As majority leader of the Ulster County Legislature, it is my responsibility to ensure that the public is well-informed on all areas of the newly enacted Ulster County Charter. That obligation becomes more important when misinformation is being spread.
During this campaign season, some of my constituents have expressed an interest in how legislative reapportionment will be accomplished. Section C-10 of the Ulster County Charter is very clear in mandating the formation of a commission on reapportionment that is made up of regular citizens, eligible to vote in Ulster County and not holding an elective office. No legislators will be involved with reapportionment. The charter ensures that there can be no "gerrymandering," or setting up districts to favor one political party over another. Representation will be based on very strict criteria set out in the charter, including the keeping of districts within town boundaries whenever possible.
I urge everyone who is interested to see for themselves and become more educated voters. Read Section C-10 of the County Charter (available on the Ulster County webpage at: http://www.ulstercountyny.gov.) I am sure you will conclude that when the 2010 census is concluded, the Ulster County legislative district reapportionment will be conducted in a 100 percent bi-partisan manner.
Legislator Brian B. Cahill
Town of Ulster
Vote for Schneer
Of the two candidates running for Ulster County Court judge, only one actually has experience as a court judge: incumbent Judge Deborah Schneer. Before Judge Schneer was appointed by the governor to fill the vacant County Court Judge position - making history as the first woman to hold that position in Ulster County - she served for almost four years as a town justice in the Town of Rochester. Part of her responsibilities as a town justice included periodically serving as acting city court judge in the City of Kingston and presiding over full criminal and civil dockets.
Judge Deborah Schneer has 25 years experience as a practicing attorney, handling everything from civil rights and discrimination cases, general civil matters, and employment and labor cases. Her broad range of judicial and legal experience and her strong sense of personal integrity will ensure that all parties are given their day in court, all sides of an issue will be listened to, and that justice will be served in Ulster County's toughest court.
I'm proud to support Judge Deborah Schneer for Ulster County Court judge and urge all fair-minded voters to cast their ballot for her on Nov 3.
Landi, stay in your own ward
First, let me say that I am truly sorry to hear about Alderman Shirley Whitlock's husband, Gary Whitlock, who recently suffered a stroke. As a former alderman of the Fourth Ward, I am sure I speak for the entire community when I say all of our thoughts and prayers go out to Shirley and her entire family, and we all hope for a speedy recovery.
It was strange, though, to learn of this tragedy via a letter I received from the alderman of the Third Ward, Charles Landi, who felt it was his duty to not only inform all the Democratic voters of the Fourth Ward about what was happening in the Whitlock household, but who dares to tell us who we should vote for in the upcoming election on Nov. 3.
First, as a former alderman, I feel it would be my own responsibility as alderman to inform the constituents of my ward who have entrusted me with their votes as to what is going on in my personal life and if it might limit my ability and affect my performance in carrying out the needed tasks and duties of the office of alderman in the Fourth Ward. It is my opinion that hearing this directly from me would be a much better scenario then hearsay from some third-party politician from another ward.
If Shirley does not have the time to sit down and write a letter to her constituents explaining herself and her reasons for not being able to campaign or debate because of personal family reasons, maybe she should drop out of the race altogether and rerun in two years when her husband is in better health.
I know for a fact that Shirley had a very full schedule to begin with - even before her husband's tragic stroke, between her full time job at the family courthouse, her work as reverend at her church, acting alderman of the Fourth Ward and now taking care of her husband.
I do not see how any person can do all of these at once and quite honestly, at a time like this, politics should take a back seat. She needs to be concentrating on caring for and healing her own family.
Why is an alderman from some other ward telling me how wonderful my alderman is and how much she has done for me and trying to convince me that Shirley really "gets it" as an alderman? Shouldn't I already know this if I live in the ward?
Well, this is déjà vu, Mr. Landi! As you so eloquently put it to me several years ago when I was alderman of the Fourth Ward - and I quote you now - "Stay the h-l out of my ward!" So please take your own advice and let the people of this ward who live in this ward decide who speaks for them.
