Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Clement Defeats Gallo By Surprisingly Wide Margin

Earlier this evening, Hayes Clement defeated Shayne Gallo for the Democratic nomination 31 to 16. While it is not surprising as to who won, the 2 to 1 margin is astounding.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Knothole League Underway

The 2011 season of the Metropolitan Knothole League started today. In the opening game, the Apache defeated the Mohawk 20-10.

The Knothole League is now in its 53rd year. They are an unaffiliated Little League playing all games on Greenkill Avenue in Kingston. To my knowledge, they are the only baseball league in the area that does not charge kids for playing. (Affiliated leagues must charge because they have to pay certain fees for the affiliation.) Though the league only runs for a little over two months a year, it is a great deal of fun and helps to provide organized activities for the kids.

This is my 4th year volunteering for the league with the first as an umpire and the last three as a manager. Today was interesting because I managed the Mohawk my first year and now am in my second year as manager of the Apache.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Time for Focus


Click HERE to see the Freeman story regarding said letter.


Hon. James Noble
Alderman at Large

Members of the Kingston Common Council

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Throughout the country, though particularly in the City of Kingston and County of Ulster, the weakened economy has had a devastating impact. Worse, the return of inflation has seen the costs of gasoline, food, and other basic necessities of life skyrocket. Many people are struggling to pay their bills while others are unable to find work. Still others are looking to leave, but find themselves unable to sell their homes.

During such difficult times, it is disheartening to see the Common Council focusing on matters such as cats, yard sales, and cigarettes. Though I am confident that the intentions of each Alderman presenting these items are genuine and sincere, I am equally confident that such matters are not currently of great priority to the vast majority of Kingston residents.

I am therefore respectfully requesting that the Common Council focus its priority on matters of city spending, taxes, crime, and the local economy. Having spoken with many voters, I can tell you that these are the issues on their minds.

I am also submitting a proposal for your consideration. With the people of Kingston tightening their belts to the point of breathlessness, it is time for the City of Kingston to do no less.

Therefore, I am proposing that the City of Kingston eliminate two (2) positions that I believe are superfluous and unnecessary. There is no need for two (2) Assistant Superintendents of the Department of Public Works. There are already positions in the budget to cover the responsibilities of these positions. Cutting both positions saves $144,841.00 based on the current 2011 budget, and likely more in 2012 depending on the contractual negotiations between CSEA and Mayor Sottile.

One of the Assistant Superintendents is primarily responsible for overseeing the pickup of trash. This is the job of the Trash Foreman. The other Assistant Superintendent is primarily responsible for the Sewer Treatment Plant. There are already two (2) Senior Plant Operators doing this job. I have genuine concerns about the need for a second Plant Manager, but certainly there is no need for an Assistant Superintendent doing the same work. Frankly, every job performed by the Department of Public Works is overseen by a Foreman. These Foremen can report directly to the Superintendent. There is no need for a middleman.

The people of Kingston have expressed concern over the pickup of trash, yard waste, and other recyclable items. Superintendent Schupp has stated repeatedly that he needs more laborers to get the job done. By cutting the two (2) unnecessary Assistant Superintendent positions, we will save at least $144,841.00, which will allow the Council to rehire or bring back two (2) of the previously laid off laborers with money left over to apply toward tax relief. The department will thus receive additional laborers and become more financially efficient, with additional money left over as savings for the taxpayers.

I respectfully request that my proposal be submitted to the Finance Committee or whichever committee is felt appropriate by Alderman at Large Noble. I thank you for your time and consideration.


Richard T. Cahill Jr.

Monday, May 16, 2011

An Economic Disaster

Most people know that Ulster County passes one-half of its Safety Net expenses down to the City of Kingston and the towns of Ulster County based on the percentage of applicants within each.

