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.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Signs are popping up in other wards too.... not just 6 & 7. and more signs are coming.

Anonymous said...

So what is Tony Davis position on this this is in his 6th ward. Why isn't he be vocal for his residents of the 6th ward.

Anonymous said...

Great post. I hope you will consider speaking at the public hearing on Thursday. This project does not affect just the 6th and 7th wards. This is a valuable piece of property. It needs to be sold to someone who is going to pay their share of property taxes. Not another PILOT. The more properties off the tax rolls and the more PILOTs, the bigger the burden on the rest of the city taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Go get them. Its lawyer rhetoric. If brought to the courts, they will lose. The municipality has the rights to set specific zoning by law. They can stop specific buildings. Even the case law the attorney shows is not always in NYS, so it doesn't pertain to NYS laws. Don't let any organization bully a elected body that represents an electorate.

Anonymous said...

I think RUPCO is surprised at the taxpayers outrage as they have probably have had the belief that all of Kingston thinks they are a great entity for far too long. I think the R in RUPCO means rural? We are a city and most of their projects with tax abatements are in the city..not exactly a classification of rural especially with wealthy investors in the mix. They should be "outed" by the Bernie crowd as being greedy developers & investors at the taxpayer expense. So where is Bernie when they need him? And now they send out their attorney to disparage Alderman who dare to defy them? RUPCO's concern for the populace in their mission statement is laughable.

Anonymous said...

Maybe RUPCO feels that the current corp counsel would rather back down than to have to defend a threat. Wonder how many times current COK counsel has been successful in court to defend the city's interests. Seems like they just write opinions and back off. Don't think they have the stamina or wherewithal to defend council members who don't tow the party or administration's line. Too bad as I was under the impression that they are to defend all elected officials. They are being bullied and I don't think they get it.

Anonymous said...

Again what is Alderman Davis position on this issue.

Richard T. Cahill Jr. said...

No idea.

Anonymous said...

If you can believe this..Mayor Noble gave a Pride of Kingston award to the owner of Just for You restaurant last night who is being deported this week back to his home country. While I can sympathize with his dilemma the point is he never sought or completed the path to citizenship while he was here for many years. Why didn't a concerned citizen step up to help him along the way? Wished he had reached out many years ago but laws are laws. You want sanctuary city status for these people than stop talking about it and do something. Put your money where your mouth is and help them to become Americans. Carrying signs is not helping them. Sponsor a family....They did not come here to do the jobs you want them to do for their whole life...mow your lawn, harvest the fields, hotel housekeeping, dishwashing and such...these were the only jobs available that they could possibly work under the radar which just contributed to them getting deeper into the undocumented world giving them false hope. Making Kingston a sanctuary city is not the way. It hurts all taxpaying individuals and the illegal immigrant.

Matt Colangelo said...

While it's easy for you to type anonymously about what should or shouldn't have happened with regards to Leo's immigration effort.

Perhaps you should take the time to get to know those that are impacted by the recent immigration policy changes.

If you did, you'd realize there is a lot you don't know. At no point did Leo advoate for Kingston to become a sanctuary city - he respects the law and the decision that has been rendered regarding his immigration effort and he is voluntarily leaving, in order to reapply "THE LEGAL WAY".

So please take a chill pill, it's going to be ok - your going to be ok, Kingston is going to be ok ..

Let's focus on the more important issues.

Anonymous said...

It's time for a complete investigation of RUPCO's finances and dealings as a 501-3C. As the salaries of top management, the public would be sutprised of the salaries. Let the investigation begin.

Anonymous said...

10:50...After reading the statement of 1:46 I felt the individual was chastising the sanctuary city advocates to do more to help them thru the immigration process. Perhaps the poster was encouraging them to sponsor or possibly change laws on the FEDERAL level to make the process less cumbersome and hold the fees down. BY not helping them you are dooming them to a life of menial work. Actions speak louder than words and carrying signs is only good to a certain point. They need help not signs....
Now I remember..... Leo was at the rally to make City of Kingston a sanctuary city. No where did he say he was against the sanctuary designation. Perhaps he didn't understand what was the meaning of the rally . I am hoping the numerous protesters that were there put down their signs and get to work to help them become legal. Wouldn't you agree? Wish him luck in his quest to reach citizenship. One final question..Why didn't the Mayor seek out an immigrant who did obtain legal status and was helping to improve the city of Kingston. That would have been even more inspiring to the undocumented. I am sure there are quite a few here of those type of immigrants..Established a business and employed people.

Anonymous said...

