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Category Archives: Retaliation

Open Letter to County Legislator Patrick Linger and Greene County DA Joseph Stanzione

Funding for Justice

We’re big enough now to start making a real serious difference in how things are done around here. So far, we’ve just been providing information and facts. Maybe it’s time to start rocking some boats through the courts. Just think of it this way: If we were to ask only 50% of our readers to donate only $1 to a Justice Fund, we’d have enough to send a good number of our elected officials and public servants to the new jail they want to build. (We say only 50% of our readers because the other 50% are readers who say they don’t read this blog but practically live on it. That 50% are the state, county, and town parasites who go on this blog to see if they’ve been mentioned today. We seriously doubt that they’d be willing to contribute to their own prosecution fund. Even if we sent just two or three to jail and a couple were to lose their pension rights, that would send a message to the others that they might be next. Send a couple of public employees to jail, have a couple of judges disbarred, take away a couple of attorney’s license to practice their corrupt law. What do you think, readers, voters, citizens? Does that sound like a plan?)


It’s an election year and in the New Baltimore Town Hall they’re still in “lawyer mode,” according to New Baltimore Sole Assessor, Gordon Bennett.

It’s and election year and County Legislator for New Baltimore, Patrick “Pat” Linger, running on the Republican ticket, is seeking re-election. Joseph “Joe” Stanzione is also seeking re-election to the Greene County District Attorney Office.

Linger’s and Stanzione’s Republican “friends” in New Baltimore Town Hall haven’t done them any favors! In fact, the way New Baltimore Town Hall has conducted the business of government is likely to have hurt Linger, Stanzione and others very badly, and may even cost them the election. We’ll be doing our best to see to that.

These two politicians seeking re-election have two things in common:

  • They have dropped the ball when it comes to ensuring good government and compliance with the law.
  • They have managed to slip under the radar during their past terms in office, to avoid detection of their incompetence.

We haven’t missed the fact that while the New Baltimore Highway Department was squandering taxpayer dollars, Pat Linger and George Amedore were handing him fistfuls of taxpayer money in CHIPS grants and other state and federal support for highway infrastructure. The New Baltimore Highway Department under Denis Jordan and now under Scott van Wormer, had no training or education to qualify them for planning or designing or even for repairing roads and highway infrastructure. The money was squandered, wasted, and Linger and Amedore just were oblivious, never checking or monitoring how the money was being used. The Greene County DA, Joe Stanzione, was aware of what was going on; WE REPORTED IT TO HIM!!! Nick Dellisanti and Jeff Ruso were also aware of what was going on but couldn’t control Jordan!!! Puppet Dellisanti, we recall, defended his choices of appointees by saying, “Republicans appoint Republicans,” and we see where that got New Baltimore! Residents and taxpayers got screwed!!!

Thanks Linger, St anzione, Dellisanti, Ruso, Jordan, van Wormer!!!
You sure know how to kindle a cozy fire for yourselves…using our money!!!

We think that a local resident has hit the nail on the head when he writes in an

Open Letter to
Patrick “Pat” Linger, Greene County Legislator for the Town of New Baltimore
and
Joseph “Joe” Stanzione, Greene County District Attorney

Here’s what the resident has to say:
(Reprinted in its entirety; we have added the graphics.)

Dear Mr. Linger:
Dear Mr. Stanzione:

You have failed us miserably. You have betrayed the trust we invested in you when we stood behind you and elected you to public office. You have violated your oaths of office. You have shown yourselves to be unfit for public office.

I am writing to you regarding a state of affairs in the Town of New Baltimore, County of Greene, which has been ignored by the incumbent Republican Town Supervisors over three terms: Nick Dellisanti during his two terms in office, and Jeff Ruso, the current Town Supervisor.

We cite here as well the state of affairs that has been going on for almost two decades in the New Baltimore Highway Department under former Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan, and which is continuing under the acting Highway Superintendent Scott vanWormer, and will likely continue under the next Highway Superintendent Alan vanWormer, Scott vanWormer’s brother, who is running for that office unopposed and who will be “declared elected,” under New York State ElectionLaw.

Residents and voters, at least those of us who have not been so discouraged by the state of affairs in New Baltimore, and who still go to the polls – for all the good it does and what little difference it makes. New Baltimore voters have for several years now been deprived of their right to choose their elected officials because the Greene County and New Baltimore political party committees are unable to run candidates, and we voters are being force-fed candidates running unopposed; we are being denied our vote. We do not have “elections” in New Baltimore; we may go to the polls but we have a choice of ONE. That’s not democracy.

Business as usual in Greene County and New Baltimore.

Former Town Supervisor Nick Dellisanti chose not to run for office in 2017; instead, his deputy Jeff Ruso (R) ran unopposed and was “declared elected” though not elected, in fact more than a third of those going to the polls abstained from casting a vote for Ruso. But Ruso’s first order of business when assuming office in January 2018 was to appoint Nick Dellisanti as his Deputy Supervisor. Although the fact that Dellisanti accepted the appointment doesn’t make a lot of sense, the bottom line is that we in New Baltimore have two executives, the Supervisor and his Deputy Supervisor, neither of which have been democratically elected.

But what’s worse, is that in Town Hall we have a gaggle of clowns who have no idea why they are there, and are blinded by their political ambitions and have forgotten or never knew what public service is; they are not public servants, they are interested only in cronyism and their simple-minded notions of power.

Here’s an example out of real life in New Baltimore, and an example of how Mr. Dellisanti, Mr. Ruso and their respective Town Boards, appointees, and hirelings have misused taxpayers, and abused their pubic offices.

You, Mr. Linger, and you, Mr. Stanzione, have been personally informed of these situations by those affected but have done NOTHING. It’s an election year, Mr. Linger and Mr. Stanzione, so don’t you think it’s time you grunted or got off the pot? It’s an election year, Mr. Linger and Mr. Stanzione, so don’t you think you should come up with some answers and some actions? You’ve done nothing so far so now might be a great time to show some good faith, even if it is self-serving in an election year.

First of all, for almost two decades, the former New Baltimore Highway Superintendent, Mr. Denis Jordan, was given carte blanche to do what he pleased in the Town of New Baltimore, squandering countless hundreds of thousands, very likely millions of taxpayer dollars doing more damage than improvement. Why? Because he was allowed to do that by past Town administrations, both Democrat and Republican, and because he was not monitored, despite the fact he had no training or education, and was about as qualified as a cabbage to do the job. His recent resignation and the so-called investigations are in reality a smoke and mirrors game. The investigations it seems are nothing more than a pornographic dog and pony act, making fools of voters, taxpayers, and those adversely affected by Jordan’s incompetence and indifference.

Why haven’t we heard anything more about the so-called investigations? What was the outcome? You investigated a public entity and a public figure but the public has been kept in the dark. Is that your idea of good government? It appears to us that it is.

We don’t hear anything from our elected officials in Town Hall about these investigations. In fact, according to local media, New Baltimore Town Officials claimed not to be aware of any “investigations,” or not to have been informed of them. I find that very hard to believe, especially given the fact that the subject of the investigations was a New Baltimore Department head and an elected official, Mr. Denis Jordan, and the New Baltimore Town Clerk’s office was floor-to-ceiling with banker’s boxes all labeled “Highway Department,” during the investigations. But Supervisor Ruso and members of the Town Board were unaware of the investigations. Were you, Mr. Linger, or you, Mr. Stanzione, aware of the investigations? If so, why weren’t New Baltimore residents and taxpayers informed?

The incompetence and negligence of the New Baltimore Town Board under Dellisanti and Ruso, and their indifference and negligence of the damage that Denis Jordan was doing can’t be made up. It’s real, it’s ongoing, and it’s going to haunt them and you for some considerable time to come. Why? Because it’s scandalous!

In 2016, both Dellisanti and Ruso, along with sitting Town Board member Shelly van Etten, made personal inspections of the results of lack of maintenance of New Street in New Baltimore, and the damage to private property as the result of that lack of maintenance of the roadway owned by the Town of New Baltimore and for which the Town of New Baltimore and its Highway Department were legally liable for repair and maintenance. [Editor’s Note: After two years, neither Dellisanti nor Ruso, nor the Highway Department have responded with any proposal to fix the damage they caused.]

Dellisanti and Ruso, and two days later, Mr. Denis Jordan and his Deputy Mr. Scott van Wormer, again visited New Street, and for a second time Dellisanti and Ruso were apprised of the situation and the damage being done.

Dellisanti, Ruso, and Jordan managed to ignore the ongoing damage, Jordan creating new hazards and damage every time he managed to make an appearance.

Notices of Claim were served in which the Town was apprised in detail of the damage, and the associated liabilities. Dellisanti and Ruso did nothing to cure the damage or to take any responsibility; they simply handed the Notices over to their insurance company, who then handed the Notices to their attorneys.

Why is it that bad government seems to think they can avoid liability and responsibility if they hand their incompetence over to a law firm? Town law provides for remedies but the Town of New Baltimore has, and continues to avoid their responsibilities and forces taxpayers and residents into the poor house because the only possibility is court, lawsuits. But the insurance companies have much deeper pockets than residents. Why should a resident have to fight to get local government to accept responsibility for what they have done? Why should it cost local residents, hard-working honest people, tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to force elected officials to do what’s right and to comply with the law.

That’s a good question for you, Mr. Stanzione. You’re the chief law enforcement official in the County of Greene, what’s your position on New Baltimore’s liabilities and failure to comply with the law?

Well, the Town of New Baltimore, and you, Mr. Linger, and you, Mr. Stanzione, have been kept updated on the ongoing damage to a private residential structure in the Hamlet of New Baltimore, which you all KNOW has sustained damage due to the failure of the Town to maintain drainage and roadways as required by the law. The structure has been subject to ongoing damage thanks to incompetent roadwork. The Town has been provided with images, videos, and ongoing updates but the Town has so far ignored everything, and has done nothing.

The Highway Department installed a deep so-called “catchment” that’s almost 2 feet deep and 30 inches across, a booby-trap, but when asked to put in a proper grate, they’ve ignored the request for nearly two years. When asked at least to mark the catchment to avoid and accident, they ignored that request, too! Don’t drive down New Street, New Baltimore at night, you’re risking your life. But you, Mr. Linger, you, Mr. Stanzione, you Mr. Dellisanti, and you Mr. Ruso, all know about this. But you have done NOTHING about it. And now Linger and Stanzione, you’re asking New Baltimore for their votes?!?

In fact, Mr. Linger, we’ve read that you were asked to share your accomplishments with a local reporting medium but you refused to respond. Does that mean you have no accomplishments or that you feel you don’t owe the voting public that information or even a response? Which is it Mr. Linger?

Well, the tax bills come out though, with clockwork regularity. A building’s collapsing because of Town negligence but the building inspector/code enforcement officer and the assessor refuse to inspect the building. The owner pays his taxes on a building that he can’t use.

When asked to inspect the site and to adjust the assessment, the New Baltimore Sole Assessor, Gordon Bennett, refuses and tells the owner to take it up on Grievance Day.

The owner presents the case on Grievance day to the Board of Assessment Review, a group of appointees, appointed by the Town Supervisor and approved by the Town Board. Again, facts, just the facts, images, answers were presented to the BAR, who granted 9 out of 11 requests for reduction of assessments but denied the requests made by the New Street property owner. This blog reported on that scandal.

The next step was to go before a hearing officer in a Small Claims Assessment Review proceeding (S.C.A.R.) and ask that an independent hearing officer reconsider the BAR’s determination. This was done and Sole Assessor Bennett appeared to defend his assessment, but claimed that the property was not owner-occupied, and therefore, the owner was not eligible to be heard. But the property was and is “owner-occupied” as defined by the law but the more-than-eighty year old hearing officer stopped listening early in the hearing and, despite volumes of proof, sided with Bennett, although allowing a $1,000 reduction in another affected property.

Does something sound fishy here? Well, it gets even better, because New Baltimore’s Bennett responded to the hearing officer’s question, “Why hasn’t New Baltimore condemned the structure?” Bennett replied that New Baltimore Town Hall was in “lawyer mode,” meaning that they would not respond because of liability. [Editor’s emphasis]

If that wasn’t enough, Bennett shot himself and the Town of New Baltimore in the foot a second time when he stated, and I quote from the hearing officer’s official determination:

But first, a quote from the hearing officer:

“Petitioner representative under oath states that the house is used for storage and that it is uninhabitable and unsafe to use as a residence because of structural failures and water damage. Photographs were presented to support the contention that it was uninhabitable.”  [Editor’s emphasis]

And then the hearing officer states and certifies that:

“The Assessor [Bennett] concurred that the property was uninhabitable because of structural failures. Assessor then moved to disqualify the petition on the ground that the property was not owner-occupied.” [Editor’s emphasis. “Not owner-occupied”? Is Bennett crazy or just stupid? Maybe both! He just admitted that the property was “uninhabitable because of structural failures.”]

Well, if I am reading that correctly, the hearing officer was provided with enough evidence and proof to clearly show that the property is “uninhabitable and unsafe,” and Bennett agreed that “the property was uninhabitable because of structural failures,” I am at a loss Why?  Mr. Bennett and the Town of New Baltimore have not acted in good faith and at least reduced the assessment of the property.

I am also aware that the owner/owner’s representative  has addressed numerous letters and emails to the Town Supervisor, the Town Board, the Office of the Assessor, the Building Inspector, the Highway Department asking what they are going to do, what they propose should be done. The owner/owner’s representative hasn’t received a single response from any of those offices!

Sole Assessor Gordon Bennett explained the reason for this is that Town Hall is in “lawyer mode.”  [Editor’s emphasis]

“Lawyer mode.” I wonder if you, Mr. Linger, or perhaps you, Mr. Stanzione, can explain what exactly “lawyer mode” is and whether there is a provision of Town Law that permits elected, appointed officials and public employees to ignore their responsibilities and claim “lawyer mode?” Is that something like pleading the Fifth? I’d be very grateful if you could get back to me on that one. Yeah! Fat chance? Well, if hell doesn’t freeze over in the meantime, there‎’ll be a very special place there for you, Mr. Linger and you, Mr. Stanzione, as well as Mr. Jordan, Dellisanti, Ruso, and Bennett.

