Tying Up Loose Ends

I realize I have not posted here since last weekend, so I thought I would catch up on a few things. My cat Lee had extensive dental surgery on Monday.  An earlier post Pet Dentistry describes the genetic predisposition for bad teeth. The surgery went well but Dr. Murray was unable to remove the ear polyp due to its position deep in the ear canal.  All six teeth and a canine tooth required surgical extraction followed up with injectable pain medication twice a day for three days.

This is Lee on drugs after surgery on Monday.

Here is the dental chart with all the work that was done.

The cat is almost back to normal but will be eating soft food for a couple of weeks.

Tuesday April 12, 2011, I attending the City of Amsterdam budget meeting at City Hall and listened as department heads presented their budgets to the Common Council.  Here is a short excerpt from that meeting discussing the City’s promise to help Centro Civico with construction of the East End park. It was taken with the iPad2.

Thursday I took two Babka Breads and a fresh Kielbasa (from GWIB coffee house) down to my Dad in Hudson and spent the day with him.

Friday I baked a delicious buttermilk blueberry crumb cake.

Today I tried my hand at making fresh Italian sausage.

I have been trying to keep busy and not think about the enormous increase (37%) in water utility fee that was proposed by the City Controller, or the 16.2% tax increase passed by the Amsterdam City School District.

One unit in Amsterdam currently pays $352.89 for water, $267.47 for sewer and $217.56 for garbage annually. A 37% increase will bring water rate alone to $483.45 for one unit.

There has to be a better way than placing the burden on the backs of Amsterdam property owners. These elected officials need to do some real work and STOP SPENDING our money! Privatize the damn golf course so it can at least make money rather than siphon funds from the city. That water bill alone would be a big increase in revenue, aside from the salaries, insurance, capital expenditures and operational costs that the City continues to shell out. This is a sport enjoyed by an elite few that should be bearing the burden of its operation, not the taxpayers!

From a Daily Gazette article dated March 28, 2010 by reporter EdMunger:

The golf course needs upgrades for drainage, clubhouse improvements and cart paths that could cost as much as $400,000.

The city has spent roughly $46,000 each year during each of the past two years to accommodate the golf course’s cost of about $660,000, according to the city’s draft budget and the Golf Commission’s budget request.

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15 thoughts on “Tying Up Loose Ends

  1. Diane


    One thing I have learned over the years is that the people who use the course do support it. It is funded by them and any bonds are paid by them. At some point a way to change things will be to take the carts off the pro and let the city operate that part of it. There is money to be had from this part of the operation, but the pro I think has another year or two on his contract. Schnectady is already showing improvements in their financial operation as a result of changes.

    • When the City bonds for capital improvements to repair or improve the course, the taxpayers repay the bond over a period of years, not the golf course patrons.

      From Daily Gazette article dated March 28, 2010 by reporter Ed Munger:

      The golf course needs upgrades for drainage, clubhouse improvements and cart paths that could cost as much as $400,000.

      The city has spent roughly $46,000 each year during each of the past two years to accommodate the golf course’s cost of about $660,000, according to the city’s draft budget and the Golf Commission’s budget request.

      Despite the cost and likelihood that city taxpayers who don’t play golf will be paying to keep rates down at the golf course, Third Ward Alderwoman Gina DeRossi said a 20 percent increase as suggested by Thane is a bad idea so close to the April 1 season opening.

      • Alayne

        Even with a twenty percent increase, the golfers will still be saving money by not having to drive to another course. Let’s face it Jerry, the third ward alderwoman seems to be worrying about her own agenda when it comes to the golf course and GAVAC. (yet she will dare be the single vote against the Bridge St. project)

      • Diane

        My understanding was that the bond was always paid back by the members, thru their dues etc. the city does take out the bond, but I have always been told it is covered under their yearly dues. And they do not pay for their water, which if it were managed by a professional group, it sure would help the tax bill for the public.

