We in the Town of Olive do not have to apologize to anyone!
The Town of Olive is owed an apology from the state, school
and county representatives for creating this entire mess.
When the large parcel law was enacted there was no notice given
to the town or to the school; it just appeared. Now our state
leaders say there was no opposition to the bill. B.S. No. 1
In 2003, when the Town Board attended the first school board
meeting on this matter, the school board voted not to enact
the large parcel option and told the town of Olive to get its
house in order. Fine. Immediately we challenged ORPS on their
value of $119 million on the New York City property and after
many months of meetings we were successful in having this value
increased to $340 million - thus beginning the re-evaluation
of properties within the town of Olive. Everyone in Olive was
made aware of this and was informed that this act alone would
cause a shift in taxes to Olive taxpayers. Also, as Town of
Olive Supervisor, I publicly informed the school board of this
very important development at one of your meetings, Mr. D'Orazio.
For you, Mr. D'Orazio, along with the school board and Assemblyman
Cahill to imply otherwise is B.S. No. 2.
In 2003 when Mr. D'Orazio, President of the Onteora School Board,
stated that if Olive got its house in order then the school
board would not enact the large parcel option the following
year, we took him at his word. That was B.S. No. 3.
There was a meeting held at the Onteora High School last fall
attended by Mr. D'Orazio, Bruce La Monda, Bob Cross, Jeremy
Wilber, myself and members of the school administration. One
of the issues discussed was that as officials we would try to
keep this issue out of the papers as much as possible so it
wouldn't hinder the school budget process. Well, thanks to Mr.
Wilber's relentless attacks on Olive citizens - both in the
newspapers and on his favorite radio station - this will never
happen. B.S. No. 4.
In an effort to do what I felt was in the best interest of the
Town of Olive, I've been diplomatic about this all along; but,
unfortunately, there isn't a sympathetic ear in the entire county.
I've had enough of being nicey-nice, so let the chips fall where
they may. Olive has been lied to, stolen from, called names
and has been bullied; but we in the Town of Olive have a strong
will, moral courage and the integrity to endure.
Berndt J. Leifeld, Supervisor
Town of Olive
A couple comments on Hugh Reynold’s “City beat”
column in the Daily Freeman of Saturday, February 12.
The County Legislature’s implementation of Large Parcel
was good not only for Woodstock, but also the Townships of Denning,
Esopus, Gardiner, Hardenburgh, Kingston, Lloyd, Marbletown,
Marlborough, New Paltz, Plattekill, Rochester, Saugerties, Shandaken,
Shawangunk and Ulster, also the Villages of Saugerties and New
Paltz and the City of Kingston. All the taxpayers in those communities
should be grateful for the Legislature’s action which
in essence treats ALL county tax payers the same (and brought
County taxes down in those municipalities listed above).
The Onteora School Board’s implementation of Large Parcel
was good not only for Woodstock, but also Shandaken, Marbletown,
The Town of Hurley, because of its updated valuation, is barely
affected one way or the other by the actions of Ulster County
and Onteora School Board.
Large Parcel does not make Olive’s County and Onteora
School rates higher than any other township with which they
share services. What it does is close a loophole in New York
State Real Property law that up until now allowed them to pay
less than any other township.
To those who argue that Olive is entitled to pay less tax on
properties of identical value in other towns because its residents
are importuned by a reservoir, I offer these observations:
Last September, even with the reduction in our school tax as
a result of the School Board decision, Woodstock paid $10,540,354
on its 3683 parcels to the district. Woodstock enrolled 388
students. The cost per student for Woodstock to educate its
youth was $27,165. While enrolling only 18% of the total number
of students, Woodstock paid 33% of the total Onteora levy.
Olive taxpayers paid $5,706,115 on its 3077 parcels. New York
City paid $5,397,317 on its portion of the reservoir located
in Olive (yes, NYC still pays taxes on its reservoir) for a
total of $11,103,432. The Olive enrollment in the Onteora district
was 739 students. The cost to Olive to educate each of its youths
was $15,024. Olive, including the reservoir, paid 34.8% of the
total Onteora levy, while enrolling 35% of the total number
of students. If you take away New York City’s contribution
the cost for Olive taxpayers was $7721 per student, so non-NYC
taxpayers in Olive paid 18% of the total school levy.
