Mr McHugh and his running mates tend to make very broad and vague promises but don’t provide details. That’s a big problem for McHugh and his boys, because most of what McHugh is promising to do has already been done by the Crandall team or is in the works! Furthermore, as we will publish next week, Carver Laraway and Billy Biers’ staged appearances at Coeymans Town Board meetings are a pack of lies. We have the documents to prove that. But first, let’s get the Crandall Interview segments published, then you’ll understand much better what liars and cowards George McHugh and his puppets are.
Segment 1 of the Crandall Interview covers Questions 1 to 5of the Crandall Interview Questions. We felt that Coeymans residents and taxpayers have not been properly kept informed of all that Mr Crandall and his Town Board have accomplished. That’s because the Ravena News Herald and its owners are more interested in telling their readers what George McHugh, Carver Laraway, and their puppets, Zach Collins and Brandon Lefevre want Coeymans residents and taxpayers to know. (Please note: We’re not picking on those two tender young pups, Collins and Lefevre, but they have to realize and come to terms with the fact that they’re just window dressing to get votes for McHugh, and he’s out to control them and make them dance to his tune. They already are, poor saps!)
An Editor’s Confession: Anyone who reads this blog know that we have not been particularly kind to Mr Crandall in the past. We called the shots as we saw them, admittedly sometimes a bit prematurely, without the advantage of 20-20 hindsight. Our main goal was not necessarily to crucify an elected official but to get Coeymans residents to think and to question for themselves. One example was in May 2016, Mr Crandall was barely in office 5 months, and we butchered Mr Crandall and his board for what then appeared to be a cover-up but now has been revealed as good, responsible planning. Yes, we have egg on our face and wear it proudly now that we can honestly say Mr Crandall put it there. Bravo! Mr Crandall. Good for the people of Coeymans!
We at Smalbany think differently: we believe in openness, ethics, and responsibility. That’s why we put the time and energy into this interview series. We want our readers to know the truth. So let’s get started on Segment 1 of the Crandall Interview. The complete text of Segment 1 of the Crandall Interview is available for viewing Crandall Interview-Segment 1.
The devil is in the details, something McHugh hasn’t discussed, but we got the details. The Crandall team has demonstrated outstanding fiscal management and responsibility for the Coeymans community and beyond. Here are the excerpts from Segment 1 of the Crandall Interview:
Supervisor Crandall:- Well, since I took over as Town Supervisor, I can go back to where I first took office. At first we started out with very close to $500,000 in debt, and on top of that was another $200,000 of unpaid vendors’ bills which we came into. We were able to through good fiscal policy … And through that whole process, we were able to eliminate the debt and come back at the end of the year with a $60,000 surplus that year, for 2016.
“But we also inherited a sewer and water project, which we mostly completed. We were able to $2.5 million in aid from the state, which was free money, and then we were able to get another $680,000 loan at 0% interest to finish the rest of the project: replacing broken sewer lines, broken storm sewer lines, digging new ones, doing improvements in our water and sewer plant itself.
“We made some major improvements in our pocket park out in the Alcove. …Tom Sweeney was very instrumental in getting some grants for that, and we put some money into that, and got that all straightened out. So that’s now a really nice park, pocket park right now.
Mr Crandall:- “We, looked into a “reval” And it was due; it was overdue. It should be done every 10 years so now it’s 12 years. However, the businesses in Town were at approximately 85% of true market value (TMV) and homeownership was at 95% of TMV. That should all be at 100 percent. So, in essence the homeowners were partially subsidizing the businesses in the Town. So, with the reval coming through that will all be taken care of, there will be a fair tax rate for everyone. Some will go up a little bit, most will go down a little bit. But businesses will definitely have to come up with their fair share, where they should be.
“Now [we are] working with the DOT (Department of Transportation), we met with the regional director at the time who was Sam Zhou … we finally convinced him to repave 144, and to come up through the Village and finish repaving and putting new sidewalks in on 143 and in the Village, which made them ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. So now, now that they are ADA compliant, the sidewalks, they can now put in the crosswalks. You can’t put in a crosswalk if the sidewalks are not ADA compliant. So we now have nice crosswalks. The Village as partially in on this, after we got the ball rolling, and they cooperated and they helped.
“That was a nice project that I’m very proud of. And the sidewalks down in the Hamlet, too.
“We started work on in the planning phase, of putting permanent bathrooms in Joralemon Park and in the Waterfront Part in Coeymans Landing…and we’re going to put them in ourselves. Hopefully, next Spring. But that’s all in the planning stages. A lot of work was put into that. We got grants.
“Tom (Dolan) helped get a grant, and so did Mike McGuire. We got an electric car port put in, an electric car charger put in down in the park on Coeymans Landing.
“I have been very cautious with the Town’s money, and so was the Town Board, for the last three years. We built up a good, healthy fund balance, and it’s so healthy that our CPA, our Internal Control Officer, advised us: “If you want to give a good tax cut, you certainly can do it!” So, I asked him, “How much?” He said, “You can stay healthy and still give 10% back to the people.” So, we’re able to give back a 10% tax cut to the people this year.
