Thursday, December 22, 2011

Blaber News Person of the Week Brian Woltman

For 2012 I resolve to update this blog on a regular basis and I also plan to bring back some of the great regular spots I used to have like pin heads and patriots (which I took from O'Reilly) but it was fun to do on a local level. I also would like to bring back the Blaber News Person of the week.. I used to write something nice about someone ever week and post it on the blog. Usually this person is someone that is a local official, volunteer or someone that is newsworthy or was newsworthy for that specific week.

 I first met Brian back in 2006 when I was doing my tv show, I had to pay a parking ticket at city hall. Brian introduced himself and said he had saw the show, after that I would run into him from time to time and we became friends.

I did a story about Brian's help back when city court had to be moved for renovations, Brian had done a lot of work on the mechanics of the move, far and above his duties as the city purchaser for the City of Kingston. That's not unusual for Brian, Brain takes his work at City Hall very seriously and many times will go above and beyond what is expected of him in his role in city government. However Brian has the same  seriousness and dedication about most things.

This past year Brian helped a lot in Shayne Gallo's race for Mayor. Woltman was one of the original five people that were on Gallo's committee from day one and was a loyal supporter in good times and bad. Woltman was a loyal solider, he nominated Gallo with his infamous: Gallo gets it speech and put himself out there as a city employee to some extent and it's very honorable, to pick a life long friendship over the possibility of losing your job, if you back the wrong horse.

There is some talk Brian may run for a seat on the legislature when his current legislator retires, and some would say he is the heir apparent to that seat. He has my vote and is this weeks person of the week.

Coming next few days 2012 Predictions

 In the next few days, I will do my 2012 predictions, I thought it would be fun to go down memory lane and look at the predictions I made last year.

On December 28th 2010, I did a blog post on 2011 predictions, and some I was pretty good on and some I was way off on..but actually for writing these in Decemeber of last year, I think I did ok..I was dead on about the Kingston races and this was way before any of the candidates had announced, some had not even thought of running yet.   <~~~~~ post from December 2010

Kingston Mayor Jim Sottile will not run for reelection or finish his full term in office.

I was right on the money on Sottile not running, he is finishing his term.

Kingston will see primaries on both the Democratic and Republican sides for the office of mayor.
Was accurate on prediction number 2, which was a good call being I made it in December

The winner of the Kingston Mayor's race will be a Kingston native and established politico, although considered some what of an underdog in the primary, his huge primary win gives him great momentum and an easy win in November..a few Aldermen may be tapped to serve in the administration, leaving some open seats and special elections in key areas of Kingston.

For the most part with the exception of only the special election part, this predication came true.

Kingston's Ward 6 will continue to have solid representation and the Ball will start moving forward bringing Kingston on the right track, another candidate will make some noise about running but he will quickly and swiftly be shut down

four for four!

The common council will remain solidly Democratic..two former Aldermen will make a run for the council will be successful, one will not.

half right on this one

Kingston will elect it's first female Alderman at Large; in fact the election in 2011 will guarantee that a female holds the post

dead the time I was thinking Provanzano vs. Levin

A bright charismatic former prosecutor and Kingston trial lawyer will be elected Ulster County District Attorney. The new Democratic D.A. will quickly transform the Ulster D.A.'s office in similar ways Spitzer transformed the NYS AG's office and will eventually go on to hold statewide office.

ok...I was wrong on that one too...ah, what could have been.

A Democrat will run on the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines for County Executive; Mike Hein fighting on the Democratic and working families lines will be reelected by an Andrew Cuomo type margin.

Wrong on that the time I was think Zimet may run

Incumbent legislators that will not be returning to the county legislature after 2011 : T.J. Briggs, Donald Gregorius, Richard Parete, Mike Sweeney, Robert Aeillo, Fred Wadnola, Jim Maloney, Jeanettee Provanzano, Al Lomita, Jack Hayes, Frank Fellicello, Sue Zimet, David Donaldson, Marybeth Maio
(note only two of these incumbents will lose their reelection bids, the rest may chose to retire with the redistricting, others (3) may run for higher offices.)

I was wrong on eight of these..but I was right Sue did run for higher office. When I did this Rich and Rob where going to be in the same district, I thought Jeannette was running for Alderman at Large...I did my best.

Two ulster co. legislators will be investigated and their reputations "trashed" for unethical relationships with a county agency

...nothing to this one...

A high ranking county political appointment will be "encouraged" to take early retirement rather than face termination

was wrong on this one

With the Democratic ranks swelling, and the Republicans shrinking, Julian Schrieman will be challenged from within the party to act more like the Majority Chairman and less like a casual observer

this may still happen..

A new local, middle of the road political party will be talked about to take advantage of the huge number of non enrolled voters

to be fair, I didnt write this one haha

Reapportionment will be the battle of the year in the County Legislature. The Republicans will not accept fair districts and force court action....again.

pretty accurate...this ended up being a huge issue

In the end it does not matter, Mike Hein's coattails and a Cahill returning to the legislature (and we don't mean Kevin, Mr. Malloney) bring Democrats back to the majority party, although it will be close.

Oh I wish Brian would of ran..he would of been that one vote I was talking about that would of given Dems the Majority :(

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Not my back, not your's Auerbach

 Auerbach and I in June of 2008 after his big convention win! I was much bigger than :(

I was looking on Facebook and came across some great pictures, this picture was taken moments after Auerbach won the Democratic convention in 2008 in his bid for County Comptroller, he went on to win the general election over Republican Jim Quigley. Elliott's race was the first serious race I was involved with and the beginning of a great friendship.

