Not sure if I did the right thing, but my instincts told me (for better or worse) not to engage in full tit-for-tat with Muggenburg at last night's Clinton Town Board mtg.(some of you may have watched it on TV)...
In case you missed it-- he attacked me last night (as he's done many times in various letters to the editor in different papers)-- this time, curiously enough, saying that my report didn't have anything to do with the Town of Clinton (wrong; see below)-- and he also challenged me to prove I'm about saving tax dollars...
OK-- well-- I'm sure there's a number of you out there who may be (justifiably and understandably perhaps) more than a wee bit sick of my taking him or his attacks seriously...
However-- this is an election year-- and, sadly, truth is that (I believe) many do take him seriously...
So-- here forthwith then-- my rebuttal...
First-- as to his point that I wasn't speaking about anything to do with the Town of Clinton-- this is just plain inaccurate, frankly...(and if you were watching the live broadcast, you know that even Town Supervisor Jeff Burns recognized the fact that my presentation was spot-on appropriate and pertinent to Town of Clinton-- as he himself verified and confirmed what I had just recently learned from Rhinebeck Village and Town Board officials-- that, sadly, once again our County Executive and "his" Planning Department have been playing games with local municipalities-- not even giving local towns like Clinton or Rhinebeck true opportunity to apply for crucial Community Development Block Grant funds)...
And-- the other part of my presentation had to do with my efforts over the past week to slash my own salary (and that of other county legislators and top county officials by a total of $200,000/year-- in order to actually save $100,000 worth of county tax dollars for Clinton, Rhinebeck, and Dutchess residents-- and fund our county's Human Rights Commission again for another $100,000/year)...
[...and yes, I did mention how I'd be hosting a free screening of "Gasland" at Rhinebeck Town Hall Weds. July 27th at 6 pm-- but I also mentioned how July is Dutchess Watershed Awareness Month, and how (if you look at http://www.DutchessWAM.com ), aside from the walk this Sat. 10 am at our Town Hall on this, CCEDC is actually sponsoring a showing of "Gasland" itself in Pawling at the end of month too; recall, too-- all our watersheds are connected-- and fact is that frackable Utica Shale is right next to us in Hyde Park and Rhinebeck; recall map of this recently provided to us by FrackAction.com's Julia Walsh:
http://www.chemungcounty.com/usr/ACNE/Utica%20Shale%20Fairway%20in%20NYS.jpg -- and yes, the gas industry does plan to frack the Utica Shale along with the Marcellus Shale:
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/s_724034.html (see http://www.FrackAction.com )...]
The truth is that for years I've fought against Dutchess GOP plans to force towns like Clinton and Rhinebeck to unfairly pay extra for chargebacks re: Board of Elections-- and sheriff patrols as well...
[...as even Poughkeepsie Journal has editorialized on this, fact is that this is merely passing the buck...]
Scroll down a bit below to see list of eight more ways I've long been pushing to save Dutchess $$$...
[...and as always-- feel free to chime in debate-- with your letters to editor in local newspapers!...]
Pass it on...
[over here at 324 Browns Pond Road here in Clinton]
[in fact-- recall below sent out to you all Monday on this-- re: my pushing for cost-savings from moving to zero-waste instead of prolonging status quo @ DCRRA, cost savings from cutting pay of co. leg.'s and top county officials, cost savings from avoiding millions for new medical examiner's facility, cost savings from moving away from business-as-usual "criminal justice" system in county, cost savings from avoiding spending unnecessary $1 million at Quiet Cove park in Poughkeepsie, and cost savings from plug-in hybrid bucket truck (instead of diesel)...so....what, exactly, is Muggenburg talking about?]
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Frankly, there are a ton of issues for you all to come out to speak up about at tonight's 7 pm monthly full board meeting of our County Legislature on 6th floor of our COB at 22 Market St. in Poughkeepsie...
[full agenda here: http://www.co.dutchess.ny.us/CountyGov/Departments/Legislature/CLagenda.htm ]
For instance-- here are eight items on Monday's Co. Leg. full board mtg. you may want to weigh in on:
1. Re: 2011165-- "Adopting findings of Mid-Atlantic Solid Waste Consultants regarding local Solid Waste Management Plan" [would be great to have you folks speak out AGAINST this(!)...recall why:
see: http://dutchessdemocracy.blogspot.com/2011/05/rragop-for-new-55-million-incinerator.html -- GOP falling for false choice presented by MSWC-- for either prolonging/expanding incineration or expanding "waste export" (meaning sending even more of our garbage to landfill)-- wake up before too late, folks!]
2. Re: 2011175 Establishing the Salaries of the County Legislature, County Clerk, Sheriff, and the County Executive for term commencing the Year 2012 [GOP cutting everything else but their own pay; recall: http://dutchessdemocracy.blogspot.com/2011/07/gop-co-legs-cut-budgets-for-everything.html ]
3. Re: 2011185 A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of $4,328,458 Serial Bonds of the County of Dutchess, New York, to Pay a Portion of the Cost of the Acquisition of a Parcel of Land and the Building Thereon Located at 170 Washington Street, in Poughkeepsie, New York, and Construction of an Addition Thereto, in and for Said County [$4.3 million for Medical Examiner's office; nothing for human rights-- http://dutchessdemocracy.blogspot.com/2011/04/update-re-eleanor-roosevelt-human.html ]
4. 2011169 Amending the 2011 adopted County Budget as it pertains to the Sheriff/Jail (A.3150)
Housing-out in the amount of $1,600,000 of prisoners.