“I feel we are comfortable enough, we have paid down a lot of debt, the finances are under control, and we a good “cash-on-hand,” so if anything goes wrong, I’m still going to be able to cover it, and still give a 10% tax cut back to the people.
“I promised the people in my first year that I would take a $10,000 cut in pay, and that I would not take Town benefits, saving them another $20,000 a year. And I kept that promise. And I continue to do that, and as long as I’m in office, that salary will stay the same. I will not increase it, and I will not take Town benefits. Over the past 4 years, I have personally saved the Town $120,000.
“This is the first administration that has put Town insurances out for bid. We put them allout for bid. We’ve saved the Town another $65-75,000 a year by putting those out to bid.
“We passed the Clean Air Law...We took all of our time. We crafted a law, we redid it, we reread it, redid it, and we finally put it up for a public hearing. An official public hearing in August 2018. ..we kept the public hearing open, so that people would come to Town Board meetings, and air anything they wanted for the next 9 months…So for anybody to say that they didn’t like the process, or that we rushed it, it was over 18 months before we passed that law. And there’s longer than it takes in Congress, for God’s sake. [Editor’s Note: This is a longish section in the transcript but worth reading for the details.]
Smalbany:- “You had already defeated the dump project, and converted that into a wildlife preserve. I’ve got that here but if you’d like to tell us a little about that…
Supervisor Crandall:- Yes. I do. That was another accomplishment. Because, this Carver Laraway was supposed to purchase that property but when he found that there was no real access into it … yes, that’s the old dump property, he was all set to buy that…When Carver Laraway backed out he pissed off Albany County big time. Yes. His lawyer didn’t really check into the specifics. His lawyer was …George McHugh. “We called DEC and we talked to them on the phone 2 or 3 times expressing our interest, and sent out a letter expressing interest in turning that into a wildlife preserve, forever wild, to be used by fishermen, hunters, and hikers, and all told, that’s exactly what happened. They bought it and turned it into a wildlife preserve. Now the City of Albany, too, to their credit, because they wanted to get rid of it, they encouraged them to buy it, too. But together, it turned into a wildlife management … and I think we can take partial credit for that.
“One thing that I want to do in the future, as much as LaFarge and Carver are trying to beat us, I still want to sit down with them, and figure out a way to cut through LaFarge’s property somehow to have them get the truck traffic off Main Street in Ravena. There’s got to be a way to do it, and I want to work with them. If the Town has to put some money into it, I have no problem that, with the Town taking a road through there but as long as the, you know, as long as they’ll work with us to get the truck traffic off of Main Street in Ravena. And I believe that we can come to an agreement somehow, if we work with LaFarge and Laraway on this.
Friends of Coeymans, George McHugh’s propaganda mill, recently posted an outright LIE about the Coeymans Budget and the so-called First Responders! Nothing could be further from the truth. The Ravena Rescue Squad is a PRIVATE COMPANY, and they have no problem with less than honest ways of padding their pockets. Here’s the truth. Check it out for yourselves.
“There’s also another rumor out there about the Rescue Squad. The Rescue Squad is now a private company, an LLC. And they negotiate with the town for their funds. Now, they’re not a part of the Town; they’re their own unit now. They have been for the past 10 or 15 years. So, they negotiate with the Town for their services. Back in 2014, when Steve Flach (R) was here, they came and said that New Baltimore was going to drop out. They said they were losing $80,000 there, and would the Town make that up? Flach agreed, and gave them an extra $80,000, which brought the amount up to $147,000 that the Town was giving them. Well, lo and behold, New Baltimore ends up not backing out. And you think the Rescue Squad comes back to the Town and says, “Hey, here’s your money back?” No. They never told the Town. Well, I found out about it in my second year in office, and it takes time to figure things out, but I found out and I did my research…and they [the Rescue Squad] had over $700,000 in a savings account in the bank. And so, I told the rescue squad people…that we were going back to what we originally gave them, $71,000, and I laid it all out for them, all the information. She [the woman negotiating for the Rescue Squad] was a little taken aback but surprised that I did my homework, and she’s out there now spreading lies, and telling the Republicans that we stole their money. We didn’t steal anything. We negotiated for the taxpayers of the Town, and to give them [the Rescue Squad] a minor increase each year for inflation, I have no problem with that. But when they [the Rescue Squad] jacked it up and never told us, that’s deceitful on their part. Shame on them. So, basically, they took money from the taxpayers of the Town when they shouldn’t have. Do they do a good service? Yes. I have no qualms about that. But still I have to deal for the taxpayers. I’m elected by voters and the taxpayers of this Town. And they (Rescue Squad) are a private company; they’re not entitled to anything. They have to negotiate, and give me the reasons, Why? That’s the real deal about what’s happening. Nobody’s stealing money from them.