In your letter, you write, "Shirley's work with the Police, Fire, and Public Works Department has earned her the respect of the entire City." Well, maybe the city feels that way but as a Fourth Ward homeowner, I know that since Shirley took office two years ago crime has jumped over 60 percent. In fact, her own home just recently had an attempted break-in by a naked man on Prospect Street.
Now is not the time to cut six police officer's jobs from the city's budget, especially when you live in a Midtown ward, and as I see it, the mayor and the common council just don't "get it." The people want to meet and greet and know something about who is representing their voice on the Common Council before they elect them and not be told by some other ward's politician what's best for them.
At the end of Mr. Landi's letter, he asks the people of the Fourth Ward to volunteer to help Shirley and to go out and talk to our friends and neighbors and tell them about Shirley Whitlock and all she has accomplished for us in the Fourth Ward. Ironically, Mr. Landi doesn't "get it!" Why should we have to tell our friends and neighbors all about Alderman Whitlock and her achievements? In retrospect hasn't she been in office for the past two years? So "get this" - if we don't know her and what she stands for by now, we never will - now or in the next two years.
Schneer's the best
Having known Deborah Schneer professionally and personally for 20 years makes it easy to enumerate why she is the best candidate in the current race for Ulster County judge. As a retired teacher from the New Paltz Central School District, I have had occasion to hear her name brought up in professional circles, which confirmed my knowledge of her personally. Always, she has been mentioned as an attorney and justice with intelligence, high moral standards and a fair and respectful manner.
Before holding her current position as the first-woman-ever Ulster County Court judge, she was serving as acting City Court judge in the City of Kingston. Previous to that appointment, she had been the town justice in the Town of Rochester for four years. She has experience as a justice, of which her opponent has none. She, alone, has had the experience of having to listen to the arguments of both sides, maintain impartiality, and then having to evaluate, making the best decision possible.
This experience in making fair-minded, thoughtful decisions in her varied experience as a justice in our community is in keeping with Deborah as the person I know. A clear rational thinker, she has always wanted to know all the information before giving her considered opinion.
Deborah has had a 25-year well-established legal practice. In her experience as a legal representative, she has met cases ranging from town court to New York State Supreme Court as well as New York State appellate courts and federal trial and appellate courts.
A tireless worker, Deborah has developed a career based upon consistent study, excellent listening skills and a dogged determination to maintain fairness.
I am excited by her candidacy to continue her work as Ulster County Court Judge and look forward to watching her continue her good work.
Good summer in Wilbur
It was a lackluster summer. It rained - a lot. It really put a damper on the freewheeling spirit of the season. That is of course, unless you live in Wilbur.
On May 23, the "little hamlet" of Wilbur planted a community garden. It brought together a unique combination of local businesses and neighbors. It also reminded us of what's important; having and showing pride in where we live, while working together to move us forward in a simple way.
The Wilbur Community Garden turned a dull, lifeless corner that is traveled by hundreds daily, into an eye-catching patch of hope and pride in a city desperately needing to turn the corner of the future.
As the season changes and the garden fades until next spring, I would like to thank the following for investing their time, money and meaningful effort into allowing the Wilbur Community Garden to grow: The City of Kingston, Feeney Enterprises, Hricisak's, Herzog's, Jane Wagner, The Halwick Family, Mary-Jo Turner, Maria Yonnetti, Julie Noble, Mike Madsen and Lei Isaacs. Of course it would be impossible to mention community gardens without giving the ultimate thanks to Rebecca Martin and her tireless efforts to connect people with the community. Simply put, Rebecca is capable of leaping tall buildings in a single bound.
This fall and coming winter will be perfect for planning the next phase of the Wilbur's Community Garden. I can't wait to see what we can grow together as a community and look forward to seeing more community gardens sprout up next spring.
Support for Manuela
Election Day is coming and I'd like to express my full support for Manuela Michailescu for Ulster County Legislator from District 1.
