Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Back in February of 2007, shortly after this blog started to really kick off and get the small following that it has, I got a call from Jim Quigley, who at the time was not really involved in politics, other than a Republican committeeman in Ulster, he invited me to his house and we talked about my passion for politics and how he read the blog and he gave me advice on how to take it to the next level. It was a brief discussion and I really didn't have much communication with Jim until about a year later when I ran a successful campaign for his opponent Elliott Auerbach, probably costing him hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process.
To my surprise, when I was out of a job in the county shortly after that and in a great deal of soul searching of what to do with my life it was Jim Quigley that took the selfless act of again sitting down with me and helping me move forward and take the risk of leaving Ulster County for a shot at a better life in New York City, sharing his personal experiences, working in NYC and his success as the guy from Ulster County that made it big.
I can honestly say that if not for Jim, I am not sure this year would have been as good for me as it has, while life is not perfect, I have a full time job in NYC and am living on my own and making it as a young professional because of the advice and help of a guy that owed me absolutely nothing and just wanted to see a guy who he saw potential in make it, and for that I am extremely thankful for the friendship I have with Jim and I thank him for changing my life, I have grown and learned more in these eleven months than I have in the previous five years.
In that same time Len and Terry Bernardo, two people who again owed me nothing, befriended me and I am extremely grateful to them and would not know what to do without them.
Jon, M.A., and Stef my extended family who have always been there through good and bad, especially Jon my mentor and idol, sometimes I know I make him crazy but I know he knows deep down I do listen to his life lessons and am extremely thankful to call him my best friend.
And of course to my family, friends, and co workers at WFP and everyone that means so much in my life, thanks for always being there and Happy thanksgiving to all of you guys that come on here and read the nonsense and Machiavellian politics that I spew on a daily basis..all five of you :) Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
KINGSTON — Dean and Debra Palen's iron grip over the Ulster County Health Department created years of distrust, inappropriate cash management practices and extensive inefficiencies that put the public's health and safety at risk, according to an investigation released Friday by the Ulster County Comptroller's Office.
The 46-page report is the culmination of a five-month-long investigation by Comptroller Elliott Auerbach into the administration of former Health Director Dean Palen and his wife Debra Palen, who worked as his administrative assistant. The investigation focuses on the department's Environmental Sanitation Division, which, among other duties, is tasked with inspecting and issuing permits to restaurants, public water supplies and other businesses and utilities.
While the Palens' mismanagement did not lead to any major health crises, the report paints their 15-year tenure as a time of political gamesmanship, poor financial management and nepotism.
According to the comptroller's report, these are some of the signs of mismanagement that festered in the Ulster County Health Department from 1994 until June of this year, when the Palens' were ousted:
- Dean Palen often used permits for restaurants and other projects as a way to gain political friends. Staff report overhearing Palen say that his P.E. (Palen was a professional engineer) actually stood for “political engineer.” Any one of the county's 33 legislators could call Palen about a project and it would be put at the “top of the list.” When called to task for this practice, Dean Palen would say it was a “win-win”—Dean now had a friend in the legislator, and the legislator had a friend in whomever benefitted from the permit.
- Debra Palen had far too much control over the department. She alone processed the payroll, collected inspection fees, prepared enforcement documents against noncompliant businesses and “wielded a degree of authority and control substantially inconsistent with her position and job description.” Debra Palen's work was never audited or checked by an outside party.
- Despite whistleblowing by employees and the press, those who oversaw Dean Palen in his role as director did nothing to monitor his performance. According to the report, that's largely because Palen manipulated the oversight bodies to avoid oversight or responsibility. Critical state audits were addressed to him and nobody else. When one oversight board would question his performance, he would tell that board it was the job of another board.
“Not only was he a master manipulator, but it was a shell game over the last decade,” Auerbach told the Times Herald-Record. “When you lifted up a shell there was nothing there, but it was somewhere else.”
To read the full audit report, click the link to the right of this story.
For more details from the audit, check back later with Recordonline.com and read Saturday's edition of the newspaper.
I mean, come on, he can't expect to stay on, in less than 0ne year he lost the county legislature and two county wide offices that we could have easily one.