It may seem like a dumb post about a picture that was taken three years ago but when I look at it, it brings back a lot of memories. That was a big night for me, I felt accomplished, I was part of his team and I was proud of him and I looked up to him, I still do. Elliott was the first person that ever gave me a chance and took me seriously in politics and I am very grateful to him for that and he remains someone that has serves as a political mentor to me. He's a great guy and doing a great job as our county comptroller.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Congrats Majority Leader Hoffay

Alderman Hoffay will become Majority Leader Hoffay on January 1st. I was hoping for Robert Senor for no other reason than that Bob was a loyal Gallo supporter but I wish Hoffay the best. Tom will be a good Majority Leader, he is very bright and very savvy.

Hoffay who is retiered said he would make sure the office of Majority Leader has regular hours for new Dem Alderman (there is 4 of them) and that is a really good thing. I think everyone has full confidence in Hoffay's ability moving forward.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Can Kingston Dem Boss Cardinale Hang On?

Traditionally, The chief executive is the titular head of his party, so if the Mayor has differences with the chairman...Oh Well, there's only one boss.

                                                  -Hugh Reynolds, regarding Kingston Dem Boss Frank Cardinale

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More Election Night Pictures

Love this pic: Chairman Gartenstein, me, Mayor Gallo and mama Gallo

Photo credit: Dan Barton, Kingston Times

Bernardo Secures Votes For Chair

Monday night it became official: Legislator Bernardo secures votes to be first female chair of Ulster County Legislature. Very good news!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Here and There

 Carl Belfiglio sent me this picture from election night, Mayor elect Gallo, Kayla and I..def the three coolest people there that night :)

 David Donaldson played a good game of chess and was able to become Minority Leader of the Ulster County Legislature yesterday. It's a shocker being that the race was set to be beteen Rich Parete and Hector Rodriguez, from what I hear, I am giving limeted details becasue I was told in confidence, an outgoing legislator tried to influence the vote and it of the contenders dropped out and their votes swung to Donaldson. I'll give more details when I can..I'm not part of the caucus and it's not appropriate for me to devulge the information.

It is interesting Jeanette Provanzano did not seek another term as leader, many had speculated she had unfairly lost support for bucking Hein on Golden Hill, Dave Donaldson has also been a very outspoken critic of privatization, has a complicated relationship with the executive to say the least. I can't imagine Hein is happy with Dave leading the caucus and their relationship may come to a boiling point during the new 2012 legislative session.  Again, I would have prefered Rich Parete but Im glad Dave is Minority Leader, the leader should be from Kingston, Kingston is the county seat and Dave knows his stuff, I wish him the best.

In Kingston, I first reported that Bob Senor would probably be the new Majority Leader in Kingston, however, I hear that Alderman Tom Hoffay may have the votes for the post. Democrats hold a solid majority on the council with 7-9 seats in Dem hands

The breakdown as I see it:

Hoffay: Dunn, Hoffay, Carey, Ball

Senor : Mills, Senor

Up in the air is Shirley Whitlock... I say that becasue there is a rumor floating that she may go for the post but the support is probably not there at this point and if she decided not to run, I see her voting for Hoffay over Senor.

Note: The breakdown is just an educated guess on my part and may not be 100% accurate.

Mayor elect Shayne Gallo held a meeting at Little Italy as part of his listening tour to address residents concerns and to give the public an oppertunity to talk with him. I think this is great and really sends a loud and clear message that the Gallo administration will be open, transparent and have a high level of accountability. Kudos to Mayor Gallo.

There will be two more listening sessions if anyone is interested in talking with Shayne :

Dec. 19: Everette Hodge Midtown Community Center, 15-21 Franklin St., 7 to 9 p.m. Topic: “Community voices,” intended for community advocates, the faith community and other concerned citizens.

• Dec. 20: Seven21 Media Center, 721 Broadway, 7 to 9 p.m. Topic: Needs of the business, real estate and non-profit sectors, with focus on a Business Advisory Task Force to be developed in the city.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Donaldson New Minority Leader, Rob Parete Whip

Donaldson to be New Ulster County Minority Leader

Dave Donaldson was elected by the Minority caucus to serve as their leader. Rob Parete was elected Minority whip. Congratulations to Dave Donaldson, I would of preferred someone like Rich Parete but Dave is a former Chairman and will do a good job I wish him the best.

It will be interesting to see who County Executive Mike Hein has a better relationship with; incoming Minority Leader Dave Donladson or likely legislative Chairwoman Terry Bernardo...Ironically, I think smart money says Bernardo.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Here and There

Election 2011 has come to a close and overall it was a good year. I am very happy that Shayne Gallo won the Mayor's race in Kingston and that Jim Noble was reelected to another term as Alderman at Large. I know the Gallo/Noble team will bring good things to Kingston. Kingston will move forward, crime will decease and economic development will start to happen.

A lot of credit should be given to Mayor Jim Sottile, he served Kingston proudly for 10 years and did a lot to get Kingston on firm financial footing. He has a lot of critics, some deserved, some not so much. Like him or hate him, he served with his heart on his sleeve and did a lot of great things for Kingston. File me as a supporter of Mayor Jim Sottile.

