The most disturbing information in the report is the annual increase in Saugerties' rating, taking us from 44.2 to 60.8% over a three year period and a projection of 68%, the highest rating of fiscal stress, for the current year.
According to the Freeman, Town of Saugerties supervisor Greg Helsmoortel's response to this report is that he does "not agree with their methodology." But what has Mr. Helsmoortel done to investigate their methodology or implement an intervention in order to improve the town's fiscal status? His response is lackadaisical and troubling to those of us who care about the future of our town and our ability to afford to remain in Saugerties.
As a concerned , active and lifelong citizen in the town of Saugerties I attend almost all Town board meetings. I have witnessed , spoken against and even formed organizations opposing the town board's decisions that increase town expenditures and liabilities which will be paid in one form or another by the taxpayers. Unfortunately these concerns seem to fall on deaf ears.
This is the primary reason that I am running for town supervisor on election day, November 3. We are all paying for the poor management of this current administration's loose spending and poor choices. Together we can replace th e town supervisor and the board members which have been in office for 12-16 years . This crew has placed a financial yoke around Saugerties and a strangle hold of regulations preventing any substantial growth. Together we can replace it with a team which applies solutions for fiscal solvency for the betterment of town government and Saugerties residents. You can choose the new team on Row C. Give Change a Chance.
Gaetana Ciarlante, Vice-Chairman
*** Details of the fiscal report along with links to detailed references can be found at
With all the cross-endorsements, backroom deals, sign and banner-swiping, press- bashing and circumvention of the process by those who would thwart the will of the rank- and-file present at their caucus and pull the rug out from underneath their chosen candidates to steal the endorsements, party loyalty and values seem to have fallen by the wayside. Now it’s all about "who do I like” vs. "whom don’t I like."
Most voters will join a political party because they believe in that party’s philosophy. However, many will either join a party or even switch parties just so they can vote in that party's caucus in order to help another party’s candidate get an endorsement. Unfortunately that happens quite often.
Another important factor that comes into play is that many of the non-enrolled voters (those who haven’t declared an official party affiliation) vote on the “Independence line,” mistakenly assuming that is the line for independent voters. But, it is not. The Independence line represents the Independence Party, not independent voters. It seems that the creator of the Independence Party was very shrewd when he named the party...he gambled that people would vote on that line thinking that they were voting as independent voters.
During my time as chairman I have always sought Conservative candidates or candidates who are in line with Conservative principles and values and this year was no different. We have a political process in selecting candidates who seek our line and we faithfully follow those rules. Although critics blame party leaders for picking the candidates they want, that is not really true. Party leaders do not handpick the candidates they want, it’s done by caucus or petitions.
The process begins with the placing of an advertisement in the newspaper asking that anyone who may be interested in running for public office and who shares our values to send us a resume. The next step in the process, once resumes have been received, is to create a screening committee to interview all prospective candidates for a critical examination to determine whether each of the applicants is in line with our Conservative values and is seeking our line for the right reasons. (For instance, one particular individual indicated to the committee that he was only seeking the Conservative line because he wanted to amass as many lines as possible.)
The final phase in the process consists of our endorsement, which is done at the party caucus-convention. Unlike other political parties, the Conservative Party sends postcards to every single registered Conservative in Saugerties to notify them of the date, time and place of the caucus-convention.
The screening committee may, and usually does, make its recommendation to the membership during the caucus but, ultimately, it’s the majority of the membership present at the caucus who makes the final decision as to who receives the Conservative endorsement and gets the line—not the party leaders and not the screening committee. In our case, the rank-and-file members at our caucus-convention selected the following individuals:
Gaetana Ciarlante for town supervisor; Allyson Barbaria and Dan Ellsworth (who will replace Joe Roberti, Jr., by the Committee to Fill Vacancies) for town board; Mary Wawro (District 1), Angie Minew (District 2) and Dean Fabiano (District 3) for county legislator; and Doug Myer for town highway superintendent.
Mary Wawro (District 1), Angie Minew (District 2) and Dean Fabiano (District 3) were the only candidates for county positions to respond to our advertisements and subsequent interviews and the rank-and-file at our convention-caucus unanimously supported all three. Unfortunately, two other individuals who had refused to follow the proper process sneakily took an unconventional route through the backdoor and filed OTB (Opportunity to Ballot) petitions in an attempt to force a primary and steal the line away from the candidates the rank-and-file membership had chosen at our convention. (As a matter of fact, one of the candidates who had filed those OTB Petitions had notified us, in writing, that he would not be seeking our line. He lied to us and quietly, at the eleventh hour, submitted his petitions in his effort to take the line away from our candidate.)
While individuals have a right to file OTB petitions, political parties similarly have a right to have a procedure for vetting candidates. The main thing is the Conservative Party, its leaders, candidates and rank-and-file members followed the proper procedures and chose the candidates they want on the Conservative line. Although criticized by other (former) party leaders and the local gossip column in their veiled attempts to sway voters toward not supporting our candidates, we will not be deterred from moving forward to give the voters the choice they deserve.
Our candidates deserve the same respect and treatment as any other candidate; they are decent and qualified people who have chosen to step forward and offer themselves in service to our community by running for office and ultimately making a difference.
