List of Letters-to-Editor
(listed in reverse-chronological order)
Letters-to-the-Editor (The Saugerties Times), Last week before Election Day [read]
"Paul Andreassen on Running for Supervisor," [read]
"Paul Andreassen for Town Supervisor" [read]
"Paul Andreassen's Many Commitments to Saugerties," by George Heidcamp [read]
"We Welcome Back Ceres to Kings Highway," by Paul Andreassen and Mike Ivino [read]
"Subject: Thoughts on a Town Board Meeting," by Paul Andreassen [read]
"The Noise Ordinance," by Bill Schirmer [read]
"Mike Ivino's Comments Regarding Dumping Foreign Debris in Saugerties," by Mike Ivino [read]
"The Animal Shelter," by Mike Ivino [read]
"The Ice Arena," by Paul Andreassen [read]
"About Paul Andreassen," by George Heidcamp [read]
List of Articles
(listed in reverse-chronological order)
"Challenger Andreassen, incumbent Costello grapple for Saugerties' top job," Christine Coulter, October 32, 2019 [read]
"Ulster GOP files complaint against Democratic DA candidate," Mid-Hudson News (10-31-19( [read]
"Soros-funded PAC has spent more than $240K to boost Clegg in Ulster County DA race," by Gundry MD [read]
"Saugerties Supervisor Race Heats Up," Christina Coulter, Oct. 6, 2019 [read]
"'Skip the Straw Law' Back Before Ulster County Legislators," Daily Freeman, May 12, 2019 [read]
"Controversial Saugerties Dumping Restrained, but not Stopped,' by Christina Coulter, April 25, 2019 [read]
"Notes From the Trail," by Paul Andreassen [read]
Resolution on Local (Noise) Law [read]
"DA Hopeful Kavanagh: Bail Reform Creates Threats to Communities," by Michael Kavanagh, July 23, 2019 [read]
"Paul Andreassen Announces Saugerties Supervisor Campaign," by Christina Coulter, March 4, 2019 [read]
Ed Gaddy and Hal Brilliant, Conservative Party county chairs, discuss New York's "un-S.A.F.E. Act." [read]
The Conservative Party and the Rifle and Pistol Association of New York State Join Together for the Second Amendment [read]
The Conservative Party and the Rifle and Pistol Association of New York State Join Together for the Seond Amendment
Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association of New York State ("NYSRPA"), recommends that voters cast their votes on the Conservative line on November 4. The recommendation was made during an August 7th meeting between Tom King and Michael Long, New York State Conservative party chairman. NYSRPA was established in 1871 and is New York State’s largest and oldest firearms advocacy organization.
The NYSRPA is dedicated to the preservation of Second Amendment rights, firearm safety and education, and shooting sports. It is associated with the National Rife Association of America ("NRA") and engages locally in many activities similar to the NRA. NYSRPA is engaged in legislation and political awareness campaigns in New York. Finally, it educates and supports various firearm activities of particular interest to juniors and women in the community.
The Conservative Party is the only political party that states its support of the The Conservative Party is the only political party that states its support of the Second Amendment in its platform. The Conservative Party (New York) will only endorse a candidate who shares its Conservative values. These values include adherence to the Constitution according to its original intent and a commitment to promoting positive social and moral values.
Since the passage of the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (ironically called the S.A.F.E. Act) in January 2013, tens of thousands of Second Amendment supporters, as well as those concerned about attempts at erosion of the Constitution, have rallied to voice their objections to further tightening of New York's gun control laws (which prior to the passage of the act was already one of the strictest in the nation). There are currently lawsuits seeking to overturn the act, which is known to have been passed in the dead of night with a “message of necessity.” The Conservative Party gubernatorial candidate has promised that he will repeal this bill, which greatly impinges on the Second Amendment.
If you are an advocate of the 2nd Amendment and the Constitution then vote on the Conservative line (Row C), the only political party to have spoken out in support of the Second Amendment and the entire Constitution.
The "un-S.A.F.E. Act"
To view the video of Ed Gaddy and Hal Brilliant, click the movie camera at left
Are we moving in the right direction as a town government or is it much of the same?
Can we afford it when a company like CERES, a manufacturing company on Kings Highway that employs several hundred people, chooses to re-locate to another nearby town? As supervisor I will be knocking on the door of Markertek, NY Drilling, BC Autoworks, J. Mullen & Sons, Spector Bass, Paperhouse Productions, Methods Machine Tools, Ward Backhaus Collision, Greco Motors, Dan Starr body shop, Benson Steel, Sawyer Motors, Moorhous computers, Flanigan Cleaners, Smith’s Hardware, Elna, Rothe Lumber, Rothe Welding, CERES, Simulaids, LoDolce Machine Shop, Saugerties Electric and many others and asking ‘how can we help, how can we help keep you here and how can we help you grow’?
Are we doing enough to attract and retain new businesses? As town supervisor I would network with various entities to enable potential employers to relocate here and work to promote our ‘shovel ready’ sites on the Kings Highway corridor and encourage the use and re-use of many of the existing vacant structures throughout the town and village. However we don't need to incentivize big businesses with tax breaks we need to create a climate of cooperation with new and existing businesses to locate, expand and grow here gracefully but not at the expense of the everyday taxpayer. We invested a lot of money in infrastructure, especially on Kings Highway, and there must be a way of encouraging developers to come here. What are we not doing?
Consolidation? There has been some discussion with the Mayor and several of the trustees; Don Hackett, Terry Parisian and Vince Buono and several Ulster County legislators about consolidation. Unfortunately, to date, there has been no serious movement in this direction. As supervisor I would advocate for this. We’ve been working on amending the zoning on Kings Highway for over a year. Some legal issues have arisen and we'll work on getting this straightened out.
How can we generate employment opportunities, revenue streams and a long-term strategy for sustainability, supportability and, perhaps most important for us taxpayers, affordability? We need to think in those terms. Counting on grants alone is not a secure business model. It begs the question: ‘what is politics without principle‘ (Mahatma Gandhi 1869-1948). I see an inordinate amount of attention and resources given in certain areas while many worthy areas are marginally funded or outright neglected. The Animal Shelter, Diaz Ambulance, Water and Wastewater Department and Fire Service come to mind.