Gee whiz, since we are entertaining the idea that school costs
should be apportioned by means other than property values -
taking into account long drives around reservoirs, for instance,
-then Woodstock can make the argument that we should pay less
based on our MUCH SMALLER enrollments. It really begins to sound
silly, doesn’t it?
Mr. Hugh Reynolds in his City Beat column hit the nail square
on the head when he stated, “Those stats alone speak volumes,”
after noting the fact that Woodstock (and Hurley as well) just
recently revalued their properties while it’s been at
least thirty or thirty five years since Olive has done so.
School taxes are no fun. Never were. Probably never will be.
Now we’re equal partners. Let’s work together to
get the best service for our money.
Jeremy Wilber, Supervisor
Well, it has finally happened. When Woodstock Supervisor Jeremy
Wilbur insinuated that residents of the Town of Olive are ignorant
liars (Daily Freeman, Saturday February 19, 2005), he drove
the final wedge between the Towns of Olive and Woodstock.
In his enthusiasm to belittle Town of Olive residents, Wilbur
has fortified the resolve of the residents of Olive to stand
together as a community. The reaction to his denigrating comments
has caused locals of Olive to retort, ‘’as long
as the board (school) supports Woodstock over Olive or won’t
vote for their budget and I’d go to Newburgh to buy a
nail before I’d spend a nickel in Woodstock.
Taking the Large Parcel issue to a personal level of name-calling,
the Supervisor of Woodstock has done a disservice to the school
district and to his own community.
Bruce La Monda
Jeremy Wilbur please take off your hat and start to think about
what you are doing to your neighbors. Your political ambitions
are occluding your better judgment and making disastrous consequences
for all of us in the region.
The Town of Olive’s taxes have just jumped 60% for school
taxes AND 91% for Ulster County taxes. This is an unprecedented
and unbearable raise in taxes, which will go down in American
History as the greatest single raise in taxes ever!
We in Olive are facing grave TO CATASTROPHIC fiscal problems
as a result of the Large Parcel Bill's enactment by the Onteora
Through manipulation of facts and figures more wealthy and articulate
communities try to show us that we, in Olive, are not paying
our fair share of the taxes. Well it is a fact, if one looks
carefully at the figures, that Olive has consistently paid a
greater share of the tax burden. In fact, from 1947 to 1988,
Olive paid 32% to 57% of the Onteora School District taxes--more
than any of the other towns in the district. Even when Olive
was ordered by the State Supreme Court to reduce the value of
the reservoir and to not reevaluate properties, the Town of
Olive lost a large portion of its assessed value, yet during
this time still paid over 25% of the total Onteora Budget.
We in Olive have had our long term tax base from the early 1900’s,
taken right out from underneath us! If you manipulate the figures
and take our Ashokan Reservoir tax base from us, it looks as
if we did not pay our share, but we have been, and continue
to pay, over Â1⁄4 of the total Onteora Budget! If
you steal our local tax base and manipulate the facts and figures,
you try to destroy us.
Due to the passage of the Large Parcel Bill, the economic, social,
cultural, environmental and historical fabric of Olive's small,
rural community is being torn apart. Many young families, multi-generational
old line families, seniors, fixed and low income, and disabled
people of Olive face probable dispossession in the near or foreseeable
future. Many will lose their ancestral lands and homes.
Jeremy Wilber it is you that is ignorant. You have pitted town
against town at time when we must all come together to solve
very difficult problems for our region in the areas of education
for our children and preserving our open spaces. Is it true
that your mom and sister live here in Olive also? Perhaps they
could not afford to live in Woodstock, like the rest of us in
Olive? Jeremy Wilber how can you sleep at night knowing that
you are tearing an entire community and region apart? Shame
When the Onteora School Board opted to enact the Large Parcel
Legislation, it did so in response to Woodstock & Shandaken's
cries about "Fair and Equal!" taxes of all taxpayers
in the Onteora School District. This "equalizer" of
taxes did no such thing. If anything, it has made matters worse.
