Short Answer: It doesn’t, really. But whenever you choose to grow up, Mr Dellisanti, and measure up to the job, and prevent the misuse of our town’s resources, when you join the fight against incompetence, and you put justice and fair play first, it will likely turn into good local government. But the area hasn’t seen that in so long, no one can remember what it is.
Longish — but far more interesting — Answer: Read the article below.
It’s a bizarre question that New Baltimore Town Supervisor Nick Dellisanti (R) asks a Resident who Communicated with Dellisanti by eMail
Why does this elected official choose to respond to a resident with such a suggestive question. Yes, ‘suggestive,’ because, by responding in such a manner, Dellisanti is suggesting that he feels he was being harassed, and Dellisanti knows well that harassment is a crime. Here are some details.
After years of ongoing neglect and indifference to the condition of streets and drainage in the Hamlet and National Historic District of the Town of New Baltimore, New York, and after numerous notifications, requests, and inquiries to the New Baltimore Town Board specifically referencing the Town of New Baltimore Highway Department and the incompetence of the elected Highway Superintendent, Denis Jordan, two residents had enough when they noted that the failure to maintain the drainage ditches and storm drains, whose maintenance under the law is the responsibility of the Town of New Baltimore through the New Baltimore Highway Department, had caused serious structural damage to a residential property. They found that the New Baltimore Highway Department, under the direct personal supervision of Mr Denis Jordan, had neglected the drains and drainage on several Hamlet streets, which resulted in serious damage to the property.
The residents joined several other residents in filing separate Notices of Claim on the Town of New Baltimore and the New Baltimore Highway Department, specifically naming Mr Denis Jordan as a defendant.
No sooner had the residents demanded an on-site visit by members of the New Baltimore Town Board, Mr Jordan’s crews showed up to clean out drainage ditches — after ignoring required maintenance for at least 3 years — and proceeded to excavate storm drains buried for almost 20 years — according to a statement made to one of the residents by Mr Scott vanWormer, deputy superintendent of highways — and the crews started digging up culverts and replacing them.
One resident, noting the work being done, asked Why? the culverts had to be replaced. The answer provided by the New Baltimore Highway employee was: “The Town does not own a jet machine which is used to clean the pipes. Therefore the town would have to hire a company to do such work, which would cost much more than the new pipe. We have, in the past, worked with the fire dept. to flush the pipes. But when pipes are plugged that badly, flushing does not work, particularly if there are roots growing in the pipes.”
This raises several questions: Mr vanWormer clearly states in his email that the pipes were replaced and not cleaned “due to the age of the pipes…when pipes are plugged that badly…there are roots growing in the pipes.” Bottom line: if the pipes, that is the culverts, and storm drains were maintained as required, they would likely not have to have been replaced? If the culverts were maintained as required, wouldn’t that have prevented roots from growing in the pipes? Seems that much of what the NB Highway Department has as a justification is based on observations made after the culverts were dug up, and if normal maintenance had been performed, the drains would not have remained buried for more than 17 years and the “roots” would not have grown into the culverts. It’s that simple.
Rather than Respond to or Meet with Concerned Residents, Denis Jordan Responded “Let them sue us.”
During the work being done on New Street, the resident urgently requested Supervisor Dellisanti, Deputy Supervisor Ruso, Councilwoman Shelly vanEtten, and HIghway Supervisor Denis Jordan to stop work and meet with the resident to discuss the work being done, how it was planned to cure the problems, and to review the resident’s information on the problems. The Town of New Baltimore ignored the request and Mr Jordan completed his project. The damage was worsened and the problems were not solved. Later, in response to a demand for information under the Freedom of Information Law, the Town produced Mr Dellisanti’s notes about contact with Jordan, who for some time didn’t bother to respond even to the Supervisor, and when he did respond, refused to set up a meeting saying, “Let them sue us!” And now the residents are taking Mr Jordan’s advice and are suing the Town of New Baltimore.