Shame on you all!!! You are hypocrites all!

Even if Mr. Ruso, Mr. Dellisanti, Mr. Bennet, Mr. van Wormer and the others in that den of thieves don’t have any dignity, one would hope that one of you, Mr. Linger or Mr. Stanzione, would have the decency to call New Baltimore to explain, to justify their scandalous treatment of honest taxpayers, or at least to investigate their abuses. Or is that too much to expect, to hope for?

The hypocrisy includes their treatment of veterans. I am a veteran. The property owner of the damaged property is a veteran. I know of others who have suffered at the hands of Mr. Jordan and other public officials in New Baltimore, and those residents are veterans.

I am personally disgusted and affronted by the fact that so many of our county and town officials claim to support and to honor veterans but stab them in the back when push comes to shove. Mealy-mouthed, pabulum-puking hypocrisy is what it really is. Veterans luncheons, monuments, the whole embarrassing hypocritical dog and pony display makes me physically sick.

What’s worse is when you see who’s at those events, it’s a bunch of deluded old men thinking that they are being honored – sometimes they’re even outnumbered by the politicians who all seem to crawl out of the woodwork in time for a photo op, and then exchange a few empty words before making some sort of excuse that they have to be somewhere else.

In recap, we in the town of New Baltimore, the Little North Korea, Greene County, New York, USA, the Third World of the East Coast, are sick and tired of the propaganda and election campaign rhetoric, and the abuse we receive from elected officials who, in reality, are not elected. We are sick of being ignored and subjected to retaliatory or “special” treatment by incompetent public servants, who have their own agendas once they steal our votes. We are sick and tired of public servants and elected officials who breach and violate the contract between the taxpayer and government, the contract that basically says that we’ll elect you, you’ll collect tax paid salaries and pensions, but you have to conduct our business in good faith and fair play.

You have not done that. You have violated our trust. You have violated your oaths of office. You have cheated us. We now demand justice and your heads!

I demand, and I think I can speak not only for the abused property owner on New Street, but the abused residents throughout New Baltimore, for the abused citizens, residents, tax payers and voters who have been cheated and misled by people like you, Mr. Linger, Mr. Stanzione, Mr. Dellisanti, Mr. Ruso, Mr. Bennett, Mr. Jordan, Mr. vanWormer and so many parasites like you, that you make amends for your evil, your piracy, your treasons, your misconduct, your incompetence, your shameful abuse of the trust we gave you on election day.

Fix what you have allowed to happen and make those whose suffering and losses you have caused whole again.

And for those of you who were not elected, who were “declared elected,” but not by voters, you are the worst of the bunch because you have not been approved democratically to lead or to govern.

Shame on you! Shame on you all! And shame on New Baltimore for allowing this to happen at all!

Disgusted,

A Concerned Resident

The Smalbany blog has already published numerous articles on the issues presented in the resident’s letter. They are all true and factual. Supervisor Ruso, Deputy (former supervisor) Dellisanti, Sole Assessor Gordon Bennett, the New Baltimore Highway Department under Denis Jordan and Scott vanWormer,the New Baltimore Town Board are all a disgrace to any concept of decency, much less good competent government.

Veterans?!? The writer mentions an important point that we may have overlooked in the past but now have focused on: veterans and how they’re treated. And Yes! we have noticed the so-called Veterans Luncheon and the Veterans Monument at Town Hall. New Baltimore has a Veterans Committee, too. You have to wonder if that so-called committee works as well as the other New Baltimore “committees,” it’s a wonder we have any living veterans in New Baltimore. Our opinion as veterans: Keep your casseroles and mealy-mouthed speeches and give us the justice we put our lives on the line for!!!  And all you cowardly parasites who never wore a uniform in your lives, don’t give us your bullshit about how you love your veterans!!! Put your policies where you’re foul-smelling mouths are!!

By the way, Mr Linger, Mr Stanzione: Were either of you in the military? We mean other than the boy scouts, girl scouts, or National  Guard or Reserves? How about you, Mr Ruso, Mr Dellisanti: Were you ever in uniform? We mean other than Albany Girls Academy, that is.

Yes, it’s an election year and this is the time to make your voices heard, that is, if you haven’t been deprived of a voice through your vote. It’s uncanny that so many people will put up with having their rights taken away without uttering even a whimper. How can real Americans tolerate “unopposed candidates” or “uncontested elections” without screaming at the top of their voices: NO WAY!

Either do the job or get out of Town Hall! Do the job or get out of County government!

And we’d like to know more about this “lawyer mode” thing Mr Bennett has revealed; is this a new fad in Town and Village government? And what’s the deal with the Town’s refusal to respond to letters and correspondence? Too cowardly to take a position on the questions asked about how you operate the Town? Are the questions about taking responsibility and complying with the law over your heads? Yeah. We can see why you’d try to hide. Confused are you? Look, either do the job or get out of Town Hall! Do the job or get out of County government! And what about the Town of New Baltimore Town Board’s responsibilities in terms of public safety and good stewardship of public resources? Have we turned a blind eye to that, too?

You! Yeah, YOU!
Your ass is grass, dude, and our foot’s a lawnmower!

Mr Ruso, Mr Dellisanti, Mr Bennett, Mr Jordan, Mr vanWormer, Mr Linger, Mr Stanzione, and others can run but they won’t be able to hide.

Letters will be going out soon the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (and the Office of Real Property Services), the Office of the New York State Comptroller, and the Office of the New York State Attorney General, demanding investigations or at least inquiry into what’s going on in New Baltimore (and Ravena/Coeymans, too). We’re going to ask Why? Mr Patrick Linger and Mr Joseph Stanzione have dropped the ball on so many issues, Why? they’re asleep on duty. We’ll also drop Mr Cuomo cc’s of the letters to see what he has to say about his Repukelican friends in Greene County.

We will allege conspiracy to obstruct justice, to deprive citizens of their civil and protected rights, election fraud, violation of oaths of office, unlawful deprivation of rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and the New York State and United States Constitution (3rd, 5th and 14th Amendments), violation of due process rights, breach of contract, among other violations and crimes, tortious negligence, unlawful eviction (constructive eviction), discriminatory practices. The list could go on but rest assured, the evidence and the proof for these allegations and others is clear, conspicuous, and incontestable. Mr Ruso, Mr Dellisanti, Mr Bennett, Mr Jordan, Mr vanWormer, Mr Linger, Mr Stanzione can run but they won’t be able to hide.

How is it possible that New Baltimore, Greene County has such a bunch of irresponsible, despicable morons running the show. How can they get away with destroying private property, avoiding any notions of fair play and good faith, and still sleep at night. Well, when you have no conscience, you can do anything and still get a good night’s sleep. new Baltimore Town hall, Mr Patrick Linger, Mr Joseph Stanzione, Mr Jeff Ruso, Mr Nick Dellisanti, Denis Jordan and Scot vanWormer are living proof of that!

New Baltimore & Greene County Elections.
What we have to choose from..
One Big Garbage Sorting Operation!

 

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 2018 Elections, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Abuse of Public Office, Alan van Wormer, Allan Jourdin, Amedore Homes, Barbara Underwood, Bernie Jones, Beth Schnecke, Bob Ross, Chuck Irving, Civil Right Violation, Civil Rights, Civil Rights, Code Enforcement Officer, Conflict of Interest, Consolidated Highway Improvement Program, Conspiracy, Constitution, Corruption, Crystal R. Peck Esq., D. W. Contento, Daily Mail, Dangerous Conditions, DeLeonardis & Peck P.C., Democrap, Democratic Party Committee, Democrats, Denis Jordan, Department of Taxation and Finance, Deputy Superintendent of Highways, Donna Degnen, Eileen Vosburgh, Eilleen Vosburgh, Elected Official, Election Fraud, Elections and Voting, FaceBook, Felony, Fraud, George Amedore, Gordon Bennett, Greene County, Greene County Attorney, Greene County Board of Elections, Greene County District Attorney, Hudson Valley, Irregularities, Voting, Jeff Ruso, Joan Ross, Joe Stanzione, Joe Tanner, John B. Johnson, John Faso, John Luckacovic, Johnson Newspaper Group, Joseph Stanzione, Joseph Tanner, Linda LeClair, Lisa Benway, Lynn Taylor, Marjorie Loux, Mark Vinciguerra, Marshall & Sterling, Marshall Sterling Insurance, Misuse of Public Office, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Assessor, New Baltimore Democrats, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Highway Department, New Baltimore Highway Superintendent, New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways, New Baltimore Town Board, New Baltimore Veterans Committee, New York, New York State Constitution, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, New York State Highway Law, New York State Town Law, Nick Delisanti, Nick Dellisanti, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Assessor, Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Comptroller, Pat Linger, Patrick Linger, Protected Rights, Public Corruption, Public Office, Public Safety, Ravena News Herald, Real Property Tax Law, Republican Party Committee, Retaliation, Robert van Etten, Scott VanWormer, Shelly van Etten, Smalbany, Sole Assessor, Tal Rappelea, The Daily Mail, Times Union, Town of New Baltimore, Trident Insurance, VanEtten

 

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

The New Baltimore Board of Assessment Review met on Grievance Day, May 22, 2018, and the Final Tax Roll was published on July 1, 2018.

The Office of the Sole Assessor, currently occupied by Mr. Gordon Bennett (an employee of the Town), and the New Baltimore Board of Assessment Review (all appointees by the current Town board) is representative of the rest of New Baltimore’s dog-and-pony act, their excuse for Town government: Complete Incompetence and Ignorance!!!

Grievance Day is also a dog-and-pony act, where a gang of five appointees sit and demonstrate how ignorant and poorly qualified they are for determining the quality of property assessments in the Town of New Baltimore. The assessor sits by and listens, not contributing much in the way of assisting the poor wretches or preventing them from making complete asses of themselves and taxpayers!

Here’s this year’s tally of stupidity based on documents provided by the Town of New Baltimore and the official taped recordings of the New Baltimore Board of Assessment Reveiw of hearings held on Grievance Day, May 22, 2018, at New Baltimore Town Hall:

Shyster Michael Biscone of Ravena, apparently a bosom buddy of Mr. Bennett, since they are on a first-name basis, even in an official proceeding like Grievance Day, represents two property owners before the Board of Assessment Review, and presents their cases in a rambling fashion, so you have to pay close attention to understand the bottom line on the tapes. [Editor’s Note: For those of our readers, we are providing links to the Greene County online Property Tax Information website, where you can read everything about the properties we’re discussing. It’s all public access. Just click the links in the text below to go to the property information. The link to the main page, where you can search properties by municipality, tax map number, last name, first name, etc. is Greene County Search. ]

The first property is on Roberts Hill Road (565 Roberts Hill Rd, West Coxsackie NY 12192); it’s actually two properties that were once one but was divided in order to sell them. One has a house on it sitting on three acres (Tax Map No. 28.00-2-31.2). The other portion is 37 acres of undeveloped property (Tax Map No. 28.00-2-31.1). Mr. Biscone, on behalf of David Hales, whom he refers to as a “fine young man,” argues that the two properties should be assessed as one. He also admits that Grievance Day is not the place to argue his reasons but he does so anyway. Hales purchased the property in 2017 for $206,000. Bennett assessed the property for $210,000. The New Baltimore Board of Assessment Review, practically no questions asked, reduced Hales’ assessment by $49,000. Why? You’ll never know.

The second property is an interesting case. Again, it’s presented by shyster Biscone and is a property owned by William Brant, who, by the way, gives his address as 72 Brownstone Way, Apt. 410, Englewood, New Jersey (!), and owns the property on US Rt. 9W, between the Best Western and New Baltimore Family Dentistry (Tax Map No. 40.00-4-2.111). He’s had his plan for a for-profit senior living project that has been before the New Baltimore Planning Board for several years now, and has finally gotten approval. If you drive down US Route 9W going South, you’ll come to the Best Western Hotel, and then New Baltimore Family Dentistry. The Brant property is between the hotel and the dentists there’s a cute little cottage sitting in the middle of the field (that’s the Brant property) . In fact, you can see the temporary road leading into the property, where construction preps are being done. Looking towards the back of the property is a small building, a “well house” that is discussed below.

The property is assessed at $120,000 land value, but Biscone somehow convinces the New Baltimore Board of Assessment Review that it’s overassessed at $70,000 because of a “well house.” Biscone argues on behalf of Brant that the “well house cost” Brant only $27,000 but Bennett has assessed it at $70,000. If you’re lost here, don’t worry, it doesn’t make sense unless you listen to the tapes about 3 times. It’s a smoke and mirrors act and works for Biscone and Brant because the BAR buys it and reduces Brant’s assessment by $25,000. You’d think the members of the BAR would have the property tax reports in front of them to follow along but Hey! If they did that they might have smelled a rat and caught it. But that would be asking too much of a bunch of sillies trying to look important.

One tidbit that Biscone drops is that he will “drop off a number of receipts” that would prove what he was saying (not that Michael Biscone was ever concerned with the truth). But he never had to do that because the BAR made their decision to reduce the assessment that evening, on May 22, 2018, without the benefit of any proof or documentation.

What’s even more interesting is the fact that Biscone mentions that one of the contractors, whose receipts he was going to produce, is none other than Robert van Etten, New Baltimore Town Board member Shelly van Etten’s husband. What’s even more interesting is that van Etten, who owns an excavation-construction business located in Ravena, New York (only per the address), is the chairman of the New Baltimore Planning Board (and of the New Baltimore Town Committee on Agriculture)!!! Yes, readers, that’s the same Planning Board that kept Brant’s application in Limbo for several years and only just approved it! Does anyone smell something like conflict of interest here? Corruption? Stupidity?

