Friday, November 3, 2017

Violation of County Ethics Law??

The County Ethics Law was passed in 2008.  It holds that county employees and officials, including legislators  “ shall not use his/her official position or office or take or fail to take any action in a matter which he/she knows or has reason to know may provide a personal financial benefit or secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions. ”

Now, as I was viewing the dash cam video from Legislator Berky's traffic stop, I distinctly heard her say, "you're not going to let me go even though I'm a county legislator".

Hmmmmm.  Try to use her position as a county legislator?  


Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Voters Have a Right to Know

The Ulster Town Board is holding a special meeting this Tuesday to decide whether to grant FOIL requests to release a police dash cam video of a traffic stop of Legislator Jennifer Schwartz Berky.

Allegedly, during this stop, Berky treated the officer in a nasty and disrespectful tone.  She also played the old "don't you know who I am" routine, dropping various names such as the Sheriff.

Her behavior was so outrageous that media outlets want to hear and see the video.

Berky has hired a lawyer who is asking the Board to wait until after the election before releasing it.

Sorry, Ms. Berky, but the people have a right to know how their legislator behaves and treats others in public.  You obviously feel that you are better than the average person because you have won an election and thus should not be subject to speeding laws like everyone else.

Hubris, arrogance, and condescension.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Signing in Flemington, New Jersey

I will be appearing on November 11th at 2:00 p.m. for a book signing at Act 2 Books in Flemington, New Jersey, one of New Jersey's most famous used book shops.  The store is located at 20 Turntable Junction, Flemington, New Jersey.

Flemington, New Jersey is the location of the the Trial of the Century.  On February 13, 1935, Bruno Richard Hauptmann was convicted of the murder of Charles Lindbergh, Jr.  The kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh Baby was one of the biggest media sensations the world has ever known.

I am very pleased to receive such an invitation over 3 1/2 years after my book's publication.  I am very much looking forward to the event.

Monday, June 5, 2017

A Shameful Attempt to Bully

If you drive through the seventh ward and parts of the sixth ward, you will see sign after sign after sign in opposition to the Rupco proposal for the Kingston Poorhouse a/k/a Almshouse.  The people in the neighborhood have made it clear that they do not want this project, and the opposition is growing.

As the Alderwoman of the Seventh Ward, Maryann Mills has led the opposition to this proposal, along with Alderwoman Brown, and others.

Apparently, Rupco is feeling the heat.  Recently, a letter was sent by Rupco's attorney.   Dated 5/31/17, this letter states:

"Political Influence. It is my opinion that Councilman Mills has pre-judged my clients Zoning Petition and has attempted to utilize her position as a Common Council Member to wield political influence on behalf of and in league with project opponents based upon the affordable housing aspects of the Landmark Place Project. This pandering to those working at variance with a lawful affordable housing project is wholly inappropriate and could expose the City of Kingston to substantial monetary liability, Landmaster Montgomery, LLC v. Town of Montgomery, Index Number 8125/04, Sup. Ct., Orange County (September 18, 2006), Owen, J., cross app. dismd, 54 AD3d 407 (2008), aff'd, 54 AD3d 408, app. dismd, 11 NY3d 864 (2008). Continental Building Company v. Town of North Salem, 625 NYS2d 700 (1995). 

Unconstitutional Exclusionary Zoning. Based upon the foregoing, it appears that Councilwoman Mills may be attempting to utilize her own predilections against the project to interfere with the substantive requirements of the City of Kingston Zoning Law, New York State Statutes and Federal Law, in order to invidiously exclude affordable housing. 

