Crandall Interview: Segment 3 (Final Installment)

25 Oct

Editor’s Follow-up

Carver Laraway is the incarnation of greed. He gets it all and wants more and more. Mr Crandall is right: Enough is enough!

In 2015, his business received $2 million as part of the New York State Regional Economic Development Council award to support a commercial rail line.

In March 2019, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) officials ordered Laraway to stop using potentially tainted construction and demolition debris to shore up and expand the sprawling facility. Carver Laraway agreed to a $10,000 fine from the state DEC for taking in thousands of tons of so-called C&D (construction and demolition) debris last fall, even after DEC had warned the company in writing to stop.

According to Albany County real estate records, a Laraway-affiliated company — Coeymans Recycling Center LLC — bought two parcels of land earlier this decade that are being used in the expansion. The first 26-acre parcel sold for $75,000 in 2013, while the second, a 40-acre parcel, sold in April 2018 for $50,000. While the land was zoned for residential use, the Village of Ravena changed it to an industrial zone (thanks to  Village  mayor “Mouse” Misuraca (R)) last summer at Laraway’s request. The land is currently assessed at $92,000, or $33,000 less than its sale price.

And you’re whining for more, Laraway? Take a walk!!!

Segment 3 of the Crandall Interview covers Questions 20 to 25 of the Crandall Interview Questions.

We at Smalbany think differently from the McHugh camp: 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 3 of the Crandall Interview. The complete text of Segment 3 of the Crandall Interview is available for viewing Crandall Interview-Segment 3.

Smalbany:- In a recent op-ed/letter to the editor, in the News Herald of August 1, 2019, Mr. McHugh mentions that the present Town administration may have lost 800 jobs connected with the wind projects; yet in a July 25, 2019, article in the News Herald, you greet the project as “good news,” while stating that the Port of Coeymans will be undergoing upgrades for the project. Is the project a GO! or not?

Phil Crandall: The Wind Project is a GO!

Mr. Crandall:-    As far as I know, it’s a GO! What I found out about it is that those jobs are going to be spread out between the Port of Albany, Port of Coeymans, and a few other stops along the way down to New York City. All of those jobs are not going to be coming in to the Port of Coeymans. They don’t know how many jobs are going to be coming but those jobs will be spread out. Will they come? As far as I know there will be jobs there, and they will be assembling these windmills there; they will build a warehouse and they will be assembling them there.

Smalbany:-  McHugh claims that Coeymans has lost 800 jobs.

Mr. Crandall:-    I don’t know how he knows that. Is he a soothsayer or something? Does he have a crystal ball? I don’t know how he could possibly say that as a fact.

Smalbany:- Just as an aside here, I’ve contacted Ms Sarah [read: Sylvia] Lawler, the chair of the Coeymans Conservation Advisory Board chair, and the entire board, asking if they would comment on some of these issues. They both declined. They know that they’re going to be fresh meat if these guys get in, because they’re going to be one of the first things, after the Clean Air Law, that are going to be dismissed.

Mr. Crandall:-    The Friends of Coeymans have used such thuggery, and they’re a front for George McHugh; he’s using them. But they’re such thugs and bullies that they’ve got people scared in this town. And many members of the Conservation Committee have talked about resigning, and I’ve had had to talk to them, “Don’t do that.” After the elections are over, this will all go away. But it’s just wrong the way that they’re bullying people.

Yes. At the first meeting where they appeared, and Mr. LaQuire started to get out-of-line, I stopped it right away. It was probably the first time you heard me yell at a meeting, right? I let him have it. I told him that I was running the Town Board Meeting and, if he was going to act that way, “I am going to have the police officer escort you out.” And he sat down. And then we had a police presence at a couple of more meetings after that, and then we thought we didn’t need it, and so we discontinued it. But I had to set him straight, or else…he’s a bully.”