Julian instead allowed the far liberal radical left of the party, i.e. Terry Rosenblum to field candidates, and of course those candidates were not qualified and did not receive the proper support and failed to raise any money.
To think that you can run a lawyer that defended a cop killer t be county judge is laughable and to think they could pull this off with a chair that lives in NYC and has no ability to raise money is more laughable.
Julian Schriebman has been the worst chairman the party has ever witnessed and needs to be replaced as soon as possible.
Kevin Cahill, Elliott Auerbach and Paul Van Blarcum are all up next year and we can't afford to lose any of those seats.
Kevin, Elliott, Maurice and Mike need to sit down with Julian and tell him it's time to go. I think Brian Cahill would be a great choice to step up to the plate and fix our party...the sooner the better.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The new Ulster County Legislature will now be lead be veteran politico Fred Wadnola, who took out Majority Leader Brian Cahill in this November's election. While Blaber News supported Richard Gerintine to succeed current chairman Dave Donaldson, we have no problem with Fred Wadnola, who is a good guy. Wadnola, who has never lost an election, did three years in the county legislature and is a former two term supervisor of the town of Ulster and is certainly qualified for the position.
We supported Rich over Fred for two reasons: one, we thought that it's inappropriate to elect a chairman that has admitted he is only interested in serving one term in the legislative body. Effectively, Fred Wadnola starts his tenure as Chair on Jan. 1 as a lame duck. Secondly, we feel Fred Wadnola is too close to Albert Spada and anyway to minimize Spada in county government is is a good thing.
Again, I like Wadnola, he is a paid advertiser on this blog and my former elementary school principal and I want him to do a good job and think that he will. Blaber News asks that Fred recognise that the majority of GOP legislators that elected him to serve as chair are from the post-Spada Republican party and do not want to go back to the good ol' boy ways that existed under the Spada days.
We also feel that Fred should create a colition government and give Democrats an equal and fair say in county government, the people of Ulster County are sick of partisan politics and want someone that is willing to work on both sides of the aisle...here is your chance Fred, good luck.
The new Majority Leader Paul Hansit on the other hand, is a big mistake, the guy has no personality and has a clear agenda and axe to grind with County Executive Mike Hein. Note to Hansit: the majority of Ulster County like Mike Hein and wants him to succeed, your vendetta will do nothing to help the Republican party. The majority party will regret not picking Ken Ronk and it could cost them the majority in 2011.
Ronk would have been a leader that transformed the persona of the GOP being a bunch of old men and he would have been a voice that would have agreed with the Executive when he was right and disagreed with him when he was wrong.
Democrats made a solid choice in picking my county legislator Jeanette Prozanzano to lead the minority party, I love Jeanette and think she will do a great job leading our party.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Full analysis on this later. Also Paul Hansit will be Majority Leader, with Ronk as whip...once again the GOP gets it backwards.
Monday, November 09, 2009
A lot of opposition to Fred Wadnola and Jim Maloney for chair of the legislature...how about a proven leader like Richard Gerentine?
You know a Republican that will work with both sides and do what is best for the people of Ulster County.
Call your county legislator and ask them to support Richard Gerentine for Chair of the Ulster County Legislature!!
Key Legislators to call:
Brian Shapiro 845-679-6646
Robert T. Aiello 845-246 4028
Alan Lomita : 845-658-8730
Laura Petit 845-340-1293
Catherine Terrizzi 845-895-3252
Susan E. Zimet 845-255-2117
David B. Donaldson 845-331-8985
Peter M. Loughran 845-338-5369
Mike Madsen (legislator elect) 845-399-9644
A little about Rich :
For close to twenty five years, Richard Gerentine has served his community through a variety of elected, leadership positions that have entailed a broad spectrum of fiscal and management responsibilities. His thorough knowledge of federal, state, and municipal regulatory and policy issues coupled with his commitment to problem-solving and communication have enabled him to successfully foster relationships and build coalitions with individuals from a diverse constituency. While a member of town government, he sought to lower taxes through innovative budget reductions. As the chairman of the Ulster County Ways and Means Committee, and later as Legislature Chairman overseeing a 300 million dollar budget, Richard brings focus and energy to all that he undertakes.