From attending the same church in Kerhonkson to sharing activities related to the Historic Preservation Commission, from past election campaigns to town board meetings, I had plenty of opportunities to know Manuela. Hard working, enthusiastic, always paying attention to details, always following up, Manuela is a fighter for the right causes. Once involved, she uses her knowledge and dedicates her energy to the project or issue at hand.
Professionally, she is passionate about marketing tourism. She would apply her experience to improve tourism to Ulster County, especially to our neglected area.
Manuela Michailescu is the only candidate not endorsed by parties or politicians. Your votes on Primary Day put her on the ballot. She is your candidate.
If you want a strong voice for real change, the name to remember in the voting booth is Manuela Michailescu. You'll find her on Row B.
Diana Puglisi-Cilenti, MD
My fellow law enforcement officers and I feel compelled to write as we are deeply concerned with the appointment of Judge Deborah Schneer to replace Judge J. Michael Bruhn as Ulster County Court judge. Her appointment to the Ulster County Court bench was a mistake, plain and simple, as she is neither experienced, despite her claim to the contrary, nor qualified to hold that position. Being Town of Rochester Judge for three years is certainly not sufficient training especially since she had no experience handling felony cases.
Her obvious lack of experience with felony cases was recently demonstrated when she presided over a case that involved a six-time DWI offender. This offender was arraigned by Judge Schneer on his fifth DWI charge and then allowed, over the prosecutor's objection, to leave court without bail. Further aggravating her inexcusable decision was the fact that Judge Schneer was advised of that time that he had again been arrested for his sixth felony DWI offense. Each and every resident of this county should be appalled by this decision.
As sworn protectors of public safety, we are urging the people of Ulster County to undo Gov. Paterson's mistake.
Det. Robert Henry
Kingston Police Department
Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement and Narcotics Team
Budget tax increase too high
The proposed budget would reduce spending by $1.2 million and would require $300,000 less in property taxes. So far a win, right? Wrong!
The proposed budget plays with the homestead/commercial tax rate formula and shifts more of the tax burden to residences. I urge all of you to call your alderman/woman and tell them that you expect them to say no to this proposal and then prepare their plan for a budget with a 0 percent tax increase.
If they come up with the usual politician dribble or don't return your call, vote all of them out of office in November.
(Editor's note: There is no alteration in the homestead/non-homestead tax rate formula in the 2010 proposed city budget. The reason why residential property taxes are increasing and non-residential taxes are declining is that the value of homestead fell more than non-homestead properties, therefore there is a smaller homestead tax base from which to draw the levy.)
Williams is best for judge
On Feb. 4, 2001, our 21-year-old son Benjamin was a victim of a drunken driving crash which took his young life. Along with the unimaginable grief that followed, we were faced with the prospect of a painful trial. During that horrible time in our lives, then District Attorney Don Williams was there to help us navigate through the legal system every step of the way offering support, comfort and encouragement. We had never met Don prior to our son's death, but once we did, he embraced us like we were family. When he told us that his door was always open to us if we needed anything, we found that this was not just an empty cliché, but genuine based on the many visits to his office and phone calls that the following months brought. I know that our family is only one of countless others who have had our lives touched by his deep integrity and commitment to serve the people of Ulster County, and we can think of no one more qualified to serve as Ulster County Court judge.
Bob and Pam Ausanio
Thanks to all for garden help
It was an exciting and successful garden season in 2009 even with the enormous amount of rain and high winds.
The City Hall Victory Garden broke ground with a terrific ceremony on Earth Day in April. With the help of the Kingston High School ecology and biology students, the garden was planted and maintained all season long.
Other projects got underway that included a "seed to seedling" program, gardens at the Everette Hodge Center and Darmstadt Shelter for the children, a children's garden on South Pine Street that will eventually help to feed our local Queens Galley through their Operation Frontline program, and far too many home gardens to even relay.
What's more is that this season we watched the resurgence of gardens growing in our city schools. Currently there are active gardens in eight of our schools and more planned for the 2010 growing season. City of Kingston Environmental Educator Julie Noble (who also serves on the Kingston Land Trust) has done a tremendous job in helping to make this so.