Does anyone wonder Why? Mr. Brant got his Planning Board approval for his project after so many years of hassle? Just saying …

Case No. 3 is a property owner whose primary residence is in Long Island and who owns a property on North Ridge Road in Hannacroix. 2 acres with a 1 family house on it. Mr. Crimeni, whose primary address is 48 Lace Lane, Westbury, NY, is crying poverty. You see, he thinks his assessment is too high and he’s paying too much in taxes for his weekend country estate, comparing his New Baltimore taxes to his $8,000 Long Island taxes. Crimeni’s property (Tax Map No. 4.00-3-20)  full market value is $195,000 and is assessed at $145,000 but Crimeni is still not satisfied. (There seems to be some confusion also in the tax records because on one page for the same property we find the full market value to be $195,000 and on another page we find that value to be $116,000. It also shows it to be a 1-family house but the house has 0 living space! Maybe there’s an explanation for this?) Anyway, Rocco Crimeni co-owns the property with Nicola Crimeni (apparently his brother) and to listen to their story and compare it to the tax records is like, well, it’s like pure steaming bullshit. The original assessment was on a full market value of $195,000 which was assessed by Bennett at $145,000 for the 2 acres and the house. After the BAR heard Mr. Crimeni’s sad story we find that the assessment for the 2 acres and the house was reduced to a full market value of $119,298, and an assessed value for 2018 of $85,000, total tax bill of $ ??? The final assessment is $85,000, a total reduction of $60,000 !!! Great job, Ms Degnen and company!

Just for kicks and giggles, here are a couple of excerpts from the Crimeni hearing:

Crimeni: There was a trailer on the property and it burned down because of a wood stove we had there.

Crimeni: We purchased an Amish house for $38,000…the Amish people built it…it’s a shell…We’re finishing it ourselves.

Crimeni: We’re not rich people … the disparity in Mr. Bennett’s assessment is tremendous…We have a house on Long Island…and the taxes are $8000…

Degnen: You said it was a shed…[Editor’s Note: Crimeni did not say it was a “shed”, he said it was a “shell”! Degnan makes many such mistakes throughout the hearings. Is she hard of hearing or just demented?]…What are the dimensions?

Crimeni: 26 x 28, 2-story…We don’t have the money to finish it.

Degnen: Are you living there now? [Editor’s Note: Apparently Degnen missed the part where Crimeni says he lives on Long Island. She also hasn’t done her homework or she would know that Crimeni’s primary address is on Lace Lane, Westbury, NY!!!] … Do you have water and electricity? [Again, Degnen, homework? Familiarity with properties?]

BAR Member: Do you have the amounts of houses near you…did you bring the houses near you? [Editor’s Note: Apparently the BAR member is asking if Crimeni has any comparables, that is, information on similar properties in New Baltimore. The BAR member should know she should have these or could get them online in a couple of seconds. We did! In fact, if you go to the Greene County link we provided, enter the tax map number and go to the property page, you’ll be able to see the comparables for the property. Here’s the page for the Crimeni property:  Comparables.]

Crimeni: We ran out of money…We don’t have no money … We can’t afford this … [Editor’s Note: Here comes the best one: ] … We don’t live up here!

Hi, I’m the village crazy lady, and I’m on the Board of Assessment Review.

Now don’t you just have to sit down and cry hearing a story like Crimeni’s? Well, he apparently tugged at the heart-strings of the BAR because they allowed him a $60,000 reduction in his assessment, no questions asked!!!

For your information, you can find out any information you want on Greene County properties on the Greene County online property tax site, SDG Mate Online, and can search by property tax map number, owner’s name, etc. It’s all public access and available to anyone who is interested. Here’s the site link: Greene County Property Tax Info .

We could go on with the remaining 6 properties that received similar reductions but we’ve made our point. There’s something really wrong in the New Baltimore Assessor’s Office and on the New Baltimore Board of Assessment Review and it needs fixing. We think it’s corruption and collusion because there’s no rhyme, reason, or fair play in these determinations. Here’s why:

Two properties on New Street in the Hamlet have been the subject of a great deal of anxiety and discussion because since late 2016, severe damage was identified. In the one case, runoff from the street caused the collapse of the building foundation, making it unusable. Then Town supervisor Nick Dellisanti (now Deputy Town Supervisor) and then Deputy Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso (now Town Supervisor), together with Town Board member Shelly van Etten, personally inspected the site and identified a number of problems. Two days later Dellisanti, Ruso, and then Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan and Deputy Highway Superintendent Scott van Wormer visited the site and confirmed the same problems. After that the New Baltimore Highway Department created new problems and the Town was served with a number of Notices of Claim for the damage. In 2017, the Highway Department and Callanan paved New Street and created a mess. We won’t go into details here but if you want details go to our article: “New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways and Board to be Sued – AGAIN!

Dellisanti and Ruso’s game was “deny and hide,” handing the matter over to the town’s insurance company and their lawyers. Town Law would allow the town to make out-of-court compensation to the owner subject to the approval of a NYS Supreme Court judge but NO! they’d rather force the already traumatized owner to have to go to court and then to the poorhouse. That’s Republican fair play, apparently. No one in Town Hall wants to admit the wrong done. In fact, Dellisanti’s personal notes of a discussion with then Superintendent Jordan records that Jordan’s response to the resident’s request for a meeting was, “Let them sue us!” Apparently Dellisanti and Ruso agreed.

The owner of the property continued paying his taxes like a good citizen even though he couldn’t use the property and the damage was continuing because the Highway Department didn’t know what they were doing and Dellisanti and Ruso didn’t either – or they didn’t have the balls to go after Jordan directly. So the property owner requested a reduction in taxes on the collapsing building and the other impaired property, and appeared before the New Baltimore Board of Assessment Review with a complete written history of the case and numerous photographs showing the damage.

The problems first began when New Baltimore Sole Assessor refused to provide the members of the Board of Assessment Review with copies of the property owners request saying, “It’s not our responsibility.” But it is his responsibility to provide the BAR with copies of all complaints, it’s in the Real Property Tax Law!!! At the Grievance Day hearing, Gordan handed the four members present ONE copy, his file copy, of the requests for reduction of assessment on two properties. The hearing was a complete mess, confusion, the BAR couldn’t follow the conversation and Degnen kept on saying, “That’s not our problem. You have to go to the Highway Department,” and had to be repeatedly reminded that the information was being provided for background only, so the Board would understand the history of the problem. Degnen just couldn’t get it. The rest of the Board had no idea what the property was.  By the way, New York Real Property Tax Law requires the Board of Assessment Review to be familiar with the properties they are considering. They were not, which was obvious already in the Hales, Brant and Crimeni cases.

The bottom line: The New Baltimore Board of Assessment Review made all their decisions that evening, during the 4 hours they were hearing 11 case presentations, and did not adjourn to reconsider additional information, did not go into executive session to discuss any details of any property, as they should have done, did not request additional information, and refused to inspect the property. They approved 9 out of the 11 cases for reductions of between $12,000-$60,000, properties whose owners simply thought they were being taxed (Hales, Brant, Crimini) but the properties that were damaged and destroyed because of Town of New Baltimore negligence got NO CHANGE!!!

The Town of New Baltimore, the Office of the Assessor, and the Board of Assessment Review refuse to respond to inquiries or to answer communications on the subject. New Baltimore public servants at work, it seems. Any questions? You won’t get answers from Town Supervisor Mr. Jeff Ruso, Deputy Supervisor Nick Dellisanti, Highway Committee member Shelly van Etten, Sole Assessor Mr. Bennett, or Board of Assessment Review Chairperson, Donna Degnen.

The board is made up of five appointees including: Donna Degnan, Linda LeClair, Ronna Smith, Lynn Taylor, and This year, the members of the  Board of Assessment Review, chose Donna Degnen to be the chair. The fifth member, Bernard “Bernie” Jones was absent on Grievance Day.

The members of the BAR receive $200 each, and the chair, Ms Degnen, $250, with an additional $50 per meeting for meetings beyond two meetings. So that came out to about $50.00/hr for each of the members of the BAR for the 4-hour Grievance Day hearings. Degnen received an additional $50.00. Total for Grievance Day circus appearances: at least $1050.00 to give away almost $300,000 in property tax reductions, the majority of which were totally unsubstantiated if you listen to the tapes!

The Board of Assessment Review and the Office of the Sole Assessor are just as indifferent and incompetent as the Office of the Supervisor and the New Baltimore Town Board.

We have obtained the taped recordings of the proceedings of the Grievance Day hearings before the Board and can only say that the bowel sounds in a special ed class would make more sense than what we had to listen to in the tapes. Degnen was dithering and the rest seemed intent on making their presence and importance known by asking irrelevant and generally uninformed questions. None of the four Board members were familiar with any of the properties presented. Just a minute, one member, Linda LeClair, was the only member who showed any interest in the properties and the only member who had personal knowledge of a property. That’s a very poor showing.

But the Board did hear presentations on a total of 11 properties and granted reductions in 9 of them. Two properties, one literally collapsing and unusable and the other defaced by former Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan’s incompetence, were left unchanged, despite comprehensive exhibits and a clearly well-founded presentation. We think that there’s some collusion/conspiracy with the Town of New Baltimore and the BAR to avoid admitting any damage to the two properties, since, if any department or agency of the Town of New Baltimore admits the severe damage to the properties, it will cause havoc in Town Hall. Town Hall has been ignoring the damage and trying to discourage the owner from demanding compensation in their usual way, that is, let their insurance company lawyers make any court case impossibly expensive. That’s New Baltimore Town Hall at work. They ask for residents’ votes and then send them to the poorhouse when something goes wrong and the resident asks the Town to be fair and evenhanded. It’s a lousy system.

Several of the 9 reductions stand out as particularly loathsome and examples of the corruption in small town appointed committees. But first of all, let’s look at some general facts:

The assessments in New Baltimore are done on the basis of the Full Market Value and an Equalization Rate is applied. The Equalization Rate is a percentage that is applied to the Full Market Value to arrive at the assessed value. In New Baltimore this year the ER is 71.25% which means that the assessed value of properties this year is 71.25% of the Full Market Value. That’s legit in our estimation. But that’s were the legitimacy stops cold.

The total value of the properties is divided into two items: the land value and the property value (living area, etc.). The problems start with the Sole Assessor’s, Mr. Bennett’s method for determining the land value, which has absolutely no rhyme or reason and, in Bennett’s own words, the basis for determining the land value is, “Because it’s easier.” “Easier?” Yes, it’s easier to just apply a random value per acre than doing an actual calculation. It’s easier for Bennett.

Here are some examples:

In the Town of New Baltimore, Bennett has assigned land values to comparable properties as shown in the examples below:

The wide discrepancy in the Sole Assessor’s land values is one example of a huge irregularity.

The chart shows properties that are in the same area of the town, actually the Hamlet, but if you look at the land assessment, compare it to the acreage, and then to the per acre assessment, you’ll see why we are so up in arms about Bennett’s crazy assessments! They just don’t make sense! How can the land value of a property of 0.18 acre be assessed the same amount as a property of 1.03 acres, that is, a land value of $11,000??? Then have a look at the difference in the proportional value (last column) per acre!

A property on S. Main Street in New Baltimore of 0.05 acre (Total assessment: $56,700, Land assessment: $9,600) has a proportional price per acre of $192,000!!! WTF?!?!

We’ve written to Mr. Bennett several times and he refuses to answer. We’ve also complained to New Baltimore Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso about the fact that his employees and appointees refuse to answer inquiries but he’s refused to respond as well. It appears that when New Baltimore officials feel the heat of unpleasant questions, they tend to hide or ignore questions. (See Ruso’s comments regarding the resident’s letter, above.)

What’s even worse is the fact that the Board of Assessment Review was very generous in granting their friends handsome reductions, while denying reductions to touchy properties, like ones that are impaired because of Town incompetence. Here are the results of the Board’s “deliberations”:

The Board’s reductions ranged from $0 – $120,000 but there’s no logic; the stories behind the reductions are, however, very troubling. For example:

Brant is the developer who has the property on 9W, just behind the New Baltimore Family Dentistry buildings. Brant is a developer and has been planning to develop the property to put in some sort of housing project. He’s complaining because he feels his property is being overassessed. So, moneybags Brant pulls on the heart strings of the Board and they give him a reduction in assessment of $25,000.

Another property owner, Spence, is apparently interested in selling the property but wants a reduction in assessment for some reason. So the board hands Spence a reduction of $12,000.

But the worst example we have to offer from our investigations, listening to the hearing tapes, and reviewing the documents produced by the New Baltimore Board of Assessment Review and their determinations is a property owned by a downstater, Mr. Cremini and his partner:

Cremini owns a primary residence in Long Island and 2 acres in New Baltimore, where he and his partner a building a weekend home, which is livable and has electricity and water. Cremini is crying the blues because his assessment is “too” high. He pays about $8,000 in property tax on hi primary residence in Long Island and, convinced the Board that he can’t afford the taxes on his New Baltimore property. So the board reduces his assessment by $60,000!!!! Cremini lives in a primary residence on Long Island, can afford to own more than 2 acres and a house in New Baltimore, cries poverty and the Board reduces his assessment by $60,000!!! Of course, Mr. Bennett agrees.

Another property got a $12,000 reduction. Go figure.

Of course, the Board of Assessment Review doesn’t response to our inquiries regarding the reasoning behind these reductions. But our information comes from the actual tape recordings of the hearings made by the Board, and from the official Order for Change in Assessments and the so-called “minutes” of the Board’s meeting.

Got questions? New Baltimore’s got secrets and no one is talking. But these are the facts, people.

 

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?

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

*****

 

Truth be Told: On the Heels of the Coeymans Town Board Meeting

The Real Hero in this Story!

The Real Truth is that as disgusting, scandalous and disgraceful the raccoon incident is, it has drawn public attention to a more disgraceful and insidious problem in Ravena and Coeymans: the Incompetence of Our Elected Officials and the Apathy of the Local Community.
And we can thank a poor, unfortunate wild animal for drawing the world’s attention to that well-known but concealed fact about our communities!


The PETITION got 1.6 million likes on Facebook! As of this writing (March 25, 2018), the “Justice for raccoon killed by officers from Coeymans Police Department in New York Statepetition on Care2 has 84,832 signatures of which 9,779 are from New York. The goal is 85,000. Express your outrage and add your signature here. Please help get us to the goal of 85,000 protest voices!!!



