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Category Archives: Greene County News

Town of New Baltimore Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan Forced to Resign

We pay these pompous, arrogant dumbasses’ paychecks with our tax dollars! But they sit there all in a row, staring into the papers in front of them, better than those who pay them and who put them where they are, and gaze out, through the citizens and residents sitting in front of them as if they weren’t there. Stuffed shirts, empty heads, and ignorance all in a row, deciding on your lives. And do they stick together?  like fleas on a dog’s back. Nice picture, isn’t it?


New Baltimore Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan has been forced to resign amid several pending investigations of Jordan’s activities as Town Superintendent of Highways and the operations of the New Baltimore Highway Department under his direct supervision. Jordan’s resignation became effective May 30, 2018.

We have reported numerous instances that point to unlawful and unethical practices by Jordan which have been known for years but only after we brought the issues into the open and public view did the Town of New Baltimore and law enforcement finally wake up and start taking action.

Jordan is not the only New Baltimore public official who should be investigated. We demanded also that former Town Supervisors and Town Board Members who were directly informed of Jordan’s operations should also be brought to justice! For the past several years we have been hounding former Town Supervisor Nick Dellisanti and his deputy, Jeff Ruso, now Town Supervisor, and others to be responsible and honor their oaths of office! They failed this community and violated their oaths of office!

We have also contacted and informed Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione of Jordan’s activities and the Town’s indifference to the illegal and criminal activity going on in the New Baltimore Highway Department. Last year Stanzione refused to answer our inquiries saying only that he could not make a statement because of pending investigations. We want to see and hear what he has done to investigate the other employees and elected officials, past and present, who knew about what was going on and DID NOTHING!!!

We want to know why employees in the New Baltimore Highway Department, in particular Jordan’s deputy superintendent Scott VanWormer kept their mouths shut when Jordan was using his elected office, public property, public moneys to do favors for special parties and totally ignored other residents and taxpayers whose property was destroyed by Jordan’s indifference and negligence.

We want to know who is going to reimburse the public treasury for the money that was misspent, squandered and wasted during Jordan’s years of mismanagement, particularly in the past 2 years, when the Town Board was most intensely aware of Jordan’s operations.

We want to know who is going to answer for Jordan’s abuse of residents and taxpayers, and who is going to foot the bill for compensating the property losses and damage caused by Jordan’s negligence and incompetence.

We want answers from the Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione, former New Baltimore Town Supervisor Nick Dellisanti, New Baltimore Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso, Deputy Highway Superintendent Scott vanWormer, Town Attorney Tal Rappelea, and others yet to be named!

Local government is a failure…

And now on the Town of New Baltimore Office of the Assessor and the Board of Assessment Review: Grievance Day is a Sham!

We  have been looking closely at the Town of New Baltimore’s weird property tax situation and have come to the conclusion that the operation of the Assessor’s Office under Gordon Bennett and the five member Board of Assessment Review (BAR), consisting of Donna Degnan (chairperson), Lynn Taylor, Bernie Jones, Ronna Smith, and Linda LeClair. Linda LeClair appears to be the only functioning brain in the lot!

Under Gordon Bennett’s oversight and Donna Degnen’s chairmanship, the BAR is an incompetent drain on the public treasury. Bennett is not an elected official, he’s a hired fixture. Degnan, too, is not elected but an appointee and the sockpuppets on the Board of Assessment Review, lard asses that they are, handed the chairmanship of the Board over to Degnan, who is a dithering wing nut!

We have examined the NY Real Property Tax Law and its provisions relating to the Assessor’s Office but more precisely those provisions that relate to the Board of Assessment Review and have found that currently too many mistakes are being made and they are not complying with the law. We have an ignorant board with very little training and they’re making a mess of assessments, especially assessments grieved by taxpayers who are not being treated as the law requires.

We intend to notify the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance of New Baltimore’s non-compliance and we intend to notify the Office of the New York State Comptroller of these deficiencies so that they can be targeted at the time of the next audit.

And the New Baltimore Town Court and Justices are soon to be pilloried by the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the New York state committee that oversees the operation of the courts and judges and, upon complaint, reviews the court or the judge and has the power to discipline them for acting in bad faith, unethically, with malice, or in ignorance or abuse of the law. New Baltimore town justice Tom Meacham is at the top of our list.

And the incompetence and ignorance doesn’t stop at the Highway Department! The Assessor’s Office, run by Gordon Bennett, is just as bad and the Board of Assessment Review is a gang of d-bags if we ever met one. Donna Degnan chairs the Board of Assessment Review but is more of a dithering crone than a competent chairperson. Can’t even figure out what property is being discussed and then gets stuck on a thought and you can’t get her off of it. No one listens and no one hears. Read the submissions? Hell NO! Follow the discussion? Hell NO! Four morons in a row! Local government is a failure and we expect state and federal government to be any better? Wake up people!!! No one cares and the apathy is killing us! All we can get is criminals and dumbasses to run for office and, worse still, the dumbasses appoint dumber dumbasses to the local government boards and committees! 

We can agree that the whole system needs overhauling but unless people, voters, taxpayers, residents stand up and work together, we’re going to be stuck with these dumbasses, crooks, liars, and criminals, and we can only blame ourselves. We can’t do it alone. We need to join hands and stop the corruption!

Would you have the balls and the integrity to do that? Not very likely, from what we’ve observed in this cowardly community of weasels….

Of course they’re going to stick together like fleas on a dog’s back. They work in Town Hall where nobody is more than 20 feet away from anyone else. Nothing’s private. They all kiss each other’s asses and make nice-nice in the great love fest at Town Hall, while waiting for the next opportunity to stick in a knife. Most of them hate each other’s guts but they have to stick together or they’ll all end up jobless and in jail. So don’t think for a moment that you have such a great case that they won’t all get in a circle (called a circle-jerk) and make sure no one makes a peep that could incriminate anyone else. They may be incompetent, ignorant, arrogant but they are making the decisions and if you don’t like it, well, you’ll have to hire a lawyer. Would you have the balls and the integrity to do that? Not very likely, from what we’ve observed in this cowardly community of weasels. Well, that’s where the Jordan case is going to get real interesting because now we have not only a weak link but an actual break in the love chain in Town Hall. Things are a happening…let’s keep the momentum and see what’s going to happen next!

