CHANGING HORIZONS... Our intrepid phtoographer
Beth Blis caught this gorgeous sunset over the Ashokan recently.
Even if it’s trouble, you’ve got to admit it’s
still a beaut!
Patterson Takes Over The Presidency As Local
Citizens Press Home Their Points
The Onteora School Board reorganized itself with split 4-3 votes
pitting veteran trustees against its newest members Wednesday
night, July 13, naming one-year member David Patterson of West
Hurley its new president and Rita Vanacore, newly elected, vice
president. Following the swearing in of Vanacore, Cindy O’Connor
and Mary Jane Bernholz, who won election as a slate voted in
by a 1500 vote majority of Olive voters seeking to protest the
implementation of “Large Parcel” legislation and
tax levies, the meeting settled into a stream of Olive residents
disparaging the former board for its Large Parcel action and
urging the new board to “simply let it pass.”
For Some Feason, Olive Matters Finds, Our Town
Turns Out To Be A Singular Case
Olive and Hurley residents can now boast of a new claim to their
towns’ joint status as communities unique in all of New
York, according to members of the Olive Matters (OM) group aligned
against the state’s Large Parcel Law. Olive taxpayers
can point to a list of 28 school districts located in 34 municipalities
across the state which, according to the NYS Office of Real
Services, are eligible to exercise the large parcel option and
marvel at the singularity they share with the Town of Hurley.
& Us... Again
State Steps In Noting That They’ve Waited
Long Enough For The Local Mess To Settle
By Martha Frankel
I hear a lot in Olive these days about “them” and
“us”. “They” come up here from New York
City and buy properties for more than they’re worth, “they”
expect too many services, “they” are driving up
property taxes and making it impossible for “us”
to live here. “They” are rude and pushy. “They”
just don’t understand that we do things differently in
Stepping Up To Be The OCS VP
The kitchen at new Onteora School Board Vice President Rita
Vanacore’s Shokan house is a busy place, filled with
the comings and goings of the three generations of her family
that occupy the large 1906 home, built for one of the City
supervisors for the building of the nearby Ashokan reservoir,
as well as its numerous adjacent houses. And Vanacore’s
ability to not only concentrate on what’s before her
in such family activitoes, while simultaneously engaging
each and every member of her family, from grandkids to kids
to calls from her uncle, former OCS board-member Joe Vanacore,
living with his wife now in Kingston.
At Olive Matters
Matters is currently anticipating that a vote
on the large parcel matter will be rushed
through an Ulster County legislative committee
on Wednesday of this week, the day before
this issue came out. And Charles Blumstein,
who’s confident that his lawsuit against
the parcel law has merit, plans to file another
suit against local publications (including
this one) for slander and defamation of character.
"Somebody has to be brought to task for
this," Blumstein declares. "They’re
damaging us and our reputations severely.
If a jury agrees, fine. If it doesn’t,
at least we’ve taken it to the only
forum that can judge something like this."
Other OM members are fully aware of what they
perceive as a discrepancy in the application
of the law in non-industrial Olive.
Members, recently, have taken umbrage with
a letter sent out by Assemblyman Kevin Cahill
in response to petitions sent to his office
and to Senator Bonacic. The letter, in the
estimation of most petitioners who received
it, continues the distortions and misrepresentations
of the law which OM claims have characterized
the arguments of supporters of the large parcel
since its inception.
The first of two lines of the letter in bold
print "Large parcel law is a local option,
not a mandate by the State," reflects
all responsibility for the petitioners’
grievances to the school board. The other
emphasized line states "We still face
a challenge in funding a quality education."
Meanwhile, supervisor Bert Leifeld complains
of this false "Weapons of Tax Deduction"
spin put on his town.
"I’m trying to talk to the supervisors
of other towns in Ulster County and everybody
has in the back of their mind that Olive (with
the large parcel invasion of the town’s
tax base) is finally getting what’s
due them," Leifeld noted. "They
say ‘Well, it’s about time you
paid your fair share of taxes.’ They
don’t understand the situation; don’t
have a clue. All they know is we have low
taxes. That’s the way it’s been
for years and that’s the perception.
The town as a whole pays its share of taxes
and the City should pay 52%, dammit, they
own 52% of the assessed value- or better (than
Unspoken is Leifeld’s characteristic
frugality as supervisor and the lower "overhead"
in services in a township without municipal
parking lots to maintain, without sidewalks,
without so much of what runs up the bills
in other townships. Highway department workers
in Olive double as public park attendants
when they’re not busy. Olive has one
full-time police officer and the rest part-timers.
They’ve eliminated a police car because
there didn’t seem to be a need for it,
bringing the squad down from 3 to 2. There
are many other reasons for Olive’s lower
taxes but the primary one, the fact that New
York City owns more than half the town, has
been severely modified by the parcel law.
The restrictions imposed on businesses and
residents by Olive’s major "tenant,"
however, have not been reduced. Nor have they
been imposed on the other townships now sharing
in those tax revenues.
These are circumstances that members of Olive
Matters have pledged to change.