Friday, February 25, 2011

Cahill Making Another Run

Developing : I have it on good authority a big announcement will be forthcoming this evening by Rich Cahill who will be a guest on Right Time Radio on WKNY from 6-630pm. I am under the assumption he will be announcing his candidacy for Mayor of the city of Kingston.

Rich Cahill will be the first candidate on the Republican side to declare for Mayor. Kingston Alderman Ron Polacco is also expected to be gearing up for a run.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Quigley Not Running For Executive

I have now learned town of Ulster Supervisor Jim Quigley will not run for Ulster County Executive. Quigley has conceded to Republicans in the know that he recognizes that he would not be able to beat Mike Hein this November. Quigley plans on running for reelection in Ulster.

Auerbach's Audit of the RRA Part 2

“We know the County is ultimately on the hook for the Agency’s debt and for compliance with environmental laws, if the Agency is not planning for success then the County will need to plan for its failure.”

   -Ulster Comptroller Elliott Auerbach

Auerbach RRA Audit

Read audit by clicking above.

Some of the reports findings include:

Expenses are outpacing revenues by nearly 3.5% a year and at that rate by 2014 expenses will exceed income.

A majority of the Agency’s revenue contracts (21 of 37) will expire in 2012 and without intervention by 2014 the Agency’s sole revenue contract will be with Ulster County.

Capital assets have been decreasing since 2006.

As of 2009 the Agency has a total debt of $38,908,859 due through 2025.

The Agency’s debt reserve continues to trend downward after decreasing by almost $10 million since 2000.

The Comptroller’s research found no documentation of long-term operational and financial planning. “As we looked at the financial landscape of the Agency it became clear that it has been functioning on a day-to-day basis these past many years,” said Auerbach.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Dr. Benjamin

An interesting note, I had the privilege last week of running into Dr. Jerry Benjamin, a high ranking Suny New Paltz guy, former chair of the County Legislature and the so called mastermind of the Ulster County Charter.

I went and introduced myself to Dr. Benjamin and he said yeah your the guy with the website right? I was honored just that he knew who I was, we talked for a few minutes and he went on to tell me my name Blaber means to talk..I think he thinks my last name is spelled Blabber, with two b's not one.

Anyway, Benjamin's the type of guy that is so brilliant, I had a five minute conversation with the guy and didn't know by the end of it whether he liked me or was insulting me. I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Benjamin and am a huge fan of his daughter Liz Benjamin who is the host of Capital Tonight on ch.6.. Liz is is by far the number one personality covering politics in New York State right now, at least until I start covering Albany :~)

Hats Off To Assemblyman Skartados

Hats off to Frank Skartados who ran a tight race in the 100th Assembly district, losing to Assemblyman Tom Kirwin by just 15 votes with close to 50 votes in a Democratic district thrown out.

Assemblyman Skartados did a great job and I am confident in two years we will return this great public servant back to the NYS Assembly.

Jason West for New Paltz Mayor

Today I officially withdraw my name from consideration as a candidate for mayor in the Village of New Paltz. While the office of the mayor is considered a part time position, the residents of New Paltz need a mayor that can devote full time hours to the position, I simply do not have the time. I strongly support and encourage New Paltz residents to support my good friend and the next mayor of New Paltz Jason West.

There are other reasons for my decision, there is something I have had my eye on for almost six years that may open up this year, a position I feel I do have the time to devote to and an office I have strong ties to, but we'll discuss that a later date.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Parete Lawsuit

Below is the John Parete lawsuit over redistricting. This is a good lawsuit that is designed to help make sure that the legislature does not am mend or change the lines after the commission is done drawing the lines..basically John Parete, a former Democratic Elections Commissioner is making sure that the redistricting is done impartial as stated in the charter.

When it comes to reapportionment the charter is a little vague, which is one of the reasons for the suit, Parete is asking for a Judge to offer his/her opinion on the matter. Pay close attention to paragraphs 12-16.


The Reynolds Column

News store here

Last week’s fundraiser for Jon Sennett, a Democratic candidate for Ulster County district attorney, was more noteworthy for who was there than how many. Ticket sales, at $75 per, were less than robust — somewhere between 80 and 100.