I agree with Alderwoman Jen Fuentes, override Cuomo's 2% tax cap this year. Local municipalities have the right this year to override the Governor's two percent mandated tax cap. Overriding the cap this year will help protect the City's fund balance and not completely handicap Mayor elect Shayne Gallo next year. Speaking of Jen, I am sorry to see her go, she is a great Alderwoman. I am glad this year I have gotten an opportunity to get to know her better, even if I drive her crazy sometimes. :~) Jen is a true believer in good government and an asset to this community.

The new Kingston Common Council is going to do well. I'm excited about new faces like Matt Dunn, Elisa Ball and MaryAnn Mills. The new council is made up of a lot of great bright people that will serve Kingston proudly.

The race for Majority Leader appears to be between Alderman Bob Senor and Alderman Tom Hoffay. The race for Minority Leader could end up being decided by Chairman Tony money says Debbie Brown has an edge but I honestly have no idea.

Speaking of political party officials, rumor is Tony Sinagra is going to be asked to resign at the next City GOP meeting.. there are a lot of possible replacements...maybe even Ron Polacco. I also hear rumors that Frank Cardinale may throw in the towel but those rumors are unconfirmed. With the possibility of two new political leaders, a new Mayor and a majority of freshman common council members, Kingston may finally get the change they have been asking for. You can almost smell the fresh air being released into city government.

Holly Carnright was reelected Ulster County District Attorney, his opponent Jonathan Sennett is one of the brightest and greatest people I know. I am proud to have voted for him and proud to call him my friend and that is all I have to say on that subject.

Republicans have held onto control of the Ulster County legislature by one seat. Fred Wadnola the current chairman of the legislature did not run for reelection and a new chair will be elected by the legislature come January. The Republicans are taking an informal vote for leadership next week but with their slim one vote lead, Democrats will also have a say in who will be chairman.  Right now the race is shaping up between Legislator Terry Bernardo and Legislator Jim Maloney. I hear there are some concerns at the number of government positions Maloney currently holds. You could see another candidate emerge at the last minute. Terry Bernardo is currently the odds on favorite to be the next chair of the legislature and the first woman to hold that position. Terry Bernardo is one of the brightest members of that body and will serve Ulster County well, I hope she is successful.

For Majority Leader, Ken Ronk seems to have it locked up. Several people tell me that Ronk has the votes and will be the next Majority leader..good for him, not a bad choice.

There is some talk that Jeanette Provanzano will face a challenge because of her vocal opposition to the privatization of Golden Hill. Jeannette Provanzano is a good Democrat and represents the party well as the leader. There will be big issues from Kingston Democrats if Jeannette Provanzano is messed with as some sort of political payback. Jeanette Provanzano will be protected and I think it would be wise for some people to think twice before trying to flex their political muscle on a legislator for standing up for what she believes in...just sayin'

Disappointed with the Kingston School Board for not hiring Elizabeth Ten Dyke as Superintendent of Schools. Ms. Ten Dyke was by far the most qualified candidate with the most diverse experience and the only finalist with an actual idea of the current issues facing the district. People should remember this when they vote in the next school board out the incumbents.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Daily Freeman Endorses Gallo for Mayor

Daily Freeman: Gallo stands out as having the most potential to be effective. He’s smart, knows the city well and has experience in the nuts-and-bolts issues of managing a municipal workforce. We endorse Shayne Gallo for mayor."

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Kingston Times; Vote for Gallo

The Kingston Times Has endorsed Gallo for Kingston Mayor. I encourage people to pick up a copy of the paper. Not only did the editorial board call Gallo the most impressive, and pretty much paint him like the next Andrew Cuomo; they ripped apart his Republican opponent saying he was not even qualified to be an Alderman. It's a very telling and well written editorial. ok..   ;~)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Here and There Majority Leader Senor?

So much going on with all the elections in Ulster County it's hard to keep up, I went to the LWV's debate today and several people asked me why the blog has not been updated, I've just been buy and I apologize.

To address the 50 commenter's that kept writing in asking why their comment had not yet been posted, they are all up now, I did not have a chance to sit down and read them to moderate them last week.

Speaking of comments, I got a ton of comments ( like 30) that were informing me that Rich Cahill won the chamber debate last week.  Nobody cares enough to write the same comment thirty times unless there last name is Cahill and first name begins with an R.  For the record, Cahill may have carried the debate in the humor department but as far as substance, it was all Gallo.

The League of Women Voter's held their debate today and that was a complete different ballgame, Shayne Gallo won hands down, it was not even close. Gallo came across extremely competent, well prepared and with a great knowledge of the city and a real vision to move Kingston forward. I am voting for Shayne Gallo but I tried to look at the debate objectively and I was very impressed by Shayne, he has progressed as a candidate and as an individual over the last eight moths. Cahill was ok, did a good job explaining his points, I just disagree with the approach and direction he would try to move the city in.

I was not impressed at all with Ladin or Pollacco, Ron is a good friend of mine and I think he is a great guy but I don't feel he is ready to be Mayor, he does not have the experience that Gallo has, we need a Mayor that is well versed and ready on day one and Polacco is not.

A few other interesting observations on the race for Kingston Mayor:

--Last Sunday's profile of Shayne Gallo was really good, I enjoyed it a lot.  However, who does Tony Sinagra think he is? He had some nerve speaking on behalf of Democratic Chairman Frank Cardinale. Pretty much what he said was him and Frank tried to find candidates that were new and fresh. It's funny because his comment also took a shot at Polacco who Sinagra did not endorse. What was really hypocritical though was what he was actually saying. Tony Sinagra is a former Alderman and is a charter member of the Good Ol' Boy Club in Ulster County, give me a break!! The good thing is Tony is a has been and no longer taken seriously.

