Letters (Oct. 25 – Nov. 1)

Look the facts up

I support congressman Chris Gibson and his reelection effort to the United States Congress. The principal reason is that after this campaign, regardless of positions on policy issues, Chris will be the only one that has not ostracized half the district and half of Congress.

At this point, due to the dauntingly partisan rhetoric and attacks by Democrat Julian Schreibman, I know that Chris is the only candidate who can see past labels, whether it is Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, Tea Party or  Occupy Wall Street. Chris Gibson will continue to bring together all groups and individuals to find comprehensive approaches favorable to the majority of his constituents using common ground starting points.

Even congressman [Maurice] Hinchey, a liberal Democrat, has worked alongside Chris Gibson on various issues from conservation to the environment to rural broadband.  In fact, he recently said that Chris is “not an outrageous person” and “among the Republicans, he’s [Chris] a better one than a lot of them are, but we can see the differences between the two opponents.”


We certainly can see that difference:Chris is a problem-solver with concrete plans while Julian is a fact-fabricator without a single plan. Chris is a leader who unites all parties while Julian divides everyone, even his own party here in Ulster. Chris is not afraid to run on his record while Julian never discusses his tenure as Ulster County Democratic chairman or as a New York City lawyer.

If you don’t believe me, fine, please reach out to congressman Gibson’s campaign office for facts and the citations to look them up. His office is at 612 Ulster Avenue, Kingston. I know because there is a large sign a volunteer made outside with the hours on it.



Just the facts, Joe

While Joe Roberti, Jr, Saugerties Republican party chairman, doesn’t let the facts influence his letters to the editor, the facts are still the facts. After looking at five monthly bills from three vendors (Central Hudson, American Express, Sam’s Club Discover Card), the town paid $623.91 in late fees and charges. This may just be the tip of the iceberg, no one knows because late fees are not tracked.

If Joe doesn’t believe the numbers, he can file a Freedom of Information request like I did and look at the bills himself. The town’s bills were paid on time previous to Kelly Myers’ election. Kelly has blamed everyone but herself for the late payments, including saying her calendar is to busy. If she’s to busy to pay bills, she should resign. Blaming others is not a form of leadership.

Regarding Roberti’s comments about the police department’s budget, the town received grants for the merger of the two police forces. Those grants have ended, hence the decrease in revenue.

Facts, Mr. Roberti, facts. Please base your comments on facts instead of writing emotional rants.



Throwing stones

I write this letter to express my disgust with the tactics of candidate Julian Schreibman and the group of henchmen who take financial responsibility for the mailers that have been sent to the residents of the 19th Congressional District regarding congressman Chris Gibson.

I have received over ten mailers regarding congressman Gibson from Schreibrman and his cohorts accusing Gibson of such insensitive and deplorable actions that have resulted in “Medicare costs going up, cutting education funding, denying women health services, causing cancer research to be denied, and on and on and on…”

I have not received one mailer that tells me what Schreibman has done, what his platform is, and in general, what his qualifications are to represent the district and the residents who live there!

I know from conversations with leaders of the Democratic Party (a number of whom have endorsed congressman Gibson) that his tenure as head of the Ulster County Democratic Party caused dissension and resentment, and resulted in the party losing control of the legislature. His tenure at the CIA and his responsibilities are questionable, and he failed in his responsibility to prosecute defendants in the county-jail debacle when working for the DA’s office.

I am not enrolled in a party. I vote for candidates who exhibit attributes such as honesty, integrity, and dedication to public service. Chris Gibson has these attributes.  He ran for Congress in 2010 to serve.

Chris’ mother is on Medicare. He has two daughters and a son. He is a decorated veteran who served four tours in combat zones and reached the rank of colonel. He has donated his military pension back to the US Treasury while serving in Congress because “it was the right thing to do.”

Does this sound like the attributes of a person who would vote for legislation depicted by Schreibman and the classless politicians that were responsible for these mailings?  Would a family man who has strived to live with integrity take actions that would harm his family?  In fact, Gibson did nothing of the sort!  Go to gibsonforcongress.com and each of the false accusations are addressed with the truth.

When you have nothing good to say about yourself, lie and pour money telling lies and with enough repetition you may get people to believe. Instead of stating what he would do to serve and protect the residents of the Upstate New York, Schreibman has relied on trash and lies.

In closing, I would like to quote a press release from congressman Gibson titled “My commitment: Putting Our Upstate Communities First.”  He says “…the NYCDEP watershed has been consolidated into a single district, the 19th. I will bring leadership to the issues by uniting the five counties and 41 towns. The citizens of the watershed deserve fair treatment and I commit to ensuring they get it.” That says more to me than misrepresentations and lies.

The 19th Congressional District has a wonderful opportunity to elect an honest man who understands integrity. I hope the voters take advantage and vote for Chris Gibson on Election Day.




Check out the website

I am supporting Claudia Andreassen for Saugerties town justice. Claudia’s work commitment and family values are second to none. She has worked 25 years as a probation officer, working with the judicial system to bring about a better outcome for all involved.

Claudia has demonstrated her aptitude for the position as she served as interim town justice since May. I encourage Saugerties residents to go to her website, or better yet meet her, and find out what she is about (www.voteclaudis.com). Take time to learn about all candidates, and then make conscious choices. Your vote does count. Make your choices based on who is best for the job.