We suggest you email Town of Coeymans and Village of Ravena Officials to express your outrage:

Town of Coeymans
Philip A. Crandall – Supervisor
James C. Youmans – Council Member
Thomas E. Dolan – Council Member
Daniel D. Baker – Council Member
Kenneth A. Burns – Council Member
Daniel Contento (SGT) – Acting as Chief of Police
Coeymans Police Department – General

Village of Ravena
William “Mouse” Misuraca – Mayor
Nancy J. Warner – Trustee


Truth be told, the  Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans would have an Animal Control Officer if the Ravena Village board and the Coeymans Town Board had not eliminated the position from the Police Department’s budget.

Truth be told, the Town of Coeymans Police Department would have the necessary equipment for animal control incidents if the Coeymans Town Board had not cut funding for the operations of the Coeymans Police Department.

This is a catch pole being used to capture a raccoon.

Truth be told, the Town of Coeymans Police Department would have competent law enforcement personnel if the Coeymans Town Board had not cut funding for the Coeymans Police Department. The people of Coeymans wanted their police department but Coeymans elected officials refused to fund it properly.

Truth be told, the Coeymans Chief of Police, whether permanent or acting, has no authority to tell the Coeymans Town Board to provide what the Department needs. So in all fairness, acting Chief Contento must make do with what scraps Crandall and the Town Board throw him. Contento is an experienced law enforcement professional who does his job and doesn’t get into the political intrigues and infighting. He got stuck with the acting chief position because of his seniority, not because he necessarily wanted it.

Truth be told, if the Coeymans Police Department is a bunch of clowns in Kevlar vest packing guns, it’s because the Coeymans Town Board has decided it wants a bunch of clowns as law enforcement. Let’s face the facts: You can’t attract good people when you can’t offer them attractive incentives. You pay peanuts you get monkeys.

And YES, a couple of immature, unthinking, criminal dung beetles in police uniforms and operating police vehicles harassed, abused, and killed a defenseless wild animal in full view of a horrified public in a busy commercial plaza only to bring down international disgust and scandal on two otherwise backwater hill towns in New York State, Coeymans and Ravena, because their elected officials are incompetent, ignorant and out of control!

The bottom line: Bill “Moose” Misuraca, a bartender, is Mayor of the Village of Ravena, and Phil Crandall, a retired prison guard and disgraced village/town justice, is Coeymans Town Supervisor, because the voters — not necessarily the People — of the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans put them there, together with the other clowns on the Village Board and on the Town Board. The ignorant and misguided voters in Ravena and Coeymans are actually to blame for the dunces they have in their Village and Town Halls. Thank you very much! American democratic process at work…just as it was under Stalin, Hitler, and other dictatorships.

We have to laugh every time a Village or Town board meeting opens with the American secular prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, where, unlike any other civilized country in the world, a bunch of people gather to mouth words like “liberty and justice for all,” knowing full well it’s all a bare-faced lie. And we know it! Ask any honest resident like Daniel Boomer.

Truth be told, many of the statements made by Mr. Phillip Crandall, Town of Coeymans Supervisor, in his public statement made at the Coeymans Town Board public meeting, were a dog and pony act. In fact, his statement made at the public meeting and his statement published on the Town of Coeymans website are not the same!

One statement made by Crandall, in particular, is grossly incorrect: Crandall says:

“There is conflicting and contradictory information about how to respond to wildlife suspected of rabies.”

That is totally not true, and intentionally misleading! There is abundant information available on such sites as the New York State Department of Health, The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the Centers for Disease Control, and many others. (Click on those links to see the sites.) The information provides coordinated and clear scientific, medical, animal control information accepted as state-of-the-art, and is available to the public — even to Mr. Crandall and the Coeymans Town Board.

Before we launch into the main body of this article, we all should be aware of several important points:

Whatever the Coeymans Police did was the responsibility of the officers involved, and this particular incident should not taint the whole Department. Credit where credit is due and blame where blame is due.

“When Sue McDonough watched the viral video of Coeymans police killing a rabid raccoon last Monday by chasing it down and running over it over with their vehicles, she said she knew the officers were in over their heads — and that there was a better solution.” [Source: Time Union, “Raccoon video prompts call for statewide animal control reform,” March 19, 2018) (Ed. Note: McDonough is a retired State Police Investigator (Troop G) and past president of the State Humane Association.)

Blame: The police personnel involved in the incident, no matter what the “test results” show, had no way of knowing that the raccoon was or was not infected with rabies. Raccoons are incredibly intelligent and very curious. Raccons also get hungry. The raccoon’s behavior, though unusual, was not evidence that the animal was rabid. The police used inappropriate judgment for their inappropriate conduct.

Blame: The police personnel involved in the incident acted like rabid teenagers rather than responsible public servants. They did not use good judgment nor did they employ the least offensive methods to get the job done. Their conduct was disappointing and indicative of characters and mental processes that should not be in law enforcement. Their actions show that they do not have the intelligence or the good judgment to make snap decisions required of competent law enforcement personnel. They must go and be banned from law enforcement. The officers involved must be held accountable under the law just like the rest of us.

Blame: The argument that discharging a fire arm at Faith Plaza is would be unsafe, to be very honest, bullshit. Law enforcement personnel authorized to carry weapons are expertly trained — or they should be — in the use of those weapons and where to point them with expectable results. Law enforcement personnel are expertly trained — or they should be — in management of a crime or incident scene and crowd control. First of all, the police have the authority and power to cordon off the entire area, even to evacuate the area, if necessary. They could have ordered all civilians into the buildings until the animal was under control and contained. Once these and other simple management operations were effected, the animal could have been mercifully, humanely and ethically euthanized by gunshot or other method with dignity and in privacy. Instead, the police personnel involved acted like so many lunatics. They must be held accountable for their poor judgment and their irresponsible behavior; they must go and be banned from law enforcement. The officers involved must be held accountable under the law just like the rest of us.

Blame: Several residents made the very true comment at the Coeymans town board meeting that if anyone other than police had done what the Coeymans police had done, they would have been arrested, arraigned and jailed. Their faces and identification would be plastered all over the media and on public access police blotters. Residents raised the very valid question of Why? the names of the police personnel involved in the incident have not been published and have been kept under wraps? Why are police personnel being given consideration that none of the rest of the community would get? Why are the police getting special treatment in a situation where any of us would be immediately shamed and punished? The names and status of the police personnel involved in the incident at Faith Plaza must be published and made accessible to the public. They are public figures and public servants; the public has a right to know who they are. This, my friends, is a matter of public safety!

Big Time Dem Machine Man. Too cozy?
P. David Soares, Albany Co. DA

Blame: The Albany County District Attorney, P. David Soares, has been in hiding with regard to this incident. Why hasn’t the Albany County District Attorney come forward with a statement, a report on this incident. Not many citizens are aware of the fact that the DA is the chief law enforcement officer in the county; the police are his responsibility. In fact, Soares, as DA, picks and chooses cases to prosecute, and as a political dog, he’s going to pick and choose the cases that will make him look good with the public and with the police unions. Like so many incidents involving police and law enforcement, this one is in Soares’, court and he’d better play it right. We demand that Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares come forward with a statement on the incident. NOW!

The fish rots from the head down. The leaders are accountable first.

Blame: As we have published in our other articles, the fish rots from the head down. If Coeymans and Ravena don’t have an Animal Control Officer, it’s because the Village and Town boards eliminated the position and the funding for an Animal Control Officer. If the Coeymans Police Department does not have equipment for humane, merciful, and ethical conduct of animal control incidents, it’s because the Ravena Village and the Coeymans Town boards have not allocated funding for such equipment. If the Coeymans Police Department is populated by retarded clowns rather than well-trained, intelligent law enforcement personnel, it’s because the Ravena Village and the Coeymans Town boards have not provided funding for professionals or have hired clowns at professional rates.

Village of Ravena Bartender Mayor Misuraca

Blame: If Ravena Mayor Bill “Moose” Misuraca and Coeymans Town Supervisor Phil Crandall don’t talk and don’t communicate, and if their board members have bad relations, then it’s time for new leadership, not voting in known incompetents and expecting competent government. If residents don’t attend Village and Town public meetings, then local residents are accomplices to whatever happens in the Village and Town. If you don’t participate in your local government you share the blame and are to blame for the embarrassment and scandal, the lousy reputation your community has.

Disgraced Judge/Town Supervisor Phil Crandall

Blame: If the Law Enforcement Manual used by the Coeymans Police Department is 20 years old and hasn’t been revised, updated, rewritten, replaced in 20 years, and no one notices that fact, the only conclusion to be drawn is that no one cares to follow the provisions of the manual. Our only conclusion is that the Coeymans chiefs of police and their second-in-command, as well as the rest of the freak show are not using the procedures; if they were being used, someone would certainly notice that they are out of date and do not reflect the current situation at all. This is clear negligence and incompetence. We put the blame on Coeymans law enforcement personnel, especially the Coeymans chiefs of police, and mainly on the Town Supervisor and the Town Board for not funding the Department to meet its needs.

Shame on You! Residents of the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans!

Blame: Residents of the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans who sit home on their fat asses on election day and don’t vote!!! The voters, most of them customers of Mayor Misuraca’s gin mill and bar, and most of them rabid democrats who vote the party not the issues, are to blame. Low voter turnout is the rule not the exception in the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans!

The bottom line: Most, if not all, of the blame for this and other scandalous incidents and the poor quality of life in the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans must be on residents!!! Admit it, you, the community earned the lousy reputation and the shame you experience on a more than regular basis. Yet you, the communities of Ravena and Coeymans, continue to shoot yourselves in the foot by electing clowns to be your village mayor, your town supervisor, your village and town board members.

SHAME ON YOU RAVENA AND COEYMANS RESIDENTS

If all this wasn’t enough, click on the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY  link below to continue reading some of the more sleazy details.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 2018 Elections, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th Senate District, A.L. Mueller Badge 149, Abuse of Police Power, Abuse of Power, Accountability, Acting Police Chief, Albany, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Sheriff Department, Amanda L. Mueller, Amanda Mueller, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Animal Abuse, Animal Control Officer, Animal Cruelty, Animal cruelty, ASPCA, Capital District, Carmen Warner, Catherine Deluca, Cathy Deluca, Charles H. Stahlman, Charles Stahlman, Civil Right Violation, Civil Rights, Coeymans, Coeymans Acting Police Chief, Coeymans Police Department, Coeymans Town Board, Conflict of Interest, Corruption, County Legislator, Craig D. Apple Sr., Cruelty to animals, D. M. Crosier, D. W. Contento, Dan McCoy, Daniel Contento, Daniel Contento, Danielle Crosier, Danielle M. Crosier, David Soares, Dawn Dolan, Dead Raccoon, DEC, DeLuca Public Affairs, Democracy is Dead, Democrats, Department of Environmental Conservation, Dick Touchette, Drive-by Shooting, Elected Official, Eliminate Coeymans Police Department, Facebook, Faith Plaza, False Instrument, Falsely reporting an incident, Fitness Center, Friendship Animal Protective League, Gerald Deluca, Gregory Darlington, Hal Warner, Harassment, HSUS, Humane Society of the United States, Investigation, James Youmans, Jason Albert, Jena Misuraca, Jerry "Dirty-Hands" Deluca, Jerry Deluca, Jim Youmans, Joe Tanner, Joe Tracey, Joseph Tanner, Josephine O'Connor, Kerry Thompson, Mercy for Animals, Michael Biscone, Michael J. Biscone, Misdemeanor, Misuse of Public Office, Moose Misuraca, Mueller Automotive, Mueller's Automotive, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, New York, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, New York State Department of Health, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, North Shore Animal League America, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Comptroller, P. David Soares, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Perjury, Peter J. McKenna, Peter Mckenna, Peter McKenna, Phil Crandall, Phillip Crandall, Police State, Public Corruption, Public Safety, Public Safety, Raccoons, Ravena, Ravena Choices, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Retaliation, Rick Touchette, Ryan Johnson, Senate District 46, Smalbany, Stahlman, Stephen Prokrym, Steve Prokrym, Steve Prokrym, Times Union, Tom Dolan, Town and Village Judge, Town Board Meeting, Town of Coeymans, Tracey Traver, Wadsworth Center, William Misuraca, Zach Stahlman, Zachary C. Stahlman, Zachary Stahlman

 

Who are the Thought Police in Your Community? Do you know?

“As members of a community, even as citizens of a nation, we are frequently exposed to and have to cope with what is known as groupthink, a phenomenon that may seriously compromise our image of ourselves, our relationships with family, friends, neighbors, community leaders, and may also compromise our moral rights of personal dignity and autonomy. And yet, groupthink is precisely what underlies much of our “training” in how to be good citizens and in the so-called education programs and our social organizations, and is pandemic in most of the institutions in which we work. Groupthink,  shamefully, has been a part of our religious institutions since time immemorial. Agendizing, brainwashing, programming.”

Anonymous Contributor.

We, as citizens, as members of our community, parents and educators, as human beings we are told that we have an inherent and guaranteed right to speak freely and openly about most subjects without the stigma that might apply to a person living and working in a different country. We would like to think that people, especially our elected leaders and our educators, tend to listen to us and give some weight and importance to what we have to say; consequently, we can and should play an important and proactive role in deciding how we live, work and are governed, and in order to do this, we must make our leaders aware that we are aware of the groupthink phenomenon, its dangers and risks, and implement ways of avoiding this insidious, infectious, and fatal phenomenon in our communities and in our lives. Once people are made aware of the groupthink phenomenon and ways to identify it and prevent it, we are on the path to reclaiming the efficacy and authenticity we once enjoyed but lost in the wake of the development of corporate control of our institutions and the chilling of interpersonal relations by online social media.

Groupthink.[1] It’s everywhere and it’s toxic! It’s dehumanizing. It perpetuates lies and factoids. Yet you love it! It makes things so much easier when you don’t have to use your own brain and you allow yourself to be programmed to think, speak, act, perform according to the in-group’s agenda.

Irving Janus mainstreamed the term in 1982. [2] According to Janis, groupthink

“[h]appens when in-group pressures lead to deterioration in mental efficiency, poor testing of reality, and lax moral judgment. It tends to occur in highly cohesive groups in which the group members’ desire for consensus becomes more important than evaluating problems and solutions realistically. An example would be the top executive cabinet (the president and vice presidents) of a firm, who have worked together for many years. They know each other well and think as a cohesive unit rather than as a collection of individuals.” [my italics]

We can find groupthink in our workplaces, churches, schools, social media, government, and Yes! even in our homes.

