It's A Real Election
The Vote For Emergency Services
Centers Races For Board, Legislature
By Tree McElhinney
and Paul Smart
In addition to choosing 2 town councilpersons, 3 county legislators,
a town justice and the town supervisor, Olive voters will be
asked during the Nov. 4th general election to approve proposal
number 5, the implementation of a state-endorsed service award
program that would provide Olive volunteer firefighters with
benefits similar to that of a pension plan at a yearly cost
to taxpayers of just over $100,000 for the first ten years.
The program would be provided by the Pennsylvania-based Volunteer
Firemen‚s Insurance Services and administered locally
by Quilty, Dwyer & Larkin Insurance of Kingston.
Refurbished School Gets Kudos From Kids And Nods Of
Approval From All Else
By Violet Snow
Although students and teachers have been installed
at the new and renovated classrooms at Bennett Elementary
School since the opening of school last month, Tuesday
night marked the official opening of the new and improved
Bennett, as Onteora school board president helped
two Bennett students, Stephanie Walkowiak and Aidan
Klein, to cut a ribbon across the school entrance.
In a ceremony at the school board meeting, principal
Laurie Cassel expressed gratitude to the education
community for making the reconstruction project possible
and conducted a tour of the new wing, much of which
replaces the temporary modular classrooms that stood
for thirty years. During the brief ceremony, Bennett
graduate Emily Cole, now fifteen, made a speech reminiscing
about her years at the school, including the day school
was cancelled because of skunks having sprayed under
the modulars. Prone to other problems from mold to
litigation, the portable classrooms had originally
been a stopgap measure to use until the school board
could figure out what to do about overcrowding as
Bennett enrollments rose. Redistricting of elementary
schools and moving of sixth graders into the middle
school were both vehemently opposed by parents, while
students were crowded into every available space,
from the stage to converted supply closets. In 2001,
the voters approved the construction project that
promised the end to overcrowding at a cost of $(could
not find this figure) , and the promise has now been
The County Hears Us!
Parete's Help Push Legislature To Pass On Large Parcel Tax...
By Tree McElhinney
Because the Ulster County Legislature took no action regarding
the state large parcel law earlier this month, the Ashokan Reservoir
will not be separated from the Town of Olive‚s tax base
for the purposes of levying county taxes this year.
Had the Legislature agreed to opt into the law on Oct. 9, Olive
property owners would have seen an increase in the amount of
county taxes owed for 2003, while most of the county‚s
surrounding towns would have seen a slight decrease.
"I think it's wonderful," said Supervisor Berndt Leifeld
of the county‚s inaction. "This gives us time to
do what we need to do to make it right."
Leifeld was referring to the ongoing discussions concerning
the assessed value of the reservoir that are taking place between
the attorneys representing the town of Olive, the state Office
of Real Property Services, and New York City officials.
Alan Rosa's Regionalism...
By Paul Smart
Alan Rosa was born in neighboring Margaretville, where he‚s
lived his whole life, and plans to stay until the day he dies.
He‚s been a Republican Party committeeman since the age
of 18, but surprises himself at the many changes that have swamped
his life, and his way of seeing the world, over the last 15 years.
Rosa has been the executive director of the Catskill Watershed
Corporation since 1999, when he took over the paid position following
two years as the vital regional organization‚s first president,
a board position. Rosa came to his roles at the CWC, as local
folk know the $250 million plus entity, following eight years
as first an alternative and then a full time board member of the
Coalition of Watershed Towns, whose meetings he hosted at Middletown
town offices in Margaretville. He served as the supervisor of
that town from 1989 to 1999, coming to power on a two-run campaign
based on difficulties he had found in a 1987 municipal revaluation