-Some Woodstock taxpayers who support the Saugerties and Kingston
School budgets now pay more than those who support the Onteora
-Olive is one year into a total re-val. It seems that Shandaken
has not had a property re-val since the SEVENTIES while they
are pointing fingers at Olive who hadn't undertaken a full re-evaluation
of all properties since 1988.
-It seems as if the State set the value of Shandaken's state
property at under $750 an acre while Olive's City land is assessed
at $1,300 an acre. Now who is under-assessing land? No wonder
Shandaken's citizens, who comprise 24%, are over-taxed by picking
up this burden (76%) of under-assessed state land.
-Olive is adjusting its own taxes by 35% by its successful negotiation
with the Office of Real Property Taxes that raised the value
of the Ashokan Reservoir from $119 million to $340 million.
-The large Parcel legislation created "wide swings"
in property value - the very thing it was supposed to correct.
Some people in Olive, who hadn't reassessed since 1988, saw
smaller increases than those newer or refinanced homeowners
whose increases measured in thousands in dollars.
The only "Fair and Equal" way to equalize taxes of
property owners would be to have the entire school district
undergo a 100% property re-evaluation at the same time. The
Large Parcel Bill is only a reverse Robin Hood solution that
takes from the few and gives to the many.
Rita Vanacore, Shokan
Claire Kassor, West Shokan
My name is Don Gregorius. I live in the Town of Woodstock, and
in the Kingston School District. I also own property in the
Town of Olive. I wish there was a different mechanism to fund
school districts, other than property taxes. We are here tonight
because we each feel there is an unjust tax burden put upon
us. To be honest, I believe we are all correct. The unfair question
we need to answer is - How do we best deal with this situation.
I am supporting the Large Parcel Legislation even though it
is raising my total school taxes. As I am living in the Kingston
School District, I do not personally benefit in any way from
the Large Parcel Legislation. However, the School Taxes, on
my property in the Town of Olive, have increased.
As most of you are aware, the State of New York, through the
Office of Real Property Services, promulgates equalization rates
for each Town based on recent home sales prices and, the existing
values of the most recent property revaluation. The purpose
of this is to “equalize” the total assessed value
for each Town. School districts can then tax properties within
the district, although in different Towns, on an equal basis.
In theory, this method works fine. In reality, situations arise
that can hamper the effectiveness of this system.
In Olive, the NYC Reservoir assessment has been the subject
of legal battles. Rulings have impacted the valuation of the
Reservoir, and Olive’ share of School taxes to be paid.
Because of this, the previous burden of the tax difference,
had to be paid by other property owners in the School District,
outside the Town of Olive.
In my opinion, the most important point, that needs to be addressed
... similarly valued properties within The Onteora School District,
regardless of what Township they are located in, should pay
The Large Parcel Legislation helps in achieving that goal.
We are all receiving the same benefits that the School system
offers. I believe we should all shoulder the responsibility
of supporting the School System.....equally.
Many of your readers are familiar with the “large property”
legislation passed in the New York Senate and Assembly in 2002,
and the effect it has had on the citizens of the Town of Olive.
That legislation permits the Onteora School Board, and the Ulster
County legislature, to choose to apply it or not to apply it.
The first year that the law was effective, neither the Onteora
School Board, nor the Ulster County Legislature applied it.
They elected to apply it in 2004 for the 2005 County Tax and
the 2005 School Tax, and the property taxes payable by citizens
of Olive leaped.
What many of your readers may not be familiar with is the raison
d’etre of the legislation. Senator William J. Larkin,
Jr., who sponsored the bill in the Senate, stated in his Sponsor’s
Memo that “[t[he main purpose of this bill is to reduce
the wild swings both up and down that occur for all assessed
properties…whose assessed evaluation is in flux from year
to year.” He gave, as examples of these properties, “large
utilities companies or research and manufacturing facilities.”
The “large property” bill was not to include reservoirs.
