Letters (2/7-2/14)

Nothing improper about safety net budgeting

Again I must answer improper accusations by [Joe] Roberti Jr. against me and our Town Board. His rant about the police consolidation is as incorrect as last week. It was planned properly and saved money. He then goes on and accuses the previous administration of creating a shell game regarding safety net expenses. Safety net assistance is available to all residents of Ulster County but the cost is charged to the town where the recipient is residing at the time of assistance no matter where that person came from in order to get the housing and assistance. Saugerties and many other municipalities did not budget nor pay for the safety net charges and let the county re-levy this amount on tax bills, which the county accepted and did. We have felt this charge was unfair and the assistance should be shared by all.

In the spring of 2012, I was no longer supervisor, the county notified the towns and the city that it would no longer re-levy and towns would have to pay the billed amount. At this time the county also said it would gradually take over the full cost of safety net within three years. It was, and is, felt that the safety net charges should be a county expense and not an individual municipality expense; this is the reason why towns and the city did not budget for it, a form of a protest. Applause to the County Legislature and County Executive Michael Hein for changing it. When Jr. says the old supervisor (me) did this to “manipulate the budget to falsely show a low property tax increase” he is also accusing many other supervisors, Republicans included, in Ulster County of doing the same thing; it was not to manipulate, it was an accepted practice by the county. We were governing and using our experience to get the county to spread this expense to all residents of Ulster County, rightfully so. This transfer of expense to all County residents will save the residents of Saugerties a considerable amount of money in the future. As we did with the police consolidation we are planning ahead, governing for the future. Jr.’s last paragraph is a despicable rambling of untrue accusations and statements. To call the current Town Board and me “dishonest” is a very dangerous statement.

Greg Helsmoortel
Saugerties

 

Good Samaritan in Mt. Marion

On Wednesday, Feb. 6 at about 8 a.m. my car hit an object on Route 209 South, just past Sawkill Rd., resulting in a flat tire and bent wheel rim. I called AAA (since we pay for this service) but the dispatcher could not locate where I was in order to send a tow truck. As I was reading the mile marker to AAA, a mini-van pulled off 209 and the fellow driving offered assistance. I hung up on AAA (I’d still be waiting for them to find Route 209). With two full knee replacements in the past 16 months, I’m not quite ready for removing lug nuts and tires so this help was readily accepted. The fellow said he was a mechanic and proceeded to cheerfully change my flat in the 20-degree weather. “Donut” in place, I heartedly thanked him and he went on his way. Yet “Bob from Mount Marion” was a Godsend and I only hope I can “pay forward” his kindness and generosity to someone else in their moment of need.

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Richard W. Bodenschatz
Saugerties

 

For the record

Robert Ford did a great job getting the tone right in his reporting on the beginnings of proceedings on the request to demolish Clovelea [commonly known as the Dragon Inn]. A few things were off but we’re always trying to tie down history and we’re learning more all the time. But it’s the part about an unsigned application that should not become a default part of our history by publication.

The misunderstanding is Mr. Snyder’s and it made up a large part of his presentation. What R. F. was picking up was the assumption that the owner needed to be part of the process; therefore his signature. That’s not in the law. The property was unoccupied, open and decaying in 2007 and the Review Board had been, in a typical Friendly Saugerties way, trying to get Mr. Wu to do the responsible thing since before 2003. Finally the Review Board presented the property for designation as proxy for the community. This is its responsibility under the law when a landmark is in danger. The signature could have been anyone’s, though, or even someone from the United States Department of the Interior that we ultimately, as the Review Board, have to answer to if we act irresponsibly and ignore our own law.

We’re here now because of a quirk in our law. Though the Review Board has the power to designate in order to save, its resolutions to save are administrative and not in its power to enforce. What you see at Clovelea today is from lack of enforcement, not lack of demand.

Everyone is an interested party when it comes to protecting our heritage. I hope this becomes an occasion for more understanding of what historic preservation really means to the town and village of Saugerties and every good and conscientious citizen in them.

Michael Sullivan Smith
Member, Village Historic Review Board Chair
Town Historic Preservation Commission

 

Demand a recount

I am very disappointed that Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk, a little known candidate that has no political experience, stole the election right out of the hands of George Amedore, the expected winner. Why are the Democrats such sore losers that they feel they have the right to repeatedly challenge elections each time they lose? And more importantly, why did Amedore concede so willingly without challenging these newfound results? Come on, people! It’s impossible for Tkaczyk to have won by only 18 votes!

Something’s fishy. How can she come forward with previously invalidated absentee ballots at the 11th hour, so late in the game? Isn’t this just a little suspicious? Going on a scavenger hunt to “find” more votes after the Democrat is declared the loser smacks of fraud. There are legitimate reasons why certain absentee ballots are deemed invalid, so how could they suddenly became valid? Why was the law bent in Tkaczyk’s favor? Why is she refusing to play by the election rules the rest must follow? And just when were Tkaczyk’s new ballots received? Where did these suspicious 18 or so votes come from? And has anyone challenged the legitimacy of these initially invalid votes? Is anyone asking questions? This woman was a widely unknown candidate with no political experience, and her campaign was heavily financed with $500,000 by a shadow organization funded by a foreign political billionaire who favors Democrats. No one should be allowed to buy a seat in our government using these unconscionable tactics when our constitution is there to protect the people from this type of fraud. A candidate is supposed to be elected by the people, not occupy a Senate seat bought with hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars and be trusted to make laws that the legitimate voting citizens of this state must follow, and the corrupt politicians making the laws do not.

The people are up in arms (pun intended) as we witness the erosion of our freedoms from our Democrat representatives. With eyes wide in sheer disbelief, we watched our governor punish innocent law abiding citizens for violent acts committed by a deranged murderer as he arrogantly passed unpopular anti-gun legislation during the middle of the night in a back room deal rather than find a real solution to a very real problem in America. But Cuomo was bent on blaming someone, and with his eye on the next presidential election, he rammed his anti-gun legislation down our throats, breaking US constitutional laws in the process. With one stroke of a pen his political aspirations vanished.

At this critical time we need patriotic politicians to uphold our Constitutional rights and stand up for our freedoms, and we call on Amedore to immediately come forth and challenge this so-called election. If the GOP fails to challenge these newfound results, we can’t help but feel abandoned by the party and the candidate. Even worse, it has become common knowledge that democrats do not stand by the people and for the people, but rather push the liberal agenda heading America down a path to socialism and eventual communism. Please demand a recount, as we believe these very few “extra votes” are fraudulent and quite impossible to believe. We don’t put anything past the Democrat’s overzealous ambition to get themselves into office and slowly erode the freedoms of the American people in full frontal view. It’s clear that this country is in dire need of election reform, and at the top of the list is political contribution reform so that people like Cecilia Tkaczyk, an unknown candidate just off the family farm, cannot buy a NY Senate seat financed by a foreign billionaire with a political agenda for America. Elections have consequences and the American people need to take back their government by taking back their voting rights. As soon as we tackle election fraud in this country, we badly need term limits for all elected officials. That would be a good start.

Donna Greco
Saugerties