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 backfired..one 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 Sinagra..smart 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 election...vote 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..   ;~)