why didn't they? What do they think the difference is? This is disgraceful, and they should hold themselves to higher standards. If I had a relative in that cemetery, I would be outraged and frankly, disappointed.

Disappointed would be an appropriate term to end this letter to describe the "progress" made in Knox, especially after over 40 years of the same status quo and lack of leadership coming from the town hall. Higher taxes, a wasteful “Taj Mahal” town hall, a desolate town park and decaying town are the only changes we have seen.

Businesses are gone, people are moving to other places, and the sense of community passion is gone. I have confidence and (obviously) belief in the new dynamics Pam [Fenoff, candidate for supervisor on the Republican, Independence Party, and Conservative lines] and her other running mates can bring to Knox this November.

Pam specifically is so involved in the betterment of the town, she knows what is wrong here. She speaks to community members and attends many of the board and other committee meetings to not only input her own ideas, but see what the citizens want. 

Together in November, we can make a difference to revitalize and transform not just my home or your home, but our home, Knox, into a wonderful place once again!

Josh VonHaugg

Editor’s note: The assessor’s position in Knox was not vacant.

Supervisor Michael Hammond and Councilman Nicholas Viscio have spoken in favor of an extended business district.

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