Smalbany:- Mr. Aaron Flach addressed the Board recently about allocating money for grants to benefit economic development and business development in Coeymans. To what extent can the Town legally allocate funds to benefit Mr. Flach’s projects or organization? What exactly is Mr. Flach asking for?

Mr. Crandall:-    I don’t know if we can. I don’t know. I don’t know the answer to that. He’s asking for the Town and the Village to hire, jointly, an economic developer, and pay his salary, to hire him or her as an economic developer, who will search out grants and write them, and do the things that an economic developer would do. Develop a plan for businesses in Town.

Smalbany:- Is that something the Town should be doing?

Mr. Crandall:-    To me, that’s something…a government shouldn’t be making jobs. A government shouldn’t be paying for stuff like that… Don’t give anyone down on their luck anything to feed their family but give the corporations and the businesses in Town all the corporate welfare they want. I’m not for that.

Mr. Dolan: Just to be clear: He was asking for two different things. One, he was asking for an economic developer, and the last time he was at the Board, he said he was there, that he had talked to some grant writers and often a match is required (75-25), and asked if we would be open to that.

Mr. Crandall:-    A grant match is something I would be open to. But as far as putting taxpayer money into a full-time salary for the businesses, I don’t think I would be for that.

I’m going to insert a factoid in here. Back when Steve Flach (R)– he’s his [Aaron Flach’s] first cousin – back when he was Town Supervisor, Laura vanValkenberg in the first year was our Town Assessor. Well, they pressured her so – and she was sick at the time – and she was pressured by the Town Board at the time, mainly by Flach, to give Aaron a reduction in his assessment over there. And for the next year, it was either 2014 or 2015, he was given a $450,000 cut in his assessment for Faith Plaza. And you can check that out; that’s on the record. You can call Dawn DeRose, and check that out.

Smalbany:- It’s kind of interesting how our Christians are so Christian.

Mr. Crandall:-    Yeah. So he’s given a $450,000 cut in his assessment, why couldn’t he use that money or a part of it to hire a developer? That’s what kills me about these guys. They never have enough. And he never earned his money. John…I know his father John. John gave them all the seed money to start everything they have. So I don’t want to hear that they are self-made people, because none of them really are. The old man is. John is. I’ve been around a while. I know a few people.

Smalbany:- You have been criticized for not having updated the Comprehensive Master Plan for the Town. How do you respond to that statement?

Mr. Crandall:-    Well. What I’ve done for the Town is that I’ve looked at this Master Plan, the Comprehensive Plan, and we’re doing what we can. We have paved more roads, we have laid more infrastructure for pipe for the main water line, for the sewer line, and the storm sewer line. We’ve put more upgrades in the sewer plant than any Town Board in the last 100 years in this Town. We have…really, and I hate to brag, but we have done a lot to help with the infrastructure in this Town, and following the Comprehensive Plan, we’ve been doing that, we have been working on our parks; we have plans to put bathrooms into the parks. We have ideas on how to help this Town. So, YES, we have been following the Comprehensive Plan.

“What do they really mean by “updating” it? If they mean by “updating” it making it more business friendly so they can rape the taxpayers, well, NO! I’m not for that…I’m not against the businessman but I’m not going to be for the business man and not for the taxpayer. There has to be a balance here. Everyone has to pay their fair share.”

“Now one thing we have done for the comprehensive plan is to ensure a fair tax plan by having a re-evaluation done.”

Smalbany:- The same question applies to the Town’s Zoning Ordinance. I think that was one of the criticisms that it wasn’t updated. Is this a real issue and what is your response?

Mr. Dolan:- Yeah. And you probably remember the last time. That when everything North of the bridge here, going out of Town, was zoned industrial. With all the people that lived in North Coeymans, and that was challenged in court, and that was thrown out by a state Supreme Court judge, who said that the Town Board did not take a hard look at the fact report. The judge said that performing an adequate SEQR is no small part of changing the law. Now, after that happened the Town did a re-zone for the nine properties associated with Carver [Carver Laraway], so they re-zoned. And so they decided there goes the big mess of doing a town-wide rezoning project, so they did just the rezoning of the properties for Mr. Laraway.