The base, those who pay the price always, our base, are struggling. We need to look out for and take care of the ‘everyday people’. The backbone, the base. We cannot neglect the ‘base’ The base are the people who toil to sustain the very government we are privileged enough to lead. Let’s not forget who picks up the ‘tab’ for it’s the same people who pick up the tab every time, day after day, month after month, year after year and they’re never in the news, acknowledged in any way or complain.
The base are the everyday people, the shareholders, the taxpayer, the tinkerer, the fabricator, the merchant, the student, the postal worker, the firefighter, the veteran, the senior citizen, the fixed income public housing resident, the retiree, the widow, the widower, the jobless, the job seeker, the cable guy, the lineman, the candlestick maker, the machinist, the highwayman, the builder, the botanist, the tree cutter, the doctor, the nurse, the lawyer, the cashier, the housekeeper, the day care provider, the bus driver, the truck driver, the parent, the grandparent, the sibling, the insurance provider, the coach, the teacher, the engineer, the architect, the house painter, the plumber, the electrician and most importantly and probably the most underrated of all, the volunteer. Where would we be without them all? Unfortunately, and to our loss, Councilman Mike MacIsaac will not be seeking another term. However I hope you can join me and my candidacy to become the next Town Supervisor and support my running mate for Town Board, Centerville/Cedar Grove Fire Commissioner, Mike Ivino. We are both members of the Independence Party and are seeking the support of all residents whether enrolled in a party or not. We need your support in the Primary on June 25th and the general election in November.
People not politics. We will be there for the ‘everyday people'.
As supervisor I cannot promise to change all things but I will promise to change priorities.
Respectfully submitted: Paul Andreassen
Candidate for Town Supervisor Town of Saugerties 845-332-7395 email@example.com
Letters to the Editor
During my campaign I have presented the facts on issues. I have questioned elected and political officials and considered plausible connections indicating behind-the-scene deals. Any public statements which I made were attributed the proper level of credence.
Former Democrat Chairman Mike Harkavy is reacting to the term “Demo-publican” which I coined to describe the collusion of leadership of the Democrat Party with two former chairmen of the Republican Party to endorse the re-election of left-leaning current Town Board members and supervisor. Harkavy recalls my reaching out to Democrat voters during their 2013 caucus many of which hold my same values. Is Mr. Harkavy attempting to prevent Democrats from supporting the ideals I hold and would practice as town supervisor? Specifically they are:
- Establishing a respectful relationship with constituents giving them adequate time and opportunities to be involved in local government;
- Making property taxes low and restoring Saugerties’ rating from the distressed category of fiscal ranking;
- Keeping a balance between conservation and the economy.
I have discussed with Time’s editor the article last week that states that I said four of the five Town Board members are involved in real estate, which is troubling given the amount of tax foreclosures in the town. This connection was not intended for all board members but based on a prior discussion between myself and the editor regarding connections between wealth and real estate. I have always believed that anyone holding the position of town supervisor should refrain from involvement in real estate business as there is an inherent conflict of interest.
I have questioned arms length transactions between Helsmoortel and buyers of real estate who serve on the Town Board. Billy Schirmer was not intended to be presented for suspicion and in discussing it with the editor we agreed to make that correction in this week’s Times which I am doing at this time. However having made that correction and Schirmer, already informed of it, has chosen to send an overreaching letter attacking me. I have not scrutinized Schirmer’s positions on issues but now question why his delay of the anti- SAFE act resolution long enough to allow for a postponement which would bring it to a vote after the election? Why didn’t he bring the SAFE issue to the board after his election in 2013? It should have been brought by him to the board long before I requested the resolution. Now in private correspondence he is referring to it as an issue “not worth the time.”
Has he simply been embraced the Helsmoortel’s team in a desire to belong? But it is a team which does not have the best interest of the taxpayers as its priority. Voters, you can restore the proper priorities.
Vote Conservative candidates- Row C.
Conservative candidate for town supervisor
About Paul Andreassen
Two years ago Paul Andreassen (Independence Party) was approached by many individuals, including both current and former political party leaders, all of whom encouraged him to run for the town supervisor position. Yet Paul, being the gentleman that he is, declined in deference to Jim Bruno, a Republican, and Fred Costello, who is also a member of the Independence Party, since both had announced that they would be running for supervisor. So, instead Paul Andreassen ran for town councilman and received overwhelming support from the Democrat, Conservative and Independence Parties. In fact, Paul was the big “vote-getter,” garnering 2,799 votes on the Democrat line, 983 on the Conservative line and 520 on the Independence line, for a total of 4,302 votes, beating all the other candidates.
One of the reasons, among others, that he decided to run for town supervisor this time around is the fact that there was only one candidate running, and Paul rightly feels that the voters deserve a choice. Paul made it quite clear, from the day that he announced, that he would seek the endorsement from all political parties because it is his intention to represent everyone, not just those from specific parties. Paul is more interested in serving the people than a political party—in fact, his saying is, “people not politics.”
When Paul announced that he would be running for town supervisor, he went through all the proper channels: interviews,
carrying petitions, etc., seeking endorsements from all the
parties, just as he had promised to do.
What I find so ironic is that two years ago those same current and former leaders of the Democratic Committee who had praised Paul up and down for being a “great individual,” with “integrity” and who supported him wholeheartedly for election, this year have denied him even an opportunity to a fair and honest primary, in spite of the fact that he had gone out and collected more than 300-signatures from Saugerties’ Democrats to get on their line. Is this fair? When evaluating the parity of impartial opportunity here, a bit of the background should be taken into consideration: both Paul Andreassen and Fred Costello are members of the Independence Party. One could easily understand Democrats’ support of Costello if he were a registered Democrat, but he’s not. Since both contenders for the nomination are not Democrats, there really is no valid reason to support one and deny the other. A nomination for endorsement under such circumstances should have come by the primary process.
