North Greenbush Democrats

North Greenbush Democrats
Fighting For You!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Town GOP a NO SHOW at debate

The entire slate of North Greenbush Republican Town Board candidates and the town clerk candidate were “NO-SHOWS” at the debate held last evening, October 26th at St. Timothy’s Church. The event which was moderated by the non partisan League of Women Voters was an opportunity for candidates to explain their views on the important issues confronting voters in North Greenbush. This was the only debate scheduled which was moderated and run by an organization dedicated to informing voters with no partisan agenda.

“Town Republicans have become “an empty chair brigade” by refusing to stand before the voters and answer their questions”, stated North Greenbush Democratic Chairman Dan Ashley. We believe strongly that every candidate has an obligation and duty to stand before the voters and take this test and I am proud to say that every member of our slate came and answered every question presented to them.

On behalf of the entire Democratic endorsed slate of candidates, we wish to extend our thanks to the League of Women Voters and moderator Irene Wynnczck for giving more than two hours of her time to the voters of North Greenbush. As in past years, the League of Women Voters did an exemplary job of moving things along and ensuring that intelligent questions were presented to the candidates from the audience.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Land grab appears as done deal to Rensselaer School official

Democratic candidates for the North Greenbush Town Board and County Legislative candidate Kevin Harrington reacted strongly today to comments in the Times Union from the Superintendent of Schools in Rensselaer , Gordon Reynolds. Reynolds indicates that city voters should count as an anticipated revenue stream for their proposed new school construction, North Greenbush land at the intersections of RTs 4 and 43 as they consider whether to approve construction of a new school on land already given to Rensselaer by the Republican Majority of the North Greenbush Town Board for which we received NOTHING in return.

“This is simply outrageous”, stated Mark Evers, a candidate for Town Supervisor. It appears that Mr. Reynolds knows something that most voters in North Greenbush have only begun to surmise after the GOP board majority rushed to give CO-Lead Agency status to Rensselaer in the annexation process rather than retain this status exclusively for North Greenbush to fight the annexation.

Town Council candidates Alan Michaels and Ernie Kern agreed noting that “Rensselaer taxpayers should not count on one dime of revenue from the land coveted by developers at the 4 and 43 intersection to pay for a new school. It’s going to pay for our schools and educate our kids, NOT the City of Rensselaer!”.

County Legislative candidate Kevin Harrington whose district would include North and East Greenbush as well as Poestenkill added his voice to the chorus of opposition to Rensselaer efforts to take more land from North Greenbush. “The East Greenbush School district which has responsibility for the education of children in these and other towns cannot afford to have its tax base undercut to benefit another school district. The impact of this annexation proposal is staggering with estimates ranging over 50 million dollars in lost revenues to the district” stated Harrington.

We are joining together to put all those attempting to fast track this annexation that we will use every resource to fight this effort by Republican politicians at the town and county levels to destroy the integrity of the tax base of both the Town of North Greenbush and the East Greenbush School District. The candidates urged the public to attend an informational meeting tonight at 6:30 PM at 555 Broadway in Rensselaer.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

In Memorium

We mourn the passing of
Iggy Tenzyk
A great citizen whose humanity and love of his community will never be forgotten.

Democrats plan belated 150th Birthday celebration

Better late than never is the motto and determination behind the Democratic candidates for North Greenbush Town Board announcement that they will celebrate the town’s 150th birthday even if it has to be a year late.

Mark Evers, Alan Michaels and Ernie Kern believe that the history of North Greenbush and its people should have been properly recognized in 2005, the 150th anniversary of the town’s creation. Instead, the occasion was recognized by a plastic birthday banner strung across the back splash of the ball field adjacent to the town offices on Main Avenue and some foil stickers for town envelopes.

We need only contrast our town with our neighbor East Greenbush which took the time to properly plan a celebration of the community and its people with a memorable parade and other events. We have a great deal of history in this town to celebrate and people past and present that should be recognized, stated Mark Evers, candidate for Supervisor. “From emergency services personnel to fallen military heroes, we have a great deal to be thankful for and many people to whom we owe our continuing gratitude. This was an exceptional opportunity to celebrate the lives of our citizens and to recognize their contributions to our history”, stated Ernie Kern, who at 69 is the senior member of the Democratic slate.

