I run a small business, Glencadia Dog Camp. In August 2010, the town of Stuyvesant began a campaign to shut the business down and destroy the livelihoods of my family and my employee one or, sometimes, employees, two. After the shocking and unconstitutional revocation of my permit without a hearing or any due process, I have been fighting back against the town of Stuyvesant, clearly a town in which corrupt practices flourish in government. This anti-corruption blog and all the issues discuss, all the malfeasance reported, all of that came out of the revocation of the permit to operate my business in 2010.
I will be before Judge Bruno on March 2, 7 pm to answer a criminal citation, possibly leading to a jury trial at some later date with penalties up to 15 days in jail, and on Monday, March 28, 2011 at 7:00 pm at the Stuyvesant Town Hall for a planning board public hearing which may help determine whether the business I built with considerable investment of time and money can be shut down by town officials with no just cause. With all these hearings, I will be asking folks to come out and support me a few times over the next few months and I would like to take a moment to tell you why you should. Right now, I hope to get people to come to the planning board in March.
Here are the reasons:
One: the charges are false and trivial but the stakes are high. If the town is allowed to shut my business down, my family will be rendered poor and all my investments will go down the drain. Hopefully, a few of you will be moved simply on that basis. Am I innocent? Yes, yes. Have we as a family suffered? Yes. Is there any public interest in this protracted battle over nothing? No.
Two: the charges were leveled in order to silence and intimidate me and stop me from exercising my constitutional rights. One charge after the next, one proceeding after the next. I have zoning, planning and criminal proceedings all going forward at the same time, on various trivial and demonstratively false charges. On the other hand, I have lead the charge for a referendum on the million dollar town garage, investigated the boat club assessment and building permit problems, pointed out a 10,000 hole in the budget, and called for a hearing to determine whether the supervisor Valerie Bertram should be the chair of the Ethics Board of Columbia County. Could my political and anti-corruption activity possibly be the reason that impossible and false charges have been leveled at me? Why else would I have three sets of hearings going forward on various false charges? I have been mugged and I'm fighting back. Is there any other way to understand all of this stuff going on up here in Stuyevesant? Is the town out of line? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes,
Three: the town of Stuyvesant is corrupt and the Columbia County Board of Supervisors doesn't seem to care. With Valerie Bertram as chair of the Ethics Board and no hearing on the matter, the Columbia County Board of Supervisors is sending a clear signal: they care more about each other and their private interests than in protecting the public, stopping government corruption and graft and growing the economy. No one is watching the store, folks. It's open season on your tax money. Look for yourself at this and this.
If the people, the voters, don't take a stand against corruption, government waste and corruption will continue to sap the economic vitality out of the county.
Corruption and waste can end if we take a stand. In my small way, I have and I was punished for it. In Egypt, Tunisia, Libya the threat of death did not stop the people from standing up to corruption and we should be able to get in our cars and drive to 5 Sunset Drive in Stuyvesant NY 12173 on March 28 to take a stand in favor of economic development and against government corruption. Children, don't get weary.
Open, accountable government and a good climate for investment and economic growth are the same thing in principle and in my case specifically. Like jobs? Come on over to the hearing. Hate corruption? Join me on March 28.
A year ago, I never thought I would have to fight for my constitutional rights. Now I know better. Think you will never have a problem? That's what I thought; you never know. Don't sleep on your rights. Join me and take a stand for the constitution and our economic future right here in Columbia County.
Thank you. Oh and here's another reason to show up: PLEASE! Pretty please! Thanks.