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Monday, February 11, 2019

Desso Throws in Towel

Lou Desso has thrown in the towel on his re-election bid after failing to garner support of his Republican Committee. Desso sent an email today to GOP Committee members announcing his decision saying he and his wife need"a rest" no pun intended.

The faux pas aside, it's clear he lacked the support of his own town committee and informed them he would not attend tonight's meeting. Instead we are likely to see either his hand picked deputy, Joe Bott or council member Kelly Hoffman who would have to resign from the legislature to becomea town Supervisor.

Democrats will choose their candidate later this month.

Here is the Times Union article which has appeared on line.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Desso and Desso Lite

Great taste! Less filling! North Greenbush Republicans may get to choose between two long time allies who are splitting apart in an effort to preserve their party's power in the town. Sources say Joe Bott, an ally of Lou Desso who has never once offered a word of criticism of his friend Lou Desso as Town Supervisor, will challenge him for the GOP nomination.

Reportedly Desso has ignored his old pal since he informed him of his decision to run for the GOP nomination for town supervisor. Town Democrats could not be more gratified with the dog fight as Bott is Desso's hand picked Deputy Supervisor who for the past four years enabled all of the shenanigans and unethical conduct which have put the town in countless headlines and a State Attorney General's Grand Jury investigation.

What a choice the GOP rank and file have this year between Desso and Desso Lite! And where will Kelly Hoffman fit into this equation? Will she choose taste great or less filling? Either way it will be a blood bath and a potential 3 way race with minor parties up for grabs. The math is instructive. Desso needed the votes from every minor line to win last time he ran. He will be hard pressed to win any of them as a write in candidate.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Desso Listing his Home For Sale...

...But not for what he claimed it was worth when he managed to get its assessed valuation reduced by another town. Desso's home will soon appear on the multi listing service and we're guessing it will be over $400 k which does not include the value of the subdivided lot given to his son which was a part of his original property tax reduction of 16%.

The Times Union has a feature story here which will appear in tomorrow's print edition. Desso argued his assessment was too high and it was reduced to $313,500, down from its original assessment of $372,692. It has a market value of $325,508, according to the 2018 North Greenbush assessment rolls but we have said all along his tax reduction was undeserved and that the market value was higher than he claimed.

Soon we will see who is right as the listing price will soon be public. Remember that when it was reduced in 2016 by 16% or $47,184 in assessed valuation, it included the value of the lot he subdivided. This lot value must be added to his selling price to appreciate the full value of the undeserved tax reduction.

Did we mention it comes with "half a pool"?

 Our post from last October displayed the map of the property on which his pool is built, half of which rests on land he has no title to.

 Oh well, prospective buyers can move that diving board or perhaps Lou can use some of that free soil he got to fill it in and fence things off accordingly. BTW, it's the first time we've seen a home seller have his lawyer speak to the press about a simple decision to list a home. Hopefully his attorney is getting a paycheck for his services and not getting the same freebies Lou gets for soil, a fundraiser bill, a portion of which remains unpaid, sewer extensions, sewer bills etc.

Friday, January 11, 2019

"Supervisor" Germano Speaks for the Clueless

                          Click the above picture to see Germano's performance.
Lately the town comptroller has been the voice of the embattled Supervisor, Lou Desso. Desso gets himself into trouble when he talks so now he relies on "Tony" to bail him out at meetings and with the press. Here is the audio of last night's meeting in which Tony Germano explains away Lou Desso not being charged O & M costs on his recent 2019 tax bill issued by the county.

Here's the explanation. Three people are on this extension but only one has actually hooked in. The one person hooked in was charged the O & M bill on their 2019 tax bill of $100.91 but not the two properties owned by Desso and his son. Tony's answer: The town has not accepted the district yet and apparently won't until a second person wants to hook in. Thus the district extension is "private" and not public until such time as Lou decides to hook in.

Perfect right? So who has to pay if there is a problem with the extension while it remains private? Presumably the sole person who hooked in but do they know that? It's like a private road the town has not accepted. The town can't plow it in the winter. And if it is a private system, why are we charging anyone O & M charges when the town cannot perform work on a private pipeline or system? And what will Rensselaer County think of this explanation. A town allows a "private" sewer extension to hook into to their publicly maintained system? Are there other such examples in the county? Why would the county permit anyone to attach to their system absent their being part of a publicly maintained system? Why didn't the town require the extension to become public before ripping up a public street and taping into the public system? Is it all an elaborate ruse to excuse failing to report the O & M charges to the county for billing? And what if the Desso's never hook in? Seriously! The entire explanation is absurd!

Ironically,  Desso who was the driving force behind the district's creation, does not have to pay the O & M taxes until he decides to hook in. At least according to "Supervisor" Germano. Amazing!

FOIL Appeal
The town board went into an executive session to discus the appeal of a FOIL for a copy of the grand jury subpoena the town received. Result: They ignored the appeal and the Public Officer's Law's requirement to act within 10 days. We guess it's more important to protest Lou Desso from public disclosure of a subpoena than the transparency needed to fully understand the depth of the state investigation into his conduct and that of town officials who did his bidding.

Rensselaer Resident's Plea for tax refund

One resident improperly charged for a water district extension in his case because he has 6 feet of his lot in North Greenbush but still receives no town water services asked for his money back. Again "Supervisor" Germano explained that its "complicated". Tony's logic was that the town followed the law in charging these 16 residents but the town has stopped charging them after all the negative publicity so the town must now be breaking the law they were following when they charged these folks in the first place.

The solution may be a trip to Rensselaer City Small Claims Court. Lou Desso knows this place well! Stay tuned.

Ethics Board?

 For months the town's so called Ethics Board has met in secret refusing to provide guidance regarding several complaints against town officials. One easily rectified complaint asks them to acknowledge that clear conflict of interest presented by the head of the Building Department and Code Enforcement from being a developer here in the town. The town ethics code is crystal clear but the Board has done nothing to stop the conduct. In fact Michael Miner's large project continues on the Planning Board's business meetings with no guidance from the Ethics Board on the permissibilty of him running such a business while employed in his current job as head of the Building Department. Worse, the Chairman of the Ethics Board sits as a member of the Planning Board. Will he vote to approve a project of Miner's while he is supposed to render a decision about his potential violation of the ethics law? Obviously he should recuse himself from all of Miner's projects on the Planning  Board. Equally obvious is that he and the other two members, one of which is a Desso ally and former town board member, the other a respected local clergyman, render a decision and public guidance on whether Miner or anyone who might in the future hold his position, can build houses in North Greenbush while serving as head of building and code enforcement. Folks, it shouldn't take 3 or 4 months to act. And perhaps that's why the Chair of the Planning Board, Mark Lacivita, sought guidance from Ethics Board/Planning Board member Mark Ahern at Monday's meeting as to when his Ethics Board would render their advice or decision. A months or twovwas the answer. Clearly, the Planning Board should table Michael Miner's projects until the Ethics Board Rules. Don't hold your breath, the ethics highway in North Greenbush in not a crowded road.