We want to see as many residents and taxpayers of the Town of New Baltimore as possible at the next (July) public meeting of the New Baltimore Town Board, and we want everyone to make a public statement about this development and what the Town of New Baltimore is going to do to make things right!

Next Regular Town Board Meeting is on July 9, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

 

 

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Posted by on June 11, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 2Luck.com, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Abuse of Public Office, Accountability, Alan van Wormer, Assessment Review, Bernie Jones, Board of Assessment Review, Bob Ross, Catskill-Hudson Newspapers, Columbia-Greene Media, Consolidated Highway Improvement Program, Crystal R. Peck Esq., Daily Mail, David Lewis, David Louis, David Louis, Democratic Caucus, Democratic Party Committee, Denis Jordan, Denis Jordan, Deputy Superintendent of Highways, Diane Jordan, Donna Degnen, Eleanor Luckacovic, Eleanor Oldham, Elections and Voting, FBI, FBI Criminal Information System, FBI Public Corruption Squad, George Amadore, Gordon Bennett, Government, Greene County, Greene County Attorney, Greene County Court, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County Elections, Greene County News, Grievance Day, Hudson Valley, Investigation, Jeff Ruso, Joan Ross, John B. Johnson, John Luckacovic, Johnson Newspaper Group, Joseph A. Farrell Jr, Joseph Farrell, Joseph Stanzione, Joseph Tanner, Linda LeClair, Lynn Taylor, Mark Vinciguerra, Marshall & Sterling, Marshall Sterling Insurance, Misconduct, Misuse of Public Office, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Assessor, New Baltimore Democratic Committee, New Baltimore Democrats, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Highway Department, New Baltimore Highway Superintendent, New Baltimore Republican Club, New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways, New Baltimore Town Board, New York, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Highway Law, New York State Police, 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 Comptroller Audit, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Assessor, Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Comptroller, Official Misconduct, Peckham Materials, Peckham Materials Corp., Peckham Road Corporation, Precision Roads and Driveways, Professional Misconduct, Ravena News Herald, Real Property Tax Law, RegisterStar, Republican Caucus, Republican Party Committee, Resignation, Ronna Smith, Scott Van Wormer, Scott VanWormer, Shelly van Etten, The Daily Mail, Times Union, Town Board Meeting, Town Supervisor

 

Dumbass Team: Coeymans Police and Albany DA Soares!

We’ve reported on the May 12 Raccoon incident in several articles, and in each of those articles where we have published new information, the Coeymans Police Department, the Albany County DA David Soares and his corrupt office, and others have confirmed everything we reported. As our readers are aware, we rely on information either from verifiable witnesses, published sources, or information provided by the public offices on our demand under the provisions of the NYS Freedom of Information Law. We frequently have to fight to get the information but we do get it. Here we are reporting on information we forced the Coeymans Police Department to give up, and they don’t look good. Here’s why:

We forced the Coeymans Police Department to cough up the Incident Reports completed by the two Coeymans Police Department personnel who put on the circus act that went international on May 12, 2018, when they used their patrol cars to harass, abuse, run over and kill a wild raccoon in full view of shoppers at Faith Plaza in Ravena, New York. The whole sickening display by the two perverts was recorded on video by a witness and it went viral on YouTube and other social media. The incident was covered by the international press and sent the world to cry outrage. The Coeymans PD and the Coeymans Town Board had very little to say — what could they say, the video told the entire story.

The Faith Plaza Raccoon Iincident Raises Important Questions about the Morality of Our Pubic Servants.

In fact, this embarrassing scandal looms far larger than the simple-minded antics of two small-town police officers and their sikeningly clownish performance while on duty. The incident raises important questions about the morality of our pubic servants, their ethics, their characters, value for taxpayer dollars, the quality of the people and the work done by them in public service, the negligence of our elected officials and their support even of the Constitution per their oaths of office. Yes, the incident even touches upon whether we can trust them and whether they are truthful. It’s ironic that the death of a wild animal should raise such questions in human affairs but it does and we can’t continue to ignore those questions.They’re right in our faces.

The Coeymans Police Totally Ignored their Own Procedures and Instructions

If you’ve been following this incident, you’ll know that the Coeymans PD wouldn’t identify the two officers involved. That was wrong. When we demanded the standard procedures for responding to animal control incidents, we found that they dated back to 1998 and had never been revised. That was wrong. The instructions used by the Coeymans Police when responding to animal control calls instructs them to contact the Coeymans Animal Control Officer, but Coeymans doesn’t have one (they eliminated the position several years ago). But the procedure also instructs officers to contact the Animal Control Officers in neighboring communities if the local ACO is not available. They never did any of that. They even deny any sort of animal control equipment in the Coeymans PD. We don’t believe that for a minute! What happened to the former ACO’s equipment? And Why? don’t they have even a net or a catchpole?

Our investigations show Albany DA Davis Soares’ report to be a load of steaming bullshit.

Albany County DA P. David Soares in Native Albany Costume.

You’ll also know that Albany County DA P. David Soares’ Animal Abuse Division was “investigating” the incident” but that his office found no reason to prosecute the officers because there was “no malice or contempt.” Really?!? Secondly, the DA’s office mentions that the officers performed correctly because there would have been a 2-hour wait for a NYS Department of Environmental Conservation person to respond (There are “only” 300 such state employees in New York). But our investigations show this to be a load of steaming bullshit.

We have the names of the two officers involved: Stephen PROKRYM and Jeff IOVINELLI.

We have obtained the “official” incident reports prepared by one of the two Coeymans Police personnel involved in the incident. We already identified Coeymans Police Department investigator Stephen PROKRYM as one of the pervs operating one of the two Coeymans Police vehicles involved in the scandal. We now have the name of the second officer involved,Jeff IOVINELLI.