Then, after denying Paul Andreassen an equal opportunity to vie for the Democrat endorsement through the process, negative letters began to appear in the Saugerties Times, again from the same current and former Democrat leaders, criticizing Paul for petty nonsense. The same people who had so vigorously encouraged him to run two years ago, have now turned their backs on him and in the process have turned theirs back on their very own party members as well. I hope that the 4,377 registered Democrat voters will recognize that it is actually their
right to decide whom they want on their line through the primary
process that has been taken away from them and that they will see through all these phony, negative attacks against Paul Andreassen. For Democrat voters who agree that Paul Andreassen is the best man for the job but was treated unfairly, their only option is to vote for him on another line.
I’ve known Paul Andreassen for more than forty years and I can honestly tell you that he is a unique and exceptional individual. In all the years that I have known him, he has consistently demonstrated a love for his hometown and its people. Don’t be fooled by the petty, negative attacks that crop up like clockwork every political season. Paul is a good man of integrity, honesty and pride, who quietly does a damn good job, and I think most people know that. Accordingly, I would suggest that the contrarians (those who paint everything with a negative brush and go against anything an opponent says or does) stop playing that game and focus on the issues instead of dealing in negativity.
And now, last but not least, the “opponents,” calling Paul out for abstaining on a vote was a very cheap and totally unfair shot at Paul. Under Roberts Rules of Order (the bible of running a meeting), when someone abstains, it is neither a “yes” vote nor a “no” vote—it’s not a vote at all. Occasionally the legislator, councilman, or whatever, might just say, “Present.” When a board member doesn’t have all the information necessary to make an informed vote, the only proper and responsible action is to vote “no,” with an explanation, or to abstain.
When asked about the ice arena,
Paul Andreassen had these comments:
“There’s a ploy on the part of some to discredit whoever does not agree with them. As for the ice arena criticism aimed at my candidacy for supervisor because I abstained from the vote, it’s all they seem to have. If you don’t want questions, only rubber stamping, then what are we doing here?
“A response will only keep it alive and it does not deserve a response. When asked I’ll give my reasons for why the lack of budgeting for these things such as the infrastructure needs and the lack of planning puts the town in fiscal jeopardy. The current supervisor and another sitting councilwoman have had 15-years each on the board to plan for infrastructure and capital improvement projects and it appears that there was no plan in place or little budgeting for the ice arena. You cannot rely on grants.
“As an example of what it takes to really develop a project in the town of Saugerties, Tony Montano spent a year going through the Planning Board to get an approval. No one seemed to care how many thousands it cost him in design and re-design or meeting after meeting to get through the process. The Zoning Board of Appeals, of which good people such as Patti Kelly and Henry Rua are members, grilled the cell tower consultants, requesting a variance with regard to a proposed siting in the Mt. Marion area. Nobody gets through these boards without questions, discussion, debate, revisions and SEQRA compliance.
Yet the Town Board, responsible for the Town’s taxpayer
money, is supposed to approve a large reconstruction project, over one million dollars, at one night’s meeting and expedite the approval without hearings, without debate, without discussion, without the consultants or the representatives of the project and the town accountant spending one minute in front of the board, in public, providing the details of the project, explaining drawings and specifications, a timeline for construction, weather restrictions, staging, selective demolition, contract language for the responsibility of the contractor and penalties for lack of performance, incentives, oversight (clerk of the works or separate engineering company), special inspections (concrete, steel, materials, fasteners, etc), insurance, bonding, warranties (limited or otherwise), etc?
“If that is how the public wants the town to operate and allows a department head to dictate the terms, without discussion, then you certainly don’t want me as your town supervisor. Incidentally, I requested one thing: a clerk of the works be assigned to this project. Some members of the recreation committee and members of the town board seemed to think it would be an added expense to an already expensive project and should have been brought up earlier. I rest my case. The project is approved, I remain skeptical of the process, and only hope now that the town did not make a mistake in approving this so hastily. Watch for the overruns, added and hidden expenses. I live and pay taxes here too.”
I had the opportunity to tour the Saugerties Animal Shelter with Councilman Paul Andreassen on Saturday April 13th. We were accompanied by several staff members. The conditions there are abhorrent. The building is clearly in need of significant upgrading and/or repairs or complete replacement.
The septic system, which serves both the animal shelter and transfer station bathrooms, apparently backs up during heavy rains and enters the facility through the floor drain inside the shelter. This presents absolutely unsanitary and unhealthy conditions for both the animals residing there and the staff working there. In addition, the shelter size and configuration obviously appears too small for their needs and is lacking general maintenance.
The Town Board needs to re-prioritize its basic needs and its purpose. If we have facilities in the town, they MUST all be maintained (with equal enthusiasm). Funds, which are scarce everywhere, should not be lopsidedly provided to other already oversized departments. Recent news articles mentioning an overworked understaffed police force attributed to some incident in Catskill but somehow has origins in Saugerties is an example of using fear to justify the
need for more manpower. There’s nothing new in that. But, and the Town should be mindful of this, if those statements made in public are not true how does that affect our overall credibility or if they are true, could they impede the investigation being conducted by the state police?
About two years ago the Town of Saugerties was cited as being financially distressed by the State Comptroller’s office and it was determined that the town should be increasing its fund balance to remain fiscally healthy. How is that working out and does anyone know?
For health and safety reasons alone dollars should be allocated to the Saugerties Animal Shelter. I call upon the current town board members to visit the shelter in order to see for themselves the unhealthy situation. When I’m elected to the Town board I pledge to improve the resources available for the Saugerties Animal Shelter and to look out for the welfare of the staff as well as the animals housed there.
Respectfully submitted, Mike Ivino Candidate Saugerties Town Council 8453993507
As a 25-year native resident to Saugerties, | have never witnessed something so horrendous as the mess Mr. Karolys has brought to our town. Friendly Saugerties is becoming less and less friendly as some have voiced in a recent town board meeting. Why has this issue gotten as far as it has? Why is Mr. Karolys still operating the way he is? It seems to me that our town board (some) have been pretty lax on this subject and is not taking it to the next level it should be taken to. My first encounter with this mess was when the Centerville Fire District was dispatched for a tractor trailer rollover on Goat Hill Rd.