I want to publicly thank Mayor James Sottile for being a supportive partner in this work. It has been a great pleasure to collaborate with him this year. Thanks, too, to his assistant Donna Fisher.
We lost a true friend in our efforts with Kathy Janeczek's untimely passing. My thoughts and wishes have been with her family and friends this fall season. Kathy's vision and helpfulness was a big part of our being successful with the important City Hall Victory Garden effort, and her spirit will continue to inspire my work as it deepens and expands.
As always, thanks to my cohorts at the Kingston Land Trust and to each and every one of the volunteers in 2009.
Wishing you all an enjoyable fall and winter season. See you in the spring!
Chair, City Gardens Committee
The Kingston Land Trust
Frankly, Frank is wrong
Having just returned from the rally for gay marriage in Washington, D.C., I am deeply disappointed by Congressman Barney Frank's comments that this effort was a "waste of time at best." While lobbying Congress may be a politically more efficient way of getting through to government officials, the rally was an important event for gays and lesbians, and their supporters, to connect with each other and ignite a passionate call for more action. Perhaps Frank is forgetting how demonstrations like this one helped motivate other civil rights and anti-war movements. Not all disenfranchised people can or will lobby Congress; they are doing what they can at a grassroots level to make their voices heard, inspire each other to bring the message back home, and push the movement forward. For me, it was a reminder that I need to do more at home to raise awareness, call my representatives, and become more involved. I don't see how that is a waste of time.
Spooktacular Sunrise Park
I am proud to say, as a Town of Ulster resident, that there are still some people in this world who care enough to put forth the effort to do things that provide enjoyment for others. I am referring to the neighbors in Sunrise Park. For those who are not familiar with this area, the neighborhood is made up of about 100 homes, and is located off East Chester Street. There are several residents who spare no expense when it comes to decorating for any upcoming holiday for the enjoyment of all passers-by. As my young grandson and I rode around this neighborhood one night, my grandson sat in the back seat wide-eyed at the thoughts of all the Halloween decorations he may see. We found many. Many of the houses here are decorated with beautiful mums, scarecrows and pumpkins, as one may expect to see come this time of year. The big surprises come as you ride down Riseley Street as it starts to get dark. Two houses next to each other fill their windows and yards with all sorts of treats, as they do any holiday season. The homes are decorated with orange and purple lights, and all sorts of ghosts, goblins, and witches fill the yards. It is wonderful to see, and to know that these people take such pride in their homes, and care so much about their neighbors that they invest their time into creating such displays for all to enjoy. In today's day and age taking time to extend one's self for others is just not something you see that much of anymore. Everyone is simply too busy rushing here or there, and feel that kids can get their amusement from the long list of the many new forms of technology, but their missing out on life's simple enjoyments. This is a neighborhood that my grandson looks forward to visiting every holiday of the year, as one home in particular, 265 Risely St., fills their large bow window with all sorts of lights and decorations for every holiday and season. This is always a sight to see for young ones, like my grandson, and those who are young at heart too. It's absolutely a treat. This looks like such a wonderful neighborhood, and I can only imagine how all visitors must enjoy the sights on Halloween night. Thank you to these people who provide these wonderful decorations for all to see, and for the lessons they provide to little ones, like my grandson - that life would be quite dark if others didn't extend themselves to provide "a little light" for all to enjoy.
Town of Ulster
I support Williams
I am writing in support of Don Williams' campaign for County Court judge. When Don Williams announced his candidacy for judge I was excited because I know Don and what he has to offer. He has been a strong leader while serving as district attorney of Ulster County for the past eight years. His dedication shines through his service and involvement in the community. He makes tough, independent decisions based on the law and common sense. Don listens to the concerns of citizens and keeps the best interest of the community at heart.
