Smalbany:- How do you intend to work with the Village of Ravena to beautify Main Street, and make it welcoming to small businesses like arts and crafts, specialty shops, etc?
This could be Main Street, Ravena, New York, if Mr Crandall has his way.
Mr. Crandall:- OK. The main way we can help with that is by keeping the roads paved, by keeping the potholes filled. Making sure things like the water runs right, making sure the sewers are repaired. Making sure the tax rate is kept low. Make sure that we offer these incentives for businesses. Now, one thing I want to mention is that we are working with three solar [energy] companies right now. One is a pretty large one, Hecate. And they want to build a solar farm behind the school, over by the old Stalker farm, and they’re going to be using about 380 acres…once they get their plant built, that will be on the assessment rolls, and help to lower taxes…We’re trying to get them to offer the Town people a deal that they can tap into their electric, and possibly lower their electrical bill…There are two smaller companies trying to build in the Hollow, and Hecate is also looking at our old land fill site. It’s possible that they may also be able to put part of a solar farm there, also, on top of the old landfill site that we kept, and which will help make use of that property because you really can’t use it for anything else. So, that’s another thing we’re working on.
“Out in the Hollow…I want to keep it centralized around the Highway Department, we’re talking about starting a small recycling center. Much like what Westerlo has…opening it up maybe two or three days a week…and it would provide another service for the townspeople.”
Mr. Crandall:- The devil’s in the details. The idea’s there right now.
Smalbany:- Back to Mr. McHugh’s relationship with you and the Town: In 2017-18, your relationship with George McHugh was cooperative, if not friendly. What happened to change that relationship, that attitude of cooperation?
Mr. Crandall:- What do I think changed that? Money! Money. There’s somehow, I can’t prove it, but with all that we went through with LaFarge and stopping the garbage coming in there, and with Mr. Laraway coming up so hard against us, against the Clean Air Law, and with LaFarge and Mr. Laraway putting up so much money against us…he spent $13,000 just on the primaries…that’s a vast amount of money for a small town…to be spent on politics. So there’s money to be made here. And there’s a lot of it.
“And they’re really opposed to the Clean Air Law. The main reason I think they’re running is because of the Clean Air Law.
“And I think Mr. Laraway feels that we haven’t given him enough tax breaks down there. But we have given him P.I.L.O.T.s How many P.I.L.O.T.s does the man need? How many tax breaks does he need?
“Like I say: You gotta pay your fair share.”
Smalbany:- Apart from that, why would George Mchugh be bad for Coeymans? As if what you’ve said were not enough!
Mr. Crandall:- George McHugh would be bad for Coeymans just because of, mainly because of his character. I’m no saint. I’ve had my own problems with the Court system. But with the Courts system, you’re held to such a high standard, it’s absolutely ridiculous. And I’m not an attorney, so I did make mistakes. I’ll grant you that. But he’s an attorney! And he [McHugh] was under two ethics investigations involving money. Mine never involved money; his involved money. He was under an ethics investigation for having his [personal] property surveyed along with Town property, and the Town paying for it. And his own Town Board, which was controlled by Republicans, had him under an ethics investigation for that. And then, he was attorney for the state Wagering Board, and he went before them, he had a private client, and he represented him before the state Racing and Wagering Board, while he was their [the Racing and Wagering Board’s] attorney! He was under another ethics investigation by the state Attorney General for that. They kind of eased him out the door after that. Now, there’s two reasons: ethics.
George McHugh = Ethics Violations = Corruption.
How many times…I know I shouldn’t say this, but I’m gonna…How many times can a man be married? I mean, twice, maybe? But four times? I mean, there’s something wrong with character here. And character matters.
And another thing: He didn’t run for office again. OK, there are probably a lot of reasons…But then, he comes up and he outright lies, and uses the deaths of over 3,000 people who died instantly in a horrible, horrible thing that happened on 9/11 in New York City. He tries to use that for political gain! That tells me about a man’s character, and I feel he has no character.
I just feel he [George McHugh] lies with impunity to get whatever…to get his way, whatever he wants. And I don’t understand people like that. I just don’t. Because I’m not a liar.
Community Observer’s Comment:- You have Lincoln’s quote on the wall.
[Editor’s Note: The Observer is referring to the quote: “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”]
Mr. Crandall:- Yes. I have Lincoln’s quote on the wall.
