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Category Archives: Public Office

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

Funding for Justice

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Mr. Linger:
Dear Mr. Stanzione:

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

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

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

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

Business as usual in Greene County and New Baltimore.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But first, a quote from the hearing officer:

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

And then the hearing officer states and certifies that:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Disgusted,

A Concerned Resident

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Board of Education Member James “Hadji” Latter: Is he paying his fair share of property taxes?

In the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District, the name James “Hadji“* Latter has a murky history. He’s been able to stay on the RCS-CD Board of Education for a number of years now, not because of his tidy background and performance record, but because the RCS-CD is just a corrupt and manipulated as any other “elected” body in the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk/Albany County region, including New Baltimore and Greene County. But New Baltimore, although in Greene County, pays a portion of their property taxes to support the bloated budget of the RCS-CD and the idiotic programs approved by a board of back-scratchers and cronies.

* “Hadji” is our nickname for James Latter II because of his close associations with the Saudi Arabian company SABIC.

We have reported in the past about Latter’s questionable conduct on the board but when you are dealing with a group who love their power to spend public money, and then ask for more and then make decisions that affect the school age young people in the district and their futures. It’s hard for them to let go and share the responsibility or even to acknowledge and consult the public. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and the RCS Central School District Board of Education is no exception. Least of all Mr James Latter II.

That’s why, when a local resident drew our attention to the parking and traffic situation in the Village of Ravena in connection with our recent investigation of Village of Ravena Code Enforcement and, while guiding us around on the grand tour of the many Village of Ravena parking opportunities — in no less than six public parking areas less than one block from the commercial district of Village Center —, and that resident pointed out and commented on a particularly ostentatious eyesore of recent construction on a large lot on Aluise Drive, just in back of the huge lot owned by the Roman Catholic Church of St Patrick, we got curious.

That’s when sitting RCS Central School District Board of Education member James J. “Hadji” Latter II again waddled into the spotlight in his usual murky and questionable style.

You see, Latter and wifey, Amanda C. ( Mrs Hadji) purchased two large adjacent lots (total acreage 6.5 acres, cost $101,000) on Aluise Drive in the Village. The lots were previously owned by the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Patrick (Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany) but were sold off and Latter was in the pews ready to close the deal. Was that because former BoE member and crooked cop Gerald “Dirty Hands Jery” Deluca was high up in the Church’s lay administration and an insider? Probably. Latter and “Dirty Hands” Jerry were thick as flies on fresh summer sh*t. So here we have another questionable business deal in Ravena, Home of the Incest Club, and the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Patrick, an Incest Club meeting place, probably brokered by “Dirty Hands Jerry” Deluca before he was forced out (“resigned”) of the Coeymans Police Department with former dunce Coeymans Police Chief Gregory “Dumplin” Darlington was canned (“retired”), and disgraced town/village justice Phil Crandall was elected to be Coeymans Town Supervisor. You really can’t make this stuff up!!!

Our investigations to date have revealed the following interesting and questionable situations. But please note: This information is preliminary and is based on our research in the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans using immediately available information, that is, information we could get on the spot without the formal F.O.I.L procedure (demanding production of public access documents and information under the provisions of the New York State Public Officers Law), and our vetting of that information on official New York state tax online sites. We have demanded the production of documents that will provide finer details of the transactions and Mr Latter’s operations but that may take some time, given Mr Latter’s position and his “friends” in Village and Town offices.

The properties are listed in the official property tax documents as belonging to James and Amanda Latter of 13 Laura Drive, Ravena, New York. Note that address because we’ll be returning to that information shortly.

James “Hadji” and Amanda Latter posing with Hillary Clinton.
Birds of a feather…!

New York State Law Requires the Assessor to Assess Property Under Construction

In some states a new construction is not subject to assessment for tax purposes until it is completed and a certificate of occupancy is issued. The situation in New York State is different, however, here in New York state there is the so-called partial assessment.

Sitting Board of Education Member James Latter’s new house he will be sharing with teacher wife Amanda Latter.
It’s at 9 Aluise Drive in Ravena, in back of St Patrick’s Church.

New construction assessments are placed on the assessment roll based on the partial market value if the construction is in process or the market value of the completed construction as of March 1st, and that assessment is used to compute the school tax bill issued in September and the county, town, and special district tax bill issued the following January.

9 Aluise Drive. Behind St Patricks RC Church and next to the P.B. Coeymans Elementary School.

In the case of a partial assessment, the market value of the home is determined by using the completion percentage of the construction as of March 1st. If the construction is partially complete as of March 1st, the assessment will represent only a percentage of the total property tax assessment when the construction is completed.  A partial assessment will be place on the tax roll as a “partial”, and increased each year until the construction is 100% complete.

In New York State, the assessor is required to value the property exactly as he or she finds it on taxable status date, that is on March 1st. The Assessor is required by New York State law to value property in its condition on that date. A partially completed building will receive a partial assessment based on its estimated percentage of completion as of March 1st. If your house is under construction on March 1, its estimated percentage of completion on that date will be the basis for the assessment

The property was assessed at a time when the progress of the entire construction project was measured and recorded as a partial assessment. An assessment calendar requires that a property review be based on where the progress of the construction is at the time, and the assessment be based on the progress at the cut-off date on the calendar year. The property has to appear on the tax roll for taxes to be paid in the following year.

The law would require that the Latter construction be assessed in it’s state of construction on March 1st. It was not. This partial assessment procedure was not followed in Latter’s case and Latter’s property was not assessed in part while under construction and, though completed, the Town of Coeymans Assessor was unaware of the construction and the property has not yet been assessed! Mr Latter is not paying his fair share of property taxes. Mr Latter is not paying his fair share of his school taxes to the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District. Mr Latter should be required to resign from his position on the Board of Education for such malconduct.


We did some research and found that the latest tax information on the property at 9 Aluise Drive in Ravena doesn’t show a thing about any new construction and lists it as vacant land. But there’s a house on it that looks as if it’s market value would be at least $200,000!!! What is the deal here? We all have to pay our property taxes and a big part of those taxes go to the schools. Latter is on the Board of Education and decides on the school budget and how much we have to pay but it looks like he’s scamming the Town of Coeymans, whose Assessor wasn’t even aware the house was there — even though you can almost see it from Coeymans Town Hall!!!

Extract of New York State Real Property Report for one of the Latter Lots (where the house is standing).

New York State real property tax assessment law requires that a new construction be assessed as a partial assessment if it’s not completed by the date of March 1st of any year. That means that whatever part of Latter’s house that was completed by March 1, 2018, should have been assessed at that percentage of the total value of the house. But it wasn’t and we all want to know Why?

Another inconsistency is this: James Latter and Amanda Latter list their address of record as being 13 Laura Lane in the Village of Ravena. A bit more research shows that 13 Laura Lane in the Village of Ravena is owned by Anthony and Ann Carrk, not by the Latters. True, the Latters could be renting from Amanda’s parents all these years but isn’t that a stretch? Could be true, though. Maybe Jimmy “Hadji” or Amanda could shed some light on this question. Or maybe Anthony or Ann Carrk can explain the living conditions and how so many could be living in that tiny hovel on Laura Lane.

13 Laura Lane and 9 Aluise Drive. Where do the Latters live?

If you ask the Village of Ravena Building Department Joe Burns, he willl tell you that they issue the building permit for new constructions, do the code enforcement inspections, and when the construction is done, they issue the certificate of occupancy. The Town of Coeymans Sole Assessor Dawn DeRose will tell you that they are notified by the Village of Ravena when the construction is finished. But that’s doesn’t explain why a partial assessment of the Latters’ property wasn’t done by the Town of Coeymans according the New York State Real Property Law. You’d think Town of Coeymans Sole Assessor Dawn DeRose would know better.

This just in: According to a very simple document provided to the Town of Coeymans by the Village of Ravena entitled “Village of Ravena, Building Projects Completed in July 2018” the Village of Ravena provides a one-liner notification of Latter’s construction project. That’s all. The document provides only the following information:

The Bare Bones Provided to the Town of Coeymans Assessor.