What was found when members arrived was a tractor trailer on its side on site of Mr. Karolys property. As a member of the Centerville Fire District | got to see some of what was just the beginning of this horrible plan Mr Karolys had in mind. At the time some of us had no idea what we were coming in contact with. Now it is a constant worry that we have a steady stream of trucks running 212 and tight backroads everyday and this may happen again and we will have to deal with it. | took some time on a rainy Sunday last week to look at each of Mr. Karolys sites he’s been filling with nasty material. | also got to meet Mr. Karolys first hand. He had no answers for the questions | had other than, “I am just trying to make money and no one will leave me alone.” Where is your respect for your neighbors and the environment you are destroying? What | witnessed was very disturbing while passing by his properties and dump sites. His trucks leak oils everywhere
leaving rainbows all over, they're tracking mud and unidentified materials into town, county, and state roadways creating very treacherous road hazards when wet. He is destroying the newly-paved 212 highway where his trucks enter and leave the roadway. The worst part is he’s filling our ecosystem with unidentified material that could be harmful to everyone. We can not let this go any further. This has to stop. The impact this could have on surrounding properties will be long-lasting and devastating to the environment. | call on our current town board and its officials who can stop this or at least make sure it is properly and safely regulated, to keep the pressure on and make this a priority for the health and safety of our town and its residents. Time to clean up your act Karolys!
The photos show the Tractor Trailer rollover, oil spots on Goat Hill Rd, Mud and debris on Route 212 and Goat Hill Rd, and oil slick in runoff water on Goat Hill Rd which also shows a total lack of requirements set forth by the NYSDEC and its section for Storm water discharge from construction activities. There is a community forum on this topic this Tuesday 7PM at the Saugerties High School Auditorium.
April 23 at 11:13 PM
I've for the most part stayed out of politics since leaving my position on the Town Council, but this proposed legislation has brought me to comment on its absurdity. | encourage everyone of a similar belief to please contact members of the board and oppose the proposed noise law:
[My Letter] Dear Supervisor and Council Persons,
I'm writing to respectfully request that you remove from consideration the currently proposed noise ordinance.
I'm in a position to have spent much time contemplating such a law. While I'm still generally opposed, I'm perfectly willing to admit that the actions of a few may require further steps to enforce what should be considered common decency.
Unfortunately, the proposed draft has many shortcomings that make it overly vague, over burdensome, difficult to enforce and, because of those flaws, most likely unconstitutional.
| did a tremendous amount of research on this topic when it was addressed during my tenure on the board. What was generally accepted as "good legislation" almost always acknowledged an objective standard for defining "unreasonable" noise. The current proposal contains no such objective standard. Determination of a violation, and enforcement, is entirely at the discretion of the responding officer. This could result in two different outcomes to a similar complaint. This is a recipe for selective enforcement, which is typically frowned upon by the courts.
There was an incomplete working draft from around 2014 that addressed many of these concerns. | would encourage you to revisit that draft, because | think it was much better than this current proposal.
Respectfully submitted, Bill Schirmer
Subject: Thoughts on a town board meeting
What started out as a good faith approach to craft a common sense law to appease the residents of Saugerties who have experienced noise concerns of varying degrees over the years, and the apparent lack of enforcement by the police due to any significant noise ordinance, the public spoke and the board got an earful. The concerned citizenry turned into a grass roots movement to demand that the town board “think again”. They got our attention last night. Of the more than one hundred residents present twenty nine spoke passionately and decisively in opposition of the proposed noise ordinance and one spoke in favor of it albeit not necessarily in its present form.
Our last public hearing on this issue drew mostly supporters although they too were not in favor of every aspect of the proposal.
As a town board member I can assure those present at the meetings, those following the situation on Facebook, in the press or at the coffeehouses, we heard you loud and clear.
The board will not revisit this issue without
significant revisions to the current proposal, exemptions for those who need to make a living in the rough and tumble world of construction, trucking and the like (myself and my family included) and only if there is a consensus among the people of Saugerties to pursue this endeavor. We are not going to make any decision on any part of this proposed legislation in the foreseeable future (if at all) and we absolutely will NOT make ANY decision behind closed doors. Period. That’s not how this works and certainly not how I will allow it to work. I am only one vote on a board of five elected officials but I can confidently state, at this time, we are not going to move forward on this proposed noise ordinance unless, and I stress unless, significant modifications are made to address the concerns we heard last night and a general consensus is arrived at which addresses the concerns of ALL our residents. We should not and will not politicize this issue.
On a final note, Keith Hughes, who spoke adamantly and eloquently against the law, visibly frustrated, made a very moving statement, to the town, and in particular to Fred and myself, to remove the ‘Welcome to Friendly Saugerties’ signs at the entrances to the town on the Glenerie side and
the Ulster Avenue side. As he finished his statement, to much applause (first amendment at its best), it was clearly the defining moment of the night for me and summed up the entire mood of those present. It was powerful. So I say to Keith, a hard working tree guy, and all those who were present, give us a chance, don’t rush to judgement and PLEASE don’t take down those ‘welcome to friendly Saugerties’ signs just yet. We have a lot of work to do.
Town Councilman Paul Andreassen.
It's important to support these kinds of sustainable businesses that provide long-term employment for our residents so they can afford to pay the taxes for all the police, parks, highway and emergency services that are continually escalating at a rate faster than the income ratio.
We cannot support these programs wholly on tourism and service oriented jobs. We, as a community, need to recognize the jobs Ceres, Markertek, J Mullen, NY Drilling (to name a few) and others provide as anchors for our economy and healthy economical growth. Without them we become nothing more than a transient community with a short-term view of the future. So it's important that as a town and a town government, we publicly acknowledge, support and recognize these companies as vital to our economy and to our longevity.