In a letter dated June 1, 2004 from Senator Larkin to attorney
Richard Smith, the Senator says “[T]he Law was not intended
to apply to reservoirs….” (emphasis added). It thus
seems that not excluding reservoirs from the “large property”
legislation was a mistake. That being so, both the Onteora School
Board members, and the Ulster County legislators who voted to
implement the legislation, took advantage of a mistake, and
in doing so hurt a lot of people in Olive. Is this what neighbor
should do to neighbor, as Woodstock and Shandaken have done
Robert G. Tischler
Because of all the misinformation being printed about Olive's
tax situation, our new alliance, "Olive Matters" has
gathered its tax history together with that of the politics
surrounding the Large Parcel Law. It's long and will take 2
weeks....so here's the first half:
In 1947, Olive opened its schools to Shandaken, to parts of
Woodstock and Lexington. West Hurley was annexed in 1957. Woodstock
was in debt and in trouble. Being a good neighbor, Olive paid
Woodstock's debt. Although Olive initially registered fewer
local students than Woodstock, Lexington, Shandaken or Hurley,
Olive consistently paid a greater share of the tax burden. From
1947 to 1988, Olive paid 32 percent to 57 percent of the Onteora
School District taxes-more than any other town in the district.
Even when Olive was ordered by the State Supreme Court to reduce
the value of the reservoir and to not reevaluate properties,
the Town of Olive lost a large portion of its assessed value;
yet during this short period of time Olive still paid over 25
percent of the Total Onteora Budget.
Meanwhile, from 1917 to the present, NYC repeatedly sued Olive
(and its other reservoir towns) in court to get its assessments
lowered and, in 1984, a consent decree was effected in which
Olive was ordered to undertake "no comprehensive reevaluation
of all properties within the Town [of Olive] for a period of
another 13 years." Finally, in 2001, after the tenacious
work of Olive's Town Board, a court decision threw out NYC's
antiquated methods of extremely low self-appraisal (which had
consistently been approved by the State Office of Real Property
Services) and affirmed Olive's more accurate, higher assessment
of the NYC's massive reservoir holdings. But the City sued again
in 2001, and litigation continues. To be continued...
I have been following the Large Parcel Law with great interest
since the School board and county legislature have both jumped
on board to implement this and take away the majority of the
Town of Olive's tax base. The very idea that this law be applied
to a reservoir is ridiculous. That the reservoir could be taken
away from the town without its input or consent for the betterment
of the rest of the county stinks of socialism. Our leaders have
once again failed us by not addressing the underlying and main
issues. Tax reform should be the number one priority, not adopting
laws such as this that does nothing but ruin neighbors and communities
and pits town against town. I do not believe this fits the definition
of good leadership. The very idea that we have taxation without
representation with respect to school taxes of second homeowners
and landlords who cannot vote on the school tax but most certainly
have to pay is a cry for reform. The same people that adopted
this law whether they sponsored it or implemented it are the
same one's, at the state level, that have had a late budget
for 21 years, cannot manage that budget once they do pass it,
are responsible for cost overruns at every level and vote their
own pay raises and benefits. I do not know too many people that
would still have a job with this track record. At the very least
the government has become dysfunctional and out of touch with
the people. This is elitism at its best. I think it is time
to sink this ship we call our government, perhaps the reservoir
is big enough. Tea party anyone?
This morning I happened to be looking out an upstairs window
when the Evergreen truck arrived to take our garbage. I watched
as the haulers took the recycled stuff that I had carefully
separated all week and threw it in the same truck with our garbage.
No trash separation at all. I called to complain.
People who care about recycling and use Evergreen to haul their
garbage may want to occasionally monitor their garbage pickup
to see if they are getting the service they pay for. And if
you use a different garbage company, my guess is you should
occasionally check your trash pickup too.
We definitely care about recycling our garbage and make an effort
to do so. It seems to me that it should be against the law for
garbage haulers to mix recyclables with regular garbage.
Elizabeth Holland Kern
In the past I’ve been publically critical of the Olive
Town Board. Being a very fair person, I will also publically
praise them when they deserve it.
