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Don't like either choice of County Legislature--would someone run on write in?

Please, someone do a write in campaign, you might win. Both Forman and Ray have been doing it awhile, we need fresh blood.

Now about that legislation for part timers to pay 15% of health insurance premium. If the vote isn't until after the election, the whole thing is a joke-right? or will it really be voted in?

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Draft Mark Roland.
Mr. Birdy, the time to write in a candidate to get their name on the ballot took place on Primary Day. And there were acutally two opportunities to do this: On the Independence Party line and the other the Working Family Party.

You mentiond the part-time Legislators contributing 15% toward their health insurance benefits they receive from the County at the taxpayers expense. Yes, I am well aware of this as I authored this resolution back at our October 2008 meeting. And not a single member of the Legislature would sign their name to this piece of legislation. No Republicans and No Democrats - just John Forman - the guy who's been "doing this a while". I finally talked a member of the Republican caucus to join me (a resolution requires 2 co-sponsors to make it to the floor) and that was Bob Sears from LaGrange.

Chairman Higgins wanted this resolution tabled and since they have the majority that's where it went. After 12 months of "collecting some additional information", we will be voting on this resolution at our October meeting.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to call me at my home: 845.440.0025

John Forman
Dutchess County Legislator - 18th District
City of Beacon
So if no one else is supporting it, what is the benefit to Beacon beyond self promotion?
Self-promotion?? It's simply a "policy-making decision" by the County Legislature. Why didn't anyone support it? Maybe the individual Legislators don't like the idea of putting their hand in their own pocket??

The benefit is not just the county saving some money...but perhaps the members of the city councils and town boards throughout the county will take notice and come to a similar conclusion that we all have to find ways to save some money for the taxpayers. Sounds like a plan to me.

And if you're taking notes, there has been LOTS of coverage on this topic for the last several months by the Poughkeepsie Journal.
Yes, I noticed LOTS of coverage in the newspaper but what about results? How can you be so proud of something that hasn't happened? Bad mouthing fellow legislators not only isn't going to help, but isn't going to put you into a position to work with the rest of the county for Beacon's benefit.
Birdy - Bad mouthing other Legislators? When did I do that? All I simply said (please re-read my blog) is that perhaps my counterparts don't feel the same way I do on this issue? Too bad I say! We are part-time employees of this county. We are fortunate to even be offered a health insurance benefit - much less get it for free!

CV - Thanks for your kind words. I just got home from a "town hall meeting" at the Memorial Building. I would say it was well attended. The city council present (other than Eleanor) and Alison and I were also in attendance as the County Legislators. I would like to see the following accomplished: 1. Bringing in more people into Beacon is probably a good thing if done correctly. I am not privvy to the costs associated with the additional population (city services, pressure on schools) and on the other end, what the additional revenue would be projected for Beacon. I would like to know what the projections are...very important...2. You would think bringing in 600 or so residents, would help the businesses on Main Street...Main Street was out in force at this meeting tonight...apparently MTA wants to provide some commercial space in addition to the residential space...probably puts more money into MTA's pocket by making this TOD more desirable for a developer...

Where do I stand?...I would like to see the city make accurate calculations as to what the "net revenue" this TOD will generate to help out Beacon...I like the idea of the construction jobs the TOD is going to bring into this area...I don't want to hurt any of the businesses on Main Street...that being said, the "common theme" I've heard for many years, since DIA opened is that BEACON NEEDS A SOURCE OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION...and I don't mean the Loop bus! Beacon needs something they can "own and operate"...that costs money...With the money being thrown around in DC, one would think we would be approaching SEN. SCHUMER, SEN GILLIBRAND and CONGRESSMAN HALL for funding to take care of this headache which has lasted years....I'm certain they can find money available to pay for a bus or something...This way, Beacon owns it and then that will put an end to this transporation issue from the Waterfront, to DIA and finally to our Main Street...

I appreciate Mayor Gold for holding this town hall meeting. The input is going to be extremely important. We cannot turn Main Street into a ghostown....but at the same time, we are going to need to keep an open mind...There are no easy answers to this issue...

JO BARBER - Thank you for your kind words. I can assure you, I am not the most popular member of the Republican caucus. There are issues the general public just doesn't really care about at the county level - but this is one they like to talk about and it's been a HOME RUN for me...it's just too bad we've had to wait an entire year...but, the Democrats have a 14-11 advantage in the Legislature and they control the agenda...
"Charlene Vesuvius" wrote: All I know, with one month until the election, that a few candidates want to revisit the Hiddenbrooke purchase and help their real estate friend and another likes drinking Mojitos and wearing Fish Hats, but I still don't know how any of them feel about TOD.

I know several candidates who like drinking and wearing hats, but I believe your comment may refer to George Mansfield, who only wears funny head gear to amuse his small dog--he's actually very, very, serious. And he has publicly commented a number of times about his position regarding the TOD zoning draft currently under consideration by the city council, the latest statement coming last night, at a Town Hall meeting called by Mayor Gold to discuss this issue so vital to the future of Beacon. This meeting was called in part so that those who may have missed the opportunities to attend the regularly scheduled public hearings where the TOD was discussed would be able to come to learn more about this newly proposed zoning law in a focused environment.
It would be fabulous if you could get them to contribute to their health insurance but it seems like an issue like my brother's smoking. I can tell him how much money he would save if he stopped smoking but unless he agrees to do it, my badgering isn't going to help. My telling him over and over how I quit, is not only not going to get him to "vote" to change but I will get on his nerves. The next time I ask if he will help me cut down some branches, he might not do it. In fact, he might not even answer the phone if he is having a bad day, because he won't know if I am going harp on it again. Now, if I offer to announce it to his neighbors that he will do it, and that he needs extra support--he might think about it. If I offer to mention him in newspaper accounts of trying to quit--he might do it. If I ask all the smokers on his block "how can I help you agree to quit", I might get a couple of them to quit.