---While Democrats are uniting together, Republicans are still divided. Rich Cahill is staying in on the Conservative line and Turco Levin has kind of stayed mum on the Mayor's race, instead doing a lot of work as an Alderwoman (she is one hard worker and very involved in community events). By contrast I saw Hayes Clement in Shayne Gallo's head quarters and at a Gallo fundraiser, the two seem very cozy with one another and Hayes Clement has endorsed Gallo's candidacy. It's good for party unity and should help Gallo. However, it also speaks to the kind of gentleman that Clement is, it's not easy to support your formal rival but Hayes like Gallo loves Kingston and wants our City to succeed.

--- Regardless of the outcome of this race, as someone that has watched it closely, it's been fun to watch, both major parties had primaries and both of the" favorites" of those respective races lost by such close margins. The general has an unprecedented four candidates, one who has a dog as their running mate, it does not get much better than that!

Kingston Common Council Endorsements

The following is who I am supporting for Alderman. Note all wards are being done now, I am saving a few...

Ward 1- Matt Dunn  Matt is a bright young lawyer that has a great passion and energy about him that will serve our city well. He is married and has a lovely young daughter and I know this guy will do great things on the council.

Ward 2- Tom Hoffay  Alderman Hoffay is for better or worse my friend, I enjoy talking with the guy, he's an intellectual and truly cares about Kingston. He lives and breaths this stuff like I do and I have a great deal of respect for Alderman Hoffay, we may not always agree but he deserves another term.

Ward 3 Charlie Landi - Charlie always comes to meetings prepared and ready to go. As Chairman of the Kingston's Finance Committee he has done a lot of work to put forth a budget that is in the best interest of the taxpayers and residents. He is a tough guy and an asset to his Ward.

Ward 6 Elisa Ball -- Elisa is someone that never stopped working for the ward since she lost two years ago, the GOP did not even bother to field a candidate against her. Every time I see Elisa she has a smile on her face and is ready to roll, always helping people and making Kingston a great place to live...

Ward 7 Maryann Mills -- My Alderman (the guy that got me involved in politics) Bill Reynolds is retiring after 18 years of service, my Uncle Tony Crespino was Alderman for 16 years before that. Maryann Mills is someone that really gets it and is probably one of the most impressive candidates running for the common council this year. Mills has gotten a lot done for the Ward already answering and addressing concerns of residents as she goes to door to door. Imagine what she will do if she gets elected, I will be proudly casting a vote for Ms. Mills.

Ward 8 Bob Senor --- I recently was talking with an older gentleman on Hanratty street, who was telling me how he used to have a lot of issues with Bob from what he read in the paper and than he meet him. The guy said he was having trouble with a storm drain and called his Alderman, Senor was there in one hour, rolling up his sleeves and unclogging the leaves that caused the blockage. Alderman Senor like Landi is a guy that comes to meetings prepared with facts and figures. Senor can be stubborn but also willing to compromise if it's in the best interest of the ward/city. There is a good possibility Alderman Senor, could become Majority Leader Senor come January my humble opinion, he has earned it.

I will cover remaining wards next week

District Attorney's Race- Jonathan Sennett has come out swinging against D.A. Carnright and it's about time, this is long overdue. Jon's campaign has missed countless opportunities to really hit home his message and it's a bit disappointing, I think the campaign could have been stronger, it's certainly not from a lack of work on Jon's part and I will leave it at that. I'm glad Sennett himself is continuing to run strong and his campaign is getting some traction now. Jonathan sort of hulked up last week, launching a series of press conferences with a simple but effective theme: The People have a right to know. Sennett has hammered Carnright on his failure to recuse himself from the Matthews case, Carnright refuses saying that he has no conflict. However in the same breath attacking Jonathan Sennett for releasing a voucher signed by Carnright (done by foil) that Holly says is evidence in a grand jury proceeding. Well, if the voucher Holly signed is part of the evidence in a grand jury proceeding against Matthews, how can Holly claim he does not have a conflict?? You can't have it both ways. Just a note: Judge Don Williams recused himself from the case almost immediately.

There is nothing more that I would like than to see Jon win the District Attorney's race, he is extremely honest, intelligent and would make a better district attorney than the one we have now, he is the entire package.  Carnright is also very bright and a nice guy, he has the money, the endorsements and the power of incumbency behind him and will be tough to beat..we all need to get out and vote for Jonathan Sennett for District Attorney or we will lose.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

One Big Happy Democratic Family

Two things: 1. Mario's is the best restaurant in uptown Kingston, if you have not been there, you should go as soon as possible! 2.) Shayne Gallo and Hayes Clement are getting along really well and I think their ideas are going to help move Kingston forward. Shayne and Hayes are both great people and are class acts.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Golden Hill

 UPDATE: I failed to point out that Legislator Robert Parete did submit a plan for Golden Hill and long term care. The Parete plan would reduce taxpayer subsidy and enhance long term programs like home health care services, meals on wheels, assisted living ect.  Again not every legislator has held this up but what Hein has done has forced the entire legislature now to make a decision.

