Joan...the fact is, the budget for the city of Beacon belongs to the Mayor. He is the one who essentially puts the budget numbers together and presents it to the council. (I realize our city administrator actually does the presentation - but it's the Mayor's budget)....You comment on the "win at all costs mentaility"...just take a look at a letter to-the-editor in this week's Beacon Free press "authored" by Ron Ray...Airing out publicly a financial hardship that I have suffered thru - like so many other people in our area...You also comment on "some rumor" that a Fox-TV executive has contributed "large amounts of money to local Republican campaigns, determined to delver the HV to the Republicans." What exactly is your point? Just take a look at the most recent race for County Executive in Westchester County if you need any indication of how the people feel politically...Also, the GOP has 51 seats in the Democrat-controlled NYS Assembly taking away Shelly Silver's powerful Super-Majority...take another look at the 2010 mid-term election results - Nationwide - for the House of Representatives and the US Senate....Historic shifts in the House and a significant gain in the US Senate for the minority....A republican winning Kennedy's US Senate seat in Mass? I know you are attempting to rally the troops and that is certainly your right...The local election should be about voting records but it's turned into damaged lawn signs. Pretty desperate if you ask me.
I also thought that Ron Ray's letter about John Forman in the Beacon Free Press was personal, vindictive and far worse than anything I've heard from any Republican running for office in Beacon.
The Republicans running for office in Beacon are nothing like the Fox News crowd on the national scene. In fact several, like Thomas Cunningham are not registered Republicans and represent the Beacon Deserves Better point of view (hardly Republican).
I know of two Fox TV Executives with homes in this area. One runs Fox News and lives in Putnam County. The other is a senior officer of Fox Television Stations and lives here, or at least in Dutchess Junction, and is married to one of our fine artists. Her views are certainly not Republican in the Eric Cantor sense as far as I know.
The Ron Ray/ AND John Forrman letters were sleezy, several years ago, of course, you might only remember one side.
Freedom of speech should be defended as well as FACTS. If houses were assessed on a regular basis during the Republican years, we wouldn't be in so much trouble.
Why don't you mention all the Republican lawsuits which are money wasters, time wasters and some are kinda silly. Before anyone answers that question---- please list all the lawsuits on both sides in the last 10 years. I would love to hear explanations about every silly one of them.
Anna - I couldn't agree with you more about these lawsuits. BIG WASTE OF MONEY (most of them anyway). It is a BIG problem at the Board of Elections. When both Commissioners can't agree on something - they take each other to court - all at the taxpayers expense. I am confident that over the last 10 years - both parties share equal blame for this conduct.
My campaign experience with Ron Ray (I ran against him 4 times) was rarely positive. And yes, many letters to-the-Editor. But I was very willing to debate him - whenever he wanted to - and he never took me up on my offer. It's just too bad that he is being used by the Beacon Democratic Committee as a puppet to "author" a letter like the one in this week's BFP.
What about the lack of property assessments as related to our taxes???
I asked not to mention them unless there is a count. Just saying that you are confident that they are equal. I know you are confident--it is one of my problems with you.
What about bragging about attending council meetings, when I haven't seen you there in a long long time.?
(BTW, I will unfortunately be voting for you because I am independent). Not happily though.
Anna, I can't comment with any authority on the assessment question. I believe during the last 4 year's NYS has given the local municipalities the option to update assessments annually. They gave the city some money (my thinking something like $5 per parcel) to help offset any costs associated with this. I'm not even sure if they are giving the city this money anymore. But I am "fairly sure" that this wasn't available during Clara's term as Mayor. If Steve is monitoring (or anyone else on the council), please feel free to clear this up. But I think that's the story there.
The last city council meeting I attended was on 10/03. To be honest, it's been a fairly light agenda over the last few months. And what I don't want to be criticized for is just showing up - and giving a report about nothing. Just to get in front of the camera - especially during an election year. But I guess I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't. The County Executive budget is released on 11/01...so I will be attending the meeting on 11/07....but from what I am hearing - it's not going to be the doomsday budget we saw a year ago...
Thank you for your vote...I will make you proud!!
The Mayor and the administrator put together the best budget they could knowing that all the other cuts are hot button issues, and so instead of making executive decisions that affect the lives of lots of citizens and city employees, they put their original budget to council as a starting point so that the city's representatives, the council, can debate further cuts and find a compromise that works best for their constituents? Wouldn't you want ALL your council representatives to have a voice in that discussion? I would. That's what Steve did. And I'm glad that Randy was given a voice in this decision as he DOES have experience in several areas that other council members do not. So the consensus comes from hammering out in discussion with all the voices that have a vote. Sounds like reasonableness to me. I'd rather have a consensus builder than a dictator any day.