Don truly wants justice for individuals and the community. As a judge, Don would preside over a variety of criminal and civil matters. Because of Don's experience as district attorney, he knows when to make jail or prison sentence recommendations. He is not afraid to stand up for what is right. His experience as district attorney has exposed him to a variety of types of cases. Don has the ability to look at situations objectively, and that is what justice is all about. He has always advocated for our most vulnerable citizens, children and the victims of domestic violence.
He is an advocate for those who may not have a voice or the courage to stand up for their rights. He is compassionate and understanding in his dealings.
Difficult cases of all types are brought before a judge on a daily basis. Judges are charged with following the law and making decisions accordingly. Many times those decisions can be unpopular with certain individuals or groups, but those decisions have to nonetheless be made.
Don Williams has had experience making those decisions, many times envisioning the criticism and fallout that will follow. But those decisions are made and he faces them with the conviction.
Don has worked hard on important issues like reducing domestic violence and improving the lives of children and youth in Ulster County. As director of Family Domestic Violence Services, I have witnessed first hand his sensitively when dealing with battered women and the empathy he has for survivors of Domestic Violence.
Don has a wonderful family that he is devoted to. He knows what is important.
I for one would be proud to have Don Williams as our next Ulster County judge and know that battered women in the county would breathe a sigh of relief to know we have a judge who not only understand the complex dynamics of domestic violence but also truly cares about justice being served.
He is an intelligent, thoughtful person of conscience and will make a fine judge. Please support Don Williams for County Court judge.
Help us cut down on carbon
On Oct. 24, I'm joining with people from around the community at Hudson Coffee Traders, 288 Wall St., Kingston, at 3:30-5:30 p.m. We'll be inspired to tell stories from our heart about our love, worry and fierce determination to form community creative action plans that support this global project - and if we're doing it all by ourselves, it probably wouldn't matter. But we won't be - that day is a Global Day of Action on Climate Change, and there will be thousands of connected events in almost every country around the world.
The goal for all of them will be the same: to tell our neighbors, and our leaders, what the latest science makes clear - we can't tackle global warming unless we can get the carbon concentration of the atmosphere down below 350 parts per million (ppm). That sounds complicated, but it really isn't. It just means we need to speed the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. But the power of special interests means it won't happen fast enough unless we come together to make some noise for change.
Our event will be great fun, but it will have a serious purpose. Before the day is out, pictures of it and thousands of other actions will be all over the globe and on 350.org. But we want to make sure that people in our city know how they can play a real role in making the future work. Please join us!
Postupack is the best
In these times of serious financial problems of high taxes and low employment, we need government to run efficiently. This is the case with the Ulster County Clerk's department. Albert Spada ran this department with Nina Postupack as his deputy, and after many years doing an excellent top-rate job, Postupack took over and has made even more cost-cutting and revenue increases and streamlined the whole department. Postupack is a valuable asset to Ulster County taxpayers. This praise of the Ulster County Clerk's department has nothing to do with politics. It has everything to do with the common sense of having an experienced professional doing an excellent job, which then saves county taxpayers money.
Derek and Sheila St. John
Schneer has the experience
There has been a lot of talk about experience in connection with the race for Ulster County Court Judge. One candidate, Don Williams, has extensive experience as a district attorney. The other candidate, Deborah Schneer, has extensive experience as a judge.
I was a town court judge for eight years and I've been a lawyer for 25, so I've seen things from both sides of the bench. I have learned that a good judge communicates with the parties in court so that everyone knows they have been heard, that the facts and the law have been fully considered and that the result was arrived at in a fair and unbiased manner. Judge Schneer has proven that she has this unique talent. As a judge in the Town of Rochester Court, acting Kingston City Court judge and more recently as Ulster County Court judge, Deborah has impressed attorneys and court personnel alike with her decisiveness, professionalism and dedication to the rule of law.
Not every lawyer - or prosecutor - has what it takes to be a good judge. Deborah Schneer has demonstrated that she has those qualities. I encourage your readers to support this talented and experienced judge for Ulster County Court judge on Election Day, Nov. 3.
