To the Times of Ti:
I will not continue to have nights, where we are held up in our home, locking our doors and windows, a helicopter hovering over our house, and looking at my two young children, as they are uneasy and scared. This is no way to live.
I was born and raised in Ticonderoga, and 12 years ago I moved out of Ticonderoga due to a job relocation, and the Ticonderoga I left 12 years ago is not the same town I moved back to last year. In talking with many long time residents of Ticonderoga, it seems as though the illegal drug and illegal prescription drug climate has taken a strong hold in our town over the last 5-6 years, and as a town we need to figure out how to get this problem under control.
The following is an email I recently sent to our Ticonderoga town clerk, requesting that it be forwarded to all town board members, the Ticonderoga Police Department, and all town judges. I would like to ask that our Essex County District Attorney also become involved.
Dear Town Officials,
As a resident of our town I have become increasingly concerned with the fact that our town is being overrun with illegal and prescription drug abusers. I respectfully request that at the next town board meeting that the town officials, judges, police and board all be present. With 2013 budget discussions consistently on the agenda, I would like to see where the budget numbers come in for public safety. I believe if we accurately measure the current illegal and prescription drug problems in our town, if we look closely at the budget numbers allotted toward public safety in the last 4-6 years, we can first formulate a clear plan to address the problem, plus establish a realistic budget number for public safety.
We need a realistic public safety budget number to truly meet the problems we have before us, as we are losing ground and have been losing ground to these drug problems for the last 5-6 years. I would like to ask, that the budget numbers for the last six years, assigned to public safety, be clearly detailed and prepared for the next town board meeting, so we can look at the last six years, to see if public safety budget numbers have gone down, remained the same, or have been raised in the last six years.
Obviously, whatever the budget numbers are, they are not enough because this town is not heading in the direction it should. We need a comprehensive plan with adequate budget dollars to address this problem. No different than our state and federal budgets, safety must be at the forefront, because we have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for our tax payers; that is job one.
I hope we all find it 100 percent unacceptable that we had taxpaying, law abiding citizens working at the Rite Aid the other night, shopping at the Rite Aid the other night, and those individuals were exposed to a robbery for prescription drugs. The helicopter use, that is reactive, I am of the opinion that we need to make clear strides to make Ticonderoga less of a safe haven for these individuals, and instead we need to formulate a plan to make our town one of zero tolerance, hence becoming very unappealing to these unfavorable individuals.
I request that someone from the town board contact me, to see how and when we could have an open town discussion regarding these problems before us. I believe a cost effective approach would be to have all involved prepared ahead of time to discuss the facts, crunch the numbers, looking at arrests, convictions, sentencing, where these illegal drug users are congregating, how these individuals are conducting their illegal business, etc. With planning such meeting we can start a responsible process to measure and improve our current situation. I would prefer that all in attendance at such a meeting not come to the table with finger pointing; we need facts, solution statements, and ideas on how to get our arms around the problems which face us.
I appreciate your time greatly and look forward to the prospect of taking our town back together, as a team!
Kellie Whitman, Ticonderoga