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

Check out Sennett's Campaign Website and Make a Contribution!

Check out our next District Attorney's Campaign website:

If you have a minute make a small secure donation online, help a great guy get elected District Attorney!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Why Didn't Hayes Clement Vote in 2007 Mayor's Election?

 You have got to be kidding me, this guy that wants to be Mayor and has NEVER voted for the office he is seeking. Hayes Clement lived here since 2005, and didn't bother to Vote in Kingston until 2009, the same year he was on the ballot for Alderman, opportunism? This carpet salesman really thinks we are all ignorant and is trying to sell Kingston a bill of goods...

RIP Former NY Governor Hugh Carey

Governor Andrew Cuomo on passing of former NY Governor Hugh Carey:

Today, New York State mourns the loss of one of our finest leaders, Governor Hugh L. Carey.

Governor Carey led our state during a time of great financial turmoil and pulled us back from the brink of bankruptcy and economic ruin.

Governor Carey was a true American success story. He was born and raised in Brooklyn. He served with valor in Germany during World War II and when he returned home to Brooklyn, he married and started a family. He became a civic and business leader and was elected to Congress, where no one fought harder for New York.

Governor Carey took charge of the state in the midst of a fiscal crisis - the bankruptcy of the City of New York. The city's finances were spiraling out of control and the expanding crisis threatened the fiscal stability of the state and the nation. Governor Carey faced this challenge with tenacity and a conviction that gave New Yorkers hope that government could lead our state through the crisis.

Declaring that the days of wine and roses were over, Governor Carey looked to statesmanship and compromise, rather than partisanship or parochialism, to get the state's fiscal house in order. He called for shared sacrifice and asked all New Yorkers to come together. New Yorkers across the state heard the Governor's call to action, followed his lead, and the ship was righted.

Beyond Governor Carey's extraordinary leadership and actions during the fiscal crisis, Governor Carey also stood tall for New Yorkers who could not stand up for themselves. Starting with the Willowbrook decree, Governor Carey took up the fight on behalf of the mentally ill and imposed historic reforms on a mental health care system rife with dysfunction and abuse.

Governor Carey never backed away from a tough fight, but he also knew that governing meant respecting the Legislature and respecting members of the opposite party. His administration was not marked with partisan fights or ideological gridlock. He used his charisma, wit, and intellect to succeed.

His administration was one that will be remembered for its remarkable achievements and superlative competence in the operation of government, as well as the Governor's energy, enthusiasm and love of New York and for all New Yorkers.

Upon leaving office, it was written that Governor Carey was a 'Governor for hard winters.' It was true. He was tough, he was smart, and he was the person our state needed to see us through crisis.

On behalf of all New Yorkers, I send my thoughts and prayers to the members of the Carey family and offer our support as they mourn their loss."

45,000 Verizon Workers Strike

The Communications Workers of America said negotiations in Philadelphia and New York stalled Saturday night after Verizon continued to demand more than 100 concessions from workers regarding health care, pensions and work rules.

The contract that expired midnight Saturday covers 45,000 workers, including 10,000 represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, who serve as telephone and repair technicians, customer service representatives, operators and more. Contract negotiations began June 22.

"Even at the 11th hour, as contracts were set to expire, Verizon continued to seek to strip away 50 years of collective bargaining gains for middle class workers and their families," CWA said in a statement Sunday.
New York-based Verizon, the nation's largest wireless carrier, has 196,000 workers; 135,000 are non-union.

The CWA said the concessions are unjustified and harsh, given that Verizon is highly profitable — the company's revenue rose 2.8 percent to $27.5 billion in the second quarter. Its growth was largely attributed to its wireless business.