North Greenbush Democrats

North Greenbush Democrats
Fighting For You!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Chairman Declares Evers Has Abandoned Core of Campaign Platform

In light of recent actions and comments by the party’s candidate for Supervisor, North Greenbush Democratic Chairman Dan Ashley has concluded that Supervisor Mark Evers is no longer faithful to our core platform issue of opposing the development polices of the prior administration as driven by former Town Attorney Linda Mandel-Clemente.

Beginning with a 3-2 vote in the prior administration, Democrats, then in the minority, voted against the controversial rezoning of Rts 4 and 43. The Republicans ignored the rights of its citizens when they permitted the rezoning of the intersection despite the filing of a Supermajority Petition by town residents.

We also learned that the Supervisor had stonewalled a request from the Town Attorney to sign a consent form to change attorneys from the old to the new administration as this case was accepted by the State’s Highest Court. Our new Town Attorney, who is paid a fixed salary, without additional cost to taxpayers, is prepared to argue against the actions of the prior Town Board in illegally rezoning the area. Mr. Evers prefers that an attorney from the prior administration “defend” the Town at the State’s Highest Court by arguing against the issue upon which he was elected to office while spending untold thousands of dollars in the process.

I was stunned to read comments in a newspaper in which the Supervisor defends the presence of Linda Mandel Clemente as a legitimate Planning Board member. The Town Board has already determined she was illegally appointed to the Planning Board. Mr. Evers further supports the payment of untold thousands in taxpayer funds to permit Mandel-Clemente to hire her own attorney to defend her 11th hour appointment to the Planning Board. Ms. Clemete has cost this town enough money, with every lawsuit filed adding to her personal wealth by charging the town for thousands above her salary for her work. To make matters worse, this attorney was caught taking 17 boxes of records from Town Hall and now faces a criminal investigation by a Special Prosecutor. In spite of these facts, Mr. Evers wants Ms. Clemente to have her own attorney and have taxpayers foot the bill!

As Chairman, I cannot support a Supervisor who advocates spending taxpayer funds on a former GOP official whose actions placed the profits of her husband’s company ahead of the interests of our town. Her presence on the Planning Board presents a conflict of interest so severe as to threaten the very integrity of planning process. Ashley pledged that the Democratic Party will oppose Mr. Evers’ efforts on behalf of Mandel-Clemente and her allies who spent thousands of dollars in their failed effort to control the Town Board.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Democrats fulfilling Campaign Promises

Democrats fulfilling Promises in N. Greenbush
 
In just two months, a majority of Town Board members elected to implement a broad platform to improve the quality of life in North Greenbush have come together to begin fulfilling the promises made during the election.
 
Beginning in March, government will become more open and accessible with the broadcast of monthly meetings on Time Warner Cable Channel 18.  This openness will be expanded with new web page under construction which will make more information readily available than ever before.  It will be located at townofng.com.  
 
Democrats promised to reinstate an Ethics Board and improve the town’s ethics law. A Board of Ethics has been appointed and a new improved law has moved along the process of passage with a public hearing and likely adoption at the March meeting. After adoption, the Ethics Board must be dissolved and then reappointed under the new law.
 
In addition, Democrats promised and delivered a new Comprehensive Master Plan Committee representing each election district of our town.  This team of outstanding professionals has volunteered their time to help produce a comprehensive plan for the future growth of North Greenbush. This plan will serve us well into the future and hopefully provide the community input on development that will avoid the failures of the prior administration. They have also applied for a $5000 state grant to help underwrite this effort.
 
The Democratic Platform also included a commitment to celebrate this town’s 150th anniversary, ignored by the prior administration,  and this too will occur sometime in mid year.  Progress will also be made to purchase a new sign for the gateway to North Greenbush at the Troy-Wynantskill line on Main Avenue. The cheap plastic banner bearing the town’s name will soon be replaced by a sign expressing the pride residents have in this community.
 
Town government continues to fight the annexation efforts of a developer who sued the town after the new administration took office and whose legal maneuvers continue to permit the prior administration to control the Town Planning Board. The town’s legal department is fully engaged in the court’s to keep these lands in North Greenbush and our children in the schools they currently attend. The new Town Board has also withdrawn the negative declaration of the prior board that would have paved the way for the RTs 4 and 43 land to be annexed to Rensselaer.
 
Certainly much more could have been done had Democrats received cooperation in transition from the outgoing administration. Instead, the prior town board majority brought a politically connected union into the building. The GOP also appointed three of their allies to Planning and Zoning Boards, all of whom were involved in the unauthorized removal of boxes of town files from the building, blinding the new administration. This action resulted in the appointment of a Special Prosecutor who will determine through a Grand Jury whether charges will be filed against those involved, all of whom continue to sit on these appointed boards. The town’s new Police Commission and Police Department, particularly the work of Captain Durivage, deserve great credit in pursuing this investigation.
  
The Democratic Party will continue to support these changes as town government reorganizes to address the needs of our community.  Dan Ashley, Chairman