Monday, November 2, 2015

Columbia County Republicans Are Lying About Ed Nabozny!

The Register-Star and the Times Union agree:

1. Ed Nabozny didn’t give bookkeeper Pegeen Mulligan-Moore pre-signed checks: she stole blank ones and scanned his signature to put on them.
2. The courts later recovered Greenport’s money, not John Porreca.
3.  And the Republicans can’t even get the number right: she stole $79,122, not $84,000.

“In Greenport, Mulligan-Moore electronically scanned the signature of Supervisor Edward Nabozny to forge stolen town checks. Police found blank Greenport town checks at her home and the supervisor's signature stored in her printer's software.”

Monday, October 26, 2015

Kathleen Leck Eldridge: Wild for Greenport

Q.  Kathleen Leck Eldridge is running as an Independent for Town Council in Greenport and is backed by the Greenport Democrats.  We wanted to ask her a few questions about her background and her thoughts on town issues.

Kathleen Leck Eldridge.  I was born and raised in Greenport in the family home on Milo Street that my father John Leck built in 1946.  It still stands strong.  My mother Gertie still lives there.  Growing up and watching Greenport develop while I was young, I never saw the problems that face us today.  Kids played outside and came home when the street lights went on.  We would sleigh-ride on the big hill near our house and skateboard right down our street.  We had scraped knees and bruises, and we had fun.  We were happy and never worried about the issues that confront us now. 

For one, if elected, I would push for weekly meetings, not just the monthly ones that happen now.  I would even schedule them more often than weekly if they were needed to accomplish what's important.  

I want solutions to problems from dirty water right down to the need for a stop sign. If, at the end of half a year, there are no solutions presented because of foot dragging, I will go public and let everyone know why and who is stopping the process. 

I want the comprehensive plan for Greenport to have a solid structure on which to build, not just a plan that sounds good or looks good on paper.  We need a tangible plan that is workable and affordable. 

These are the duties of the Greenport Town Board. 

My Dad always said that Greenport never kept up with its own growth and no one was paying attention to it.   This, he warned, would lead to more and bigger problems that would get out of control very quickly.  How right he was. 

Q. What made you decide to run for Town Council? 

Leck Eldridge.   As a contender for a Greenport Town Council seat, I ask myself not only what can be done, but what hasn't been done and what is being ignored?  I found that when asking a town department head about a problem, typically he blamed it on another department head who isn't in charge and has little or nothing to do with the issue. So finally, after attending one more frustrating Greenport Town Board meeting, I came home and said, "I need to run. Not away but to the Town Board." People who know me don't ask why I am running, because they know the answer.  

Q.  What challenges do you face in this campaign?

Leck Eldridge.   It has been said that I was wild when I was younger.  Define wild...better yet, define wild at 18 and then again at 59.  At 18 most of us tend to be reckless and at 59 our body remembers that recklessness.  So we slow down.  For me being wild now means that I have earned a college degree, own two homes and a new car, and I have a great credit score.  And I'm a registered nurse at an assisted living facility.

To attack someone's youth when there is so much important work to do is intended only to distract the voters from real issues.  I do not want my name attached to lies or misleading information, nor will I attack someone else for my own benefit.  This is dirty politics. and to play the same game is to have the same dirt kicked up in your face.   None of us wears a crown of thorns, but we can try to do what is right.

I am still wild, just about different things. Today I am wild to improve this town. 

Q.  What are is basic goal if you win this race? 

Leck Eldridge. I am running in this year's race to make a difference.  Flat out, to make a difference!!  I have told my running mates, on all sides, that this is my intention. They need to be on board with this and to work as hard as I want to. I am not trying to get elected to sit back and add this to my resume. I didn't even know it was a paid position when I decided to run. I want to make a difference and make Greenport a solid, well-functioning town. 

Q. How are you intending to make a difference?

Leck Eldridge.  There's been a lack of transparency from the current Town Board, and we need to find out what's behind it.  I want people at the Town Board meetings to hear us.  I want public input and committee participation.  

Some people might be afraid of honesty and integrity, which I intend to restore. Further stated, if any town leaders do not drag themselves into this mess -- as I want and will do -- then I will drag them into it myself.  

I certainly look forward to working with the people of Greenport.  As with any election, the winners or losers are the people's choice.  But I want to say thanks to that man I ran into the other day in the store, who pointed to his friend and said, "If she wins, we win."

Thursday, October 22, 2015

An Interview with Mark Gaylord, Greenport Highway Superintendent

  Mark Gaylord, who is Greenport's Highway Superintendent and running for re-election, addressed some of the issues surrounding recent basement flooding and sewage back up in parts of Greenport. 

 Some residents believe that recent basement flooding is due to run-off from newly narrowed roads after heavy rains. Some went to the New York State Department of Transportation in Poughkeepsie to complain, but the State complimented us for what we did. Less blacktop means less run-off more grass means more absorption, so narrowing the roads cuts down on the water that runs through town.  Wider roads also cost taxpayer dollars. During winter we were making three or four passes to plow them, which means more hours and more material and higher costs. 