In this regard, it is critical to remember that under New York State Law, the City of Kingston is required to provide a properly balanced and well-ordered housing plan for the entire community, while considering regional housing needs and requirements. Berenson v. Town of New Castle, 38 NY2d 102 (1975), Kurzlus v. Incorporated Village of Upper Brookville, 51 NY2d 338 (1980), United States of America ex rel. AntiDiscrimination Center of Metro New York, Inc. v. Westchester County, New York, Stipulation and Order of Settlement and Dismissal, Case No. 06Civ.2860-DLC, Cole, J (2009). "

So, what does this letter mean?  Well, there is one line that makes it crystal clear.  Rupco's attorney wrote, "This pandering to those working at variance with a lawful affordable housing project is wholly inappropriate and could expose the City of Kingston to substantial monetary liability ..."

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a threat.  This means that the City of Kingston Common Council and Mayor are being told that if they do not approve Rupco's application and do exactly what they want, a lawsuit could be filed.  That is the only way Kingston could suffer "substantial monetary liability."

I served on the Kingston Common Council. I debated many issues with former Mayor Sottile and former Majority Leader Reynolds.  At no time did either man ever threaten me.  We disagreed, but did so the proper way.

I feel very confident that Mayor Sottile would NEVER have tolerated any agency or organization making a threat like this.  I know damn well that former Mayor Shayne Gallo and certainly former Mayor TR Gallo would not have tolerated this.

As a city taxpayer, I am angered, offended, and outraged that Rupco is trying to bully the Kingston Common Council and the Mayor into backing this proposal.  Alderwoman Mills is doing her job and supporting her constituents' wishes in opposing the project.  The Common Council has a fiduciary responsibility to review all proposals.  The Aldermen also have a responsibility to represent their constituents.

I conclude my remarks by saying that Rupco is obviously getting desperate.  The public is significantly against this project.  The Almshouse proposal will be a huge issue in the November elections.  Rupco is now resorting to threats and bullying to try to force their proposal through the required legal reviews.  Any Alderman or Alderwoman who tolerates this may find out that taxpayers will vote them out of office.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Tune in to WKNY

Sundays at 2pm, tune in to WKNY radio at 1490 am on the dial.

The new show Rick & Ryan has hit the airwaves.

Listen as Don Ryan and I interview guests and talk about issues affecting the city, county, State, country, and maybe even the world.

Listen to Rick & Ryan rant on WKNY, Sundays at 2pm.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Just a Thought

We are all still digging out from that monster storm.

Many people are upset about the plowing in the city.

What does the Mayor talk about during his radio broadcast?

He talks about putting in bike paths in the city!!


This administration needs to stop worrying about federal immigration issues, bike paths, and so forth.  Between those two things and attempts to raise parking fees and charging for municipal lots, businesses are going to be forced out.

The focus needs to be the nuts and bolts of the city.  Strengthen DPW, give fire and police departments the tools they need to keep our city safe.  Our infrastructure needs repair.

Stop worrying about bike paths and Donald Trump.  Be the mayor of Kingston and put Kingston at the top of the agenda.

I know neither the Mayor nor Council majority will listen, but at least I can rant and feel a little better for a few minutes.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Ridiculous Letter From Democrats

Alderman Scott-Childress wrote a letter to the editor and got a bunch of Democrat committeemen to sign it.  (Of course he lacked the courage to sign it himself).

In this letter, he claimed that Alderwoman Brown and Mills are "sabotaging" the budget by voting no.

First of all, 2 Alderman alone do not have that power.  Seven Aldermen and the Mayor working together cannot be overruled.  As such, his assertion is asinine.

What is the real point of the letter then?  Well, the Democrats tried last city election to primary Alderwoman Mills, but lost.  Obviously, they intend to try again.

Mills is a moderate to conservative Democrat.  This is something the Democrat Committee will not tolerate.  They expect their members to vote left wing only.  The so-called party of tolerance allows no contrary opinion.

The second reason for the letter is to create a scapegoat.  City voters ate extremely unhappy with the Council majority.

So, clearly Democrats intend to try to blame Mills and Brown by falsely claiming they were blocked from their goals.

Think about how ridiculous such an assertion is.  How can 2 Alderman block anything?  Legally, they can block nothing.

This is just another political stunt from intolerant far left wingers who have accomplished nothing and who are hurting our city.