The above document provided by the Town of Coeymans in response to a F.O.I.L. demand clearly shows that Latter’s new construction was likely completed by March 2018 and is valued at $300,000. Even if it were not completed it would have been substantially completed and should have been assessed and on the tax rolls!!! It is not. A 1728 square foot two-story home with attached garage can represent a pretty fair amount of tax revenue, even if only subject to a partial assessment. Our question is: Why wasn’t the information provided to the Town of Coeymans Assessor when the building permit was issued? Why was it provided only after a Certificate of Occupancy was issued on July 3, 2018!!! Latter saved a pretty penny thanks to the Village of Ravena’s substandard reporting procedures. We’re certain the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance will be very interested in this case and will likely want to investigate how many other similar cases have gotten past the Assessor and the Tax Department.

Ravena will tell you it’s not their problem because they don’t have an assessor; the assessments are done by the Town of Coeymans Assessor. Coeymans will tell you that they don’t police the Village of Ravena and the Village of Ravena has to tell Coeymans what’s going on so that the assessor can do his assessments. Latter will likely tell us that he doesn’t know anything about all this. Sounds like a really shady case of finger-pointing or passing the buck here, now that the cat’s hit the fan and yet another problem in Village of Ravena-Town of Coeymans communications is revealed. Don’t you think it’s high time the Village and the Town started communicating? Now the community is losing property tax money from a select few that managed to drop below the assessment radar. That’s just not fair and it’s not legal. Someone has to answer for this illegal conduct and investigate how many other similar cases have cheated the Town out of tax dollars.

This is another case for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, Real Property Division, and the Office of the New York State Comptroller. Rest assured they’ll be informed of all relevant details.

Do the Village or Ravena and the Town of Coeymans need a Special Audit?

But isn’t Latter a Board of Education member elected by the deaf-dumb-and-blind voters of the Town of Coeymans? Doesn’t he put together the school budget that gets funded in major part by our property taxes as assessed by the Office of the Assessor. And isn’t Latter a so-called “financial analyst” at SABIC? Wouldn’t you expect him to know about property taxes, assessments, etc.?

Ignorance is no excuse
Village and Town are Accessories.


Editor’s Aside: Diverting a bit from Mr James “Hadji” Latter’s past malconduct while a Board of Education member and later as president of the Board of Education that ranged from violations of confidentiality to a laundry list of questionable conduct and associations, he seems to have allied himself with a clique that manages to get elected no matter what. Probably by friends and family and a bit of influence peddling. But Latter is a decision maker on the Board of Education that hires the Superintendent of Schools for the RCS Central School District who runs the schools and manages the teachers. Latter’s Board hired a former principal/teacher from the RCS high-school as Superintendent at an astronomical salary, and others in turn to other posts.

“Hadji” Latter and his cronies have considerable influence on what gets taught by whom in our schools but he is obviously a supporter of Hillary Clinton. What’s worse still, is the fact that he is employed as a financial analyst at the Saudi Arabian company SABIC!!!

The SABIC flag flying near one of the company’s cogeneration towers in Feura Bush.

SABIC (Saudi Basic Industries Corporation) is a Saudi diversified manufacturing company, active in petrochemicals, chemicals, industrial polymers, fertilizers, and metals. It is the largest public company in Saudi Arabia, as listed in Tadawul, but the Saudi government still owns 70% of its shares. SABIC is also the largest listed company in the Middle East. Private shareholders are from Saudi Arabia and other countries of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Saudi SABIC

While Saudi Arabia is often a secondary source of funds and support for terror movements who can find more motivated and ideologically invested benefactors (e.g. Qatar), Saudi Arabia arguably remains the most prolific sponsor of international Islamist terrorism, allegedly supporting groups as disparate as the Afghanistan Taliban, Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Al-Nusra Front. Saudi Arabia is said to be the world’s largest source of funds and promoter of Salafist jihadism, which forms the ideological basis of terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, Taliban, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan) and others.

This is one of the guys you elected to run your school system!!!


We’re staying on top of this one and will publish the information provided by the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans in response to our F.O.I.L demands as it becomes available.

Yes. We know.
But let’s see what you say when the cat hits the fan.
JUST PAY YOUR TAXES!!!
The Editor

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, Accountability, Albany, Amanda Latter, Ann Carrk, Anthony Carrk, Assessment, Bill Bailey, Board of Education Member, Brian Bailey, Capital District, Church of St Patrick, Code Enforcement Officer, Code Violation, Coeymans, Coeymans Assessor, Coeymans Code Enforcement, Columbia-Greene Media, Daily Mail, Donna Degnen, Fair Play, Gerald Deluca, Gordon Bennett, Government, Greene County News, Henry Traver, Incompetence, James Latter, James Latter II, Jason Hyslop, Jeff Ruso, Jerry "Dirty-Hands" Deluca, Joe Burns, Joe Tanner, John B. Johnson, Joseph Burns, Joseph Tanner, Mark Vinciguerra, Mayor "Mouse", Mayor "Mouse" Misuraca, Michael J. Biscone, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, Nancy Warner, New Baltimore Assessor, New York, New York State, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, News Herald, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Office of the Comptroller, Official Misconduct, Partial Assessment, Phil Crandall, Property Taxes, Public Corruption, Public Office, Public Safety, Ravena, Ravena Building Inspector, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Central School District, Ravena News Herald, RCS Board of Education, RCS Central School District, RCS School Superintendant, RCS Superintendent of Schools, Real Property Tax Law, Sabic, Sante Debacco, Selkirk Cogen, Shame On You, Smalbany, Tax Avoidance, Tax Evasion, Tax Evasion, Taxation, Thomas E. Dolan, Tom Dolan, Village of Ravena, Village of Ravena Building Department, William Bailey, William Bailey, William Misuraca, William Misuraca, Zoning Enforcement Officer

 

Mr Sante Debacco Explains…

Mr Sante Debacco of the Village of Ravena Building Department has been very forthcoming and impressively so, with comments and responses to our articles “Is Nancy Warner Suffering PMM (Post-menopausal Mania) AGAIN?” and “Ravena Still Ignores Oaths of Office and Rights Protected by State and Federal Constitutions!!!” (called the “Hohman article” below). We have posted one of his emails and our comments in our article “Mr Sante Debacco of the Ravena Building Department Responds“, and are pleased to note that Mr Debacco AGREES with the majority of our statements. That should put to final rest any of the stupidity of doubters as to the factual basis of our articles. Here we have a long-time employee of the Village of Ravena Building Department and of the Town of Coeymans Building Department admitting in black and white that we are correct in what we had to say.

Although Mr Debacco erroneously placed his comments in response to the article primarily on Nancy Warner, he is aware of that error and explains that he intended the comments to go on the article about Mr Ron Hohman. You can read Mr Debacco’s comments in their unedited entirety in the Comments (bottom of the article) about Nancy Warner (here’s the link: Comments)

Mr Debacco’s most recent comment is most interested to our readers, because Mr Debacco explains some of the workings, if we can be so liberal to call them “workings,” that is, the operations of the Ravena Building Department, the roles of Mr Joe Burns, Mr Hohman and Mr Debacco, himself, the distinction between a State Code Enforcement Officer and a Village Code Enforcement Officer, and he confirms our statements made in the Hohman article.

We are publishing Mr Debacco’s most recent email/comment in its entirety simply because it is important for our readers, particularly our readers in the towns of Coeymans, New Baltimore, and the Village of Ravena, and any resident/property owner in the state of New York, for that matter, to know what Mr Debacco explains in his comment.

We are also publishing Mr Debacco’s statement in its entirety as well as his previous comments because it is so rare for a public employee to come forward and be so candidly honest about himself, his job, and the people he works with. That takes integrity and courage.

It’s the LAW.
Our rights are protected by the New York State Constitution and the Constitution of the United States!!!


Mr Debacco writes:

“Good Evening Editor of the Smalbany Blog,

“I would like to share some comments, or thoughts if you will, on the issue regarding the recent post about Village of Ravena Zoning Enforcement Official Ron Hohman. By the way – I am maintaining my vow not to read the blog for my own reasons, but I have no objection to you posting my comments on the blog.”

Mr Debacco had posted his previous comments on the “Is Nancy Warner Suffering PMM (Post-menopausal Mania) AGAIN?” page. That was in error but you can read all of his previous comments in the Comments section of that page.

