Last Tues. (Dec. 20th) the Poughkeepsie Journal's Larry Hertz sent me
From: "Fisher-Hertz, Larry"
Sent: Dec 21, 2011 11:20 AM
Steinhaus is doing a "exit interview" with the edit board today and
I'm looking for folks to comment on his 20 years on then job. Care to
take a stab at it? You can either email me your thoughts or call me
for a brief interview. Thanks.
So....I thought...no problem.....to make sure I'm quoted accurately,
I'll just email my response(!)...
[right; little did I know]
Here's what I emailed back to Hertz...
[note-- the website info links I've added here after the fact-- so
you all know to go to for more info on 'em]
From: Joel Tyner
Subject: Larry-- thx for askin'-- my thoughts here re: Steinhaus.....
Date: Dec 21, 2011 4:05 PM
Steinhaus is, of course, a good man who has dedicated himself for
literally decades to making our county a better place-- and he does
deserve recognition and our thanks for this.
I only wish, however, that he had worked with the Legislature to pass
campaign finance reform to clean up county government and end the pay
to play-- literally millions of our tax dollars annually in county
contracts going to entities making thousand-dollar campaign
contributions-- as the Poughkeepsie Journal has editorialized for.
[see: http://www.petitiononline.com/cleangov ;
He also has helped the county's Health Commissioner cover up the fact
that, six years after MTBE was banned from being put in gasoline,
it's still being found by DCDOH all across our county-- a prime
reason why wells should be tested when properties change hands
(again, as even the Poughkeepsie Journal itself has called for).
Unfortunately he also has not demonstrated the leadership to create
green jobs, clean air quality, and save tax dollars by seriously
ramping up recycling/composting efforts towards zero waste with an
eco-industrial resource recovery park.
[ http://www.petitiononline.com/zeroyes ;
He also could have pushed to keep cost-saving preventive programs for
troubled teens like our county Youth Bureau's Project Return
program-- at the Mediation Center of Dutchess County as well-- and
instituted at truly comprehensive system of re-entry locally to slash
recidivism (as Brooklyn's ComAlert program has)-- instead of allowing
the GOP County Legislature leadership to continue their push to waste
tens millions of our tax dollars on an unnecessary jail expansion.
[ http://www.JobsNotJails.weebly.com ;
http://www.petitiononline.com/comalert ; http://www.PYHIT.com ]
Finally, Dutchess County should also not be keeping $150 million of
our tax dollars in bank accounts with irresponsible financial
institutions like Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo--
it's time to move the money!
[see: http://MoveYourMoneyProject.org ;
So....I''m just wondering...(see "Steinhaus: No Regrets" @
Why did Hertz and the Poughkeepsie Journal choose to report
erroneously in today's paper that I "admire Steinhaus' intelligence
and ability to address many of the county's fiscal issues"?!?...
[...I wouldn't have slaved away @ phone-banking for
http://www.DanFrenchExec.com if I thought this...]