Paul Andreassen, Mike Ivino, Town Councilman, Candidate for Town Councilman
Nicole Roskos questions why Paul Andreassen would not finish his remaining term on the Board and compares his length of service to Fred Costello's. Why? Just who is Nicole Roskos? She's the Democrat’s candidate for the Board, along with Democrat candidate, Fred Costello, and Paul and Fred are vying for the supervisor position. So, if Paul Andreassen needs a civics lesson, I'm sure the last person he would consult with would be Nicole Roskos.
Paul is a member of the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency and liaison to the Historic Preservation Commission, Sewer and Water Advisory Board, Diaz Ambulance, Tourism Committee, Ethics Committee, Planning Board, Zoning Board, Building Department and Water and Sewer Department.
Paul is a former Navy Seabee, photojournalist, building contractor, home inspector, building consultant and senior building official in four municipalities and state codes instructor at the NYS Dept. of State Codes Division, and currently teaches the course at Columbia-Greene Community College.
Paul knows more about environmental laws than most anyone on the Board, having worked first-hand as the Town's Code Enforcement Officer for ten-years handling hundreds of cases dealing with floodplain management, wetlands, steep slope construction, etc. Paul and staff fought against many hazardous environmental quagmires to the satisfactory conclusion of shutting down both the Shott Mining operation and The American Candle Factory. During years of litigation, not one board member or supervisor attended the hearings, meetings or court proceedings. That they sit through these meetings, regarding Karolys, is their choice, so if the supervisor and other candidates are looking for votes, "high fives" or photo-ops, they will wait a long time. These matters take forever to adjudicate and filling the gallery with cheerleaders won't alter the outcome in any way.
Paul also sat on the Ulster County and Town Planning Boards for seven-plus years. He is ready to be supervisor and stop the duplicitousness, patronizing, lack of transparency, the ignoring input of board members and catering to the special interests of the few, and to manage the town the way it should be managed for all people.
As a member of the Paul Luke Band, they performed for hundreds of causes throughout the Town and surrounding counties for forty years, so don't badger Paul's commitment to any cause, because he's done more for this town than most people give him credit for or even know. No lightweight, he is a man of integrity. He's never charged for mileage involving any of the public service or volunteer committees, boards or associations with which he was involved. He's a true and committed public servant who believes in "doing your bit and then going back to the farm" (metaphorically speaking, your day job)."
Paul Andreassen is indeed ready to finish his commitment to our town board—but from the chair where he will serve us best.
1-Update Town Budget and Website.—Create and publicly display a searchable town budget with organizational
charts and annual goals and tests. The people deserve the right to know, understand and have free access to the flow of money and an honest, transparent account of their hard-earned tax dollars.
2- Realistic Self-imposed and Public Campaign Finance Reform.—In the interest of making unbiased and
unencumbered governing decisions, donations to a political campaign should be disallowed from vendors, LLCs, PACs or similar organizations; only persona| donations from individuals should be acceptable. On a personal level, I have not, nor will I, accept any campaign contributions from anyone accept a moderate personal donation and furthermore, going forward, | will not accept anything over fifty dollars.
- —Although I generally believe in and know the value of compromise, campaign finance reform is not the place for that. It’s either all or nothing. We have to take the money out of politics at every level. Let’s start with Saugerties.
- —When elected Town Supervisor, as I’ve done as a councilman, | will continue to work for and answer only to the people.
3-Consolidations.—Often talked about, but rarely done. Identify areas of possible town/village consolidation
(building inspector, highway department, DPW, water, sewer, etc.). Explore trends considering town/county consolidations (police force, tax assessment, health care consortiums, etc.). Once we make a decision to go in this direction, we can then open exploratory committees compromised of town/county/village officials and citizens with knowledge and experience in these areas to review and make recommendations.
4-Term Limits.—Recent bipartisan efforts in Ulster and Dutchess Counties have brought about term limits for all
county elected officials. 1 will put forth similar legislation for all town officials on Day One when elected Town Supervisor.
5- Capital Improvement Fund.—Depleting budget surpluses, if any, is not a healthy or fiscally responsible
business plan. Relying on grants for every project is also not realistic. | would look to see what percentage of our annual budget can be used for a capital improvement fund and whatever revenues the town receives dedicate a certain amount for future facilities maintenance, repairs, upgrades and so on. The recreation trust fund has been depleted, misused, mismanaged and perennially drained. Let’s fix this. Give the Recreation Committee more oversight capability and listen to them.
6-Environmental Policy and Protections—With the many dangers threatening the health of Saugerties air, water and residents, we must use all avenues available to us. Grants and incentives to help businesses to go green (and grow green), policies restricting single use plastics and further reducing the town's carbon footprint with meaningful legislation.
7-Reduce Spending.—Ensure that the procurement policy and bid process is properly followed; better identify grant possibilities and follow-through. Consolidations- work with county to audit town facilities/programs/departments to ensure proper practices and efficiency and more diligently vet out-of-town entities receiving questionable tax exemptions which further strains and adds to our school/property tax burden issues.
Thank you for your support.
I’m Paul Andreassen, Saugerties Town Councilman, and I’m running for Town Supervisor. There was marginal planning and little budgeting for the ice arena. Relying on grants, projected revenues and recreation fees from future development to fund a project is not realistic. When the lack of budgeting for improvements or expenditures is questionable everyone should be concerned. Costly improvements that put the town in any debt or fiscal stress warrants additional scrutiny not less.
Arguably, over the last two decades, town boards could have planned better for infrastructure and capital improvement projects. Let’s correct that trend.
In general, all commercial construction projects go before the Planning Board and, if necessary, the Zoning Board of Appeals. Some might argue that this should apply to the Town as well. As an example of what it takes to develop a project in the Town of Saugerties, Anthony Montano spent a year in front of the planning board. No one seemed to care how many thousands it cost him in design and re-design or meeting after meeting to get through the
process. The zoning board of appeals, of which good people such as Patti Kelly, Jeannie Goldberg, Joe Mayone and Henry Rua are members, grilled the Verizon cell tower consultants requesting a variance wanting to site a tower in the Mt. Marion area. Nobody gets through these boards without questions, discussion, debate, revisions and SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act) compliance. The ice arena never went through such review.
