It seems to me that Bob Cross Jr. has gone over the edge.
In his letter he claims that the last budget was mine but
in the same issue of the paper, in the article about the budget,
one of his secretaries was trying to explain why he had an
over 8% raise in taxes. Maybe he needs to check with Patti
to see who created the last budget. I've always heard that
if you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop
As for this ridiculous story about the computer, my computer
was a different type than the others used at the Town Hall.
It was a Macintosh. None of the town business, plans, budgets
etc. were on my computer. The payroll and budget software
could not run on a Mac computer. My computer was used primarily
for writing letters so that my one and only hard working secretary/bookkeeper
would not have to stop working at her computer while I wrote
All the letters that I produced on that computer were printed
and filed in the two-drawer file cabinet behind my seat. How
is it that Bob missed things like the over 30 versions of
the Pine Hill Water Company contract or the budget copies
that were in that drawer yet managed to find private emails
from my home that I never printed or brought to work?
I asked Robert Freeman of the New York State Department of
State Committee on Open Government about copies of electronic
documents and cleaning off a computer and he sent me Article
57-A, §57.29 of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law ‘Reproduction
of Records and Disposition of the Originals’ (attached
below) which shows that I did nothing wrong.
After hearing my private email read aloud at a town board
meeting by Dean Gitter, I knew my prior decision to protect
my private correspondence as much as possible from such intrusions
I would much prefer to simply debate the very serious issues
facing our town – sound fiscal management and how we
can decide together what services we would like in our town
and what is best for Shandaken’s future.
Pine Hill, NY
I read your editor’s comments on my letter regarding
Mr. Slowinski which appeared in your September 15 issue.
As usual, you got it wrong. I have no complaints about your
opinions about anything. I don’t expect you to slavishly
use what you call “politically correct” propaganda
in the form of press releases – from me or anybody else.
Nor do I have any illusions about objectivity which tends
to exist in the mind of the beholder. Believe it or not, I
welcome dissent as part of the democratic process. It keeps
us all on our toes. I have the same respect for free speech
that you do.
My argument is that you constantly insinuate your opinions
into your news columns rather than put them on an editorial
page where they belong. It’s commonly called slanting
the news. Also you seem to have great difficulty getting your
A recent case in point was your story on the sewer system
in which you reported “That leaves another $292,500
to be flushed out of the community to keep the system running
regularly.” That is totally wrong. In fact, New York
City will pay for all of this.
An equally offending example is a story in your October 13
issue headlined “Pine Hill residents beg Cross to borrow
funds to fix its water system now.” No. That’s
not even close to the truth. Pete DiModica (Otherwise, Mr.low
taxes himself), Mary Herrmann, Kathy Nolan and Marge Lloyd
and maybe a couple of others are the only ones doing the begging
and they have axes to grind. More important, only 12 user
residences were represented in the meeting of August 23 and
only 13 attended the meeting of September 29. (In both cases
the names came right off the sign-in sheet.) In neither case
were the restaurants represented since the meetings were held
during their business hours. This is a consensus of a water
district with 144 households and businesses? You’ve
got to be kidding.
Incidentally, wherever did you get the notion that the job
of the press is to serve as a counterweight to “whatever
entity is in power?” That sounds pretty political to
me. I heard the job was to report the truth without fear or
favor to assure an informed electorate and prevent government
Robert G. Cross, Jr.
Mt. Tremper, NY
Because I am not enrolled in any political party, I received
a letter from Gerald “Gerry” Setchko, Pres. Shandaken
Republican Club, asking me to help vote the liberal “elitists,”
who cater to liberal zealots, out of office. He wants a town
board comprised of five Republicans, preferably conservative
Republicans like himself.
That would mean only the 807 registered Republicans and forty
members of the Conservative Party would have representation
by the town board. The 1,506 registered voters who are not
Republican, registered in other parties or not affiliated
like myself, would have no representation.
So much for Setchko’s idea of democracy.
Keep in mind that Gerry Setchko sees being councilman as a
stepping stone to the supervisor’s position. Shandaken
would be in deep trouble with him as supervisor and a Republican
Think before you pull that lever.