Janis identified eight symptoms of groupthink, which are noteworthy and which I will briefly describe below.[3] Persons affected by groupthink may exhibit any of these symptoms:

  1. An experience of the illusion of invulnerability. This illusion produces an unreal sense of optimism and the sense of empowerment to take risks, sometimes extreme, which the individual would not otherwise take.
  2. Acceptance of a collective rationalization. The individual ignores the red flags and warnings and refuse to reassess their biases, prejudices and assumptions regarding reality.
  3. Belief in the inherent morality of the group. The individual and members of the group are convinced of the righteousness of their beliefs and become indifferent to the ethical or moral effects and consequences of the group’s decisions and actions.
  4. Establishment and adoption of stereotypes of out-groups. Stereotypes are a facile way of dealing with the “others” and do not require thinking or decision-making. De rigueur negative presumptions and characterizations of the “enemy” render rational and effective responses to conflict unnecessary. Cookie-cutter responses are the result.
  5. The imposition of direct pressure on dissenters. Any deviation from the presumptions and dictates of the group results in sanctions. Individuals, group members are discouraged from expressing alternative views, or representing positions conflicting any of the group’s views.
  6. Requirement of self-censorship. The individual and members of the group are required to ensure that any questions, doubts and deviations from the group’s “consensus,” program, or agenda are not expressed. The individual must “watch his/her mouth” or be sanctioned.
  7. The illusion of unanimity. The views and judgments, decisions and actions of the “group” or of the group’s statutory and declared leader(s) and majority are assumed to be unanimous, justified and reliable.
  8. The presence of self-appointed ‘mindguards’. Certain members isolate and “protect” the group and its leader(s) from information that is problematic or contradictory to the group’s cohesiveness, view, and/or decisions. These are the “thought police” who ensure that any information that can potentially threaten the group or its leaders is filtered out and neutralized.

In other words, the phenomenon of groupthink seems to have grown out of and fits perfectly into the framework of George Orwell’s dystopian novel, “Nineteen-Eighty-Four,” with its implications of superpower invulnerability, collective processing of carefully cooked data and information, a sense of moral superiority of the group’s decisions and actions, the facile handling of non-members by the application of stereotypes, direct suppression and sanctioning of any opposing thought or expression — the individual “watches his mouth” to avoid attracting attention to himself and possible sanctioning —, all communications and indicators seem to indicate that “everyone is on the same page” and “stands united.”  Finally, the self-appointed “mindguards,” the Orwellian “thought police,” ensure that everyone toes the mark, knows his place, and follows the “party line.” Sounds awfully much like PC, political correctness, doesn’t it?

The Thought Police or Mindguards ensure that you don’t think out of the box.

As I mentioned above, groupthink is easily observed in our schools, churches, public servants, social groups, the workplace, etc.

Here’s an example that comes from my college days when I worked as an encyclopedia salesperson. We were trained to ask potential purchasers questions that they could not disagree with, such as, for example: “You do care about your children’s education, don’t you?” or “You want your children to have the best available information for school, don’t you?” Once they answered in the affirmative, they were cooked. It was sort of like asking a veteran the question, “You do love your country, don’t you?” Or a clergyperson asking a dissenter, “You do believe in God, don’t you?” Ask those sorts of questions and you get a commitment to groupthink; the rest follows once the individual is on the slippery slope to group membership, willingly or not.

It’s certainly easy enough to self-test yourself by asking yourself if any of the above symptoms could possibly apply to you…but be aware of the sneaky symptom of “self-censorship” because you might actually be unaware that you are self-censoring; you may actually believe that what you say you believe is in fact what you believe. (Please go back and reread that last part. It’s important and you really didn’t understand it, did you?!)

Everyone connected to the same “brain”, the core-group’s!

Here’s a real example: I was at my fitness center and struck up a conversation with a guy who was working on a neighboring piece of equipment. The conversation started out on muscle groups and doping, use of anabolic steroids, doping scandals, and how natural fitness was desirable over and against taking performance enhancers. The conversation drifted to the inquiry, “What do you do?” The guy was intelligent, apparently well-read in the subject of performance enhancers in athletes, and was no dummy. He responded by telling me he was a “personal income tax auditor” for the state of New York. What followed was a textbook example of groupthink. He commenced by telling me how interesting his job was because he was making sure everyone stayed honest. Everyone should pay taxes. Not everyone was honest, some people were honest but ignorant. The tax department and auditors were there to protect the public. He was happy doing what he was doing, and he liked his work. He was protecting honest citizens from the crooks and the parasites. New York state took care of its people unlike those states with no personal income tax, states that provided sanctuary to people who want to keep their fortunes but not share by paying personal income taxes. Basically, you can’t argue with this guy because what he is saying is superficially true, ethical and moral. But, and there’s the clincher, his thinking from one subject to the other was schizoid! He was very individualized, independent, even liberal when discussing the social and personal impact of performance enhancers on non-professional vs. professional athletes, and the use of performance enhancers in the guy-next-door who works out to stay healthy or attractive. His lock-step “tax department” jargon and speech, almost soapbox preaching, was groupspeak, the product of groupthink. Can you identify the symptoms?

Here are two more examples I found on a professional networking site, LinkedIn, which is slowly morphing into a Facebook-type social media space. Whereas LinkedIn was originally intended to be a forum facilitating networking among professionals, the parasites slowly infiltrated and started their social justice preaching and religious proselytizing.

One characteristic of social justice and religion is that both are fertile ground for a bumper crop of groupthinkers. Example 1: Social Justice. This example is remarkable because it is so homogeneous in the majority responses and because of the sheer number of responses: 5,013 Likes, 321 comments! Synopsis: A young woman with Down’s syndrome appears in what is obviously a staged video, in which she receives a call from a fast-food chain, Chik-Fil-A, in which she is offered a job paying $11.50/h. It is her first real job and she is elated at the offer and accepts.

The groupthink: Actual comments: “Awesome!” “Wonderful!””Isn’t Chik-Fil-A a great company!””The story brought tears to my eyes!” “It made my day! We need more stories like this!” But many of the comments were condescending: They mentioned “learning disability” and how remarkable it was that this young woman had “won,” how employment “is a right,” and other misguided slogans associated with what we know as PC but was described by Janis as groupthink. The censorship/sanction/thought police action: A commenter posted some reasonable, dissenting, conflicting thoughts about the reality of the situation in terms of stereotyping highly functional Down’s syndrome  persons as having “learning disabilities,” a bucket term that stereotyped them unfairly. That she was hired on her merits and if she didn’t have what Chick-Fil-A needed and wanted, she would not have gotten the call. That Down’s syndrome persons are highly desirable in service jobs with customer contact because of their personality characteristics, as was pioneered by McDonald’s some time ago, and that these corporations are exploiting vulnerable persons with Down’s syndrome because they are perfect for these low-paying jobs, and it creates a very positive social image for the corporation, so-called “organizational health.” (See the McKinsey report below.)

Needless to say, the “mindguards” were quick to respond, and butchered the commentor for being “a Grinch,” for not “caring” and for his “dripping sarcasm.” Not a single comment out of more than 300 comments and replies accepted the truth of what the commenter wrote; almost all condemned him for not sharing the majority’s groupthink. (Click here to read the actual comments made by the commenter and some of the replies.)[4]

The value of hiring persons with Down syndrome is not lost on the corporations![5]

The economic benefits of hiring persons with intellectual challenges is not lost on the corporations, as is demonstrated by the McKinsey report[6], but we’re not supposed to talk about the dark side of Julia’s hiring because the group think won’t allow anyone to pop their bubble of denial or distract them from their happy, be nice, love fest by suggesting reality. That’s groupthink.

Here’s another from the same site, LinkedIn. This time it was a religious fanatic known popularly as a “Jesus-freak,” someone who posts an inflammatory statement about how Jesus is the truth and everything else is a lie. First of all, such posts are more Facebook quality and have nothing to do with professional networking, so it shouldn’t have been on LinkedIn in the first place. So the original post by one David Wood, who describes himself as the “Executive Producer Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Resurrection of Jesus Christ LLC, School Of Hard Knocks,” and his project as:

“The Resurrection Project unites the Body of Christ, to launch a global love movement, a feature length movie, and a video game, and tell the story of Jesus’ Christ resurrection and the 40 days that followed. “The Resurrection of Jesus Christ” is the greatest love story ever told.” www.theresurrectionofjesuschrist.com [Author’s note: My italics; I have not undertaken any editing of Mr. Wood’s English.]

His post was simply:

That was it. My first reaction was that Islam never claimed that Muhammad was God. Nor does Buddhism teach that Buddha was a god. The name applied to God in Arabic, and hence in Islam is Allah, which is merely an equivalent of the English, God, so that point is really moot. And the fact that Wood claims that his Jesus is the “only one God” reveals a bit of tunnel vision, even religious and theological ignorance. This is groupthink at one of its worst moments!

My point is this: Approach that post as I did, with the above reasoning, and you will obtain a clear lesson in groupthink.  The post received 51 Likes and 15 Comments but was seen be hundreds, perhaps thousands who didn’t want to “offend” by responding. (Or perhaps because religion is not as popular as Down’s syndrome? Or because the message was so bizarre? Who can say for sure?)

Those three examples should suffice to convince even the hardcore groupthinkers of their affliction.

The kinds of groups that are particularly at risk for the groupthink phenomenon are, of course, groups that we could characterize as cliques, whether consisting of 3 or 3000 persons. Cliques don’t need to be small and a whole company or department may become a clique. The group or clique should be cohesive for groupthink to develop; cohesive factors may include ethnicity, similar interest, and physical appearance. Members of a clique often isolate themselves as a group and tend to view the clique as superior to anyone outside the clique.

Cliques can form in any age group but they are most associated with groups whose members have gotten stuck in an adolescent or late childhood developmental stage, the stage when individuals normally form and become members of such groups. Accordingly, groupthink is characteristic of individuals who may have gotten stuck in a pre-adult developmental stage.

Facebook is a well known huge groupthink-collective in which groupthink can be diagnosed at various levels in the interactions from the very top, where the Facebook Standards and the thought police are active censoring deviant thinkers, that is, anyone who may not agree with Facebook or its policies, to the smaller yet equally repulsive “groups,” which may be “open,” “closed” or “secret”. The problem and real danger associated with Facebook and other social media that functions by exploiting the groupthink phenomenon is the sheer numbers of people who can be and actually are affected by the clique(s).

The proven disorder of Facebook Addiction or Internet Addiction Disorder make the problem even worse because once subscribers are addicted, they are captivated by the groupthink phenomenon and cannot escape.(See our article on Facebook Addiction Disorder on this blog.)

It’s the beginning of the end of open communication, autonomy, and due process.

Another problem is what I would call the “Room 101” factor[7]:  the fact that in terms of groupthink, when Facebook decides to deactivate an account for one reason or another, whether for a period of time certain (days, weeks, etc.) or permanently, this “punishment” practice has a psychospiritual effect on the affected individual, similar to being shunned or banned froma group or a clique. It is a powerful motivator to keep people under their thumb, a control strategy, that works extremely well once Facebook has hooked a person, and the person is sufficiently invested in Facebook in terms of time spent online and digital friends collected, such that the now addicted subscriber will feel the psychosocial pain of being “deactivated.,” in a sense placed in isolation by Facebook without the benefit of due process. Yes, it’s the beginning of the end of open communication, autonomy, and due process. Similar, in fact, to “vaporizing” a dissenter in Orwell’s “1984” where the dissenter is simply made to disappear, as if he never existed. [8]

The recent reports of Facebook’s cooperation with the US and Israeli governments to deactivate certain Facebook pages because their messages are “inconvenient” is a very disturbing step taken in the direction of thought control, Thought Police and Mindguards. That’s why we’ve been trying to get through to our readers to campaign against social media like Facebook! (See our articles on Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg‘s ambitious agenda to become God. Once he’s got a fifth of the world’s population addicted to Facebook and can control what they read, hear, see, and say, he’s well on his way to become the next Dictator in Heaven.)


The same “vaporizing” occurs when someone “unfriends” or “blocks” another subscriber who may have violated the group-leader’s or the group’s groupthink policies. Have you been Facebook vaporized recently? You wouldn’t know if you had been because Facebook strategically keeps it a secret; only the vaporizer and Facebook know it. Same applies when someone has a grudge against you on Facebook: they simply report you for such-and-such, and you find yourself deactivated. Groupthink à la Facebook!

The groupthink phenomenon can be avoided but only if the clique or the group is willing to acknowledge the phenomenon, to recognize it in their group, and sees the benefits of avoiding the phenomenon.

Fred Lunenburg (2012) proposes a number of possible ways to avoid groupthink in a group, including[9]:

  • Encouraging group members to state and air objections, doubts, and questions,
  • Promoting impartiality rather than stating preferences and expectations of the group at the outset,
  • The group leaders should periodically discuss the group’s policies and practices and report their transactions back to the group, inviting feedback,
  • Members should be invited to challenge the views of core members (and leaders),
  • At least one member should play the role of devil’s advocate, expressing objections or critiquing group policies and practices, and beliefs,
  • Where there is devil’s advocacy, members should spend time and effort evaluating the warning signals of developing groupthink inherent in adverse responses,
  • Alternative scenarios should be constructed by group leaders in evaluating any rivaling intentions,
  • In the case of a member who appears to consistently rival the group’s polices or practices (Red flag! Think groupthink!), the member should be asked to express as vividly as he can all his residual doubts,
  • Group leaders or core members should present the entire issue to the group to elicit feedback and insights before making any definitive choices or decisions.

Group coherence and decision making has clear benefits over individual decision making. This is especially true when a decision must be made under conditions of uncertainty.[10] Some of the benefits described by Bonito (2011) include[11]:

  • Improved decision quality
  • Higher level of creativity and creative thinking
  • Improved decision acceptance and organizational learning
  • Increased decision understanding
  • Enhanced effectiveness in establishing objectives, identifying alternatives
  • Greater decision accuracy and avoidance of errors and glitches

Admittedly, these benefits may be less related to the actual outcomes of decisions than they are to group morale and satisfaction; we can agree that groups should and probably do perform better when

  • Group members present a variety of relevant skills that differ sufficiently but do not create constraints or conflicts;
  • There is a division of labor or effort, input;
  • Individual inputs can be “averaged” in such a way as to arrive at a group “position.”

