Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bye Bye Bob

Alderman Bob Senor is leaving the Common Council and leaving the City of Kingston.  Apparently, Senor is getting married and moving to the Town of Ulster.  Do not be surprised if he tries to run for Councilman or Supervisor in the near future.  For the sake of the Town of Ulster, let's hope not.

Several people have put posts on this blog and others claiming that Senor has already moved and should be removed as an Alderman.  To be honest, I do not know whether this is true or not.  If it is, he should be removed. 

Bob leaves an interesting legacy from his tenure as an Alderman.  He started as a Republican.  His first 2 years on the Council were the last 2 years the Republicans had the majority.  They were unable to do much because Bob was the deciding vote.  He would announce his position before the meeting and then frequently vote the other way without warning.  He was eventually asked to not even show up to the Republican caucus.

He caused tremendous controversy when he foolishly called Alderman-at-Large Sottile "Hitler" during a Common Council meeting.

Perhaps his most famous moment came after he took some personal shots at Jay Hogan and Jay's mother, Alderwoman Rose Hogan, backed Bob against the wall by grabbing him by his skinny neck.  Some accounts have Rose slapping Bob, but she actually just grabbed him by the throat.  The look of terror in Bob's eyes was worth the price of admission.

Later, when I was elected to the Council, I defeated Bob for the position of Minority Leader.  This infuriated him.  He spent the next 2 years undermining anything I attempted.  Not many people know this, but Bob attempted a coup and almost got me removed as Minority Leader.  Ironically, the deciding vote changed his mind at the last minute and voted for me.

As an example of the type of things Bob would do, there was a resolution I wanted to speak about.  When I was given the floor, Bob asked if I would grant him the courtesy of speaking first.  When I agreed, he immediately made a motion to table the resolution which prevented anyone from speaking on the subject.  It was a very petty and nasty thing to do.  Bob thought it was funny and clever.

Later, Bob changed his enrollment and joined the Democrats.  He claimed the reason was because he did not like where the Republican committee was heading.  The real reason was that I had convinced one of the Democrat Alderman to join the Republicans and was close to getting a second which would have made me Majority Leader.  Once Bob left, that could not happen.  To be truthful, I know of no Republican who was sad to see Bob leave and no Democrat who was happy to see him join their party.

I hope Bob has a successful marriage, stays out of Kingston, and lives happily ever after with his new bride.  I also hope he never returns to politics again.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Tkaczyk By 19

Cecelia Tkaczyk won the State Senate seat today by 19 votes after the remaining 99 ballots were counted today.  There is one additional ballot that was "found" by democrat election inspectors in Montgomery County that remains uncounted.

As disappointed Republicans look over this race, they can blame the loss on two people.  First, George Amedore is to blame.  He ran a poor campaign in Ulster County.  His headquarters in Ulster County closed prior to the end of voting on Election Day.  He also foolishly changed campaign strategies late in the race.  He was running a positive campaign only to change to full attack mode against his opponent in the last 3 weeks.  This made him look desperate.

The second and most significant person to blame is Senate Majority Leader (as least as of now) Dean Skelos.

There was a prominent politico in Ulster County who wanted to run for the seat.  His campaign would have been well funded, and would have been likely successful given his strength in Ulster County.  Yet, he was threatened by people working for Skelos with various political acts.  One of the man's prominent supporters was told that if he did not support Amedore immediately, his wife, who works in the State Senate, would be fired.

A lot of people in Ulster County knew about the strong arm tactics used by Skelos and resented it.  Many Republicans skipped the Amedore race as a result.  There were also write-in votes for the other guy.  Considering that the loss was by only 19 votes with over 100,000 cast, it is not unreasonable to say that Dean Skelos cost George Amedore and the Republican Party this Senate seat.

Two years from now, Cecelia Tkaczyk will run for reelection.  She is very beatable.  Yet, you can expect that Dean Skelos will once again push George Amedore again.  If he runs again, he will lose.  To beat Senator Cecelia "Landslide" Tkaczyk, her opponent must be strong in Ulster County.  Otherwise, she will be reelected and become entrenched.  Will Republicans at the state level learn or repeat their errors in 2014?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Enough With the Grandstanding

It is time for an end to "memorializing resolutions".  What are they, you ask?  Well, memorializing resolutions are resolutions issued by a legislative body on issues outside of their jurisdiction or authority in order to express a political position by the majority of the body.  Put into simple English, it is usually (not always) an opportunity for politicians to grandstand.

For example, the latest one is a resolution submitted by Legislator Gregorius which purports to "tell" Congress to take action on the issue of gun control.  Truth be told, Legislator Gregorius is grandstanding for his similar minded constituents, nothing more.  It is the function of the State Legislature or Congress to deal with gun control issues.  A resolution telling Congress to do something has no legal support or authority.

The County of Ulster has a lot of problems.  The Legislature needs to go about the business of the County, not the business of the State Legislature or Congress.  If a County Legislator wants to be heard on gun control, then a write a letter to a State Senator or a Congressman.  Do not waste the valuable time of the taxpayers on grandstanding.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year.

2012 was a very bad year for my family and me.  I just hope 2013 is a better year.