Thursday, March 31, 2011

hi folks

Welcome to the blog. If you want something new, try my other blog.

Thank you Francesca for the link. As many of you are new to this blog and this case, I you might want to start at the beginning (January) and move forward rather than the other way around.

Here is the hearing in full, Monday March 28. Here is a news story on it.

This blog was not supposed to be about me. My lawsuit is not about me. Go to the first few posts like about attorney invoices and bad assessments.

These kinds of issues motivated the lawsuit. And this blog is not going to be able to discuss any more scandals like that since we are now moving toward this suit.

I was minding my own business, trying to run a business when I was attacked. I fought back. That is the only explanation for the fact that I did nothing wrong yet will before the town judge in criminal court on April 6 facing 15 days in jail along with zoning and planning persecutions.

I never in my life thought I would have to fight for my own constitutional rights. But I do.

Yes, I can run a business and express my political beliefs. This is America. I'm allowed to do that.

So folks, this is going to be a long tedious and expensive project. I am doing this suit and trying to get folks together to stop the corruption, abuse of power, waste, inefficiency and high taxes in Columbia County.

Please get in touch with me to help.

Thank you,


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

bunch of hicks

I never called anyone a hick. Do a google search, print out the email. I never met the woman who said I called her a hick in person, so it was online. Then she should be able to produce the document.

I got more rusty vehicles.
I got a goat behind a chainlink fence near a pile of shit.
I got a barely functional pick up.
I got dilapidated fences.
I got manure.
I got holes in my shit boots that I stuff up with a plastic bag in the winter.
My hands bleed all winter because I clean buckets with snow then put the same hands into the woodstove to wiggle logs and get a fire going.
I got a rooster.
I got more plywood than anyone in town.

No one is going to out hick me.

I never called anyone a hick until now. Here goes: who's the hick? Me.

distance and date

Based on GSP hiker/outdoor app on ipad:
(MotionX-GPS “Use to navigate and record tracks and waypoints during outdoor activities such as hiking, sailing, or geocaching.”)
Rybka distance from barn: 520 yards/1,560 feet

Campbell distance from barn: 50 yards/150 feet
Meg, distantce from barn 1000 feet
Vlad distance from barn: 464 yards/1,392 feet
Pickwick distance from barn: 453 yards/1,359 feet
Reddy distance from barn: 457 yards/1,371 feet
Culver distance from barn: 550 yards/1,650 feet
Lebe /Reynolds distance from barn: 605 yards/1,815 feet
Phyllis distance from barn: 550 yards/1,650 feet
Gibbs distance from barn: 476 yards/1,428 feet
Pilkerton distance from barn: 680 yards/2,040 feet
Richardson distance from barn: 477 yards/1,431 feet
There are many other letters of support from people who spend time at the facility for various reasons.

I have uploaded a large JPG map of the area.


I now move to dates.
Here is a timeline of my business:

The reason dates are critical are to establish that 1) at the time Gerry Ennis revoked my permit, no one had complained in writing and two people (households) had complained by phone; 2) that the claim that the barking started in Fall 2009 is baseless.

The two complaints prior to the act (revocation) that produced the appeal which lead to the negotiations that lead to the planning board were from Yerick/Platt and Kline.

Mary Kline’s complaint, by her own admission on three occasions, was manufactured by Gerry Ennis. She called him and said she heard dogs. He told her that my dog camp existed and that I was the source of her problem. She lives more than 1500 feet away from my facility. She claims that the barking problem started suddenly in Fall 2009 such that she cannot sleep. Her letters contain irreverent personal attacks remarks.

Platt/Yerrick wrote a letter of support for my business when I appeared before the board in Summer 2009. In April 2010 I spoke to Mr. Platt (Fritz) and he told me that the only problem is my own personal dog. I recorded the telephone call. Mr. Platt subsequently signed an affidavit accusing me of criminal dog barking.

In a letter, Ms. Yerrick notes that the barking is “louder than the small microphone on her video camera recorded.” I have not received a copy of this recording although is has been requested through FOIL more than 45 days from the date of this letter. At the public hearing Ms. Yerrick noted that the “drip of a faucet isn’t loud but it is annoying.” Fritz wears hearing aides in both ears.

Again, I would here simply point out that we could dismiss this whole proceeding as baseless and arbitrary.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

last night at the planning board

I didn't speak! Last night I was tossing and turning, kicking myself for not speaking! I had such a good speech! Something like this:

First, to all the neighbors and friends who came out: thank you. I feel like "love thy neighbor" is in full effect tonight. We had a problem and we called our neighbors and they came out to help us.