A race that does not require much thought, a no-brainer, is
for the office of Town Justice. On the one ticket there are
two people with legal experience and one a former Assistant
District Attorney, both lawyers. On the other ticket, I don’t
know, are they there because they are owed something? You
see how cronyism has undermined the Bush presidency and has
been destructive materially and morally to the nation! I would
think the Shandaken Republican Party would get smart and not
treat its members contemptuously like children.
Mount Tremper, NY
Many thanks to Doris Bartlett for years of organizing and
supervising the team of volunteer dog walkers at the Shandaken
Dog Shelter. Doris has given much of her time and energy to
make sure the dogs at the shelter are cared for and walked
after business hours and on the weekends. Rain, sleet, or
snow, the dogs are walked. Doris makes sure of it.
Doris has proven that she takes her commitments to heart.
She will make an excellent addition to the Shandaken Town
Board. Doris Bartlett gets my vote.
My wife Kathy and I are writing to voice our support for Rob
Stanley as councilman for the Town of Shandaken. We believe
it is imperative the citizens of our town be represented by
honest, enthusiastic and open-minded elected officials. Rob
Stanley is just such a candidate. He
is active in many positive aspects of our community. He cares
deeply for the Town of Shandaken and has chosen to remain
here and raise his family. From what we know of Rob, he supports
constructive economic growth, which enhances controlled expansion
within the town and at the same time being cognizant of the
efforts to maintain the town’s unique character and
We will be proud to vote and work with Rob Stanley as town
Jack and Kathy Jordan
Pine Hill, NY
The Sierra Club is pleased to announce that it endorses Don
Gregorius and Brian Shapiro for the County Legislature in
District 2 (Woodstock, Shandaken, Hardenburgh, Denning and
Both Gregorius and Shapiro have a record of wise care for
the environment. They both served on the Woodstock Town Board
(at different times) where each one was a champion for protecting
the natural world on which we all depend.
Ulster County has the Catskill Park and the New York City
watershed. Our environment is our destiny. With Gregorius
and Shapiro in the County Legislature, we know the County
government will always consider our natural heritage when
making decisions. On November 8, we encourage every voter
in Legislature District 2 to vote for Don Gregorius and Brian
The Sierra Club is non-partisan in making endorsements. Because
the County Legislature makes the laws we live by, we look
for legislators who know how to take care of the environment.
We endorse the best candidates for the natural world, no matter
what their party affiliation. In this race, the Club sent
the same questionnaire to all four candidates. On the basis
of their responses we know that Don Gregorius and Brian Shapiro
are the best choice in District 2.
The Mid-Hudson Group of the Sierra Club includes Ulster, Dutchess,
Greene and Columbia counties. Our members explore and protect
our precious natural heritage for our families and for our
Bibi Sandstrom, Chair
Mid-Hudson Group of the Sierra Club
New Paltz, NY
It is our extreme pleasure to thank all of the supporters
of Don Gregorius for the wildly successful fundraiser held
on Sunday night, Oct 16 at New World Home Cooking! From the
incredible list of the host committee, to the graciousness
of the venue served up by Ric Orlando & Liz Corrado, to
the incredibly talented performances of Betty MacDonald, Peggy
Stern and Jim Curtin, the trio of vidographers, Diana Bryan,
Andrea and Jim Cunliffe, the
donations of exotic flower arrangements from Jarita's and
Santiago, the wicked chocolates from Krause's and Chocolate
Cheers sitting next to the dessert temptations from Hannaford
and Adams Fairacre Farms.
Add to that mixture, the facile wit of Legislator Hector Rodriguez,
of New Paltz, who gave us both humor and dignity, as he introduced
Maurice Hinchey to the appreciative crowd that jammed the
space. We thank Maurice for the informative and supportive
speech he gave for Don. Our further thanks to all the legislators
and candidates who joined us in support Don. It was an evening
to be remembered; remembered by us with gratitude. Thank you,
each and everyone!
The silence is deafening.
Three weeks ago I accused Peter DiModica, while he was in
office, of setting up a cabal, a conspiracy, a plot to withhold
from the citizens of Shandaken fair, honest and open government..
I accused him of creating a group of co-conspirators, and
I named them: Bryan Powers, Cathy Nolan, Judy Wyman, Mary
Herman, Paul Van Blarcum, David Channon.
