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Monthly Archives: August 2018

Board of Education Member James “Hadji” Latter: Is he paying his fair share of property taxes?

In the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District, the name James “Hadji“* Latter has a murky history. He’s been able to stay on the RCS-CD Board of Education for a number of years now, not because of his tidy background and performance record, but because the RCS-CD is just a corrupt and manipulated as any other “elected” body in the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk/Albany County region, including New Baltimore and Greene County. But New Baltimore, although in Greene County, pays a portion of their property taxes to support the bloated budget of the RCS-CD and the idiotic programs approved by a board of back-scratchers and cronies.

* “Hadji” is our nickname for James Latter II because of his close associations with the Saudi Arabian company SABIC.

We have reported in the past about Latter’s questionable conduct on the board but when you are dealing with a group who love their power to spend public money, and then ask for more and then make decisions that affect the school age young people in the district and their futures. It’s hard for them to let go and share the responsibility or even to acknowledge and consult the public. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and the RCS Central School District Board of Education is no exception. Least of all Mr James Latter II.

That’s why, when a local resident drew our attention to the parking and traffic situation in the Village of Ravena in connection with our recent investigation of Village of Ravena Code Enforcement and, while guiding us around on the grand tour of the many Village of Ravena parking opportunities — in no less than six public parking areas less than one block from the commercial district of Village Center —, and that resident pointed out and commented on a particularly ostentatious eyesore of recent construction on a large lot on Aluise Drive, just in back of the huge lot owned by the Roman Catholic Church of St Patrick, we got curious.

That’s when sitting RCS Central School District Board of Education member James J. “Hadji” Latter II again waddled into the spotlight in his usual murky and questionable style.

You see, Latter and wifey, Amanda C. ( Mrs Hadji) purchased two large adjacent lots (total acreage 6.5 acres, cost $101,000) on Aluise Drive in the Village. The lots were previously owned by the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Patrick (Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany) but were sold off and Latter was in the pews ready to close the deal. Was that because former BoE member and crooked cop Gerald “Dirty Hands Jery” Deluca was high up in the Church’s lay administration and an insider? Probably. Latter and “Dirty Hands” Jerry were thick as flies on fresh summer sh*t. So here we have another questionable business deal in Ravena, Home of the Incest Club, and the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Patrick, an Incest Club meeting place, probably brokered by “Dirty Hands Jerry” Deluca before he was forced out (“resigned”) of the Coeymans Police Department with former dunce Coeymans Police Chief Gregory “Dumplin” Darlington was canned (“retired”), and disgraced town/village justice Phil Crandall was elected to be Coeymans Town Supervisor. You really can’t make this stuff up!!!

Our investigations to date have revealed the following interesting and questionable situations. But please note: This information is preliminary and is based on our research in the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans using immediately available information, that is, information we could get on the spot without the formal F.O.I.L procedure (demanding production of public access documents and information under the provisions of the New York State Public Officers Law), and our vetting of that information on official New York state tax online sites. We have demanded the production of documents that will provide finer details of the transactions and Mr Latter’s operations but that may take some time, given Mr Latter’s position and his “friends” in Village and Town offices.

The properties are listed in the official property tax documents as belonging to James and Amanda Latter of 13 Laura Drive, Ravena, New York. Note that address because we’ll be returning to that information shortly.

James “Hadji” and Amanda Latter posing with Hillary Clinton.
Birds of a feather…!

New York State Law Requires the Assessor to Assess Property Under Construction

In some states a new construction is not subject to assessment for tax purposes until it is completed and a certificate of occupancy is issued. The situation in New York State is different, however, here in New York state there is the so-called partial assessment.

Sitting Board of Education Member James Latter’s new house he will be sharing with teacher wife Amanda Latter.
It’s at 9 Aluise Drive in Ravena, in back of St Patrick’s Church.

New construction assessments are placed on the assessment roll based on the partial market value if the construction is in process or the market value of the completed construction as of March 1st, and that assessment is used to compute the school tax bill issued in September and the county, town, and special district tax bill issued the following January.

9 Aluise Drive. Behind St Patricks RC Church and next to the P.B. Coeymans Elementary School.

In the case of a partial assessment, the market value of the home is determined by using the completion percentage of the construction as of March 1st. If the construction is partially complete as of March 1st, the assessment will represent only a percentage of the total property tax assessment when the construction is completed.  A partial assessment will be place on the tax roll as a “partial”, and increased each year until the construction is 100% complete.

In New York State, the assessor is required to value the property exactly as he or she finds it on taxable status date, that is on March 1st. The Assessor is required by New York State law to value property in its condition on that date. A partially completed building will receive a partial assessment based on its estimated percentage of completion as of March 1st. If your house is under construction on March 1, its estimated percentage of completion on that date will be the basis for the assessment

The property was assessed at a time when the progress of the entire construction project was measured and recorded as a partial assessment. An assessment calendar requires that a property review be based on where the progress of the construction is at the time, and the assessment be based on the progress at the cut-off date on the calendar year. The property has to appear on the tax roll for taxes to be paid in the following year.

The law would require that the Latter construction be assessed in it’s state of construction on March 1st. It was not. This partial assessment procedure was not followed in Latter’s case and Latter’s property was not assessed in part while under construction and, though completed, the Town of Coeymans Assessor was unaware of the construction and the property has not yet been assessed! Mr Latter is not paying his fair share of property taxes. Mr Latter is not paying his fair share of his school taxes to the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District. Mr Latter should be required to resign from his position on the Board of Education for such malconduct.


We did some research and found that the latest tax information on the property at 9 Aluise Drive in Ravena doesn’t show a thing about any new construction and lists it as vacant land. But there’s a house on it that looks as if it’s market value would be at least $200,000!!! What is the deal here? We all have to pay our property taxes and a big part of those taxes go to the schools. Latter is on the Board of Education and decides on the school budget and how much we have to pay but it looks like he’s scamming the Town of Coeymans, whose Assessor wasn’t even aware the house was there — even though you can almost see it from Coeymans Town Hall!!!

Extract of New York State Real Property Report for one of the Latter Lots (where the house is standing).

New York State real property tax assessment law requires that a new construction be assessed as a partial assessment if it’s not completed by the date of March 1st of any year. That means that whatever part of Latter’s house that was completed by March 1, 2018, should have been assessed at that percentage of the total value of the house. But it wasn’t and we all want to know Why?

Another inconsistency is this: James Latter and Amanda Latter list their address of record as being 13 Laura Lane in the Village of Ravena. A bit more research shows that 13 Laura Lane in the Village of Ravena is owned by Anthony and Ann Carrk, not by the Latters. True, the Latters could be renting from Amanda’s parents all these years but isn’t that a stretch? Could be true, though. Maybe Jimmy “Hadji” or Amanda could shed some light on this question. Or maybe Anthony or Ann Carrk can explain the living conditions and how so many could be living in that tiny hovel on Laura Lane.

13 Laura Lane and 9 Aluise Drive. Where do the Latters live?

If you ask the Village of Ravena Building Department Joe Burns, he willl tell you that they issue the building permit for new constructions, do the code enforcement inspections, and when the construction is done, they issue the certificate of occupancy. The Town of Coeymans Sole Assessor Dawn DeRose will tell you that they are notified by the Village of Ravena when the construction is finished. But that’s doesn’t explain why a partial assessment of the Latters’ property wasn’t done by the Town of Coeymans according the New York State Real Property Law. You’d think Town of Coeymans Sole Assessor Dawn DeRose would know better.

This just in: According to a very simple document provided to the Town of Coeymans by the Village of Ravena entitled “Village of Ravena, Building Projects Completed in July 2018” the Village of Ravena provides a one-liner notification of Latter’s construction project. That’s all. The document provides only the following information:

The Bare Bones Provided to the Town of Coeymans Assessor.