“Mr. Hohman recently cited a property owner in the Village of Ravena a code violation regarding an unregistered vehicle, and discarded rubbish on the property. These citations were documented from the local laws and codes of the Village of Ravena. In our Building Department, Mr. Hohman is charged with the enforcement of Village of Ravena local laws. He [Mr Hohman]  is not a New York State certified code enforcement official, and cannot enforce the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code of New York State – Title 19 NYCRR. Only myself and Mr. Burns are charged with the enforcement of the State codes since we are certified by NYS as code enforcement officials. Mr. Hohman cannot issue building permits, conduct inspection of construction. He [Mr Hohman] can investigate complaints, but only complaints regarding the Village codes.” [Our emphasis]

Either Mr Debacco has knowledge of the case to which we refer in our article, “Ravena Still Ignores Oaths of Office and Rights Protected by State and Federal Constitutions!!!” or he is relying on the facts we reported in that article. The bottom line is that Mr Debacco is confirming that Mr Hohman’s authority is limited to only Village of Ravena local codes and laws.

Mr Debacco continues:

“However Mr. Hohman still must abide by protected constitutional rights of citizens. We are not allowed to enter private property without permission of the property owner. It is assumed that we can walk up to the front door of a building and knock on the door or ring a bell, but we are not allowed to walk around back per se without permission from the property owner. We are not allowed to enter into a dwelling unit without permission of the occupant of the dwelling. We can conduct legal inspections from the public right of way such as a sidewalk or street, and we can also conduct a legal inspection from a neighboring property, but the owner of that property must give us permission. The only time we can enter private property or enter someone’s dwelling unit, is during an emergency situation where the fire department or police department will allow us entry. The code enforcement official has the authority to obtain an administrative warrant to enter a property to conduct an inspection, but he/she must apply for such warrant at a local court where the property is located and must show cause.”

Again, Mr Debacco, a long-time employee of the Village of Ravena Building Department and a NYS certified code enforcement officer, confirms our statements in the Hohman article, that is, that Hohman must respect the protected rights of citizens. In other words, as we reported, no on may enter a resident’s or a citizen’s property without the citizen’s permission, or unless the official has a warrant or there is an emergency situation. Unless the official has the owner/occupant’s permission or a court order, the official cannot set foot on the property. Thank you, Mr Debacco, for confirming our report.

And again, Mr Debacco continues and confirms what we reported in the Hohlman article:

“I’m not sure what procedures Mr. Hohman followed the day of the visit to the Ravena property owner. I wasn’t around that day, and I didn’t hear anything about it at the office.

“In regards to the subjects of the violations, I cannot comment because I was not involved. I do agree with the old saying that “one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure”. The language in the codes is not really that cut and dry. Lots of room for interpretation. I don’t think that criminal charges for trespassing are warranted. In defense of Mr. Hohman, I believe there was no criminal intent on his part. I believe he was trying to his job, in the best way he thought he was able to.” [Our emphasis]

The law has no reliable way to adequately define a word like “rubbish”, as we have already stated in the Hohman article, and so that disposes of Hohman’s charge that there was anything objectionable in the resident’s yard. Hohman still has to explain how he made the observation on which he bases his charge, however. Even if he claims he did not enter the property and viewed the property from a neighboring property, he still has to prove he obtained the “neighbor’s” permission to enter their property. We don’t think That Mr Hohman is tall enough to make adequate observations over a 6 foot fence, though.

We also don’t agree that criminal intent absolves Mr Hohman from answering charges of trespass. Trespass does not require the intent to commit a crime and ignorance or over-zealousness does not absolve guilt. Think of it this way: You are driving down the road 10 miles over the posted speed limit and you are stopped by a law enforcement officer and ticketed for speeding. Your explanation is that you were not aware that you were speeding. That’s not going to save your sorry butt. You see, it is your responsibility to be in control of your vehicle and that includes knowing and obeying local laws and ordinances and state Vehicle and Traffic Laws, including speeding. It is your responsibility as an operator of a motor vehicle on pubic roadways and the excuse of not paying attention or ignorance is no defense. You will still have to face the consequences for your irresponsibility.

Same applies to Mr Hohman. He is responsible not only for knowing the Village of Ravena codes as they apply to buildings and properties in the Village, he must also be aware of the rights of residents and property owners and his limitations as a public official and employee. Whether or not he knew or did not know what he could or could not do is not a defense. He violated the law and cannot claim that his official duties protect him — they don’t — or that he was unaware of his limitations as to the rights of the public — ignorance is not a defense. So we disagree on this with Mr Debacco.

We feel that Mr Hohman has the duty, obligation and responsibility to know not only the codes but also what he can and cannot do under the law. He obviously broke the law and must now accept the consequences. The law does not apply differently to him because he is a public employee. There are not separate laws for Mr Hohman and others that apply to us common citizens. In fact, it is generally accepted that public servants must be held to a higher standard than private citizens because public servants are more visible and represent the common good. That applies equally to our judges and to our dog catchers and everyone in between. You break the law and you must be made an example. Period.

We continue to advise the property owner to file a criminal charge of trespass and violation of his protected rights under the New York State and United States constitutions. The local police chief, Coeymans Police Chief Daniel Contento must take the complaint, investigate to the extent that his own competence allows, and turn the matter over to the court for arraignment and hearing. An example must be made and other public employees put on notice.

Furthermore, given the facts and given Mr Debacco’s statements in his comments, we also feel that Mr Joseph Burns, Mr Debacco’s and Mr Hohman’s supervisor and the director of the Village of Ravena Building Department must be held accountable for Mr Hohman’s misconduct. It is Mr Burns’ responsiblility to ensure the lawful operations of his department and it is Mr Debacco’s duty and obligation to report any observed or suspected misconduct to Mr Burns so that Burns can investigate and take any necessary action. If Debacco fails to report such misconduct or his suspicion or knowledge to Burns, Debacco becomes an accessory to the misconduct and should be disciplined. Burns must keep records of all such incidents as well as any action taken by him in the case. If Burns does not keep adequate records, he becomes subject to discipline. Good recordkeeping is a requirement in public office, and the Office of the New York State Comptroller audits consistently look at the recordkeeping habits of local governments. So beware!

Watch your step, Mr Debacco; It’s a slippery slope.

“I would like to invite the editorial team to visit us some day at the Building Department offices, either in Ravena or Coeymans. Spend some time with us, spend a day or two with us. Tour our offices, perhaps do a ride-along when we go out in the field. See what we do. See what we can’t do. You will learn that we do not have an easy job. It can be stressful, controversial, and complicated. We probably are the least liked – for lack of a better term – out of any public employee. Many times I have been yelled at, scolded, given the finger, and even threatened with physical harm by the public for – what I thought – was just doing my job. And I’m only the part-timer: way down on the (Village and Town) food chain. Twice in my career I have been threatened where I had to file a “workplace violence incident report”. Maybe you are right. Maybe I really do work too much!”

It is very generous of Mr Debacco to invite us to visit the Village of Ravena Building Department and to accompany him on his rounds but truth be told we do not think that Mr Debacco has the authority to make such an invitation. That’s not to say that we are not appreciative of Mr Debacco’s generosity in extending an invitation to do so; we simply feel that you can’t invite someone into someone else’s home — that would be violating their protected rights — and Mr Debacco is only a part-time employee of the Ravena Village Department and as such, no matter how long he’s been there, does not give him the authority to invite outsiders to spend a day with the Department or to participate in a “ride-along” in the field. That would require Mr Burns’ and perhaps even higher authority’s permission. We would urge Mr Debacco to be more prudent and cautious in making such invitations.

As Mr Debacco admits in his comment his job is not the most popular one in the Village and he does admit that it can be “stressful, controversial and complicated.” But then so are many other jobs but that does not mean that you don’t have to obey the rules and the law. As we say: If it’s too hot in the kitchen, get out.”

Mr Debacco closes his comment with:

“Anyway – thank you again for your time this evening.
Sincerely,
Sante DeBacco
Sent from my iPhone”

Our recommendation to the Village of Ravena and to the Town of Coeymans is that you train your employees properly and avoid lawsuits (same would apply, Mr Jeff Ruso (R) and Mr Nick Dellisanti (R), to employees of the Town of New Baltimore). You can’t undo what has been done but you can make good faith efforts to avoid abuses in the future. (By the way, Ravena, Why? do you pay village shyster Michael Biscone, Ravena Village attorney, if the Village of Ravena continues to break the laws of the state and the nation? Paying him to park his fat arse and supply expensive lies is a bit of a waste of taxpayer dollars. Wouldn’t you agree?)

And we’d like to thank Mr Debacco sincerely for his straightforward and informative comments. We wish that other citizens and residents and ALL of our public employees — and wer’re thinking specifically of Mr Jeff Ruso, New Baltimore Town Supervisor, and his employees and elected officials; they don’t even respond to resident’s letters — would have the guts to do what Mr Debacco has done. But perhaps we are wishing too much!