County Executive Mike Hein did something 33 other elected officials in this county have failed to do for almost a year..he made a decision on the fate of Golden Hill. I disagree with the County Executive, I strongly believe that Golden Hill needs to be kept as a county run facility but with that being said those quick to point fingers at Hein as the bad guy are mistaken.

For almost a year there has been a debate about what to do with Golden Hill. There have been talks about privatization, restoring the current facility, building a second facility, building two new facilities and nothing has been done. My mother is a resident of Golden Hill, I have been to countless meetings with her and it's always a run around from committee members and a complete waste of time.

While I think County Executive Hein has been clear from day one about his concerns as to whether or not the county can sustain the cost of the facility, he has also been clear throughout this entire process that this is a policy decision that the legislature needs to make. Executive Hein and the public have been very patient for the legislature to make that decision.

However there comes a point where enough is enough. The legislature just does not get it, they are so disconnected from the public and think they can sit on an issue until after the election or as long as they can hold out and hope no one will call them out on it. That was the way government operated for decades in Ulster County, until 2009 when our charter changed and when Mike Hein became our Executive. The days of pulling the wool over the eyes of the residents in this county is over.

Mike Hein said it best: GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO CHANGE. You can't have it both ways, you can't sit on an issue and keep delaying it and delaying it and than cry when the tough decisions need to be made. Hein gave the legislature more than enough time to make a decision on what to do with Golden Hill and when they failed to act, he made it for them.  The legislature now hypocritically is attacking Hein for not allowing them to make the decision...Are you kidding me?? Maybe they would of gotten around to it in 2015.

Not every legislator has tried to stall the process, there have been legislators that have been pro Golden Hill from day on, like Jeanettee Provanzano, Carl Bafiglio, Mike Madsen, Fred Wadnola, Frank Fellicello and Dave Donaldson. There have been also been legislators that have come out in favor of privatization like Ken Ronk, Wayne Harris, and Jack Hayes. At least these legislators (and this is not a full list) have taken a position.

A lot of legislators however have come up with excuses and unrealistic road blocks that need to be moved before they can vote one way or another. These legislators care more about self preservation and fear of losing an election than they do about Golden Hill or county residents.  Mike Hein is not the enemy, he is a reformer of county government.

Mike Hein has now forced the legislature to act on this matter, while Hein has stated he will veto any plan that does not include the sale of Golden Hill in the budget, the legislature can override that veto. The legislature can finally step up and show the public what they are made of, like Jeanette Provanzano tried very hard to do last month and deserves a lot of credit for her hard work.

If you want to sell Golden Hill than stand up and look into the voters eyes and tell them that by voting for the budget as proposed. My personal hope is the legislature will work together in a bipartisan manner and adopt their own budget that does not include the sale of Golden Hill, the legislature as a whole is as powerful as the executive and if enough of the legislative members are united not even the Executive's veto can stop them.  Enough with the delay tactics, and misinformation; it's decision time.

Ulster County Democratic Dinner 2011

Here are a few pictures from the Ulster County Democratic dinner. County Executive Mike Hein was the 2011 honoree and NYS Comptroller Tom Dinapoli was on hand speaking how important it is to Re-Elect Mike Hein. Our party's leader Congressman Maurice Hinchey was also in attendance looking better than ever, I'm very proud to call him my Congressman.

Ulster County Executive Mike P. Hein, 2011 Honoree
Congressman Maurice Hinchey and his wife Allison Lee

Shayne Gallo being recognized by 300 Ulster County Democrats for his impressive primary win!

Ward 9 Alderman Hayes Clement recognized for running a great primary campaign

Me and NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli

Three shinning examples of good government

DiNapoli talking with our next D.A. Jon Sennett

Former County Chairman and the great Alderman of the Second Ward Tom Hoffay

Tim Distel, a great guy running for County Legislature in Warwarsing with Comptroller DiNapoli

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gallo Wins Dem Primary; Clement and Cardinale Show Their Class

I congratulated Shayne on his win, Shayne was a friend of mine before this primary and he is still a friend of mine.

- Alderman Hayes Clement

Now that the Primary season is finally completed, I would like to congratulate those who participated in the process and particularly those that were victorious. Special congratulations go out to Shayne Gallo who will be leading the Democratic ticket in November. Both Shayne and Hayes ran outstanding campaigns and as a result of their hard work, they energized enrolled Democratic voters in the City in a manner we have never before seen.
- Frank Cardinale, City of Kingston Democratic Chairman

Friday, September 23, 2011

Polacco Pulls Out Huge Victory

Congratulations to Alderman Ron Polacco who was written off by almost everyone, he ran a campaign that was very effective and he certainly showed the political establishment. Ron Polacco is the new leader of the Kingston Republican party.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Gallo and Clement Drop Ojections, Remaining Ballots to be Opened Monday

Shayne Gallo and Hayes Clement have dropped their objections and the remaining 26 ballots will be open on Monday. Gallo holds a six vote lead going in.

It will be good when this is finally over, Shayne Gallo and Hayes Clement both ran outstanding campaigns.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Only thing on my mind, Who's Gunna Run This Town Tonight?