IOVINELLI prepared both of the Coeymans Police Department Incident reports Nos. 24647 and 24648. Note the consecutive numbering but note also that the Incident Reports are written the day after the incident, that is, the IRs are written on May 13, a full day after the incident which occurred on May 12. We find these IRs to be suspect for two reasons:

  • They were written fully a day after the incident, after the Coeymans PD had made their “official statement” and after the NYS Department of Health had issued their report on the animal. The IRs, therefore, are written to fit the facts rather than to report the incident. That’s dishonest and should be considered misconduct and disciplined. But then the Coeymans PD and the Coeymans Town Board would look really stupid — the IRs now prove they are realy stupid.
  • The information in the IRs written by IOVINELLI is full of contraditions and mistakes as we describe below. The Coeymans Police Department, acting chief Contento, Iovinelli and Prokrym, in particular, can’t even get their lies straight!

In the first IR No. 24647, Iovinelli states that the incident occurred on “MONDAY 03/12/18” between 8:46 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and describes the “Incident Type” as “Animal, Animal acting rabid.”  All other details in the general information appear normal.

In the so-called “Narrative” or description of the facts part of IR 24647, however, it appears that there was a first call put in to the Coeymans PD (through the Albany County 911 dispatch) to investigation “a raccoon acting sick,” and IOVINELLI writes that they found a raccoon “curled up in a ball under the area of some metal steps.” At that time IOVINELLI writes that he left the animal where it was and that individuals were advised not to bother the animal and to contact the CPD if there were any further issues. Now we remind you that that was at about 9:00 a.m.

In an UPDATE to IR 24647, IOVINELLI writes that when checking on “routine patrol [the] animal had left the area.” So, three hours had passed, IOVINELLI just left the animal where it was, did not call for any animal control assistance but, as you can read yourself, writes that the animal was behaving sick. In fact, in the general information part of this IR, you will recall, IOVINELLI writes “ANIMAL ACTING RABID.” Furthermore, we read that “individuals” were advised to leave the animal alone, so someone at Faith Plaza was aware of the animal. Our question is Who?

So, between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on May 12, 2018, IOVINELLI (1) responds to an animal control call, (2) determines that the animal is not a threat, (3) advises “individuals” not to bother the animal, (3) leaves the scene and doesnt come back until (3) 1:00 pm, three hours later, to find the raccoon had gone. None of this follows the instructions of the Coeymans Police manual setting forth the procedures for handling an animal control issue.

We have a problem with a law enforcement officer describing in an Incident Report what he states to be an “Animal Acting Rabid,” simply advises “individuals” not to bother the animal, leaves the scene only to find the animal gone, and never takes any other steps!!! He says the “animal is acting rabid” for chrissake!!! He doesn’t follow procedure. He does NOTHING! Leaving the animal for three hours and then only on “routine patrol” returns to find the animal gone.

Furthermore, if we believe Albany District Attorney David Soare’s statement that the two officers had no choice but to dispatch the raccoon the way they did because they would have otherwise had to wait 2 hours for a Department of Environmental Conservation animal control person to arrive, makes no sense, because IOVINELLI, had he followed Coeymans Police Department procedure, could and should have contacted a local Animal Control Officer or the DEC; IOVINELLI had left the scene for a full 3 hours between 9 a.m. and 1:00 pm, plenty of time to get an animal control specialist on the scene. (A witness states that both cars were at the Cumberland Farms just minutes before the incident.)

Excerpt from Coeymans Police Incident Report 24647.

Let’s now move on to Coeymans Police Department Incident Report No. 24658, again written by CPD Officer IOVINELLI on May 23, 2018, a full day after the May 12, 2018 incident.

Something’s jerry-rigged in these reports.

In IR 24648 IOVINELLI states that the incident occurred between 12:54 a.m. and 1:18 pm. But in IR 24647, he states that he returns “on routine patrol” at 1 p.m., 6 minutes after the start of the incident he’s reporting on in IR 24648. How can that be? Something’s jerry-rigged in these reports. It gets better.

It was OK to allow a supposedly “rabid animal” to approach a “large group of citizens” some of whom potentially could contract deadly rabies

IOVINELLI writes that “[O]n the above date and time,” that is on May 12, 2018, at 12:54, he responded to a “second call in the area of the CVS in Faith Plaza.” When he arrived he saw a “large group of citizens in the area of CVS” and he also notices “a raccoon in front of the CVS.” (You can read other details in the extract below.)  IOVINELLI says nothing about controlling the “large group of citizens” and removing them to safety, but he does mention the behavior of the raccoon, even that the animal aproached a “nearby passerby.” Seems to us that if IOVINELLI, as he writes in his report, thought the raccoon was rabid, he was outrageously negligent in not ensuring the safety of the “large group of citizens” by clearing and securing the area!!! Did he think the raccoon was rabid on May 12 or did he write that the raccoon was rabid only on May 13, when he had the test results? And if he thought the raccoon was rabid on May 12, why didn’t he take steps to safeguard the public, which is the reason why he and PROKRYM gave for not using their service weapons and for using their vehicles to dispatch the animal. According to this report it was OK to allow a supposedly “rabid animal” to approach a “large group of citizens” some of whom potentially could contract deadly rabies for sure but they were concerned about something potentially happening if they used their service weapon. That makes sense, doesn’t it?

In his report IOVINELLI doesn’t mention calling in for support but we gather from the report that he did, which is when Stephen Prokrym would have arrived. IOVINELLI writes that the “[R]esponding officers attempted to shout and scare the officer away, throwing snow at it several times.” At the “officer“?  Why did IOVINELLI want to “scare the officer away”? Anyway, moving along. Dr IOVINELLI, a renowned expert in disease of wildlife and raccoon behavior, makes the diagnosis that “the raccoon appeared to be exibiting the signs of rabies” and that the “animal needed to be dispatched.” For those of you who are not familiar with Coeymans police jargon, “dispatched” means to be “harassed, abused, and run over;” in other words, killed.

IOVINELLI again confirms that neither he nor PROKRYM had done any crowd control and that they had not secured the area “in the interest of public safety,”  nor were they concerned for the public’s safety when they observed that the animal was beginning to “approach stores and make entry into several of the buildings,” and they were not concerned about the crowds when they were attempting to “scare away the officer” or “throwing snow” at the animal to “get it to change direction away from members of the general public, even as IOVINELLI writes in the report the animal “appeared to be exhibiting the signs of rabies.