“We also negotiated a 4-year contract with CSEA which saves the Town time and money, and effort, and it also gives the men stability in their jobs. They got a fair increase, the Town employees, they got a fair increase in their wages, they gave back a few things but we’re saving taxpayers money by having an extended contract, which gives you stability in your budget, and you know what to budget for. So instead of a 3-year contract, we got a 4-year contract…The Police Department, we got a 5-year contract out of them. And we got some give-backs from them.
“Out in Joralemon Park we have a disc golf course, and that disc golf course is one of the premier ones in the country, and they’ve told us that they can hold tournaments there, national tournaments, if we have permanent restrooms. And they’ve also said, I believe, that they’re willing to kick in some money for the permanent restrooms. So, if we can get those built, that’s what I want to do. That’ll be a draw for the town. Maybe the people coming in will spend some money here, or some vendors in town will want to go out there and have their vending booths while they’re there. That’s one of the things I want to see for the Town.
“At our Coeymans Landing Park, I’ve been talking with DEC and they said that we could probably get permission to extend our waterfront park a little farther down (to the South). It will be on state property but will have access to the waterfront area, or it’ll be concrete or it’ll be a boardwalk, who knows, I want to extend that to give people access to the river: fishing, kayaking, small boats. I want to put small boat moorings in for kayaks and small motor boats, and off of there I’d like to build some gazebos, small gazebos off of them, where people can sit by the river and picnic. You can come down with your family. I want to improve the playground for the kids. I want to improve the park so that people will use it, make more use of it.
“I want to negotiate with the Village to extend the water lines up through Martin’s Hill, and starting to extend them, little by little, up through the Hollow (Coeymans Hollow). If we can extend the water lines up through there — if the Village will go along with it — which I hope they will, we can get homeowners to start building, and developers to start developing the properties out there. When you’ve got a source of clean, clear water, it’s a GO! for development. And eventually, what comes with the clean clear water lines, eventually the sewer lines will come, and when you’ve got that in place, it’s so much better for home construction.
“I also want to continue to work with the board, and anybody else in town, to bring more small businesses to Town. Light industry is fine but I don’t want any dirty industry of any kind, anything that’s going to hurt our environment.
“There’s a law on the books that allows the Town to adopt what the state has already adopted, and many other towns have adopted, where you can give small grants over a short period of time, and eventually that grant will disappear. Say someone wants to open a business on Main Street. We can give them $5-10,000, it’s a tax break, which over a 5-10 year period it comes down, until they’re self-sufficient. And we’d like to try something like that to attract small business, especially along Main Street in the Village, and in the Hamlet.
“And the other incentive we’ll offer is that we have the lowest tax rate in Albany County, and I want to keep it that way.
“As long as we keep doing that and as long as we can keep the infrastructure up, and as long as we can keep improving our parks, these things will help to draw businesses in. Because if we can draw people in to settle here, that’s when the bigger the population, the more businesses will come. And, hopefully, these businesses will create jobs for at least 18-20 year olds, who need jobs for the summer, and such. Maybe they’ll produce full-time jobs. I don’t know but this is what I’m willing to try…You increase the population it’s good for businesses because they have the workforce.
And one of the most important statements made by Mr Crandall:
Smalbany:- What are the 5 most significant benefits that Coeymans residents have received during your term in office but don’t know about?”
Mr. Crandall:- They’ve received clean air, clean soil, clean water forever if that law (Clean Air Law) is not overturned. They’ve received improved and fixed infrastructure. In myself and in Tom Dolan, they have leaders who are looking to the future, because the only way to expand the tax base and make this town grow is to bring people into a town to buy property, to build homes, buy homes here, settle here, put their kids in school here, shop and buy here, pay their taxes here, that’s how the community grows. Nobody’s going to come to a community that is allowing industry to burn medical waste, garbage, and tires in their town. That’s it in a nutshell.
So, folks, those are excerpts from Segment 1 of the Crandall Interview. What’s not to like? So, you thought you knew what was going on? Surprise. Crandall and his team are working for you and doing a hell of a lot of good. Support them; they deserve it.
There are two more segments that will be published during this week. You’ll want to read them, too, because those facts will bury George McHugh and his Coeymanazis.
Plus the Featured Resident Comment:
The Coeymans Clowns, the FoC, Are True to Their Reputation: Thugs
 A pocket park (also known as a mini-park) is a small park accessible to the general public. Pocket parks are frequently created on a single vacant building lot or on small, irregular pieces of land.
 “Reval” = revaluation rates are market rates from a specific point in time that are used as a base value to assess whether rates are too high or too low for certain categories of property, activities, etc. Revaluation rates are often referred to as “reval rates.”
 Editor’s Note: It seems “real market value” or RMV is meant here, that is, Real Market Value (RMV) is typically the price your property would sell for in a transaction between a willing buyer and a willing seller on January 1, the assessment date for the tax year.. True market value (TMV) it is the value that a willing, and able buyer is willing, and able to pay in today’s market. So the true market value can fluctuate over time, and sometimes in a short amount of time.