Monday, January 30, 2012


Since news broke about my Dad becoming very ill, I have received numerous calls, texts, e-mails, etc. wishing him well. All are greatly appreciated.

For those asking for details, my Dad is in extremely critical condition at Kingston Hospital. He is fighting and proving himself to be one tough old bird. The odds are against him, but we are hoping and praying.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gallo Asks D.A. to Investigate Fire Chief Salzmann

The Mayor of Kingston has referred a matter to the District Attorney for investigation involving the "time attendance" of retiring Fire Chief Salzmann. Additionally, Mayor Gallo told the Daily Freeman that "no money accrued by Salzmann will be paid to the chief until the district attorney's investigation is complete."

Personally, I know little more than what is being reported in the newspaper. It is certainly a bombshell story, however.

Chief Salzmann is innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Another Retirement

Fire Chief Salzmann has announced his retirement effective February 7th, but he will use his remaining vacation time so as to be out of the office as of now. I wish him good luck in his retirement.

The next question concerns who Mayor Gallo will select as the next Chief. The next in line is Assistant Chief Rea. Gallo is not obligated to select him and the new Mayor has shown that he runs the show his own way. Time will tell if "C Rea" gets the nod or if Mayor Gallo chooses to go out on a limb with a different selection.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hinchey to Retire

The worst kept secret in politics was finally confirmed today. Maurice Hinchey will not run for re-election.

Now, we will see two things. First, we will see Hinchey honored and praised at events all over the district. Second, we will see politicians tripping over each other to get a shot at his Congressional seat. Expect to hear names like Mike Hein, George Phillips, John Guerin, and Tom Engel, and that is just Ulster County.

There is one important detail to remember. We do not yet know what the district will be if it even continues to exist as a separate district at all.

More BIG Government

The Kingston Common Council has considering a new policy which would create further governmental intrusion into the lives of citizens.

The proposal is to mandate an inspection each and every time a landlord rents to a new tenant. There is also consideration of a fee for each inspection, though that is not in the current legislation. There is no word if this mandate applies to the Kingston Housing Authority properties.

My first objection would be to a new fee. Landlords will just pass this along to the tenants resulting in higher rents. The people feeling this impact would be people of limited means trying to obtain good housing.

My second and stronger objection goes toward the ever increasing power and influence of government in our lives.

I understand that slum lords are a real problem in Kingston. This proposal, however, goes too far. Government should only become involved in the Landlord-Tenant relationship when formal complaints are made either by the landlord or the tenant, or by a citizen complaining of the property conditions.

More and more I am growing concerned at the rise of the power and influence of government. Europe was always a government dominated society. The United States was created as something entirely different. Our governments (federal, state, and local) were created as limited bodies with the real power resting in the American people. Sadly, we are trending toward a European model with limited freedom and greater governmental domination and control.

I urge our new Mayor to veto this legislation. Slum lords are a problem, but this idea is throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Mayor Gallo Rejects Offer of Developer Aaron

Mayor Gallo has rejected a request from Steve Aaron to pay $50,000.00 of approximately $330,000.00 in back taxes. The deal would have required the City to have granted Aaron's request to apply 2 tax credits toward the property retroactive to 2009. The City previously denied the request and the matter is in litigation.

Interestingly, the offer was originally made to Mayor Sottile who forwarded it to the Common Council. It is unclear if he was seeking approval or just passing the buck. A Mayor has to be a leader and make the tough decisions. Matters of this importance should not be dumped to the Common Council. The Mayor should make the decision, but keep the Common Council in the loop.

Mayor Gallo made the decision to roll the dice and go to court. Had I won the election and was faced with the same decision, I would have made the exact same decision. Kudos to Mayor Gallo on this one.

Monday, January 9, 2012

My Political Future

I have been asked repeatedly by media and citizens about my political future. I have been approached on the street, sent e-mails, received text messages, etc. They all want to know what my next step is in the world of Kingston and Ulster County politics.

The honest answer is -- I do not know.

I am still a member of the County Republican committee and the City of Kingston Republican Committee. I see a lot of potential for the county committee, though the city committee needs serious changes at the top before they can make progress. What my level of involvement with either or both will be is undecided.

I put my heart and soul into the race for Mayor. When the city committee followed the lead of the Chair and turned against me, it was devastating. Those of you who know me personally know that I put a great deal of time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears into that committee. Losing the nomination was tough. I stepped aside twice for City Judge for the good of the party only to have a party chairman that I helped elect turn on me. The lack of loyalty was hurtful and infuriating.

I still believe in what the party is supposed to stand for, i.e. lower taxes, family values, personal responsibility, etc. Unfortunately, these lofty goals and ideals seem to have taken a back seat to political ambition and the holding of political power.

Though I have no final answer to the question, I will find one eventually. I may run for office again in the future, though I might just focus exclusively on the practice of law. For now, I am enjoying spending time with my wife. The campaign required me to be out of the house a great deal. So, for now, I am content just being Mrs. Cahill's Mr. Cahill.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Gallo Sworn In

The chamber was filled beyond capacity today as Shayne Gallo was sworn in as Kingston's 33rd Mayor. His speech was upbeat and well crafted. I will not lie. The moment was bitter sweet for me, but I wish Mayor Gallo luck over the next 4 years.

This might sound strange to the narrow minded that permeate politics. By their thinking, I should be looking for ways to submarine the new Mayor because I am from the opposite party. Frankly, such thinkers would consider me a traitor for even wishing him luck.

From my perspective, I got into politics in this city with the express goal of improving the City of Kingston. I cannot therefore in good conscience root, hope, or pray for failure by our new Mayor, as it would be contrary to the stated goal of improving the city.

I will disagree with Mayor Gallo when appropriate and support him when he is correct and on the right path. I see no value in any other strategy, especially since Mayor Gallo will not be on the ballot at the next city election. That election will be about the performance of the Kingston Common Council, not Mayor Gallo.

I know some may point to my comments back and forth over the years with now former Mayor Sottile. In retrospect, while I would not change the positions I took contrary to the former Mayor, I would change my choice of tactics and style of presentation during those years. The past cannot be change though. We can only try to learn from it.

As we start 2012, one of my resolutions is to continue to push for improvements and changes in the City of Kingston, but not in such a confrontational manner as I did with former Mayor Sottile. (I must admit that I do enjoy typing "former Mayor" before his name.) I do not know in what capacity I will try to serve Kingston or with what organization, committee, or group I will do so. I just hope that, in whatever capacity I choose, I can do so in a positive and productive way.

Happy New Year!!