The current Republican administration has not done justice to our community by thinking so little of the purpose and opportunity behind a birthday anniversary of this magnitude, stated Highway Superintendent Mark Premo, who moved here in the 70’s. He said that the entire focus of this administration has been on tending to the needs and birthday wishes of developers and using the town’s resources to further their wish lists. “We need to re-establish the priorities of town government, not by developing land, but rather by developing respect for our past and the many outstanding people that made this town a great place to settle and raise a family, stated council candidate Alan Michaels. “I certainly hope we can create a time capsule as a part of this event, preserving the celebration and the people who took part in it for our 200 anniversary”, stated Michaels. This will be a great boost for our local business community which will certainly benefit from a celebration of this nature.

We intend to honor all those whose vision helped make North Greenbush a great place to live and recognize all those whose sacrifices are enshrined in our monuments and gratitude. “It was the builders of North Greenbush like Frank Houser, Sarkis Minassian, Stretch Valente, Sam Valenti of Vilia Valenti, Mary O’Hanian’s Mary’s Grocery, Harry Doakmajian’s Excelsior House and Harry King who owned the house I now live in and who saw the beauty of Snyder’s Lake creating a commercial beach and dance hall in the 60’s, stated Premo. It’s nice to be able to look out and look back at the same time.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Town officials engaged in cover-up by refusing to name perpetrator of break in

Criminal trespass resulted in copying of oath book and compromised custody of DeFreestville ballots jeopardizing election

North Greenbush Democratic Chairman Dan Ashley is demanding that three town officials who used a copy of a stolen public record in an attempt to remove the town clerk from office, either disclose the name of the thief or resign immediately. Their actions were part of a failed effort to disrupt the recent election in DeFreestville.

The Town Board Majority consisting of Supervisor Tazbir, Councilman Ashe and Councilman Styczynski called a special unpublicized meeting last month just prior to the DeFreestville vote to remove the town clerk from office and ran scared when a reporter from a local television station came with a live truck, stated Ashley.

Now the Supervisor and his colleagues, Styczynski and Ashe have been caught using stolen property to further their political objectives and are refusing to disclose which of them or an unknown person, unlawfully entered the Town Clerk’s Office to steal the oath book long enough to copy and return it. The further outrage is that Mr. Ashe managed to pull strings to get himself and his son jobs as policemen in Hoosick Falls and yet he willingly engages in covering up this illegal act and protects the perpetrator, stated Ashley. He and his colleagues thus become accessories to an illegal act and can at least be charged with “Official Misconduct”.

“It is clear that much more is at stake from this break in than stealing an oath book since vital town records, election records and absentee ballots from the recent DeFreestville election were also locked in that room with the oath book. With the custody of the records compromised there is a real possibility that this act may cause a State judge to invalidate the vote and hold a new election.

Ashley demanded that Tazbir, Styczynski and Ashe immediately disclose the name of the person or persons who committed this act of criminal trespass and whether any of them had prior knowledge of the break in or in any way ordered the act. “A trespass of this nature, potentially by an elected town official constitutes a serious breech of professional conduct as well as an act of criminal trespass in the tradition of Watergate. Should the Supervisor or his colleagues be protecting the individual who accessed this Oath Book, it is clear they become complicit partners in an act of official misconduct. If they fail to come clean they should resign their positions and suffer the consequences of a police investigation. Town officials cannot shield a perpetrator who conducted a break in and theft of an oath book without themselves being charged with a crime.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Campaign 2005 in N. Greenbush becomes WAR against Board Majority surrendering town land to benefit developers who finance their campaign.