But political clout was much in evidence... Sennett, the party’s unsuccessful candidate for DA in 2007, spent a good deal of the interregnum mending fences and securing support. It shows.

Endorsing the candidate at the fundraiser were assemblyman Kevin Cahill and county executive Mike Hein, an odd couple rarely seen on the same page or in the same room together. If Sennett can unite those factions, he’s halfway home.

Also dropping by with a grin, a handshake and a check was Independence Party chairman Len Bernardo. The Indies backed maverick Democrat Vince Bradley Jr. in the ’07 ménage a trois between Republican Holley Carnright, Sennett and Bradley. They could provide the margin of victory in this year’s election. Bernardo, who shamelessly describes himself as “a power broker,” will steer his party’s nomination to the highest bidder. That he appears at anybody’s fundraiser is no guarantee of support from the wily pol.

Bradley, only 43, is out of this year’s race, happily operating out of Poughkeepsie as the state attorney general’s Hudson Valley representative. But the “Bradley vote” is very much in play.A Kingston resident and heir to the old guard, Bradley polled 22 percent of the vote on the Independence and Conservative party lines. Sennett, with support from the Working Families Party, came in with 34.3. Carnright won the election on the Republican line with 43.5 percent. But even the best brains (?) in each party aren’t sure just what constitutes the “Bradley vote” and how to get at it.

It’s a mixed bag of independents, conservatives, Republicans and Democrats that defies easy analysis. For instance, Carnright trounced Sennett in Kingston, seat of Democratic dissension, where Dems hold a two-to-one enrollment advantage. Meanwhile, appearances to the contrary, Carnright isn’t just sitting around awaiting his fate. While publicly eschewing politics, the DA has been quietly courting support, with a particular focus on the Bradley vote and the Independence nomination.

Wadnola's Arrogance

I don't know how I missed this but it's unreal. The record did a story on an issue going on in the legislature and when Wadnola was called for comment he said the following:

Wadnola responded to a call by saying he didn't wish to discuss legislative business while on vacation in the state of Florida.
REALLY MR. CHAIRMAN??!! What arrogance!

Let me just remind everyone that Fred Wadnola was paid by you, the tax payers for the month of January and not only did he not work for that month he wouldn't even respond to a reporters phone calls seeking comment from the Chairman of the legislature.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ulster County Legislature Fun

A few interesting observations from last nights County Legislature meeting:

Rich Gerentine is being held back in the gop, the guy is on the top of his game. Gerintine is head and shoulders above most of his gop colleges...he should at the very least be majority leader.

Gerentine who hails from the same hometown as Jersey Shore star "Snooki", came up to me and informed me: "unlike Snookie my tan is real", referring to a comment someone posted on my blog accusing Gerentine of using bronzer...I feel ridiculous even writing that last paragraph but I thought it was funny..

Majority Leader Paul Hansut took issue with me spelling his name wrong on the blog in a recent post. It's H-A-N-S-U-T, said a loud Hansut as he saw me walking into caucus but he didn't seem too upset. My apologies to the Majority Leader.

Fred Wadnola proved me right he defiantly can't take criticism! During the public comment portion of the county leg meeting last night, a man dared to criticize him for taking a five week vacation and that gentleman was told to sit down and shut up. Never in the six years I have been following local politics has this happened. Public comment is public comment, you don't stifle someones opinion because you disagree with them. The speaker got a huge applause and Legislator Dave Donaldson called Wadnola out for what he did.

Earlier in the evening Wadnola gave his state of the county speech and cleared half the room in what was a packed legislature minutes before he got up to speak...let's just say it was not a good night for Chairman Wadnola and he didn't do himself any favors.

Before boring Wadnola cleared everyone out of the legislature, County Executive Mike Hein spoke to a standing room only crowd. Some of what Hein highlighted were his accomplishments in presenting a budget that passed with a 0% tax increase, and taking on the D.E.P, and winning to protect local farmers and residents in Ulster County...his full speech will be posted later tonight.

County Executive Hein was clearly on his game and had the entire room eating of his hand about half way through his state of the county. Hein is going to breeze to reelection this November.

