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Friday, January 15, 2010

Town Residents Not Wanted

If you're a taxpayer and resident of North Greenbush, there are 4 members of the new town board who are ready to tell you to take a hike when it comes to hiring attorneys with political connections to the some on the majority of the board.

Instead of letting people who pay the taxes here enjoy some return for their investment in this community in the form of a public service job, they'd prefer to make them pay to put their friends on the town payroll instead, even if they have to break the law to do it.

Councilman Desso announced he would abstain from all discussion and voting on the matter because one of the non resident attorneys, a former judge removed from the bench for misconduct, was representing him on a case. We presume he's working free for Desso otherwise there would be no need to abstain. Desso then did an about face and fully participated in the discussion defending the non residents and voted as well with what was a 4-1 majority. At the end of the meeting his missive was pointed out by CB Smith and Desso, realizing his mistake, did ask to change his vote to abstain.

There was no similar disclosure from Councilman Spain to announce that the other attorney, the one with a criminal record who lives in Albany County, was representing his brother Jeff free of charge giving rise to the appearance that Desso was trying to avoid by abstaining. Spain's vote and support now and two years ago, is rooted in political IOU's tied to his brothers former role as Democratic Party Chairman. When the "Spain Regime" reigned two years ago, these attorneys came into their positions placing personal politics ahead of town residents who might be interested in these positions. Al Spain had no problem then voting to get rid of the two attorneys who were "doing a good job" as he like to say to justify keeping these two fellows. Granted, one of them was not eligible then to have been appointed being a non resident. That Town Board, like this one, was at the time unaware of the residency requirement.

Don't you love that word "regime"? We only use it because that's how "Comrade" Spain refers to his adversaries when he gets nasty and flustered for words. "The "Ashley-Smith" regime" did the same thing, hire non residents, said Spain, presumably meaning two wrongs make a right. But Spain doesn't get it that Ashley and Smith were never on the town board to hire anyone. He further doesn't get it that none of the Board members at the time of those hires were aware, as Spain was not aware, of the residency requirement imposed on the board by the Public Officer's Law. Al, we hate to bust your bubble, but you now know hiring them breaks the law, that's why your town attorney advised you not to appoint them until an exemption can be passed and that's why you couldn't appoint them legally two years ago.

So these town attorneys continue to stay in their jobs despite not being legally appointed. Nice Al, real smart on your part. And you managed to get those two rookie board members to drive this car right over the cliff with you.

There were many interesting discussions which you can listen to on our Pipeline Radio. There is also a story in today's Record here. You got to listen to Al Spain's courageous attack on CB Smith during a portion of the meeting when the public is not allowed to engage the board with comment. That a boy Al, shoot at them when they can't shoot back, what a display of guts! And what a move calling those supporting the hiring of town residents "hypocrites". Ned Fitzgerald and the town town resident attorneys supporting the hiring of town residents are hypocrites along with Spain's political enemies Smith and Ashley. Mr. Fitzgerald didn't like the nasty comment and was able to put Spain in his place at the end of the meeting. He did a dam good job too, forcing an apology from him!

There is sure to be more fallout from the meeting at the Public Hearing to allow a change in the residency law scheduled January 28th at 6:45. Enjoy your weekend Mr. Spain.

The Town Clerk

We had to note a couple of things noticed at the meeting. The Town Clerk is calling the role a new way. She starts with the Supervisor. Past meetings show the Supervisor called in order of seating from left to right. Why the change ?

Also a bizarre statement last night. The Town Board cannot amend its official minutes as taken by the clerk other than the voting record if incorrect. In other words if the town clerk puts things in the minutes that are incorrect other than ones vote, the Board is powerless to vote a change. Nonsense! The Board has full authority to correct its minutes and any errors contained therein.

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