Friday, September 29, 2006

Litigating, Agitating

SHERIFF OFFICE POLITICS. Three sergeants in the office of GreeneLand’s sheriff, Richard Hussey, have launched a court action in which they claim to be victims of “favoritism” and “abuse of discretion” in the matter of promotions. They are asking the State Supreme Court to annul a procedure whereby eligibility to take an examination in quest of promotion to sheriff’s lieutenant, at a salary of $51,480, was limited, illegally and/or arbitrarily and/or capriciously, to just one of the five men who otherwise would have been eligible to compete for the job. The suing sergeants are Andrew J. Macko (father of The Daily Mail’s Andrea Macko), John M. Stegville and Steven J. Worth. Their action, a request for judicial intervention in the form of annulling the examination (given September 16th), is being handled, through the New York State Law Enforcement Officers Union, by Albany-based attorney Matthew P. Ryan (whose proof-reading skills need remediation). The focal point of their complaint is a provision that was added by the county’s Civil Service Commission, at the behest of Sheriff Hussey, to the announcement of the coming lieutenant’s examination. The addition said “Due to some involvement with the Greene County Jail, basic training for Correctional Officer is required.” That proviso effectively limited eligibility to take the promotional examination to Sgt Tor Tryland. According to the filing of the protesting sergeants, the additional requirement was “arbitrary and capricious” in relation to the lieutenant’s tasks; framed “for the sole purpose of excluding all other eligible candidates,” it was a “pretext” designed to “ensure” that only Sergeant Tryland could (upon passing the exam, free of competition) get the promotion. The special eligibility requirement, Sheriff Hussey says in response, was “altogether appropriate and reasonable”: the new lieutenant would be working inside as well as outside the jail; special technical training is essential for regulating inmates’ and others’ communications; Sergeant Tryland alone has the relevant training and experience. In formal terms, according to some sources, the call for “basic training for Correctional Officer” amounts to a call for a training course that lasts three weeks. In response to the sergeants’ formal complaint, we understand, GreeneLand's civil service commission sought advice from the State civil service commission. Early indications are that the response will consist of advising that the special eligibility requirement is indeed improper.

TRUSTEE TANGLE. The Village Trustees of Tannersville have or have not decided to hire a lawyer to deal with “pending litigation with the village concerning appointments.” (The quote comes from a report by Jim Planck of The Daily Mail). By a vote of 3-1-1, the putative trustees did or did not decide to retain the legal services of Albany attorney Thomas Marcelle. The dissenting vote came from trustee Linda Kline. She is the plaintiff in the case. The respondents are the other trustees, or putative trustees. They are putative in the sense that Ms Kline claims that they are not legally authentic. According to Ms Kline’s petition to the State Supreme Court in Ulster County, the putative Village mayor, Gina Legari, is not legally the president of the board of trustees because the appointment which put her in office, to succeed the departed mayor, Glenn Weyant, was valid only until the end of last March, after which she needed a re-appointment but did not seek it. Ms Legari holds the contrary position. She accordingly claims that her actions after that date are within her authority. Among those actions was an appointment to fill another vacancy on the Board of Trustees, and then to join with the new (putative) appointee, Clifford Bertrand, in filling still other vacancies by appointment (it being legally obligatory that there be a five-person Board), and then (along with two other colleagues) to retain the special counsel. What if Ms Kline wins her case? If that happens, a Supreme Court judge rules that Ms Legari and the other putative trustees have been occupying, and exercising, office illegally. Accordingly, their action in allocating money from the Village treasury to retain counsel in response to the Kline lawsuit (which cites them is individual respondents; it’s not against the Board of Trustees or the Village) would seem to be illegal action. If so, could they be obliged to pay it back from their own pockets? Would that obligation extend from Ms Legari to the person she “appointed”? to the persons they in turn “appointed” (over dissenting votes by Ms Kline)? to the putative trustee who abstained from voting on the motion to retain special counsel at Village expense? And what about the costs incurred by Ms Kline in conducting her action? If she gets a favorable ruling—a Supreme Court judge’s decision that the putative trustees are not authentic trustees—would she be entitled to compensation for her action? If you think we are going to answer those questions, dream on.

