Monday, February 20, 2012

county attorneys

Here is something I got off a list serve and have not researched to vouch for the info... comments welcome if this is not correct. Thank you.


Robert J. Fitzsimmons
Andrew B. Howard
Clarissa D. Garvey
Charles E. Hoag, Jr.
Tal G. Rappleyea
Robert J. Fitzsimmons
Barrett D. Mack
Brent R. Stack

Assistant District Attorneys: ALL REGISTERED REPUBLICANS

David M. Costanzo
James A. Carlucci
H. Neal Conolly
Carl G. Whitbeck, Jr.
Dominic J. Cornelius
Robert M. Gibson 

Public Defenders:

Public Defender: Arlene Levinson
1st Assistant Public Defender
Robert Linville


Maryellen Minor
Ian L. Crimmins
Kenneth G. Cranna
Virginia D. Mallon
Michael C. Howard
Jessica Howser
David Seth Michaels 

Now check the NYS Board of Elections website and who contributed to the Republican Party in the last political campaigns. 

Money for jobs: that's what it is all about. Same thing for the rest of the County payroll.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

why taxes are high and corruption is endemic

Columbia County has about 60,000 people. We also have about 21 highway departments, 5 police forces, 5 school districts, 19 assessors offices, 50 judges, 19 justice departments.

This situation is 1) wasteful; 2) inefficient; 3) breeds patronage and corruption through impossibility of oversight, along with no agency tasked with oversight.

Look at police. By having these multiple forces (sheriff, state police, Hudson police, Chatham, Copake, etc.), one central authority cannot allocate resources based on need. The resources are based on politics. COMPSTAT kind of efficiency and effectiveness is impossible.

Look at the highway department. Do we need 21 fleets of vehicles, 21 salt sheds, 21 billing departments, 21 purchasing authorities? No. If these resources were allocated on a need basis not on politics and tradition, how much could we save.

Look at assessment. This local assessor stuff is asking for trouble. You would get fairer and cheaper assessments by following the recommendations of this study.

Look at justice departments. Remember the New York Times series on terrible upstate small town judges? Anything change after that? In 1812, it made sense to have people travel a couple miles to their local judge: weather, horses, etc. Now it makes sense to have professional, appointed judges working full time with oversight.

Look at schools. This system with no choice for schools is terrible. In transportation and administration alone, consolidating the districts would have a tremendous amount. Allowing choice within the public system, let alone opening the thing up to charter schools, would put some pressure on the mediocre system we have.

From Hudsonian (thanks):

The top 10 teachers pay in Hudson:

Hungerford, Susan J $104,010.25 
Rees, Lucy A $96,617.00 
Peters, Charles M $95,681.00 
Aronson, Jay O $94,905.75 
Bonville, Thomas E $93,618.00 
Barletta, Anna M $92,150.05 
Libruk, Regina $91,636.50 
Ringer, Gordon D $91,579.80 
Dolan, Elizabeth A $91,488.00 
Huemmer, Ellen K $91,243.00

You can use the link ( to view the current contract between the taxpayers of the Hudson City School District and the Hudson Teachers Association. 

Take a look at page 38 of the contract. You'll notice that the maximum amount any teacher can earn is $ 85,587. Is there something special about the teacher at the top of the list in Fact # 1 where she can earn almost $ 20,000 above the maximum in the contract?

Locally, the two cities that are probably the closest to Hudson in population are Rensselaer and Mechanicville. Another measure of efficiency (or lack thereof) would be to calculate and compare per capita rates or how much is spent on a particular service per citizen.

For example, using Hudson and it's Police Department, the per capita would be $ 303.17 or $ 303.17 for every resident of the city. This is calculated by taking the 2,035,162.11 in 2011 salaries and dividing that by the 2010 census number of 6,713.

Rensselaer's per capita is 248.18 ( 2,330,909.06 / 9,392) and Mechanicville's would be about $ 162.71 ( 813,540.24  / 5,000). The 5,000 is an estimate. I couldn't seem to get a real number but that's what one source had for 2009.

In summary, Hudson spends $ 303.17, Rensselaer spends $ 248.18 and Mechanicville $ 162.71. In other words, Hudson is 22% higher than Rensselaer and 87% higher than Mechanicville.

Here's a list of the top five (5) cop salaries in Hudson:

Richardson, Ellis 108,813.13 Chief
Finn, Lynne 99,313.75 
Moon Jr, Anthony 92,566.62 
Paolino, Richard 91,656.33 
Foutch, Thomas 89,079.85 

Here's the same for Rensselaer:

Famiglietti, Warren 93,067.21 
Fusco, Frederick 87,784.92 Chief
Terry Jr, Joseph 84,770.52 
Frankoski, James 82,023.00 
Nagengast, Anthony 80,452.29 

Here's the information for Mechanicville:

Rabbitt Jr, William 88,364.03 
Rocco, Peter 81,067.65 
Rocco, Louis 78,520.71 
Westfall, Scott 76,882.81 
Waldron, Joseph 76,874.73 Chief

The 2012 city Budget includes $ 40,000 for gasoline. Assuming $ 4.00 a gallon for gas, that's 10,000 gallons. Assuming each police car gets 10 miles per gallon, that would be enough gas to travel 100,000 miles per year or 273 miles a day 365 days a year. Does that sound reasonable? I realize that some of those miles are outside of Hudson (to pick up or drop off prisoners, etc.). Does anyone know how many miles of road there is in Hudson?

Sheriff's office:

Michael Merante $127,081(3rd highest in the County)
Brendan Filli $109,790
Louis Bray $106,400
Michael Stelling $101,092
Paul Graziano $100,716
Dave Barlett $95,328
James Sweet 92,931
John Davi $92,553

Sunday, February 5, 2012

why didn't the county sheriff release the name of the house?

The county sheriff's office seems to have covered for the supervisor. What is up?

drone strikes

Barack Obama thinks he can order the execution of anyone without judicial review. The administration picks someone, an American citizen, convicts them, then executes them and refuses to disclose the evidence to any court even after the fact.

If you are in Yemen, Pakistan, Afganistan, Iraq, Somalia, Obama can sign off and kill you if he doesn't like you. What's the policy? Is the congo okay? What if you are in Eastern Congo, hiding in the jungle? Can he kill you there? Or the Amazon jungle with the FARC? Just blow you up? Tajikistan? Siberia? You can't go to Yemen or Pakistan, which are officially allied counties: he'll just kill you. You can go to Iran or Cuba, though, since if he killed you it would be a big deal. Is there a list of places that are drone-able? Can Obama summarily execute an American citizen in downtown Berlin? How about London? Cleveland? Does anyone get any say on this other than Obama? What about President Gingrich? Would like him to kill anyone he doesn't like anywhere with no judicial review?