In the past two months, the Olive Town Board has made two decisions
that are really incredible in there efficiency. The first instance
involved our police commission. After several years of accusations
that one of the police commissioners was unfit to sit on the
Police Commission with the Town Board responding that “is
the only man qualified for the job,” this very same police
commissioner resigned his commission. At the same town board
meeting that his resignation was announced, his replacement
was also identified and appointed by a unanimous Town Board
You can’t really appreciate the efficiency of the Olive
Town Board unless you understand the process. This Town Board
located all interested, qualified candidates. They were able
to interview and select the best candidate to replace the “only
man for the job” all in less then one hour. Now if I wasn’t
such a fair person I could just stop right here and you could
all marvel at this miracle! But there is more...
At the very next town board meeting, the Olive Town Board announced
the resignation of one of the planning board members. This resignation
was accepted, the Town Board again identified the only qualified,
interested, candidate and appointed that candidate at the same
meeting. No advertising, no possible input from town residents.
In neighboring towns of Marbletown and Shandaken, this process
can take months. These towns typically announce and advertise
the open positions, interview all qualified, interested candidates
and THEN select the best person for the job.
Now, while I’m publically congratulating the Olive Town
Board on their above examples of efficiency, I would ask them
to use this talent to reconsider their stand on the cell tower
proposal that has been before them for years. On this issue
the Olive Town Board has spent exorbitant amounts of money,
has disregarded the advice of their own paid experts and used
every delay tactic available to the point where now a judge
will make the decision and our town will have little to say.
Perhaps that is preferable to taking a stand - at least you
will not make any enemies. While this issue sits in the courts
undecided, this plan and all other proposals, are sitting waiting
while the towns of Shandaken and Woodstock proceed in an orderly
fashion towards selecting a cell tower site.
Your lack of leadership in neglecting to get this town re-evaluated
now has our town in a major crisis that only a miracle can get
But, alas, the residents of Olive should not lose hope. Maybe
our Town Board plans to pass out special red shoes at the next
meeting so we can all click our heels together three times and
get to meet the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
West Shokan, NY
We here in Olive are fortunate to have a superior 'General Store'.
Very few small towns can boast a store that serves such a wide
range of fine food fare such as homemade turkey burgers, excellent
vegetarian cuisine, great soups, and freshly baked bread in
addition to all the usual Mom and Pop food items. A day usually
doesn't go by when I don't stop in to see what the specials
are. I enjoy the friendly atmosphere and cafe ambience. Unfortunately,
the General Store is on the market.
I hope that the new potential owners will keep up the integrity
and fine quality foods that are being offered to all of us.
It is my pleasure to support our community store and hope that
those of you who haven't taken this opportunity, will do so
West Shokan, NY
The geniuses who decided to deprive the property owners in the
Town of Olive of full benefits from tax money from the Ashokan
Reservoir did not and do not realize that the result will be
that the Boiceville school will be operating on an austerity
budget for the next 25 years.
I suggest a remedy for the above idiocy. Substantially reduce
the assessment of all property in the Town of Olive so that
property taxes will not increase. This process can be repeated
Since February 23rd when I picked up my mail and 6 back issues
of the Olive Press [in Olivebridge] I have had considerably
more time to concentrate, read and re-read those back issues
especially those with "Large Parcel" articles and
In the February 17th issue there is a column on page 1, [sub]
headlined, "Onteora still trying to opt out of Large Parcel
decision making for the future.......". This is based on
a school board meeting on Feb. 15th. Marino D'Orazio, PC seems
to be more prominant than the other players in that column in
describing his conversation with one of Bonacic's aides and
mocks the idea of taking "annually" out of the wording
noting that it was illegal for one elected board to dictate
what a later elected board taking it's place can or cannot do.
Mr. D'Orazio, you are an attorney. If the above is what you
really said to the columnist then I suggest you must have graduated
from good old "Fail Safe Law School". Bonacic's aide
didn't say the board could change the law. He suggested that
the board might petition the state legislature to change the
law. Why not just lead the OSD Board by first confessing your
errors, that you all made a mess of the current budget, followed
by a sincere act of contrition; "now we are going to put
the Large Parcel Act behind us and 'just say no'". Each
year the board would have the opportunity to ignore the Bill.