John, I've gotten to know you in the past couple of years and found you to be a person who listens and who's votes have changed from time to time to reflect a better understanding of what ALL of your constituents feel. That's what I would call sound representation. This latest print piece is beneath you and I would suspect a couple of other faces on the front of that card. It (and any other smear or dirty tactics by EITHER side) are deplorable and have NOT been the way that Beacon elections have historically been managed, at least in my several years living here. That you only see Joan's consternation as an attempt to "rally the troops" is one of the things that concerns independent voters like myself. And it is independent voters that put party candidates over the top to win, in this town and in this country. This print piece doesn't insult the current mayor, it insults the intelligence of the citizens of Beacon, especially those of us who faithfully follow the actions of ALL the council and know where the votes and the objections actually were. I'm a PR professional and you can spin the truth any way you wish, but at a certain point the truth can get twisted to deliberate misinformation. In my humble opinion that is what happened here. I would have thought that calmer, wiser and kinder heads like yours John, might have prevailed and kept something this out of the mailboxes of your friends and neighbors. It has me seriously reconsidering a couple of my votes, and NOT in the way you and your fellow candidates would have wished. This and ALL the other smearing and defacing tactics in this campaign show NO respect for the voters. Beacon deserves better!
Unfortunately, much about Randy has not been made public during this campaign. Randy's sole dissenting vote on Council was his opposition to purchasing the Settlement Camp. Yet one of his running mates, Riccobono, is very active in the Sargent Downing Garden project at the camp. I doubt that he even realizes that Randy would love to sell off the camp to developers. He would probably like to get rid of DIA as well. Who needs all those artists in Beacon! We also don't hear about that fact that Beacon taxes were kept artificially low by Gold's predecessor, who used the Reserve Fund to avoid raising taxes. When our taxes are finally adjusted to a rate appropriate to the level of services we expect - Randy suddenly wants to disclaim any responsibility for the problems.
Regarding Sean Kraft's comment about Randy boasting that he cut his salary - I do think he meant his council salary and used it as a slam at Steve Gold - it is his pension from the city highway department that he should offer to cut. As a union member myself I appreciate the importance of pensions, but not when someone hides behind a very nice pension, plus a salaried job at the high school, to claim that he is trying to cut costs for the city.
I like opinions, but don't like misrepresentations of facts. The option to purchase University Settlement wasn't a serious consideration before the Council. Justin Riccobono has been against the Hiddenbrooke open space initiative. What is wrong with taking a pay reduction for serving on Council? It may only mean a reduction of $9,000 to $6,000 but its symbolism is powerful. Randy has said, at the Poughkeepsie Journal Editorial Debate, that he is NOT in favor of selling off Hiddenbrooke to developers. Randy would NOT be in favor of getting rid of DIA. Where does this nonsense come from other than that as Obama likes to say, "We are in silly season?"
You are being intentionally disingenuous. No one is suggesting that there is anything wrong in taking a pay cut of $3,000 and you know it. The point that Sean is making is that his claim is misleading. All this spin is an insult to the intelligence of the Beacon voter...spin about the budget, spin about the salary cuts, and what next? I'm not an independent voter; I'm a proud progressive, voting Working Families. But if I were an independent, I would surely be turned off by the deviousness I've seen in this campaign.
Joan, I understand that you are for one party over another. But I don't think that in a race where there seems to be no major disagreements among any of the candidates, it is a bad thing to try to differentiate -- even if it is just a point of view, or a philosophical approach to governing. So in this race, one side is highlighting and taking credit for growth and advancement. The other side is highlighting and taking credit for fiscal responsibility. To say that either side is devious seems to me to be a bit hyperbolic.
Bud Siegel/ Charlene Vesuvius:
Who are you?
Why should we tolerate someone who so carefully hides their identity, but injects themselves into a discussion between real Beacon citizens about our politics?
It amounts to unfair outside influence in our campaign.
If I were to hide myself very carefully, and go and inject myself constantly in a strident opinionated manner into the politics of Fishkill or Millbrook or Cold Spring, I would expect a backlash, and rightfully so. There is some question, brought up by your own comments in your past by one of your anonymous puppet accounts, about whether or not you even live in Beacon.
I don't really have a problem with anonymous accounts. It simply depends upon what is done with anonymity that is the problem. And I don't think a carefully maintained anonymous account really has a right to comment so forcefully on our politics.
At council meetings, people stand up, and state their name and address before speaking, because of this very reason of undue outside influence. It's a matter of simple transparency, of verifying the honesty of your intentions. It's called personal integrity. So please: go ahead and comment if you really want to on our politics, but simply be forthright about a simple question: who are you? And the fact that you have such a long standing, carefully maintained problem with that simple question really makes your motivations here suspect.