The Town Board, responsible for the taxpayer’s money, approved $1.3 million for the ice arena in one night. The approval process was expedited without a hearing, debate, discussion, consultants describing in detail the plans, specifications or contract language and without the town’s accountant explaining, in public, what this project entails or how it would be paid for.
Incidentally, I abstained from the vote for multiple reasons but requested a clerk of the works be assigned to the project. Some members of the recreation committee and members of the town board seemed to think it would be an added expense to an already expensive project. Lisa Greco on the recreation committee and Mike MacIsaac on the town board agreed that a project of this size and scope should have an independent overseer.
Going back a few years, in the spring of 2017, before running for the town board, I offered to chair a committee of like-minded professionals to research the feasibility of a permanent structure to house the ice arena and its ancillary spaces that could be used year-round. I never received a response from the Town Board. Last month I open the paper to see the headlines of a month’s delay. That does not bode well for those who were beating the ‘time is of the essence’ drum.
Fortunately an earlier motion to approve a chiller, for an additional $500,000, was pulled from the agenda when I wrote an email to the board with concerns to identify where the funding would come from, potential permissive referendum requirements, segmentation of a capital project and our own procurement policy requirements. We are not supposed to conduct the Town’s business in a vacuum.
The ice arena project is approved. Majority rules. I remain skeptical of the process and only hope that the town did not make a mistake in approving this so hastily. Watch for delays, overruns, additional charges, hidden costs, problems with site conditions and the loss of revenue. I live and pay taxes here too.
If I am elected supervisor, all Town construction projects will go through a rigorous planning process and will be transparent.
Respectfully, Paul Andreassen
Town Councilman Malden on Hudson, NY 12453 845-332-7395 firstname.lastname@example.org
Re: Paul Andreassen (Supervisor)
Andreassen: Dedicated public servant
Eight years ago when I had the audacity to think I could be a building inspector, then Town of Saugerties Building Inspector Paul Andreassen took it upon himself to mentor and train me. Never once commenting upon the dissonance of my gender, never once, for all his experience talking down to me. I count myself fortunate that I learned to know a dedicated public servant committed to hard work and integrity. I urge my Town of Saugerties neighbors to vote for Paul Andreassen for Town Supervisor.
Re: Mike Ivino (Councilman)
Mike will make the tough decisions
On November 5, 2019, the residents of Saugerties have an opportunity to elect a young man to the Saugerties Town Board who at the age of 25 has the business sense, drive and commitment to our community of an individual way beyond his years.
Mike was born and raised in Saugerties and has always been very civic minded. He became a volunteer fireman approximately eight years ago and along with being on many committees with in his fire company, he has held the position of secretary, lieutenant and was recently elected as a captain for the year 2020. Along with this Mike has been on the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Centerville Fire District for the past two years.
Mike knows that the position of town councilman involves making tough decisions that ultimately affect every Saugerties resident and that is in their respective pockets. Mike is committed to not only keeping Saugerties an affordable place where its residents can live and raise a family but looking to the future a thriving and economically sound place where our children’s children can live and raise their families.
I am respectfully asking all of my friends, family, colleagues and residents of Saugerties to please join me and cast your ballot for Mike Ivino on November 5.
Approximately eight months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Mike Ivino for the very first time when he appeared before a screening committee to seek the Conservative endorsement.
One of the very first questions asked of him was, “Why are you seeking our endorsement?” He detailed his reasons and then stated that he would be seeking an endorsement from all the other political parties as well, because he doesn’t want to be accountable to any one party. He explained how he wants to run for town board because he wants to get involved and help make Saugerties a better place to live. He made it very clear from day one that he is in this for the people not party politics. He then laid out his vision. One-by-one, each member of the committee had an opportunity to interview Mike and each member asked a series of questions, after which Mike left the room.
I have been involved in politics for many years, as most readers are well aware, and I can honestly say that I have never met a more polite, decent and straight forward man in all that time. I couldn’t get over the way this young man conducted himself — an absolute gentleman. I feel strongly that Mike Ivino will be one of the best town board members we’ve had in many years. I appreciate that he was honest with us right up front stating that he’s in this to represent the people, not the party.
With that said, I ask all registered voters, no matter which party, if any, that you are affiliated with, to give Mike Ivino the opportunity to represent each and every one of us and to prove what he can do for Saugerties. On Election Day, November 5, please vote for Mike Ivino either on lines B,C, F, or G.
George D. Heidcamp Sr.
Vote Ivino, for change
After attending the Forum in Saugerties last evening I am writing this letter in support of Mike Ivino, for Town Councilman. When Mike presented himself his sincerity of “giving something back to the Community” stuck in my thoughts.
When he explained that he did not ask “party affiliation” when responding to a fire call in the Centerville District, he showed an understanding that we as constituents, with differences and concerns deserve a response with hopefully, a solution. Yes, he is 25 years old but it is time for new ideas as Saugerties enters the 2020s. Business should not be done as usual, it is time for change.
A letter of support for Mike Ivino
I write this letter as a person who has been fortunate enough to stay out of the tough world of politics. I have always been the non-partisan, vote for the right person guy. Currently I find myself shaking my head often, at what seems to be dividing us here in this nation, which is politics instead of service. This is why I have chosen to support a young businessman with energy, thought and a strong sense of public service for a seat on the Town of Saugerties Town Council. I have observed firsthand the hard work and willingness to give of himself for the community he was raised in. Whether it’s the simple gesture of helping his fellow neighbors, his service to the community in the fire department or volunteering and accepting positions on boards and committees, Mike gives his all with a cheerful and energetic attitude. I feel that if you are looking for a representative that truly has no other interest in being our Town Councilman other than working for the good of his community, Mike Ivino is our choice.
Five Great Reasons to Vote for Mike Ivino for Saugerties Town Council
1- Mike is not only a lifelong resident of Saugerties, he also wants to retire in Saugerties. This means Mike is committed to long term, cost effective solutions to managing our town budgets. All while balancing the needs of our community with revenues and expenses.
