September 12, 2005
Honorable George E. Pataki
Dear Governor Pataki:
This letter is written in response to two recent articles which have appeared in the Press Republican and Albany Times Union. In an article written by Ned Rauch which appeared in the August 12, 2005 edition of the Press Republican, Peter Bauer, Executive Director of the Residents' Committee to Protect the Adirondacks, is reported to have stated that a recent Inspector General's report reveals that the Adirondack Park Agency is a "hostile or chilling work environment for women." In a article written by Matt Pacenza which appeared in the August 22, 2005 edition of the Albany Times Union, Mr. Bauer is quoted as saying, "I have heard from women at the staff that things are tolerated there that the corporate world put behind them 10 and 20 years ago."
Mr. Bauer's statements do a disservice to staff at the Agency, and should not be considered representative of the opinion of the majority of women at the APA. Most everyone, whether man or woman, management or staff, are hard-working, warm and caring individuals who do their jobs diligently and are more than willing to assist their co-workers. We are women. We work at the Adirondack Park Agency and are proud to do so. We take exception to Mr. Bauer's characterization that our work environment is hostile and chilling; it is not. Women comprise almost half of the Agency workforce, serve at all levels of authority and expertise, and are treated with respect and courtesy.
As in every workplace, there are a few individuals who are unhappy. We believe that unhappy attitude is held by a small minority and respect their right to have a differing opinion. However, we cannot remain silent and let the administration or the public believe, based on statements made in the press by someone who does not work at the Agency, that the women who are employed by the Agency are being harrassed or mistreated.
(This letter was signed by 33 of the 37 women employed by the Adirondack Park Agency and its Visitor Interpretive Centers; one staff member is on extended leave and was not given an opportunity to sign.)