The above document provided by the Town of Coeymans in response to a F.O.I.L. demand clearly shows that Latter’s new construction was likely completed by March 2018 and is valued at $300,000. Even if it were not completed it would have been substantially completed and should have been assessed and on the tax rolls!!! It is not. A 1728 square foot two-story home with attached garage can represent a pretty fair amount of tax revenue, even if only subject to a partial assessment. Our question is: Why wasn’t the information provided to the Town of Coeymans Assessor when the building permit was issued? Why was it provided only after a Certificate of Occupancy was issued on July 3, 2018!!! Latter saved a pretty penny thanks to the Village of Ravena’s substandard reporting procedures. We’re certain the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance will be very interested in this case and will likely want to investigate how many other similar cases have gotten past the Assessor and the Tax Department.

Ravena will tell you it’s not their problem because they don’t have an assessor; the assessments are done by the Town of Coeymans Assessor. Coeymans will tell you that they don’t police the Village of Ravena and the Village of Ravena has to tell Coeymans what’s going on so that the assessor can do his assessments. Latter will likely tell us that he doesn’t know anything about all this. Sounds like a really shady case of finger-pointing or passing the buck here, now that the cat’s hit the fan and yet another problem in Village of Ravena-Town of Coeymans communications is revealed. Don’t you think it’s high time the Village and the Town started communicating? Now the community is losing property tax money from a select few that managed to drop below the assessment radar. That’s just not fair and it’s not legal. Someone has to answer for this illegal conduct and investigate how many other similar cases have cheated the Town out of tax dollars.

This is another case for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, Real Property Division, and the Office of the New York State Comptroller. Rest assured they’ll be informed of all relevant details.

Do the Village or Ravena and the Town of Coeymans need a Special Audit?

But isn’t Latter a Board of Education member elected by the deaf-dumb-and-blind voters of the Town of Coeymans? Doesn’t he put together the school budget that gets funded in major part by our property taxes as assessed by the Office of the Assessor. And isn’t Latter a so-called “financial analyst” at SABIC? Wouldn’t you expect him to know about property taxes, assessments, etc.?

Ignorance is no excuse
Village and Town are Accessories.


Editor’s Aside: Diverting a bit from Mr James “Hadji” Latter’s past malconduct while a Board of Education member and later as president of the Board of Education that ranged from violations of confidentiality to a laundry list of questionable conduct and associations, he seems to have allied himself with a clique that manages to get elected no matter what. Probably by friends and family and a bit of influence peddling. But Latter is a decision maker on the Board of Education that hires the Superintendent of Schools for the RCS Central School District who runs the schools and manages the teachers. Latter’s Board hired a former principal/teacher from the RCS high-school as Superintendent at an astronomical salary, and others in turn to other posts.

“Hadji” Latter and his cronies have considerable influence on what gets taught by whom in our schools but he is obviously a supporter of Hillary Clinton. What’s worse still, is the fact that he is employed as a financial analyst at the Saudi Arabian company SABIC!!!

The SABIC flag flying near one of the company’s cogeneration towers in Feura Bush.

SABIC (Saudi Basic Industries Corporation) is a Saudi diversified manufacturing company, active in petrochemicals, chemicals, industrial polymers, fertilizers, and metals. It is the largest public company in Saudi Arabia, as listed in Tadawul, but the Saudi government still owns 70% of its shares. SABIC is also the largest listed company in the Middle East. Private shareholders are from Saudi Arabia and other countries of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Saudi SABIC

While Saudi Arabia is often a secondary source of funds and support for terror movements who can find more motivated and ideologically invested benefactors (e.g. Qatar), Saudi Arabia arguably remains the most prolific sponsor of international Islamist terrorism, allegedly supporting groups as disparate as the Afghanistan Taliban, Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Al-Nusra Front. Saudi Arabia is said to be the world’s largest source of funds and promoter of Salafist jihadism, which forms the ideological basis of terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, Taliban, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan) and others.

This is one of the guys you elected to run your school system!!!


We’re staying on top of this one and will publish the information provided by the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans in response to our F.O.I.L demands as it becomes available.

Yes. We know.
But let’s see what you say when the cat hits the fan.
JUST PAY YOUR TAXES!!!
The Editor

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, Accountability, Albany, Amanda Latter, Ann Carrk, Anthony Carrk, Assessment, Bill Bailey, Board of Education Member, Brian Bailey, Capital District, Church of St Patrick, Code Enforcement Officer, Code Violation, Coeymans, Coeymans Assessor, Coeymans Code Enforcement, Columbia-Greene Media, Daily Mail, Donna Degnen, Fair Play, Gerald Deluca, Gordon Bennett, Government, Greene County News, Henry Traver, Incompetence, James Latter, James Latter II, Jason Hyslop, Jeff Ruso, Jerry "Dirty-Hands" Deluca, Joe Burns, Joe Tanner, John B. Johnson, Joseph Burns, Joseph Tanner, Mark Vinciguerra, Mayor "Mouse", Mayor "Mouse" Misuraca, Michael J. Biscone, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, Nancy Warner, New Baltimore Assessor, New York, New York State, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, News Herald, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Office of the Comptroller, Official Misconduct, Partial Assessment, Phil Crandall, Property Taxes, Public Corruption, Public Office, Public Safety, Ravena, Ravena Building Inspector, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Central School District, Ravena News Herald, RCS Board of Education, RCS Central School District, RCS School Superintendant, RCS Superintendent of Schools, Real Property Tax Law, Sabic, Sante Debacco, Selkirk Cogen, Shame On You, Smalbany, Tax Avoidance, Tax Evasion, Tax Evasion, Taxation, Thomas E. Dolan, Tom Dolan, Village of Ravena, Village of Ravena Building Department, William Bailey, William Bailey, William Misuraca, William Misuraca, Zoning Enforcement Officer

 

A Final Word: Village of Ravena Code Enforcement

 

We rarely have the opportunity to express admiration and respect for a local official but we are gratefully in the position to do so after having received a number of very civil, honest, and generally professional communications from Village of Ravena Code Enforcement Officer Sante Debacco.

We realize that some of our readers can get bored quickly if they see more than an article on a single subject, regardless of its importance or interest to the community, and it is to them that we’d like to recommend therapy. To those others who devour the information we put up on this blog and think about it, regardless of the “language” or the subject matter, and critically view their communities with the aim of better understanding and improvement, we suggest that Mr Debacco be appreciated as one of the more positive models of the public employee.

We are rarely positively impressed but Mr Debacco has broken the record, so to speak. He took the punches and returned them civilly and informatively. Kudos from a grateful editor and group.

We will make this a final blog article on the Debacco responses simply because Mr Debacco’s most recent communication wraps up his position nicely.


Dear Editor of the Smalbany Blog,

Just wanted to send you a final e-mail to let you know that I already broke my vow. I went on the Smalbany Blog this afternoon because I was curious to see if there was any other posts or comments on the Village of Ravena Zoning Enforcement Official Ron Hohman Article. I read though the latest blog in which my most recent comment was published. I would like to say thank you for some of the positive comments that you wrote about me – such as having the courage and honesty to go on a public forum and write about the issues involving our local governments, and having the guts to do what I have done in my writings. As I looked through the monthly archives the other night, I noted mostly negative comments about many of the public and elected officials. Perhaps some of those negative comments are deserved. But it’s good to see a positive comment. I’m glad I was the recipient of a positive comment on the blog. I have always tried to be an honest, sincere and hardworking person. I really do care about my community.

Just a few final follow-up comments:

First, of course I would always check with my supervisors to get approval if we were to have guests visit the Building Department. I would utilize that chain of command, that I preached about in a previous comment, to get that approval.

Secondly, I understand your comments about record keeping and keeping a “tight ship” in the office. In the fire service, we are trained to document everything: log books , fire incident reports, EMS reports. There’s a saying in the EMS world: “if you didn’t document it, you didn’t do it”. For example if we gave a patient oxygen at the scene of a medical emergency, but didn’t document it, then we didn’t give the patient oxygen. Hopefully that makes sense.