Sara W. McGinty
We can't afford Woerner anymore
When this young man was first elected supervisor, many town residents were hopeful that he would do a good job. He appeared to be a young man who had expressed a desire to be a good communicator and to work with the people of our town for a better government.
Little did we know that he would spend down almost all of the town reserves to the point last year where he raised taxes by 21 percent on an attempt to cover our losses.
As an example, in the four years he has been supervisor, he has used over $900,000 of the highway reserves and applied those funds to offset the taxes, while at the same time refusing allow the highway superintendent to purchase needed equipment.
This year, the highway department reserves are once again being used to lower the tax. The town supervisor has bonded $1.3 million to replace the aging highway equipment. He should have allowed the highway superintendent to purchase some of this equipment each year using the highway reserve fund balances. So we taxpayers will now have to pay for this error over the next 30 years.
To add insult to injury, he is using money from the landfill closure fund and applying this money to the town fund balance to offset taxes for 2010. This is against state law as per the state attorney general and the Consolidation of Towns. This money can only be used for capital projects.
We have apparently made a huge error voting this young man into office. He has successfully spent almost all of the town reserve funds. He has placed the town at risk of going bankrupt.
This is just one example of his inability to manage, resulting in over $2.9 million in unnecessary bonding that we taxpayers must now pay for.
As for being a good communicator, he has failed miserably. He never returns phone calls, not even to other governmental departments. I have spoken to many townspeople that say that same thing.
These are just a few of these mistakes this young man has made. The list goes on.
To protect our town, we must send him home and replace him with a true manager.
Robert J. Crane
Kudos to clerk's office
Last week, I visited the County Clerk's Office to obtain a copy of the deed to my house. While I was there, I noticed that the second floor of the building was decked out like a museum. Hanging in the hallway were rows of pictures drawn and painted by area fourth-grade students. Portraits of Henry Hudson and drawings of his ship were just some of the pieces of artwork. The creativity shown by these kids was amazing to me. It looked as if they were really embracing the history and not just reading about something boring from a textbook.
I stopped in to tell the clerk I thought the exhibit was fantastic and that I wished my own kids could have been there to see the posters. Luckily, she was able to provide me with a color booklet that had pictures of each drawing that I could take home with me to show my son and daughter. She also gave me two workbooks for each of them entitled "Archives for Kids" and "Biographies for Kids."
Many thanks to the Clerk's Office and to area schools for making learning fun and getting our children involved in the community.
Maryann F. DeGroodt
DMV was no ordeal
People are quick to complain when something goes wrong, but how many of us are willing to take the time to give credit where credit is due when something goes right?
Recently, I went to the DMV to register my car. What I expected is not what I got.
I had been having a terrible day at work and the last thing I wanted to do on my lunch hour was stand in line. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that there was no longer a line in which to wait. In its place was a machine dispensing tickets and some benches where I could sit and wait for my number to be called. In less than five minutes, I was at the window and the very pleasant woman who waited on me made the transaction quick and painless.
Thinking back to previous trips I have made to the DMV, I can honestly say that the process has never been so smooth. I certainly hope that they continue to be that smooth in the future. This ticketing system is a great way to defuse a potentially stressful situation. I think all public offices should consider getting one.
Save Kingston's parks! For over 50 years, the Department of Parks and Recreation has been a safe haven for young people in Kingston.
Now there is talk that the 2010 budget would eliminate the recreation department. I do hope this is a false rumor. For if this is in the soon-to-be-released 2010 budget, what is the message being sent to the children in our community and to the young families considering a move to our community?
Our aldermen need to know that this proposal is a poor choice in the use of our tax dollars and would cause more harm than good for the families of Kingston.
Please reach out to your alderman and the mayor to rescind this proposal, should it actually be in the 2010 budget.
Coordinator, We Care About Kids in Ulster County
(Editor's note: The proposed 2010 city budget does not eliminate the parks department, but it does call for the layoff of three staffers, leaving only Director Kevin Gilfeather and a handful of laborers.)