I said their cause was hatred of Dean Gitter, their victims
were all of us in Shandaken. $100,000 in legal bills, twenty-two
lawsuits, no cell towers, no viable Pine Hill water company,
no cell phones even for emergencies, no soccer fields. Their
Comprehensive Plan would have deprived us of our freedoms.
They changed official documents, destroyed all town records
upon leaving office, conspired to seize private property,
and chased one of their own, a town official, under threat
of bodily harm and forced their Democratic Party leader to
resign, repulsed by their unacceptable behavior. One of their
continuing hypocrisies is, for years they fought cell towers
with lawsuits on the grounds of esthetics. A pencil then tower
camouflaged and out of sight is ugly, they said. Yet they
ignore the two-hundred and ninety miles of electric, cable
and telephone wires (NYSEG estimate) twenty feet over their
heads, from here to Kingston. Their position has hurt us all
badly for years.
The response from DiModica and his gang? Silence. No denials.
No protests. No indignation. No threats of lawsuits for defamation.
Just silence. What can they say? They can’t defends
themselves because, every word I said about this small irrepressible
group was true. They are the foes of Shandaken. They want
to beat us back into their image. No growth. No prosperity.
No Peace. NO THANKS.
Forget about Parties. This is about people not Party.
Bob Cross is good people. He’s honest. He’s imaginative.
He’s hard-working and grown up. Bob is doing a great
job for all the people. The DiModica guys are all about the
DiModica guys, not us.
Let’s throw the bums out AGAIN once and for all.
Editor's Note: Accusations do not a story make. We assume
that if those accused did not reply, they did not feel the
accusations worth replying to. For those unfamil with Mr.
Nussbaum, he has told us he is a retired professional political
operative whose clientele included former President Richard
Nixon and the Republican National Committee.
So what? So what Pete DiModica had a working cell tower plan
two years ago? So what Cross Jr. killed it? So what we still
don't have cell service two years later? So what Cross Jr.
increased taxes twice as much as Pete? So what Pete sticks
up for the town folks and Cross Jr. goes to bat for Gitter
every chance he gets? So what Cross Jr. gave himself a big
fat raise at our expense? So what Cross Jr. bangs his hammer
and threatens to have folks arrested whenever they say something
he doesn't like? So what the Republican county legislature
voted for a big fat jail that is crumbling before it's built
and our grandchildren will still be paying for it? So what
we all suffer high gas prices because oil companies run the
So what? I guess there's folks out there who won't admit the're
being abused... I hope they get over it. So what? Vote 'Em
Pete DiModica stands for truth, our prosperity, and free speech!
Doris Bartlett and Peter Disclafani will win for you, not
for Gitter! So what? Vote row B! Prosperity for us, not the
Reading the ads of Peter DiModica and his running mates, you’d
never know that Mr. DiModica was the Shandaken Supervisor
just two short years ago. In a very slick ad campaign, Democrats
try to convince us that they are going to bring in new business,
get lots of grants, and lower taxes. Hogwash!
If Mr. DiModica can do all this in a new term, why couldn’t
he do it two years ago when he was the incumbent? Why didn’t
he get Pine Hill’s water problems solved? Why didn’t
he bring tons of new businesses to town? Where are all those
grants he could have gotten? And why didn’t he lower
taxes when he had the chance? If his record was so good then,
why isn’t he mentioning that record now?
Here’s why. Mr. DiModica spent more than $100,000 in
legal fees during his administration instead of investing
in Shandaken’s future. He spent time researching how
he could take property by eminent domain when he could have
been negotiating a sale and getting the job done. His comprehensive
plan committee spent so much time arguing that they couldn’t
even spend the grant money they got. And Mr. DiModica didn’t
want to rock the boat in other towns by fighting for large
parcel legislation that would reduce taxes in Shandaken. Our
former supervisor and his cohorts must think that if they
don’t mention the Democrats’ record, we’ll
forget it. But we won’t.
