The Village of Ravena Publishes the Proposed 2013-14 Budget: $115,500 for the Village Fitness Center;
Cathy Deluca to be Director making $30,000+.
Do the math: If there are 500 households in Ravena, the fitness outfit will cost each and every household at least $300.00 in 2013-2014!
The Village of Ravena Refuses to Disclose Legal Fees
Financial Irresponsibility Continues in the Village
Village Mayor John T. Bruno is Still Clueless
In a Times Union article following the Office of the NYS Comptroller’s audit of the village of Ravena, ” Audit slams Ravena board. Village officials fail to monitor finances, comptroller warns,” we read:
The Village Board has little control over finances…The audit revealed scant oversight by the board and said the village treasurer has almost exclusive control over finances…It found that the board is not aware of purchases, does not monitor the actual cost of operations versus the budgeted cost, does not approve budget transfers, did not audit the treasurer’s records or the justice court and filed annual financial reports late…
None of the transfers were approved by the board, the audit said… The audit called the village’s purchasing policy outdated, said the policy is not being followed and the board is not monitoring purchases… Two out of three department heads said they were unaware the village had a purchasing policy, and in reviewing claims, a substantial portion of them did not have proper documentation attached…”The mayor stated that the board was not aware that audits of the treasurer’s and the justice court’s records were required to be completed,” the audit said.
More than thirty years on the village payroll and Mayor John T. Bruno still hasn’t got a clue. ‘What, records? Us, keep records? Nah! I don’t know nothin’! Get outta here!”
And Nancy Biscone-Warner, wife of village justice Harold “Hal” Warner, has been treasurer for more than 20 years, and has been re-elected to the position by dumbass voters (probably the Brunos, Biscones, Persicos, Albanos, and a handful of Coeymanazis were enough to vote her in). Now she’s haunting the corridors of village hall 25/7. Why are the village Ravena, NY, reading reports of such incompetence and voting these clowns back into office?!? We don’t get it!!! Shouldn’t these walking-dead from the past be exorcised or something?
This blog has reported extensively on the village of Ravena’s backroom deals to evict the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Community Library and create the Ravena Health and Fitness Center. The planning for the Ravena Health and Fitness Center was business as usual in the village of Ravena: it was done secretly. No public hearings, no public comment. Then the village of Ravena went ahead and purchased about $40,000 in used health club equipment from another insider. The $40 grand came out of the public treasury. Again no public hearings or inputs.
We published our prediction that the Ravena-Coeymans Incest Club, the Brunos, Biscones, Warners, Delucas would be setting up a cozy little private spa for themselves and their croneys, as well as providing a plum position for one of their own. Well, as usual our prediction is correct.
The proposed village of Ravena budget is out and here are the figures for the Ravena Health and Fitness Center, which already has its own e-mail and designer logo, again a done deal behind closed doors.
As we predicted, Cathy Deluca has been given the position of fitness center director at a cool salary of $30,000. Is that being paid out of taxpayer monies? Yes! Does it include benefits that not many of us are likely to see? Yes! Is this an insider pick? Yes!
Actually, Cathy Deluca does have some fitness center mismanagement experience. She managed a fitness center when she was still Cathy Long. Remember the fitness center on Main Street? The one that failed?
So let’s have a look at the “budget officers estimates” of what the fitness center is going to cost (the figure below is taken directly out of the proposed budget):
|130||Director (Cathy Deluca)||30,000.00|
The Ravena Health and Fitness Center is Estimated to Cost Ravena Residents $115,500 in 2013-14. Can you afford that?
We’d like you to have a close look at item s 290 Equipment and 429 Repairs to Equipment. The village plans to spend another $30,000 on equipment for this misconceived misuse of public money. But what’s really irking us is that they’re budgeting another $20,000 for repairing equipment. They just bought about $40,000 in used equipment, and now they’re planning to spend another $20,000 repairing it. (Do the math: $60,000 in junk, scrap!) Our question is obvious: Who got the kickbacks?
