North Greenbush Democrats

North Greenbush Democrats
Fighting For You!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Democrats Issue Debate Challenge

Democratic Candidates for the North Greenbush Town Board today urged their opponents to accept a challenge to debate the issues confronting town government in this campaign.

North Greenbush faces serious financial problems as repeatedly stated by the Town Comptroller who has warned the Town Board that we face a two year cumulative deficit of $149,000. What is their fiscal plan to deal with this issue and avoid a significant tax hike needed to keep spending as usual and erase this deficit?

Of equal significance to town residents is the Comprehensive Plan which has under this Comprehensive Planning Committee appointed by the current Board majority, divided our town by operating in defiance of the Open Meetings Law and recommending the rezoning of areas of RT 4 to the most intense commercial applications which could begin to turn RT 4 into the next Wolf Road.

“We stand ready to take this test before the voters of North Greenbush to debate and explain our vision for the town and its future”, stated Supervisor candidate Josephine Ashworth. We would accept any invitation to debate which recognizes the non partisan League of Women Voters as moderators and utilizes their respected format.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Town Board Does Nothing to Reduce Spending with $149,000 Deficit

North Greenbush Democratic Chairman Dan Ashley today called on Town Board members to request a Special Meeting of the Town Board to decide on immediate cuts in spending scheduled to take place in fiscal 2009 in order to reduce the massive deficit projected by the Town Comptroller.

It is irresponsible to sit back and do nothing to reduce spending now in an effort to lessen the impact of the massive cuts or tax increases that would be needed in the 2010 Budget, stated Ashley. “Not only has this majority failed to erase the $85,000 deficit it carried over from last year, they have allowed a new projected deficit of $64,000 to be added to the problem. Their only response was to take away cell phones from employees and take two people off the payroll which was done far too late in the year to have any impact”, stated Ashley.

Taxpayers need decisive action now to erase at least half the deficit from current spending so that the 2010 Budget can more easily be focused on critically needed spending reductions which will erase the balance of the two year deficit without a tax hike.

Town services must be reorganized in a manner that reviews each position, the management of all expenditures, and makes decisions that derive a long term benefit by more effectively restructuring the operations of town hall.

Ashley also expressed concern that some Board members may be planning to cut the Highway Budget by a percentage equal to a significant increase in the General Fund Budget to pay for the deficit without reducing General Fund spending. Highway Superintendent Mark Premo will vigorously oppose such a move which would punish his sound management of this budget and his continued long term planning for replacement of aging vehicles and carefully scheduled infrastructure improvements. Such a budget game would force a significant increase in the highway budget next year to replenish funds cut this year to play a political game with the budget.

“It’s incomprehensible to think they are just waiting to deal with this in the 2010 Budget which must be filed by the end of the month”, stated Ashley. A Special Meeting should be called now that makes significant cuts in 2009 spending and lessens the impact of the 2010 cuts or tax increases needed to balance the budget.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Meet Our Candidates

Josephine Ashworth Announces Candidacy for Town Supervisor

Josephine Ashworth is running for town supervisor on the Democratic, Greenbush Party and Working Families Party lines.

“I decided to run for supervisor because I was struck by a comment made by the consultant who originally worked with the town on its comprehensive plan,” she said.

“In introducing the plan, the consultant stated that North Greenbush is in the unique position of becoming a model community based on planned growth that enhances the quality of life for all its residents. I am determined to make this become a reality.”

She co-founded and was a partner in a leadership training and management development consulting firm for a number of years and has worked for New York State in a number of capacities that included director of a labor-management committee and internal consultant/quality trainer for the state Department of Transportation.

She is also a trained community mediator and volunteers in a variety of capacities for local organizations. Ashworth is a graduate of Cornell University, holding both a bachelor’s degree in industrial and labor relations and a master’ degree in public administration.

Ashworth pledged to work to realign priorities both fiscally and administratively including a reform of the budget process and the elimination of a projected $149,000 deficit.

“I am excited about the prospect of dealing with these challenges and running with a superb professional management team,” stated Ashworth. “With the support and help of my colleagues and town residents, I believe that the time has come to heal divisions and make North Greenbush, once again, a very special place to live and work.”

Fennelly Endorsed for North Greenbush Council

Richard Fennelly has received the endorsements of the North Greenbush Democratic , Working Families and Greenbush Party for the office of Town Councilman.

Mr. Fennelly has a long tenure of public service in North Greenbush as Supervisor and Councilman. He Chaired the Comprehensive Plan Committee in 2006 and 2007, which presented a completed Comprehensive Plan to the town in December 2007.

During his previous service as Supervisor and Councilman, Fennelly oversaw the creation of the recreation area at the Town Beach which includes a playground and pavilion. He oversaw the dedication of this facility to former Supervisor Bill Dedrick who was instrumental in its development.