In addition to keeping the Town of New Baltimore very well informed on the problems on Madison Avenue East and New Street, the resident has collected dozens of emails and hundreds of documentation photographs of the situation. The resident reports to the Town Board each time the Highway Department appear to make a show of “maintenance”. Too little too late, Mr Dellisanti, Mr Ruso, Mr Jordan, given the fact that the damage has already been done.
In one email, History in the Making (October 26, 2016), the resident writes:
Am I hallucinating?!?! For the first time in more than 5 years I have actually seen New Baltimore Highway Department personnel armed with leaf blowers clearing gutters and the new storm drains. Who built the fire under their butts?
Luckily I got shots of the pre-blow condition but Hey! who’s complaining?
My recommendation is REMOVE the leaves and debris, don’t just blow it all over resident’s lawns. But maybe that’s moving a bit too fast for the NBHD [New Baltimore Highway Department] or even New Baltimore.
One further recommendation is to contact the New Baltimore Town Historian and give him this information. Let him know I have some historical photos of this event, which he might want to add to the archives.
I’m truly humbled by having witnessed history’s first leaf clearing on New Street in the lovely Historic District of New Baltimore.
Thank you, God!
And thank you New Baltimore!
Gratefully and humbly,
Supervisor Dellisanti writes back: “OK.” That’s it! Just “OK”.
And in a second email, Enhanced Roadwork (November 2, 2016), the resident writes:
I stand in awe before you! I stand in awe at what a looming, well-founded lawsuit can inspire in our public servants and elected officials. I stand in awe and disbelief of the apparition this morning at or about 9:30 on November 2, 2016, of Town of New Baltimore Highway Department trucks moving down New Street — YES! New Street in New Baltimore — sucking up leaves while sucking up to residents. What a sight! I seriously don’t believe I have ever seen such a vision in the 15 years I’ve had the dubious pleasure of living on New Street. I seriously have to wonder why it took dozens of notifications, a Notice of Claim, property damage, a lawsuit, and almost a decade to have achieved this level of paltry service. Is this evidence of property owners’ tax dollars at work? Can we expect a reduction in taxes as the result?
I would love to know the temperature and cooking time of the fire we’ve built under Denis Jordan’s and a few others’ butts to have made this happen. When I find out, I’ll certainly share the recipe with other residents so that they, too, can share in this exultation, this visionary experience!
Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for that traffic cone if you can locate any in local residents’ garages. The so-called “catchment” is catching everything into the culvert. Interesting. When I revisit Scott vanWormer’s reasons for digging up the culverts (pls see the email), I wonder that the town can find the money to replace culverts because they can’t find the money to flush culverts. The new one, at the rate of filling I’ve observed, will soon need replacement. How much will that cost taxpayers, Mr Jordan? Oh, excuse me, Mr Jordan, it slipped my mind that you don’t speak to or respond to residents unless it’s to say, “Let them sue us.” (By the way, that “us” you’re referring to is the New Baltimore Community, Sir! But your time is coming to pay the piper, Mr Jordan.)
We’re just waiting for a personal injury or vehicular accident to occur in your so-called “catchment”, for which I’ve been asking for a traffic cone for what is it now, five weeks? My how time flies when you’re avoiding duties and responsibilities.
Should you have any questions, please let me know. This might be a great time to contact the Smalbany blog with this event.
Rather than respond with some sort of sensible answer, Supervisor Dellisanti gets all indignant and writes back:
“Thanks. When does this turn into harassment?”
Touchy, aren’t we? Did we have a bad day? Is the job getting too much for you, Nick?
The resident writes back to Dellisanti:
It’s poetic. And I do hope you’re joking but I’ll take my chances considering the stakes. How about you?