2- As a first time home buyer in Saugerties, Mike is painfully aware of the burden of high taxes. On the local level, Mike will be making affordable home ownership a priority for all.
3- Mike is a small business manager. Therefore, he has a keen understanding of the unique needs of small business owners. He is committed to developing an economic climate where small businesses can thrive.
4- Since the age of 17, Mike has been a volunteer member of Cedar Grove Fire Company. Currently, he is also serving as a Commissioner and Lieutenant. On call 24 hours a day, Mike is dedicated to the safety of all residents and businesses in his District.
5- Mike Ivino is a registered Independent. Devoted to citizens and causes, his sights are set on a bright future for the Town of Saugerties. There is no better way to get young people involved in politics than to actually vote for one. Look for Mike’s name on the Independent, Republican and Conservative lines.
Our family encourages you & yours to join us in supporting Mike Ivino for Saugerties Town Council.
Amy, Jesse, Jeremy & Justin DiCesare
Re: Mary Wawro (Legislator, District 1)
Wawro For Legislature
I would like to strongly recommend Mary Wawro for re-election to her current position in the Ulster County Legislature District 1. I have known Mary for over 20 years. She has been the daycare provider for my three daughters. Under her care all of my daughters were well prepared for kindergarten. My wife and I owe her a deep debt of gratitude for being so instrumental in helping prepare of children for their education. Mary exercises the same level of care and dedication with her legislative duties. Some politicians seem to enjoy the power and prestige these positions can bring an individual, Mary is more concerned about actually helping people and families in Ulster County. Mary has been involved in the following: Served as the chairperson for the Ulster County Social Services and Public Safety Committees.
Is a member of various environmental & education programs.
She also recognizes the problems and issues communities in Ulster County face with drug addiction. Mary has volunteered with the Woodstock PARI program and took the Angel Training. Mary has also been a very strong advocate for NARCAN Trainings and has actually sponsored these.
We have seen Mary attend many events brining these issues front and center, most recently at the Ryan’s Run fundraiser in Kingston.
Vote for Mary Wawro
I am proud to know Mary Wawro, legislative candidate, who is out there fighting to save our children’s lives. The opioid epidemic is taking more young lives everyday. There were more than 68,000 drug overdose deaths reported in 2018. Mary has advocated for Hope Rocks, and our grass roots peer to peer AWARENESS behavioral health program and others, to gain support from the Ulster County Legislature to help at risk youth in our County.
Mary recognizes how important it is to get help to those who are struggling with addiction as well as to provide Narcan trainings to the friends and family of those addicted. In her “spare time” she provides day care, positively shaping the minds of the babies who will be our future generation. I encourage everyone who can to vote for her.
Re: Al Bruno (Legislator, District 2)
Support Al Bruno
I am asking all of the Saugerties residents in Legislative District 2, to get out and vote for Al Bruno.
Al is a lifelong resident of Saugerties and has devoted countless hours to extensive Community Service. He is currently the Chairman for the Saugerties Assessment Board of Review, Chairman of the Saugerties Ethics committee and he sits on the Transportation Advisory Committee. The list goes on but Al doesn’t devote his time and effort to be in the lime light or for attention, he donates his time because he believes that Saugerties is a great place to live and raise a family but he also knows that there are challenges that the residents face and when elected to the Ulster County Legislature, he will devote his time and energy to make sure that not only the residents in his district are represented but all of the residents of Ulster County are treated equally.
Al is no nonsense individual who is committed to one thing and that is anything that he decides to take on. I am proud to support Al Bruno so please, get out and vote for Al on November 5, 2019.
I support my husband Al Bruno for Ulster County Legislator! His passion for politics makes him the right candidate for the job! While his opponents were busy “trash-talking” Al…rather than getting into any verbal bashing, Al was busy putting his time and energy into focusing on what he can do for his community, for our community! With his common sense approach Al will bring a refreshing and much-needed breath of fresh air to the Ulster County legislator.
He is committed to representing the people of his district and will do so with not only common sense but respect and integrity as well! Join me in voting for Al Bruno for Ulster County Legislator!
Bruno will work for all taxpayers
First, I’d like to thank the League of Women Voters, for hosting a candidate’s forum, debate on Friday October 18, at the senior center. It was a pleasure and honor to participate with the community and other candidates.
I am new to the political process, and not as polished as other candidates, not to mention nervous. I know a lot of what I wanted to say, just didn’t come out quite the way I wanted it to. And for that I’d like to apologize. I’d also like to clarify one point, and bring up one that wasn’t addressed at all.
On the Environment: I do believe our environment does need as much serious attention we can give it. Climate change is a very real problem. We all need to become much more diligent in not only the waste we produce, but how we dispose of it. I will work hard towards solving the current crisis of disposal. I also believe, our energy usage can and should become one that requires much less dependency on fossil fuels. Not just on a local level, but on a national and global level as well. We must use technology in a way that actually reduces our total carbon footprint, not just ones that are “feel good programs”. We must do this while, maintaining and creating living wage jobs. Jobs that will enable our children and grandchildren the opportunity to live and raise a family here. One that will keep Saugerties and Ulster County, a viable place to call home, for generations to come.
One very surprising omission during the evening, was the question on the opioid epidemic and crisis. While it was asked of the previous candidates, it was not one of the questions to the prospective Legislators. I would like to state publicly, I will do everything in my power to pass effective legislation that will help the victims of addiction — including providing additional funding for treatment centers, and professional assistance. I will look for ways for the county to partner with other agencies and programs such as R.Y.A.N. and DARE programs; reach out events to Boys & Girls Clubs; school groups, and scouts. I will look for ways to pass zero tolerance laws for dealers, and mandatory sentencing for those who are convicted of selling fentanyl-laced heroin. These people are just as much domestic terrorists and threats to our community as someone using a gun at a school!
I will propose legislation that requires all pharmacies to have permanent drug disposal containers. not just during “Shed the Med” events. If we as a county, can “Shed the Meds” on a special occasion, then we can and must do it every day! This is absolutely essential for the well being of our children and our community.