GASOLINE PRICES have come down in recent weeks, but GreeneLand stations have dropped prices less than our neighbors have; and they are higher now than in substantial parts of New York City. At the two stations close to Rip Van Winkle Bridge, Citgo and Getty (formerly Ampol), the price per gallon of regular, on Thursday (9/28) was $2.60. The range here, for regular fuel, was from about $2.55 per gallon to $2.70. That’s well above the current U.S. average ($2.37) and it is substantially above the New York City average ($2.45!). In the Albany area, most stations were pricing regular yesterday at just under $2.50 per gallon. That’s true for Hess and Cumberland Farms stations, among others; so the GreeneLand outlets of those companies are 10 cents or more higher. How come? The costs of doing business here aren’t higher than in neighboring counties. Neither are delivery costs. (To fill up on information on the subject, google Gasoline Prices).

NEW BUSINESS keeps on coming to downtown Catskill. Patricia Hinkein has opened a real estate office at 362 Main Street, formerly occupied by the Heart of Catskill Association. Resident manager David King worked for Columbia County realtor Peggy Lampman. --Waterstreet Recording (221 Water St; necessary1@aol.com) is open for business, managed by Bobby Eichorn as “a creative space designed with the musician and songwriter in mind.” “where ideas and inspiration can be fuly realized….” --BowerBird home wares shop has already been accessible on a special occasion or two (as has the tasty Catskill+Co, in the former Mayflower CafĂ©), but its festive formal debut is scheduled for next Saturday (10/7). --Last Tuesday’s Daily Mail touted three “new” businesses, all at 464 Main Street. The pivotal one, Upholstery Unique (Tom Moore and Carrie Underwood) has been visible for quite some time. The others there are Bill’s World (furniture repair by Bill Rider) and Sheryl Wnenta’s Sew Happy. (Hail to thee, Ms Wnenta, for the titular word play. And when do we get a restaurant called The Happy Cooker?).

SIX SICs. “For Walter Birmann, owner of the Rainbow Golf Club, said the tourism industry in the county, which, following what is regarded nationally ‘rule of thumb’ within the business, generates for around every dollar spent at a tourist attraction spent at a tourist attraction, seven dollars spent elsewhere in the county.” --“A professor at Hartwick College in Oneonta, Titus’ chapter describes Catskill’s primordial origins….” --“Greene County Historian and Raymond Beecher discusses “The Legacy of Cedar Grove and…’” --“…Euro-Centric expectations many think the opera world revolves in….” --“…Festival draws a crowd with attractions abound.” --“Bluesman consummate Guy Davis, center, lets the folks know, on blues harp and guitar, why he is….”

OLD BUSINESS. Q: And what do you think is the best thing about being 104 years old? A: No peer pressure.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

At least now we know why the DM seemed so up on the Hussey story. Face it, those reporters and editors have to be told about something or handed a press release. They don't follow up on anything on their own initiative.

Anonymous said...

How often does the Road LT go into the Jail any way?

It certainly sounds like a cover story if you ask me.

They usually only stop in for a cup of coffee or something to eat.

Anonymous said...

Sounds more like political posturing to me. Hussey is not silly enough to think he might be able to run again, so he's trying to arrange who might be his successor.

Anonymous said...

Who was the drunk guy in the blue jeans and black petes contracting shirt running around the fire scene with no gear on????

Anonymous said...

Hi Dick,
I would just like to let you and all your readers know that this Saturday, Oct 7th, is the Grand Opening of Park for Paws, the only park in the village where dogs will be allowed.
It is located at the top of Main Street, in Pruyn Park.
Please come and show your support !

Anonymous said...

I for one , can say that I live in the village, and am very happy about the dog park. It will give me someplace to walk my dog and have things for him to do besides walk on the sidewalks of Catskill.
I'll be there Saturday!

Anonymous said...

Thank god for the dog park! my son plays soccer at the broome st school field and there is always dog shit all on the field! It's from this big fat slob who drives an maroon suv and walks her 2 dogs their every day letting them shit all over the field! what a fat piece of shit that looks more like a guy than a girl!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

why cant the people from the firehouse website stay there instead of polluting this one also!

H. M. Hanson said...

After a month's vacation, Bell's Cafe, 387 Main Street, will open for dinner on Wednesday. Reservations are encouraged, call (518) 943-4070. Luncheon and dinner will be served on Friday. Recommended!
A neighbor

Anonymous said...

dick- put my comment back!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone think it is a conflict of interest, even unethical or at best inappropriate, for a reporter to write a story about her father's lawsuit?

Anonymous said...

What ties does Dick have to A L ?

He keeps deleting comments about her!

Anonymous said...

Dick has deleted another comment

About "a"