Saugerties Republican Party has lost its way

nice-elephant-drawingThe Saugerties Republican Party must be returned to Saugerties Republicans and no longer function as the private club of Joe Roberti Jr. The return of Helsmoortel to town supervisor was assisted — either intentionally or unwittingly — by the Town of Saugerties GOP chairman, Joe Roberti Jr. and likely one other who claims to have retired from politics just a couple of years ago but instead has taken on a stealth position in the Republican party.

Supervisor Helsmoortel is continuing the agenda of his predecessor, Kelly Myers. Helsmoortel is pursuing implementation of “smart” water meters despite January’s billing fiasco in which many residents were overcharged.

Government subsidized housing is again a prime consideration and now public hearings are planned for Monday, June 30. The primary beneficiaries of these housing projects are the developers. The misfortunes of the prospective residents are being exploited by developers and politicians together for their own agendas.


Those astute in party politics knew long before the Republican caucus that in order for a Republican candidate to win it would be necessary to obtain the support of the Independence Party or Conservative Party. Why then would the Saugerties Republican party boss spend most of the party’s money to support Kelly Myers, a candidate with a poor track record who had alienated herself from the Conservative Party and had very little chance of gaining the Independence line (since Helsmoortel had enrolled in the Independence Party and thereby received its endorsement)? The Saugerties Republican Committee chairman provided very little campaign support to other candidates on the Republican ticket. And now that the damage is done. What does Roberti do? He blames the Republican Committee members with whom he has not met for over one year. He has accused and pursued disloyalty charges against many of his hard working committeemen, and he refuses petitions to former and current members of the Republican Committee who have a long track record of supporting Republican values.

Joe Roberti Jr. could pretend that Kelly Myers would be re-elected, but without at least one more line, Conservative or Independence, a loss was all but guaranteed. Roberti Jr. promised to oppose and prevent any challenger. Challengers who were opponents of expanding government housing projects presented their intentions to oppose Myers but Roberti Jr. vowed to go to any length to prevent their success at the GOP caucus. Additionally, he did nothing to help Republican county Legislator Bob Aiello, who lost to Democrat Chris Allen, thereby leading to the loss of Republican control of the legislature.

Recently, the Hatch Act of 1939, which prevented certain government employees from running for public office, was changed. This change now opens the door for Roberti Jr., a former county legislator, to reenter politics. The loss of Bob Aiello cleared the way for Roberti to run without having to challenge another popular Republican.

My intent in writing this letter is to enlist participation in restoring the Saugerties Republican Party to one that reflects Republican values. Few know about the simple process of becoming a committeeman, which requires obtaining 20 signatures of registered Republicans residing in their voting district. These petitions can be obtained on line at The deadline to file is July 7.

Gaetana Ciarlante