From the Community!

The Editor


Editor’s Postscript

We’ve been asked to investigate two other matter in the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans. Just to give our readers a Heads up! on what’s coming:

  1. Driving through Faith Plaza, a heavily visited strip mall with Ravena Shop’n Save and CVS Pharmacy and other heavily trafficked businesses, we have been asked to investigate why the Village of Ravena and The Town of Coeymans have not taken steps to ensure the public’s safety by citing the owner of the Plaza for the incredibly dangerous condition of the parking lot. The potholes are so many and so deep that you could lose an 18-wheeler in one of them or a small child! After a rain the potholes are filled with water any if you should drive through one, you could lose a wheel. This is a condition that has been allowed to persist literally for years and nothing has been done about it. Where are you Village of Ravena and Town of Coeymans???
  2. Heavy trucks, damaged streets and water infrastructure, hazardous curves, no traffic enforcement, and parking in Ravena is another question we’ve been asked to investigate, and one which we are currently investigating. Why are the heavy trucks going through the Village of Ravena in the first place? The Village has the power to restrict traffic and the New York State DOT would likely support the Village. So why is there all that dangerous heavy traffic? Why are certain business owners complaining about parking restrictions? Why hasn’t the Town of Coeymans and the Village of Ravena heeded the advice of a veteran professional law enforcement officer about the dangerous conditions? We will answer these questions, name names, Name to Shame, and expose the lies and half-truths about the parking situation in Ravena. One big question is who owns the parking lot across from the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Patrick in Ravena where the sign reads “Church Parking Only”? Lots of questions and we’re getting the answers.
  3. What’s the problem in the Town of New Baltimore where elected officials, including the New Baltimore Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso and his deputy Nick Dellisanti, Sole Assessor Gordon Bennett, New Baltimore Board of Assessment Review Chairperson Donna Degnen, New Baltimore Animal Control Officer Joseph “Joe” Tanner, the New Baltimore Code Enforcement/Building Inspector currently Allan Jourdin, the Acting [Deputy] Superintendent of Highways Scott vanWormer and others have ignored and refused to answer residents’ correspondence and questions. How dare they ignore residents’ letters asking for answers to important questions!!! They have a duty and an obligation to respond, even if the truth threatens their Mickey Mouse political ambitions. 
 
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Posted by on August 19, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, Abuse of Power, Abuse of Public Office, Accountability, Albany, Albany County Civil Service, Albany County Civil Service Department, Albany County District Attorney, Allan Jourdin, Bill Bailey, Burning the Constitution, Capital District, Church of St Patrick, Civil Right Violation, Civil Rights, Code Enforcement Officer, Code Violation, Coeymans, Coeymans Acting Police Chief, Coeymans Code Enforcement, Coeymans Town Board, Constitution, Crime and Punishment, Daily Mail, David Soares, Denis Jordan, Fourth Amendment, George Amedore, Government, Hal Warner, Harassment, Harold Warner, Henry Traver, Intimidation, Jeff Ruso, Joe Burns, Joe Stanzione, Joe Tanner, John Cashin, Joseph Burns, Joseph Stanzione, Lazlo Polyak, Mark Vinciguerra, Mayor "Mouse", Mayor "Mouse" Misuraca, Michael Biscone, Michael J. Biscone, Misuse of Public Office, Moose Misuraca, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, Nancy Warner, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Assessor, New York, New York State Constitution, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Town Law, Nick Delisanti, Nick Dellisanti, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Office of the Assessor, Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Comptroller, Official Misconduct, Pat Linger, Patrick Linger, Paul Tonko, Phil Crandall, Phillip Crandall, Protected Rights, Public Corruption, Public Office, Public Safety, Ravena, Ravena Building Inspector, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena Department of Public Works, Ravena News Herald, Ravena Village Board, Ron Hohman, Sante Debacco, Scofflaw, Scott Van Wormer, Scott VanWormer, Selkirk, Senate District 46, Smalbany, Smalbany Articles, Sole Assessor, Stephen Prokrym, Steve Prokrym, Tal Rappelea, The Daily Mail, Thomas E. Dolan, Thomas Meacham, Tom Dolan, Tom Dolan, Tom Meacham, Town of Coeymans, Town of New Baltimore, Trespass, Village of Ravena, Village of Ravena Building Department, William Bailey, William Bailey, William Misuraca, William Misuraca

 

Open Letter Blasts New Baltimore Supervisor, Town Board over Jordan Affair

New Baltimore Town Board Served with an Open Letter Exposing their Indifference and Negligence in Dealing with Malconduct and Incompetence of former Superintendent of Highways Denis Jordan Malconduct and of his Deputy Superintendent Scott van Wormer.

Letter Broils New Baltimore Town Supervisor and Town Board: Incompetent!


An example of the abject stupidity and short-sightedness of the New Baltimore Town Board (Greene County, NY), the Greene County Independence Party, and the Greene County Republican Party is the fact that they are now circulating petitions to get Jordan’s Deputy Supervisor Scott van Wormer on the ballot to be elected to be Town of New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways. This is the same man who was hand-picked by the criminal Denis Jordan to be his deputy, his lacky, and the same man that stood by watching, and participating in Jordan’s unlawful activities and said and did nothing. It’s incredible that the Town of New Baltimore would even consider keeping him on the pay roll, much less out of jail, for not coming forward and exposing what was going on in the Highway Department under Jordan. Now they want to put his monkey in Jordan’s chair. Unbelievable!!!


The New Baltimore Town Supervisor, Jeffrey “Jeff” Ruso (R), and The New Baltimore Town Board, Mr. Scott Brody, Ms Kelly Downes, Mr. Charles “Chuck” Irving, and Ms Shelly van Etten, were served with an Open Letter on Monday, July 9, 2018, by a local resident on behalf of several other New Baltimore residents and the community. The Letter does not paint a pretty picture of former Town Supervisor, now Ruso’s “Deputy Supervisor,” Nick Dellisanti (R), Town Supervisor, then “Deputy Supervisor,” Jeffrey Ruso’s, or the Town Board’s performance over the last several years of former New Baltimore Supervisor Denis Jordan’s alleged unlawful activities in the Town at taxpayer expense. Jordan was forced to resign under investigation by several agencies.

Also mentioned in the letter is Greene County District Attorney, Joseph Stanzione, claims to be investigating Jordan and his activities, but is just as weak in making a statement as Ruso or Dellisanti. The local Democraps may be backstabbing crooks but the local Repukelicans are backstabbing cowards, it appears.

The Letter refers to the June 12, 2018, by Columbia-Greene Media (CGM) reporter Richard Moody that appeared in the CGM newspaper, the Daily Mail, in which Mr. Moody reports on Jordan’s resignation, the investigation of the New Baltimore Highway Department, the New Baltimore Town Board’s glossing over the situation, and District Attorney Stanzione’s understatement. (Read the entire article ‘New Baltimore highway superintendent resigns; department under investigation.”)

The Letter also provides a so-called Memorandum of Law which points out all of the state laws that provide the Town Board with the powers to have prevented and avoided, or at least curbed Jordan’s devastating activities in the Town but which the Board and Town Attorney Tal Rappelea, as well as DA Stanzione ignored.

The Smalbany Blog was cc’d with the letter and we are providing it in its entirety for our readers’ information (See the link at the end of this article.).

Here are some excerpts from the Letter:

The letter starts out setting the tone by describing what can fairly be said to apply to most of the local municipalities in the Capital District (Albany, New York) region:

“Many of us in this Town of New Baltimore are angry and fed up with the corruption, indifference, back-scratching, cronyism, and lack of integrity in our local Town officers and employees. It’s a country club of log-rollers, and the residents and voters are being handed the dirty end of the stick.”

The Letter rightly tars and feather’s Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso at several points, but we’d like to include also former Supervisor Nick Dellisanti, now Ruso’s “deputy supervisor,” in the statement:

“Mr. Ruso, you are blowing more than smoke when you evasively stated, “It’s more like he retired.” It’s me, Harold W. Vadney, you are facing now, and you know I know the truth and the background to former Supervisor Nick Dellisanti’s and your own stormy relationship with Mr. Jordan.”