Smalbany:- Another red herring, in other words.

Mr. Crandall:-    It was like this guy [Carver Laraway] comes into town – and I don’t begrudge him his business; he’s trying to make the port good and bring jobs into town – but all of a sudden he wants to be king! He wants total control of the Town. And it’s very obvious that he does want it because his main man, George McHugh, is his ex-chief counsel [read: lawyer] is running for Supervisor with plenty of connections to Carver Laraway. His first wife married him [Laraway]; his son is running the show in Charlotte. Hey, what the hell! We can get all the family in here. Then you have Zach Collins, Little Boy Blue, who’s never really done anything in his life, and another guy with a silver spoon in his mouth from his grandfather, Ziggy Collins, starting the businesses out there. He (Zach Collins) doesn’t even own property in the Town. They don’t even pay property taxes, and now he wants to run for office and has all this experience. But he doesn’t. He doesn’t. He’s got the name “Collins” and he’s hoping to capitalize on that, because as we all know, it’s a popularity contest.

And then you have of course Albert Collins in the Port of Coeymans. You have Albert Collins down there kissing butt all the time; he does business with him with gravel, and salt, and he’s with is dumpsters down there all the time. He uses those with Carver [Laraway]; he does a lot of business

And now Brandon Lefevre, he might be a nice kid, but I don’t really know him. But I do know this: He’s lived in Albany up to about a year ago, and now he’s back home, living in his father’s basement, and he’s running for office. His father works for Carver Laraway. So, the Carver connection is there. Nobody can tell me Carver Laraway’s not trying to take over the Town, because he is.

“C’mon. It’s getting to the point where it’s absolutely ridiculous: One lie after another. If they could prove it. Hard facts. Show me your documentation and prove it.”

Smalbany:- That’s why we’re sitting here now. That’s why Mr. McHugh, after three requests, didn’t have the courtesy to respond, let alone subject himself to answering the hard questions.

Mr. Crandall:-    All three of us on the Democratic side agreed to a debate. On the first date, they changed the debate because George McHugh didn’t like it. The second date they gave him, he agreed, and all Republicans agreed. So, everyone was agreeing, and all of a sudden, because of the “empty chair rule,” we’re [McHugh and his people] withdrawing, we’re pulling out?[1] The “empty chair rule” was there when you agreed to debate, you knew it was there. He really didn’t want a debate; he was hoping that I wouldn’t agree to a debate. But I did. I did agree, because there was a lot of things I wanted to bring out. There’s a lot of stuff here.

Another thing I wanted to bring out was his federal judgeship.[2] I wanted to ask him about that. Now I was a town judge. It’s on my résumé, it’s on everything I pass out. A former town judge, and you know how many people ask me about it? One. One person asked me about it out in the Hollow: “What happened?” And I told him. I told him what happened.

Mr. Crandall:-    That’s OK. He was a federal judge. What happened to that judgeship?!? Why isn’t he claiming that on his résumé?[3] Listen. He had a judgeship.

Smalbany:- I know that but he’d never be able to practice law while he was doing that, he’d never be able to take private clients, he would be losing gazillions.

Mr. Crandall:-    I understand that. But why doesn’t he list it on his résumé?

Smalbany:- Yes. Why doesn’t he? That’s a question we’d ask. And what’s his motivation in giving that up? What was in it for you?

Community Observer’s Comment:-   [Addressing question to Mr. Crandall] Better question: What are you making right now?

Mr. Crandall:-    $35,000.

Community Observer’s Comment:-   So why would you go from $175K to $35K?

Mr. Crandall:-    It’s obvious: there’s big money to be made for LaFarge and for Carver Laraway. Huge money. Were talking huge.

Community Observer’s Comment:-   I’m asking as a naïve voter.