There’s no business plan or anything like planning so the other $5,200 for items 435 Outside Services and 436 Unclassified are still mysteries. But let the imagination go wild on this one!
While I do not generally advocate taking local dollars out of the community, I must admit that nothing, nothing that the village of Ravena can do can even come close to the opportunities in Glenmont, just down the road with Planet Fitness and it’s beautiful facility, including changing rooms, tanning, instructors, events, sanitation, etc. And all at a ridiculously reasonable price and a variety of plans. But then, the Ravena Health and Fitness Center with all of its misleading hype, is not for you or me, it’s for the Ravena-Coeymans in-crowd.
Once the Coeymanazi bunch makes the Ravena Health and Fitness Center its watering hole, do you think the rest of us will be welcome? Guess again!
So, cruising down Main Street in Ravena we can take in the Bruno legacy as we approach a centennial: empty storefronts and empty residential buildings. But Ravena has $115,500 dollars in the 2013-14 budget for a fitness center. Go figure!
Moreover, wouldn’t it have been more responsible to have budgeted that $150,000 to support say the RC Teen Center’s programs for the benefit of youth, or perhaps to invested some of it in the RCS Community Library programs, after all the Library is in the geographical territory of the village of Ravena, or maybe some billing software to keep village accounts, especially water and sewer billings, honest. Speaking of water and sewer, how can the village board of Ravena in good conscience budget $150,000 for a health and fitness center of dubious merit, while neglecting the necessary repair of a 100-year old village sewer and drainage system! It’s criminal and Mayor John T. Bruno and his lunatic band of clowns William Bailey, Rocco Persico, Martin Case, and Nancy Biscone-Warner need to do some jail time with co-conspirators Cathy Long-Deluca and Dirty-Hands Jerry Deluca!
We’d also like to remind our readers that the Bruno-Warner-Deluca fitness scam is also at the expense of a community institution, the RCS Community library. The library is funded by tax dollars that property owners in the town of Coeymans pay. You voted on its budget at the same time you voted for the RCS central school district budget, and the members of the RCS school board. The RCS Community Library serves residents of two counties as a result of the funding (actually the town of Coeymans (Albany County) and part of the town of New Baltimore (Greene County). In other words, the RCS Community Library is a publicly funded institution that serves the entire RCS CSD region, plus. The village of Ravena has done everything possible to make the library unwelcome, including raising its rent by an additional $600. That’s $600 of your money.
One of the reasons the RCS Community Library could not leave its location in the Ravena village building is because D. Persico, board member Rocco Persico’s cousin, didn’t have the money to finish the required renovations, and had to qualify for a loan. Normally, when a contractor renegs on a commitment, there are penalties, like Donnie, you’ve got to eat the rent hike? But that’s not how business is done in Ravena-Coeymans, especially in the Incest Club. Rather than impose penalties on the contractor-board-member-cousin who doesn’t have the money to finish the job, the village of Ravena raises the library’s rent by $600!
This situation has to be investigated and we’ll be publishing forms for residents to fill in and cover letters that can be used for submitting complaints to the Office of the State Comptroller and to the Office of the Attorney General, demanding that the operations in the village of Ravena be investigated.
Isn’t it odd that Rocco Persico is a psychologist on the payroll of the RCS school district and he’s on the village of Ravena board. I really have to ask myself what kind of psychologist Persico is if he’s on the Ravena board and this crazy shite still goes on? Maybe that’s why the high-school kids are so whacked out.
And the Financial Irresponsibility and Criminally Poor Recordkeeping Goes On and On and On…
What is Ravena Shelling Out for Legal Fees?
In Other Words:
What is the Michael Biscone Racket Being Paid?
A Local Resident Filed a Demand for Production and Disclosure of the Village of Ravena’s Legal Expenditures. The demand was made under the New York State Freedom of Information Act, which requires public entities–with the exception of courts–to produce and disclose all public access information within a specific period of time.
