To the Editor Valley News:
“Keeseville: To Be or Not To Be - Hopes for a Better Tomorrow”
As an independent senior citizen who has lived more than 43 years in this village, and who has seen the good times and the bad times, I must say, in my opinion, it is not the Village that has failed us, but We, the citizens who failed the village by not doing enough to improve the quality of village life.
On the eve of this crucial decision on dissolution, I feel that a last appeal is necessary to those citizens who may yet be undecided or are still having second thoughts. Abe Lincoln unwittingly described Keeseville when he said “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” Certainly, for many years, the village has known this division and cynicism. Some of which was due to some who were found wanting in serving ALL the village’s needs and not just for a privileged few. We are all familiar with the term, “Cronyism.” Many examples of this past presence are still evident because rightly or wrongly, we tolerated it and allowed it. And from recent acrimonious Village meetings, we still do.
In talking and listening to many people, my sense is that many more citizens of the Village Want to do the right and wise thing and save the identity of a 150+ year old community from disappearing forever from our lives. It is ironic that at long last, although some would disagree, we have a newly elected mayor and board who are now open and eager to do good things for Keeseville and begin the long delayed and MUCH NEEDED improvements which would allow our village to prosper and with it, enhance our quality of life. Good things are starting to happen here. See downtown! We should give them the CHANCE and TIME to do what they PROMISED us they would do, and want to do. After all, it is only fair-what’s six months or a year more of village life when we already have over 136+ years behind us. Just because the patient is sick doesn’t mean automatic euthanasia. After all, as long as the village lives, there is the hope that she will recover. But once she’s gone, you can’t get her back. If given enough time with patience and goodwill, good things could be accomplished.
In making my personal decision on the nature of Keeseville, I am reminded of the words of the writer Thomas Paine, who said “these are the times that try men’s souls.” I am also guided by the words of Patrick Henry, who said “I know not what course others may take but as for me. . “
Well, rightly or wrongly, I intend to vote for Keeseville, may she live long and prosper. Like a beautiful and good woman that has been abused and neglected, if given a chance, she can, like the Phoenix, rise from the ashes of neglect and bloom again and in doing so, regain the affection and respect of all its citizens. This is the least we can do for our home.
I support the Village as a living concept that stands by itself-separate from all the Village Boards or Towns-that carries with it the weight of history, tradition, community self determination, and identity. This all deserves to be preserved.
Phil Reines, Keeseville