In the article, mealy-mouthed Ruso tells the reporter, “It’s more like he retired…” But Jordan didn’t “retire,” he resigned and he resigned under investigation by both the Office of the New York State Comptroller and the Greene County District Attorney! The author of the Letter correctly observes:

“If he “resigned,” there would be a clear and substantial reason for his resignation. If he resigned, the taxpayers of this community and the voters need to know the reasons. He is, or was an elected public figure; the public has a right to know. The reasons given by Mr. Ruso are not reasons; they are speculation. They’re also very weak-minded and are a slap in the public’s face.

“Do I need to inform you, Mr. Ruso, members of the Board, that there is a vast difference between “retiring,” Mr. Ruso, and “resigning.” The implications of “retiring” or “resigning” for the individual and to the Town and taxpayers is enormous.”

The general impression made by Supervisor Ruso, and Town Board member “Charles” Chuck Irving, who states in the article, ““All I know is that he resigned,” and the author of the Letter sharply but accurately notes:

“How can it be true that the very people sitting at the table before us didn’t know a thing about what was going on in the Town. That’s reprehensible! That’s simply unbelievable. What are you hiding and whom are you protecting. My guess is you’re hiding your own culpability and negligence in allowing this charade of local government to get to this stage in the first place, and the ones you are protecting are yourselves, for your negligence and indifference!”

This blog has reported for years and has directly contacted the New Baltimore Town Supervisor, the Highway Department and members of the Town Board about former Superintendent of Highways Jordan’s unlawful and unprofessional activity and incompetence, so it’s a very true statement when the Letter strongly criticizes Ruso and the Board with some strong words:

“Mr. Ruso, you are quoted as having said that “The Town is not investigating.” How can the Town be so negligent and indifferent as not to have investigated. The Town has been served with at least 4 Notices of Claim citing the Town of New Baltimore, the Town Board of New Baltimore, the New Baltimore Highway Department, Highway Superintendent Jordan, and all that the Town does is ship the Notices of Claim off to the Town’s insurance company, who then ships them off to a law firm, who then proceeds to protect the insurance company’s interests while trampling the rights of Town residents and taxpayers! Is that how you serve this community and its residents? Is that what we elected you people to do? You avoid fair play, justice, and your fiduciary obligations to residents and taxpayers in this Town? You beg for our votes and then you defecate on us!”

and

“Your statement, Mr. Supervisor, that the “Town is not investigating Jordan,” is an embarrassment and an admission of neglect, indifference and incompetence on the part of the office of the New Baltimore Supervisor and the Town Board.”

We have to ask the same question that the author of the Letter asks when he questions that if outside agencies are investigating the New Baltimore Highway Department, how can it be possible that the Supervisor, Jeff Ruso, and the entire Town Board of New Baltimore know nothing about the investigations? That’s a classic example of a bare-faced lie!!!

“Furthermore, and an even more scurrilous and specious evasion of your duties and responsibilities, Mr. Supervisor and members of the Town Board, is the statement, the indictment of you all in fact, that “If there are outside authorities investigating, I would not know about that?” Isn’t it your job to know about that, sir? And isn’t it your jobs to know about that, ladies and gentlemen of the Board?… It was YOU, Sir, ladies and gentlemen, and your predecessors’ duty to have investigated Mr. Jordan, but you were derelict in that duty, and now you are playing ignorant and innocent. But we know better, don’t we?”

The author of the Letter wipes Supervisor Ruso, former Supervisor Dellisanti’s and the entire New Baltimore Town Board’s faces in doggy doo, and doesn’t for a moment forget the disservice and incompetence, even malpractice of Town Attorney Tal Rappelea, when the author cites numerous provisions of New York state law and authoritative legal opinion to show how incompetent and indifferent the Supervisors, Town Board, and the New Baltimore Town Attorney, Tal Rappelea, were when turning their backs on the residents and taxpayers of New Baltimore.

“…[New York state] Town Law provides you with every possible opportunity to have taken charge of Jordan’s activities, to provide relief and compensation to the residents and taxpayers whose properties were damaged by Jordan’s incompetence and negligence — and I might add, the Town’s indifference and complicity in Jordan’s malfeasance —, and the means to have removed Jordan, and even to have made Jordan personally liable for any provable damage or waste he might have caused. It’s all provided in the New York State Town Law and New York State Highway Law…”

Far be it from the author of the Letter to leave it at that! He actually provides the Town Supervisor and the Board with a so-called Memorandum of Law listing and explaining the provisions of law that were available to the Supervisor and the Board, but were ignored!!! (Memorandum of Law re Hwy Super and Hwy Dept.)

“Then and now the Town Supervisor and Board played the three-monkey-game: See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil. Good for monkeys but pretty shoddy practice for an elected supervisor and elected board members who have the power and authority to have eliminated evil or at least to have controlled it, but refused to do so, while aiding and abetting it to the detriment of taxpayers and residents.”

It is clear that the entire Town of New Baltimore operation is a failure, and that the corruption and incompetence, the abuse and indifference was not and is not restricted to the Town Highway Department and its crook Superintendent; New Baltimore Town Hall is infected through and through.

“But the abuse and indifference goes beyond our elected Supervisor, Town Board, Superintendent of Highways, and extends to our appointees and employees. The Code Enforcement Officer, the Sole Assessor, and the tax-paid Board of Assessment Review all have refused to budge when it means doing what’s right.”

The author doesn’t leave the abuses and violations at New York State Town Law and Highway Law, he accuses the Town elected and appointed officers, Town Supervisor Ruso, former Supervisor Nick Dellisanti, Superintendent Denis Jordan, and others of violations of civil and constitutional rights and violation of their oaths of office!

“Let’s now move from your ethical and moral dereliction, from your administrative failure, beyond your violations of tort and contract law, to some violations of some US and New York constitutional violations, which you also managed to accrue.”

A very appropriate and brief final paragraph sums up the author’s challenge and his demands on behalf of residents, taxpayers and the community of New Baltimore:

“Mr. Supervisor, Mr. Deputy Supervisor, ladies and gentlemen of the New Baltimore Town Board, Mr. Jordan may be gone but the spectre of his acts and omissions haunts this Town Hall; Jordan may be gone but we still have the wounds and scars inflicted by his incompetence and indifference. The question remains: What do you intend to do to cure the injustice and to heal the wounds?

The Town of New Baltimore is just one sorry, pitiful example of the rampant corruption and incompetence that we find in our local elected officials and town halls. The nit-wits that stroll through our communities around election day campaigning, smiling, promising, begging for votes, once in office screw the daylights out of residents, voters and taxpayers. We all become invisible until the tax bills come rolling out. The Jordan affair was allowed to happen. It was allowed to happen because New Baltimore Town Hall allowed it to happen. It was allowed to happen because the gutless cowards working with Jordan were ignorant, stupid and indifferent to the unlawful and unprofessional conduct that was happening right under their dirty noses and overhanging bellies!

It’s worthwhile to repeat the Letter’s last paragraph and ask the Town Board, Mr. Ruso, Mr. Dellisanti, Mr. van Wormer how they are going to repair the emotional, psychological, physical and fiscal damage done by Jordan and his deputy van Wormer, and how the Town of New Baltimore is going to make those who suffered damage during Jordan’s term whole again?

“Mr. Jordan may be gone but the spectre of his acts and omissions haunts this Town Hall; Jordan may be gone but we still have the wounds and scars inflicted by his incompetence and indifference. The question remains: What do you intend to do to cure the injustice and to heal the wounds?”

The letter was distributed to the Town of New Baltimore and the Town Clerk was requested to distribute the Letter to the Supervisor and the members of the New Baltimore Town Board on July 9, 2018, in time for the regular public meeting of the Town Board. The letter was also copied to the Smalbany Blog, to the publisher of Columbia-Greene Media, LLC, Mr. Mark Vinciguerra, the editor of the Daily Mail, Ms Mary Dempsey, Greene County DA Joseph Stanzione, and the Office of the New York State Comptroller, Office of Local Government.

Mr. Patrick “Pat” Linger, Republican/Independence Party Greene County Legislator representing the Town of New Baltimore, was copied separately, as was New York State senator Mr. George Amedore, representating New Baltimore, and who we cited in an earlier article for his irresponsibility in channeling money into the Jordan highway department, taxpayer dollars that were completely squandered under Amedore’s nose (See our article, “George Amedore, NY State Senator for 46th District, Needs to do Some Homework“), the Town Boards, and at least two Town Supervisors’noses (Dellisanti and Ruso), as well as on the watch of county legislator Patrick “Pat” Linger and Greene County DA, Joseph Stanzione.