§84. Legislative declaration. The legislature hereby finds that a free society is maintained when government is responsive and responsible to the public, and when the public is aware of governmental actions. The more open a government is with its citizenry, the greater the understanding and participation of the public in government.
The people’s right to know the process of governmental decision-making and to review the documents and statistics leading to determinations is basic to our society. Access to such information should not be thwarted by shrouding it with the cloak of secrecy or confidentiality. The legislature therefore declares that government is the public’s business and that the public, individually and collectively and represented by a free press, should have access to the records of government in accordance with the provisions of this article.
Yes, every one of us has the right to demand disclosure of information from our government and public agencies. The government and its agencies work for you. Don’t let them forget that fact!
There are laws, the Freedom of Information Law, for example, that lay down the who, what, where, how, and when. And you should know about all of this. For example:
§89. General provisions relating to access to records; certain cases. 3. (a) Each entity subject to the provisions of this article, within five business days of the receipt of a written request for a record reasonably described, shall make such record available to the person requesting it, deny such request in writing or furnish a written acknowledgment of the receipt of such request and a statement of the approximate date, which shall be reasonable under the circumstances of the request, when such request will be granted or denied, including, where appropriate, a statement that access to the record will be determined in accordance with subdivision five of this section. An agency shall not deny a request on the basis that the request is voluminous or that locating or reviewing the requested records or providing the requested copies is burdensome because the agency lacks sufficient staffing or on any other basis if the agency may engage an outside professional service to provide copying, programming or other services required to provide the copy, the costs of which the agency may recover pursuant to paragraph (c) of subdivision one of section eighty-seven of this article.
And so far, the village of Ravena (and the RCS CSD district offices, Dr McCartney. But more on this later.) have obstinately broken the law!
It seems a local resident submitted a demand for disclosure of the village of Ravena’s legal fees, because of the observation that wherever you look there’s either a Biscone or a Teresi doing legal work for the village, the town, private individual, on their own. And given the NYS Comptroller’s observation that nobody seems to know who’s doing what or where the money’s going, it apparently seemed like a good idea to get the official word. Normally, a FOIL works…unless there’s something to hide.
Well, the resident got the runaround and then it was “we need more time because we’re mailing out sewer and water bills.” OK . Call him stupid, but the resident agreed to give them more time. And then…SILENCE. He contacted the village and the clerk tells him that the request is unreasonable, that she does not have access to the records, what she does have she’ll produce by August 2, 2013. WTF! Read the law (especially the parts quoted above)!
For all we have to say about the town of Coeymans, who apparently got the same request at the same time, the Coeymans town clerk responded in a matter of days! Why is it that Ravena needs almost 6 months from the time the FOIL was submitted to the time the village clerk expects to have the records? No way, José! Well, maybe they don’t have any records. Maybe they don’t want to surrender the records. Maybe someone doesn’t want the records public. Maybe all of the above.
So now the village of Ravena has a choice: either get the documents to the resident or face the consequences. Now we’re on the case and we’ll see it right on through to the Office of the Comptroller and the Office of the Attorney General. And we know of quite a few other residents who’ll be more than happy to join the movement.
Well, dear readers, the law is the law for you and me, and for the village of Ravena. The village of Ravena is now breaking the law and it’s time to go public and demand that the Office of the State Comptroller and the State Attorney General do some poking around. Where are the records, Ravena?
Actually, we’ve hear that Michael Biscone is having his own problems these days. It seems he’s allegedly being sanctioned by the court for some sort of misconduct. We’re trying to lay our hands on the papers and will publish as soon as we can find out the facts. A former partner of Biscone’s, Joe Rotello, is now in the Appellate Division, the New York State Unified Court System division that is responsible for disciplining attorneys. We just want all concerned to know that we know and that we’ll be watching for any messing around. May Biscone get what’s coming to him!