Monday, May 27, 2013

"Git in the truck....."

Funny thing happened this last week.  We got an invitation to the Republican Fund Raiser at Melvin Roads in June.  This is especially amazing in the context of the explicit instructions to “keep away from the reformers” which went out from “Republican Headquarters” after the last election.  And even more amazing after the “pow-wow” requesting that Mooney, Jenkins and I stop any potential criticism and wait for the roll out of the new Supervisor’s “plan.” 

Well we’ve been waiting.  We've seen a lot of missed opportunities.  We’ve seen the missed opportunity to present a “no tax increase” budget – requiring the majority to raise taxes if they wanted to fund their pork and patronage.  Nothing yet on the long recommended financial recovery plan.  Of course, this would require some hard decisions about the workforce, and that strikes at the heart of the majority’s re-election machine.  No movement to recoup the illegal stipends, longevity and sickleave payments as recommended by the OSC in its recent audit.  (This recovery would cover one and a half times the amount of the last general and highway funds tax increase.) We deserve a vote, and it would provide the opportunity to see if the majority would vote against the public interest.  And of course, both the majority and the minority are enjoying the recently introduced policy of prohibiting questions of the Board at Board meetings. 

I have a feeling that the reform efforts of citizens, which did institute some changes in the way governing is done around here, is just as distasteful to the minority (at least some) as it is to the majority.  That’s the only thing that would explain the reluctance to keep the pressure on the majority and fashion a policy agenda on which to run in the next election.  The inability of the minority to function as a minority leads to the conclusion that the minority is just a “mini-majority” waiting its turn at the trough. 

Public policy is being made riding around in the truck.  East Greenbush DEMands (which just might read “REPmands”) is asserting that Google is planting viruses at my direction to certain visitors to this Blog.  And Mr. Breig is being blamed for the state of the financial records before his tenure.  Welcome to Wonderland, Alice. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Hamlet on Hampton Lake

“To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them……”

I’ve been thinking about this Post for a while, but the comment on the previous post from “I Support Langley” has provided the impetus to publish it now.  I think the argument goes something like ---  the stipend, longevity and sickleave money will never be recouped so why spend the legal money to go after it?  Well, here are a few reasons to follow the Comptroller’s recommendation:

First, Mr. Langley doesn’t seem to understand how to use the “power” of being in the minority.  He is in a position to offer a Resolution to recoup the subject funds and have that Resolution defeated by Malone, O’Brien and Mangold – thereby requiring them to take a public stand against the advice of the Comptroller.  Langley has the “cover” of State Law, a strong ethical standard and the authority of the Comptroller of the State of New York, and he’s looking for an “out.”  We deserve a vote!!

Second, it looks to me like the recoupment amount is about one and a half times the amount of the General Fund/Highway Fund tax increase this year.  Successful recoupment could have meant no tax increase in these funds this year.

Third, breaking the law, cutting ethical corners and generally screwing the public will continue until it actually COSTS the perpetrators something.  That’s why our society has a justice system.  Does anybody actually believe that the $14 million in sewer bond revenue is not being eyed by folks who would just love to have a “forgive, forget and move forward” atmosphere present when that money is up for grabs???  When it comes to bad behavior, unless you “nail” it, you “license” it.

Fourth, we already have a lawyer on the Town payroll – salary and benefits.

Fifth, why should the proposition that the money will never be recovered be accepted?  The Comptroller used different language related to the stipends and the longevity/sickleave matters.  I think he said that the longevity/sickleave funds SHOULD be recovered – not just the possibility investigated. 

Well there are a few reasons.  I think the first and the third are the most important.  Being in the minority is NOT to be powerless.  Mr. Langley is in a position to make a very positive reform record and force the majority into a very unseemly public record.  He doesn’t seem to know how to do that.  In this connection, the general screwing of the public will continue until every time it happens, somebody makes it cost something for the perps.