Mr. Crandall:-    Even so. Why isn’t there even anything said about this? And why …

Smalbany:- But he hasn’t answered any of the questions, so I have to go with what I’ve got. He’s been given three chances to sit down and clarify them. He has answered nothing.

“One more question: Regarding Mr. Daniel D. Baker’s attendance at the Boat House meeting with McHugh and Collins: Is he trustworthy on the board or is he a confederate of the McHugh group and the Friends of Coeymans mob? Is he passing information to them? That was on May 2, with [name redacted] and her husband [name redacted]. McHugh brought Collins, who was acting as hand-puppet for McHugh, and Daniel Baker showed up at that same meeting, and he refused to stay if the meeting were recorded, because, in his words, according to the [name redacted], he “had too much at stake.””

Mr. Crandall:-    Baker said that? Hmmm.

Smalbany:- Apparently you didn’t know about the meeting.

Mr. Crandall:-    No I did not.

Smalbany:- My question is: Given that information, is he trustworthy on the board, or is Baker a confederate of the McHugh group and the Friends of Coeymans mob, and is it possible that he’s [Baker] passing on information about what’s going on on the Town Board?

Mr. Crandall:–    Up until January, I’ll say, of this year, Dan Baker was, I thought he was a team player. He didn’t do a lot but he didn’t hinder me in all the progressive things we wanted to do, and he voted for everything. We always had a 5-0 vote on everything. Starting in January 2019 something changed; all I can think is that McHugh gave him his marching orders: “I’m running. Here’s what you’re going to do: You’re going to cause chaos, you’re going to cause questions, you’re going to vote against the Clean Air Law, you’re going to get me any information on Crandall. That’s my speculation, and that’s the impression I’m getting from Dan Baker right up until now.

Smalbany:- Why would he show up at a meeting with McHugh and Collins, a meeting that was supposed to be a defusing meeting between McHugh-Collins and [names redacted] to discuss the Friends of Coeymans? And when he did show up, why did he insist that it [the meeting] not be recorded, because “he  [Baker[ had too much at stake”?

Mr. Crandall:-    I don’t know. Except, maybe he [Baker] was offered a piece of the pie, too, if George McHugh wins. That’s all I can tell you. I don’t know.

“I always thought he was pretty sincere, and that he was a go-along guy up until January. After that, it’s all been downhill. He’s been riding roughshod over us, or trying to.”

“I thought I’d offer him an olive leaf [read: branch]; I didn’t have to do this but I said, when we were interviewing the Planing Board members, I said, “Dan, would you like to sit in on the interviews with me?” He said, “Yes. I’d like that.” So, we both interviewed the Planning Board members [read: applicants; Mr. Crandall corrects himself]. After we were done with the applicants, he raved about Rick Batagglia: “That guy is sharp, he’s got to be the chairman.” We agreed. So, I said that at the next meeting, we’ll appoint him to be chair. He agreed with me. He calls me two days before the meeting, ‘I’ve had a change of heart. I don’t want Batagglia, I want these other two people.'”

“It was very clear to any intelligent person that Nick Batagglia should be on the Planning Board; he should be the chair. He’s a lawyer, he handles Article 78 all the time in Federal Court, the guy is really sharp. You sit down and talk to him and you’ll find out. He knows his stuff. When he [Baker] did that, that was it. I was done with him. I was not nice to him but then he calls me up and says, “I want to put up my own resolution. How can I get Heather to do this for me?” And I said very nicely, “Dan, she’s the secretary to the Supervisor. She doesn’t work for you. Go see George McHugh. He’ll write it for you.” That’s exactly what I said. I was nice. “Go see George McHugh. He’ll write it for you.” Baker: “Oh, oh! I can write them up myself.”

Smalbany:- Good for you.

Mr. Dolan:-  Then, after we voted as the full Board for the two open seats, then he [Baker] offers a resolution to fill a vacant seat where there was none.