And, finally I give Legislator Sue Zimet a lot of credit for defending Terry Bernardo on the floor of the legislature last night. Zimet went after Wadnola, who at times refused to call on her, Zimet blasted Fred for how he treated Bernardo. Legislator Bernardo is hard working was a great chair and you promised that you would not retaliate against her said Zimet. "What you did was despicable"

I recieved the following from former town of Ulster Supervisor Nick Woerner:

Letter to Editor - Kingston Police 02-16-2011

Dear Editor:

In following the news coverage regarding the issues surrounding the Kingston Police Department Double Dipping Probe, I felt it would be prudent to point out a potential solution that may have stopped this from occurring. The Town of Ulster Police Department regulations require that officers seeking outside employment obtain the approval of the Chief of Police prior to engaging in such employment.

The request for approval is made on a form on which the officer is required to indicate the name and address of the proposed outside employer, the hours and dates the officer proposes to work and the nature of the employment. Any approval given is valid for a period of one year. The policy also provides for an appeal of a denial of approval to the Police Commission.

This policy is consistent with New York State General Municipal Law 208-d which specifically authorizes police officers to:

“engage in extra work for another employer outside his regular hours of duty for not exceeding twenty hours a week provided that such extra work does not interfere or conflict with his regular duties as a member of the force or his availability for emergency duty nor affect his physical condition to the extent that it impairs his ability to efficiently perform such duties and further provided that the type of employment shall first be approved by the appropriate police department or police commissioner.”

I would urge the members of the Common Council of the City of Kingston to consider the adoption of a policy similar to that of the Town of Ulster.


Nicky B. Woerner
Former Supervisor
Town of Ulster

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sottile Steps Up To The Plate

photo by Clark Richters

I'm not interested in rehashing the Tim Matthews story, every newspaper has it and I just do not have the time or desire to write about it. I respect and like Det. Matthews and my views are partisan.

I did attend the press conference though that was held by Mayor Sottile and Tom Dinapoli. It was interesting. Read about what happened by clicking here---> DiNapoli Details Fraud.

During the press conference Mayor Sottile accepted full responsibility for what allegedly happened, when asked by a reporter whether or not he lost faith in Chief Keller over the scandal he stood up like a man and said that he was just as responsible for what happened as Jerry Keller and had full faith in the Chief's abilities moving forward. Sottile also made it clear that Keller did all the right things when this came to light, preserving evidence ect.

I am no fan of Jim Sottile but I give him a lot of credit for that, he easily could have passed the buck onto Keller and the department and he didn't. Mayor Sottile did the right thing, Chief Keller is an asset to Kingston and a damn good police chief and we are lucky to have his leadership.

Another more humorous part of the press conference that showed how scared D.A. Carnright is, was when Mayor Sottile was asked if the Matthews case had any influence on his decision not to seek reelection. Carnright who is running for reelection, thought the question was directed at him and turned white as a ghost... half the room looked at Jon Sennett who also attended the event and had a nice laugh at the District Attorney's expense...some may have been laughing with Holly but most like me, were laughing at him.

Good to see Shayne Gallo in attendance at yesterday's press conference, like the future D.A., the future mayor will have to deal with this issue and if nothing else find ways to make sure similar situations like this do not repeat themselves. Where was Hayes Clement and the other would be mayor candidates??

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Blaber News Poll: Hein Crushes Quigley

If the race for county executive were held today, County Executive Mike Hein would crush his would be challenger town of Ulster Supervisor Jim Quigley according to a recent hypothetical poll on the Exec race.

The poll that more than 400 people participated in has Hein cruising over Quigley with 56% of the vote to Quigley's 43.

Jim Quigley is rumored to be running for the Republican nomination for executive and has already been in touch with town committees regarding the race. Hein is largely favored to easily win reelection in November no matter who the challenger may be.

The poll is not scientific.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sennett Off to Great Start in Becoming the People's D.A.

