"Government of the people, by the people, for the people."

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dems and GOP share a laugh before a lit drops

In a bit of campaign serendipity, Schodack Dems and Republicans chose the same time and place to meet up for final lit drop on Saturday - the old town hall site.

Ever the pleasant, avuncular man he is, Alex Shannon came over for some good-natured, back-and forth ribbing with Chair ELizabeth Gable. Frank Curits also popped over to see what all the laughing was about and was praised for reaching across the aisle.

And this is the way it should be - no personal attacks, destroying signs or removing literature (in a second moment of serendipity, Elizabeth and I found ourselves lit dropping in the same place as a car of Republicans. Each left the others' literature alone.)

In a democracy, there is no place for personal attacks, lies and under-handed political tactics. We should all be running on issues and let the voters decide on the merits of each candidate, not because of false accusations or smear tactics.

I think politicians further up the food chain should take a lesson from the way Schodack Dems and Republicans conducted themselves this morning.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sunset Hills

Went door-to-door in Sunset Hills today after work. Spoke to a number of residents, most of whom expressed their concern about their property taxes and the seeming lack of direction by the incumbents. One women pointed out how well East Greenbush seems to be doing while Schodack lags behind.

Having zoning laws that are stuck in the 1950s, 60s and 70s will do that.

We all stuffer as the incumbents protect that status quo - because it benefits them, their friends and family.

It is time for a more responsive representative on the town board. Someone with nothing to gain personally from the status quo.

If elected, I will be that person.

I hope to see you between now and election day. Please email me or leave a comment here, on my FaceBook page or on the Schodack Democrats' web page.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Door-to-door in Schodack

I have been knocking on doors for quite some time now. Most people say taxes are their biggest concern. One woman said she is selling her home of three generations because her taxes are too high. All she is doing is working to pay taxes.

Another woman's husband took a big hit at work, paying far more for benefits and receiving a wage freeze for the next three years. With two kids in college they are thinking of moving because they are struggling to make ends meet and also pay more than $600 a month in property taxes.

Yet another person wants to know why we are racking up debt to pay for a water system that we are not sure we will really need in the future. The idea that "if we build it, they will come" is pie in the sky. We need a real master plan and more effort to bring good commercial projects to the area.

The incumbents sit back on their laurels and crow about the Moody's upgrade, but they ignore the many homes that are on the market - each home representing a family forced to move because their property tax burden was more than they could bear.

It is time for a real master plan but more importantly, the zoning changes that will allow that master plan to work. We need to define what we want our town to look like and then put into place commercial design standards that will help new buildings to blend in seamlessly with the old.

It is time for real fiscally conservative budgeting, not accounting games that hid the true nature of the town's spending.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Meet the Candidate Night Drew a Good Crowd

Linda Underwood, the Democratic candidate for a seat on the Schodack Town Board, held an informal meet and greet on Tuesday, October 25 at 7 p.m. at the Peter Andrews VFW Hall on Scott Ave. in the Village of Castleton. The event was organized by the Schodack Democratic Committee after a Meet the Candidates Night sponsored by the non-partisan Schodack Planning and Development Association and moderated by the League of Women Voter’s was cancelled because the Republican candidates declined to participate.

“It is troubling that the incumbents didn’t wish to speak with and listen to the residents of Schodack, but their decision did not stop me from following though with such an important event,” Underwood said. “I welcome the opportunity to speak with community members because I feel the foundation of Democracy is an informed electorate. It is important for residents to get to know the candidates, question their stand on the issues and express their concerns about the direction the town is going in."

While the Democrats invited the incumbents to the event, they were all no-shows.

Underwood explained her positions on issues ranging from planning and zoning to the use of fund balance and contingency funds to pay regular, recurring bills. She explained how she would engage residents in two-way communication through regular weekend informal meetings, TV coverage of meetings through public access TV and more open discussion.

Residents also shared their frustrations with the status quo, the appointment and hiring of less competent people because they are politically connected, and ever-raising taxes and expenditure.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Please come to Meet the Candidate Night Tuesday, Oct. 25

The non-partisan Schodack Planning and Development Association along with the Maple Hill High School Participation in Government class Contacted me early in September to invite me to a meet the Candidates Night. The event, they told me, would be moderated by the League of Women Voters.

I jumped at the chance to meet with Schodack residents and learn what was important to them. I told them I would work around the other candidates' schedules.

But it was not to be. Even though Frank Curtis actually responded that he was available on Oct. 25, Dennis Dowds said he had to check with Town Republican Chairman Rich Crist and Mike Kenney never returned SPADA's calls. Finally, even Frank Curtis said no as well.

So the Schodack Democrats are sponsoring their own Meet the Candidate Night where residents can tell me what is on their mind and ask me what they want to know about where I stand in the issues.

I hope you will join us on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. the Peter Andrews VFW Post on Scott Ave. in the Village of Castleton

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The third time is the charm

Last week I was nominated as the Democratic candidate for Schodack Town Board at the Schodack Democratic Caucus.

This is my third campaign in as many years. So why am I doing it?

First, because someone has to do it. I fully believe in Howard Dean's 50 State Strategy. While we may not have a candidate for every position that is up for election, we must have at least one Democratic candidate in every election cycle because "you can't win if you don't play."

Second, someone has to represent the residents of Schodack. Right now, those who are on the board say very little. There are few questions, few explanations of anyone's thinking and pretty much no opposition to anything on the agenda. All items on the agenda are passed without comment, everyone voting in lock-step with each other.

That is not representative government. That is not government "for the people."

I am hoping that the "third time is the charm" for me and that this year, I will be victorious.

You can help me. Spread the word, talk to your friends, write a letter to the editor and send it to the Advertiser, make a donation, make phone calls or knock on doors.

Together we can win. Because when I win, it is a win for the people of Schodack.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The results are in and I have lost my bid

While I have not won my bid for county legislature I am proud of the campaign I ran. I am also thankful for the support of my family and friends.

I appreciate the lessons I have learned and the people I have met, especially my running mate Flora Fasoldt.

Many thanks again to all of you!