Saugerties Times letters

The Saugerties Post Office (photo by Will Dendis)


Ice Arena project reflects poorly on current town administration

I am disappointed with the lack of planning and poor timing of the ice arena project. This project got a late start, was loosely planned, and had too many delays. The process should have been thought through and managed more carefully and with more professional input.

The project specifications were not reviewed by the Building Dept. or Planning Board before bids were solicited. The bid process was initiated very late and as a result the bids were not even received until May 24. The ice rink project was originally scheduled to be completed and opened in September and now, here we are mid-October just getting started with the initial demolition phase. The construction phase is next and who knows how long that will take.

The deadline of 11/16/19 for the $500 per day contractor late penalty is fast approaching. I sincerely hope that if construction is not fully completed with an approved Certificate of Occupancy, by 11/16/19 — that this penalty will be strictly imposed. It’s my understanding that reinstalling the sprinkler system was left out of the plans and will cost an additional $25,000.


What we have now is a rushed job with delays and hidden costs yet to be realized. This does not look good for the administration that’s overseeing the project and it’s even more frustrating for the kids who are losing a big chunk of their season.

Kelly Myers



Vote Ivino

I first met Mike Ivino nine years ago when he wanted to join the fire service and I was Chief. As a enthusiastic and energetic young man he has been an asset to the department since joining. Spending countless hours responding to calls, training and assisting at work parties, Mike has climbed his way through the ranks and was just recently elected Captain of the Cedar Grove Fire Company for the year 2020. In 2018 he was elected to the Board of Fire Commissioners where he has work along side of me and three other fire commissioners serving the community and the district we serve. I feel confident that Mike will bring a new, younger and brighter perspective to the Town of Saugerties Town Board when Elected.

Vote Mike Ivino on Election Day

Randy Ricks

West Saugerties


Paul Andreassen’s many commitments to Saugerties

Nicole Roskos questions why Paul Andreassen would not finish his remaining term on the Board and compares his length of service to Fred Costello’s. Why? Just who is Nicole Roskos? She’s the Democrat’s candidate for the Board, along with Democrat candidate, Fred Costello, and Paul and Fred are vying for the supervisor position. So, if Paul Andreassen needs a civics lesson, I’m sure the last person he would consult with would be Nicole Roskos.

Paul is a member of the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency and liaison to the Historic Preservation Commission, Sewer and Water Advisory Board, Diaz Ambulance, Tourism Committee, Ethics Committee, Planning Board, Zoning Board, Building Department and Water and Sewer Department.

Paul is a former Navy Seabee, photojournalist, building contractor, home inspector, building consultant and senior building official in four municipalities and state codes instructor at the NYS Dept. of State Codes Division, and currently teaches the course at Columbia-Greene Community College.

Paul knows more about environmental laws than most anyone on the Board, having worked first-hand as the Town’s Code Enforcement Officer for ten-years handling hundreds of cases dealing with floodplain management, wetlands, steep slope construction, etc. Paul and staff fought against many hazardous environmental quagmires to the satisfactory conclusion of shutting down both the Shott Mining operation and The American Candle Factory. During years of litigation, not one board member or supervisor attended the hearings, meetings or court proceedings. That they sit through these meetings, regarding Karolys, is their choice, so if the supervisor and other candidates are looking for votes, “high fives” or photo-ops, they will wait a long time. These matters take forever to adjudicate and filling the gallery with cheerleaders won’t alter the outcome in any way.

Paul also sat on the Ulster County and Town Planning Boards for seven-plus years. He is ready to be supervisor and stop the duplicity, patronizing, lack of transparency, the ignoring input of board members and catering to the special interests of the few, and to manage the town the way it should be managed for all people.

As a member of the Paul Luke Band, they performed for hundreds of causes throughout the Town and surrounding counties for 40 years, so don’t badger Paul’s commitment to any cause, because he’s done more for this town than most people give him credit for or even know. No lightweight, he is a man of integrity. He’s never charged for mileage involving any of the public service or volunteer committees, boards or associations with which he was involved. He’s a true and committed public servant who believes in “doing your bit and then going back to the farm (metaphorically speaking, your day job).”

Paul Andreassen is indeed ready to finish his commitment to our town board — but from the chair where he will serve us best.

George D. Heidcamp, Sr



For Leeanne Thornton

I consider writing this letter as a minor payback to Leeanne Thornton who I have had the honor of working with for 11 years.

I write as the founder and President of Lifespring: Saugerties Adult Learning Community, which as most Saugertesians know is an LLI (Lifetime Learning Institute) and one of the few in the country that is Town rather than University sponsored. Leanne was on the Town Board when Lifespring was created and has served these 10 years as our liaison — always available for advice and guidance.

