Who is the real Democrat?
There has been some talk that Marjorie Block, one of the Democratic nominees for Town Board, is not a Democrat. That is not correct. Marjorie, as a community activist, was an nop, meaning she was not enrolled in a political party. When she decided to enter the political arena she felt that she had to take a stand and register in the party that “represented her values.” She stated that she had proudly enrolled as a Democrat. That is a fact and in no way did she deceive the public. As with any new registrant in a political party, her enrollment will become official after the November election. Marjorie strongly supports all the candidates on the Democratic slate and has organized events and fundraisers to help the ticket.
Now, let’s talk about real deception. Krista Barringer, who sought the Democratic nomination for Town Board, chirped that she was a “lifelong Democrat.” Yet anyone who put through a foil (Freedom of Information Law) request for Republican petitions would see that she carried petitions for a Saugerties Republican candidate for the Ulster County Legislature as well as other county-wide and state Republican candidates. In addition she carried an Independence Party opportunity to ballot petition for Republican Supervisor Kelly Myers. In fact, she witnessed Republican petitions before and after she came to the Democratic caucus seeking our nomination.
Ms. Barringer is on record as supporting Republican Kelly Myers for supervisor. Like two peas in a pod, Kelly Myers supported Krista’s candidacy on her Facebook page, essentially throwing her Republican Town Board running mates under the bus. Neither seems to have any allegiance to their political parties.
I leave it to you to decide who the real Democrat is. Is it the newly registered Democrat who is working diligently for our Democratic nominees and Democratic values, or a lifelong Democrat who consistently tries to undermine them while supporting Republican candidates.
Chair, Saugerties Democratic Committee
Town comes first
I recently learned of a Letter to the Editor penned by Democratic chairman Mike Harkavy attempting to slander my lifelong Democratic values. I registered as a Democrat on Feb. 24, 1988. I believed then, as I do now, that I was joining a party of people who believe the country is greater together then we are on our own; that this country succeeds when everyone, including individuals from other parties, does their fair share and plays by the same rules. I believed I was joining a party that stood for a complete civil rights law as well as workers’ rights and women’s rights. I believed then, as I believe now, all individuals, regardless of party, deserve the right, the respect, and the opportunity to work together for the greater community.
What I did not know is that I was represented by a Town Democratic Committee that expects all to walk the same walk and talk the same talk; having and expressing a difference of opinion appears to be a threat to the current Saugerties Democratic Committee. As stated during my Democratic Search Committee interview, I feel Kelly Myers is the right candidate for the job. She brings a fresh eye to the position and seeks to include all voices, not just her party, in the discussions and decisions of the community. I was done with the backroom decisions and deals of the last administration that resulted in a substantial budget deficit, a dropped Standard & Poor rating, and questionable administrative practices. I seek a professional town supervisor who will be here, in Saugerties, daily and during major storm events, and not spending much of the year at a second home in another state. And yes, I supported Kelly’s efforts to not only attain this position but also keep it through the petition process. I am proud to say Kelly is my friend and she is not afraid to take on the challenges left behind by her predecessor. I carried Independence Party opportunity to ballot petitions for myself as well as Kelly and I encourage all Independence Party members to write in Kelly’s name in the September primary.
Unfortunately, having a different opinion was not acceptable to the current Saugerties Democratic Committee leadership. What is acceptable to this leadership is attempting to call out my support of individuals from all parties, while endorsing a candidate slate of Republicans, Independence, and No Party voters as well as the last-minute token Democrat. I challenged this committee leadership to change its history of endorsements to actually support a registered Democrat, and not individuals willing to jump to whatever party will give them a line. I will continue to seek a slate of candidates able to speak for themselves and not as a mouthpiece for the Democratic Committee leadership. I seek candidates that are true to their own values, whatever they be, that are willing to work together for the entire Saugerties community.
It was also acceptable to this party leadership to allow a candidate, who registered as a Democrat in May and as of today, is still not listed on the rolls of registered Democrats at the Ulster County Board of Elections, to vote at the Democratic Caucus; although they readily admit she will not be a registered Democrat until after the November election. This complete violation of the party’s own caucus rules appears to be acceptable to not only the committee leadership but the candidate herself.
I never desired to publicly speak ill of the Democratic Committee leadership nor their slate of candidates, but Mr. Harkavy’s attack cannot and will not be accepted. As I stated in my original Letter to the Editor, I respected and attempted to follow the Democratic Committee’s process and rules. Despite Mr. Harkavy’s attempts, I intend to remain a lifelong Democrat as I believe in the party’s values. I also intend to support and endorse my friends, individuals who I know understand that once they are elected to office, they serve the entire Saugerties community and not just their party leaders. I encourage all town of Saugerties voters to closely examine this year’s candidates and vote, not for party-led obstructionist, but for those who demonstrate an ability to work together, encourage public input prior to policy decisions are made and follow the rules for the good of the entire town.
Helsmoortel deserves thanks
Mike Auer’s gotta be kiddin’ (Letters, 7/18/13)! Greg Helsmoortel’s accomplishments for Saugerties are a mile long – consolidation of town services, the Kings Highway water and sewer project (at no cost to Saugerties taxpayers), expansion of the Empire Development Zone, grant funding for the skate park and the Glasco Water Park and much more. Kelly Myers’ “accomplishments” can fit into less than a thimble, so if the worst you can come up with is the lie that Helsmoortel had the temerity to clean the office for his predecessor, his win is assured. This would be a great thing for Saugerties since Myers’ tenure seems to be essentially for her own aggrandizement, starting with her demand for a $15,000 increase in salary before she even sat down in her clean (NOT cleaned out) office.
Really, Mike, you ought to check your facts before you make a public statement. And the next time you use the skate park, try thanking Greg.