From 2002-2009 I was in foster care right here in Oswego County.
I “grew up” if you will, in “the system”. I have seen many youth come in and out of care, some succeed, some fall back into the vicious circle that I was so fortunate to have gotten out of when I was young.
I went in front of the family court judge every 6 months for nearly 8 years to explain my progress and why I believe that I needed to be in foster care. You see; it was a need, not a “want”. I needed to be around people who had the training to help my family and I. I was supported, encouraged and loved.
The Family Court I knew never put a price tag on its commitment to seeing that I and many other youth in foster care were successful. It never looked at sending me back to an unstable environment v. saving a small amount of money.
Well, the Family Court I knew changed for the worse with the 2008 election of Legislator Kim Seager. To be very honest, I am fortunate to have “aged out” just as Legislator Seager won the seat.
I attempted to get the people of this county to understand that they were being duped into making a decision they would one day regret.
Ms. Seager championed a new court with new ideas and better, more productive ways of dealing with families that have issues that needed to be dealt with. She fooled the people of this county into thinking they were getting a viable option by choosing her as the top decision-maker in family court.
For many years I have kept quiet, but I can no longer bear the weight of my guilt in not speaking out sooner.
I am writing to tell you that LOVE, COMPASSION and a DECENT HOME should never be contingent upon a funding source. We are all working towards common goals of unity and a solid family structure; Ms. Seager’s goals begin with dollar signs and end with cent symbols.
Apparently saving the lives of innocent children is less valuable than getting a pat on the back from the county administrator about how much money you have saved since you took office.
I am proud to say I have humble roots in this county and I have lived here all of my life.
This is our time to speak up and speak out. Ms. Seager, an Onondaga county native, should be stopped before another innocent youth is placed back into an unfit environment where a higher courts ruling comes a little too late.
There is only so much time that can pass before sheer luck runs out.
Michael T. Johnson