North Greenbush Democratic Chairman Dan Ashley declared last evening’s outrageous vote to surrender to the city of Rensselaer equal footing with North Greenbush as Co-Lead Agencies in the SEQR process for yet another annexation of town land, a “declaration of war by the Republican Town Board members against the citizens of this town.” He stated that “BIG BUSINESS has taken over the Republican administration of North Greenbush and everybody is getting a piece of the pie.”

The Republicans can’t have it both ways, saying they’re opposed to the annexation sought by developers and giving away the town’s advantage as lead agency by literally sharing it with those trying to steal our town. No one in their right mind would give up their advantage in a fight of this nature unless they intended to throw the match, stated Ashley.

“This is an absolute sham”. It’s just like the last two times the GOP surrendered lead agency status, first to the County IDA which then picked our pockets with a 2.1 million dollar tax giveaway to the Oak Hill developer. (Piece a Pie) This drove up property taxes and school taxes, for everyone. The GOP simply threw their hands up in the air without a whimper and gladly accepted a $2,500 contribution from the developer.

Next it was the first land giveaway to Rensselaer to help a developer forward an effort to build projects involving a hotel and school which have yet to materialize. In that deal the GOP said we were getting 4 million in State funds to execute the transaction and instead we got NOTHING while Rensselaer enjoys tax revenues that should have been in North Greenbush coffers. (Piece a Pie)

Now, one land theft is leading to another. With a vote last night driven by a resolution drafted by the town attorney whose husband is a major supplier of building materials, concrete, sand gravel etc, and whose employee, Robert Ashe willingly obeys with his votes, the North Greenbush Republicans are making it easy for Rensselaer to steal away more of our town so that the developers can make more money. (Piece a Pie)

This is the worst administration in the 150 year history of North Greenbush, declared Ashley. This battle transcends Democratic and Republican politics and is instead about making money in the development community using a town government to expedite the process. My greatest fear is that even a sweeping defeat of this Majority in the November election may not prevent them from completing this latest land annexation and one other behind it before their terms end on December 31, 2005. (Piece a Pie)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Board Majority should appreciate home town values inspiring town seal

Board majority should appreciate
home town values inspiring town seal

I wish to applaud a letter to the editor by a Clifton Park resident who as a 4th grader at Bell Top School, entered and won a contest to design the official seal of the Town of North Greenbush. That seal which rests on the wall behind the Town Board dais and graces the letterhead of this and all official correspondence was designed by Kristin (Young) Christman .

I was deeply moved by this letter that Ms. Christman wrote to the Times Union. It demonstrates that today as an adult, she respects with great fondness those things about North Greenbush which inspired her design of evergreen trees, a creek, grass and rocks with the motto “An Ever Growing Community”. It is a sad reflection that the current board majority’s development policies and governing attitude are contrary to the values which inspired this seal created from the heart of a young child which have obviously deepened with the passage of time. Ms. Christman demonstrates the continued insightfulness of her childhood has allowed her to accurately capture this board majority’s devotion to turning North Greenbush into yet “another ugly little town of stores, strip malls and parking lots”. She notes that they have replaced the values which inspired her design with a desire for parking lots, cement, asphalt and dollar signs.

Ms. Christman also writes an astute observation on the current government of North Greenbush which she states has engaged in a “costly obstruction and unresponsiveness to DeFreestville residents, its focus on making money from businesses at the expense of citizen values, cannot be considered a form of growth of which to be proud; it’s like the unwanted growth of a tumor”.

It is my hope that every citizen of North Greenbush will take the time to read this short letter inspired by the sadness of what our town government has become and it’s dismal unawareness of those things that made our town a special place to live. Sadly, it is all too easy to understand why the creative person who designed our town seal feels that its trees, grass, rocks and stream can now be replaced with a “strip mall, a parking lot, wiggly lines to show the smell of asphalt, pedestrians with headaches from the glare of sun on the concrete, pollution rolling into neighborhood windows, and all this laid over a backdrop of dollar signs”.

Thank you Kristin for our seal, for remembering North Greenbush and hopefully reminding all of us of the values we should cherish and pass along to the next generation.

Richard Fennelly
Councilman N.Greenbush