        Thanks for correcting me.

    • The golf course has been in the red for many years and the City keeps giving them money from the general fund to keep them afloat.

      I know you have a copy of the proposed budget and have been attending the hearings. How much money has the golf commission requested from the City this year? Since Alderman DeRossi would not agree to a 2010 increase in fees as prescribed by the business audit, I don’t expect anything different this year.

  2. Diane

    Alayne, what part of the Bridge street project?

    • Alayne

      DeRossi’s voting record is all over the place. She votes no to the Bridge St. project, (due to the city’s fiscal condition) a project that the taxpayers had already paid for, yet is all excited to bond out for a $million venture capitalist project at Bacon school. (has the city’s financial condition changed since the Bridge St. vote? I will answer that…NO! ) Then of course we have the golf course and GAVAC, in which you would swear she was a stake holder in both, the way she becomes all freaked out (for lack of a better expression) when either are mentioned at a CC meeting. Again, the impression that I have is that she does not have the ability to put the city’s best interests before her own.

  3. Diane


    I assume you live on the southside?? If correct and your new black poles are up, the brackets to hang the hanging baskets from are in city hall basement. They were ordered and paid for partially with a grant thru ABC.

    And yes, I would agree she is very protective of those two committies.

  4. Alayne

    I do own a home on the south side and we are so looking forward to the Bridge St. project and of course the demolition of the Chalmers building. The businesses on Bridge St. have done major renovations to their buildings in the past few years, and the revamping of Bridge St. will be the perfect finishing touch. We have some of the best eateries in the city, a bakery, and rumor has it that we will even be getting a small convenience store soon. Small businesses are certainly alive and doing well over here. Part of their success is of course due to the fact that the owners of these businesses are some of the hardest workers I have ever known.
    Please send thanks to the ABC for the brackets for the baskets, they will look great!

    • Anthony Leggiero

      The brackets are in the Annex Building at City Hall, the Recreation Department puts the brackets AND the flowers ($$$ you know the one’s that cost $$$ – and lot’s of it – don’t care who pays for it – through whatever source) up. Just wanted to clarify once again.

      • Anthony Leggiero

        ADDITIONALLY, does anyone think that Centro Civico can pay their taxes on time – matter of factly – pay their taxes completely without riding on the backs of grant receipts?

  5. Nicole diCaprio-Bagatelle


    With all due respect, but Centro Civico has deep roots in this city and like virtually all non-profits, relies heavily, if not solely, on donations and grants to exist and see their their mission through. Aren’t they in your ward? You should feel more neighborly toward them instead of like such a miser that would rather see them crumble and leave than help the countless people they have over the past several decades.

    The East End is in desperate need of a place for kids to play, give them something to do on a sunny day. There was one years ago when I was growing up, which probably hasn’t been functioning since the late 70’s to mid 80’s or so (my memory fades on that) behind that church building and between Vrooman and Lefferts. That may even be the place they want to revamp for all I know, and I say go ahead.

    The small investment in manpower the City would apply would go a long way for this and would last years. I feel like your comment and historic sentiment toward this organization is more racially-driven than anything else, minus the actual admittance. That we have an elected official that has decried this organization on more than one occasion is a bit mindboggling and embarrassing more than anything, but chances are you won’t be willing to give up your seat.

    My hope is that the rest of the East End doesn’t suffer from lack of public service in their elected officials just because of one elected official’s resentment toward one organization there.

    • Richard Leggiero is the 5th Ward Alderman, Anthony is his son.

      The Centro Civico sponsered park on the east end will be a city of Amterdam Park. It took the initiative of Centro Civico to obtain the grant and planning. Why should the city not contribute to its construction? It will be the responsibility of the Recreation Department to maintain it, just as they do the other city parks.

      • Nicole diCaprio-Bagatelle


        I agree. Kids need something, anything to do these days, especially in an area of the city where there is nothing else to do! We should let kids be kids for once. Good grief.

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