Polacco does a good job
Ward 6 in Kingston was highlighted in the news the past two years with the addition of the Quick Chek convenience store and retail gas installation. Residents of the ward along Albany and Harding avenues and Wrentham Street had reason to be concerned about the new facility and how it would affect the surrounding community.
Because of attention given to the new project, residents focused on the dangerous traffic conditions at the intersection of Albany and Harding avenues. Parking on both sides of Harding by Begnal Motors created narrowed and occasionally blocked driving lanes and poor visibility turning in and out of Harding Avenue.
We brought the unsafe conditions to the attention of Alderman Ron Polacco, our city council member. Although the business objected strenuously, Ron was able to provide a forum for the neighborhood at the Common Council. He represented the residents with determination and consistency at both the Safety Committee and the Common Council. Members of the majority on the council agreed with him and the ward residents that a substantial driving safety hazard should be corrected by creating a "No Parking Zone" along the northerly Quick Chek sidewalk on Harding Avenue.
The change has improved safety at the intersection by insuring two lanes for traffic on Harding, and increasing visibility for right and left turns into Harding from Albany Avenue. The improvement also heightens the appearance of the attractive Quick Chek facility. Alderman Polacco has proven he is able to work well with the majority members of the council. He appears to be an independent person who can look at other issues with objectivity and openness. He and his family are longtime Kingston residents.
We hope that Ward 6 residents will recognize his concern for the neighborhood safety issue that had been virtually ignored, despite complaints, for two decades. We look forward to bringing any other concerns to him and the council with hope of a fair hearing during the next two years.
Woerner has made bad choices
As we approach the upcoming elections, the people bearing the burden for paying to support local government are being overwhelmed financially. We in the great Town of Ulster are still reeling from the 21 percent tax hike and are facing another hike in our taxes due to a recent loan from an indebted bonding. Last year, the Town of Ulster Conservative Party presented the town with a budget carrying a 1 percent decrease. There were no cuts to any departments in that budget, but it was rejected. Cris Hendrick took the lead in putting this budget together with a committee that included Jim Quigley, John Morrow and Conservative Committee members.
Four years ago, we elected a young man that gained our respect in his third year of office but has since made very poor choices. Those choices directly affect the town's financial solvency. Our supervisor, along with three or four board members, spent all the monies left in our town coffers. They did this by raiding our highway funds that were set in place as ongoing funds that were built to replace equipment as needed. Now because there was no money left for equipment, our town had to bond $1.3 million this year. As this is only one of many weaknesses our town has incurred under his supervision, I will be corresponding with you on those points in the near future.
John S. Crispell Sr.
Auerbach's letter was off-base
In response to Elliott Auerbach's letter to the editor ("Quigley is mistaken," Oct. 15) he is off base in his interpretation of the Oct. 4 Daily Freeman article he references.
If Mr. Auerbach had an understanding of what is happening in the Town of Ulster, he would know that Supervisor Woerner had contracted the services of a CPA to "implement recommendations of the 2007 independent audit for the town." It should also be noted that although he was authorized to enter into this contract, he never followed through contacting this person to do the services. If you listen to rumors around town, he had told people he has this person in his employ.
What Mr. Quigley was quoted as saying was quite accurate, and Mr. Auerbach would hopefully have understood this, had he researched the facts by simply reviewing the 2009 town minutes, the yearly budget and the 2007 independent auditors report, completed in 2009. Nowhere in the article does Mr. Quigley state he would be taking on the role of independent auditor. What is clear is that his real-world experiences and education would allow him to manage the town in a more efficient way than is done now. This should result in more savings to the taxpayers, more accurate and timely reporting, better internal controls and a more accurate budget. (The general public at large usually only looks at the initial budget, not the actual budget as it is revised during the year.)
I suggest that Mr. Auerbach spend his time wisely, doing the job he was elected to do, and if he wants to comment on town or city politics, do us a favor and research facts. Don't try to put a spin on or misconstrue other people's words.
Linda A. McDonough