Lastly, the work of a code enforcement official isn’t totally thankless and negative. It does have some rewards. For example, by making sure buildings and structures are properly equipped with smoke alarms, exits are clear – typical Fire Code items – it is a rewarding feeling to know that we have ensured that people are safe in their buildings. Over the past several decades, the incidences of structural fires in America has decreased, partly due to better model codes and better enforcement of those codes. Even in the little Village of Ravena, and Town of Coeymans, I like to think that I have had a positive impact on the overall fire safety of our citizens and property.

Thank you and have a good evening.
Sincerely,
Sante DeBacco


During our exchanges with Mr Debacco we could only recall the verse from Holy Scripture:

You Will Know Them by Their Fruits
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”

Matthew 7:15-20 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

When we recall the total indifference of the majority of our public officials, elected and employee, to major and minor issues in the community, and when we recall some of the idiotic comments we get from some of the very people we aim to support and to protect, we can only emphasize the timeless message of that short text taken from the Gospel of Matthew.

We don’t think that much more can be said on the subject, so we will let our readers and our public officials, elected and employees, mull about that text for a while. With some luck they may actually understand it and implement it in their work and their lives.

We know what they are by what they do and how they respond to us.

The Editor

Editor”s P.S.

To the residents and our neighbors in Ravena, Coeymans, New Baltimore:

It was not our intention to tear Mr Hohman apart, since he has become a symbol of what goes on in the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans. That is NOT to say that everyone in Village or Town service is a complete moron. To say something like that would be to bash (to use Mr Debacco’s preferred term) the “DeBacco’s” and the “McKenna’s” — the conscientious, honest and diligent officers and employees in public service — who regrettably get overshaowed by the evil and self-serviing ones.

Mr Hohman needs training and better supervision. Perhaps Mr DeBacco and Mr Burns can work on that project. In the meantime, as we mentioned earlier, the damage to the trust and confidence of the community must be restored, and perhaps the only way to do that is to make a public apology to the affected resident and a public commitment to the community that the Village and the Town will take steps to serve residents and taxpayers with greater appreciation and respect.

Again, Mr Hohman did violate his mandate and broke the law if the facts demonstrated in the documents and the reports we have received are given their due consideration. We cannot overlook that fact. By we must also be firm in our statement that Mr Hohman was not working alone and that Mr Burns and the hierarchy in Ravena Village Hall are also at fault and must answer for Mr Hohman’s malconduct.

As we mentioned, Hohman is a symbol now of what’s going on in the communities of Ravena, Coeymans, and New Baltimore. DeBacco is the exception to what is going on in those communities. It’s up to us citizens, residents, and taxpayers to make the DeBacco’s the rule, not the exception to the rule.

Mr DeBacco would be a good candidate for the office of mayor. We have had enough of dictators and lower life forms in the mayor’s office and in the Town Supervisor’s office; perhaps we could find someone like DeBacco who has a brain — and uses it well — has integrity, gonads, and good faith interest in his work and community. To hell with political parties and their dildo candidates! Let’s get a human being with some common sense and ethics in office and pull this community out of the filth it’s wallowing in and has been wallowing in for decades, thanks to local politics and croneyism!

Thank you!

The Editor
Smalbany Blog

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Mr Sante Debacco Explains…

Mr Sante Debacco of the Village of Ravena Building Department has been very forthcoming and impressively so, with comments and responses to our articles “Is Nancy Warner Suffering PMM (Post-menopausal Mania) AGAIN?” and “Ravena Still Ignores Oaths of Office and Rights Protected by State and Federal Constitutions!!!” (called the “Hohman article” below). We have posted one of his emails and our comments in our article “Mr Sante Debacco of the Ravena Building Department Responds“, and are pleased to note that Mr Debacco AGREES with the majority of our statements. That should put to final rest any of the stupidity of doubters as to the factual basis of our articles. Here we have a long-time employee of the Village of Ravena Building Department and of the Town of Coeymans Building Department admitting in black and white that we are correct in what we had to say.

Although Mr Debacco erroneously placed his comments in response to the article primarily on Nancy Warner, he is aware of that error and explains that he intended the comments to go on the article about Mr Ron Hohman. You can read Mr Debacco’s comments in their unedited entirety in the Comments (bottom of the article) about Nancy Warner (here’s the link: Comments)

Mr Debacco’s most recent comment is most interested to our readers, because Mr Debacco explains some of the workings, if we can be so liberal to call them “workings,” that is, the operations of the Ravena Building Department, the roles of Mr Joe Burns, Mr Hohman and Mr Debacco, himself, the distinction between a State Code Enforcement Officer and a Village Code Enforcement Officer, and he confirms our statements made in the Hohman article.

We are publishing Mr Debacco’s most recent email/comment in its entirety simply because it is important for our readers, particularly our readers in the towns of Coeymans, New Baltimore, and the Village of Ravena, and any resident/property owner in the state of New York, for that matter, to know what Mr Debacco explains in his comment.

We are also publishing Mr Debacco’s statement in its entirety as well as his previous comments because it is so rare for a public employee to come forward and be so candidly honest about himself, his job, and the people he works with. That takes integrity and courage.

It’s the LAW.
Our rights are protected by the New York State Constitution and the Constitution of the United States!!!


Mr Debacco writes:

“Good Evening Editor of the Smalbany Blog,

“I would like to share some comments, or thoughts if you will, on the issue regarding the recent post about Village of Ravena Zoning Enforcement Official Ron Hohman. By the way – I am maintaining my vow not to read the blog for my own reasons, but I have no objection to you posting my comments on the blog.”

Mr Debacco had posted his previous comments on the “Is Nancy Warner Suffering PMM (Post-menopausal Mania) AGAIN?” page. That was in error but you can read all of his previous comments in the Comments section of that page.

“Mr. Hohman recently cited a property owner in the Village of Ravena a code violation regarding an unregistered vehicle, and discarded rubbish on the property. These citations were documented from the local laws and codes of the Village of Ravena. In our Building Department, Mr. Hohman is charged with the enforcement of Village of Ravena local laws. He [Mr Hohman]  is not a New York State certified code enforcement official, and cannot enforce the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code of New York State – Title 19 NYCRR. Only myself and Mr. Burns are charged with the enforcement of the State codes since we are certified by NYS as code enforcement officials. Mr. Hohman cannot issue building permits, conduct inspection of construction. He [Mr Hohman] can investigate complaints, but only complaints regarding the Village codes.” [Our emphasis]

Either Mr Debacco has knowledge of the case to which we refer in our article, “Ravena Still Ignores Oaths of Office and Rights Protected by State and Federal Constitutions!!!” or he is relying on the facts we reported in that article. The bottom line is that Mr Debacco is confirming that Mr Hohman’s authority is limited to only Village of Ravena local codes and laws.

Mr Debacco continues:

“However Mr. Hohman still must abide by protected constitutional rights of citizens. We are not allowed to enter private property without permission of the property owner. It is assumed that we can walk up to the front door of a building and knock on the door or ring a bell, but we are not allowed to walk around back per se without permission from the property owner. We are not allowed to enter into a dwelling unit without permission of the occupant of the dwelling. We can conduct legal inspections from the public right of way such as a sidewalk or street, and we can also conduct a legal inspection from a neighboring property, but the owner of that property must give us permission. The only time we can enter private property or enter someone’s dwelling unit, is during an emergency situation where the fire department or police department will allow us entry. The code enforcement official has the authority to obtain an administrative warrant to enter a property to conduct an inspection, but he/she must apply for such warrant at a local court where the property is located and must show cause.”

Again, Mr Debacco, a long-time employee of the Village of Ravena Building Department and a NYS certified code enforcement officer, confirms our statements in the Hohman article, that is, that Hohman must respect the protected rights of citizens. In other words, as we reported, no on may enter a resident’s or a citizen’s property without the citizen’s permission, or unless the official has a warrant or there is an emergency situation. Unless the official has the owner/occupant’s permission or a court order, the official cannot set foot on the property. Thank you, Mr Debacco, for confirming our report.