Did a tree fall on the house? No. Did the horse step on a nail? No. Was there an accident or a storm? No. We were attacked. We need you to come out.

You came out. Thank you.

I would like you to know that I don't think you came out just for us. You also came out for some basic principles enshrined in the US Constitution: due process, equal protection, freedom of speech, open government.

Yes, in our little town these issues apply. No, it is not up to some judge somewhere to defend the constitution. We also have to do it in this little town.

That's the basic message I wanted to make and just didn't think I should speak last night.

Also, Judy: thank you for investing in Columbia County and making this a viable second home option. Michael and the Chamber of Commerce: thank you for working to make this county a good place to invest. Thank you all.

Then I thought of this: Stuyvesant Town government is corrupt. Saudi Arabian government is corrupt. In Saudi Arabia, when the protests in the Middle East started, they gave everyone 10,000 dollars because they have a vast reservoir of oil. When I started complaining about the assessment rolls, the terrible accounting, apparent embezzlement of funds, in town hall, they needed to draw the vast reservoir available to this government: gullible people.

Real estate.

Now, I did not bring a second card for my camera nor did I set the camera to lo res so I only have the first of two hours of public comments on video. We have the whole thing in audio.

The second half was all pro-dog!

Also, please note that I handed in three letters at the beginning of the session.

Also, the lawyer for the town Tal Rappleyea, took off at the beginning and a new lawyer showed up. This is promising. I would love to work with someone reasonable who wants to solve the problem and not attack me for exercising my constitutional rights.

Read the real news at this site.

Planning Board Hearing, Stuyvesant March 28, 2011 from glencadia on Vimeo.
Planning board info.

Monday, March 28, 2011

thank you

Thank you in advance to everyone who is coming tonight. I think there is more at stake in this fight than my personal situation, some basic principles.

For daily news, go to the other blog.

Thanks again.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

1) noise is a number and 2) a deal is a deal

Dear Neighbor, Friend, Citizen or Fellow Small Business Owner,

I am writing to encourage you to come to Stuyvesant Town Hall (5 Sunset Drive, Stuyvesant, 12173) on Monday, March 28, 2011 at 7 PM for the public comments for a planning board hearing.

I opened Glencadia Dog Camp, a dog hotel for New York City dogs, in Stuyvesant Falls in 2005, unanimously approved in 2009 without condition by the planning board. In August 2010 the town government revoked my permit to operate. At that time, the zoning officer claimed the reason was loud barking dogs. My facility is at least 800 feet from the nearest neighbor and in an agricultural zone. The charge was false and I never got a chance to present my side but they took my permit anyway. My business is something I worked hard to create that my family and the families of my employees and contractors depend on. We pay taxes create jobs, operating a small business perfect for an isolated spot in a rural, agricultural area.

I appealed to the zoning board of appeals. My lawyer said we should try to settle the dispute. Next thing you know, I have to go back to the planning board. This meeting should only be about sound (“noise is a number”) since that is what they said the problem was when they gave me the notice to shut my business down. And everyone at the meeting should respect the deal the lawyers made and the planning board ratified in January (“a deal is a deal”).

If everyone plays straight and sticks to the issue and the deal, this will be the end of this dispute and we can all stop this tedious and pointless battle.

I submitted a physics paper showing that my dogs cannot be loud at the road. I submitted 31 letters in support of my operation. I set up a sound test and invited the members of the planning, town and zoning boards to come and see for themselves. The sound test proved that the noise level generated by a full barn of dogs was essentially undetectable in terms of decibels and clearly substantially less than the sound of a passing car. I held an open house and invited the whole town to come take a look.

If you can spare a little time and come to the hearing, this mess could be over and I would be grateful. Thank you for your consideration. My family, my employees and contactors and I all thank you. We need to be able to earn a living, the process has not been fair and we followed all the rules.

Will Pflaum
PO Box 40 • Stuyvesant Falls, NY 12174 • • 518-470-3981

Here is the link to the physics paper showing that the charge against me is impossible.

Here are the letters of support over many years (thank you). 
Here is the community context in terms of noise complaints.
Here is a timeline or the conflict with the town.
Here is the bill for sound proofing.
Here is a legal brief detailing the problems with the way this case was handled.
Here are the letters against me.

Why we are having this hearing: the matter is settled.

Here is my daily news blog. And a wikipedia for the county I created.