Leanne was also the liaison to the Town of Saugerties Historic Preservation Commission when I was first appointed in 2007, and there too, she was available and quick to help. She has worked hard for Saugerties and I hope that she can continue to serve our town.

Please come out and vote on November 5th.

Susan Puretz



Support Schoonmaker

I am in support of John Schoonmaker for Ulster County Legislature. Please do not let John’s age deter you from considering casting your vote for him. Yes, he is a very young man in the political arena but his ideas, knowledge of important issues, and maturity level go way beyond his years.

He has met with me and has worked tirelessly in an effort to grant parity between the Town and Village of Saugerties in what I feel are two very important issues. John has given more effort than other member of the Town Board and has taken my questions and concerns seriously.

Sometimes age is not a factor in wise decision making, please give John the opportunity to serve the residents of Saugerties, in District 2 in a different capacity.

Christine Aiello



For Costello, Thornton

Sixteen years ago, I was honored to second the nomination of my friend Leeanne Thornton for the Saugerties’ Town Board. Sixteen years later, I am equally honored to support her re-election to that same board.

Leeanne has shown absolute conviction in serving her beloved community, and with Town Supervisor Fred Costello Jr., both have worked hand-in-hand to make Saugerties the vibrant, growing and prosperous town that it is today. I love living here and knowing that we are being led by experienced, caring, accessible, and trustworthy leaders like Fred and Leeanne.


Please join me in voting for Leeanne Thornton for Town Council and Fred Costello Jr. for Town Supervisor. Both are committed and passionate about the future of our Saugerties town. As the old colloquialism goes: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

William Yosh



Costello, a man of integrity

Legendary basketball coach John Wooden said “sports doesn’t build character, it reveals it.” The same holds true for politics.

I have known Fred Costello Jr. for years as a friend, a town board member, and as our current Saugerties Supervisor. In all those years, I’ve marveled at his positive vision for Saugerties

Fred is a team player, who seeks input from all our citizens regardless of their political point of view, and as a candidate he has never entered into negative campaigning.

Fred has guided Saugerties forward over the last two years with class and dignity. I am supporting him for re-election as our Saugerties Supervisor and I know he would be honored to receive your vote on Election Day.

Mike Harkavy



Voting for Leeanne

On any given day Leeanne Thornton might be found here, there and everywhere representing Saugerties and engaging with her constituents regardless of party affiliation at various gatherings, meetings, celebrations, festivals, car shows, auctions throughout town.

Recently, as the Village and Town grapple with issues of aquatic invasives, one example of Leeanne’s straight-forward and practical approach to solving problems was her addressing the Ulster County Legislature to request that the County purchase equipment needed to assist in the remediation of invasive aquatic plants from Ulster County waterways. This equipment might be shared with multiple towns/villages through the County as part of the successful shared services program, removing the burden of purchase from local town budgets. This sure sounds like a win-win proposal on many fronts.

Leeanne’s energetic support for the arts, the environment, local businesses and Saugerties kids, just to name a few, are reason enough to support her re-election to the Town Board.  I hope you will join me in voting for Leeanne and keeping the positive momentum flowing.

Virginia Luppino



Misconceptions about Town Council candidates’ affiliations

It seems many voters are unsure of who is running for Saugerties Town Board and what each candidate’s party affiliations are. The only Democratic endorsed candidates are Thornton and Roskos, for Town Board, and Fred Costello, for Town Supervisor. I met Nicole Roskos and was very impressed with her. She is a mother who is  passionate about our special town, the place where her son will grow up. And she has a doctorate in environmental studies. Dr. Roskos(!) will work to keep taxes down and our economy strong, while also protecting our environment and making our community even more climate smart.
Nicole Roskos and Leanne Thornton definitely have my vote for Town Board. And Fred Costello, the incumbent Town Supervisor, has done an impressive job and merits another term. He has kept taxes stable with his diligent work on sustainable energy in our town.
Deena Rae Turner



Join me in voting for Kavanagh

In May, 2011, I was the victim of a felony crime. Specifically, breaking and entering, and theft. At that time, I had lived at my address for 52 years and had never before felt so violated and threatened in my own home. The police worked on a three-month investigation, gathering evidence and interacting with the District Attorney’s office. The criminal responsible was arrested in August, 2011, and I could finally get to sleep at night.

In the following weeks, I was quite surprised to learn all the rights my criminal had. It took time, legal expertise and attention to detail to present my case to the grand jury, and to ultimately secure a conviction. The Assistant DA in my case was Michael Kavanagh Jr.