Are you controlled by the Thought Police, the Mindguards from the cradle to the grave?

By now you might be asking yourself the question: “That having been said, and while applicable to business decisions or to Facebook and other moderated social media, how does that apply to spiritual care or to our lives in our communities and the nation at large?” Well, in order to answer that question, I have to ask you to step out of your stall in the sheeple box, and think about the environment in which you live. Ask yourselves if you can identify groupthink in these situations:

  • In your church or faith community. (Hint: How do you talk about other faith or belief groups)?
  • In the Sports Association or Social Club. Do you have to toe the mark in what you talk about?
  • In your political or social club (Hint: When at a Republican Club or Democratic Club or American Legion occasion, are you careful what you say?)
  • In your children’s schools (Hint: Do you speak your mind at a Board of Education meeting or just sit simmering? At a PTA meeting what do you feel you can discuss? Do you even attend any of these?)
  • At town board or village board meetings (Hint: Do you speak your mind at a board meetings or just sit simmering? Do you even attend any of these?)
  • Have you ever avoided going somewhere or doing something because you were concerned what “they” would say?
  • Are there subjects or topics or language that you avoid specifically to avoid being stereotyped or labeled? Do you choose political correctness over truth and honesty? Do you do that out of fear of the Mindguards?

Are you being stalked by the community or social media Thought Police, the Mindguards?

At home do you have open discussions with family members or are some subjects simply avoided or off-topic? Are the Thought Police at work in your home? Or are you letting the Facebook and social media thought police do their work for you? Have you seen your kids today?

When is the last time you looked at what your schools are teaching to your children? Have you ever openly questioned what they are being taught? Or are you letting the Mindguards manage your kids’ minds?

At work do you challenge social injustice or do you simply turn your back hoping it won’t hit you next? Are you open in discussing what you feel needs to be considered for change? Do you suggest improvements? Or are you living in constant fear of being “vaporized,” “unfriended,” “blocked” by your employer or even your workmates and coworkers?

Have you been castrated by the Thought Police, the Mindguards?

Most of us will find ourselves interacting throughout our entire lives with employers, educators, community members, governing bodies, committees, or just with our families. We take these interactions for granted; that’s a big mistake..Each of these environments is at high risk of the groupthink phenomenon, and we need to start thinking about the nature and quality of those interactions. Can you identify the symptoms of groupthink in any of your relationships or interations?

We frequently say that “emotions are contagious,” but we don’t frequently admit that not only emotions but the environment created by the attitudes and thinking of leaders and core members in a group are just as contagious in the form of groupthink.

Organizations like schools, religious institutions, government, social organizations are hotbeds for the groupthink

Those of us who are aware of our lives will admit that each group or community has its own culture, and if we are to work effectively with the members and effetively serve the ourselves and our community, we have to be aware of the groupthink phenomenon as it most certainly exists in that group or community. Ask yourself if you feel your teachers, your administrators, your elected officials, local law enforcement are listening to you and your concerns and their attitude towards the “necessary evil” of your opinion must be tolerated rather than facilitated. That attitude extends to all the members of the community, including educators, elected officials, law enforcement, etc.,  and the symptoms of groupthink can be quickly and easily identified if you care to look. How do we deal with that situation armed with the awareness of the probable existence of groupthink?

Organizations like schools, religious institutions, government, social organizations are hotbeds for the groupthink phenomenon because they are founded on very clear principles of operation and program; they have their” agendas.” The objectives and goals of the group are clearly defined and the members are controlled by the assignment of specific tasks and imposing protocols. The agenda is clearly defined. You simply don’t dissent or rock the hospice boat. Groupthink.

Institutional Agendas Define the Group.

 

As “tradition” the groupthink may have developed as a response to the local culture, whether it be socioeconomic, ethnic, religious, etc. In this case, it is a response to the exigencies of doing living and functioning with that demographic mix, and is almost a requirement for survival. Is this “positive” groupthink? Perhaps, but it goes without saying that unless the establishment leaves the door open to open discussion, sharing of insights, correct interpretations of warning signs and red flags, it can quickly transmute into “negative” groupthink.

As the organization leaves the traditional, local, “family” orientation or organization and moves towards the group or the corporate systems, groupthink becomes more of a high risk than a positive stabilizing factor. This is where the culture of the group or corporation overshadows the individuals that move it as well as those who consume its products and services. Rather than being an evolving, “living” organism, it is a monolith. Again,I can’t help but cite Facebook or the federal government as outstanding examples of such a negative development.

A number of large multinational corporations like IBM, 3M, Anheuser-Busch have recognized the threat posed by groupthink and have implemented and developed processes to prevent or at least to mitigate its deleterious and prejudicial effects within the components of the organization and on the organization as a whole. Lunenburg (2012) discusses some of the ways they have approached prevention of groupthink by way of methods like devil’s advocacy and dialectical inquiry. McDougel and Baum (1997) discuss the application of devil’s advocacy to stimulate discussion and avoid groupthink in focus groups.[12] McAvoy et al. discuss how devil’s advocacy and the principles of sensemaking can be used in a method they call the “agitation workshop” as a method of challenging the false consensus created by the groupthink phenomenon.[13]

Do frequent meetings and evaluations work to avoid groupthink? More likely than not, they may actually promote groupthink when leadership reiterate at each meeting the same expectations at the outset, setting the stage for a more limited and controlled conversation that does not allow for alternative discussion. But such meetings and evaluations and be highly productive if, at the outset, the leaders or facilitators are aware of the symptoms of groupthink and some of the methods to directly avoid it, as well as the quasi-paedagogical methods of enhancing creative thinking, even improving performance by institutionalizing dissent!

We can and should play an important and proactive role in making the organizations and leaders with whom we work aware of the groupthink phenomenon, its dangers and risks, and ways of avoiding the phenomenon in our environments. Once people are made aware of the phenomenon and ways to identify it and prevent it, we are on the path to reclaiming the efficacy and authenticity we once enjoyed but lost in the wake of the development of corporate control of our institutions and the chilling of interpersonal relations by online social media.

By using your brain you can avoid the dangers of groupthink!
The Editor


Notes

[1] Irving Janis originally coined the term groupthink in 1972. (Janis, Irving L.  (1972).  Victims of Groupthink.  New York: Houghton Mifflin.)

[2] Janis, I. L. (1982). Groupthink: Psychological studies of policy decisions and fiascos (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton-Mifflin.

[3] For a more comprehensive discussion of the eight symptoms please refer to Janis’ Groupthink, Psychological Studies, above. A brief and very helpful overview of groupthink is provided in What is Groupthink? (http://www.psysr.org/about/pubs_resources/groupthink%20overview.htm, last accessed on January 8, 2018, 2018).

[4] The “Julia got a job!” obviously scripted video is synopsized on YouTube in the following words: “A heartwarming video shows the moment a teenage girl with Down syndrome receives her first job offer. A girl named Julia gets a phone call from a Chick-fil-A employee in Rancho Murieta, California. ‘I was just calling to offer you a position here,’ the woman says on speaker phone. ‘Your pay rate would be 11.50 per hour, would you like to accept?’ ‘I do,’ Julia says, her face overcome with emotion. As the woman tells her that she will start in December, Julia breaks down in tears of happiness. ‘Oh my gosh,’ she can be heard saying as she thanks the woman profusely. Julia’s family then encircles her and gives her a massive hug while chanting ‘Chick-Fil-A’. “ (AutoNews- Source:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5101331/Teen-girl-syndrome-cries-s-given-job.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490)

[5] According to McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm that serves private, public and social sector institutions, in a report entitled, “The value that employees with Down syndrome can add to organizations,” we read “[H]owever, some companies have chosen to tackle the far more complex challenge of hiring people with intellectual disabilities. Those that have done so have found that these people can add value to organizational health (an organization’s ability to align, execute, and renew itself faster than competitors so that it can sustain exceptional performance over time). Employees with Down syndrome are a particularly interesting topic of research, as they have a number of characteristics that both increase the challenges associated with inclusion and bring added benefits.” [my italics] (McKinsey & Company (2014) “The value that employees with Down Syndrome can add to organizations” (Vicente Assis, Marcus Frank, Guilherme Bcheche, and Bruno Kuboiama), last accessed on January 9, 2018.)

[6] Ibid.

[7] I’m referring to the notorious Room 101 described in Orwell’s novel “Nineteen-Eighty-Four,” the room in the Ministry of Truth (MiniTru in Newspeak), where dissenters were taken for “processing,” most never to be heard from again. “You asked me once,” said O’Brien, “what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.”  (“1984” Part 3, Ch. 5)  In “1984” the Inner Party persecutes individualism and independent thinking known as “thoughtcrimes” and is enforced by the “Thought Police.” The Ministry of Love (Miniluv), the ministry in charge of torturing dissidents.  The protagonist Smith is subjected to many forms of torture and is forced into the horror chamber known only as Room 101.

[8] Mind Control – George Orwell BBC 101 Documentary last accessed on January 9, 2018.

[9] Lunenburg, F. (2012).” Devil’s Advocacy and Dialectical Inquiry: Antidote to Groupthink”. International Journal of

Scholarly and Academic Intellectual Diversity, Vol 14, No. 1, pp 1-9.

[10] Nikolaidis (2012) defines uncertainty as “the condition under which an individual [or group] does not have the necessary information to assign probabilities to the outcomes of alternative solutions. (Nikolaidis, E. (2012).  Design decisions under uncertainty with limited information. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.)

[11] Bonito, J. (2011). Interaction and influence in small group decision making. New York, NY: Routledge.

[12] McDougal, C., F. Baum, (1997) “The Devil’s Advocate: A Strategy to Avoid Groupthink and Stimulate Discussion in Focus Groups,” Qualitative Health Research, Volume 7, Number 4, pp 532-541.

[13] John McAvoy, Tadhg Nagle and David Sammon, (2013) “A novel approach to challenging consensus in evaluations: The Agitation Workshop,” The Electronic Journal Information Systems Evaluation, Volume 16 Issue 1,  pp 45-55.

 
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Coeymans Police Turning Into Coeymans Gestapo Again?

Is Anyone Supervising the Rookies Turned Loose on Our Streets?

The Coeymans Police are Getting Heavy Handed Again. Get rid of Amanda L. Mueller, she’s bad news! Silly cow wants to be a bully cop!

If you are a local resident and driving through Coeymans, and happen to have a headlight out, wouldn’t you be grateful for a warning from a helpful police officer rather than a ticket right away? Well, forget the helpful patrolman and welcome the Fascist Gestapo back to Coeymans. And just when we thought things might be getting better, the Coeymans Police Department stocks up on ignorant brutes to harass local residents.

Coeymans has a really lousy record when it comes to female law enforcement trainees. Remember Danielle Crosier, she was a real loser, unless she was running police vehicles off the road or onto guardrails. She kept her job for as long as she could by doing deputy chief Kerry Thompson (while he was also doubling as an Albany County Sheriff Department lieutenant). So how’s trainee Amanda L. Mueller, Badge No. 149 keeping her job? She doing one of the Coeymans board members? No, that can’t be. None of the board members has any balls; no balls, no drive.


Two Coeymans police officers stopped the resident for a headlight being out.

Problem is, the Coeymans police, or at least trainee Amanda L. Mueller doesn’t know the difference between a vehicle’s high beams and fog lights. But if Mueller was partnered with another officer, a male officer, who was the senior officer. Certainly not Mueller. And if Mueller was not the senior officer on that patrol, why didn’t the senior officer set her straight? Go figure. Cops, as we all know, stick together.


Amanda’s Father’s Business, Mueller’s Automotive, on Main Street in Ravena.

But we’re a bit confused by Amanda’s ignorance. You see, Amanda Mueller’s father owns Mueller’s Automotive, the automotive repair business on 88 Main Street in Ravena. That’s the same place that services the Coeymans Police Department vehicles. Now isn’t that an interesting coïncidence? As we always say, “Follow the money!” Now, given that fact, wouldn’t you think that sweet little Amanda would know the difference between fog lights and high-beam headlights?  What’s more, might little Amanda’s quick-to-hand-out-tickets behavior be a hint that maybe she’s plugging good ol’ dad’s automotive repair business, one of the only ones in Ravena-Coeymans, and that getting the work done at Mueller Automotive might be the first step to a dismissal of the ticket? Sure, everyone in Ravena-Coeymans knows that Amanda Mueller is a local and who her daddy is!


We see a serious conflict of interest
The plot thickens with a little investigation

We see a serious conflict of interest case growing out of this otherwise unfair, but minor incident involving a Coeymans Police Department employee, a local automotive business, a police trainee who is a close relative of that business owner, and the fact that the town of Coeymans, the Coeymans Police Department does business with that trainee’s father’s business. The plot thickens with a little investigation, doesn’t it?

We see a serious conflict of interest in Amanda Mueller’s actions. Corruption, perhaps?


Hint to the Coeymans Police: You need aIl the support you can get from literate, competent residents. (Obviously you’re not getting it from your Twitter tweets!) You mess with the better element in this community and you’ll have more to deal with than just a disgraced town justice and a corrupt town board. If you want community support and good will, and you really need it in these times, you start by being helpful, not abusive. Your trainee Amanda L. Mueller and her partner were abusive to the local resident who happens to be a very upstanding and influential person, who could put most police officers to shame in terms of integrity and ethics.

They say that they’re there to “Serve and Protect.” Has anyone told them that?

Cold-Case Coeymans

They can’t complete a criminal investigation.
They can’t take a criminal complaint.
They’ll ignore evidence and obstruct justice (Right “Detective” Jason Albert”?)

If they do, it’ll go cold and they can close it. CLOSED. UNRESOLVED.
But motorists beware! If you have a headlight out, they’re gonna gitcha!

Give the biatch a badge and she becomes a bully biatch!