Board members and residents alike could continue the fight together
thus generating love and harmony. Stop trying to pass the buck
and step up to the plate.
When Bonacic's aide suggested that Mr. D'Orazio and the board
substitute the names of other entities that should be making
the decision in the school board's place, Mr. D'Orazio said
nothing in reply or it wasn't recorded.
VP Kathy Hochman pointed out that the [state] legislators' refusal
to change the Large Parcel legislation, leaving the decision
making with the school board was "dividing our community
so it's the kids who lose out". No, Ms.Hochman! It's the
board, the board, the board. Who told you that you had to, under
penalty of death vote to give my tax base and taxes to the millionaires
in Woodstock? Hurley voted "no". The reservoir is
not a Woodstock asset occupying 53% of that town's land area.
Their golf course is not an Olive asset and the golf course
is far more marketable than our reservoir.
Further discussion at this meeting speaks to differences in
the actual tax hikes resulting from school board decisions which
some said was no more than a 25% rise. I would like to have
a 25% increase in my bank savings accounts and other investments
but I shy away from a 25% increase in my tax(es). Someone has
alot of nerve to "poo-poo" a 25% raise in a single
tax. My school tax in September, 2004 went up by 68% [the math
is a slam dunk]. And why did I mail my tax check to Syracuse,
NY? What kind of a deal do we have here?
Mr. Flournoy read a 2002 letter from ORPS that suggested the
law should be revisited once put into effect in case problems
arose [what foresight on the part of ORPS]. The board did revisit
the law and opted to impliment it. Our [democrat] town and county
elected officials have been revisiting this abomination since
it loomed on the horizon. And let me recognize one whom I left
out in the "Kudos" awards in my last letter; Sylvia
Roselle. As I remember, Sylvia got a taste of good old Onteora
Admin hospitality when all she requested was the list of board
members, their phone numbers and their addresses. Perhaps they
could "sluff" off a common serf or one who doesn't
meet board stature requirements, but Ms. Roselle is the elected
Town Clerk and has every right to know who lives in "our"
town or serves in a public capacity.
Now, some may think it odd that I have been attacking the president
of the OSD Board, Marino D'Orazio, PC [along with a couple others]
but I happen to be an aspiring chess master and in the ancient
challange of chess the goal is to "checkmate the King".
Put the King in a "can't move position" and you have
won the game.
I am happy to note that according to the column, D'Orazio, Hochman
and Flournoy all pointed out that whatever changes were afoot
would take a backseat to the board's collective concerns about
Olive's anger and the dangers it could pose for the upcoming
budget vote set for May 17. To the three of you [and all the
rest] I wonder where your heads are. Whatever changes are made
will be right up front re: Olive's anger and you bet it will
affect the budget vote. Not only has the invocation of the Large
Parcel Act caused anger, grief, [economic] discomfort, instability
and the feeling that we were raped [by those whom we trusted],
we are dismayed by the resulting performances of all but one
board member [Hurley]. I see it as theater of the absurd. This
board even has the audacity to blame the [school] tax payers.
What hutz-pah! Criminals do that in court with the advice of
their very resourceful legal reps; blame the cops, the teachers,
anyone but themselves.
Watch the upcoming budget very closely folks. An austerity budget
is still limited even on top of a prior austerity budget. These
are all intelligent and imaginative people who have taken courses
in deception as part of their college curiculum. Be mindful
of the double negative whereby you vote for somrthing you don't
want. Don't be surprised if they walk it into court. Maybe an
audit might tell us something. Ah-h-h, just a wild thought.
Glenn T. Anderson
I wonder whether Dr. Giuliano, who so fervently believes that
past historical injustice ,ie the theft of the lands now under
the reservoir from the bereaved denizens of Olive, would agree
to a tax on these same denizens, including the good doctor,
from now unto all eternity to compensate the native Americans
for the land that “Olive natives, with roots that go back
generations” stole from them?
How does she feel about paying reparation to the descendants
of the slaves, whose forebears donated almost three hundred
years of nearly free labor to White Americans, creating vast
amounts of excess capital with which this great country was
built? How would she like to keep on contributing to that cause,
not once, or for a while, but forever?