Since that time, Michael has continued his work at the District Attorney’s office, advancing to Chief Assistant DA. He has the experience, expertise and energy to manage the office, and work with the law enforcement to prosecute and obtain convictions for felonies, thereby providing representation and justice to the real victims of felony crimes.

Please join me in voting for the most qualified candidate for District Attorney, Michael Kavanagh Jr.

Richard J. Praetorius



My budget experience

During last week’s presentation of the Ulster County Budget, there were some interesting additions to Ulster County Government’s budget which bring our total spending for the 2020 fiscal year up to $ 341.3 Million Dollars. As the only candidate in the District 2 County Legislative race with county government experience and having had experience setting policy guidelines for county government to follow, I will put forward four policy setting resolution proposals during my third term in office.

Specifically, I will write resolutions that address additions to the Ulster County Office for the Aging, the shortage of housing around Ulster County, the creation of an alternative healthcare network for opioid addicts who are in drug treatment centers, and a suggestion of policy steps to persuade the New York City DEP to follow in order to improve upon the cleanliness of our waterways that run downstream from the Ashokan Reservoir. Having served on the Ways and Means Committee for three years, I am the only candidate with experience analyzing and voting on government budgets which are over $325 million dollars. To put this in perspective, the Town of Saugerties budget is $8.6 million dollars. This is less than the amount of funding that was applied from Ulster County’s Fund Balance towards making the 2020 County Budget have a .25% reduction in property tax assessments. During a transitional period in Ulster County government with three different County Executives and three different Comptrollers within 12 months, I am the only candidate with budgetary experience and policy setting experience, and I am the only candidate who understands what a County Legislator can and can’t do from a lawmaking perspective, a policy setting perspective, and I am the only one who understands how county spending is distributed, where the money comes from and how cuts can be made if an impending recession leads to less sales tax revenues coming into Ulster County.

Chris Allen


It doesn’t matter what the letter is

Growing up in the age of 9/11 and the Iraq War, I watched as our country seemed to tear itself apart, fighting over whether someone was a Republican or a Democrat. In our daily lives, it seemed to be a growing consensus that you had to consider only someone’s party registration when determining whether or not this individual was someone you could support. Now, it is far worse and we watch daily as partisanship tears our country apart. Compromise has become a dirty word.

As a young individual who has remained within this community, I’ve watched as partisanship and political strife has filled up our local discourse. However, even more, I’ve seen voters express how tired they are of the constant infighting based on party at the local level. I have always lived by a simple creed, “It doesn’t matter what the letter after your name is. It matters what you’re going to do when in office.” We need to focus on issues, focus on creating a greater quality of life for Saugertiesians, but with a cheaper price. We need to focus on protecting our local environment, keeping taxes low and affordable while ensuring quality public services, and encouraging local business development. That is what I plan to do as a member of the Saugerties Town Council.

On November 5th, the only thing we should care about is who is the best person for the job, not whether or not someone has a D, or an R, or I, or an XYZ after their name. I’m running to be a Town Councilman for all of Saugerties, not just for those who support me. I am running on the idea that we can still reach for our better selves and put partisanship aside so we can put Saugerties first.

Michael Ivino

Candidate for Saugerties Town Council



Support H.R. 3

This week, many Saugerties residents received via US Mail a flier regarding House of Representatives Bill 3 (H.R. 3). The flier is misleading and you should know the truth about it.

What the card says: The large card portrays pictures of the elderly and workers in hard hats and warns that the proposed bill will cost jobs, hurt access to health care and inhibit research into new drugs and it admonishes the reader to call Congressman Delgado and express opposition to it.

The truth: The title of H.R. 3 (which does not appear anywhere on the flier) is the Lower Drug Cost Now Act and the sponsor is Nancy Pelosi. You can find out more by visiting Simply put, the purpose of the bill is to prevent the pharmaceutical industry from continuing to force the American public to pay 4 to 10 times (and in some cases 60 times) what citizens of other countries pay for prescription drugs. It allows Medicare to negotiate for the price it pays for drugs and, counter to the impression given by the flier, the major benefactors of the bill will be the elderly and the working class. The bill also has a provision to put money saved into furthering research and development for other drugs. Clearly, this flier is put out by Big Pharma in an attempt to protect its exorbitant profiteering.

If you do call Congressman Delgado regarding this bill, you may want to express your support for it.