Any news on the cone?*
*Editor’s Note: The “cone” is a traffic cone requested repeatedly by the resident to mark a hazard created by the Highway Department. For more information on the “cone”, please see our article, “We requested a cone and got this!” (August 11, 2016)
Actually, Mr Dellisanti it’s your question, and since we’re not attorneys, shouldn’t you be asking your town attorney, Mr Tal Rappelea, that question? He doesn’t seem to be much good to the town otherwise but maybe he can look up the State law on harassment, we did, and find that harassment is pretty serious, and it’s pretty crazy for a town supervisor to write back to a resident/taxpayer suggesting that he, Dellisanti, feels harassed. So let’s be clear, here’s what the law defines as “harassment”:
Harassment in the first degree is defined as: Intentionally and repeatedly harassing another person by following them in a public place, or engaging in a course of conduct which places another person in reasonable fear of physical injury. This is considered a B Misdemeanor charge. A B Misdemeanor can carry up to 90 days in jail. Ref: NY State Law §240.25
Well, Mr Dellisanti, having received the two emails above, do you live in “fear of physical injury“? If you do, it’s time for you to make an appointment with a shrink, because that sounds like you are paranoid.
Second Degree Aggravated Harassment: Aggravated harassment in the second degree is considered more serious than a straight harassment charge. This offense is defined as acting with the intent to annoy, threaten, or alarm another person and: Communicating with them or causing someone to communicate with them in a way likely to cause annoyance or alarm, or
Shoving, kicking, hitting, etc. another person because of their race, color, national origin, or religion. This criminal offense is classified as an A Misdemeanor charge which carries a potential 1 year in jail. Ref: NY State Law §240.30
So, Mr Dellisanti, it appears that you might be suggesting that the resident is “acting with the intent to annoy, threaten, or alarm” you or is communicating with you to cause you “annoyance or alarm.” Is that what you believe? We’d be concerned with the “intent” part of this definition, if we were you. But are you really “annoyed”, “threatened”, or “alarmed” by these two emails? We can understand that you’d be annoyed because it seems you are not doing your job and you’re getting your nose rubbed into it. You may be alarmed because you are being implicated in the wrongdoing and the liability for the damage done because you haven’t done anything about it. But would it be more accurate to say that you are scared, or intimidated by Mr Jordan. Are you “threatened” by Mr Jordan? Are you “annoyed” by Mr Jordan? Are you “alarmed” by Mr Jordan, Mr Dellisanti? I would appear that you are. From our point of view, it seems you’d have a better chance of succeeding, therefore, if you were to threaten Mr Jordan with “harassment”, in addition to all the rest of the charges that would apply to his incompetence, indifference, neglect, and dereliction of duties and responsibilities to the residents, property owners, and taxpayers of New Baltimore.
Or is it your opinion, Mr Dellisanti, that instead of engaging in corrective actions and productive, constructive dialogue with residents and taxpayers to resolve known problems and to serve the public good, Mr Jordan is justified and right in his response to you, “Let them sue us.” After all, you and Jordan are not the real “us” in that statement, the “us” in that statement means the residents, property owners, and taxpayers of the Town of New Baltimore, the very people who are paying your unearned salaries and being injured in the process.
And what are you and the New Baltimore Town Board going to do when Mr Jordan’s dereliction results in the Town’s insurance carrier, Trident, decides that New Baltimore is too much of a risk, thanks to Mr Jordan, and decides to cancel the policy, to drop the Town of New Baltimore? What then?
The hard-working, good people of the Town of New Baltimore deserve better, much better from their elected officials and for their tax dollars! And so, you are being sued by a number of New Baltimore property owners and residents thanks to Mr Denis Jordan, your incompetent and indifferent New Baltimore Highway Superintendent. You’ve done next to nothing to fix the problem, except to respond to a resident with “harassment.” Shame on you Mr Dellisanti! Shame on you Mr Jordan! Shame on you New Baltimore Town Board!
Editor’s P.s.: Mr Dellisanti, we hope you’re making some plans for after this term in office because we don’t think you have much of a political future in this town, that is, judging based on your performance in dealing with the New Baltimore Highway Department weasel and with barking dogs. Mr Ruso, you’d bettter start making some plans, too.
And to the voters of the Town of New Baltimore and other residents: You can, like the residents and voters of the Town of Coeymans, thank yourselves for your misery and abuse. If a few more of you would use your brains instead of your genitals more often, and if you attended town board meetings and spoke up about the misuse of resources and abuse of office, your quality of life might improve. Move your asses and your jaws; attend town board meetings and speak up!