Normally, if the general public is too stupid to avoid danger wouldn’t it be the police who would take charge of the situation and do crowd control, securing the area “in the interest of public safety”? Well, YES, in any other place but Coeymans. In Coeymans they “attempt to scare the officer away,” they “throw snow” and make “loud noises.” But crowd control or secure the area? Nope!

It is PROKRYM who advises IOVINELLI that they shouldn’t discharge a firearm and that the animal had to be dispatched “using the patrol vehicle.” Now that’s a senior law enforcement person telling the patrol officer that somewhere in the Coeymans manuals, the procedure is to use a patrol vehicle to kill an animal when it’s unsafe to use a firearm. We never were able to find that section when we examined the procedures. Maybe Mr PROKRYM can point it out to us sometime.

According to the report, IOVINELLI and PROKRYM attempted to move the area to a more open location in the parking lot.” What area? Why more the area? Doesn’t make sense but that’s what he writes. Sort of when he writes that they “attempted to scare the officer away.”

What is concerning here in this report is that the first mention of contacting any outside animal control assistance was only after the animal was “dispatched”. This is completely contrary to what is in the Coeymans Police Department manual concerning animal control calls.

Now, if Albany County DA P. David Soares, democrappy fool of an attorney that he is, made his statements after his office had concluded their imaginary investigation into the incident, he would have clearly seen that there was gross misconduct and that procedure was not followed at all. Clearly such misconduct by law enforcement is subject to disciplinary action. If Soares were worth anything as an attorney, which he’s not, he would have noted with some suspicion the many contradictions, questionable statements, and errors in these two official police documents, which would be admissible in court as true. But Soares and his teams of overpaid dumbasses probably never even saw these reports, never even asked for them. If they had, even Soares could not have missed the glaring, conspicuous errors.

But it doesn’t say much for the Town of Coeymans or the Coeymans Police Department, either. You’d think that acting police chief F/Sgt Danel Contento, investigator Stephen Prokrym, or patrolman Jeff Iovinelli would have checked the report and caught the stupid errors and maybe have corrected them before finalizing the report. And why isn’t Prokrym’s signature on the report? He’s the senior officer involved. Didn’t anyone in the Town of Coeymans or the Coeymans Police Department check these two reports? Probably NOT because they thought they were immune to attack, above discipline. 

Well, maybe acting police chief Contento, officer Iovinelli, investigator Prokrym, DA Soares and his team don’t read these things but WE DO, and now YOU DO, citizens. Now there should be some questions, some very burning questions asked not only about this incident but about the overall operations and quality of the Coeymans Police Department and its employees. Here’s one for you:

Our reps will be at the next Coeymans Town Board meeting to ask those questions.

Excerpt from Coeymans Police Incident Report 24648.

The Incident Report (IR) is the Police Department’s Official Documentation of the Facts of an Incident for Legal Purposes.

If the Town of Coeymans, the acting police chief, the two officers involved could not do a more professional job of reviewing and quality controlling an important document like the Incident Report, especially this incident report which is the Department’s official documentation of the incident for legal purposes, in this incident which got international attention and widespread national media coverage, then how accurate are the documents they prepare when reporting on an incident in which you are involved. These documents can make or break a case and they are pitifully carelessly prepared, even when they are meant to cover cops’ asses. Go figure!

We are still waiting for responses from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Albany County Sheriff’s Department, and the Albany County District Attorney regarding our demands for documents, including but not limited to the Investigation Reports prepared by their departments. We expect either that no investigations were done or they were done just as carelessly as the reporting by the Coeymans Police Department’s Jeff IOVINELLI.

We have contacted all local communities who have Animal Control Officers (ACOs) and they confirm that they did not receive a call for assistance from the Coeymans Police Department in this incident.

The Adopted Town of Coeymans Budget allows almost $800,000 for the Coeymans Police Department.

The Adopted Town of Coeymans Budget allows almost $800,000, that’s almost a million dollars of taxpayer money, for the Coeymans Police Department, and yet they don’t even have a net or a catchpole to capture a raccoon, and they can’t write a coherent Incident Report to save their own asses. Coeymans taxpayers pay more than $500,000 a year in employee salaries for the Coeymans PD. Most of the arguments made in favor of keeping the Coeymans PD are being made by the elderly who think the Coeymans PD is in the rescue business!!! Don’t they realize they have a Coeymans Fire and Rescue company and a Ravena Fire and Rescue facility with blocks of each other, and both are funded by taxpayer dollars. Wake up stupids! Do you really think that money is money allocated by the Coeymans Town Board with any notion of fiscal responsibility? We don’t.

ELIMINATE THE COEYMANS POLICE DEPARTMENT AND WITH IT THE IRRESPONSIBLE COEYMANS TOWN BOARD.

WHILE YOU’RE AT IT, GET RID OF THAT DEMOCRAPPY RACIST FOOL OF A DISTRICT ATTORNEY, P. DAVID SOARES.

Click Coeymans Police Incident Reports

to see the complete original Coeymans PD Incident Reports.

Our Previous Articles Covering this Incident

Albany County DA Soares Affirms Double Standard Again: Coeymans Clown Cops OK (April 4, 2018)

Officer Identified!!! Coeymans PD Steve Prokrym Involved in Raccoon Scandal!!! (March 26, 2018)

Truth be Told: On the Heels of the Coeymans Town Board Meeting (March 23, 2018)

More on the Coeymans Police Department. Our Recent Investigations. (March 21, 2018)

Follow-up Report: Coeymans Raccoon Incident. We still have our doubts! (March 19, 2018)

We are speechless! OMG! Coeymans Police Caught on Video Again! (March 12, 2018)

DUMBASS BOARD
(Coeymans Town Board)
(Baker, Yeomans, Crandall, Dolan, Burns)