Fennelly helped create the CDTA Park and Ride, oversaw the expansion of the Town Offices to occupy unutilized space at the old Wynantskill School, provided space in that facility to our outstanding Library and dedicated our principle court room to the Honorable George B. Ceresia who began his distinguished judicial career as a North Greenbush Town Justice. He was also a liaison between RPI and the town in the creation of the Technology Park.

He also expressed support for the outstanding work done by those associated with public safety and is particularly proud that the North Greenbush Police Department became a fully accredited police agency by the NY State Department of Criminal Justice Services during his last term.

Fennelly concerns include, adopting and implementing a Comprehensive Plan, improving the public image of North Greenbush and management by anticipation rather than reaction. He is also committed to retaining a Professional Engineer to guide our Building Department.

“I am privileged to be running with an outstanding group of candidates who are well equipped to manage our town as true professionals who will move North Greenbush forward as a better community”, stated Fennelly.

Mr. Fennelly has been a resident of North Greenbush for 36 years, and has been a Professor at HVCC for 40 years. He resides on Bloomingrove Drive with his wife Patricia. Mr. Fennelly has 4 grown children and 13 grandchildren.

Patricia Noel Announces Candidacy for Town Council

Patricia A. Noel of 236 Whiteview Road has announced her candidacy for the North Greenbush Town Council. “I am delighted to be part of a team of candidates who possess the management skills our town desperately needs in these difficult fiscal times”, stated Noel. She noted that the town has accumulated a two year projected General Fund deficit of $149,000 and little has been done to reduce spending during the year.

“Managing town finances is a primary responsibility of a town board member”, stated Noel. We need to plan ahead as a Town Board while implementing strict financial oversight and management principles. I am confident that the skills and determination we bring to the table will restore the town’s image and put our financial house in order. Noel is running with Supervisor candidate Josephine Ashworth and fellow Council candidate Richard Fennelly. She is joined on the ticket by Jann Liberty, candidate for Town Clerk, Highway Superintendent Mark Premo along with Judge Raymond Elliot and Joshua Sabo who is running for the justice seat vacated by Judge Andrew Ceresia’s elevation to Rensselaer County Court.

Noel is a graduate of Russell Sage, with a BA History and Government, gained extensive budget experience as a member and President of the Wynantskill School Board, and served on our Youth Board and was elected North Greenbush Town Clerk. She also has experience working in the finance office of Hudson Valley Community College where she dealt with the budget and payroll and served in the Town Comptroller’s office part time for two years.

Noel also served as a Confidential Assistant to Highway Superintendent Mark Premo where she assisted in the preparation of the Highway department’s 1.6 million dollar budget. She is particularly proud of her role in the facilitation of the town’s beach working with former Supervisor Bill Dedrick for whom the facility is named.

Noel has received the endorsements of the Democratic, Working Families and Greenbush Party and will be on the ballot on Rows A and E. She and her husband Richard have four grown children and four grandchildren.

Janice Liberty Announces Candidacy for North Greenbush Town Clerk

Janice Liberty, of 27 Douglas Street has announced her candidacy for the office of North Greenbush Town Clerk. Jann has received the endorsements of the Democratic, Working Families and Greenbush Parties.

North Greenbush government is need of professional management and it’s gratifying to be part of a strong management team that will bring sound business practices, fiscal prudence and supervision to town hall.

Liberty stated her intention to restore integrity to this office while improving services at by adding evening and weekend hours to better serve the needs of busy working families seeking vital services from the town clerk. She will end the use of unbudgeted overtime which has added to the town’s current $149,000 projected deficit. It is also her intention to consolidate the salaries of Town Clerk and Registrar saving the town nearly $8,000 annually.

Jann has a rich background which will serve her well as Town Clerk. She has held positions in the Town Clerk’s office as Records Management Specialist under former Town Clerk Trish Noel, was Deputy Court Clerk briefly for the Town and went on to become Troy Police Court Secretary for the District Attorney’s office, under Mary Donohue. This is one of the county’s busiest courts.

Liberty has also served North Greenbush as Chairperson of the Youth Advisory Board, PTO officer of Gardner Dickinson, Planning Board Secretary, DARE Committee secretary, Playground Co-chair and Secretary to the North Greenbush Democratic Committee.

People must be assured that when they arrive at the Clerk’s office during regular hours it will be open. There is no reason with a full time deputy that the office should be closed. It is also the Clerk’s duty to secure and properly sign the Oath Book for the Town preventing any re-occurrence of the incidents which have embarrassed this office in recent years.

I am looking forward to meeting as many residents as possible in the coming weeks and serving you as your next Town Clerk.

Mark Premo Seeks Re-Election as Highway Superintendent

Mark Premo has announced his candidacy for re-election as North Greenbush Highway Superintendent. Premo has received the endorsements of the Democratic, Working Families and Greenbush Parties and will appear on Rows A and E in the November election.