What a big deal about nothing. It's a joke, and here it goes:

Jurisdiction: How a Fallen Tree Almost Brought on the Apocalypse from glencadia on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

register star article discussion

Village elections! Read about it and vote! Today is the day.

You know I have to lead with a story about me. Not vanity, mind you, just human nature... and I think I need a blog to counter just this kind of thing.

My response to the article is longer than the article but I promise my little source criticism here will be more informative and entertaining too.

The story in the Register Star starts by saying that I "did not speak on topic." I think I did speak on the topic. I believe all county business should be tabled until we citizens can be sure that public officials operate in the public interest.

That is my theory: stop what you're doing and fix the hole in your roof before you go off and renovate your kitchen. That is what I said at the hearing 

The hole in your roof argument is a damn good one liner to pass up for a newspaper article. And it explains my argument very succinctly. 

There is no oversight of elected officials and the chair of the Ethics Board is guilty of punishing me for bringing her evidence of an ethics violation.

Next the article in the Register Star says, "asked for Stuyvesant supervisor Valerie Bertram (R) to resign as chair of the county ethics committee." I never asked her to resign. Roy Brown, chairman of the County Board of Supervisors, is the first person to suggest she resign in his letter to her in January. I called for a hearing to allow Valerie to have due process. I did not want to corner her and force her to resign without allowing her to have her chance to speak. 

Valerie Bertram and her officials have repeatedly denied me due process and again. I would not try to do that to Ms. Bertram.

Next, the article says, " town officials have tried to shut him down through denying or redacting his Freedom of Information Law requests, revoking his permit and intimidating him through citations, visits to his home by the town’s building inspector, and more." That's a mouthful. And it's the tip of the iceberg for sure.

“This public hearing is for just this local law,” Supervisor Larry Andrews, R-Ghent, who presided over the hearing, said to Pflaum.

So that's who that guy was! Anyway, I was advancing an argument that you have to assure the public that supervisors are not allowed to run rough-shot over the public interest before you do anything else. You can disagree with me but it is relevant to the local law under consideration, whatever the law may be.

Now we get to the Valerie Bertram quote. "In previous interviews with the Register-Star, Bertram has said she and other officials haven’t retaliated against Pflaum or tried to shut his business down." Bullshit part one. Bullshit part two. They did try to shut me down.

Back to Valerie Bertram: "She says he violated zoning code because his dog-boarding business, Glencadia Dog Camp, is too noisy from barking dogs."

How would she know? Did she read this paper showing the charge is impossible? Did she talk to these 31 witnesses who report no problem including 100% of the near neighbors? Come to my open house? Come to my sound test?

Why bother to have a Zoning Board of Appeals if the supervisor can determine the matter without a hearing or reviewing the evidence... or ever visiting the site.

Back to Valerie Bertram: “This has to be resolved. He has a zoning violation, and it’s not being resolved because he won’t comply …"

I don't have a zoning violation. I live in a corrupt town. There has been no determination that I violated anything. The process by which I was charged is unconstitutional.

And by the way, I can't comply with a crazy law enforced in bizarre ways. I tried

It can be resolved by Valerie Bertram stopping her harassment of me to try to silence me from exercising my constitutional rights. That will end the zoning farce. It will end the criminal charges farce. It won't help Ms. Bertram, who runs a corrupt government and must face the music.

Valerie Bertram is lying. Tal Rappleyea pocketed $10,000. Tal Rappleyea requested an illegal payment from me. Howard Gleason certified a fraudulent assessment, costing the tax payer $70,000 a year in lost revenue. Gerry Ennis harassed and stalked me. 

But let's go back to Valerie Bertram in the Register Star: "certainly no one in my town has been doing anything malicious, illegal or unethical. It’s just that he doesn’t like that we’re making him go through this process.”

"Certaintly," she said. How can she be certain? Did she ask them to explain where the $10,000 went? Why there are four mistakes on the Boat Club Assessment and yet correcting those mistakes does not raise the assessment? Why Gerry Ennis walked around my house 25 times at 5:30 in the morning? 

Did she ask them? The how the hell does she know they did nothing wrong?

Meanwhile, I'm before the planning board to answer false, politically motivated charge, then again in town court on April 6 to answer the same false charge, then the zoning board...

Where is Valerie Bertram's hearing? That's what I called for. 

Columbia County is corrupt. If it werent' Valerie Bertram would not retain her chair of the Ethics Board without a hearing.

That's the story.

And I'm done for today.