And again, Mr Debacco continues and confirms what we reported in the Hohlman article:

“I’m not sure what procedures Mr. Hohman followed the day of the visit to the Ravena property owner. I wasn’t around that day, and I didn’t hear anything about it at the office.

“In regards to the subjects of the violations, I cannot comment because I was not involved. I do agree with the old saying that “one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure”. The language in the codes is not really that cut and dry. Lots of room for interpretation. I don’t think that criminal charges for trespassing are warranted. In defense of Mr. Hohman, I believe there was no criminal intent on his part. I believe he was trying to his job, in the best way he thought he was able to.” [Our emphasis]

The law has no reliable way to adequately define a word like “rubbish”, as we have already stated in the Hohman article, and so that disposes of Hohman’s charge that there was anything objectionable in the resident’s yard. Hohman still has to explain how he made the observation on which he bases his charge, however. Even if he claims he did not enter the property and viewed the property from a neighboring property, he still has to prove he obtained the “neighbor’s” permission to enter their property. We don’t think That Mr Hohman is tall enough to make adequate observations over a 6 foot fence, though.

We also don’t agree that criminal intent absolves Mr Hohman from answering charges of trespass. Trespass does not require the intent to commit a crime and ignorance or over-zealousness does not absolve guilt. Think of it this way: You are driving down the road 10 miles over the posted speed limit and you are stopped by a law enforcement officer and ticketed for speeding. Your explanation is that you were not aware that you were speeding. That’s not going to save your sorry butt. You see, it is your responsibility to be in control of your vehicle and that includes knowing and obeying local laws and ordinances and state Vehicle and Traffic Laws, including speeding. It is your responsibility as an operator of a motor vehicle on pubic roadways and the excuse of not paying attention or ignorance is no defense. You will still have to face the consequences for your irresponsibility.

Same applies to Mr Hohman. He is responsible not only for knowing the Village of Ravena codes as they apply to buildings and properties in the Village, he must also be aware of the rights of residents and property owners and his limitations as a public official and employee. Whether or not he knew or did not know what he could or could not do is not a defense. He violated the law and cannot claim that his official duties protect him — they don’t — or that he was unaware of his limitations as to the rights of the public — ignorance is not a defense. So we disagree on this with Mr Debacco.

We feel that Mr Hohman has the duty, obligation and responsibility to know not only the codes but also what he can and cannot do under the law. He obviously broke the law and must now accept the consequences. The law does not apply differently to him because he is a public employee. There are not separate laws for Mr Hohman and others that apply to us common citizens. In fact, it is generally accepted that public servants must be held to a higher standard than private citizens because public servants are more visible and represent the common good. That applies equally to our judges and to our dog catchers and everyone in between. You break the law and you must be made an example. Period.

We continue to advise the property owner to file a criminal charge of trespass and violation of his protected rights under the New York State and United States constitutions. The local police chief, Coeymans Police Chief Daniel Contento must take the complaint, investigate to the extent that his own competence allows, and turn the matter over to the court for arraignment and hearing. An example must be made and other public employees put on notice.

Furthermore, given the facts and given Mr Debacco’s statements in his comments, we also feel that Mr Joseph Burns, Mr Debacco’s and Mr Hohman’s supervisor and the director of the Village of Ravena Building Department must be held accountable for Mr Hohman’s misconduct. It is Mr Burns’ responsiblility to ensure the lawful operations of his department and it is Mr Debacco’s duty and obligation to report any observed or suspected misconduct to Mr Burns so that Burns can investigate and take any necessary action. If Debacco fails to report such misconduct or his suspicion or knowledge to Burns, Debacco becomes an accessory to the misconduct and should be disciplined. Burns must keep records of all such incidents as well as any action taken by him in the case. If Burns does not keep adequate records, he becomes subject to discipline. Good recordkeeping is a requirement in public office, and the Office of the New York State Comptroller audits consistently look at the recordkeeping habits of local governments. So beware!

Watch your step, Mr Debacco; It’s a slippery slope.

“I would like to invite the editorial team to visit us some day at the Building Department offices, either in Ravena or Coeymans. Spend some time with us, spend a day or two with us. Tour our offices, perhaps do a ride-along when we go out in the field. See what we do. See what we can’t do. You will learn that we do not have an easy job. It can be stressful, controversial, and complicated. We probably are the least liked – for lack of a better term – out of any public employee. Many times I have been yelled at, scolded, given the finger, and even threatened with physical harm by the public for – what I thought – was just doing my job. And I’m only the part-timer: way down on the (Village and Town) food chain. Twice in my career I have been threatened where I had to file a “workplace violence incident report”. Maybe you are right. Maybe I really do work too much!”

It is very generous of Mr Debacco to invite us to visit the Village of Ravena Building Department and to accompany him on his rounds but truth be told we do not think that Mr Debacco has the authority to make such an invitation. That’s not to say that we are not appreciative of Mr Debacco’s generosity in extending an invitation to do so; we simply feel that you can’t invite someone into someone else’s home — that would be violating their protected rights — and Mr Debacco is only a part-time employee of the Ravena Village Department and as such, no matter how long he’s been there, does not give him the authority to invite outsiders to spend a day with the Department or to participate in a “ride-along” in the field. That would require Mr Burns’ and perhaps even higher authority’s permission. We would urge Mr Debacco to be more prudent and cautious in making such invitations.

As Mr Debacco admits in his comment his job is not the most popular one in the Village and he does admit that it can be “stressful, controversial and complicated.” But then so are many other jobs but that does not mean that you don’t have to obey the rules and the law. As we say: If it’s too hot in the kitchen, get out.”

Mr Debacco closes his comment with:

“Anyway – thank you again for your time this evening.
Sincerely,
Sante DeBacco
Sent from my iPhone”

Our recommendation to the Village of Ravena and to the Town of Coeymans is that you train your employees properly and avoid lawsuits (same would apply, Mr Jeff Ruso (R) and Mr Nick Dellisanti (R), to employees of the Town of New Baltimore). You can’t undo what has been done but you can make good faith efforts to avoid abuses in the future. (By the way, Ravena, Why? do you pay village shyster Michael Biscone, Ravena Village attorney, if the Village of Ravena continues to break the laws of the state and the nation? Paying him to park his fat arse and supply expensive lies is a bit of a waste of taxpayer dollars. Wouldn’t you agree?)

And we’d like to thank Mr Debacco sincerely for his straightforward and informative comments. We wish that other citizens and residents and ALL of our public employees — and wer’re thinking specifically of Mr Jeff Ruso, New Baltimore Town Supervisor, and his employees and elected officials; they don’t even respond to resident’s letters — would have the guts to do what Mr Debacco has done. But perhaps we are wishing too much!

From the Community!

The Editor


Editor’s Postscript

We’ve been asked to investigate two other matter in the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans. Just to give our readers a Heads up! on what’s coming:

  1. Driving through Faith Plaza, a heavily visited strip mall with Ravena Shop’n Save and CVS Pharmacy and other heavily trafficked businesses, we have been asked to investigate why the Village of Ravena and The Town of Coeymans have not taken steps to ensure the public’s safety by citing the owner of the Plaza for the incredibly dangerous condition of the parking lot. The potholes are so many and so deep that you could lose an 18-wheeler in one of them or a small child! After a rain the potholes are filled with water any if you should drive through one, you could lose a wheel. This is a condition that has been allowed to persist literally for years and nothing has been done about it. Where are you Village of Ravena and Town of Coeymans???
  2. Heavy trucks, damaged streets and water infrastructure, hazardous curves, no traffic enforcement, and parking in Ravena is another question we’ve been asked to investigate, and one which we are currently investigating. Why are the heavy trucks going through the Village of Ravena in the first place? The Village has the power to restrict traffic and the New York State DOT would likely support the Village. So why is there all that dangerous heavy traffic? Why are certain business owners complaining about parking restrictions? Why hasn’t the Town of Coeymans and the Village of Ravena heeded the advice of a veteran professional law enforcement officer about the dangerous conditions? We will answer these questions, name names, Name to Shame, and expose the lies and half-truths about the parking situation in Ravena. One big question is who owns the parking lot across from the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Patrick in Ravena where the sign reads “Church Parking Only”? Lots of questions and we’re getting the answers.
  3. What’s the problem in the Town of New Baltimore where elected officials, including the New Baltimore Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso and his deputy Nick Dellisanti, Sole Assessor Gordon Bennett, New Baltimore Board of Assessment Review Chairperson Donna Degnen, New Baltimore Animal Control Officer Joseph “Joe” Tanner, the New Baltimore Code Enforcement/Building Inspector currently Allan Jourdin, the Acting [Deputy] Superintendent of Highways Scott vanWormer and others have ignored and refused to answer residents’ correspondence and questions. How dare they ignore residents’ letters asking for answers to important questions!!! They have a duty and an obligation to respond, even if the truth threatens their Mickey Mouse political ambitions. 
 
