New Baltimore Elections: No Choice. The Sequel. (And Coeymans, too!)

04 Nov

Election Day is just a few days away and you need to start thinking.

There are a number of candidates in New Baltimore asking for your vote but are running unopposed.

Please see our article
No Choice! Unopposed Candidates? Here’s the Plan…
If you haven’t already

It’s not so simple as an “easy decision” as reported by Columbia-Greene County Media; it’s a question of democratic process and having a choice, not being handed a no-choice candidate; that’s called tyranny, not democracy. That’s how dictators work, no competition!

On Thursday, November 2, 2017, one of our contributors contacted the Town Clerks of Coeymans and New Baltimore with the question: “Can you please tell me which candidates in your town are running for election unopposed and for which office(s)?” Both Clerks Diane Millious and Bonnie Keyer (Coeymans) and Barbara Finke (New Baltimore) responded almost immediately.

The Town of New Baltimore has three candidates running unopposed:

Jeff Ruso (R) for Town Supervisor. Ruso is running unopposed; the New Baltimore Democraps couldn’t come up with a candidate to run against him. Ruso ran once before with competition for Town Supervisor and lost. He later ran for New Baltimore Town Board and was elected to the board. He has since been Deputy Supervisor alongside Supervisor Nick Dellisanti. Our experience with the Dellisanti-Ruso team has been less than satisfactory, and we must admit that they have fallen flat on their faces in terms of dealing with the New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways, Denis Jordan (D), who, we understand is allegedly under investigation for abuse of office, maladministration, malfeasance, and misfeasance. Jordan’s deputy, Scott van Wormer, may also be implicated in some of the activities under investigation. We mention this Highway Department issue and Denis Jordan because it’s a very serious matter and the current Town Board (Dellisanti, Ruso, van Etten, Irving, Brody) have had opportunities to shine but ended up with egg on their faces and may be held liable, along with corrupt Denis Jordan. Please do not cast a vote for Ruso so that he doesn’t get the numbers; he’s running unopposed so if he votes for himself he’ll have one vote and that will elect him.

Barb Finke (R)  for Town Clerk. Barbara Finke is the current incumbent New Baltimore Town Clerk. We want her to get all the numbers she can, because she’s been doing a stellar job as Town Clerk. She’s competent and efficient. She’s also knowledgeable and very helpful. In general, our local town clerks are very hard working and don’t get the credit they deserve. Although Ms Finke is running unopposed, we’d like you to show your support by giving her the numbers. Your vote is your voice!

Diane Jordan (R) for Tax Collector.Diane Jordan is running unopposed and we have no problem with that. The problem we do have is that Ms Jordan is married to the incompetent New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways, Denis Jordan (D). We also have a problem of possible conflicts of interest in that Ms Jordan is also a deputy town clerk; we are uneasy with that situation given the problems with her husband, Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan. Tax collector is not the most glamorous job in the world and Ms Jordan appears to be good a licking stamps and sealing tax bill envelopes. We have no objection to her continuing in office but we do ask voters not to cast a vote in her case; not casting your vote will send a protest message regarding her husband but will not affect whether she is re-elected. The same applies to her as to Jeff Ruso, above: even if the only vote the get is their own, they’ll still be elected. Don’t give her the numbers.