Smalbany:- Without speculating, what is your opinion about the McHugh, Laraway, Vinciguerra connection?
Mr. Crandall:- It’s common knowledge that Vinciguerra has been George McHugh’s friend for years. They’ve worked together in business dealings for years…I just feel that they are way too cozy. And he’s [referring to Vinciguerra] supposed to be the editor [read: publisher] of an independent, unbiased newspaper [referring to the Ravena News Herald]? I don’t feel that the News Herald is unbiased at all. How can they be? Carver Laraway is buying all kinds of ads in it, George McHugh’s buying ads in it. He [Vinciguerra, publisher of the RNH] is renting the building from George McHugh.
Vinciguerra of Capital Region Independent Media LLC, and publisher of the Ravena News Herald. Anything but “Independent” and a perversion of what the News Herald once was. Vinciguerra is McHugh’s and Carver Laraway’s media sock puppet.
“He [George McHugh] has so many business connections how can he possibly serve as Supervisor of this Town? He’ll have to recuse himself from every other meeting, if not every meeting of the Town Board.
Smalbany:- What are the reasons for withdrawal of the warehouse application by Billy Biers?
Mr. Crandall:- “The real reason that Billy Bier’s application went down the tubes is because the [New York State] Department of Environmental Conservation [DEC] denied it for many, many reasons. Mr. Biers contacted me. He asked me if there’s any way I can help? Would I write a letter in support, so that they would reopen it and look at it again? I wrote a letter to DEC asking them to please give Mr. Biers’ project another look; we would really appreciate it if they would; we would really like this business to come into the Town.
Billy Biers’ Warehouse Project REJECTED by DEC, not by Town!
Biers’ lies publicly at Town Board meeting.
I sent that letter. For Mr. Biers to get up and say anything other than what we really did for him is an outright lie.
I’ve never called a Planning Board member in my life and asked for anything from them for anybody. I’ve never approached them. The Zoning Board, either. Or the Assessment Board. And I never will. Those are unethical things. Would Mr. McHugh violate that? I don’t know.
[Editor’s Note: We have copies of the DEC letter to Mr. Biers, Mr. Bier’s letter withdrawing the application, and Mr. Crandall’s letter of support to the DEC. We will publish those later this week.]
Smalbany:- In a recent video posted by the group calling itself Friends of Coeymans, Mr. Carver Laraway addressed the board saying that he asked for the board’s support and got none. What is he talking about?
Mr. Crandall:- I have no idea. He might be talking about the last P.I.L.O.T. he wanted for a company… They refurbish old parts and metal pieces, mainly parts that connect sewer systems, they refurbish stuff like that. But we have a negotiator, a Mr. Larry Farbstein. He worked for the [New York State] Real Property Tax Services for 32 years. He’s a former lawyer; he doesn’t practice law any more, he just negotiates contracts for P.I.L.O.T.s, full time, from Long Island to Saint Lawrence County. Throughout the whole state. He does it for municipalities. We hired that man. He did our P.I.L.O.T. for LaFarge with the Town. He handles all of our P.I.L.O.T.s, and I told him [Laraway], “Mr. Farbstein will be calling you.” Well, Mr. Farbstein called him and asked him for certain information he needed by law in order to fairly do a P.I.L.O.T., and they wouldn’t give it to him. It was financial. They have to tell, they have to give him all the financial information, the financial records, that he needs. They refused to give it to him. And that’s where it left off.
P.I.L.O.T. Denied because of unwillingness to disclose financial information.
“I can only assume that because we didn’t just carte blanche roll over for him and sign off on Mr. Laraway’s P.I.L.O.T., that that’s what he’s talking about.
“Why didn’t he talk about the 11 new businesses that have come in in the last three-and-a-half years since I’ve been Supervisor? Would those businesses have come here if the Town Board was hostile to business? I don’t think so.
[Editor’s Note: Click New Businesses Brought to Coeymans to see the list of new businesses during Crandall’s term. 11 of those businesses are in the Port of Coeymans or the Coeymans Industrial Park. New Businesses Brought to Coeymans]
“He [Laraway] had other P.I.L.O.T.s that were negotiated by the Town. I mean, how many tax breaks does one man need? How greedy to you have to be? It’s time to pay your fair share.