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Posted by on August 19, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, Abuse of Power, Abuse of Public Office, Accountability, Albany, Albany County Civil Service, Albany County Civil Service Department, Albany County District Attorney, Allan Jourdin, Bill Bailey, Burning the Constitution, Capital District, Church of St Patrick, Civil Right Violation, Civil Rights, Code Enforcement Officer, Code Violation, Coeymans, Coeymans Acting Police Chief, Coeymans Code Enforcement, Coeymans Town Board, Constitution, Crime and Punishment, Daily Mail, David Soares, Denis Jordan, Fourth Amendment, George Amedore, Government, Hal Warner, Harassment, Harold Warner, Henry Traver, Intimidation, Jeff Ruso, Joe Burns, Joe Stanzione, Joe Tanner, John Cashin, Joseph Burns, Joseph Stanzione, Lazlo Polyak, Mark Vinciguerra, Mayor "Mouse", Mayor "Mouse" Misuraca, Michael Biscone, Michael J. Biscone, Misuse of Public Office, Moose Misuraca, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, Nancy Warner, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Assessor, New York, New York State Constitution, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Town Law, Nick Delisanti, Nick Dellisanti, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Office of the Assessor, Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Comptroller, Official Misconduct, Pat Linger, Patrick Linger, Paul Tonko, Phil Crandall, Phillip Crandall, Protected Rights, Public Corruption, Public Office, Public Safety, Ravena, Ravena Building Inspector, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena Department of Public Works, Ravena News Herald, Ravena Village Board, Ron Hohman, Sante Debacco, Scofflaw, Scott Van Wormer, Scott VanWormer, Selkirk, Senate District 46, Smalbany, Smalbany Articles, Sole Assessor, Stephen Prokrym, Steve Prokrym, Tal Rappelea, The Daily Mail, Thomas E. Dolan, Thomas Meacham, Tom Dolan, Tom Dolan, Tom Meacham, Town of Coeymans, Town of New Baltimore, Trespass, Village of Ravena, Village of Ravena Building Department, William Bailey, William Bailey, William Misuraca, William Misuraca

 

Mr Sante Debacco of the Ravena Building Department Responds

Mr Sante Debacco, part-time in the Village of Ravena Building Department, and part-time in the Town of Coeymans Building Department, and full-time in the Albany International Airport Fire Brigade, took the time to respond at length to our recent post, “Is Nancy Warner Suffering PMM (Post-menopausal Mania) AGAIN?“. Mr Debacco , to his credit, was civil and apparently honest in what he had to say. In fact, we thought his message was so worthwhile we are reproducing it here together with our responsive comments.


Good Evening Editor of the Smalbany Blog,

I would like to pass along some comments regarding the Smalbany blog and a recent blog that was posted about an employee of the Village of Ravena.

It’s at first unclear whether Mr Debacco is referring to Nancy Warner or to Mr Ron Holman, since he’s commenting on an article that is about Nancy Warner; nevertheless, the subject of Mr Debacco’s communication becomes obvious as we read on.

First of all, I do not read the blog. I have never been interested in it, because I have been told that it contains mostly negative and derogatory comments about our public officials – elected officials, employees, etc.

I was told that there was a recent post about Village of Ravena Zoning Enforcement Official Ron Hohlman. As you are aware, I work part-time in the Village of Ravena Building Department. With that said, I went on the blog to read the post about Mr. Hohlman. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not sticking up for Mr. Hohlman. Sometimes I don’t agree with his tactics and the way he does things, but I am not his boss.

We’d like to say that we are not impressed by Mr Debacco’s admission that he doesn’t read this blog because he’s “never been interested in it.” That is unfortunate because that would indicate that Mr Debacco is uninterested in what is going on in the community where he lives and where he works, at least part-time. We would think that Mr Debacco would be interested in a publication that is about his community, that is, if he’s really interested in what the world is reading about his community and, at times, about him.

We find it also unfortunate that Mr Debacco relies on hearsay and gossip to make a decision about what we write on this blog. That’s simply ignorant. We’d like to think that Mr Debacco and people like him would be interested in the “mostly negative and derogatory comments about our public officials,” since that knowledge might make them think about what’s wrong with the community and might lead to getting things fixed. But Mr Debacco is typical of the mindset in Ravena-Coeymans, New Baltimore, and in general, the entire Capital District. That’s why there’s so much apathy, anxiety, and so little improvement in the situation. People allow themselves to be told what’s what, and they avoid anything that rocks their little boat. Then they wonder why they are suffering. Yeah, we know: It’s the blogger’s fault. Kill the messenger; ignore reality.

Bu then Mr Debacco gets to his point:

Which leads me to my comment/question for you: why doesn’t the blogger bash Joe Burns on the blog? Joe Burns is the department head of the Village of Ravena Building Department. He is responsible for all that goes on in our office. In defense of Mr. Hohlman, he only works 2 days a week, at about 4 hours a day. I, as assistant to Mr. Burns, only work on the average of 8 to 10 hours a week, usually average of 2 afternoons a week. We (myself and Ron Hohlman ) are just workers.

Mr Debacco does what comes naturally for people who attempt to avoid responsibility and accountability by pointing the finger. The usual solution in American politics from the American family to municipal government right on up to the office of the POTUS: Point the finger; avoid responsibility and accountability. Here, Mr Debacco, while already cautioning that he’s not coming to Mr Holman’s defense, is throwing his boss, Joe Burns, under the bus.

While we do agree that the fish rots from the head down, we are aghast that Mr Debacco wants to wash his hands of any responsibility, personal or professional, and wants to tar and feather Burns for anything and everything that goes on in the Ravena Building Department. Perhaps Mr Burns is a dud, but that fact does not relieve Mr Debacco or Mr Holman from personal responsibility and accountability, just because they are part-timers and “just workers.

That excuse didn’t work for the defendants at the Nuremberg trials when they claimed they were just doing their jobs or just “following orders.” The message sent was that everyone is responsible for his or her own actions regardless of what higher ups say or do. So forget the B.S. about just being “workers.” You are just as responsible for what goes on in the Building Department as the Supervisor or the Mayor, regardless of how many hours you work. You are public servants and you are being paid by the public. That means you have the duty and responsibility of ensuring the best interests of the public no matter what. If you don’t understand that Mr Debacco, Mr Holman, Mr Burns, Mr Misuraca, empty your desks!

In my real job, as you know, I work as a firefighter at the Albany International Airport. I work (2) 24 hour shifts per week. My shifts fall on different days of the week as we rotate through the calendar. We are allowed to sleep at night while on duty, similar to the routines of a city fire department, and obviously we must get up and respond to a call when a call comes in during the overnight hours. Most career firefighters have entirely other side careers going – such as I with my jobs in Coeymans and Ravena. Such is the advantage of working a 24 hour shift in the fire service. In between my work shifts at the Airport, I work at my part-time jobs at the Town of Coeymans and Village of Ravena. Incidentally, I was told several years ago that I was bashed on the blog because I work so much. Not that it is anyone’s business, including the blog’s business, but I have always been a hard worker to support my family and make sure they are taken care of. If it is true, I don’t understand why I had to be spoken of negatively on the blog for working to support my family. In the fire service, I am extremely dedicated, highly trained with 35 years of serving the traveling public at the Albany Airport, and I have nothing but unmitigated pride for my profession in the fire service.