It’s great to be running with a “professional management team that is committed to the Highway Department and which understands the need for long range planning. Premo has served as Highway Superintendent for the past 6 years and has carefully managed our 1.6 million dollar budget, avoiding tax increases while instituting a 5 year plan for vehicle replacement and infrastructure improvement. This planning will allow us to hold the line on highway tax increases for at least the next 3 years. Premo stated his commitment to hold the line on spending this year and will introduce a ZERO TAX INCREASE budget to the Town Board which still allows for scheduled vehicle replacement, repairs and improvements to our facilities.

I am also proud of our work with FEMA recovering from last winter’s ice storm damage. We leased a special truck that sped tree removal and later purchase that vehicle at a considerable savings for future deployment. Our department secured over $300,000 in federal funding to clean up the storm damage and help us recover.

Premo pledge to resist any effort to allow politics to affect his management of the Highway Fund which is dedicated to the services provided by his department. He expressed concern that the Town Board may attempt to deal with its $149,000 projected General Fund deficit at by cutting the Highway Fund by as much as 15% and then attempt to “sell” the public on a the notion that the overall town budget has no tax increase. Such a move is little more than a fiscal sleight of hand that would force an increase in the Highway Budget tax rate the following year.

Mark and his wife Margie have four grown children and are also twice proud grandparents.

Raymond Elliott Seeks Re-Election as Town Justice

Justice Elliott Announces Re-Election Campaign

Judge seeks 7th Term in North Greenbush

NORTH GREENBUSH – North Greenbush Town Judge Raymond J. Elliott III, announces his bid for a 7th term. Judge Elliott has presided over more than 40,000 cases in North Greenbush since 1985.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce that I will run for a seventh term as North Greenbush Town Judge,” said Raymond J. Elliott, III. “For more than 25 years it has been my extreme honor and privilege to serve the people of North Greenbush. With their support, I hope to continue to serve them.”

Judge Elliott is a graduate of Columbia High School, Colgate University and Albany Law School. He began his tenure as North Greenbush Town Judge when he was appointed to the bench in May 1984. Elliott won his first term in November 1984 and has been re-elected six times since. Judge Elliott has served as Acting-Judge in Troy and Rensselaer City Courts as well as East Greenbush Town Court.

Judge Elliott has maintained a private law practice in DeFreestville for more than 37 years, and he is admitted to practice in all New York State Courts, the United States Northern District Court and the United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association, the Albany and Rensselaer County Bar Associations and the Capital District Trial Lawyers Association.

In addition to his credentials on the bench, Judge Elliott was an adjunct professor of Business Law at Hudson Valley Community College for 10 years and a former North Greenbush Town Attorney. Judge Elliott is a Past President of the New York State Association of Towns. He has also held the positions of President of the Rensselaer County Magistrates Association and a Director of the New York State Magistrates Association.

“My more than 25 years of service as Town Justice and my more than 37 years as an attorney in private practice have provided me with what I believe to be the necessary experience and knowledge for the office of Town Justice,” said Judge Elliott.

Joshua Sabo Announces Candidacy for Town Justice

Joshua Sabo is a candidate for North Greenbush Town Justice in the November elections. A graduate of Columbia High School, Wesleyan University and Georgetown Law School, Sabo has experience both prosecuting and defending cases in Justice Courts throughout Rensselaer County. This experience is crucial to being a competent and effective Justice for the Town. Sabo is an experienced trial lawyer who has tried cases from Supreme Court in Manhattan to Justice Court in Stony Creek and is one of the very few attorneys in Rensselaer County who has briefed and argued appeals in each of the Four Appellate Divisions (from Rochester to Brooklyn), the Court of Appeals and Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Sabo is a member of the Rensselaer County and New York State Bar Associations. With a law office on Route 4 in DeFreestville, Sabo will be accessible to law enforcement officials for arraignments at any time during the day or night.

As a former North Greenbush Town Attorney, Sabo supervised Deputy Town Attorneys representing North Greenbush in Town Court and acted as a liaison between the Town Justices and the Town Board on issues concerning the Courts. Sabo is an active volunteer in the community and serves as President of the New York Council of Nonprofits representing the interests of over 1600 non-profits in New York, as President of Innovative Charitable Initiatives and volunteers for other charities. He coaches a Greenbush Soccer U-10 Girls travel soccer team and volunteers in his children's classroom upon request. Josh is married to Mary Frances and is the proud father of Adam, a student at Goff Middle School and Maria and Nadia at Bell Top.

Sabo is committed to becoming a Town Justice all residents, attorneys and law enforcement officials can respect for his fairness as Judge, his commitment to treating everyone who comes into Court with respect, and the quality of his legal decisions.