Myers is posturing, not governing
I keep hearing about Kelly Myers’ “courageous” new approach to the town budget and tax cuts. Her logistics included requesting meetings with department heads to discuss budget worksheets, but never following up to actually have any of those meetings before she presented the budget. Next, without even having presented her proposals to either the department heads or the Town Board, showing it to her Republican Committee allies for feedback and to the press to gather political momentum by claiming tax cuts. Remember, even Ms. Myers called this a “draft tentative” document and as such it was a bit early to claim its final form’s effect on taxes. It had yet to receive any review to determine its workability or legitimacy.
Indeed, it did not pass muster: $108k had to be added back to make the Police Department functional, PBA negotiations are in question, it didn’t provide proper funding for the Building Department for training required for its continued certification and there are many reported questions on its ability to meet the town’s contractual obligations.
Ms. Myer’s “new approach” was to put forward an unvetted document, first to political insiders, secondly to the press, with unproved claims about tax reductions. She then blindsided her own department heads and Town Board so any questions on the validity of her cuts could be framed as opposition to taxpayer relief rather than a reality check on the authenticity of the document itself. The reality check is now underway and her shortcomings are being revealed.
Of course everyone wants tax relief, but unilaterally undermining town departments’ effectiveness or ignoring contractual obligations in the guise of being a champion of the people is a political maneuver, not a legitimate way to construct a budget. As the Washington Post said of the national Tea Party antics with the budget, her new approach had “Everything to do with posturing, and nothing to do with governing.”
Memory lane for Kelly Myers
Here are the facts:
Even before she took office, Kelly Myers requested that the board include an additional $15,000 in the budget to cover a raise for her.
Myers is accused of having too many executive sessions— which she had campaigned against.
Myers failed to pay town bills on a timely basis, thus unnecessarily costing taxpayers large sums of money in late fees— claiming it’s difficult for her to find the time to sit down and review checks.
Myers mailed unsigned checks payable to vendors and employees. Fifty such checks were returned for her signature. She dismissed it as having “made a mistake!”
Myers failed to provide board members with the final draft of the 2013 budget prior to the board meeting, “…aside from Myers, Town board members had not received the final draft of the budget before voting on its adoption. The board members took a few minutes before their vote to look over the changes that were made to reach the final spending plan for the coming year.”
Myers failed to inform the board prior to the 2013-budget vote that $300,000 needed to be added to the budget to co er the cost of Safety-Net. County officials stated Myers had been well informed by the county prior to the final budget submission.
The board voted 4-1 on a settlement with the Birches. Myers, unhappy with the board’s decision, and in an unprecedented move, abandoned her supervisor’s position during an open public session, went up to the podium and “chastised” the remaining four board members, including her own deputy supervisor, James Bruno, who said, “I was in shock, I couldn’t believe what she was saying.”
The board voted 4-1, agreeing to sign an agreement with a former town employee. Myers, unhappy with the board’s decision, rejected the decision of the board and refused to sign the agreement. Councilmen Bruno and Leighton said Myers’ refusal to carry out the will of the majority of the Town Board sets a bad precedent, while Costello said her refusal to sign the deal is a failure in leadership.
During the 2013 budget process, Myers again asked the board for a $15,000 raise while simultaneously planning cuts for others.
During her 2011 campaign Myers said, “My priorities include good communication and collaboration, and work together and respect each others’ opinions while disagreeing.”
Myers secretly sent an e-mail to “party boss” Joe Roberti, Jr. (excluding the Town Board members) enlisting his help with the 2014 budget.
If you oppose the actions detailed in this letter, then it’s time for change. Saugerties’ residents deserve better! Saugerties needs a leader who will not only keep fellow board members and the public well informed about town issues but will respect their opinions without subjecting them to a public scolding.
We need a leader who will: work with all board members regardless of political party not repeatedly and selfishly ask taxpayers for excessive and expensive raises each year adhere to Open Government Laws and be transparent at all times and, finally, keep government off our backs and out of our wallets.
That Leader is Gaetana Ciarlante—she will not disappoint you!
Please vote for Gaetana Ciarlante for Town Supervisor, ROW C, Tuesday, Nov. 5.
The Greg we know
Like many residents who love Saugerties, I have known Greg Helsmoortel and his family for most of my life. A person can only be honored to have such an honest hard working man as a friend. Some recent partisan and negative letters being published about Greg are ludicrous. People in this great town who know Greg as I do, like him and trust him. I look forward to his new term as supervisor again, and I know a lot of other voters who feel as I do.