Let her answer those questions honestly, and perhaps she will
see the plight of those in surrounding towns whom she expects
to carry the financial burden forever of the wrongs she claims
done to her by New York City. I find this argument particularly
dastardly in light of the new and higher assessment of the reservoirs
which Olive just won in court.
I live in the Town of Denning, just over Peekamoose Mountain
from you, which, as part of the Tri-Valley School district,
shares the school tax burden with Neversink, the lucky (or benighted,
depending on ones point of view) recipient of millions in tax
revenue from their two reservoirs. When they feel like erecting
a six million dollar addition to Tri Valley, they don’t
think twice about it, since their vast tax revenues from New
York City makes it an easy decision. Hey, they’ve got
the money. And the votes. We have a mere 552 people living in
Denning. So what costs Neversink about $1500 per student per
year costs us over $35,000 per student! Under these circumstances,
we should be sending our kids to Choate!
Ironically, much of the water captured by these two reservoirs
originates in the high mountains of Denning, a fact that does
not make us one damn dime. Even Dr. Giuliano must see the crass
injustice of this situation. I think she underestimates the
sense of fairness which others in Olive still harbor. I’ve
met many in the Town of Neversink who agree that their revenues
should be more evenly shared. It saddens me, as the good doctor
so coyly put it, that someone with the level of education evidenced
by the appendage of PhD to ones name could be so ethically challenged.
Clueless in Claryville
I am a life long resident of the Town of Olive (albeit a short
one.) I am a 1994 graduate of the Onteora School District. I
support those residents that are forging ahead with the research
involved regarding the formation of an Olive or Olive-Hurley
I can honestly say that while I was a student, and even now,
the students that
caused the most disruption, had the most social ills, those
with the most drug use, and the students with the parents who
truly cared the least about raising their children to be productive
members of society, were those from the Woodstock area. I recognize
that the children were not entirely at fault, I put the majority
of the responsibility on the irresponsibility of their parents.
I fully support the formation of a school where the children
of Olive and West Hurley can be taught in an environment where
there is an emphasis on the value of being a good citizen; not
to be distracted by those students who parents do not have goals
of the same. Therefore, I do not see any need for the children
of this town to be associated with those who will only be a
detriment to them.
Here in Olive, we are a community with very level-headed, grounded
people. We do not choose to allow our children to waste their
most important years by "finding oneself". We are
hard workers here with values. Over the past 10 years, many
Woodstock families that either couldn't afford or did not wish
to live among those whose chosen lifestyle is financial gluttony,
have relocated to the Town of Olive and have found the people
of this town to be friendly and possess a refreshing value system.
We fight relentlessly (just ask NYC) for a cause that will maintain
or improve our quality of life and our children's unlike those
who think that a "real cause" to fight for is to "save
our guardrails." If the people of Woodstock were so financially
overburdened, why would you choose to boycott a store that your
own overburdened towns' people need for basic essentials and
employment? Well it's Woodstock of course.
As an aside, for those residents who really are financially
strapped in Woodstock, wake up and see that many of the wealthy,
elite, and those is town government really would rather not
see nor hear you. They are using your plight, as well as an
illegal loophole in the Large Parcel Bill as a smokescreen for
their own avarice.
We are opposed to the Onteora School Board's decision last year
to adopt the large parcel legislation that resulted in a 62%
school tax increase for Olive residents. We do not believe the
legislation was intended to apply to reservoirs or to have that
kind of impact on any town.
We will lobby the school board to reject the large parcel legislation
this year. But that issue should be decided on the basis of
facts and fairness, not threats. We believe it is a mistake
to link the large
parcel issue to the school budget issue.
If the school board does not come to its senses this year on
the large parcel, then we will keep working to change their
minds and perhaps to vote them out of office. But we still intend
to vote in favor of the school budget.
Unlike federal taxes, which we resent paying because such a
large percentage goes to pay for an insane war, school taxes
go to pay for something we actually believe in: education.
It is not fair or appropriate for our frustration over the large
parcel bill to undermine the education of our students.
If the Large Parcel Bill is not reversed, I will never again
vote in favor of a Onteora school budget.