Once again! Shame on you Coeymans Police! Shame on your patrolpersons Amanda L. Mueller, Badge No.149. Give the biatch a badge and she becomes a bully biatch! Bully biatch in a uniform, smart mouth, vindictive, abusive. Perfect for Coeymans. Must be native brown trash from Main Street in the Hamlet.

Someone needs to counsel trainee Amanda /.L. Mueller that as a patrolman, she’s part of the executive branch of government, not the judiciary. She is not out there to make decisions, to judge a resident, and then to punish the resident. That’s the job of the judiciary in observance of the provisions of the Constitution and scrupulous interpretation of law. We doubt Ms. Amanda L. Mueller has the training, education, or brains to do that.

Judge Judy’s Response to Coeymans Cop-trainee A.L. Mueller.

Two Coeymans police officers one female and one male, stopped the resident for a headlight being out.

Problem is, the Coeymans police, or at least trainee Amanda L. Mueller doesn’t know the difference between a vehicle’s high beams and fog lights. But if Mueller was partnered with another officer, a male officer, who was the senior officer. Certainly not Mueller. And if Mueller was not the senior officer on that patrol, why didn’t the senior officer set her straight? Go figure. Cops, as we all know, stick together.

Mueller: “I would have let you off with a warning but because you gave me an attitude about the high beams, I’m going to give you a ticket.”

When they stopped the resident Mueller insisted that the resident “Turn off your high beams.” When the resident responded that the high beams were not on, and he was driving with his fog lights on, Mueller becomes annoyed. Her response to the resident: “I would have let you off with a warning but because you gave me an attitude about the high beams, I’m going to give you a ticket.” Attitude?  ATTITUDE?  The resident was merely stating that his high beams were not on, that his fog lights were on. So she’s wrong and retaliates. Just what we want to see in our law enforcement. Bullying. So, Amanda Mueller doesn ‘t like being wrong and if she is, she’s going to get even. Nice police work. Nice community work.


Editor’s Note: For those of our readers who, like Coeymans Cop-trainee Amanda L. Mueller, don’t know the difference between high-beams and fog lights, we’d like to help you out: When driving in fog or even in wet conditions, or when visibility is poor, the light from regular headlights reflects off water droplets back into your eyes, impairing rather than improving visibility. Fog lights are positioned low on the vehicle and have a wide beam angled toward the ground, which reduces glare and helps you see the road better. (Source: CarId at https://www.carid.com/fog-lights.html, last accessed on 20 December 2017) So, dear readers — and trainee Mueller — there’s a big difference between high-beams and fog lights. 


If Mueller said what she is reported to have said, there will be repercussions

We are going to make our inquiries because we think that all stops must be recorded, audio and/or video. If there’s a recording, one of our editors will be looking for it and will review it. We will obtain a copy of the ticket issued to the resident as soon as possible, and will follow the case. If there is a recording of the interaction during this stop, and if Mueller said what she is reported to have said, there will be repercussions.

Now isn’t that sweet? Mueller doesn’t know high beams from fog lights and when she’s corrected, it becomes “attitude” and then she retaliates. Retaliation is not in the script, Mueller! In fact, you need to be disciplined for your unethical and unlawful conduct. We assume that all of the transaction was recorded? If so, we’ll get a copy. After all, if a warning would have been enough, just because the resident corrects her, she becomes BULLY COP!

Bully Cops Back in Coeymans!

We expect respect and courtesy.

Notice to the Coeymans Police and to Patrolperson Amanda L. Mueller: Get a grip! Loosen up! We don’t like bully cops and we don’t like retaliation. We expect respect and courtesy. If you think your uniform gives you license to abuse and to bully, your ass is going to be grass and you’ll be looking for a job. Probably a job more in line with your lack of skills and stupidity: a greasy spoon waitress.

It’s behavior like Coeymans patrol Amanda L. Mueller, Badge No. 149, that gets our attention. And the Coeymans Police Department does not want our attention. Ask former chief Darlington and some of his lackies.

Maybe we have to get back on the bandwagon. Maybe we should start pushing again to eliminate the Coeymans Police Department. it seems that all they can do is let criminal investigations go cold. But they are getting real good at bullying AGAIN.

We’ll be following developments in this case and from now on we’ll be looking a bit closer at what’s going on in Coeymans law enforcement or more accurately, Bully Patrol.

What say you, Chief McKenna?

We’ve been very fair to the Coeymans PD since Chief Peter J. McKenna took over. We’ve been very fair to Chief McKenna and very supportive. We have always rated Chief McKenna’s programs and efforts very highly. But now we have to step up to the plate and start policing the police again. True, it takes only one rotten apple to spoil the whole bushel, but who’s going to do the damage control? We know the Crandall mob wants total control. What say you, Chief McKenna?


Editor’s Note: We received notification of this incident from a person with personal knowledge about the incident. If the Coeymans Police have their version of the facts, we’d love to hear from them. We would also like to hear from any residents who have had any recent issues with the Coeymans PD, especially Ms Amanda L Mueller and Mueller Automotive of Ravena. We’re going to be watching Mueller and would appreciate any input from our friends and neighbors in Ravena and Coeymans. 


Maybe Patrolman Mueller’s blood sugar was low. Was it that time of the month, Mueller? That may be why she was testy.

 

Why You Should Avoid Ravena-Coeymans and New Baltimore, New York

Another exposé of more of the dirty laundry of local communities.
(Next week, we’ll be reviewing the documents FOILed by us and produced by the Town
regarding some issues we’ve been investigating. Stay tuned!)

 

Is the Town’s Plan to Exhaust Residents Seeking Justice?

New Baltimore Resident’s Message to Joe Stanzione, Greene County District Attorney:
“We, the public, pay the bills but we’re not getting delivery. As an attorney, you should recognize that this is unlawful.”

Taxpayers and Property Owners are not Means to Their End!
Tax Dollars Pay Public Employees’ and Elected Officials’ Salaries, and Provide Money for Reasonably Expectable Competent Services.
Not to damage our property and then ignore us!!!

New Baltimore insurers Marshall & Sterling (Leeds, NY), Trident Brokerage, and Argo Group (Bermuda) are being paid to work against New Baltimore Residents and Property Owners with good faith claims for damages. The Albany law firm of Bailey, Johnson, DeLeonardis & Peck P.C. have been hired by New Baltimore’s insurers and New Baltimore to make sure New Baltimore residents, property owners and tax payers don’t get justice and fair play! Isn’t there something wrong with this picture? Don’t WE pay the bills in this town? If we as private citizens damage town property our sorry asses are in jail! Maybe that’s where our Town Board, our Town Sole Assessor, Gordon Bennett, and definitely our Town Superintendent of Highways, Denis Jordan, should be!

This is what our government has become!

When a government uses a taxpayer’s own dollars to screw the taxpayer, that’s downright immoral. The Town of New Baltimore pays for insurance to cover liabilities but when a liability occurs, the insurance coverage we pay for is used against us, and the town hides behind the insurance company’s lawyers. You want rights? Find another lawyer, pay him, spend years paying him or her, and when the money runs out, forget about it. You’re still paying. Why doesn’t the Town of New Baltimore wake up, accept the evidence, and stop playing games with residents. That’s not how it’s supposed to work guys and gals!

Here’s the text of a local resident’s letter to the insurance companies covering the Town of New Baltimore’s liability risk. It seems that New Baltimore’s Town Board (Jeff Ruso, Shelli van Etten, Chuck Brody, Scott Brody), Supervisor Nick Dellisanti,  and other elected officials are really missing the bus when it comes to doing what’s right for residents and taxpayers. The problem is that we elected these people who are spending so much time screwing us than they are making life better for us. No exceptions! From the SupervisorDellisanti, Deputy Supervisor Ruso,  to the town board members (Shelli van Etten, Chuck Irving, Scott Brody), to the Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan, to Gordon Bennett, New Baltimore Tax Assessor, who, rather than look at a piece of damaged property for reassessment, tells the property owner to ask for a form!!!

Here’s the full text of the letter to the Town’s insurance company:

Dear Insurance Specialists:[1]

Mr Thomas Rickert, CPCU, ARM, ARM-P, ARM-E, ARC, ARe, VP, Head of Marketing, Trident, ArgoGroup[2]
Joshua Bouchez , Territory Marketing Manager, East Coast[3]
Claims Reporting, Trident[4]
Ashley Heline, Communications Coordinator, ArgoGroup[5]
ArgoGroup Underwriters[6]

It has always been my understanding, and I would reasonably presume that of the general public, that insurance was a science of risk management, control, mitigation but our understanding has changed radically over the past two years on the example of ArgoGroup’s, Trident’s and Marshall & Sterling’s “risk management” in the Town of New Baltimore.

It seems your operations are more attuned to “risk aggravation” or “risk perpetuation” than to “risk management,” and this fact is borne out by a brief review of some of the reports published on a local watchdog blog, Smalbany Blog, which has been covering the incompetence and the abuses operating in the Town of New Baltimore, most specifically in the New Baltimore Highway Department under the direct supervision and authority of its Superintendent, Mr Denis Jordan. For your convenience, several of those links are provided at the end of this communication. You are encouraged, in your own interests, to review the contents of those articles.

Our Town Government at Work for Us.

In terms of fair play, justice and fiduciary obligations, ArgoGroup, Trident, the agency Marshall & Sterling (Leeds, NY) in collusion with the law firm of Bailey, Johnson, DeLeonardis & Peck P.C.(Crystall R. Peck, attorney of record in this matter) and the Town of New Baltimore, you all get failing grades in terms of ethics and fair play. Furthermore, on objective and subjective moral assessment, your conduct is immoral.

It is very much in your interests to review the links provided below which provide a very clear picture of the real risk situation in New Baltimore and how the rights and interests of taxpayers, residents and others, including your shareholders, are being misused and abused.

The facts are indisputable, the evidence clear and convincing, the wrongful acts ongoing, and the damage to the public and to private interests substantial. This is bad press for you and your collaborators indeed.

Poor stewardship of public treasure, abuse of office, and indifference and incompetence at the state level (Mr George Amadore, NYS Senator, 46th Senatorial District), the county level (Greene County, NY; Greene County District Attorney, Mr Joseph Stanzione), and at the local, town level (Town of New Baltimore Town Board; Town of New Baltimore Highway Department, Highway Superintendant Denis Jordan; Town Attorney Mr Tal Rappelea) with the self-interests of Trident/ArgoGroup’s legal prostitutes Bailey, Johnson, DeLeonardis, & Peck P.C., are jointly, severally and individually traumatizing every concept of justice, fair play, professional ethics, good government, and abusing the fiduciary obligations and duties of local, county, and state elected officials, whose obligations are to the public weal, and to the individual uniquely concerned.

It is our well-founded observation that none of the parties listed in the above paragraph are complying with the basic tenets of ethics and the standards we, the public, expect of regulated enterprise, licensed professionals, elected officials; in fact, it is our observation, not our opinion, that Marshall & SterlingTridentArgoGroup, state senator George AmadoreGreene County officialsTown of New Baltimore officials, and the law firm of Bailey, Johnson, DeLeonardis, & Peck P.C.are making a public mockery of public and professional ethics, good government, responsible stewardship in government, and the notions of justice, fair play and fiduciary obligation to the citizen, resident, and most of all to the taxpayers of these communities.

As it now stands, the taxpayer and property owner is exposed to tenfold jeopardy[7]:

  • Jeopardy situation No. 1: As a property owner, one is obliged to pay substantial taxes on one’s property to support government and education; accordingly, the property owner, by and through their taxes and assessments, pays for the services of government. Forsaking all else in order to ensure timely payment of assessed property taxes, the property owner remits.
  • Jeopardy situation No. 2: When the services of government, including the wages and salaries, the goods and services required for operation, etc. operate contrary to the interests of the taxpayer, the taxpayer is harmed. The taxpayer/property owner is deprived of his reasonable expectations issuing from the payment of assessed property taxes.
  • Jeopardy situation No. 3: Included in the allocations of taxpayer dollars, that is, the taxes paid by the property owner, are set aside for the purposes of payment of the salaries and wages of individuals who are either indifferent or incompetent, and those individuals in the course of their employment, harm the taxpayer, those tax dollars are used ostensibly to harm the taxpayer. This is an egregious abuse of the notion of trust and fair play.
  • Jeopardy situation No. 3: When the competent government offices are served with notice of the above situation, and those authorities do not exercise and implement every available option to cure the defects and deficiencies, those authorities are derelict and guilty of misprision.
  • Jeopardy situation No. 4: When the harm done to the taxpayer/property owner is ongoing and attributable to the constructive operations and knowledge of the local competent government offices, each of the instances constitutes a new claim and a new harm to the taxpayer/property owner. Given the fact that the local government and the competent offices are duly notified, each instance constitutes a separate act of negligence/dereliction.
  • Jeopardy situation No. 5: The taxpayer/property owner not only is being deprived of reasonably expected level of competent services for his tax dollars, he is being deprived of good ethical government services, both of which result in financial damage to the taxpayer/property owner in terms of his good faith investment in his community and his reasonable expectations of financial advantage resulting from his investment. This deprivation is tortious.
  • Jeopardy situation No. 6: When the beneficiary local government by its negligence, indifference or incompetence then ignores the taxpayer/property owner’s good faith notice and demands for cure of the defects and deficiencies, and for compensation of the harm done, the local government ignores the claimant and, instead of fair response, hands the matter over to an underwriter, who then hands it over to a hired-gun law firm.
  • Jeopardy situation No. 7: Given the situations above and given the fact of Jeopardy situation No. 7, the taxpayer/property owner is confronted by a situation comparable to Buridan’s ass[8]: The choices available to the taxpayer/property owner to obtain justice are: (1) rely on the good will of local government, (2) proceed at law. A third option is merely to throw one’s hand’s into the air in despair, and lapse into anger and apathy. Conspicuously, option (1) is absent and unavailable to the taxpayer/property owner, and option (3) is unacceptable by any standard of assessment. This leaves Jeopardy situation No. 8.
  • Jeopardy situation No. 8: The taxpayer/property owner, while still obliged to pay his property taxes and other assessments to the delinquent and derelict town government and town officials, is compelled to seek out and to pay for legal services necessary for obtaining justice. This may be a calculated strategy deployed by the delinquent and derelict town government in collusion with their insurance underwriters and their attorneys, clearly expecting that the matter will have to endure a protracted course in pretrial procedures and, if the victim is persistent, then to endure the trial procedure. This normally lasts for a decade or more and can cost the harmed property owner hundreds of thousands of dollars. Regardless of the endurance of the harmed property owner in terms of financial resources and tenacity, he is still in jeopardy situation No. 9.
  • Jeopardy situation No. 9: The clear strategy of the town is to hand over the matter to the underwriter, who has almost limitless resources, who hands it over to a local law firm, who is on retainer by the insurance company. The combination of very deep pockets and a law firm on retainer and obliged to represent the interests of the insurance company over and against the interests of the property owner, regardless of the factual situation, encourages the insurance company and the law firm to keep the matter in the courts for as long as possible, ostensibly in the expectation of exhausting the property owners will, energy, and resources, causing him to withdraw.
  • Jeopardy situation No. 10: The interests of justice and the public weal are defeated, as are the interests of the property owner. The entire community and society at large are damaged, injured.