However, a major change out of Albany will be placing a terrible financial burden on the City of Kingston, not to mention the towns throughout the county. Up until recently, the State of New York paid 50% and passed the remaining 50% to the counties. Ulster County is the only county that further splits the expense. They pay one-half and pass the other one-half down to the localities.

Now, the State has changed the formula RETROACTIVELY to January 1, 2011. The new breakdown will be 29% paid by the State of New York with 71% passed to the counties. Ulster of course will pass the increase down to the towns and city. A very conservative estimate shows the City of Kingston being hit with an increase somewhere between $600,000.00 and $800,000.00, which of course means a tax increase.

It is even worse for Kingston because of the phony way this expense is budgeted or --more accurately-- not budgeted. Kingston does not budget the expense and instead simply allows the county to increase city property assessments directly. It was done this way to give the city an artificial budget increase for one year. This happened some years ago.

It is time for Ulster County to stop the madness. Stop bankrupting the localities and pay the expense like other counties do. It is time for the State to address out of control spending and stop just passing the buck to the counties.

It must start with Ulster County. I therefore call upon County Executive Hein and the County Legislature to stop hitting Kingston and the towns. Pay the expense directly like every other county in the State of New York.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Next County Chair

Roger Rascoe, the Chairman of the Town of Shawangunk (Pronounced "SHON-gum"), and Tom Turco, the Republican County Elections Commissioner, are both seriously considering seeking the position. I know both men quite well. They are men of integrity and either would make a strong Chairman.

Republican County Chair Resigns

Late last night, Robin Yess resigned her position as County Chair effective immediately. The announcement was made via e-mail.

Two things jump out at me. First, within 30 minutes of the release of the e-mail, copies were given to a Democrat blogger and a local news service. The e-mail was sent to the Town and City Chairmen and the Republican Legislators. It is disturbing to me that this information was made public barely after the ink dried on the letter.

Second, I found Robin's resignation letter to be unfortunate and unprofessional. There was no reason to attack the party and call people names. If she wished to resign, which was her privilege, she should have simply announced the resignation and thanked her supporters for the opportunity. By writing the letter (e-mail) in an aggressive and hostile manner, it only provides fodder for the party's adversaries and does nothing to aide or assist Holley Carnright and the candidates for the County Legislature.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lauren Carpinelli

I am sad to report the passing of my friend, Lauren Carpinelli.

Lauren was involved in county politics for over 40 years. He served as Chairman of the City of Kingston Conservative Party for decades. He was also well known for being the chef at the annual George Washington Day Dinner at the Old Dutch Church. He could really cook that roast beef.

He was a member of Kiwanis, a Commissioner on the Board of Public Works, and was even a scout master. He served his country in the United States Marine Corps serving two tours of duty in the Vietnam War.

Many people knew Lauren as an Electrician and Plumber. He owned and operated Carpinelli Plumbing and Electric on Hazel Street.

Lauren was married to Elizabeth for 38 years, and had two daughters, Lisa and Megan. Also surviving are two brothers: Bernard and Michael.

What I will remember most about Lauren was his booming laugh. He was a great guy.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Verdict

Earlier today, a federal jury ruled in favor of women who sued the city of Kingston for sexual harassment and awarded them a total of $85,000, but it did not find for the third plaintiff in the case.

Of great note, the jury found that Jeanne Edwards being laid off from the Department of Public Works by Mayor James Sottile in May 2009 was an act of retaliation for filing the lawsuit, and the presiding judge in the case, Lawrence Kahn, ordered Edwards reinstated.

The jury, which heard the case in U.S. District Court in Albany, awarded Edwards $55,000 and Soria $30,000. Of Edwards’ total, the jury said $30,000 was because Sottile retaliated against her. The city must cover court costs and the plaintiffs’ legal fees, which will top $100,000, and the city also must pay its own attorney in the case, Robert Cook.

The city has been given a black eye.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Justice is Served

It has just come across the news wire that the United States Military has killed Osama Bin Laden. Justice has been served for the deceased of September 11, 2001.