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Hidy defends remarks on pit bulls, tattoos and EBT fraud

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To The Editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to clear up any misconception concerning an article which appeared in the Saturday issue of the Massena Courier Observer newspaper with regard to Social Services fraud investigator.

First and foremost, I have absolutely no problem with anyone wishing to have tattoos whatsoever. It’s a matter of choice that I respect individuals to have.

In fact, I have members of my immediate family along with many friends who have chosen to sport them.

For those who sadly hide behind fictitious names when responding on Massena Courier Observer or Massena Topix to accuse me of negatively judging anyone is greatly mistaken.

With regard to pit bulls, I recently spent 28 years living in Detroit, Mich. I’ve seen the good and the bad when it comes to these animals. When trained by its owner, any dog becomes a product of its environment.

In cases I point out, many times they are trained as security watch dogs for illegal drug activities. I’m concerned for the number of people who call my office repeatedly who fear them in their neighborhoods. With that said, I commend those who do train their pit bulls to be just the opposite.

Further, the point I was alluding to was awareness of misuse of EBT funds. I am in total support of individuals who through their years of hard work paid into the Social Service program. It is you who are entitled to draw from those funds in times of need.

I am in total support of those who legitimately are in need of social service assistance and this community has many who are. I am totally against able-bodied individuals brought to our community through county directive who never paid into the system and most likely never will.

I fail to see a justified argument to support otherwise. Let’s face it, I must have struck a nerve in the past three years because now the county feels the need to dedicate a welfare fraud investigator to Massena.

EBT and SS programs are not designed to fund the purchase of anything other than the staples to feed and clothe the needy. I’m confident any hard working taxpayer would be in agreement.

In closing, I make my arguments for the people I work for, village of Massena residents. It’s these taxpayers who elected me to fight for their best interests and I will continue to do so, no matter the cause.

James F. Hidy

Mayor, Village of Massena

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