The Saugerties Conservative Party went through a thorough process to make certain that we chose the right—and best candidates who are in line with Conservative values. We will give the voters that choice on Election Day.
Give change a chance, VOTE ROW C for: Gaetana Ciarlante, Town Supervisor; Allyson Barbaria and Dan Ellsworth, Town Board; Mary Wawro, Angie Minew and Dean Fabiano, County Legislator; and Doug Myer, Town Highway.
George Heidcamp, Chairman
The Committee to Fill Vacancies has selected Dan Ellsworth as its candidate for the town board to fill the vacancy created by Joe Roberti, Jr.
Chris Allen NYSP photo
By Freeman staff
An Ulster County legislator has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a Greene County school teacher last week amid a dispute over parking at a swimming area in the village of Tannersville.
Chris Allen, 47, of Saugerties, a first-term Democratic legislator, was charged Friday with misdemeanor assault, according to state police at Catskill.
On Sept. 18, state police and town of Hunter police responded to a report of a dispute in a parking area off state Route 23A in Tannersville, which is in Hunter. Ritamary Montano-Vining, director of art education for the Hunter-Tannersville Central School District, told the Freeman earlier this week that during the altercation, Allen grabbed an identification badge she was wearing around her neck and yanked it so hard that the chain to her necklace caused a 3-inch abrasion on the back of her neck.
“What happened was the most outrageous, unjust thing that I have ever witnessed myself, and I was there with my students,” Montano-Vining said. “The idea that an elected official behaved in this manner is just awful.”
Questioned by a reporter Tuesday, Allen denied the attack and claimed a political motive on the part of the teacher, a former Saugerties resident whom Allen described as a Republican.
Montano-Vining said she and George Bain, a technology teacher at the middle-high school, were at the parking area with a group of students from the Ethel Slutzky National Arts Honor Society to clean up and repaint the area as part of a state-sanctioned community service program.
As the crew was unloading supplies, she said, a car pulled up and the driver, Allen, attempted to park in the area where the students were working. Montano-Vining said that when she approached the driver to tell him he couldn’t park in the spot because they were working, there, he became belligerent and began berating her.
Montano-Vining said that when she tried to explain that the group was there with state permission to do cleanup work, Allen demanded to see her identification. When she showed Allen her school district identification, which was on a lanyard around her neck, he yanked it, she said.
Allen doesn’t deny he had a confrontation with Montano-Vining but said it was she who lost control during the incident, screaming at him and telling him to leave because the group was painting. He also denied yanking her ID badge or pulling it off her neck. He said her injuries appeared to him to be self-inflicted.
Allen is running for a second term as an Ulster County legislator in District 2. During a recent primary, Allen, an enrolled Democrat, wrested the GOP line from Angine Minew and Santos Lopez, both Republicans who were vying for the line. He also holds the Independence, Working Parties, and Democratic ballot lines.
Minew will appear on the Conservative Party line.
Allen was arraigned Friday in Hunter Town Court and released pending a court appearance.
We have hi-lighted certain thought-provoking paragraphs in the article, in which Chris Allen first protests about the complainant’s “attitude” and “tone,” and then reveals that he had a “few heated words” with another individual who was present, and then, finally, criticizes the police who questioned him.
Of course, an accusation is not a conviction but, in light of this incident, which at the very least creates the appearance of improper behavior by an elected official, one must ask oneself, “Is this the person I want to represent me?” Your vote would be better cast for Angie Minew.
Allen, of course, denies the allegation, claiming that it is political, but the photo of the victim’s injury that accompanies the article, tells another story. As a reminder, Chris Allen, who managed to grab the Republican line with write-in votes at the recent primary, is being challenged by Angie Minew. Ms. Minew is the Conservative candidate for District 2 legislator.
In light of this allegation, anyone who may have been thinking of voting for Chris Allen should vote instead for Angie Minew.
To read the article, and see the photo, click here.
To read Paula Mitchell’s article (Hudson Valley News Network), click here
At the August Saugerties Town Board meeting I made a verbal request to the board to pass a resolution calling for the repeal of the New York State "S.A.F.E. act. Following the meeting it was suggested to me by a board member that getting a petition to bring forth to the town board would help in getting such a resolution passed.
At the September 16th town board meeting I presented the suggested petition with over 100 signatures calling for repeal of the S.A.F.E. act and made a second verbal request along with other Second Amendment supporters. As with most requests made to the town board, the members remained mute.
I am hoping their muteness will transform into action which is needed at a local level to show state officials that we have not forgotten about their unconstitutional infringement on our Second Amendment rights. Such a resolution was taken by the Ulster County Legislature in June to show Albany that citizens care about their rights to protect themselves. In March 2013, GOP Town Board Candidate Bill Schirmer was a key proponent of passing a strong resolution calling for repeal of the S.A.F.E. act. At that time the proposed resolution did not pass. Now in his second year as a town board member we hope that Bill will bring forth that former enthusiasm and respond affirmatively to for call for action and carry the resolution to a successful passage. .
Gaetana Ciarlante , Town Supervisor Candidate
Conservative Party and Reform Party.
Gaetana Ciarlante Fundraiser
This weekend - Sunday, September 20th, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
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Angie Minew successfully completed the NRA sponsored Home Firearms Safety Course