Smalbany:- That’s where it came from. It came from Baker?

Mr. Crandall:-    Baker.

Mr. Dolan:-       Yeah!

Smalbany:- Tanner and that idiot-child Mary Driscoll are tearing you guys apart about this, and it came from him [Baker]?

Mr. Crandall:-    Yeah. And against the advice of our attorney. Our attorney stopped him and said, “You shouldn’t do this.”

Smalbany:- And they’re tagging you with that?

Mr. Crandall:-    Of course! It’s right in the minutes.

Mr. Dolan:-  Our attorney said: “Councilman Baker: You are asking this Board to do something that is physically impossible, to appoint someone to a vacant seat that doesn’t exist.” He [Baker] says, “I want to do it anyway.” The lawyer cautioned him, “You might be setting a bad precedent for the board, because anytime the Town…”

Mr. Crandall:-    Your not dealing with guys with the most brains here.

Mr. Dolan:-  So Baker says, “So I want to pass it without setting precedent.” And the lawyer said, “You can’t do that.” And then the attorney cautions him again, “I’m going to caution you again not to do it. It’s a physical impossibility.” And Baker says, “I’ll take full responsibility.”

Mr. Crandall:-    He did say that. He said, “I’ll take full responsibility for this.”

Mr. Dolan:-  And then he did it again for the other person he wanted to appoint, Nate Boomer.

Smalbany:- Nate Boomer?

Mr. Dolan:-  Yeah.

Smalbany:- From the Friends of Coeymans?

Mr. Dolan:-  Yes.

Smalbany:- These people can’t even stay under cover. He wanted to put Nate Boomer, the assistant grounds, not even a full grounds keeper, on the Planning Board. Seriously. He [Nate Boomer] makes Ms Piggy look smart.

Mr. Crandall:-    They fill Ms Tanner and Ms Driscoll with all kinds of lies and they just go up there, and repeat everything they’ve been told.

Smalbany:- Mr. Crandall, Mr. Dolan, this is the final opportunity in this Marathon for you to make any comments, to make any additions, which you think would round this out.

Mr. Dolan:-  I don’t. I think we’ve covered it, and I that’s the most important thing.

Mr. Crandall:-    I have one final statement to make: I implore the people to vote for me, for my board, myself and my candidates. We have to keep clean air, clean soil, clean water in our Town. If we don’t the Town is going to die. Nobody will come here; if they do, they’ll die. We have to keep the Clean Air Law intact. If you don’t care about anything else in this Town; if you don’t care about your own life, think about the lives of your kids, and your grandkids, and the kids in a 10-mile radius. Because that’s the kids who are dying from what’s coming out of that smokestack at LaFarge. If you allow them to start burning tires, and garbage, and municipal and hospital waste, and whatever else they want. They don’t care about us. These people don’t live here. We live here. And I want to live. And I want everyone to live.

***** END OF INTERVIEW *****

Between October 28 and November 4th, we’ll be publishing more about corrupt candidate George McHugh, Carver Laraway, Billy Biers,and others. Stay tuned!

Read the Excerpts from Segments 1 and 2 of the Crandall Interview:
Crandall Interview: Segment 1
Crandall Interview: Segment 2
You are at Crandall Interview: Segment 3

Plus the Featured Resident Comment:
The Coeymans Clowns, the FoC, Are True to Their Reputation: Thugs


[1] The “[no] empty chair rule” is a rule that states that if all candidates are present, the debate can go forward; if any candidate is absent, the “empty chair,” the process cannot go forward.

[2] In 2015, George McHugh was appointed to be an Administrative Law Judge for the Social Security’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (SSODAR), a lifetime appointment. It is a federal position but McHugh is silent on what happened and the SSODAR does not respond to questions regarding his judgeship.

[3] The judgeship is not mentioned on the main McHugh Law Firm site page (  but is mentioned on the “about” webpage but does not provide details. (Source:, last accessed on October 18, 2019).


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