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 18, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 4-H, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Aaron Flach, Abuse of Police Power, Abuse of Power, Acting Police Chief, Albany, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Sheriff Department, Animal Control Officer, Animal cruelty, ASPCA, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Capital District, Catskill-Hudson Newspapers, Coeymans Acting Police Chief, Coeymans Police Department, Coeymans Town Board, Columbia-Greene Media, Corruption, Craig D. Apple Sr., Criminal Mischief, Cruelty to animals, Daily Mail, Daniel Contento, David Soares, Dead Raccoon, DEC, Demand for Termination, Department of Environmental Conservation, Dick Touchette, Eliminate Coeymans Police Department, FaceBook, Faith Plaza, Government, Greene County News, Hannaford, Hannaford Supermarkets, Hudson Valley, Humane Society of the United States, Investigation, James Youmans, Jeff Iovinelli, Jim Youmans, Joe Tanner, John B. Johnson, Joseph Tanner, Ken Burns, Kenneth Burns, Law Enforcement, Mark Vinciguerra, Mayor "Mouse", Mayor "Mouse" Misuraca, Misconduct, Moose Misuraca, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, Nancy Warner, New Baltimore, New York, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State, New York State Department of Health, News and Information Media, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, Office of the Attorney General, P. David Soares, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Peter J. McKenna, Peter Mckenna, Peter McKenna, Phil Crandall, Phillip Crandall, Police Incompetence, Police Investigator, Public Safety, Public Safety, Raccoons, Ravena, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena News Herald, RegisterStar, Richard Mednick, Rick Touchette, Selkirk, Shop'n Save, Stephen Prokrym, Steve Prokrym, Thomas E. Dolan, Times Union, Tom Dolan, Tom Dolan, Town of Coeymans, Town of New Baltimore, William Misuraca, William Misuraca

 

Follow-up Report: Coeymans Raccoon Incident. We still have our doubts!

Please Note: On Thursday, March 22, 2018, at 7 p.m. the Town of Coeymans will hold it’s Town Board Meeting. We have information that residents, citizens and animal organizations will address the board about the conduct of the Coeymans Police and what the Town of Coeymans is going to do about it. Be there. Make your voice heard! Or at least just show up to learn what the community has to say!


The Town of Coeymans Police Department continues to be the subject of widespread interest following the ugly display of unprofessional conduct and stupidity last Monday, March 12, when Coeymans Police responded to an animal control call and proceeded to provide a sickening circus freak show performance as they pursued a raccoon in their patrol cars (one marked, another unmarked), finally running down the terrified animal and running over it. All of this happened in the pothole-rich parking lot of the Ravena Shop’n Save (Village of Ravena, Town of Coeymans), after a call from the CVS Pharmacy that a raccoon had “tried to enter the building.”

After one courageous residents, Ms Bryana Catucci, and several other witnesses videoed the Coeymans Police yahoos and the termination of the terrified animal, those videos went viral on several Internet sites, including Facebook and YouTube, and the Smalbany blog published a detailed and informative article on the incident. The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society voiced their outrage and condemnation of the Coeymans Police actions.

To give you an idea of how outraged people are about this incident, just one site, Care2 Petitions, has more than 76,000 signatures, more than 8,500 signers in NY state alone, condemning the Coeymans Police! To give you an idea of how many people 76,000+ is, it’s more than 9x the entire population of the Township of Coeymans!!! What does that tell you, dear readers?


The Coeymans Police have no up-to-date procedure for dealing with animal control issues. The town of Coeymans has no Animal Control Officer. The New York State Department of Health report on tests done on the animal sounds bogus!

I can’t believe my eyes!!! I can’t believe their horrible conduct!!! I can’t believe the lies!!!


Almost immediately following the incident, Smalbany blog contibutors filed a demand under the provisions of the New York state Public Officers Law, Article 6 Sections 84-90 Freedom of Information Law (N.Y. Pub. Off. Law Sees. 84 to 99) for the production of documents with the Coeymans Town Clerk and the Coeymans Police Department, demanding information related to the March 12, 2018, incident in which the Coeymans Police Department used police vehicles to harrass, terrorize and kill a raccoon in front of dozens of witnesses at Faith Plaza in Ravena, New York (Town of Coeymans, in the jurisdiction of the Albany County District Attorney, P. David Soares).

Initial Information Provided by the Coeymans Police Department (“acting” police chief Daniel Contento (SGT)) and the news media were contradictory and confused. We decided to get the facts.

One glaring fact is that the Coeymans Police protect their own. They delete any references to the officer’s involved or anyone involved. Do you think that’s fair play? If you were picked up by the police, your face and name would be plastered all over the police blotter and the local news media. Why are the police and their cronies so protective? Aren’t they public servants, paid by us? Don’t we have a right to know which ones are bonkers and which ones are not?

The Town of Coeymans responded with the usual halfwit evasive answers but provided two important documents: the Testing Report No. RAB18ANI01172-SR-1 from the NYS Department of Health, Wadsworth Center, and an extract from what appears to be an ancient “Coeymans Police and Ravena Police Law Enforcement Manual, Administration (in the following called the PLEM/A),” Section 46.0, Subject: Animal Control/Rabies.” the Coeymans Police Department. We say “ancient” because this section dates back to October 15, 1998 — it’s almost 20 years old and hasn’t been revised, updated, or replaced — and refers to “Village of Ravena Police,” which hasn’t existed for years, and is signed by former Police Chief Scott Geroux!

Furthermore, the Law Enforcement procedure repeatedly refers to the Animal Control Officer and how the police have to notify the Animal Control Officer for assistance when dealing with an animal control issue.  According to the Law Enforcement Manual:

“46.2.1 The Animal Control Officer (ACO) is a civilian employee of the Police Department. The ACO is responsible for responding to and mitigating incidents and complaints relating to domestic and wild animal”

If the local Animal Control Officer is unavailable, the procedure requires the Coeymans Police to notify an animal control officer from a nearby jurisdiction. Again, according to the Law Enforcement Manual:

“(46.3.2.2) Request the response of the ACO to the scene whenever available.
“(46.3.2.2.1) If the case requires the immediate attention of the ACO, that information shall be relayed to the ACO. If he is still unavailable to respond an ACO from another jurisdiction shall be requested.”

Town of Coeymans PD: “The Town of Coeymans does not have an Animal Control Officer.”