[again: sure, county must be responsible and pay bills, but why do GOP continue to ignore alternatives?
see: http://dutchessdemocracy.blogspot.com/2011/07/re-jail-costs-bills-must-be-paid-but.htmlunt ]
5. 2011134 A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of $2,277,550 Serial Bonds of the County of Dutchess, New York, to Pay Part of the Cost of Improvements at County Parks, in and For Said County
Repairs and upgrades at three County Parks: Bowdoin - $635,000, Wilcox - $720,000, Quite Cove Park - $1,000,000.
[why GOP ready to spend $1 million on shoreline upgrade at Quiet Cove-- but zip for human rights?...
see: http://dutchessdemocracy.blogspot.com/2011/07/spray-turtles-or-human-rights-whats.html ;
6. 2011135 A Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of $1,446,320 Serial Bonds of the County of Dutchess, New York, to Pay the Cost of the Purchase of Equipment for the Department of PublicWorks in and for Said County
1-One ton Sector Patrol Truck $40,000, 1-LeeBoy Maintenance Paver $112,000, 1 Bucket Truck $290,000,
2-4x6 Dump/Spreader Snowplow truck @285,000 each, 1- Gang truck $155,000, 2-Small track excavators @ $80,000 each,
1-Utility Tractor/Mower $35,000, 1-4 Wheel Drive Tractor. $70,000.
[recall-- White Plains DPW Commissioner proves tons of $ can be saved w/plug-in hybrid bucket truck--
7. 2011167 Authorizing the Finance Department to receive and Disburse funds allocated to Dutchess County, as an Urban County, Under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program for 2011 Disbursements in the amount of $1,329,744 for various projects throughout the County.
[why in God's name is over $220,000 being allocated for "administrative costs" for this?...recall:
Eight More Ways I've Been Working On To Save Clinton, Rhinebeck, and Dutchess $$$ (fwd!):
1. We Democrats know cost-saving innovations in criminal justice proven to work elsewhere, but Republicans are still bent on wasting millions of our county tax dollars on unnecessary jail expansion. Brooklyn's ComAlert system, recognized by the New York Times, has cut recidivism rate in half, Father Peter Young's program has cut recidivism rate for his participants from 69% to 8%, and Newark's fraternity for dads behind bars has cut recidivism rate there from 65% to 3%. Even worse, Dutchess GOP eliminated county funding for BOCES GED program in our Jail (though endorsed by jail leadership), eliminated our county Youth Bureau's Project Return program, and ended county funding for the for Mediation Center of Dutchess County's juvenile delinquency prevention for troubled teens.
[ http://www.JobsNotJails.weebly.com ; http://www.petitiononline.com/comalert ; http://www.PYHIT.com ]
2. We Democrats know Dutchess now incinerates/landfills $15 million worth of materials and resources that could be recycled, including plant debris, food waste, paper, wood, ceramics, soils, metals, glass, polymers, textiles, chemicals, and various items for reuse-- but Republicans continue to reject our efforts to save tax dollars with an eco-industrial park here. Sadly, local GOP also refuse to seriously challenge our county Resource Recovery Agency's Solid Waste Management Plan, which literally calls for spending $55 million for a new 250-ton-per-day boiler, $30 million on a local ash landfill, and $3 to $7 million more on the current incinerator turbine.
3. We Democrats sponsored a resolution from yours truly for Dutchess to save $27 million annually for 110,000 homeowners every winter on home heating oil bills with a plan here similar to one already successfully run in Cortlandt, Putnam Valley, Somers, and Peekskill (saving $250 annually for each homeowner there)-- but the Republicans shot it down last February.
[ http://www.townofcortlandt.com/cit-e-access/news/index.cfm?NID=12528&TID=20&jump2=0 ]
4. We Democrats sponsored a resolution from yours truly for our county government to save $3 million annually for local towns, cities, and villages on the cost of health insurance for municipal employees without cutting benefits-- with a countywide consortium for this as in Tompkins County-- but Republicans shot this down as well last February.
[ http://whcu870.com/pages/8011398.php?contentType=4&contentId=6717548 ]
5. We Democrats know (thanks to Sustainable Hudson Valley Chair David Dell of Poughkeepsie) our county could save $1 billion on energy costs over next decade for homeowners and business owners with energy-efficiency/renewables loan fund similar to what GOP-led Town of Bedford in Westchester has put in place-- creating thousands of green jobs and cleaning up our county's air (just ranked "F" for third year in a row by the American Lung Association of NY)-- but Republicans reject our efforts on this.
[ http://www.dutchessdemocracy.blogspot.com/2009/03/our-bright-idea-growin-brighter-and.html ; http://www.nyserda.org/GreenNY/ ; http://www.energyfinancesolutions.com/main/homeownersnyfour ]
http://www.petitiononline.com/pacehere ; http://www.LIGreenHomes.com ; http://www.NWEAC.org ]
6. We Democrats agree with repeated Poughkeepsie Journal editorials that our county government should be cleaned up with the campaign finance reform legislation Rockland County has had in place since 1998-- a $100 limit on campaign donations from companies doing business with county re: amounts they can give to county officials and candidates. Republicans have rejected our efforts on this for over a decade now as well (don't forget, folks-- de-facto corruption from pay-to-play costs $$$!).
[see: http://www.petitiononline.com/cleangov ;
7. Dutchess County could literally save one million county tax dollars a year with the same Canadian prescription drug option for county employees/retirees that GOP Rensselaer County Exec Kathy Jimino has long had in place-- and Schenectady County as well.
[ http://www.PetitionOnline.com/SaveOnRx ]
8. Dutchess County could save untold tax dollars by following the good examples of Philadelphia and Los Angeles-- and holding local banks and financial institutions accountable for their foreclosure and community investment practices (avoiding foreclosure prevents all of us from having to deal with costs).
[see http://www.MovetheMoney.info ; even recent Northern Dutchess Alliance report recommended this]