Here are a few articles of interest on Jonathan Sennett's announcement for District Attorney..check them out!
Now take two seconds and join Jon's Facebook Group by clicking here. When you get to the page click the "Like" button.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Come On Fred, Man Up!

waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, I can't take a little criticism
- Chairman Fred Wadnola

Chairman Fred Wadnola has an issue with me about a blog posting I made about three weeks ago, regarding the RRA, more specifically a dinner at Fred's place that was billed to the RRA.

Instead of calling me himself, he is having his wife call all over town looking for my cell phone number so she can call and yell at me. I have gotten 4 phone calls! If it's someone that she knows likes me she says: Do you have Jeremy's number, I want to do an ad for Fred's place on the blog. If it's someone she THINKS dislikes me she admits to them them she wants to call and tell me off. If four people told me this in one day, I can't imagine how many people were called.

HERE IS MY NUMBER MR. CHAIRMAN : 718-662-9748 AND JUST DO ME A FAVOR BE A MAN AND CALL ME YOURSELF, I DON'T WANT TO TALK TO YOUR WIFE. (Dial a 1 first before the area code, Fred...he's not that tech savvy)

The funny thing about all this is that, this happened two weeks ago! Wadnola is making an issue now because he just found out due to the fact he has been on a month long vacation in Florida.

Not only should Fred man up and not have his wife fight his battles but he should also man up and return his salary for the month of January becasue he did no work.

Fred Wadnola makes about 19k as Chair of the county legislature and I will give him the benefit of the doubt he sent a few e-mails and made a few phone calls (or Chynthia did for him) relating to county cut the county a check for $1400.00 and we'll call it even.

Jonathan Sennett Makes It Official Thursday, Be There!

Jonathan Sennett will officially announce his candidacy for Ulster County District Attorney!
WHEN: Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 12 noon
(Expected duration is 20 minutes, with coffee and snacks to follow.)

WHERE: Ulster County Courthouse steps
285 Wall Street, Kingston NY 12401
Refreshments will be served at Hudson Coffee Traders, 288 Wall St. Kingston directly across from the Courthouse following the announcement.
Sennett brings extensive criminal justice experience and a strong commitment to public integrity to the campaign for Ulster County’s top prosecutor. Rain, snow or shine, Jon Sennett will publicly take his message to the people of Ulster County and make his case that he is the right candidate for the job. Jon Sennett intends to be the people’s DA.

Please make every effort to attend this event, no excuses! Let's get 100 people there, and make Holly Carnright squirm when he looks out his office window and realizes he will only be a one term DA!

Former Alderwoman DiBella Not Making A Comeback..yet

Former Alderwoman Anne Marie DiBella will not be running for Alderman or any other office this year. A number of people have told me that the former Alderwoman was considering a run for public office this year, not the case says DiBella, "the only running I will be doing, is the Shamrock run says DiBella.

I wouldn't mind seeing Ann Marie get back in the game and maybe in the future she will run for county legislature but I guess not in 2011.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Here and There

Mayor Sottile gave his last annual mayor's address of his tenure as Kingston's Mayor. I was in New York and being it was his last address, I took advantage of the Daily Freeman's live broadcasting of it.. I guess the best way to describe it would be Jersey Shore coming on a few hours early Thursday was a train wreck.

Mayor Sottile had nothing new to say, didn't hit on any real accomplishments and talked about the same thing he does every year: Someday Kingston will have a great community for the arts, build a bandstand on the waterfront and they will come...yawn.

Thanks Jimmy, now go sit quietly in the corner for the next eight months and try not to make too much noise or mess anything up more than you already have.


There has been a lot of focus on the Kingston Mayor's race and I thought it would be interesting to take an early look at the common council..who's running for reelection, what candidates may run ect.

Ward 1 Andi Turco Levin, will probably win reelection if she chooses to run although that ward is just waiting to go Democratic...if Alderwoman Turco Levin runs for Alderman at Large (which she says she wont) that ward will go Democratic.

Ward 2- Tom Hoffay seems pretty safe, and I have not heard of any candidates running yet. To be honest it's not often you get a great political mind like Hoffay that loves being Alderman and puts so much time and effort into it. Kingston is lucky to have Tom running the great Second Ward.