“Now you look at all the business he’s gotten…for the Tappan Zee Bridge, that was Cuomo’s baby, and all the other business he’s gotten, nobody can tell me…and the small fines that he paid. Anybody see a bridge go over a river, a creek so fast? As that bridge went across. So, he’s got a hook in DEC or in the state departments somewhere, with Cuomo. But these companies like the Port of Coeymans and LaFarge, they figure it into their…to do business, how much it will cost them for a certain fine. And he’s [Carver Laraway] paid relatively small fines. I think he paid $55,000 for one fine, which was a major violation, which the Town got back, and we were able to use that money to stop…There were three three, four houses on Stone House Hill that were running raw sewerage into the [Coeymans] Creek. That was going on when George McHugh was supervisor.
“There were four houses there, ever since they were built, and he [McHugh] never did anything to stop that. Well, I’m not having that! So, we used that $55,000 – and I think we put another $15,000 to it – too hook them in to the sewer system, to stop that raw sewerage from going into the Creek. So, Mr. Laraway can thank me for that, because now he owns the property down there where the boats are, the Marina, and now they won’t be smelling human feces coming into the Creek.
“But did he mention that? No!
“Everything he said at the meeting was just a show, trying to get people to not vote for Mr. Crandall.
Smalbany:- But he was being videoed by the Friends of Coeymans…
Mr. Crandall:- Right. They were hoping that I would go off and start yelling and…but that’s not me…I’m not doing that…But if they expect to get a rise out of me out there, they’re not getting it. Public comment is public comment. I don’t care who you are or what you say…I don’t care who you are, it’s public comment: Say it! It’s a free country.
Mr. Crandall:- Can I go back to the Clean Air Law?
Smalbany:- Sure. I wish you would.
Mr. Crandall:- While we were working on this Clean Air Law, Dan Baker and Kenny Burns, sat right here, and Baker worked for LaFarge for 15-20 years, and he told us that they’re fudging the numbers on their, on the numbers when they’re being checked. When the monitors are being checked by DEC. He told us that DEC calls them, and then immediately the plant stops burning coal and goes right on natural gas so they can doctor the numbers, so the emissions numbers come down. What the hell kind of emissions control is that? And this is when Mr. Baker also, when someone sent him a picture when there was a blow-off up there, and all this black smoke came out, right across from the school. It was awful. I remember seeing the picture. He sent that to us on his cellphone. This was when he was for the Clean Air Law. He spoke for it, he was [for it], everything was going fine. And then, all of a sudden, Mr. McHugh, decides, announces he’s running for office in March, and that’s when Dan Baker changed.
Mr. Crandall:- But Mr. Baker, all of a sudden…we would sit here and talk about our kids and grandkids, and how we don’t want them breathing this stuff…And he was all set to vote for the Clean Air Act [read: Law]. I know he was. He told us he was. And then some time in January-February, that must be when he got word that McHugh was running, he started marching, my speculation is McHugh was calling the shots then, and he was marching to the McHugh beat.
And another thing: Kenny Burns, he told us he interviewed over 300 people not one person was against the Clean Air Law, yet when it came to the vote, he voted against it.
Smalbany:- Now this one is what I read to you before. Do you recall? Mr. McHugh’s accomplishments with the Village Sewer and Water project just before he left office (2001). Between leaving office (2001) and 2003, he all of a sudden has a project over on the Blaisdell farm, and now he’s got water and sewerage there. [Referring to Mr. Dolan] You were actually mentioned in one of those …
Mr. Dolan: I was at some point..the town and village got together and started a sewer and a water commission, two separate entities…I recall that there was talk of annexation, and there was a lawsuit after that, and I know the Coeymans Fire Department was upset about it, because they would lose that portion of territory.
Smalbany:- So this was – I’m not asking you to speculate – what was going on behind the scenes but at this time was the annexation being discussed?
Community Observer’s Comment:- It was being discussed. Because he used my famous letter to Sol Greenberg to get on the good side of the Mayor (former Ravena Mayor, John Bruno), to get the mayor to say OK, so what do you have property in, to get the water. He always used people. [inaudible comments]
[Editor’s Notes: The annexation was in the works during McHugh’s single term as Coeymans Town Supervisor. The annexation was finalized some time in 2003, and McHugh’s properties were hooked into Village water and sewerage. McHugh then proceeded with development of single family homes and their sale, apparently through one of his wives, who was handling the real estate sales at the time.
Remember this honey of a land deal. McHugh took good care of himself.