Damned if I do. Damned if I don’t.
Why are they doing this to us?

As the situation enumerated above clearly shows, the current situation is immoral and represents an insult to the precepts of ethics in government and the professions. We are demanding investigation and prosecution of the particular matter and the general situation in New Baltimore.

I reasonably expect that as this situation develops there will be commensurate and appropriate public outrage, a justified outrage that will manifest itself in a multitude of ways.

This communication will be submitted to the Smalbany Blog for editing and publication.

I look forward to your response and comments.

First of all, given the performance of these elected officials, they don’t deserve to be in office and should be booted out next election. Secondly, these crooked insurance agents and brokers should be boycotted and investigated by the regulatory authorities. As for the shysters, the prostitute law firms like  Bailey, Johnson, DeLeonardis, & Peck P.C, they should be drummed out of the profession; they’re whores practicing law and abusing it.

Well, we’ve done our homework and have researched the law and other applicable court decisions as well as opinions on the subject matter handed down by the Office of the New York State Comptroller. Apparently, New Baltimore Town Attorney, Tal Rappelea, although he claims to specialize in municipal (town) law, hasn’t done his required reading for this course. We’ll be happy to provide him with our Memorandum of Law at the next New Baltimore Town Board public meeting. We’d like him, Mr Denis Jordan (New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways), Mr Scott van Wormer (the “new” — or he will be — New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways), Mr Joe Stanzione (Greene County District Attorney), Ms Crystall Peck (Bailey, Johnson, DeLeonardis & Peck P.C.), and the Greene County Press (Johnson Newspaper Group, Mary Delaney), and Ken Gray or Jean Valk (Marshall & Sterling Insurance) to be there to hear what we have to say, and maybe to comment, too. Maybe Greene County Sheriff Gregory Seally (R), “Mr Cold Case” Seally, will bring a couple of deputies and cuffs for the Town Board and Mr Jordan. We”ll also publish the Memorandum before the meeting so that the whole community can see what can and should be done to correct the disgusting situation in New Baltimore, and other towns like it.

Speaking of lawyers, here’s a bit of humor to take the edge off:

Question: Why does New York have all the lawyers and New Jersey all the toxic waste?
Answer: New Jersey had first choice.

Sign on New Baltimore Town Hall front door.

Enjoy your day!

The Editor

If you enjoyed this article, please copy and paste this link https://wp.me/p2jPFe-31V and email it to your friends, family, and contacts. Keep everyone informed.


Notes

[1] This communication was also cc’ed to Nick Dellisanti, Supervisor, Town of New Baltimore; Jeff Ruso, Deputy Supervisor, Town of New Baltimrore; Barbara Finke, Town Clerk, Town of New Baltimore; Mr. Joseph Stanzione, District Attorney, Greene County; Tal Rappelea, Town Attorney, Town of New Baltimore; Crystall R. Peck, attorney representing Trident/ArgoGroup (Town of New Baltimore); Ken Gray, Marshall & Sterling (Leeds, NY);  Jean Valk, Marshall & Sterling (Leeds, NY).

[2] Thom Rickert, CPCU, ARM, ARM-P, ARM-E, ARC, ARe VP, Head of Marketing, thom.rickert@tridentpublicrisk.com

[3] Joshua Bouchez, Territory Marketing Manager, East Coast, joshua.bouchez@tridentpublicrisk.com

[4] Trident Claims Reporting, claimsreporting@tridentpublicrisk.com

[5] Ashley Heline, Communications Coordinator, Argo Group US, ashley.heline@argogroupus.com

[6] The Argo Group is the parent of the Trident Insurance brokerage, and is located in Bermuda. Wonder Why? that is? Could it be for tax avoidance? (Argo Group, 110 Pitts Bay Road, Pembroke HM 08, Bermuda. info@argolimited.com

[7] Jeopardy is defined as being or being placed in a situation in which someone or something is exposed to possible injury, loss, or evil.

[8] Buridan’s ass is an illustration of a paradox in philosophy in the conception of free will. It refers to a hypothetical situation wherein a donkey that is equally hungry and thirsty is placed precisely midway between a stack of hay and a pail of water. As used here, it represents a situation where the choices are equally good or equally bad; damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The donkey in the illustration is hungry but dies because it can make the choice of which bale to eat. The illustration relates to the situation in New Baltimore in that the options for the property owner are all going to cause more harm or more suffering no matter which choice he makes. The only good choice is for the Town of New Baltimore to choose to do what is fair and right. But they have chosen not to do so. Thus, the property owner is in the unfavorable situation he finds himself in.

 

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2017 in 19th Congressional District, 2018 Elections, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Abuse, Abuse of Public Office, Accountability, Alan van Wormer, Argo Group, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Catskill-Hudson Newspapers, Chuck Irving, Columbia-Greene Media, Conflict of Interest, Consolidated Highway Improvement Program, Conspiracy, Corruption, Crystal R. Peck Esq., Daily Mail, David Louis, DeLeonardis & Peck P.C., Denis Jordan, Denis Jordan, Diane Jordan, Diane Lewis, DOT, Elected Official, Elections and Voting, Eric T. Schneiderman, FaceBook, Fair Play, George Amedore, Gordon Bennett, Government, Greene County, Greene County Attorney, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County Elections, Greene County News, Greene County Sheriff, Gregory R. Seeley, Hearst Corporation, Incompetence, Independence Party, Investigation, Irene Beede, Irresponsibility, Jean Horne, Jean Valk, Jeff Ruso, Joe Stanzione, John B. Johnson, Johnson Newspaper Group, Joseph Stanzione, Ken Grey, Mark Vinciguerra, Marshall & Sterling, Marshall Sterling Insurance, Melanie Lekocevic, Misconduct, Misuse of Public Office, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Democrats, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Highway Superintendent, New Baltimore Republican Club, New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways, New Baltimore Town Board, New Baltimore Town Board Member, New Street, New York, New York State, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Highway Law, New York State Town Law, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, News Herald, Nick Delisanti, Nick Dellisanti, Notice of Claim, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, Open Letter, Pat Linger, Patricia Hildebrandt, Patrick Linger, Patty Hildebrandt, Public Corruption, Public Safety, Ravena News Herald, RCS Community, RegisterStar, Retaliation, Scott Van Wormer, Scott VanWormer, Shelly van Etten, Smalbany, Sole Assessor, Susan K. O'Rorke, Tal Rappelea, The Daily Mail, Times Union, Town of New Baltimore, Transparency, Trident, Trident Insurance, Uncategorized

 

Open Letter to Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione

Greene County District Attorney Joe Stanzione (R):
“I cannot comment on the matter at this time as it could compromise a pending investigation.”

If there is an investigation, pending or in progress, don’t you think that our elected officials owe it to us to tell us Who? is being investigated and What? It’s just days before elections for chrissake! Don’t you think we should be told these things?

IT’S OUTRAGEOUS

Greene County District Attorney Put on Notice to Take Action in New Baltimore

New Baltimore Resident Confronts the Greene County District Attorney asking WHY? is the Situation in New Baltimore Allowed to Go On. Demands Action, Investigation.

On October 31, 2017, after numerous attempts to get the New Baltimore Town Board to take responsible action and to do what’s right with regard to New Baltimore taxpayers, property owners, and residents, and faced with the refusal of the New Baltimore Highway Department to correct dangerous conditions created by it, one resident confronted the Greene County District Attorney, Joseph Stanzione, a Republican, and demanded that Stanzione do his job and take action, at least to launch an investigation as to Why? the New Baltimore Town Board has taken no action against the New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways Denis Jordan, and Why? instead of ensuring the rights of residents and property owners and ensuring fair play and justice, the Town Board hands matters over to its insurance company and its attorneys, forcing residents and property owners to spend thousands in court and attorney’s fees or simply to give up, when they should be getting help and relief, not to mention justice, from their elected officials. This is not democracy at work, it’s cowardice and dereliction of duty. It’s downright wrong.

The letter was cc’ed to New Baltimore Supervisor Nick Dellisanti, Deputy Supervisor Jeff Ruso, Town Clerk Barbara Finke (for recording), Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan, and to Town attorney Tal Rappelea and Town insurer’s attorney Crystall R. Peck, to ensure that all parties are fairly informed.

Here’s the full text of the e-mail communication to Mr Stanzione:

Dear Mr Stanzione:

I am writing to you in your official capacity as the chief law enforcement officer in the County of Greene.

It is inconceivable that you would be unaware of the situation in the Town of New Baltimore, and on that presumption, even more inconceivable that the Office of the District Attorney has not inaugurated some level of investigation into the dereliction and abuse of public office that is going on not only in the operations of the New Baltimore Town Board but most egregiously in the Town of New Baltimore Highway Department.

The specious and spurious indifference of the Town Board with regard to the abuses and incompetence, even corruption in the New Baltimore Highway department is tantamount to criminal. The Town Board, very well informed by residents of the activities of the New Baltimore Highway Department and its Superintendent Denis Jordan, have done absolutely nothing by way of response, fair play, justice, or compliance with their fiduciary duties to the taxpayers and residents of this Town.

The situation is not one of demands for special treatment or for extraordinary service, it is a situation that affects residents’ investments in their property and community, responsible stewardship of public treasure, observance of oaths of office, questions of competence, and even abuse of public office and corruption.

Much of what has been reported — please review the links below — has been in the eye of the public and is common knowledge in the Town of New Baltimore, and totally ignored by our elected officials on the Town Board.

It’s no wonder that the claim “Democracy is Dead” has become a slogan; regrettably, Justice predeceased Democracy in this town and its environs.

The real tragedy in this tragicomedy is the fact that because the Town Board refuses to do what’s right, and the Town Highway Superintendent has his way no matter what, the taxpayers and residents pay to suffer. The fact that our elected officials refuse to do their jobs, refuse to take steps to avoid the doing of injustice, are indifferent to what is going on in this town, and the deleterious consequences create an environment of distrust, anxiety, apathy and misconduct verging on criminality. Those who find it necessary to defend their interests and right, far from getting the needed and reasonable support from those entrusted with the public weal, are forced either to go into debt to defend their rights at law with representation, or, as is the case in the majority of instances, simply throw their hands into the air in despair! This is an abuse! This is not what democratic government is about…or is it?

I am putting you and your office on notice of these facts and the current situation in anticipation of your taking an interest in this case and taking action to relieve us and to see that the law is enforced and justice is done.

Let’s see if you and your office are up to the challenge.

I would appreciate a response once you have reviewed the facts in the attached links.

Yours very truly,

[redacted]

Links of interest:

[For security reasons we are not publishing the author’s name and details.]

We are watching the developments very closely and are very interested in seeing what Mr Stanzione has to say; whether he has the balls to do his job.

If you enjoyed this article, please copy and paste this link https://wp.me/p2jPFe-31V and email it to your friends, family, and contacts. Keep everyone informed.


Editor’s Update: We have received information that Mr Stanzione, Greene County District Attorney, declined to comment on the resident’s letter saying “I cannot comment on the matter at this time as it could compromise a pending investigation.” Looks like something is brewing in New Baltimore. We’ll keep readers posted as things develop.


We also have a similar letter to the Insurance Agency who handles the Town of New Baltimore’s liability insurance,  Marshall & Sterling Upstate (Leeds, NY), and the insurance brokerage they use, Trident Insurance Brokerage, Stay tuned for further developments on this issue.

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2017 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Abuse of Power, Abuse of Public Office, Accountability, Alan van Wormer, Ashley Heline, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Callanan Industries, Catskill-Hudson Newspapers, Columbia-Greene Media, Conflict of Interest, Consolidated Highway Improvement Program, Corruption, Daily Mail, Dangerous Conditions, Denis Jordan, Denis Jordan, Diane Jordan, DOT, Elected Official, Fraud, George Acker, George Amedore, Government, Greene County, Greene County Attorney, Greene County Board of Elections, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County Elections, Greene County News, Greene County Sheriff, Harassment, Hazardous Conditions, Hypocrisy, Incompetence, Indifference, Intimidation, Irresponsibility, Jeff Ruso, Joe Stanzione, John B. Johnson, Johnson Newspaper Group, Joseph Stanzione, Joshua Bouchez, Mark Vinciguerra, Marshall Sterling Insurance, Misconduct, Misdemeanor, Misdemeanor, Misinformation, Mismanagement, Misuse of Public Office, Nepotism, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Highway Department, New Baltimore Highway Superintendent, New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways, New Baltimore Town Board, New York, New York State, New York State Highway Law, New York State Town Law, News Herald, Nick Delisanti, Nick Dellisanti, Notice of Claim, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, Official Misconduct, Pat Linger, Patricia Hildebrandt, Patrick Linger, Patty Hildebrandt, Peckham Materials, Peckham Materials Corp., Peckham Road Corporation, Precision Roads and Driveways, Professional Ethics, Professional Misconduct, Public Corruption, Public Office, Public Safety, Public Safety, Ravena News Herald, RegisterStar, Retaliation, Scott Van Wormer, Scott VanWormer, Shelly van Etten, Smalbany, Tal Rappelea, Thomas Rickert, Town of New Baltimore, Transparency, Trident Insurance