[zip off 250-word letter to editor on this as you wish, folks--
Yes-- I'll give the man this-- Steinhaus is smart; he wouldn't have
gotten elected five times in a row if he wasn't-- but I've been
working consistently 24/7/365 since the 90's against Steinhaus'
budget cuts-- and I've also repeatedly pointed out many common-sense,
pro-active, practical, innovative, alternative ways to save tax
dollars-- to avoid budget cuts (and avoid county property and sales
taxes being so high):
[even a cursory review of my blog posts @
http://www.DutchessDemocracy.blogspot.com bears this out]
My effort against Steinhaus/GOP proposed 2012 county budget cuts
(recall repeated events on this):
My effort vs. Steinhaus' proposed 2011 county budget cuts--
My effort vs. Steinhaus' proposed 2010 county budget cuts--
My effort against Steinhaus' proposed 2009 county budget cuts:
Specifically, here are eleven different ways I strongly differ with
Steinhaus' positions on "fiscal issues":
Fact #1: "The County will not exercise its right to contract work out
if the result of contracting out is the layoff or discharge of then
existing employees." [22 county employees in DMH illegally being
[from page 25 of Dutchess County's contract (1/1/05-12/31/09) with
CSEA-- still in effect now, folks; I specifically pointed out
recently during a Co. Leg. mtg. how, if local newspapers put this
statement/fact on the front page-- about how just illegal these
layoffs are/were-- then Dutchess folks wouldn't allow it; curiously,
Hertz himself got real agitated after I made statement; perhaps
today's paper is his payback;
kudos again to CSEA for fighting good fight as well--
Fact #2: Schenectady County has smaller number of county employees
and retirees than we have here in Dutchess-- yet they save one
million dollars a year with a Canadian prescription drug option for
county employees and retirees; Rensselaer County does this too (with
GOP County Exec Kathy Jimino there); FDA is NOT cracking down on
these; see http://www.PetitionOnline.com/SaveOnRx .
Fact #3: Steinhaus and GOP are wasting another $4.2 million in next
year's budget on housing out inmates-- instead of investing
pro-actively in our youth-- and instead of following the proven,
cost-saving recidivism-cutting re-entry system examples of Brooklyn's
ComAlert system and Peter Young [ http://www.BrooklynDA.org ;
http://www.PYHIT.com ; http://www.JobsNotJails.weebly.com ;
http://www.FightCrime.org ; http://www.petitiononline.com/comalert ].
Fact #4: Steinhaus and GOP are wasting another $4 million next year
on incineration through our county's Resource Recovery Agency (RRA
"service fees")-- instead of saving millions meaningfully moving
towards zero waste by properly incentivizing businesses in the
private sector to help create an eco-industrial resource recovery
park to recycle and compost our county's "garbage."
[90+ already on board @ http://www.petitiononline.com/zeroyes ; "Zero
Waste Dutchess" on Facebook;
Fact #5: As it is right now already, Dutchess County taxpayers
unfairly subsidize privatization through poverty wages-- $3 to 10
million annually for Medicaid, Family Health Plus, and Child Health
Plus for members of working families (when folks have jobs but can't
afford to pay for health care for families).
[study-- http://www.petitiononline.com/duhealth ;
Fact #6: As it is already right now, "Dutchess County taxes its
residents 23% less per capita and spends 26% less per capita than the
statewide average, ranking us among the lowest of all 57 New York
counties for spending and taxes per resident."
Fact #7: It's been proven over and over again that every dollar
invested in pre-school special education for children 3-5 and early
intervention (for 0-3) saves many tax dollars down the road. However,
it appears the current uber-GOP Co. Leg. majority is going along with
the County Executive's proposed $1.5 million cut to pre-school
special education for children 3-5 and $850,000 cut to early
intervention for children 0-3.
Fact #8: Albany County ended a $90 million account w/Bank of America;
L.A., Ithaca, Hempstead, and Freeport have all moved similarly;
Dutchess County now has a $50 million account with Bank of America, a
$50 million account with JPMorgan Chase, and a $50 million account
with Wells Fargo-- at the same time Steinhaus himself told us all in
a letter Dec. 15th that, "Foreclosure rates in Dutchess County are at
record numbers: over 4,000 foreclosures in Dutchess over just the
last three-year period."
Fact #9: We Democrats sponsored a resolution 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
Fact #10: We Democrats sponsored a resolution 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
[ http://whcu870.com/pages/8011398.php?contentType=4&contentId=6717548 ]
Fact #11: 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 this.
; http://www.nyserda.org/GreenNY/ ;
http://www.petitiononline.com/pacehere ; http://www.LIGreenHomes.com
; http://www.NWEAC.org ]
Again: 250-word letter to editor on this as you wish, folks--
[pass it on]
[200+ @ http://www.PetitionOnline.com/Joel ]