 Democratic Primary Recount Tomorrow 10 AM

Gallo vs. Clement

Vegas Line : Too Close to call

Please keep Shayne in your prayers and think good thoughts. This Mayor's race could be decided Brian Cahill style, one single vote could decide who the next Mayor of Kingston is! Exciting, scary and a reminder that especially in a local election, every vote counts!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Give Gallo credit for running the best primary campaign. Crushed by Clement at the Democratic convention, with the party apparatus working for the nominee, and cash-starved — rumor had it those “Gallo for Mayor” lawn signs were leftovers from late brother T.R. Gallo’s three mayoral campaigns — Gallo made a race that had Clement chewing his nails.

And it’s not over, officially.

- Hugh Reynolds

Hugh Reynolds hit it on the head in his column this week, Gallo did run the best primary and the end result hopefully will be him being the Democratic nominee next week. For the record, T.R.'s signs always said Gallo for Mayor and Sottile for Alderman at Large...there were no old T.R. signs out there. I honestly would love to have one if they still exist.

Now We Wait

Democrat Shayne Gallo shocked the political establishment Tuesday night, after being outspent three to one and having the party machine work against him, Gallo fired back putting the race for mayor within just six votes. There are still over 103 votes to be counted and a handful of absentees. This race is far from over and I predict a Gallo victory!

With that being said, I attended a Republican caucus a few weeks ago and it was Butch Dener who said, internal party struggles are awful and you fight like cats and dogs up until primary day but after that you put the past behind you and do what is good for the party.

With that being said, like Shayne Gallo, Hayes Clement ran a great race and I think Shayne would be the first to say he was a worthy adversary. Kevin Buso, Kevin Quality all good people that believe in their candidate, like we believe in Shayne Gallo. Both sides have a lot to be proud of.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A friend of mine sent this to me, it made me smile..Please go out and Vote today!

Twas the night before primary…

And all through the town
Tempers were flaring
Emotions all up and down!

Volunteers at the ready
Staffers working the phones
Billboards and lawn signs
In high traffic zones

Gallo is knocking on doors
To say why
Whether their rich or their poor
He should be their guy

Hayes Clement’s all nervous
Think he’s losing more hair
Frank Cardinale
Claiming all will play fair

Rich Cahill is praying
Down on his knees
Saying oh dear Lord
Let me win please, oh please.

Somewhere in Kingston
Sit Andi and Jean
Two GOP women
Wonder what tomorrow will mean.

Polacco out stumping
Day in and day out
Talking to voters
Wandering about

The people decide
and will vote as they please
Nothing more you can do
But get down on your knees.

Vote for Democrat Shayne Gallo this Tuesday!!

Because there is too much at stake for politics as usual! Polls open from Noon until 9pm.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Zimet Wins GOP caucus over Republican Cordavano and Democrat Hokenson

If  Howard Stern is the King of all media, than Peter Savago is the King of all Politics. Peter Savago once again showed that he still carries weight in this county. Savago's candidate Susan Zimet beat out New Paltz Republican committeeman Peter Cordavano and Toni Hokenson to capture the Republican line for New Paltz Town Supervisor.

This is a huge win for Susan Zimet who already has the Democratic line. Susan Zimet pretty much can start picking out the curtains. Congratulations to Susan Zimet who in the last three weeks out of nowhere has made a huge political comeback.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Less Than A Week Left!

We are down to the final week until primary day in Kingston. On the Democratic side it's Democrat Shayne Gallo facing off against the very well funded but not very well known Hayes Clement.

Gallo, who already has the endorsements of the Independence and Working Families party, is running on his strong roots to this community, his wide range of experience in both the public and private sector and his readiness to do the job on day one, with no need for one the job training. Gallo has promised to improve our quality of life, clean up midtown, put beat cops on the streets and foster a climate that puts people first.

Clement, new to the scene is approaching the race a bit differently, he is catering to a more elitist crowd, promoting the arts and hoping the good ol' boy network that is backing him will help swoop him into office. Hayes is spreading a lot of money around, I even hear that he he has bought tv ads for the primary. Hayes' camapign is well organized, he is not to be underestimated.

The Republican primary is anyone's guess. The beginning of the race I thought Cahill would win the primary in a walk but Andi Turco Levin is fighting hard to hang on to the GOP line. Polocco is everywhere and his candidacy is gaining momentum. Any of the three could win this primary, it is way to close to call. Jean Jacobs, who is a nice lady has an uphill battle, Jean could take away some votes from Levin. We will have to wait and see.

Tuesday can't come fast enough, I think one thing all six candidates are agreeable on is they just want to get the primary over and done with.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Gallo Wins Second Debate

 Democrat Shayne Gallo won the second debate in a row over Hayes Clement and I think Gallo won pretty decisively. Hayes Clement back tracked on questions and just in general didn't bring his A game. Democrat Shayne Gallo was ready and prepared, answered questions intelligently and overall did a really good job connecting to voters. Please click the link below and listen for yourself, I was very impressed with Gallo.

 Gallo Debate   Click link then hit listen on the Monday, 8-29-11 show, skip to 1hr and 9 minutes in..that is when the Democratic debate starts.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hein takes Aerial survey of Ulster Damage from Hurricane Irene

Hein looking down over an area in Ulster County looking at damage of Hurricane Irene

Friday, August 26, 2011

Former Alderman, Hayes Clement and Bill Carey Advisor Anne Marie DiBella Hit in Comptroller Audit

 Page 10 of District Audit, Alderwoman DiBella at time was the homeless coordinator for the Kingston City Schools, she has since been given a different title.