They’re Running for Election and the Petitions are Circulating

Please sign my petition…give me your vote!

They’ve come out of the woodwork again and are asking you for your support and your vote. What are you going to do? Just sit there with your thumbs up your butts as usual?

Patrick “Pat” Linger is running for re-election in November, as is Jordan’s former deputy (Jordan replaced him when A. van Wormer ran against Jordan), Alan van Wormer (Jordan’s Deputy Highway Superintendent Scot van Wormer’s brother), who is now running on the Republican/Independence Party ticket for the office of Superintendent of Highways. And you thought Ravena was the only community with an established incest tradition? We say that house needs cleaning. The house needs fumigating to get the stink and the vermin out. Remember all of this on election day. We’ll be there to remind you.

Thank you for reading and becoming active in cleaning of the Town of New Baltimore.

Something stinks in New Baltimore Town Hall and in the Greene County DA’s Office. What’s that smell?


Click on the links below to read the original documents.

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 2018 Elections, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 2Luck.com, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Abuse of Public Office, Accountability, Amedore Homes, Arlene McKeon, Baynes Law Firm, Bitter Bob (Ross), Board of Assessment Review, Bob Ross, Brendan Baynes, Capital District, Catskill-Hudson Newspapers, Charles H. Stahlman, Charles Irving, Charles Stahlman, Chuck Irving, Columbia-Greene Media, Conflict of Interest, Consolidated Highway Improvement Program, Corrupt Legislature, Corruption, Crook, Daily Mail, David Louis, David Louis, Denis Jordan, Denis Jordan, Deputy Superintendent of Highways, Diane Jordan, Diane Lewis, Diane Louis, Eleanor Luckacovic, Eleanor Oldham, Elections and Voting, Fat Cat Antiques, Fat Cat Transport, Fourteenth Amendment, Fraud, George Amedore, Gordon Bennett, Government, Greene County, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County Independence Party, Harassment, Hudson Valley, Ignorance, Incompetence, Independence Party, Indifference, Irene Beede, Jean Horne, Jeff Ruso, Joan Ross, Joe Stanzione, Joe Tanner, John B. Johnson, John Luckacovic, Johnson Newspaper Group, Joseph Stanzione, Joseph Tanner, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kurt Froehlich, Lynn Taylor, Marjorie Loux, Marjorie Loux, Mark Vinciguerra, Marshall & Sterling, Marshall Sterling Insurance, Meave Tooher, Michael Biscone, Michael J. Biscone, Misconduct, Mismanagement, Misuse of Public Office, Nepotism, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Assessor, New Baltimore Democrats, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Family Dentistry, New Baltimore Highway Superintendent, New Baltimore Republican Club, New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways, New Baltimore Town Board, New Baltimore Town Board Member, New York, New York State, New York State Civil Service Department, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Highway Law, New York State Town Law, Nick Delisanti, Nick Dellisanti, Notice of Claim, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Office of the Assessor, Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Comptroller, Pat Linger, Patricia Hildebrandt, Patrick Linger, Patty Hildebrandt, Public Corruption, Public Office, Ravena News Herald, Scott Brody, Shelly van Etten, Smalbany, Sole Assessor, Susan K. O'Rorke, Tal Rappelea, The Daily Mail, Times Union, Tooher & Barone, Town Board Meeting, Town of New Baltimore, Town Supervisor, Zach Stahlman, Zachary C. Stahlman, Zachary Stahlman

 

Threats of School Shooting at RCS High School!!!


As of March 29, 2018, we’re still waiting for the RCS District Superintendent Brian Bailey, RCS High School Principal Lisa Partierne, Coeymans Acting Police Chief Daniel Contento, Coeymans Supervisor Phil Crandall and others (see the list below) — anyone with real facts — to comment, provide a public statement, or provide the facts about the incident. No one seems to want to come out and make a statement on this important public safety, school safety issue. Why is that?

[Editor’s Note: The RCS Central School District issued a bland statement on the incident some three days after the incident, boilerplate, of course. The statement may be difficult to find because the main subject in the title is not “student safety” but “Dr Bailey”, narcissist! Read the say-nothing statement, CYA statement at “Message from Dr. Bailey – safe schools” last accessed on March 29, 2018) See our note about SNN at the end of this article.]


The Craziness Just Doesn’t Stop in Ravena-Coeymans!

What is RCS, Coeymans PD waiting for?

On Friday, March 23, 2018, three RCS high school  students were reported to be “joking” about coming into the highschool and shooting it up.


In our article “Drive-by Shooting Arrives in RCS” we were the first to break the story about the botched up investigation of a local drive-by shooting. Coeymans Police allowed the case to go cold; no real investigation, no suspects, no arrests, no prosecution. Criminals went free. Sheriff’s Department and State Police wouldn’t touch it without Coeymans Police requesting assistance. Request was never made.

If you recall, a high-school student at RCS high school was suspendid for wearing a T-shirt depicting a weapon (National Guard), and in another incident the school was locked down and a student arrested for having a rifle in his car trunk. Just recently students at Albany High School were terrorized and evacuated, and several students arrested for a school shooting incident. Why isn’t the RCS Central School District and the Coeymans Police Department reading the writing on the wall.


Three RCS highschool students Chandler L., Dylan A., and Cameran R. were apprehended and taken into the RCS high school principal’s, Lisa Patierne’s  office and suspended for five (5) days for allegedly “joking” about shooting up the high school.Five days should be just about enough time for them to plan their extracurricular criminal activities, obtain weapons and ammunition, and execute their plan for “shooting up” the high school.

RCS Central School District Superintendent Brian Bailey, RCS high school principal, Lisa Patierne, deputy principal, Joe Slichko, and Coeymans Police Department School Resource Officer, Schwebke and his boss, Coeymans Police Chief (acting) Daniel W. Contento have some questions to answer.

With the recent waves of gun violence in our schools, such “joking” must be taken to be real threats and the individuals not only taken into custody but subjected to intense psychological evaluation, surveillance and monitoring, and other controls. BUT NOT IN THE RCS CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT!!!

RCS is not the inner city, it’s not Albany Arbor Hill or Newark, NJ. And with a more than $43 million dollar budget — about 75% of which goes to salaries for personnel —, what are the teachers teaching these kids? What are the parents doing about teaching these kids correct behavior, morality, good judgment? How is it with the media coverage of the slaughter, murder, mayhem, trauma and suffering caused by students to students, to parents, to whole communities in recent shooting, that the RCS community doesn’t take “joking” about such incidents more seriously? Behind every joke is a real situation!

And with the recent scandal revolving around law enforcement misconduct and the international attention it got: Did anyone at any of the schools discuss the reasons why the conduct of two Coeymans Police personnel was reprehensible, scandalous, and outrageous? Is there anything, any room in the RCS curricula for discussions of morality, ethics, etc. or about the systemic social and political failure in the United States today that puts us at the top of the list for school shootings and other social disgraces?

Our guess is that none of this gets any discussion in the RCS Central School District and, furthermore, that most RCS parents don’t bother to discuss such things with their offspring. Judging from the response to the Coeymans Police misconduct on just one site — The Care2 Petition, which received more than 87,000 signatures (more than 10,000 in New York State alone), and the embarrassing attendance at the March 22, 2018, Coeymans Town Board meeting, at which less than 20 people showed up, three of which traveled from as far away as Queensbury to make a public statement at that meeting. That alone shows how uninterested locals are in their community. It’s a stinking shame, an embarrassment! Then you wonder why we live in such a, well, cesspool, with equally shitty elected officials, and pretty third-world services, if any? Pardon our language but there are no other words to accurately describe the situation — and you know it’s true!

We all know that our legal system will hold a host giving a party accountable for damage and injuries caused by a guest leaving the party drunk, and while under the influence, getting involved in an accident.  We say hold the teachers, the administrators, the school board members, the police department school resource officers responsible for injuries and deaths occurring on school property. PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE; the taxpayers are already being sucked dry paying for these parasites and getting nothing in return. PERSONAL LIABILITY will get these dumbasses thinking about taking their responsibilities seriously.

In the RCS Central School District, school officials and law enforcement don’t take such “joking” = “threats” too seriously. After all, the teachters, administrators, and RCS school board members are all too busy padding their pockets, planning their retirements, or budgeting school tax dollars to benefit their cronies. The Coeymans Police are too busy running over raccoons in shopping mall parking lots.