Bob Cross reduced our taxes, got a comprehensive plan passed,
got cell tower legislation passed, negotiated his way out
of a nasty lawsuit with the state and oh, by the way, during
his administration, we even got a new bank in town. So despite
our long-standing enrollment as Democrats, we’re voting
for Bob Cross in November, and adding Rob Stanley and Gerry
Setchko to our list for good measure. We hope others in Shandaken
will do the same. One DiModica administration was more than
Joan & Larry Bauer
Big Indian, NY
Upon reading a letter in the September 29th edition of the
Times written by Steve Stet tine, I wonder how some people
can be so hypocritical. First of all, the issue discussed
in the article occurred in July, so why is it being addressed
in September? Could it be an abject way of enhancing his favorite
candidate’s campaign? The timing sure would indicate
that. It’s ironic that the article was written after
the Conservative Party’s caucus. Was he afraid of any
repercussions that might have occurred had it been written
beforehand? In other words, he waited for the Conservatives
to endorse his party’s candidates before supporting
a candidate (not endorsed by his own party) at the expense
of someone else. It seems like a well-planned attack to me.
And you, Mr .Stettine, preach about strength of character,
truthfulness and honesty.
This matter could have been taken care of simply by going
to Ken and talking to him face to face, but you, with all
of your character, truthfulness and honesty, chose to take
the cowardly way out and do it publicly. That also “speaks
volumes about a person’s character”. This shouldn’t
have to be explained to you of all people, Steve, but the
last time Ken was seeking the endorsement of the Republican
Party (as a registered Republican), he lost his own party’s
endorsement to a Democrat. That’s real character and
honesty, isn’t it? In the end, all that Ken was doing
was covering his own back so he didn’t get cheated out
of his own party’s endorsement again and assuring himself
of a fair chance to win this year’s election. Besides,
the night that Ken accepted the Republican endorsement, he
was a registered Republican. Any changes made now will not
occur until after this fall’s election, so he will also
be a registered Republican on Election Day.
I have lived in this area all of my life, and I have seen
some highly successful politicians use the same tactics to
gain support and not get attacked publicly over it like you
did to Ken. Ken is my brother, so I have known him all of
my life, and I know that he is a very truthful and honest
person with a lot of character. So, in conclusion, look who’s
talking about strength of character, truthfulness and honesty.
I hope that you are happy, Steve, because you have opened
up a can of worms that may never be closed again. Alan Berryann
At the risk of being called hypocritical for looking truth
squarely in the eye, I do believe there are a couple of points
that need to be addressed. First, I only became aware of Mr.
Berryann’ s party affiliation shortly before I wrote
about it for publication. Secondly, if anyone thinks it’s
a coward’s way to come out publicly concerning a situation
where the public was deliberately misled and if the candidate
is elected he intends to do what’s good for himself
not the people he is supposed to represent, guess again. Opening
a “can of worms” is not a pleasant experience.
The fact that others may have used Mr. Berryann’ s tactics
in the past is no excuse for him to do so. If people in the
past have turned a blind eye to the deception it is no excuse
for me to do so.
As for Alan Berryann’ s reference to the Conservative
Caucus — as head of the caucus I think he should be
ashamed to state the caucus would even consider taking punitive
action against any candidate because of my opening a fabled
“can of worms.” It would appear I have more confidence
in them then he does. This being said, back to the drawing
board... Kenneth Berryann Sr. works for the Rotron Corp. and
has for 14 years — AND WILL CONTINUE TO AFTER THE ELECTION.
He has no intention of leaving his present position to take
over the town highway dept. He intends to do both AT THE SAME
TIME. Do you really want to give the job to someone who won’t
be there to see that it is done properly? Since he has no
experience maintaining roadways, the question remains-would
he know it was done properly even if he were there? Ken Berryann
Sr was in the course of one month first a Republican then
a Democrat and back again to a Republican. Mr. Berryann’
s ability to switch political parties whenever it suits him,
for the sole purpose of gaining that party’s political
endorsement, leaves much to be desired. I much prefer to judge
a person by their character rather then their appearance.
On election day Mr. Berryann will appear on the ballot on
all political lines but one. His opponent Mr. Keith Johnson
will appear on only one line — the very last one. Keith
Johnson’s character is impeccable, he has been doing
the type of work necessary to maintain the highway depot.
for as long as I have lived here and that’s almost 40
years. He did not latch on to a political party for their
support even when it was offered to him and it was offered
to him. He is an independent, honest and straightforward individual.