RUPCO turned down once again by State on Cedar st. This should be an indication State does not cedar St project should be the same for alms house

Anonymous said...

Blabber is proclaiming little Stevie as a one term mayor because of some super gop candidate....doesn't blab realize Stevie won't even survive the primary for the dem nomination...Mayor Mills has a nice ring and great promise for Kingston.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't think she would go with the democratic party by the way they have treated her. What a bunch of hypocrites they are! They like to "rise up" the female gender but crap on her.... Witness that notorious letter printed in the Freeman....?? Two women were singled out..one Republican and one Democrat.

Anonymous said...

She took them on two years ago and won in a landslide. The "no letter" deserved no comment as the main author didn't have the stones to even sign it. Time has past the signers on...most of them should be home taking part in self confession.

Robb Kinnin said...

RUPCO, once a "darling" in the City of Kingston, has met its goals for housing. There is no reason to expand in the City of Kingston. Threatening legal action is no way to keep the "welcome carpet" clean. I wish I could agree that the City needs RUPCO to build. But I just don't see it.

If I were on the City Council representing Ward-8, and many have asked that I run in the past, I would strongly oppose such zoning changes and furthermore nor would I lobby for a PILOT on their behalf.

Anonymous said...

Time for the NYS Comptroller to audit rupco and while they are in Kingston take a look at Stevie's sick time payout the day before he became mayor (in conflict with the csea contract and general policy). "Transparency".

Anonymous said...

Speaking of bs....didn't Kevin "I've done nothing for anyone who didn't do something for me" Cahll state that uber and lyft wouldn't be coming to his district.....Kevin?.....

http://www.dailyfreeman.com/general-news/20170627/uber-joining-lyft-will-start-serving-kingston-area-this-week

Anonymous said...

Did you hear Joe Ingarra made Blaber a committeeman? Any comment as to what they r thinking?

Anonymous said...

8:41

I am sure all of the current committee will not endorse him (Blaber) being a part of that. Chairman has to listen to his party or he will be gone. Very irresponsible of chairman to make this announcement if in fact this is true. I would hope they are fully informed of Blaber's notorious past. Blaber has been kicked out of Democratic Party & Working Family Party. Maybe even the Independence party.... so Republicans are now the only gig in town for Blaber? Should start his own party....!

Anonymous said...

Well, So glad alderman of the 3rd ward made a statement about RUPCO. what a milktoast response... just sitting on the sidelines and espousing what he has been told to say. After all he was appointed and not elected to his position. Wasn't he the same one who made statement about the 2 women council members. didnt want to sign the letter but let someone else sign his proclamation. whimpie...

Anonymous said...

"Scott-Childress said voting against the zoning change opens the city up to potential costly litigation, which could raise taxes for property owners." Wow the guy who didn't have the balls to sign "the no" letter that he wrote should really stop reading what Hoffary writes for him while Tom The Wallet is working for Assemblyperson Cahill. About time the State Comptroller looks into Hoffary's work time and hours working for Assemblyperson Cahill instead of working for the party of friends and family....pension audit is in order.....

Anonymous said...

Tom "the wallet" Hoffay got fired by Elliot Spitzer....enough said.

Anonymous said...

Hoffay uses his personal email address for all Cahill official communications. That is what should be looked into.

Anonymous said...

well that might be a good thing because if Hoffay goes down so does Cahill...2 birds with one stone. One can wish.....12:17

Anonymous said...

Everything that Hoffay does should be looked into present and past and why was he fired by the State hum.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we could CRACK the case, get it, Tom??

Anonymous said...

Mayor Mills up next

Anonymous said...

Rupco is baaaaaackkk. I am sick of their mission statement of they are going to " house the poor and downtrodden here in Kingston when in actual fact the grants they get from the government allow all of NYS to live in Kingston housing. I would like to know how many elder Kingstonians are on the list. or have been pushed aside from someone far away from Kingston.

They only care about their bottom line, how much they will get for their investors and also to maintain upper management high salaries. The regular staff gets a low wage compared to O'Connor, Kempe and the others. And how can they have a fund balance of almost 12 million compared to City of Kingston's amount of 5.5 million. I am afraid the previous administrations opened the door to these wolves and they are now circling the city of Kingston ( E square- Cedar St, Lace Mill, Kirkland, Met Life Bldg, and now the Alms House... all of their prey. Not to mention their attack on the neighbors who border The Alms House property.
I lay this debacle at the feet of County Executive Hein. Election year is coming up soon for the mighty Hein. Lets all remember what he is doing to the city of Kingston at the next election. And his collaborator ,Mayor Steve Noble.