Coeymans Police Department Procedures date back almost 20 years without revision!!!

The problem that we have identified in this entire Keystone Cops episode is that the Town of Coeymans and the Coeymans Police Department are about 20 years behind. You see, according to a certified statement provided by the Town of Coeymans, “The Town of Coeymans does not have an animal control officer.”

Well if the Town of Coeymans has no animal control officer, then the entire 1998 procedure allegedly followed by the Coeymans Police Department is absolutely useless, out of date, and a sham!!! In other words, the Town of Coeymans and the Coeymans Police Department have no up-to-date guidelines for handling this type of situation.

The Town of Coeymans and the Coeymans Police Department have no up-to-date guidelines

[Editor’s Note: We have considerable information that shows that the Town of Coeymans and the Coeymans Police Department Law Enforcement Manual is out-of-date and obsolete in several other areas, including How to handle a traffic stop!!!]

The basic issue is leadership and how law enforcement functions or does not function in the Town of Coeymans

 

Coeymans Police on Pussy Patrol.
Did you know that cats are the domestic animals most at risk for rabies?

But this whole hullabaloo is NOT about whether an animal was sick or not. The basic issue is leadership and how law enforcement functions or does not function in the Town of Coeymans. There is no leadership in the Town of Coeymans or the Town of Coeymans PD.. The Coeymans Police Department is dysfunctional. That’s the question that is driving most people crazy right about now. Then there’s the question of how the Coeymans Police abused and tortured a defenseless animal using their patrol cars. Anyone with half a brain would have been able to figure a reasonable and safe procedure for dealing with an animal threat, if there was one, and there was none.  Just view the videos and all you’ll see is a normal appearing raccoon, terrified, running for its life and two Coeymans cop cars racing back and forth. Any sane person would, as most of the witnesses did, that the cops were a greater threat to the public’s safety than a terrified animal trying to escape them!!!

Well, we also have a copy of the Department of Health (DoH) test report done on what was left of the raccoon after the Coeymans Police had their perverse jollies. The DoH report is apparently written by a halfwit chimp. Here’s why:

First of all the report does indicate that the raccoon showed evidence of rabies infection. The report did not say that the animal was capable of infecting another animal or harming a human being. Information obtained by us from the CDC clearly states that the animal is infectious only in the very late stages of the disease, shortly before the disease kills the animal. At that late stage the animal’s brain is so far gone that the animal’s behavior is obvious: it acts like it’s drunk, it loses its balance, it staggers, it is confused. Again, the videos show none of this; in fact, the animal looks pretty coordinated as it’s running across the Faith Plaza parking lot!

Some sections of the report make it look like it’s been jerry rigged to provide the Coeymans Police with an alibi. Here are just a couple of examples taken directly from the DoH report:

“Signs of rabies: NEUROLOGICAL DISORDER; Other signs: MOVING ABNORMALLY, SHAKING.”

Who made these observations? Do the Coeymans Police have veterinary neurological training that made it possible for them to have decided that the unfortunate animal had a “neurological disorder?” They also note in the report that the animal was “moving abnormally, shaking.” Well, first of all, the DoH was unable to make those determinations because the animal was d-e-a-d, pancaked by the Coeymans Cops. So where did this information come from? Hearsay? The Coeymans PD?

Here’s more of the gibberish in the report:

“Comments: Observed acting sick at the CVS in Ravena. Killed by running over with car by Officer [Redacted] of the Coeymans Police Department (…No reported contact. Rabies test need before further testing.”

The only animals acting sick were the Coeymans cops who tortured the animal and killed it!

Again, we have the DoH sockpuppets repeating what the Coeymans PD was insisting but didn’t have a factual basis to make the statements. The raccoon was “observed acting sick at the CVS in Ravena.” Sick? Curious? Hungry? If an 8th grade science student made these statements, we’d send him or her for remedial help! But that’s in an official report. Hearsay! Not facts! The only animals acting sick were the Coeymans cops who tortured the animal and killed it by “running over [it] with car by Officer [his name is deleted from the report!].” What’s disturbing is not only the unsubstantiated statements but the fact that there was  “no contact reported.” According to the report, the animal made no contact with anyone!!!

After all is said and done, the report reads:

“Rabies testing: Evidence of Rabies was found by the fluorescent antibody test.”

The report is again incomplete because it doesn’t state which fluorescent antibody test was used. That information is very important in terms of whether the test is accurate. Furthermore, for scientific and epidemiological reasons the information provided is incomplete and practically useless! Again, whether this is the truth or not, the test results came fully 24 hours after the incident, and cannot provide any justification or support for the Coeymans Police stupidity.

Just by way of comment, the report concludes with the statement:

“Notes: [1] Submitting county was phoned with positive results. Reported to Marsha at 10:32 a.m. by JJ.”

What in hell does that mean? Who in hell is Marsha? Who in hell is JJ? But that’s supposed to be an official report from the NYS DoH in response to a serious incident. Don’t we have any standards at all in this community, in this state? Or are all of our public servants halfwits and dumbasses? We think you know the answer to that question already.

So, dear readers, you have the state of affairs in the Town of Coeymans: Useless and outdated procedures no one has had any interest in updating or revising, a team of goons who have no leadership or guidance, disgraceful and despicable conduct by local law enforcement, a very questionable report from a New York State department tasked with ensuring the public’s health, and another negative report gone viral about the Town of Coeymans and the Coeymans Police Department. But you must admit, they are consistent, even in making complete asses of themselves.

We are making the documents provided by the Town of Coeymans and the Coeymans Police Department available for your entertainment. Please note that the Town of Coeymans and the Coeymans Police Department refused to provide some documents, including the names of the Coeymans PD employees involved in the incident. They also have no records about callers reporting the animal, although acting Coeymans police chief, Daniel Contento (SGT), made public statements that “numerous calls” were received (but not by the Coeymans PD, since their listed number goes to Albany County 911). We verified only one 911 call about the raccoon. That call was allegedly from someone at or in the CVS pharmacy at Faith Plaza. We do know of numerous calls received by the Albany County 911 Center complaining about the conduct of the Coeymans Police. Maybe those are the calls Contento is referring to.