While we object to Mr Debacco’s use of the term “bashed” we do admit that it is Mr Debacco’s personal feeling being expressed; accordingly, it doesn’t necessarily have to be accurate, and we won’t dwell on his word choice but more on his content. Mr Debacco informs us that he works 2 twenty-four hour shifts at the airport; that’s a 48-hour week in our math. Debacco then puts in, as he states above, “8-10 hours a week” in the Ravena Building Department as “assistant to Mr Burns,” making a total of 56 hours a week. But he’s also part-time in the Coeymans Building Department but doesn’t say how many hours. What does bother us, though, is while Mr Debacco is putting in about 56 hours a week at his several jobs, he claims that he is doing this “to support” his family and to “make sure they are taken care of.” That is, in Mr Debacco’s mind, something admirable, but it does raise the question of what Mr Debacco thinks is “support” and being “taken care of.” Where’s the father in the family? Where’s the parenting? How much can Debacco be clearing from his part-time jobs to make it worthwhile to be away from his family all that time. And then we wonder why local kids are failures? Come on! Let’s wake up, people!

In your “real job”, Mr Debacco? Given the money you’re drawing from the public treasury in the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans, YOUR “REAL JOB.” Let us remind you Mr Debacco, that your part-time jobs in the Ravena and Coeymans Building Departments are also “real jobs.” And don’t you forget that for a minute!!! Those jobs are just as “real” as your firefighting job at Albany International Airport, and you’d better take them just as seriously.

Here are some of the figures: Debacco was paid $8,410 in 2017 for his activities in the Ravena Building Department (Building Department Supervisor Joseph “Joe” Burns was paid $61,705 for the same period). Debacco was paid $14,138 for his part-time job in the Town of Coeymans. (John G. Cashin, Debacco’s supervisor in the Town of Coemans Bulding Department received a salary of $41,960 in 2017.) Debacco’s claim to be employed at the Albany International Airport as a firefighter for some 35 years may be true, but he doesn’t come up on any of our searches in County, City, or State agencies, but we have no reason to doubt that what he says is true, so we have to assume that he’s pulling a bundle as a firefighter with 35 years of experience. So why the other two jobs? Greed? Hates being home? Guilt?

Mr Debacco’s statement, “Not that it is anyone’s business, including the blog’s business,” was really the wrong thing to say. And YES, Mr Debacco, it IS our business to know, because you are being paid by taxpayers. Your jobs and your earnings are a matter of public knowledge because you are a public servant, a public employee! It IS our business because you are receiving our money!!! We hope you are clear about that now, Mr Debacco, because you are receiving more than $22,000 a year of taxpayer money from the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans. That’s a fair amount of money and some poor bastard trying to support a family on a shoestring could use a portion of that — especially if he’s not getting a firefighter’s salary and benefits!!!

But then we all know how hiring is done in the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans, don’t we? It’s not a matter of who needs a job or who can do the job, it’s whether you are in the incest club, isn’t it?

Moving on…

This leads me to my point I initially wanted to make. In the fire service, we follow a chain of command. The fire chief is ultimately responsible for all that goes on at the scene of an emergency. Even though we have officers such as lieutenants, captains, assistant chiefs, etc. still the chief is ultimately responsible for everything. Even non-emergency functions the chief is ultimately responsible. In the Building Department, Joe Burns is our “chief”. He is responsible for everything that goes on in the Building Department office. If there was an issue with the actions of Mr. Hohlman, I feel as though the writer of the blog should have gone to Mr. Burns with his concerns. After all, Mr. Hohlman is not a supervisor or decision maker. He is a worker who only does what he is assigned to do.

Once again, we have to emphasize that pointing the finger or claiming that you are “just workers,” does not relieve you of your duties to your employer or to the public and your obligation to conduct your job activities with professionalism, competence, accountability, and fairhandedness. We do not accept the assertion that Mr Burns should be responsible for your conduct, Mr Debacco, nor for Mr Holman’s, and that whatever you do on the job is Mr Burns’ responsibility . That’s just too childish a logic to be acceptable. It is your responsibility to know your job and your boundaries. Of course, if you or Mr Holman are unclear about your job or how it has to be done, you must consult with your superiors, or you must request guidance or training. Mr Burns cannot take responsibility for your attitude towards your job.

That having been said, it is Mr Burns’ responsibility to supervise, evaluate, and to discipline you and Mr Holman should Mr Burns become aware of relevant facts. It is also Mr Burns’ responsibility to ensure that you receive adequate training and supervision to ensure the best interests of the public. It is also Mr Burns’ responsibility to diligently investigate any complaints relating to your performance or Mr Holman’s.

Incidentally, Mr. Burns may tell you that Ron Hohlman reports directly to the mayor or a board member. That cannot be true. An employee must report to a supervisor within the department or a department head – such as Joe Burns. Only a department head can report directly to an elected official.

In the Village of Ravena any confusion in the chain of command or who reports to whom would not come as a surprise. No one, it appears, has any concept of boundaries, so If Nancy Warner gets it into her head that Mr Burns’ personnel must report to her, or if Mayor Mouse Misuraca thinks he needs to bypass Burns and run the Ravena Building Department, we wouldn’t doubt that for a minute. And if Village of Ravena employees are getting mixed messages about the person from whom they take their orders, that would be par for the course. The point is,you and Holman know who your supervisor is: Joseph Burns. Not William “Mouse” Misuraca, Bill “Babblin'” Bailey, or Nasty Nancy, but Joseph Burns, it’s your responsibility and Holman’s to go to Burns if there is any question. Period.

Thank you for your time and attention.
Sincerely, 
Sante DeBacco

And Thank YOU! Mr Debacco for your comment. We hope that it gets to the right ears and that it will serve to improve the situation in the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans.

We’d like your feedback on this article.

The Editor

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Is Nancy Warner Suffering PMM (Post-menopausal Mania) AGAIN?

Is the reigning witch on a stick of Ravena Village Hall on another PMM rampage? Have her hormones kicked in again, and is she feeling her bowels moving again after so long a bout of rage constipation? Is Nancy off her sanity medication and back on her evil pill? Have her keepers fallen asleep and she’s gotten loose?

Nancy Warner sending forth her minions.

We have our ear to the ground in Ravena and it seems that there are some real angry people and some serious complaints brewing, and it all leads back to Nancy Warner. She’s like a senile bear sow who’s awakened out of hibernation with a wicked pain in her anus and that means someone, perhaps an entire village, is going to be shat upon.

As in the past, she’s not above intimidating the low-lives in Village Hall to go out and do her dirty work nor is she above involving the local Keystone Cops in enforcing her misguided and still unlawful projects. Without competent and strong leadership in the Coeymans Police Department and with a backstabbing Coeymans Town Board, the casualty toll can be mind-boggling.

We’ve received several reports and will be investigating those along with the unlawful conduct of Ravena Code Enforcement Dingleberry, Ron Holman, as well as some questionable ticketing activity by the Coeymans Police.

What Ravena, Coeymans and New Baltimore Local Government share in Common.

One of our projects to to ask the question: “Why are the huge trucks going through Ravena in the first place? ” If they’re coming from Exit 22 at Selkirk, going through Selkirk to get to 9W would be the most logical solution. If they’re coming from the so-called gully known as the Port of Coeymans, wouldn’t it be more sensible to negotiate a passage through the Lafarge properties, perhaps even getting an access road built? Doesn’t anyone on the Village or Town Board realize that those trucks are ruining the foundations of the properties along Main Street in Ravena? And what about the ancient sewerage and water pipes under the street? At least Selkirk had the balls to oppose and stop most of the heavy trucks moving through the hamlet. You have to wonder Why? Ravena (and New Baltimore) are so indifferent and clueless about this major problem. Any answers?

