Thursday, February 12, 2009

Westchester Guardian/In Our Opinion/Our Readers Respond.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

In Our Opinion...

Westchester Voters Must Get Involved Now

It is painfully obvious that voters in Westchester must begin to take stock of their public officials and legislative representatives early this year, much earlier than usual. That fact is particularly clear with respect to all County positions, both from the standpoint of individual performances
by current incumbents, as well as the growing movement to eliminate, or, at least, significantly reduce, the size of County Government.

County taxpayers have literally been taken for granted, frankly abused, for so many years by a Government grown fat, arrogant and, in many instances, corrupt, to the point where drastic surgery was needed, whether or not our state and national economies were as troubled as they now are. And, we all know very well that it’s not merely a matter of dollars.

As importantly, it is about truthfulness and accountability; a County Executive who has financed the campaigns of a super-majority rubber stamp legislature, many of whom do business with the County and/or have spouses, or other family members, on the County payroll.

It is about a District Attorney’s Office that has, long ago, forgotten the difference between right and wrong; and the fact that we are supposed to be a democracy, a county within a state and a nation, each of which provide Constitutional guarantees that cannot, lawfully, be violated.

There is a good reason why nearly 70 attorneys and investigators have left the DA’s Office over the past three years, and many of those who remain privately acknowledge that they are just hanging around to collect their pensions.

It’s about bloated, connected government at every level, with scandalous disregard for the clearly-expressed will of the People. And, finally, it’s about politicians who are not public servants, and never will be, and who believe they can shove things down our throats and get away with it.

Our Reader's Respond...

Re: Paul Cote

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to a recent article from January 8, 2008 concerning the treatment and federal prosecution of a former Westchester County corrections of-ficer Paul Cote.

There remain many disturbing questions surrounding this prosecution. The most confusing question is how did the officer who started the altercation with the inmate get immunity from prosecution and why.

There seems to be a very large quid pro quo in this case leading to the ruination of Paul Cote’s professional and personal life. Mr. Cote came to the aid of another officer who was being severely beaten by the said inmate; using department-approved physical force the inmate was subdued.

Somehow it was determined that Paul’s particular blows led to later demise of this inmate, even though he was hospitalized for over a year after the incident. I find it ludicrous that this family has been bankrupted by legal costs on top of shattering a loving family. Society never seems to remember that inmates are criminals who are incarcerated for a reason, but yet they seem to have no guilt in these cases.

Susan Lombardi

Regional YWCAs Applaud President Obama

Dear Editor:

The YWCAs of the Northeast Regional Council is celebrating the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Play Act by President Obama. By signing this bill into law, President Obama ended years of discrimination against women in the workplace.

Lilly Ledbetter, the woman for whom the act is named, worked for Goodyear Tire for more than 20 years. She worked her way through a male-dominated workplace to a supervisory position. Ms. Ledbetter worked hard for the company for over two decades. Once she found out she was being paid less than her male counterparts, she took her case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court ruled that employees cannot challenge ongoing compensation discrimination if the employer’s original discriminatory decision occurred more than 180 days before, even when the employee continues to receive paychecks that have been discriminatorily reduced.

Kelli Owens, Regional Advocacy Coordination of the YWCAs said, “Today’s law enables individuals to challenge ongoing pay discrimination
and protects workers from workplace discrimination. Unfortunately our work is not done yet.

The United States Senate needs to finish their work by passing the Pay Check Fairness Act.”The Lilly Ledbetter Act addresses the issue of legal recourse, but this additional act would put measures in place to prevent pay discrimination. The YWCAs of the Northeast Region, which encompasses 33 local associations in the states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts, has long been an advocate for Pay Equity. The Region will continue to advocate for state and federal laws to protect women and people of color.

The YWCA is a women’s membership movement nourished by its roots in the Christian faith and sustained by the richness of many beliefs and values. Strengthened by diversity, the YWCA draws together members who strive to create opportunities for women’s growth, leadership, and power in order to attain a common vision: peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all people. e YWCA will thrust its collective power toward the
elimination of racism, wherever it exists.

Casey Kaufman

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