Don’t feel powerless
Central Hudson’s attempts to sell itself to foreign financers is a threat to the Hudson Valley’s economic future, to say the least. But obscured in the astonishment over what a bad deal CH is offering the region is the opportunity this crisis presents to power our future sustainably and profitably. This region has a unique chance to fashion a renewable energy economy here, that would create jobs and investment with a reliable, flexible and abundant energy supply powering a thriving example of smart growth.
The idea of an international holding company called Fortis acquiring complete ownership of Central Hudson, and thus taking control of our energy supply out of local hands would sound absurd if it wasn’t being actively pursued so diligently by a few top executives, like CH president Steven Lant, who may be receiving a personal buyout of $8 million if this deal is approved.
If the deal secretly negotiated by top Fortis and CH brass is accepted by the state Public Service Commission, the few stand to make millions of dollars while everyone else, including Central Hudson shareholders, literally have the power for our economic future sold to a single bidder.
Many shareholders don’t even know they will lose all their stock if the current deal is approved. The company is being sold to Fortis at a lower value than the stock was worth just two months ago, and Fortis would own all Central Hudson shares. It’s not a merger, it’s a bargain takeover, by an international conglomerate whose record in places as diverse as British Columbia and Belize reveal a willingness to play dangerously fast and loose with infrastructure, public safety, the power supply and investor funding, with any losses made up in higher rates paid by customers.
Ironically enough, current shareholders are already losing money by paying for the ubiquitous ads of distorted “facts” as the company desperately tries to woo public opinion. Yet, the deal is so bad that everyone from Senator Schumer to local village boards officially oppose it once the true facts become clear to them.
With Central Hudson selling us out, the time for phasing in a new energy policy is now. Lucrative energy options are plentiful. Most productive is simply energy efficiency and upgrades. For example, the little town of Rosendale pays over $45,000 annually in street lighting costs for an antiquated system owned by Central Hudson. Imagine the economic boost to the region, and the jobs bonanza, if Central Hudson were to invest in upgrading Rosendale and dozens of other historic cities and towns.
The investment would pay even more if for example, the Poughkeepsie-based company whose highly efficient LED lighting illuminate the Walkway over the Hudson, were contracted to design and produce the fixtures, adding a local manufacturing component to a jobs program for professionals from electrical engineers and field workers to factory hands making the lighting equipment.
Street lighting could be just a beginning — school lighting and lighting on government buildings would add additional jobs and capital investment to the local economy.
And efficiency is only the first step, a way to create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas immediately, without resorting to a carbon tax that fossil fuel interests hate. Investing in wind, solar and other diverse energy options has spin-off effects ranging from regional energy security to job security. If our energy is created locally, the jobs associated with it stay local, as does the knowledge to keep it running in challenging conditions. A local distributed energy system creates huge economic benefits, not the least of which is that no single event can cripple an entire region’s power supply. If municipalities, businesses and homes produce at least a portion of their own power, it creates far more stability and reliability, a fact that businesses find attractive when looking to site facilities. The equation is simple, energy efficiency and renewable energy means jobs and investment here.
I am seeking the nomination for town supervisor at the Republican Caucus Wednesday, June 19 at the Frank Greco Senior Center at 7 p.m. Unfortunately, I will not be able to personally talk to every voter to detail my program. So here is a portion of my message:
1. Property taxes continue to rise to amounts which are unsustainable. The amount of real property taxes paid to the town rose from $2.6 million in 2009 to $6.149 million in 2013. I will work to eliminate all wasteful spending. Recognizing the very difficult economic time we are living in I will not seek nor accept an increase in the salary of the position of town supervisor.
2. I will examine the feasibility of shared services with the village while being mindful of the autonomy which village residents have enjoyed and keeping in mind the impact on taxes and employment.
3. I will work to attract and retain private business and industry to Saugerties which will provide jobs and careers.
4. I will make the office of town supervisor user friendly by scheduling Town Board meetings at a convenient time, by allowing a more flexible arrangement for public comment and scheduling sufficient time for pre-board meetings.
5. I will continue to oppose unnecessary and costly mandates. I have experience in opposing subsidized rental housing projects which would have been devastating to the tax-payers. I will continue to be a staunch supporter of private property rights and single family homes which are the cornerstone of a strong economy. The people of Saugerties know me and know I am a person of integrity and action and will always put Saugerties first.
6. I owe no political favors to outside interests — the people of Saugerties are my sole concern. My commitment to my fellow citizens is to do everything in my power to enable them to retain control over their rights and property.
The results of this caucus are critical for the future of our town and the lives of private citizens. I urge all Saugerties Republicans to attend our caucus and I ask for your vote for town supervisor.
Schirmer is a smart leader
I am writing to ask you to vote for Bill Schirmer at the Republican Caucus on Wednesday, June 19 at 7 p.m.
Bill is seeking to be a Republican candidate for Town Board. To be honest, I cannot say enough about Bill. I have known Bill a long time through the Saugerties Fish and Game Club. Bill has tremendous leadership qualities, he is able to make decisions and stand by them, he is a man of integrity, and, boy, is he smart. Bill is just what we need on the Saugerties Town Board. Bill is fiscally conservative, committed to upholding our Constitutional rights, and only wants what is in the best interest of Saugerties. I know that Bill will work hard for everyone in the town of Saugerties.
So, please join me in supporting Bill at the caucus and cast your vote for him.
The change we need
Dear friends, it has been an honor to serve as your Saugerties Town Supervisor. We have made excellent progress with tightening financial controls, improving and repairing town infrastructure, assuring public safety, and strengthening our local economy. Every day I feel grateful to live in such a wonderful community, with such great people who really care. Yet, there is more work to be done. On June at 7 p.m. in the Sr. Center on Market St., registered Republicans will come together to choose their candidates at caucus.
Please come to the caucus and cast your vote. We can create the change we need – if we work together.
Thank you for your support!
Peace & blessings to you and your families.
Saugerties town supervisor
Support for Kelly Myers
I urge all Republican to attend the June 19 Republican Caucus and support Kelly Myers for Town of Saugerties Supervisor. Kelly has being a very hard worker for all taxpayers of Saugerties over the past two years. She always has the best interest of all Saugerties taxpayers. She has stood up to developers who don›t feel the need to pay their fair share of taxes which they agreed to pay and she also stands up for our environment as the turbid water, (mud water) from the Ashokan Reservoir which damaged the Esopus Creek has stopped. Kelly is an advocate for the dredging of the Lower Esopus Creek to revitalize our waterfront, retain the Coast Guard Cutter in Saugerties, reduce flooding, and improve marina business and recreation. She currently sits on the Esopus Creek Conservancy Executive Board.
Kelly also wrote two drug laws which were passed. The laws prohibit the sale and possession of synthetic drugs and paraphernalia. EMS workers said that removing synthetic drugs from convenience stores has helped to significantly reduce hospitalization from drug overdose. Kelly has a strong love for our children, volunteering as Girl Scout Leader Troop 60197, Rip Van Winkle Council Boy Scout of America as a merit badge counselor, Saugerties Council of Churches Vacation Bible School and the list just goes on.
Kelly has worked very hard over her first term and accomplished much. She has earned your vote. Again, I urged all Republicans to come out and support Kelly Myers for Town of Saugerties supervisor.