We’d like to mention the candidates for town board.
Shelly van Etten (R, C, I), incumbent town board member. Ms van Etten is up for re-election. We support her re-election if only to keep her where she is in order to see what happens in the Denis Jordan case. Nick Dellisanti has backed out of New Baltimore politics but Jeff Ruso will still be around; we’d like to keep as many current people in place for accountability purposes. Ms van Etten has a firm foothold in New Baltimore both as a resident and business owner (van Etten Excavating).
Three newcomers are seeking election to the New Baltimore Town Board, two of them are Democraps: Jacob Colwell and James Eckl. Kelly Downes (R, C, I)  is the other newcomer.
We would argue in favor of a mixed party board but in our experience in New Baltimore and Coeymans, the minority party’s only interest is to mess with the majority party and stymie any progress. It’s the same sour grapes attitude we find at the state and national level politics. The little fish like to think they have power to stop the big fish but the only ones they hurt and punish are us residents.
Jacob Colwell is youngish and has a family. We say he should stay home and be with his family, raise his children, and stop playing the stupid egomaniac game. We do not support Colwell for those reasons. A further reason is that he’s a school phys ed instructor and coach. Those are time-consuming activities — or they should be — and we don’t think that would work out very well. Finally, his main interest seems to be a bit childish: the town newsletter. The newsletter is a nice but not a necessary; besides, that’s what we have local newspapers for, isn’t it? Maybe Mr Vinciguerra and Ms Dempsy of Columbia Greene Media (Johnson Newspaper Group) could invest a bit more time in New Baltimore, so that we don’t have to waste time and resources on Mr Colwell’s pet project. Mr Colwell also wants to bring “transparency and diversity” to the board. The current board is already quite transparent and open; usually very forthcoming and no big secrets. That’s fine with us. So Colwell wants to bring something we already have, transparency. Now this “diversity” thing is a bit scary, since Colwell hasn’t mentioned what he means by diversity. Bottom line: Nix to Colwell.
James Eckl is 71 years old and running as a newcomer. Eckl is retired from that incompetent and corrupt state entity, the Department of Environmental Conservation. Right there we have a negative because most of those people at the DEC are a bit weird, and we don’t need any more weird in New Baltimore town government than we already have. At present, we’re O-D’ing on weird. Eckl serves on the New Baltimore Zoning Board of Appeals but he says that if elected to the Town Board, he’ll bring some different views into the town. You’d think he’d already have done that being on the Zoning Board. We covered some issues concerning the New Baltimore Zoning Board of Appeals several months ago and we were not impressed with how they were operating. We don’t need to infect the Town Board with that virus by electing Eckl to the Town Board; we don’t need undefined “new views”, whatever that means.
The final face we’d like to discuss is Ms Kelly Downes (R, C, I), who is also a newcomer running for election for Town Board. Ms Downes claim to fame is — NONE. We met Ms Downes a couple months ago at a Town Board meeting and we were not impressed; in fact, she came across as defensive and not very friendly. She is employed by the state as an “internal auditor” and has been a NB resident for 30 of her 52 years. That in itself is not a qualifier but at least she’s been living in New Baltimore for as long as Jacob Colwell has been potty trained (Colwell is 34). One major issue we have with Downes is the fact that in a recent piece published in Hudson Valley 360, a publication of the Register Star and Daily News, the paper reports that when they tried to get in touch with her for their candidate’s intro piece, “Downes did not return multiple phone calls for comment.” If that’s the way she’s going to conduct her campaign by not returning the media’s calls, we don’t have much confidence in her performance as a future board member.
That’s our take on the three newcomers asking for your vote to put them on the New Baltimore town board. We have no real preference because the choices are so bad. We have serious doubts about Jacob Colwell and we are strongly suspicious of James Eckl. Kelly Downes may work well with the members on the current board, and she’ll balance out the board by adding a woman’s voice. While her plumbing is not a serious criterion for election, it’s worth thinking about, given the overall poor choices.

Town of Coeymans

Diane Millious

First of all, we are really very, very sorry to see Diane Millious leaving town service as Town Clerk. Diane has been a model of integrity and professionalism in Coeymans Town Hall for more than a quarter century. She’s seen the best and she’s seen the worst, but she’s always kept her eye on the ball; she’s always been there to serve the residents and visitors of the Town of Coeymans. How do you thank someone like Diane Millious enough for her exemplary service and devotion to Coeymans. Here’s an idea: Make the numbers count. Write her name in as a write-in for Town Clerk. If she wins as a write-in it’ll show how much Coeymans loves her and is grateful to her. She can then refuse to accept the vote, and then the runner-up will take the election. You’re not wasting a vote and you’re sending a very special message!

 The Coeymans Candidates and Our Recommendations

Last election voters in the Town of Coeymans sent raw sewerage into Coeymans Town Hall by electing disgraced town justice Phillip Crandall to be Supervisor and recycled losers like Jim Youmans, Tom Dolan, etc. to be Town Board members. Big mistakes. The ballots for this Tuesday, November 6, aren’t much prettier.

