Thursday, November 12, 2009

Vanacore Speaks Out On Incompetence, Corruption in The Town of Olive

I just received this e-mail from a correspondent covering the Town of Olive Budget Meeting. I am still getting over a drawn out cold. Notice that the correspondent is accusing a reporter, Gary, for the Olive Press, the Town newspaper, of relying on one-sided accounts of Town meetings from die hard partisan Democrat Sylvia Rozelle. I guess the Olive Press learns its reporting techniques from the major market newspapers and network television. Since American media is generally little more than (Democratic Party) partisan propaganda, it can never be relied on to report news. The Olive Press seems to be reaching for the stars and must be proud that its methods parallel those of the best-known Democratic Party newspapers and television stations.

The correspondent also points out that no one in the Town understood a resolution on retirement benefits but the board passed it anyway. My correspondent probably does not know that I wrote my doctoral dissertation on the subject of cognitive limits on rationality in the administration of pension law. Likewise, I ran into our committee person Craig Grazier flagging cars because of an accident on Route 28. Indeed, I got lost on the detour and about 20 cars following my lead all got lost too, speaking of cognitive limits on rationality.

>Hope you are feeling better...

I attended the short and sweet board meeting last night. As usual, it was a small turn out - and no press. I have to applaud Rita Vanacore for standing up and speaking out about the budget. Just as Berndt was about to take a roll call vote on passing the budget, she raised her hand and spoke out... "I know you are going to pass the budget - but I want to register my objection - I think you really should be tightening your belt and I feel that we should not be seeing any increase this year." Of course, that will not make the papers... you know Sylvia is not going to recount that to Gary so that it's printed.

>Her point is a solid one - if Berndt was attempting to reduce the budget instead of increase it, the unexpended balance of $475,000 WOULD have offset any increase. It's only because he would like to keep the status quo, and continue to have such large unexpended balances each year, that we end up with the increases. And of course, there is the cat and mouse game that is played with state aid each year. If you don't "need" it then you won't get it. I believe that is the way the Highway gets the "CHIPS" funds each year. If you lower the budget - you don't qualify. So there always must be an increase.

There were two resolutions - one was tabled because Helen Chase was not quite happy with the wording. The other had to do with Retirement Hours for workers. There is a new reporting system that needs to be done - and all employee hours for purposes of state retirement, were part of this resolution - perhaps it would be interesting to have a copy of it to better understand it. It was so confusing, they didn't even read the entire resolution - but passed it unanimously.

There will be two reports of interest coming up next month - the DEP will be reporting on the bridge repairs and the continuing saga of the bypass road they are building. That will be of interest since they will eventually be doing the railroad bridge in Boiceville as well as the 5-arch bridge in Boiceville. And of course the dividing wehr, or 15 arch bridge as some know it. Also the Esopus Creek issues will be discussed - this was postponed from a previous month - concerning flooding, I believe.

Peter was absent along with Craig & Donnie - most likely due to the horrific accident that closed 28 near the Pine View Bakery. I saw Craig flagging traffic when I left the meeting. I had hoped the road would be open, but it was not and I ended up helping a couple of folks trying to find their way over Bostock Mountain to Boiceville. With no signs - if you are not from here, you are easily lost - or at least think you are.

All in all, the meeting took a whole 30 minutes, even with all the confusion and discussion with Rita. Otherwise, it was pretty cut and dry. Bruce made a suggestion that turned into a "motion" and was seconded - that all cell phones be turned off during meetings. Rita actually suggested that they need to make an announcement at the beginning of meetings since many folks would not know of the "ruling" unless they were there. They thought that was a good idea.

Anyway - Tomorrow is the recount in Kingston - I wish I could be there - but I must work. I will be waiting to hear what happens. I'm hoping that Craig will edge Linda out. It would be great.
Talk to you soon,

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