Flooding in Greenport has generally been due to water line construction, which, in some areas, damaged the drainage system. In some cases drainage systems were removed and never put back.  Insufficient drainage and excess water then seeped into the ground and foundations around the houses. 

Run-off from the roads, narrowed or not, will not get into a sealed sewer system. Recent flooding has occurred along narrowed roads and roads that were not narrowed. Most homes along narrowed Greenport roads had no flooding.

Flooding has been a problem for years in Greenport.  To solve it, we need a drainage district.  Although this is very expensive, a reasonable approach is to pick the worst area first, create a budget, and bond it. Then the highway department would maintain it.  I will work with the Town Council and the Water Department to help implement such a system without undue hardship to our local taxpayers, so that the risk of flooding will be greatly diminished. 

I've been Highway Superintendent for ten years, and I have constantly enjoyed the deep satisfaction of making the roads smooth and safe for my Greenport neighbors.  I look forward to serving you in years to come.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Greenport Primary Results for Town Supervisor and Town Council

The September 10th primary in Greenport had contests on the Working Families and Independence lines for town offices.
Timothy Shook received 2 votes and Ed Nabozny 6 write-ins to win the slot for Town Supervisor on the Working Party line.

On the Independence line for Greenport Town Supervisor, the win also went to Edward Nabozny with 32 votes versus 16 write-ins for John Porreca. For the Town Council Independence line, Democrat Guy Apicella and Independent Kathy Eldridge won with 29 and 21 write-in votes, respectively. Republican Keith Mortefolio, who was on the ballot, lost with 17 votes.  (The other Republican contender for Town Council, John Mausholf, was not on the ballot and did not receive any write-in votes.)

Of particular interest were the 14 absentee ballots for the Independence line.  A police interview on primary day with one applicant found that he did not live in the town of Greenport, and his ballot was withdrawn. His father had also submitted an absentee ballot and the same interview observed that he was present in the county and not absent that day, but his vote was still counted.  Six of the remaining voters were challenged on the belief and information that they were also in the county on the day of the election. (Two voters who filled out these applications at least a week before the primary said that they planned to be sick that day.)  All of these non-absentee absentee voters went for the Republican candidate, although this did not affect the results of the primary. 

It should be noted that anyone who fills out an absentee ballot attests to the following statement:
"I certify that I am a qualified and a registered (and for primary, enrolled) voter; and that the information in this application is true and correct and that this application will be accepted for all purposes as the equivalent of an affidavit and, if it contains a material false statement, shall subject me to the same penalties as if I had been duly sworn."

The absentee ballot also instructs that:
"Each person must apply for himself or herself. It is a felony to make a false statement in an application for an absentee ballot, to attempt to cast an illegal ballot, or to help anyone cast an illegal ballot."

The cornerstone for American democracy requires that there be fair and honest elections.  Absentee ballots have strict requirements before they are issued, not for the convenience of a voter who does not want to vote in person.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Case of the Non-Absentee Absentee Voters

During the current Independence Party primary in Greenport for Town Supervisor, Ed Nabozny, already the Democratic candidate for this office, reported a disturbing pattern while visiting potential voters. "Political operatives were going around Greenport approaching registered voters with unsolicited absentee ballot applications," he says. He went on to explain that these voters were not told that, under New York State regulations, they need to be too disabled to get to the polls or out of the county during voting hours on Primary Day in order to vote absentee. 

About 20 voters were misled into signing an affidavit that that they were not able to vote in person and would be "out of the county."  The voters, however, were not asked by the soliciting operative whether they were actually going to be absent that day, and many were told that filling out an absentee ballot would simply be a convenience for them. Some of the applications were already pre-filled with the voters' information.  

I was able to look at copies of these absentee ballot applications, and every one authorized one individual--a family member of the opposing candidate--to submit them to the County Board of Elections. 

According to NY State Election Law, “It is a felony to make a false statement in an absentee ballot application.“  By not informing the voters that they must be disabled or out of the county, these political operatives were placing these voters in jeopardy.  
Nabozny said, "Some of the people who were victimized became noticeably upset when we explained how they were misled.  Some said they felt intimidated and pressured to fill in the application."  

Nabozny released this information with the hope that future voters would be aware of the voting regulations and read thoroughly any document presented to them to sign, even if they know the individual seeking their signature.  Nabozny said, "Voting is a precious right that should not have been manipulated in this manner."

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Greenport Primaries: All Elections Are Important

Primary Day is Thursday, September 10th .  Polls open at 12 and close at 9.

In Greenport Election District 2, four contestants are vying for 2 positions on the Greenport Democratic Committee: Caroline Cleinmann, Eugene Keeler, Donna Morgan, and Tim Shook.  The polling site for this primary is at the Becraft Pumper No, 2, 257 County Rte 14. 

Also in all Greenport election districts are an Independence primary for Town Supervisor and Town Council and a Working Party primary for Town Supervisor.  Both of these primaries allow write-in candidates.