Ward 3- Charlie Landi is in good shape to keep his seat

Ward 4 Shirley Whitlock will easily win reelection with little challenge

Ward 5 Jen Fuentes has done a good job and I don't see her losing her reelection bid..

Ward 6 Ron Polacco probably will not run for reelection. It's fair to assume he will be running for another office...I see a Democratic pick up if Dems wise up and run Elisa Ball.

Ward 7 Bill Reynolds has served with distinction for many years as Alderman of Ward 7 and I see him moving up as well. I hear Frank Dart and Bill Berardi's names as possible candidates (both are Democrats), Mike Gill may run again on the gop line but who knows.

Ward 8- Robert Senor is not running for reelection from what I hear and that leaves Ward 8 wide open. Expect three to four people eyeing that seat.

Ward 9- I wish Hayes Clement great success on his reelection ;)

Speaking of Hayes Clement, he did win the poll I had up for mayor and clearly he is running but I just think it's too soon. Nothing personal against Hayes. I liked the picture ran on their website, you can see Shayne Gallo behind Mayor Sottile during his address to the city...coincidence? I don't know but Shayne looked like the next Mayor if you ask me.

Rich Cahill did well on the Republican side, polls are not scientific and we'll see how that primary goes.
Comptroller Elliott Auerbach will investigate the more than 170 thousand dollars that was spent in confidential money that has been used over the last four years. This money is used to pay informants, set up stings ect.

Comptroller Auerbach is right to point this out especially in light of what happened with KPD recently. How money is given out, making sure safe guards are in place and an accounting of every dollar is very important, good to see Auerbach being proactive and a great watchdog of the peoples money.

Lastly tomorrow, I will be wearing Green and Yellow and rooting for Green Bay over Pittsburgh, although it will be tough to watch either team play at Texas Stadium, instead of the Cowboys ;/

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The Race of 2011: Hein v Quigley??

Rumor is Jim Quigley is actively looking at a run for County Executive against Democrat Mike Hein this November.

The first term Supervisor will have his hands full against the very popular Mike Hein, who has done all the right things and proved himself to have a top notch pr team that even Obama would be envious of.

However, Jim Quigley has the money, credentials and a good pr machine of his own. There was a little known legislator named Ed Mangano that was considered a long shot against my friend Tom Suozzi in Nassau county last year and Mangano pulled off the upset becoming Executive.

Quigley will have to overcome the 19% tax hike he proposed his first year and the 10% hike that actually passed in the town. By comparison Mike Hein proposed and passed a budget that had a zero percent increase.

For some insight on how serious Quigley is, he already has meetings set up with town Republican committees about running.

Letter in today's Freeman on Public Integrity

Dear Editor:

The recent controversy surrounding the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency is unrelated to the botched Ulster County Law Enforcement Center project, yet the citizens of this county see again a lack of accountability by the county Legislature.

Worse yet, we see inaction by the district attorney on a matter of public integrity.In the jail debacle, the Legislature immediately conducted a thorough probe and directed the district attorney to present the case to the grand jury.

In the RRA controversy, the District Attorney’s Office is purposefully avoiding the public integrity matter and instead investigating only issues of alleged weapons possession and/or sexual harassment and misconduct.

The citizens of Ulster County deserve better and should demand more. Public integrity should be a priority for our district attorney, even if it means stepping on some political toes. While we await action from the district attorney, our Legislature should conduct an open and thorough probe. Moreover, I agree with the proposal to place administrative responsibility for the RRA in the hands of the county executive.


Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Snooki Snubs Schumer?

He may be New York's senior Senator, but Chuck Schumer can't capture Snooki's attention even for an instant.A video shows the "Jersey Shore" star signing autographs for fans at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., when Schumer strolls by.

A cameraman excitedly tries to get Snooki to greet the Senator, but Nicole "Snooki" Polizz pays no attention to his requests. Schumer stands there for a while, waiting for some form of acknowledgment, and then, seemingly dejected, waves and walks off.

Daily Intel offers this account of what happens next:

A flustered cameraman asks Snooki if she knows her senator just passed by, and Snooki says, "Oh, really?" in the same utterly disinterested way that people respond to "I had such a weird dream last night."