CAUTION: YOU MIGHT BE NEXT. YOU NEVER KNOW!

Local Government at Work.
The Editor

 

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Ravena Still Ignores Oaths of Office and Rights Protected by State and Federal Constitutions!!!

We have just received a report from a resident and property owner in the Village of Ravena. It looks like elected officials and public servants are again playing their Gestapo games and ignoring residents’ rights and the laws of this state and country. This resident is one of the few that actually came forward with his experiences. We have spoken to a number of others who have similar stories of Ravena’s targeting residents for everything from a children’s swimming pool on their property to “discarded rubbish,” without any further specifics.

Science has shown that incest can generate stupid people. That may explain Ravena Village Hall.

We have reported in the past about Ravena’s in-crowd and their total disconcern for the rights of residents and citizens. Here’s what our reader writes about one of the more recent violations of guaranteed and protected rights by our self-important public servants of nepotism, conspiracy, and conflicts of interests.

Our reader writes:

It’s been a long time since I’ve contacted the Editor and left a comment on the Smalbany blog. I think I’ll call this “Full circle.” Yesterday I received what appears to be two citations in the mail from the village of Ravena apparently notifying me of code violations.

For your information and as illustrations, I am also providing you by emailing you a copy of the correspondence and pictures of what the Code Enforcement officer is referring to. It’s pretty much self explanatory that Mr. Ron Hohman, so-called Zoning Enforcement Officer, is a bit ignorant and illiterate. He’s also in violation of his oath of office because he’s violated the protected rights assured by the New York State and the United States Constitution, both of which he’s sworn to support. I guess he’s overlooked the 14th amendment and the laws relating to violations of private property rights.

As you can see in one of the notices, he’s concerned about a vehicle parked in my driveway in the back of my building. The other violation” cites so called “discarded rubbish.” Any property in the back of my building is far from “discarded rubbish,” and I do take offence that Mr. Hohman, overreaching his authorities and unlawfully entering my private property, further offends me by describing my property as “discarded rubbish.” First of all, who is Mr. Hohman to decide what is “discarded” and what is “rubbish.” Being the curious person I am, I went to Ravena Village Hall to ask them what their official definition of “rubbish” might be, simply commenting that the violation is so vague, and I couldn’t find any “discarded rubbish” on my property.

Mr. Hohman’s notification of a zoning violation because I have an unplated vehicle on my property, in my driveway, and the suggestion that it is not operating or roadworthy, raised other questions. First of all, Is Mr. Hohman a qualified automotive mechanic? Did he make an inspection of the vehicle to determine whether it operates or not? Highly unlikely on both counts. I am also concerned that Mr. Hohman actually entered my property to obtain the Vehicle Identification Number from the registration sticker, something that is invisible from the street and you’d have to get up real close to be able to see it. In other words, Mr. Hohman trespassed on my private property to get the VIN. Violation of my protected constitutional rights and something that will have repercussions very soon in terms of criminal charges.

But what has the vehicle to do with the zoning status of my property? Obviously, Mr. Hohman and the Village of Ravena have opened a can of worms, AGAIN! I had and still have a lot of unanswered questions.

I have lived in the Village of Ravena for more than 25 years, I am a responsible property owner, and a participating member of my community. I am respectful and courteous to everyone. I think I’m not asking too much for respect and courtesy from my elected officials and our public servants. I reasonably expected the courtesy of a knock on the door, perhaps? Is that too much to ask, Mr. Hohman? On the day the notifications were issued, that is, if the date of August 1, 2018, is truthful, I was home all day and nobody knocked on my door, least of all Mr. Hohman from the Village, to get permission to be on my property or even to talk to me informally about any suspected violations. Furthermore, the only way to get any facts or information for both alleged “violations,” if they are violations at all, was that Hohman had to accessed my property to see what’s actually behind a 6ft fence! How does Hohman justfy this criminal trespassing? Hohman had to go to some trouble to see around the neatly arranged trash containers at the edge of my property.

Back to my “Full Circle” quote. The reason why I’m saying “full circle” because some 25 years ago the Ravena Zoning Board held a meeting and then a special meaning about my property without my knowledge or inviting me to comment, again yet another violation of the right of due process and fair hearing. Ravena has a long history of violating constitutional and protected rights: They accused me, tried me, convicted me, and then sent me my sentence without fair hearing. That’s Ravena for you. My attorney at the time, an now retired, read them the riot act in a letter informing them that their conduct was a gross violation of my constitutional rights. They have very short memories apparently.

You’ve written a lot about the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans’ violation of citizens’ and residents’ rights without any form of due process or concern for the New York State or United States Constitutions and the Bill of Rights. They have sworn oaths to support the constitutions and thus to defend our rights and the laws of the state of New York and this great country, but they ignore their duties, their obligations, and their oaths of office. It’s become commonplace in Ravena and the surrounding area and it has to stop. We have rights as citizens and we all deserve due process and fair hearing, it’s guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and the Constitution!

I look forward chatting with you because you can’t make this stuff up, and the pictures and the violations speak for themselves.

Letters from Mr Ron Hohman, Village of Ravena Code/Zoning Enforcement Officer.

The laws simply do not use the word “rubbish”

We’ve done our research and wanted to know first of all what “discarded rubbish” is supposed to mean. There are two problems with Mr Hohman’s use of the phrase: Firstly, rubbish is not a legal term with a reliable definition. if you look for a legal definition of “rubbish” you’ll probably be redirected to the legal notion of “waste,” as in “solid waste” etc. The laws simply do not use the word “rubbish,” so we can say that the use of the undefined term in the notification has no legal impact or effect.

Resident’s Back Yard Seen from Street. No “rubbish.”

Waste is actually a subjective concept, because things that some people discard may be of value to others

In fact, our research shows that “waste” refers to unwanted substances that people generally tend to dump.  Depending upon the locale and common language waste is also sometimes referred to as rubbish, trash, garbage, or junk. One point is very clear, though, waste is actually a subjective concept, because things that some people discard may be of value to others. It is a natural part of the ecological cycle. It is created when living organisms take in materials and excrete them after use. Waste can be recycled by other living organisms. Discarded home appliances, kitchen waste, sewage sludge, manufacturing waste, packaging waste, old paint containers, biological waste, and hospital waste are all examples of waste. Waste is classified into different types based upon their sources and nature. Solid waste, biodegradable waste, hazardous waste, medical waste, e-waste, yard waste, construction and demolition waste, agricultural waste, and mining waste are the different types of waste.

Resident’s Back Yard viewed from 2nd floor porch. No “rubbish.”

Ravena Code Enforcement Officer Ron Hohman makes no sense.

Another question that arises is how Mr Hohman determined that whatever it is he is referring to as “rubbish,” or more properly put, waste, is in fact “discarded.” Discarded means “unwanted,” “dumped,” “junked,” etc. Fact is, Hohman has no way of knowing whether anything at all is “rubbish” in terms of being “waste,” and furthermore, Hohman has no way of knowing that the property to which his is referring as being “rubbish” has actually been “discarded.” Hohman makes no sense. But that’s not surprising for Ravena and its neighbors.

The other troubling question is Mr Hohman’s concern about a vehicle parked lawfully on private property and Hohman’s wild speculations that the vehicle violates the law by simply being in the resident’s driveway. Hohman does this without any further inquiry or discussion. That’s absolutely offensive by any standard!

The offending vehicle, parked lawfully on the resident’s property, in his private driveway.

In short, Mr Ron Hohman has his head up his arse because he is assuming with no factual basis that the vehicle on the resident’s property is an abandoned, junked, partially dismantled, etc. vehicle under the provisions of New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law!!!

We have personally visited the resident’s property to verify the images sent and to examine the correspondence received from the Village of Ravena and Mr Ron Hohman, Village of Ravena Code/Zoning Enforcement Officer.