Town Supervisor

  • Philip A. Crandall: ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! When asked to tell us what his accomplishments were as Town Supervisor, Crandall refused to respond; he had no accomplishments. Apart from being forced to resign as town justice for corruption, Crandall was rebuked by the board of elections for having misused signatures on his ballot petitions. Crandall’s response: “I didn’t know.” Bullshit! Crandall has been in politics long enough to know the rules, he just doesn’t like rules. On a more serious note, Crandall recently allegedly misused some confidential police information by turning over to the individual being investigated. It’s not yet known whether he’ll face charges on that account. Bottom line: Get the garbage out of Coeymans Town Hall. Give Phil Crandall the boot!
  • Keith E. Mahler, Jr.: Not much to say about this dud but anything’s better than Crandall!

Town Councilman

  • Michael J. McGuire: Newcomer. Very little information on him. If they’re not open on the campaign trail, we don’t need them in Town Hall. If you know anything about him, please share with us so we can let voters know.
  • Neil E. Porlier: Newcomer. Very little information on him. If they’re not open on the campaign trail, we don’t need them in Town Hall. If you know anything about him, please share with us so we can let voters know.
  • Daniel D. Baker: Newcomer. Very little information on him. If they’re not open on the campaign trail, we don’t need them in Town Hall.  If you know anything about him, please share with us so we can let voters know.
  • Kenneth A. Burns: Burns is running for a second term. Question is, does he have any balls. one thing’s certain: Better to keep the devil you know than to get a devil you don’t know.Town Clerk

One thing’s certain, we’ll never get another Diane Millious; she’s one of a kind. All the rest will be second rate.

Coeymans Town Clerk

  • Cindy L. Rowzee: Ms Rowzee has a history that goes back to her stint in Ravena village hall. Worse still, Rowzee has been Phil Crandall’s “confidential secretary.” That alone should raise red flags as to her fitness to be Coeymans Town Clerk. Several months ago, we asked Ms Rowzee if she’d like to talk to us about why she would be a good Town Clerk. She refused to talk to us. If that’s any indication of what kind of clerk she’ll make, forget about her!
  • Morgan B. Fishlock: Yes. Although a newcomer, she comes highly recommended. In fact, the best recommendation possible from our own Diane Milious. That’s enough for us to caller Madam Clerk!

Town Justice

  • Thomas M. Frese: Former corrections officer, local business owner. His background is too much like Crandall’s. Won’t know how to deal respectfully with people because of his career controlling criminals.
  • Charles W. Brooks: Brooks has court experience and comes on good recommendations. We would call him your honor from this point on.

Superintendent of Highways

  • Peter J. DeLuke: Newcomer. Very little information on him. If you know anything about him, please share with us so we can let voters know.
  • Scott D. Searles: Searles has been on the job for a while and appears to be doing a mediocre but passable job. Problem is that the elected Superintendent of Highways is a relatively autonomous public office and can do what he likes in general, including some really dumbass stuff. Keep an eye on him and let him know who pays the bills.

Here’s the plan.

  1. Please get your sorry asses out to vote!
  2. Check the list below of candidates running unopposed in your district.
  4. If you have a choice of candidates for a particular office, please carefully consider your choice and vote for the one BEST QUALIFIED, not your friend, your brother-in-law, or your next door neighbor. If you feel you must vote out of so-called “friendship” or family loyalties, that’s not a criterion for selecting an elected official for the rest of us. Be fair.

The reason that we are asking you not to cast a vote for an unopposed candidate is because we want you to protest not having a choice by not casting a vote for the unopposed candidate(s).

If you don’t cast a vote for an unopposed candidate, you are sending a message. Here’s how:

When you go in to vote, you sign in. That gives us a total number of registered voters who got out and voted. We can compare that number to the total number of registered voters in your district overall to see how many actually got out to vote.

Now, we can take those two numbers and look at the totals for the unopposed candidates and see just how many, what percentage, of active voters protested the no-choice situation.

We’ll report that number so you can see where the community stands on no-choice elections.

We need to make our voices heard in whatever way possible to avoid becoming a second North Korea.

Me so happy! You mellicans got no choice! You get me! You velly happy now…YES!


(This doesn’t mean that the unopposed candidate won’t get into office, all it takes is ONE VOTE, most likely their own, to “win” the election.)

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Posted by on November 4, 2017 in Uncategorized


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