If you are interested in viewing/downloading the Coeymans Police 1998 procedure and the NYS DoH Test Report we refer to above, here are the links:

  • You can view the Town of Coeymans and Ravena Police Department Law Enforcement Manual dated October 15, 2018 here.
  • You can view the New York State Department of Health Report here.

Editor’s Notes

As we mentioned above and as we published in our initial article on this incident, “We are speechless! OMG! Coeymans Police Caught on Video Again!” we obtained our information on rabies from several official sources. One of them was the Centers for Disease Control, the federal government’s department for disease control, prevention, and reporting. Here’s some additional information of interest:

According to the CDC, in the period of 2008-2017, a total of 23 human rabies cases were reported in the United States; most of the infections were acquired outside of the United States, most from animal bites in such places as Afghanistan, India, Mexico, etc. On average there are 1-3 cases/year of human rabies reported in the United States . (Source, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/location/usa/surveillance/human_rabies.html) Compare that with 90 motor vehicle caused deaths each day in the United States (CDC statistics are always 3 yeas behind; in 2015 there were a total of 37,757 deaths in motor vehicle accidents (11.7/100,000 population) Source, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/accidental-injury.htm).

Given those statistics, where to you suppose our law enforcement efforts should be concentrated? On a raccoon or on motor vehicles?

Furthermore,

  • Transmission of rabies virus usually begins when infected saliva of a rabid animal is passed to an uninfected animal. The most common mode of rabies virus transmission is through the bite and virus-containing saliva of an infected host. ( Source, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/transmission/index.html)
  • Other contact, such as petting a rabid animal or contact with the blood, urine or feces of a rabid animal, does not constitute an exposure. (Source, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/transmission/exposure.html)
  • From numerous studies conducted on rabid dogs, cats, and ferrets, we know that when the rabies virus is introduced into a muscle through a bite from another animal, it travels from the site of the bite to the brain by moving within nerves. The animal does not appear ill during this time.
  • The time between the bite and the appearance of symptoms is called the incubation period and it may last for weeks to months. A bite by the animal during the incubation period does not carry a risk of rabies because the virus has not yet made it to the saliva.

According to the CDC, the Infectious Path of the Rabies Virus can be outlined as follows:

  • An animal is bitten by a rabid animal.
  • Rabies virus from the infected saliva enters the wound.
  • Rabies virus travels through the nerves to the spinal cord and brain. This process can last approximately 3 to 12 weeks. The animal has no signs of illness during this time.

A diagnosis of rabies can be made after detection of rabies virus from any part of the affected brain, but in order to rule out rabies, the test must include tissue from at least two locations in the brain, preferably the brain stem and cerebellum. [Editor’s Note: The NYS DoH report is incomplete in this respect because it does not state what parts of the animal’s brain were tested!!!]

The test requires that the animal be euthanized. The test itself takes about 2 hours, but it takes time to remove the brain samples from an animal suspected of having rabies and to ship these samples to a state public health or veterinary diagnostic laboratory for diagnosis. [Editor’s Note:  the test requires that the animal be euthanized, killed humanely and mercifully, not terrorized and run over!!!]

In the United States, the results of a rabies test are typically available within 24 to 72 hours after an animal is collected and euthanized. (Source, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/diagnosis/animals-humans.html)

When it reaches the brain, the virus multiplies rapidly and passes to the salivary glands. The animal begins to show signs of the disease. The infected animal usually dies within 7 days of becoming sick. (Source, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/transmission/body.html)

(Please check out the references on our original article for more information on rabies.)


 

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, Abuse of Power, Accountability, Acting Police Chief, Albany, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Sheriff Department, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Anger, Animal Abuse, Animal Cruelty, Animal cruelty, Animal Rights, ASPCA, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Blog, Blogger, Bob Freeman, Bryana Catucci, Bully Cops, Capital District, Coeymanazis, Coeymans, Coeymans Acting Police Chief, Coeymans Police Department, Coeymans Town Attorney, Coeymans Town Board, Coeymans Town Board Meeting, Coeymans Town Clerk, Columbia-Greene Media, Committee on Open Government, Craig D. Apple Sr., Cruelty to animals, Daily Mail, Daniel Contento, Daniel Contento, Dawn LaMountain, Dawn LaMountain, DEC, Demand for Resignation, Demand for Termination, Department of Environmental Conservation, Dick Touchette, Eliminate Coeymans Police Department, FaceBook, Facebook, Faith Plaza, Freedom of Information Law, Friendship Animal Protective League, George Amadore, George Dardiani, Greene County News, Hal Warner, Harold Warner, Humane Society of the United States, Incompetence, James Youmans, Jim Youmans, Joe Stanzione, Joe Tanner, John B. Johnson, John Faso, Johnson Newspaper Group, Joseph Stanzione, Joseph Tanner, Kerry Thompson, Law Enforcement, Mark Vinciguerra, Mercy for Animals, Misconduct, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, New York, New York State, New York State Department of Health, News and Information Media, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, News Herald, North Shore Animal League America, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, NYSDOH, Office of the Attorney General, Official Misconduct, P. David Soares, Paul Courcelle, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Pete Lopez, Peter J. McKenna, Peter Mckenna, Police Incompetence, Police Thugs, Public Safety, Ravena Shop'n Save, Richard Touchette, Rick Touchette, Robert J. Freeman, Robert J. Freeman, Ryan Johnson, Scott Giroux, Steve Prokrym, The Daily Mail, Times Union, Times Union Blogs, Todd Polverelli, Tom Dolan, Town Clerk, Town of Coeymans, Town of New Baltimore, Wadsworth Center, William Bailey, William Misuraca

 

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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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 Amadore, 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 Amadore, 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

 

URGENT Advisory to Trick-or-Treaters on New Street, New Baltimore

This is a Public Service Announcement in the Interest of Your Safety and the Safety of Trick-or-Treaters on October 31, 2017, who will be on New Street in the Town of New Baltimore.

Dangerous Conditions on New Street in the Hamlet of New Baltimore!!!