Pull Your Head Out, Hohman!!!

We found the vehicle to be in good condition and would never qualify as abandoned, discarded, junked, or partially dismantled. In fact, it’s quite a nice vehicle. We are informed that it belongs to the resident’s daughter who has been saving to manage insurance, registration and putting it on the road. Is that a violation, we ask? We also suspect that Mr Hohman in his haste to get a violation while violating the resident’s protected rights and trespassing on the property, actually missed the dealer’s plates on the front seat of the vehicle. We didn’t miss them. Did you miss those plates Mr Hohman? Or do you expect that they should have been on the vehicle so that they could be stolen, and the Coeymans police investigation allowed to go cold without an arrest or recovery of the plates. 

Maybe Ron Holman has better credentials than a NYS licenced motor vehicle inspector; maybe that’s how he knows the condition of the vehicle. NOT!!!

Oh! Did we neglect to mention that the property owner’s son is an automotive mechanic with licences for several classes of vehicles as a State Motor Vehicle Inspector? And that he drove the vehicle to it’s present location? Did we fail to mention that insignificant fact? But then, maybe Mr Holman has better qualifications to determining whether a vehicle is junk or roadworthy. Got a response, Ronny-boy?

As for the “discarded rubbish” to which Mr Hohman refers, we were unable to find any discarded anything on the property, much less anything that would qualify as “rubbish,” “trash,” “garbage,” or “waste.” In fact, the pictures provided by the resident are clear and factual: There are household items belonging to the resident, his family, and his tenants, including several functional grills. There are some spare parts arranged on a workbench, a tire leaning up against the building, and several containers. No rubbish. Nothing that appeared that it should be discarded. In fact, what we saw had value, was usable, and had every right to be stored neatly in a resident’s back yard, on his private property, without being a nuisance or an eyesore to anyone, especially given the fact that it is actually surrounded by a six-foot fence!!!

So, in conclusion, we have to ask what Mr Hohman’s game is? Does he have an ax to grind? Does someone in Ravena Village Hall have an ax to grind? Does Mr Hohman have to justify his job and “create” violations where there are none? And why is it necessary for Mr Hohman to break the law and violate a resident’s, a citizen’s protected rights to cook up some sort of idiotic and unfounded “violations”?  We’ll be investigating these questions in more depth and will report on our findings. First of all, we’ll find out more about this character Ron Hohman and get some background on him. Something’s fishy here AGAIN and we will get to the bottom of the stinking pond called Ravena, and find out what the bottom-feeders in Ravena Town Hall are up to. Stay tuned!

We’ll get to the bottom of this.
The Editor

Editor’s Note: Unlike Mr Holman, Ravena’s roving public servant terrorist, we obtained the property owner’s permission to visit and view his property.

 

 

Three Articles on New Baltimore Scandals: Pick One or Read All.

First of all: Were you aware of these little tidbits?

At the January 1, 2018, Organizational Town Board Meeting:

Mr. Jeff Ruso appointed former New BaltimoreTown Supervisor, Nick Dellisanti, to be his deputy supervisor. Dellisanti showed his true colors when he refused to appoint non-party campaign workers to key town positions when he took office; his damning response was, “Republicans appoint Republicans.” Seems that New Baltimore Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso takes it a step further, since Ruso was Dellisanti’s deputy supervisor, “Cronies appoint cronies.” The net effect is that Dellisanti, although he had all sorts of excuses why he didn’t want to run again in 2017, got himself appointed to act as supervisor.  Ruso runs unopposed in New Baltimore and gets “elected” to be Town Supervisor and then he selects Dellisanti to be his deputy. Clever little trick, doncha think? Don’t they call that a dictatorship elsewhere? Single party system, unopposed (s)elections. Padding the panel.

Two famous political cronies.

But what really reveals Ruso’s attitude towards his unopposed election to be supervisor are his own words on appointing Dellisanti: “Now the appointment is mine entirely as Town Supervisor,” but Ruso did have the decency to ask the Town Board to ratify his appointment by Resolution. His motion was seconded by his constant sidekick Shelly vanEtten, whose husband also serves on the Planning Board as chairman, and somehow got on the Town Agriculture Committee, indirectly pulls strings on Town committees through his wife, Shelly van Etten, a sitting Town Board Member.

The shyster factor was also confirmed with the re-appointment of Tal Rappelea to be Town Attorney. Rappelea will receive more than $800/month as Town Attorney, generally sitting for about an half-hour next to Ruso or Dellisanti once a month at the regular Town Board meeting, if he even shows up.

There’s much more that our readers should be aware of and can be found in the minutes of that meeting at Organizational Meeting 2018 of January 1, 2018 .

This article is actually three component articles. Click on the links below to read the different sections. You won’t regret it.

Editor’s Sidebar: Town of Coeymans. We’ve received reports of a fatal pick-up truck — motorcycle accident that occurred during the evening hours of Saturday, July 28, 2018, on Route 143 in the Town of Coeymans. The operator of the motorcycle, a 20-year old man was killed; the operator of the pick-up truck was allegedly Ravena resident Travis Hagen. Strangely nothing has appeared in the local media about the accident. We have contacted the Coeymans Police for confirmation facts but have not received a response. A reader has informed us that he, too contacted the Coeymans Police acting chief, Daniel Contento, and was told only that there was an accident and the police investigated and reported it to the DMV. Is this a cover up to protect a prominent Ravena family? Doesn’t the young man’s life mean anything or do we just sweep the whole thing under the carpet? We need to start asking questions. The 20-year old man is not just another raccoon, Mr Contento!

Go to other articles in this mini-series on New Baltimore:

Open Letter Blasts New Baltimore Supervisor, Town Board over Jordan Affair

New Baltimore Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso and his Board: Hide and Deny

New Baltimore Sends “Acting Superintendent” to Highway School. Why?

New Baltimore Property Taxes: Absolutely No Rhyme, Reason, or Answers!!!

The New Baltimore In-Justice Court and Kangaroo Judges: Thomas Meacham, A Case Study.

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 2018 Elections, 20th Congressional District, Alan van Wormer, Animal Control Officer, Assessment, Assessment Review, Board of Assessment Review, Broken Lease, Burning the Constitution, Charles Stahlman, CHIPS, Civil Right Violation, Consolidated Highway Improvement Program, Conspiracy, Constitution, Corruption, Crystal R. Peck Esq., Daily Mail, DeLeonardis & Peck P.C., Denis Jordan, Denis Jordan, Deputy Superintendent of Highways, Donna Degnen, Elections and Voting, Gordon Bennett, Government, Greene County, Greene County Court, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County Elections, Grievance Day, Harassment, Hazardous Conditions, Hudson Valley, Jeff Ruso, Joe Stanzione, Joe Tanner, Joseph Stanzione, Joseph Tanner, Law Enforcement, Lawsuit, Marshall Sterling Insurance, Meprision of Felony, Michael Biscone, Michael J. Biscone, Misconduct, Misuse of Public Office, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Assessor, New Baltimore Democratic Committee, New Baltimore Democrats, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Highway Department, New Baltimore Highway Superintendent, New Baltimore Republican Club, New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways, New Baltimore Town Board, New Baltimore Town Court, New York, New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, New York State Constitution, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Highway Law, New York State Police, New York State Police, New York State Supreme Court, New York State Town Law, New York State Unified Court System, Nick Delisanti, Nick Dellisanti, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Office of the Assessor, Office of the Comptroller, Pat Linger, Patrick Linger, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Central School District, RCS Central School District, Ronna Smith, Scott Van Wormer, Scott VanWormer, Shelly van Etten, Smalbany, Sole Assessor, Stahlman, Tal Rappelea, Terry J. Wilhelm, Terry Wilhelm, Tom Meacham, Town and Village Courts, Town and Village Judge, Town Justice, Town Law, Town of Bethlehem, Town of New Baltimore, VanEtten, Zach Stahlman, Zachary Stahlman