You should have a lot of questions. You should be demanding answers. Our questions are:

  • How are the three students’ parents being handled in this case?
  • Do the parents of these three students have guns, ammunition in their homes? How are they secured? Have they been seized by law enforcement during the investigation or the pending investigation?
  • Were the parents of RCS high school and middle school students informed of this threat?
  • Were students in the RCS Middle School and RCS High School, two schools on the same location, informed of the threats in a professional manner? Were they informed about ways to detect such threats and a procedure to follow? Were they educated as to what to do in such an situation? 
  • What actions, other than administrative suspension, were undertaken to investigate these students and the possibility that their “joking” was not real “threats”?
  • The RCS high school and middle school are in the jurisdiction of the Coeymans “Raccoon Killer” Police Department, what actions or plan of action do the Coeymans Police have for such threats?
  • Are these three students under supervision or surveillance?
  • What action did the RCS Central School District Superintendent, , and the RCS Central School Board of Education taken in this case?

There are some really serious questions that have to be answered in cases like this. Contact local officials to get the answers before you hear the sirens and learn about the local school shootings because nothing was done in cases like Chandler L, Dylan A. and Cameran R.

CONTACT! DEMAND ANSWERS!

Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Brian Bailey
(518) 756-5200, ext. 6003
bbailey@rcscsd.org

Philip A. Crandall
Supervisor, Town of Coeymans
18 Russell Avenue
Ravena, New York 12143
Phone: (518) 756-6006
pcrandall@coeymans.org

Daniel W. Contento (SGT)
Acting Chief, Coeymans Police Department
18 Russell Avenue
Ravena, New York 12143
Phone: (518) 756-2059
chiefofpolice@coeymans.org
police@coeymans.org

RCS High School
2025 Route 9W
Ravena, NY 12143
Phone: (518) 756-5200, ext. 2003

Lisa Patierne, Principal
lpatierne@rcscsd.org
Joe Slichko, Assistant Principal
jslichko@rcscsd.org

RCS Middle School
2025 Route 9W
Ravena, NY 12143
(518) 756-5200, ext. 3000

Pam Black, Principal
pblack@rcscsd.org
Cynthia Herron, Assistant Principal
cherron@rcscsd.org

Is the RCS Central School District, the Coeymans Police Department, the Albany County DA P. David Soares waiting for this to happen?

Click HERE to return to the OFFICER IDENTIFIED story.

Note: Superintendent Bailey uses a techy acronym “SNN” in his so-called message. For those of you not privy to Bailey’s cryptic lingo, here’s what SNN is: School News Notifier (SNN) is an opt-in e-news service designed to help keep parents and the community more in touch with what is happening at schools via e-mail and/or text message. With SNN, administrators have the power to send updates and reminders about school activities, information about school closings and delays, and notices and other news. Parents and residents can sign up to receive e-mail messages from any of the schools and/or the district. Subscribers can choose to receive any or all of the alerts listed and can unsubscribe at any time. Subscribers must provide personal information but that information will not be shared with outside organizations. Question: What about the many computer illiterate adults, parents and non-parents, or those who do not own computers in the RCS Central School District. How does the rest of the community find out about what’s going on. That is, when our public servants ignore our requests for information?

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Acting Police Chief, Albany, Albany County Department of Children, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Sheriff Department, Bethlehem Police, Bethlehem Police Commander, Capital District, Coeymans, Coeymans Acting Police Chief, Coeymans Police Department, Coeymans Town Board, County Legislator, Craig D. Apple Sr., D. W. Contento, Daniel Contento, Daniel P. McCoy, Danielle M. Crosier, David Soares, Dick Touchette, Dignity Act, Dignity for All Students Act, Drive-by Shooting, Eliminate Coeymans Police Department, Endangering a Minor, Facebook, Faith Plaza, FBI, Government, Gregory Darlington, Gun Control, Hudson Valley, Investigation, Jason Albert, Jerry "Dirty-Hands" Deluca, Jim Youmans, Joe Slichko, John B. Johnson, Kerry Thompson, Law Enforcement, Lisa Patierne, Mark Vinciguerra, Mayor "Mouse", Mayor "Mouse" Misuraca, Monitoring, Moose Misuraca, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, Nancy Warner, New Baltimore, New York, New York Food, New York State, New York State Education Department, New York State Police, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, NYSED, Office of the Attorney General, P. David Soares, Parents, Peter J. McKenna, Peter Mckenna, Peter McKenna, Phil Crandall, Phillip Crandall, Police Investigator, Public Office, Public Safety, Ravena, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Central School District, Ravena Shop'n Save, RCS Board of Education, RCS Central School District, RCS Middle School, RCS School Board, RCS School Superintendant, Richard Touchette, Rick Touchette, Ryan Johnson, School Resource Officer, School Shooting, School Violence, Schwebke, Security Procedures, Selkirk, Senate Committee on NYC School Governance, Senate District 46, Shooting, Smalbany, Stephen Prokrym, Steve Prokrym, Student Abuse, Student Supervision, Students and Guns, Students with Guns, Superintendent of Schools, The Daily Mail, Thomas E. Dolan, Times Union, Todd Polverelli, Tom Dolan, Town of Coeymans, Weapons at School, 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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Church, Government, Schools, Parents are Failing to Protect Our Children!!!

Republished with Permission of the Author and the Owner of the
Church, Ministry and Pastoral Care


The Church, rather than aiding and abetting the moral and spiritual demise of the human being; rather than cooperating and collaborating with the evils of social media, better named social disease; rather than having a clearly socialist, heretic pope blurting out his heresies over Twitter; rather than pastors preaching the pabulum of social justice and socialism rather than moral values and virtue, the Church and churches are failing us miserably! The Church and churches are failing not only the faithful or those hungry for spirituality but also those of us who are active in teaching, preaching, ministering, and propagating faith traditions and spirituality.

Pope Francis & the Roman Catholic Church Collaborate with Facebook

The Church is Failing Us!

We need to start re-assessing ourselves, our life styles, our priests, pastors, ministers, rabbis, and imams. We need to put a stop to the corporations and their snaking into our lives, our souls, our families! We need to start with disciplining Twitter, Facebook, and other social media who are destroying ignorant and even savvy adults, have even claimed presidents and popes who have succumbed to the addiction, and who are now laying claim to our most vulnerable and valuable members of our society, our children!

Anti-pope Jorge Bergoglio on Twitter

Where are the bishops, the clergy, the rabbis, the imams on these pernicious, scurrilous, specious, and evil developments? I’ll tell you straight out: Our bishops, our clergy, our rabbis, our imams, and our profane secular leaders are willing accomplices to the destruction of the human spirit by so-called social media, especially the filth-monger Facebook and its Antichrist founder, Marc Zuckerberg and his demonic minions!

Anti-pope meets Antichrist.
Jorge Bergoglio and Marc Zuckerberg
The Match Made in Hell

What has happened to the Churches’ pilgrimage on the higher moral road? They’ve ended up in a drainage ditch!

This blog is all about awareness, awakening. This is a blog is all about awakening the spirit in spirituality and authentic faith practices among all faith and belief traditions. This blog is all about awakening the human spirit. Because it’s about awakening the human spirit, I feel compelled to write this article about how Facebook is killing the human spirit. I’m going to divert attention from our commentary on church and congregation and spiritual development to a very alarming and dangerous situation being created by the social media drug, Facebook. I am diverting to this subject because it concerns our most vulnerable and valuable asset, our children. Please take the time to read this article and to seriously consider how Facebook is striking at the very core of humanity — how Church and clergy are aiding and abetting the assault on humanity —, and how we must do something to stop Facebook’s uncontrolled control of their subscribers and now this unabashed agenda targeting young children. It’s tantamount to digital pedophilia, child abuse at its worst, because it’s targeting their social and spiritual development, only to ensure that Facebook dominates our society. An the Church, not only the Roman Catholic Church but all Christian denominations and most non-Christian traditions are aiding and abetting the development. Think of the ramifications! What has happened to the Churches’ pilgrimage on the higher moral road? They’ve ended up in a drainage ditch!