For the record he is not “my” candidate. He is
the person I honestly believe will be the best person for
the job. Who you vote for is in itself a private matter, the
facts about both candidates is absolutely a matter of public
concern. Do you really want the person in charge of the SHANDAKEN
HIGHW AY DEPARTMENT to be a no-show position? The results
of an election should show the voters concern with what is
best for the town not what is best for the candidate. Steve
Stettine Phoenicia, NY
As citizens and voters we’re writing to protest some
of the mis-information, garbled facts and sleaze being thrown
around in the current political campaign. At the very least,
we would like to put some things on the public record for
the benefit of all.
We fault Bob Cross for getting sucked in by the ads and postcards
taunting him over a big tax increase of 8.31% in 2004. That
may be a human failing we all share, but it’s still
On the ad and postcards, all the years are wrong. It’s
true the budget was submitted in 2004 by Bob Cross, but it
pertained to the year 2005. Nobody thinks in terms of the
year a budget was prepared, Pete, and this kind of thing only
creates confusion. As for you, Bob, when the budget was prepared
and by whom has nothing to do with the issue which is excessive
Yes, the 8.31% increase is, indeed, accurate. But it pertains
ONLY TO THE TOWN BUDGET. That budget did go up by some $160,000
or 8.31% but more than $30,000 of it was for under-budgeted
items that carried over from the previous year. That includes
some $13,000 in legal fees so Kathy Nolan and other DiModica
advisors could pursue their ideological legal battles at taxpayer
expense (none of which they won.)
Now, the sleaze gets really thick. Bob Cross played a highly
active role on the large parcel issue which led to a reduction
in the school taxes of Shandaken by $676,000 in 2005. As a
result, the net effect on our total taxes was a decrease of
about 5% not an increase of 8.31% as DiModica clearly implies.
Sleazy, Pete. Really sleazy.
I’m a Democrat. But this is just too much. Exaggeration,
accusations, name-calling and innuendo may go with campaigning.
But this kind of blatantly dishonest nonsense which the DiModica
crowd is tossing around is unconscionable!
You just lost our vote.
Arline and Paul Schmiedel
Mike Stock voted YES on April 11, 2003 on the notorious back-room
Casino Agreement with the Modoc Indians, which would put a
big casino in Ellenville for annual payments of $15 million
to the “Locally Impacted Entities” (Ulster County,
Wawarsing and Ellenville). There was no hearing, no public
or town vote.
This year, when the Saugerties Casino came up, Stock and the
Republican Majority refused to pass a resolution against casinos
in the county. Instead, on June 9, 2005, Stock and the Republican
Legislature paved the way for gambling by passing a “home
rule” resolution—allowing townships to decide.
Don’t be fooled by Stock’s home rule ruse. If
Woodstock, Saugerties and Shandaken vote to keep casinos out,
but a nearby township allows them, the entire County is affected,
especially for more law enforcement, more Social Services,
more Medicaid—and a lower Quality of Life.
The casino jobs produced are low-paying, while the social
fabric is torn apart by the introduction of all that gambling.
The Town of North Stonington reports that since the casino
opened, they have closed 2 houses of prostitution, the bankruptcy
and embezzlement rate has tripled due to gambling, property
values have plummeted on roads leading to the casino, law
enforcement, crime and 911 dispatch costs have skyrocketed,
and the problems go on and on. Auto traffic increased from
8,800 cars a day to 27,000!
Local economic development is meanwhile a myth. First Selectman
Robert Congdon of hard-hit Preston—near Foxwoods—said:
“The only development we’ve had in our town since
the casinos opened is a Dunkin’ Donuts.” [Preston
These small towns were basically crushed—financially
and in their Quality of Life.
If you are opposed to enormous casinos in Ulster County, you
must vote Mike Stock out. With a record on casinos like this,
Stock can in no way be trusted to keep the Saugerties or other
casinos from happening—despite the new home rule policy.
As soon as this bothersome thing called an election is over,
there is no doubt in my mind that Stock would sell the County’s
soul for that $600 million offered for the Saugerties casino,
especially now that the County budget has risen 49% in one
Since there is little doubt Brian Shapiro will be re-elected,
it comes down to Stock vs. Gregorius for the remaining seat
in District 2—and Gregorius is firmly opposed to casinos
in Ulster County.