Richard has held positions in government since 1984 beginning as Town Councilman of Marlborough until 1987, where he created and was responsible for oversight of a 23 million dollar budget. In 1988, he was elected as one of the youngest town supervisors in the Hudson Valley for the Town of Marlborough. He was elected to a second term and served until 1991. He then began his service as an Ulster County Legislator representing District 9. He has been re-elected to eight consecutive terms. He was elected Chairman of the Legislature by his colleagues and served for two and half years. His other legislature committee positions include Majority Leader, member of the Union Negotiations Committee, Chairman of the General Services Committee, member of the Human Services Committee and Chairman of the Ulster County Records Advisory Board where he was responsible for overseeing the establishment of a record management program under the jurisdiction of the Ulster County Clerk.
In addition to his years of dedicated work in government, Richard’s commitment to the needs of the community extends to his professional accomplishments as well. As General Partner of Marlborough Associates, LP, Richard began the development of senior citizen housing complexes. His first project, a 44-unit complex became known as Jenny’s Garden I, followed by the addition of a second 22-unit complex, Jenny’s Garden II in Marlborough. He later developed a 51-unit complex, Golden View Housing for the town of Highland’s senior community. According to the Rural Ulster Preservation Company (RUPCO) that provides property management for the Jenny Garden complexes, Richard’s developments offer much needed affordable senior housing, both attractive and comfortable, designed for community members whose income is 60% or below the Area Median Income (AMI).
Richard finds time to participate in community activities as a member of the Knights of Columbus, UNICO, St. Rocco’s Society and as a past coach for Marlborough Youth Baseball and Basketball. Also a volunteer position, Richard has served as a Commissioner of the New York State Bridge Authority since 2006. He majored in Business Administration at SUNY Ulster beginning in 1972, and received a Bachelor of Science degree from Marist College in 1975.
A resident of Ulster County, Richard Gerentine continues to have a distinguished career in private business and community involvement. In his position as Ulster County Chairman, he presided over a solemn Legislative Session held on September 12, 2003 in remembrance of the attacks of September 11, 2001. His remarks during that meeting reveal aspects of Richard’s character and the level of his commitment to his community. “The passage of time will not erase the pain and devastation which were felt by the citizens of our beloved country. Today, we thank God for the unity in our country and for the courage and commitment of our leaders…..I assure Ulster County residents that its government is committed to their safety and protection, and all measures possible are being taken towards this goal".
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Julian we don't want excuses or for you to apoligize, all we want is your resignation.
We the Democrats of Ulster County are giving you your two weeks notice!
An online will be started al Dems encouraged to sign.
Comptroller Auerbach, Assemblyman Cahill, and Sheriff Van Blarcum are all up next year and we can't afford to allow Julian to cost is those very important positions.
My hope is that County Executive Mike Hein, Congressman Hinchey, Assemblyman Cahill and Comptroller Auerbach sit down with John Parete and tell him it's time to step out of retirement. If John won't do it, I think Brian Cahill or Gilda Riccardi would all be fine choices but new leadership is needed fast.
The County Legislature:
We urge all Democrats to support Rich Parete for Minority Leader. Parete, a veteran lawmaker has the temperment and passion required of a leader of the Minority party and think Dems will be served well under his leadership.
For Republicans the choice is difficult for Chairman, I think Jim Maloney would be a good Chairman, he worked hard and partly responsible for Republicans being in the Majority.
For Majority Leader Ken Ronk has earned it and it would be good for the face of the Republican party to be someone under the age of 50.
No matter who ends up leading the legislature next year, expect the GOP to be holding Hein's feet to the fire every step of the way. We're confident in Hein's ability to govern no matter what party is running county government.
Monday, November 02, 2009
p.s. to all town of Ulster Residents : Vote Early, Vote often, Vote Cahill, Vote Quigley! Please say this phrase 5 times and get this stuck in your head before you go to the polls. Both are great people and both must be elected and reelected respectively today!
City of Kingston
Tom Hoffay **
Jen Fuentes **
Hayes Clement **
District 1 Terry Bernardo, TJ Briggs, Joe Stoeckler, Mary Sheeley
$30,000 is a lot of money in the last week of a campaign from one person.
COMMITTEE TO ELECT DEBORAH SCHNEER
MATTHEW SCHNEER8104 CHESTER STTAKOMA PARK, MD 20912