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.