I am a taxpayer who will work for all taxpayers with integrity, honesty, and common sense.
Albert Bruno, Candidate for Ulster County Legislature, District 2
Re: Lisa Cutten (Comptroller)
Cutten for Comptroller
I hope voters of all parties are following the race for Ulster County Comptroller.
The County Comptroller has the extremely important job of auditing the money that Comes into and goes out of Ulster County — over $350 million/year. What if a contractor bills the county twice? What if some money gets embezzled?
A good comptroller will find out and speak up.
Lisa Cutten is a Certified Public Accountant with 35 years of experience in government auditing. She has been Comptroller of Poughkeepsie and Fishkill, and Treasurer of the City of Kingston. She has caught people bilking Ulster County and brought them to justice. You can watch her describe it on a video of the comptrollercandidate debate at dailyfreeman.com.
Her opponent is March Gallagher, a lawyer with a Master’s Degree in Public Health, who has worked on women’s issues and economic development in addition to her private legal practice. She has never held an auditing position. She ran for County Executive this year and dropped out, allowing Pat Ryan to win. Pat Ryan now supports her candidacy.
This isn’t a matter of political right and left. It’s a matter of someone who is highly qualified versus someone who is poorly qualified and a little too chummy with Pat Ryan for the public good.
I wish March Gallagher well in her future career, as long as it is not Ulster County Comptroller. There is no reason for her to take that position when Lisa Cutten can bring years of auditing experience and a gutsy political independence to the job.
Vote for Cutten
I am one of the many Ulster County voters that doesn’t belong to a political party. Socially I’m slightly to the left on social issues and a little more than slightly to the right on government spending. I fully support government helping those in need, but I expect it to be done efficiently and effectively. The role of Comptroller is to insure that the tax payers are getting what they paid for.
Next year Ulster County will have a freshman Executive with an untried staff and at least five new legislators to govern our county. Now, more than ever we’ll need a competent Comptroller who has the training and experience of detecting governmental waste and fraud.
Before deciding on who you’ll vote for in November, visit the candidates for Comptroller’s face book and campaign sites. Evaluate their qualifications and experience and then choose the one you think will best do the job.
If you do that, then I’m sure you’ll be joining me in voting for Lisa Cutten, as the position calls for a accounting expert and she is one. Cutten can and will do the best job for us as our Comptroller.
Re: Mike Kavanagh (Ulster County District Attorney)
While the writer of the following letter does not specifically state his support of Mike Kavanagh for District Attorney, it seems fairly evident that he does, or would.
Shabazz wanted to hurt cops
My name is Raymond Nafey. I am a retired New York City detective, formally assigned to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force, Northern District of New York, which includes Ulster County.
I read with interest today, the Kingston Daily Freeman’s article regarding the local campaign for district attorney. I felt compelled to respond as the assistant case agent assigned to the investigation of Ismail Shabazz a.k.a. Gary Faulkner which ultimately resulted in his arrest and guilty plea to unlawful sale of illegal firearms.
During my tenure with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, I became involved in an investigation whose origin stemmed from a meeting of Black Panther Party elements in New York City. This investigation brought the JTTF to the City of Kingston, New York. During the next year and half an FBI undercover agent and confidential source made numerous trips to meet with Mr. Shabazz to discuss his involvement in the New Black Panther Party.
Mr. Shabazz was an advocate for the revolutionary tactics employed by the Black Panther Party, a radical organization known for violence and hatred toward law enforcement. During the investigation, many conversations occurred in which Mr. Shabazz spoke of his desire to physically injure members of local law enforcement. He took great pride in his belief that his mere presence intimated members of the local police agencies. A community activist, such as he was, in truly the worst sense.
The fact that I now read in local press accounts that an individual seeking the highest law enforcement position in Ulster County, the district attorney, has associated himself with such an individual as Mr. Shabazz, is deeply disturbing and appalling.
The article quotes the candidate saying, he had “absolutely no contact” and “I shook his hand. He was in a crowd. I don’t shun people. I didn’t know what he was alleged to have done” in and of itself is disturbing.
In today’s world of social media, such statements are easily disproven as shown here in another photograph publicly displayed on the candidate’s website as early as spring of 2019. (Editor’s note: A photo provided by the letter-writer, which shows Clegg and Shabazz together and smiling, could not be confirmed by Ulster Publishing to be, as of Oct. 22, 2019, on any Clegg website or social media page.)
It is more than apparent that the candidate and Mr. Shabazz are known to one another. It also appears that Mr. Shabazz is wearing a large Black Panther Party lapel pin as seen in the photo below. That in and of itself should have been enough for the candidate for district attorney to be concerned, and certainly not to have placed himself in such a compromising position.
Further, the candidate seeking such a sensitive position, one that politics should have little influence in, should be more open and honest about his affiliations and supporters.
The candidate’s response to the concern raised as a result of his campaign mailer, seems to be more than disingenuous.
As a retired New York City Detective assigned to JTTF and one of the arresting officers of Mr. Shabazz, it seems that the people of Ulster County at large and members of Ulster County law enforcement should demand more of their district attorney.
Detective, New York City Police Department (retired)
Re: Paul Andreassen and Mike Ivino (Supervisor and Councilman, respectively)
The following comments by Mike Ivino editorially appeared in The Letters column as a response to a letter appearing there. It reveals why, in spite of the large number of Democrats who wanted to vote for Paul Andreassen and Mike Ivino or at least wanted them on the ballot, Mike and Paul were denied any opportunity to appear on a ballot and thus were unable to fight for the nomination:
Mike Ivino responds: I had conversations with Lanny (Walter, Dem Chair) that led to nowhere. Paul (Andreassen) and I had over 360 signatures to primary and at a meeting to give Wilson [Pekulas — an authorization given by a political party to a candidate for public office in the State of New York that allows the candidate not registered with that party to run as its candidate in a given election] no one ever gave us a look, and some people were upset that no one ever gave us a look…