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Friday, September 10, 2010

Voting Logic Centerstage

What a fascinating exercise in voting logic we find on the North Greenbush Town Board.

Take Councilman Al Spain for example. When it came time in the meeting to approve the minutes of the meeting of the town board and three Public Hears all held on August 12th, Spain did something remarkably logical. He abstained from voting on the approval of the minutes because he did not attend those meetings. He was out of state attending a wedding. Good show Al, both logical and ethical, the right thing to do.

Now take Councilman Desso on the very same vote. Desso was busy attending a political caucus August 12 and despite being paid by taxpayers to attend those three Public Hearings and the Town Board meeting, he was buying drinks at the bar and getting paid by taxpayers for politicking at a political party Caucus he isn't even enrolled in and couldn't even vote at.

So what does Councilman Desso do when Spain abstains? Why he steps up and makes a motion to approve the minutes of all four meetings, none of which he attended, making his motion and his vote to approve the minutes an ethical lapse at best and at worst, a demonstration of cognitive dissonance.

Desso votes on a matter that Spain can't vote on for the very same reason. It must be the water, right? Not that approving minutes is a big deal in the scheme of things, and certainly not as bad as fabricating a set of minutes for a Comprehensive Plan meeting as the Town Clerk obviously engaged herself in a while back to protect Councilman Spain's failure to take them as required by the Open Meeting's Law.

Yet, you have to wonder just how bright some folks are when then vote to approve minutes of meetings they did not bother to attend, have no idea whether they are accurate and are completely CLUELESS on the substance of their votes. No wonder Lou Desso doesn't want an opponent in this year's town election.

In this case, however, there were only two town board members present at these meetings who were also present at last night's meeting. Two people who could reasonably review the minutes and vote to approve or amend them because they attended the meetings and knew whether the minutes were accurate. The third member who attended those meetings was the Supervisor who was absent last night. That would have left the board without the needed quorum to approve the minutes forcing a slight delay of two weeks for the next meeting where presumably the three key members would be present to vote.

Again, it's not a big deal in the scheme of things, but it does shine some light on the cognitive processes of Mr. Desso. What do you see?

Town Clerk To The Rescue?

We had to mention the Town's Clerk's attempt to rescue Mr. Desso from the criticism of his vote last night. Ms. Connolly keeps repeating to the town board that they have no right to amend her minutes, they are hers alone and therefore Desso's vote to approve them, or any member's vote to approve or disapprove them, is a meaningless act.

Think about it boys and girls on the town board. She's telling you that you have no right to amend the minutes she takes. So if you find she recorded a vote wrong or attributed a remark to someone incorrectly that might offend you, she's telling you that they're her minutes not yours and that you can't correct them.

Hey today the GOP majority is allied with the Town Clerk, a registered Democrat. But it wasn't always that way. There was a time when the GOP majority was at war with her and actually declared her office vacant after she failed to sign her oath of office. So when the pendulum swings and you find yourself on the other side of her ever changing political fence posts, remember you sat there and never challenged her claim that you as a board have no right to amend her minutes.

Pat Nolan's Misguided Narratives

We had to add a little something to sooth the ruffled feathers of Pat Nolan who continues his diatribe in today's Troy Record with an even more bizarre view of the Democratic Party in North Greenbush than the one he presented a month ago only to be politely corrected by Party Chair Dan Ashley's response, also published in the Record.

Pat's previous foray into writing letters contained more half truths, lies and distortions than one would expect from an old Pravda press release. That method of operation was to tell the lie, repeat the lie, repeat it often and maybe people will believe it. Today's narrative is full of Pravda.

Pat says he's "sick and tired of what the party leadership is doing to his party and town". Pat could tell the Democrats in his or any election district he wishes to run in as a committee candidate but he chooses instead not to run again for a seat and throw letter bombs instead.
Pat should know that the vast majority of the party committee seats are unchallenged and that the leader of the remaining challengers, his apparent champion in the cause, F.James Germano, bailed out of his committee primary when he realized he would face a primary election. Sorry Pat, not every Democrat can have an election the way Lou Desso wants one, with no challenger.

Pat attacks the only Democrat to have her name placed into nomination at the caucus and offers no criticism of the GOP's Lou Desso who had his name placed into nomination to poison the two party system. If Pat Nolan was not satisfied with the only Democrat to enter her name into nomination, he could have run, he didn't though. Instead he claims the party did nothing to promote the candidate or the caucus which was duly noticed with fliers in 10, count 'em Pat, 10 public places in town and filed with the Town Clerk and Board of Elections. Gee Lou Desso sure knew about it despite Pat Nolan's unwarranted criticism. Incidentally, there was also a robo call placed the day before the caucus by the committee's candidate, to Democratic households in the town where a phone number was available. So it's clear a sincere effort was made to advertise the caucus and the candidate.

Pat also says the leadership is "fiscally irresponsible". He invents some nonsense having to do with the I-90 Connector to demonstrate his point. But not a word about the GOP's fiscal responsibility and the current town deficit of at least $171,000. Not a word about the continued waste in town hall and the effort by a politically connected Building Inspector to get paid $39.00 an hour in overtime to clean bathrooms. Or how about the plan to rehire a Utilities Inspector part time after he retires this month whose job was to inspect the work long ago "completed" in Water District 14. The Board let him stay on the payroll and collect $45 grand a year to supervise work that was finished. We're sure they found something for him to do while the Building Inspector's job description became misplaced in town hall causing him to clean toilets at the town beach instead of a cheap laborer or janitor.

As for the more personal attacks and rants of Mr. Nolan, the "lack of positive moral character", we'll leave that for the editors of Pravda who are historically the real slingers of mud.

May we suggest that Mr. Nolan go out on Primary Day and take his party back. No one is challenging the Members of the County Democratic Committee in his District, Mark Premo and Clark Cavanaugh. We wonder why Democrats at District 4 don't agree with Mr. Nolan? The answer is most don't see things the way Pat Nolan does. You don't change the Democratic Party by supporting Republicans and that, Mr. Nolan and his allies don't seem to understand.

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