Facebook’s Worst Idea Ever? A Messenger App for Kids


In an online article in Family, Facebook’s Worst Idea Ever? A Messenger App for Kids [New Jersey Family, December 4, 2017], author Megan Muesen writes:  “Facebook says it will collect some data, including children’s names, the content of their messages and data about how they are using the app. Facebook also reserves the right to share information with third parties (which may have their own privacy policies regarding children) and says it won’t use data from Messenger Kids to create ads…It’s hard to navigate the ever-changing internet landscape, especially at a time when children under the age of eight are spending an hour per day staring at a screen.” But can we trust Facebook to protect the best interests of our children, or can we expect Facebook to protect its own interests, especially its bottom line and revenues?

Facebook is more of a social disease than a social opportunity. It has robbed us of our ability to communicate in human terms, it has created addicts of most of its users. Facebook is a trap that lures unsuspecting people into what they think is a unique opportunity to connect and then treats subscribers like a bunch of idiots blocking accounts at random for days for any so-called violation of Facbook rules, and informing the user that they “may have violated” a Facebook rule. “May have”?  What does that mean. You don’t know and Facebook “systems” doing the blocking don’t care.

You complain that you “don’t have time” to do this or that in your day. Did you ever keep track of the time you spend on Facebook? Try keeping time you spend on Facebook each day for a couple of days. Just jot down Time On/Time Off. You’ll be amazed at how much time you spend on that cyberdemon. Now visit this article and find out if you’re addicted to Facebook (or any other Internet site). You’re an addict and don’t even know it.

Children are becoming fFcebook shadow people

It’s a form of self-deceiving, self-defeating, self-destructive behavior (SDB). This is a serious problem and everyone using Facebook and other social media should be aware of this devastating self-perpetuating, deadman’s spiral behavior. It develops insidiously and has dire effects. Self-destructive behavior is real, is affecting huge numbers of people using social media, and is highly addictive. It’s even affecting the Church and religious and belief traditions of all types.

Got Messenger? Even worse still. You may think you’re important getting all those notifications and messages but Guess what? you’re getting them from other addicts. Anyone who needs request a chat, a video call more than once or twice a day to the same person really needs to get back to reality and get a life. They, you’re addicted.

Just like any other drug, social media takes control of your life even only after a short time of recreational use a.k.a. social use. All it takes is a little bait and those susceptible to addition are hooked like a fish. Remember the time when someone asked you if you had a Facebook account and you actually said No. Facebook now reports that it has some 1.4 billion users worldwide, many of them addicts in the First World, but many also in the second and third world, people who are very vulnerable and susceptible to the wrong messages being disseminated by Facebook users and by Facebook itself. Imagine the scenario where presidents and popes have accounts on Facebook and Twitter and send their public propaganda to millions, billions worldwide. No think of the invisible, clandestine operations that are no doubt going on behind the scenes or behind the profile and “friend” you’ve been sharing your secrets with. Sure, keep indiscriminately “friending” every cyberfreak that comes along. Sure send them a picture of your private parts. Sure, send them anything they ask for. The cheap thrill now will cost you plenty later. That’s a fact of self-destructive behavior, by the way. Read my article.

The whole Federal Law thing about protecting children from online exploitation is a load of bulls***, people. See through the agenda!

Facebook recently launched a new app targeting young childrenFacebook launches a version of Messenger for young children; the app is targeting children and is designed for children ages six to 12 (!!!!). Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA), a US federal law, is supposed to  protect underage children from exploitation online, and it’s the reason so many online services require children be 13 years of age or older in order to sign up. Facebook says the new app is only available in the US. Surprised? But the still open question is this: How does Facebook ensure that its present members are a certain age before sign-up? It’s obvious it can’t verify the age of a non-existent person and Facebook is crawling with non-existent persons. Just check out the profiles and subscriber names! Facebook can’t verify an account holder’s name or age, it’s that simple! They rely on what the account holder provides, and that’s usually fake! So the whole Federal Law thing about protecting children from online exploitation is a load of bulls***, people. See through the agenda!

Facebook is going after the next generation of users by targeting children!

Is this your child’s future? Staring for hours every day into an electronic device?

Facebook’s own spokesperson provides a damning statement on Facebook’s real agenda: Facebook is going after the next generation of users by targeting children. Facebook’s Public Policy Director Antigone Davis writes, “Children today are online earlier and earlier.” Davis goes on to say that “research shows that kids are using apps that are intended for teens and adults.” Davis says Facebook collaborated with National PTA on a study showing observing 1,200 American parents of children under the age of 13, with three out of every five parents saying kids under 13 are already using messaging apps, while 81 percent say their kids stated using social media apps as early as eight.” That statement clearly reads that children are already using adult apps, and are chatting and messaging, despite any toothless federal law and the stupidity of their parents! Facebook’s own statement clearly points out that Facebook is going after the next generation of users by targeting children! Facebook is creating a pipeline using young children to become regular users of the Facebook cyberplague.

It’s evil, it’s filth, it’s degenerate.

It hat what the PTA is all about? Parents should demand discipline of any teacher, any school, any school board of education that promotes or allows Facebook, Twitter, or Messenger to be used by students or who promote using social media for communicating school business. The same goes for any parish, congregation, synagogue, temple, mosque that promotes social media as a means for communication among their members. It’s evil, it’s filth, it’s degenerate.

Facebook has proven it cannot be trusted with youth data in the past

In an online article in Wired, Kristen Strader, campaign coordinator for the nonprofit group Public Citizen, says Facebook has proven it cannot be trusted with youth data in the past, pointing to a leaked Facebook report from May that promised advertisers the ability to track teen emotions, such as insecurity, in real-time. “Their response was just that they will not do similar experiments in the future,” says Strader. At the time, advocacy groups asked for a copy of the report, but Facebook declined. [Source: Facebook for 6-year olds?]

It’s not about social media, it’s only about social control.

Messenger Kids. Facebook is going after the next generation of users by targeting children!  Messenger Kids is targeting the 8-13 age group and Facebook is asking parents to give their approval so children can message one another. By enlisting the parents as willing tools to sacrifice their children, Facebook is betting that the app can introduce a new generation of users to the Marc Zuckerberg’s ever-expanding social control universe. Zuckerberg’s greed, arrogance, and intrusion into the family has no bounds! He has to be stopped along with his Facebook evil. It’s not about social media, it’s only about social control.

The glaring arrogance and undisguised attack on our young and children, undermining the role of parents and significant others is unforgivable! The idolatry has become overwhelming and I’d rather not continue supporting it. It is clearly dehumanizing and is doing much damage to our people. The recent announcement of an app for the 13 and under is one of the the most disgusting and ugly attacks on children and their social, moral and spiritual development yet seen in our history. We have to make a move and I am doing my part by this protest: I’m deleting all of my Facebook accounts! I urge you to do the same.

The new app is tantamount to child abuse, akin to pedophilia. Parents who allow it should be damned. In a NY Times article, New Facebook App for Children Ignites Debate Among Families, there is a huge debate among parents who, on the one hand are concerned about “Facebook’s snaking its way into his children’s lives at an early age would most likely do more harm than good,” and those who feel that technology is an inevitability and appreciate “Facebook’s approach with the new app.” The parent interviewed who appreciates Facebook’s newest perversion is, of course, from the LaLa-Land, California, home of Silicon Valley and Facebook. Surprised? Sure, such parents are more than willing to abandon their children to their electronic devices; that provides more me-time for the parents.

I’ve often referred to Facebook and other social media as an addictive drug. Modern science has identified it as being addictive and has even given it a name, Internet Addictive Disorder, and a sub-category of Facebook Addictive Disorder, with its own set of psychiatric signs and symptoms. What more evidence do we need than our own behavior, self-defeating, self-deceiving and frequently self-destructive, to prove to us that Facebook is doing irreparable damage to adults, and is now targeting an even more vulnerable group, our children, and they’re asking parent to cooperate in their own children’s destruction.

One parent’s position on this issue is worth reading. Jenny Anderson tells us “Why I Won’t Let My Children Near Facebook’s Messenger for Kids,” and it’s clear how one parent is aware enough to put her foot down. We need more parents like Jenny!

You should be more worried about your children and social media!!!

STOP FACEBOOK! RAISE YOUR VOICES! WRITE TO YOUR LEGISLATORS! CONDEMN MARC ZUCKERBERG AND HIS EVIL EMPIRE, THE SHEEPLE OF FACEBOOK! SAVE OUR CHILDREN!!!!

We have to make a move and I am doing my part by this protest: I’m deleting all of my Facebook accounts! I urge you to do the same.

The Forgotten Lesson: Christ’s love for the children.

Thank you for reading!

Rev. Ch. Harold
Church, Ministry & Spiritual Care