The District contracted with a vendor for tutoring, mentoring
and educational consultant services provided at off-site locations
to homeless students residing at shelters and residential motels.
The vendor employed nine individuals to provide those services.
The agreement, dated September 3, 2009,5 was for $46,000.6 The
agreement did not adequately specify the services to be provided, the
documentation requirements necessary to receive payment, or any
monitoring requirements. Instead, the District relied on inadequate,
informal monitoring procedures to verify the activities of these
independent contractors.

One District employee (liaison) was responsible for monitoring
these services. However, the liaison also worked for the vendor
and provided these services on the vendor’s behalf. In effect, this
individual was charged with monitoring her own time. The liaison
also prepared monthly vouchers that the vendor submitted to the
District. These vouchers contained hourly rates for services ranging
from $8 to $45, but did not sufficiently detail the hours or services
provided. Also, the submitted claims did not have attached time
records for the tutors, mentors and consultants, nor did they contain
supporting documentation to provide evidence that District students
received these services.
This service contract included a $1,000 provision for materials and

The vendor submitted vouchers (prepared by the liaison)
for these reimbursements. Purchases totaling $367 of a $664 voucher
appeared to be improper. These purchases included 21 gift cards
totaling $125 to fast-food chain restaurants, a $50 grocery store gift
card, a $40 gas gift card, and meals purchased on two occasions totaling
$152. The liaison did not provide reasons for these purchases, and did
not document the recipients of the items. These purchases appear to
be inconsistent with the services to be provided under the agreement.
The lack of accountability and supporting documentation in cash
disbursements to this vendor could result in abuse or professional
misconduct by the liaison, tutors, mentors or educational consultants
working for the vendor, and result in taxpayers paying for services
not rendered or intended.

Contractual Conditions and Rates – Cash disbursements should
be made pursuant to written contracts. These contracts should be
signed and dated by the service provider and the appropriate District
offi cial(s). Similarly, any changes to existing contracts

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Zimet Wins Caucus by More Than 2:1 Margin!

Zimet 167 Hokanson 56

Susan Zimet won the New Paltz Democratic caucus tonight in her bid to be the next Supervisor of the town of New Paltz by a more than 2:1 margin over incumbent Toni Hokanson! New Paltz Democrats as always made the right decision, Susan will do a great job her tenure as Supervisor was cut short a few years back and I think it's important that everyone gets a second chance. Congratulations to future Supervisor Susan Zimet!

 And on a related note, no the 10pm tremors in New Paltz was not another earthquake, just Guy Kempe stomping his feet in protest!

It is now up to Joe O'Connor, Julian Schreibman and Karen Markasenis to appoint a Democrat to replace Susan on the ballot for County legislature, early names include Dan Torres who currently serves on the New Paltz School Board.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Here and There

Republican Debate: I happen to like and respect every Republican running for Mayor, two of the candidates are personal friends of mine. I was not going to comment on the Republican debate especially being it really is not something on my radar at the moment and as a member of the Democratic committee, I will be voting for the Democratic nominee in November, as long as that Democrat is Shayne Gallo ;~) Seriously, as far as issues go there are clear philosophical differences that make it hard to pull the lever for a Republican Mayor. However, more than one person asked me my opinion on the debate so here it is:

Off the bat let me say Ron Polacco and Rich Cahill were the most impressive. I like Polacco going in there and really hitting the fact that he is involved in the community, how he has taken an active role with going on drug raids with the KPD, his consistent voting record on the council ect. Polacco answered questions intelligently and came across very competent. I really thought he connected with the viewers and I think he will do well in the Republican primary. Any Republican candidate that underestimates or ignores Ron Polacco will be very disappointed on primary night.

Rich Cahill went in to the Republican debate with a pen, no papers, no notes, just a pen.  The message was clear: I know the budget, I know the issues, I am ready and am the strongest Republican candidate on this stage. Cahill really embarrassed the Republican nominee and did show that he has a better grasp of the issues than Turco-Levin does. My only criticism of Cahill is he came across a bit mean to Andi but hey this is politics, Cahill needs to remember Lazio v. Clinton in 2000. Cahill put forth a detailed plan and definitely out debated Turco-Levin, even getting her to lose her cool a few times. He also got her on the fact that she supported a tax increase, that will be a big issue in the GOP primary. He did very well.

Andi Turco Levin had a good performance as well, don't get me wrong, she was well prepared and did a decent job. Andi's short comings were on the tax issue, her share the love comments and letting Cahill get her off her game. Andi left the Freeman hurt a bit but she was not knocked out, she has fire and passion as well.

Ward Races:

Ward 1: Matt Dunn is looking good to take back that seat for the Democrats in a Ward that is very Republican. Mr. Dunn is a great guy with an impressive legal background and someone that is very community orrianted and someone I feel will be an asset to the common council.

Ward 2:  Tom Hoffay and I were friends for years, he is smart, hard working and an overall asset to the council. However, I feel lately he has lost his way and it may be time to see what new ideas can be brought forward by Seth Allen. This race really has me conflicted. From an objective point of view, Hoffay has a good shot in getting reelected due to enrollment and the fact that 90% of the enemies (uptown business owners) he has in  Ward 2 can't vote against him.

Ward 3: Charlie Landi should be ok, he has a tough race ahead of him, Nate Horwitz is working hard and has three lines. Landi is a hard worker knows his facts and at the end of the day will be reelcted, I hope so at least.

Ward 4: Shirley Whitlock all the way. I like Shirley, she is a fighter and a solid representitve for midtown Kingston. We need her to be reeelcted.