Vote the Republicans out November 8th—Lock, Mike Stock
Where are our leaders of today?
Where are the Democratic leaders in Congress when the crimes
against the nation, condoning of rampant corruption and cronyism,
unprecedented other high crimes and misdemeanors, and dedicated
incompetence by the current administration, so convinced of
their own unchallenged power, are out there for all the world
to see? Where are the Democratic leaders’ voices in
the midst of the most partisan, sleazy, dishonest, profiteering
White House in memory, underscored by an arrogance that’s
brought this nation to its knees and nearly, it could be argued,
to the brink of collapse?
Where is the Democratic Leadership’s and the party’s
opposition to Bush’s day by day threatening of our national
security, the shredding of the Bill of Rights, our civil liberties,
and the Constitution? Where is the necessary forthright courage,
the consistency, the backbone and spine, the integrity, amongst
all the moral laziness and fear, and the political cowardice
and wedge-issue pandering of our Washington Democrats?
Where are our leaders of today as the Bush Administration
increasingly bankrupts the nation, peddles its death and destruction
at home and abroad, strips us of our freedom of speech and
right to assemble, and reduces our American Constitutional
Democracy to a treacherous and insidious superficiality? What
has become of our moral compass? Our historical and political
intelligence? Our credibility as a great and honorable and
compassionate Republic? When will our leaders stop enabling
and facilitating this president’s disastrous policies
and political ideology?
Where are our leaders of principle, who will not fail us in
even the minimal duty of opposition? Who will not be silent
and thereby actively (at the least, tacitly) complicit like
our intimidated and fearful national media, who does little
more than parrot the party line? When will our leaders and
citizenry stop being afraid of criticism, stop censoring themselves,
and not feel intimidated or constrained by either the media’s
or the Administration’s conventional political labels
applied to anyone who dares to battle back the spin?
When will the Democratic Party leadership find its voice?
Refuse to “get on message” when Karl Rove sends
out his message points of the day? Refuse to allow Rove to
define the Party and the political debate, and instead define
him, Bush & Co., and the public discourse first? Throw
off its timidity and the yoke of its aptly named “Democratic
wing of the Republican Party” label, level with the
American people, stop doing business as usual on the Hill,
refuse to retreat or cave in, and demand what up until now
has been a complete lack of accountability by this ill-fated
When will our Democratic leaders find the political will and
tenacity to step into the ring, put up their dukes, and go
on the offensive, unrelentingly, without apologizing, and
fight to take back the White House and defend the interests
of the United States of America and its citizens? What are
our Democratic leaders waiting for? With Bush far down in
the polls, GOP scandal after scandal, vulnerability after
vulnerability, deception after deception, and betrayal of
the nation after betrayal of the nation being exposed every
day—and the best strategy our leaders can come up with
is to simply and passively sit back, wait around, and hope
to magically benefit from the Republican’s quagmire?
That’s neither a fighting nor a winning strategy. When
will the Democratic Leadership of our country be able again
to command, deservingly, the loyalty of its constituency and
the American electorate?
When will the Democratic Leadership muster the passion to
turn themselves into the worthy, formidable, and unstoppable
force such as their Republican adversaries are? Sell outs
and insignificant back benchers, devoid of the simplest political
instincts of all: opportunism and grandstanding—outdone
and marginalized by the right wing’s conviction, determination,
discipline, and commitment (however misguided and destructive)
—cannot lead this country, let alone constitute a viable,
legitimate, and relevant “opposition” party. The
most it can do is continue sitting in the shadows.
Both major parties have become politically bankrupt; and while
it used to be said that casting a vote for a third-party candidate
was throwing away your vote, the Democratic Party, the purported
opposition party, no longer exists (again, where’s the
opposition, other than a few laughable gestures?), and, so,
it seems, these days voting for a Democrat would be throwing
away a vote.
Dems: To borrow from the words of Rummy and Dubya: “It’s
time to take off the gloves” and utter the battle cry
to “Bring ‘em on!” Otherwise the moniker
“Democratic Leadership” will continue to be the
oxymoron it’s become since giving away the White House
in 2000 and yet again in 2004.