Parents, Accompanying Adults, Trick-or-Treaters along New Street in the Town of New Baltimore may be at serious risk due to dangerous situations caused by recent roadwork and paving done on by the Town of New Baltimore and the New Baltimore Highway Department on New Street and other streets in the National Historic District of New Baltimore.

Please be aware of the following serious hazards along New Street, which will be particularly dangerous after sundown.

At the corner of Madison Avenue East and New Street, there is a dangerous unmarked drop-off. The Town of New Baltimore Highway Department has been asked numerous times to mark this hazard but has refused to do so. Please, when making the turn onto New Street from Madison Avenue East, make the turn tight!

On the river-side (East) just past the end of the guardrails, there is a dangerous unmarked drop-off. The drop-off is about 18-24 inches and poses a real danger if someone steps off the street and falls; there is a steep slope after the street drop-off. The recent paving operations by the New Baltimore Highway Department supervised by Denis Jordan raised the old roadbed about 18-24 inches at this point, creating this hazard. The Town of New Baltimore and the New Baltimore Highway Department have been asked several times to mark the hazard or to correct the defects but they have refused. There is also the possibility of a vehicle’s wheels going over the edge and tipping over! Please be careful and watch children very carefully in this area.

This hump in the road at the top of the stairs can cause tripping and falling injuries. Please be careful and step carefully over it. Small children may be especially at risk.

At the front entrance of No. 18 New Street, there is a raised hump of blacktop above the top step. The Town of New Baltimore Highway Department placed a 7-inch high raised hump of blacktop at the top of the steps leading into the main entrance of No. 18 New Street. The hump was created when the Town paved New Street in June, and residents have asked that it be cut down level with the street to avoid accidents or injury. The Town Highway Department and the Town of New Baltimore have done noting to fix this defect and now it is dangerous to the children and adults trick or treating. Please also be aware that beyond the steps there is a 8-12 inch drop-off created by the Town’s paving operations. This can be dangerous and may cause falls and injuries if you are not careful. There is no really safe way to get to the entrances of No 18 New Street so PLEASE BE CAREFUL and watch children very carefully in this area.

Please be aware of this hole; avoid stepping into it or driving into it!

Farther down New Street, opposite the Green House at No. 11 New Street, there is a deep hole approximately 30 inches across, 30 inches long and 15 inches deep. There is also a sharp-edged vertical grate installed in the hole. This hole was created by the New Baltimore Highway Department for totally unknown reasons (all other drains in the area are horizontal). This large hole presents a serious hazard to pedestrians and to vehicles. A person can break a leg and a vehicle can lose a wheel in this hole. The sharp edges of the grate pose another serious danger. Residents have repeated asked that the drain be redone so that it is flat with the road or at least that it be marked so that it is clearly visible. The Town of New Baltimore and the Town of New Baltimore Highway Department have refused to mark the hole and so it continues to be a serious danger to persons and vehicles. Please be careful and watch children very carefully in this area.

When driving down New Street this ditch will suddenly appear. Your vehicle’s wheels can end up in it and your vehicle left hanging.

As you approach the end of New Street there is a deep unmarked ditch on the right side of the street. This ditch will come up on you suddenly if you are driving, and if you’re not real quick, your right wheels will be in the ditch and your vehicle hung up. On Halloween night after sundown, this ditch will be very difficult identify unless you know beforehand that it’s there. Again, the Town of New Baltimore and the Town of New Baltimore Highway Department created this hazard when paving the street in August 2016 and in June 2017. They have been asked a number of times to fix this defect or at least to mark it. They have ignored all requests. Please be careful and watch children very carefully in this area.

We are publishing this information at the request of residents who are seriously concerned about the safety of trick-or-treaters on New Street this Halloween. The Town of New Baltimore and the Town of New Baltimore Highway Department, Mr Denis Jordan, have been made aware of these hazards a number of times, and have been asked to correct the defects or at least to mark them to ensure safety and to protect the public. They have refused and so now it’s necessary to provide this WARNING to motorists and pedestrians.  Please make your children and other adults aware of these serious hazards along New Street, which will be particularly dangerous after sundown, and be alert for similar hazards in other areas of the Hamlet of New Baltimore, especially in the National Historic District!

[Editor’s Note: At about 10:30 a.m. on October 31, 2017, the Town of New Baltimore and the Town of New Baltimore Highway Department were notified of these hazards and dangerous conditions on New Street, and were provided with the link to this posting.]

Please Watch Your Step on New Street in New Baltimore!!!
Happy Halloween!
The Editor & Friends of the Smalbany Blog


Editor’s Update

At about 10:45 a.m. on October 31, 2017, the following message was sent to New Baltimore Town Supervisor Nick Dellisanti, New Baltimore Town Deputy Supervisor Jeff Ruso, Town Clerk Barbara Finke (for the purpose of records), and Town of New Baltimore Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan. Copies were sent also the Town Attorney Tal Rappela (Tal Rappelea Esq/RappeleaLaw) and to the attorney for the Town’s insurance company, Crystal R. Peck (Bailey, Johnson, DeLeonardis & Peck P.C., Albany, New York) to ensure that their attorneys are fully informed in the event of accident or injury.

Dear Mr Dellisanti, Ruso, Jordan, Rappelea, Ms Peck:

The Town of New Baltimore and the Town of New Baltimore Highway Department have consistently and regularly been notified of the existing and continuing dangerous conditions created on New Street in the Town of New Baltimore, a roadway owned by the Town of New Baltimore. The Town of New Baltimore and the Town of New Baltimore Highway Department and its superintendent, Mr Denis Jordan, have ignored all notifications and have refused to respond to all requests to correct the existing defects created by the Town’s operations or at least to mark them in the interest of the public’s safety.
Given the above circumstances and the Town’s indifference to the safety of residents and visitors, especially in view of the Halloween season and the approaching snow season, the Smalbany Blog has been considerate enough to publish a Public Safety Warning for Halloween Trick-or-Treaters and their accompanying adults.
You may inform yourselves as to the content of said Public Safety Warning at the blog site, URGENT Advisory to Trick-or-Treaters on New Street, New Baltimore (the link to the site is provided for your convenience).