Ward 5: Nick Woerner has a good shot in winning the Democratic primary and is by far the best candidate running. The winner will face WFP candidate Janai McDonough (nice lady) and Republican Craig Johnson. I hope the winner of the Democratic primary will be supported by the party so we hang on to that seat.

Ward 6: Elisa Ball all the way, I can safely say I am confident that Elisa will win in November :) Elisa who is running unopposed will be a great Alderwoman and I think she has potential to go on to MUCH HIGHER office.  Elisa could go on and be our state senator someday.

Ward 7: I have my finger on the pulse of Ward 7, I know a lot of people in the ward and Maryann Mills is very popular and the residents are really excited about her candidacy. Maryann should be considered the favorite, she definatly has my vote and the vote of my family.

Ward 8- Bob Senor is running unopposed but he is running unopposed because he does a good job and is an advocate for Ward 8. Senor works hard and always comes prepared and does what is in the best interest of his constituents.

Ward 9- Republican Debbie Brown was thrown off the ballot last week for issues with her petitions, she has the Conservative line and from what I hear is circulating petitions for a minor party line. Nine is one of the most Democratic wards in Kingston so whomever wins the primary between John Smiek and Mark Halwick will be the next Alderman.

County Legislature:

Four primaries going on that I care about for County Legislature:

New Paltz: It is very important that Hector Rodriguez be returned to the legislature, he faces a primary from a guy that in my opinion is being used to run by the New Paltz committee. Hector is extremely hard working and dedicated. Hector is the type of guy that would do anything for anybody, does not matter who you are or what your party registration is he is a damn good guy and I hope he is returned to the legislature to serve another term.

Rochester: Terry Bernardo is the only qualified candidate running in that district. Head and shoulders above her opponent. Terry is a successful business owner, as a freshman legislator has been hands on involved in her district and someone that does what is right regardless of the political fall out. Bernardo is a role model and an example of how all legislators should act like. If we had 33 Terry Bernardo's on the legislature, Ulster County would be in great shape.

Kingston: Mike Madsen needs to be returned to the legislature, I like Dave Donaldson and I like Lenny Walker a great deal but Madsen is the clear choice. Madsen like the other three I just mentioned has the passion and work ethic that is not common on the current legislative body and deserves another term.

Jeanette Provanzano on a semi related note is now running unopposed, her opponents petitions were thrown out. I am fortunate that I have Jeannette as my legislator and look forward to her being the next and first woman to Chair the Ulster County legislature, when Democrats take back control on January 1, 2012

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Gallo Wins First Debate

The Daily Freeman debate between Democrat Shayne Gallo and his opponent Hayes Clement was interesting, Gallo clearly won the debate. Gallo is the candidate with the experience, the most well versed on the issues and he comes across impressively. Gallo has a passion in his voice, you know when you elect this guy he will be there 8am every day, ready to go and will be our Mayor. Hayes' answers are good but he lacks sincerity, he lacks hometown pride. Hayes honestly fails to connect with voters.

There were some comments on the Freeman that were critical of Hayes and of course I was blamed on the tweeter feed.  It was another candidate running for Mayor on the GOP side that "called me out" but that's ok.  It's funny how I get blamed, I didn't even watch the debate live. When the questions were coming in, I was uptown no where near a computer. I did watch the replay and the question that was asked, that I got blamed for asking was in regards to Hayes not voting in the 2007 election for Mayor. That's a legitimate question and I will tell you, I am not the only one asking it. It's a buzz around town.

I wish I was the one asking questions in that debate because Hayes got a free ride, his record was never called into question.  If I'm Paul Kirby I would of had a list of questions lined up :

1. Hayes, you moved here in 2005, why did it take you almost four years to register to vote? What about the 2007 Mayor's race made you uninterested that you didn't bother to vote?

2. Why at 50 years old Hayes do you have no roots or ties to a community?

3. Where are all these jobs Hayes that you have "created", just name one of them for me?

4. Why are you no longer with HBO?

5. Why did you sign a pledge with 5 Alderman to keep the tax levy at 0% and months later vote for a tax increase, why did you break your only promise to Kingston Hayes?

(It was not a pledge now he says, he was against raising taxes two months before he was in favor of it)

Click Here: Article Hayes Drafts and Signs Pledge Not to Raise Taxes.. October

Click Here: Hayes Breaks His OWN Pledge Votes for Tax Hike and Layoffs December

 6. How can Kingston relate to a Mayor that has a housekeeper, more importantly are you going to be able to be Mayor 24/7 and keep that housekeeper?

That's the question I want to know, I like Hayes and I'm worried about Hayes' quality of life, will he suffer if he's Mayor, the job pays only $75,000. This guy may have to lay off his housekeeper, who would put the ice in his martinis, and fold his laundry??

7. Do you support keeping Golden Hill County run? Why is your campaign co-chair on the board of Directors for an organization that recently compared Golden Hill to Katrina??

It's an open offer for Hayes to sit down with me and defend his record, as always I would be fair and balanced and report the facts.

Zimet Running For New Paltz Town Supervisor

Sue Zimet announced that she will run for Supervisor of the town of New Paltz, a position she held before getting elected to the County Legislature. She faces a primary from incumbent Toni Hokenson but smart money says Zimet will be the next Supervisor of New Paltz. Look forward to Zimet's candidacy..she's a fighter and will do good things for the town. More to come.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

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