William Barr



Climate emergency now

I was proud to read about Climate Smart Community status for Saugerties, first township  in the state. Congratulations and thanks to the Town Board and the Conservation Advisory Commission (CAC) Task Force! Special thanks, I hear, are due to Town Board member Mike MacIsaac, liaison with the CAC and to Mary O’Donnell and Patti Kelly of the CAC and Task Force for strenuous work.

Saugerties is also taking a lead against climate breakdown on another front. On October 15, our three County Legislators (Dean Fabiano, Joe Maloney and Mary Wawro ) will have introduced Res. 409 declaring a Climate Emergency. When this passes the county legislature, as it should, Ulster County will join the Town of Saugerties as one of the few jurisdictions in the USA with the vision and judgment to have made such a resolution, like that passed in Saugerties on August 15 by the Town Board. Saugerties (and I hope, Ulster County soon) are preceded by New York City, Boulder CO, Ojai CA, Crystal Bay Twp MN, Montgomery County MD and Los Angeles. Select company!

Declaring the emergency is step 1. After that must follow specific legislation and policy to respond to the emergency fast enough to save our living earth. Our Town, our County and our State must move. We cannot now look to the federal government.

Please thank our Town Board Members, CAC  and  your Legislator. More than that, call Governor Cuomo at 518-474-8390 (takes less than 1 min). Message? “Declare A Climate Emergency for NYS now. Back it up by banning all new fossil fuel infrastructure in our state.”

Stephen Shafer



Tree canopy importance

Many wonder what I mean when I talk about the best practices regarding our trees in the town of Saugerties.

Thankfully, the Shade Tree Policy was established by the town last year. When the town cuts a tree for whatever reason, they replace it by planting another tree in the vicinity. We can build upon this to care for our own yards, woodlands, and forests. A Tree Commission for the town, like the in the village, could help facilitate.

Our tree canopy is essential: trees clean our air and provide oxygen, cool us in the hot summers, insulate from the cold winds of winter, and absorb carbon from our warming planet. As many if not more trees need to be going up in our town, as going down. Our air, and water, health, our whole ecosystem benefits. Native trees that grow fast, and absorb a lot of carbon are the best choice. Fruit and nut trees would provide food for our community. Planting more on a local level will only improve our neighborhoods in Saugerties and reduce the impact of the climate situation. As a mother I think about my son and his children. Planting trees is the most steadfast gift we can give children and grandchildren of Saugerties.

Nicole Roskos






There are 3 comments

  1. Just saying...

    WOW just read former town supervisor Kelly Myers letter. She’s disappointed in the lack of planning by the current administration regarding the ice arena project. The process should have been thought through and managed more carefully with more professional input. The project was not reviewed by the building department or planning board before bids were solicited? WOW

    I know its election year and the current administration was excited to get this project passed, perhaps for votes, but now we are learning that the sprinkler system was left out of the plans and it will cost taxpayers another $25,000? In addition, possible $500 a day penalties? What was the town supervisor thinking when he rammed this project through? Now I understand why Mr Andreassen abstained that night, If I was on the board I would have done the same thing. Just saying…..

    1. Southern Sawyer

      I think this represents how the current administration runs our entire town. Just because you get elected does not mean you can do the job well. We could probably all find something our town has done that makes no sense or is a waste of our money.

      I regards to the current supervisor, do you want a pizza guy making decisions or do you want a person that has served our country, our community, charities and had in other communities for a well rounded knowledge of what should be done and how it should be done.

      This ice skating ring has a very narrow group of users, to spend this much money without public voting, ram it thru the process and get it wrong even before it starts with some unknown issues down the road to surface is just bad service from our leaders.

      I agree Mr Andreassen, needed to make a statement to show the severity of the bad choices our current decision makers make that affect all of us.

  2. Skater

    Well I am disappointed that the ice rink project is being politicized by Mr. Andreassen and his supporters. It’s too bad he didn’t have anything useful to add until the vote on the bid…which he then abstained from. This project has been in the works for a very long time and no one could have predicted the delays from the company…although project delays aren’t really that rare. If it wasn’t an election year, there wouldn’t be as much fuss. And if Mr. Andreassen had some better input to improve the project, it’s too bad he didn’t provide it on a more timely basis. I’ve known for at least 2 years that the rink was going to be worked on in this time frame.

    The rink is a public place that is open for the entire community and it attracts others from nearby communities as well. People live here because of the rink.

    Also, in response to the poster above…the $500/ day penalties are paid by the company…it isn’t more money being spent on the project.

    I’m glad the project has started and I look forward to the election season ending so it is no longer a political issue. I say this as someone whose life is directly impacted from the rink closure having to travel out of town multiple times a week.

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