Not very professional

I recently had to stop by the town hall to perform business in another office, but when passing near the tax-collection office I couldn’t help but hear a loud female voice complaining how stupid her last customer was. On further investigation I saw it was our current tax collector.

I informed the office I was doing business with about this, and they shared with me that this is a common event from her. I don’t find this to be professional behavior of any office or business. It would seem that the customer wasn’t the stupid one.

We need a professional. Don’t support this type of behavior. I am now voting for Cheryl DeForest.



My friend Suzi

With Election Day rapidly approaching, I’d like to tell you about Suzi Filak. Suzi and I have been friends for our entire lives, and for many years she was my neighbor, as we grew up two houses down from each other. She’s running for receiver of taxes, and she’ll be getting my support for a number of reasons.

First, she knows the job inside and out. She has been publicly endorsed by Peggy Nau, who taught Suzi everything she knows about the job. Suzi was able to take full advantage of Peggy’s 25 years of experience, learning every facet of her current job. The reason that Suzi is the incumbent is because of the training that she received from Peggy, and because Suzi proved that she was the right person for the job by doing it well.

Second, Suzi is heavily invested in her community. Anyone who has had children in Cahill School over the last decade, or who has had kids who play softball or baseball has probably encountered Suzi volunteering her time at school PTA/PTSA functions, or at Cantine Field at Little League games. Suzi enjoys her job very much, and I think that one of the reasons for that is that she’s truly a people person. Her years of volunteering in the community have helped

prepare her to interact with the taxpaying public in a friendly and polite way.

Third, since I’ve known her probably as long as anyone else, I can tell you that Suzi is a sincere, honest person who strives to give 110% of her efforts in everything she is involved in. She cares not only about doing her job proficiently, but also compassionately … the same way that Peggy always did.

On Election Day, vote for my friend Suzi Filak.



Taking responsibility

What happens when you do not do a thorough environmental impact study and develop property according to your personal whims?

Government regulation is not the answer. It is self-regulation that is essential. In this situation, the neighbors were within the regulations as a loophole exists between federal and state EPA regulations, and they fell into it, turning a swamp, a wetlands into a pond for their pleasure, disrupting nature far beyond their imagined consequences.

The result was severe flooding below the pond on adjacent property, a deluge of swampy water 1000 feet long, 80 feet wide, and three feet deep.

In our time, with the threat of fracturing the earth for natural gas (fracking), the melting of the glaciers, the rising of the levels of the ocean, the increase of CO2 in our atmosphere, we must be self-vigilant, and each of us must be part of the solution rather than the problem.

Just because you can do something is not an imperative to do it. Nature is affected by man’s behavior.

MPH (Master’s of Public Health)


The natural world

As our local weather gets stranger and stranger, I think that more people are becoming aware how dependent we are on the natural world.  We need politicians who understand the necessity to protect our farmland and other open space, who vehemently oppose fracking because of the water and air pollution observed in other states where fracking is now being done, who want to help us sever our dangerous and ever more expensive dependence on fossil fuels, and who see the jobs available for local people from installing solar panels and wind turbines.

The Sierra Club, founded in 1892, is the nation’s oldest and largest environmental organization with approximately 45,000 members in New York State alone; its Mid-Hudson Group has over 1900 members.  In state legislature races, the Sierra Club has endorsed Terry W. Gipson, Democrat, 41st Senate District race; Cecilia Tkaczyk, Democrat, in the 46th Senate District; Kevin Cahill, Democrat, for re-election in the 103rd Assembly District; Frank Skartados, Democrat, for re-election in the 104th Assembly District; Paul Curran, Democrat, 105th Assembly District; Didi Barrett, Democrat, for re-election in the 106th Assembly District. Julian Schreibman has been endorsed for the new 19th Congressional district seat, and Kirsten Gillibrand has been endorsed for a full term as United States Senator.

I am glad that volunteers in the various levels of the Sierra Club have done the work of separating glib statements from true environmentalism.  I’ll be using this endorsement list to guide my voting in November, and I suggest that you do the same.



A leader with vision

I am a homegrown Ulster County kid. I grew up in Saugerties and graduated from SUNY New Paltz. Like most of my friends whose families still reside in Ulster County, much as I would have preferred to stay local, I had to leave the area to find a good job. Sadly, Ulster County of today is not the Ulster County I grew up in and used to know. When IBM left our area, they left unused buildings and thousands without jobs.

We have people who are trying to bring prosperity back to the area, but it is not possible without leadership. We need leaders who can work with everyone, people who have vision.

Congressman Chris Gibson is the man who fits that bill. With bipartisan support, he has successfully supported initiatives to grow the Upstate economy and create jobs, including direct and indirect investment to local businesses through grant and loan program. He has championed policies of effective tax reform to lower taxes for the middle class and small businesses.

The congressman has been a leader in fighting government overreach, including opposing Environmental Protection Agency regulations trying to regulate spilled milk as if it were spilled oil, the Affordable Care Act’s burdensome requirement to file a 1099 form for all transactions of $600 or more, and that same law’s $500+-billion tax hike on the middle class, the largest tax hike in this history of our nation.

An army retired colonel and a PhD, congressman Chris Gibson is a middle-class warrior who leads by example and brings bipartisan solutions to the countless issues that we as a nation face today.

I ask all my friends and neighbors to support congressman Gibson. He will get Upstate New York back on track.