Just saying.
John Forman said:
You would think bringing in 600 or so residents, would help the businesses on Main Street...Main Street was out in force at this meeting tonight...apparently MTA wants to provide some commercial space in addition to the residential space...probably puts more money into MTA's pocket by making this TOD more desirable for a developer...

Isn't that what it's always been about? The MTA making bank at the expense of our community? I have a hard time understanding how commercial space on the waterfront will do anything to help businesses on Main Street. I foresee it alienating the heart of this town from the fancy, glittering new waterfront attractions. That's what I feel in my gut, at least. If someone would like to argue that, please do. Because the more I learn about their development plans, the sicker I feel... and I'm expecting this will end with an angry mob of Beaconites carrying pitchforks and looking like something out of a Sinclair Lewis novel.
The following is a letter sent today to the Beacon Free press:
Beacon’s riverfront development , known as the TOD ,represents the greatest opportunity and challenge currently before our city.It has the potential to undo the damage done by Urban Renewal and other failed planning efforts of the past. It is an opportunity to once again seamlessly integrate our riverfront and Main St. It is in our power, as a community, to demand that it represent the goals, hopes and vision expressed in our comprehensive plan. We should beware the impulse to compromise that vision when faced with a bleak economic forecast. This is the time to rely heavily on a plan drafted by the community.It was created , I believe, for just such an occasion. It is a map created to help chart our future during difficult times. By ignoring the key goals of this plan we risk doing irreparable damage and we will miss an opportunity to position our city at the forefront of sustainable design.
I believe the zoning , as currently drafted, does not meet the standards set in our comprehensive plan. The health of Main St. and a link between it and the riverfront were listed as high priorities. There is not sufficient language in this draft to ensure that the economic stability of Main St. is improved nor protected.
The TOD is not an isolated development limited to it’s borders. It has the potential to impact either positively or negatively the entire city and surrounding areas.
We should not lower the bar ,which our comprehensive plan set, in the hope that the developer and the MTA have the best interests of our city at heart.
The riverfront and Main St. are two of our greatest assets and must be protected. We must draft our zoning from a position of strength rather than economic weakness. We cannot allow the uncertain economic times to cloud our vision of the future. We must protect our interests and assets through clearly defined zoning regulations.They must state ,unequivocally ,the will of the people. Without a mandatory link to Main St. included in the in the zoning we can only hope for the best. I suggest we make that hope binding and not left to the interests of the MTA and the developer.
I don’t see this project as a battle between an evil developer vs community interests. We all have a lot to gain from it’s success and I believe we share similar goals. It will be a challenge to achieve them but I know, through the combined efforts of all interested parties ,we can expand rather than compromise our vision for the future.
We should aspire to greatness. We should hope that future generations will applaud the courage and diligence that has gone into this planning. We should hope that they will look back on our efforts with gratitude and awe. We have only one chance to get this right. Compromise and mediocrity should not be an option.
For more information regarding the TOD please visit CityofBeacon.org.
Your involvement in this project is crucial to it’s success.

George Mansfield
Both John Forman and George Mansfield are right-on; we need to take the time to craft this zoning so that the City is able to leverage development to the advantage of our tax base as well as to balance a commercial focus to lean toward businesses on Main Street. Also, a truly viable link between Main Street and the Waterfront is critical to acheiving this balance. The linkages plan developed by the Linkages Committee is not bold enough in it's recommendations. There also should be an in depth study on the cost of services to the planned cluster developments and any commercial real estate proposed as a part of the TOD - these developments MUST be a net gain to the city.

The City of Beacon will prosper. Ths outward appearance of competing interests blurs the true intentions of all parties working toward a single goal: That which is in the best interest of the City.
I also attended the Town Hall meeting last night and it was a great turnout. There were many concerns voiced and a great amount of input contributed. This TOD project I feel is a tremendous opportunity for all of us. The urban renewal of the 70’s erased Main Streets connection to the river and I feel this can bring it back. This will ultimately define Beacon, what Beacon is and who will want to visit, live and work in Beacon. That is why this development needs to be “WORLDCLASS”. Global Eco-tourism is on the rise at a rate of 10-15% annually and with Stewart Airport ramping up a $500 million development project and Beacon now becoming the home of the Clearwater and The Beacon Institute’s Rivers and Estuaries, Beacon is in a very great position for the future. The design of this TOD is extremely important and should be a project of great Architecture and environmental sustainability. If Beacon is not a leader in the Environmental movement today, this will bring us to the top. People from all over the world will learn from our sustainable practices and we will become a global destination for more than just the DIA. Lets embrace this opportunity nobody else has. While the TOD project moves forward, we cannot forget our Main St. We need to require the TOD developers to donate certain needs to Beacon. A Shuttle linkage should be one of them, maybe have them also work on restoring our Historic Theatre and even assist in creating a town square. One thing we cannot focus on is tourism being our only source of income. We need to bring anchor tenants into Beacon who will also patronize our shops on Main st. We need to establish a Business development group in Beacon who can work on bringing in a 30-40 person Law firm type into the center of town, where some additional “WORLDCLASS” buildings can be developed. More office Space and residential units if developed properly will create more revenue for our city which can then stabilize taxes, increase services and bring a better quality of life for all.



Justin Riccobono

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