If you're here for the story of the abuse of authority at the Columbia County Board of Supervisors Committee of Public Safety, click here.
PLANNING BOARD EVENT CANCELLED!!!
Tonight it's back to the planning board for me in the town of Stuyvesant, New York, 12173. Representing the planning board: David R. Everett, Whiteman Osterman & Hanna, partner to town special prosecutor William S. Nolan, also of WOH, an Albany law firm.
In this blog post I will argue that the charges against me are the local equivalent of fantasy island as described in this article. And voodoo is expensive.
Every time they make me go to one of these meetings, it costs me $700 to walk in the door. In my lawsuit I ask the town to return this money to me. Plus, the $1000 the town is paying their lawyer... Plus the town's $500 per hour lawyer also writes a letter for about $1000 every month. So maybe $2500 per shot, sometimes a lot more, sometimes a bit less: January, March, April and now May. Plus other expenses...
Isn't it time to wrap this fiasco up?
I offered to settle. Instead of agreeing to my terms the board decided to have a public hearing for about $3000, mandated a sound test for $3000, then instead of accepting the results of the test that the lawyer for the board (since the board never actually votes on stuff) required, now the board wants more tests and fees. David R. Everett, Whiteman Osterman & Hanna, insisted that we review the report, although he mandated it and the results are obvious and predicted accurately beforehand in the physics paper.
When Mr. Everett came aboard, I was hoping he would insist that the board take the role of impartial arbitrator of a dispute, not an active prosecutor of one of the parties before the board, the one who voluntarily appeared. As I hoped that Mr. Everett would insist that this case be handled fairly, I offered to give him information that I am not obligated to give him. I assumed that he was asking for, say, my monthly average dog boarding totals because he was genuinely curious. His letter last week refers to my voluntarily offer to give the board information. Here is Mr. Everett's letter. Expect an official response soon. Here is the information I promised to give him, if not all he is currently asking for.
And this suggests just how much good faith one can assume in this case.
The taxpayer is the loser in this battle. I'm sick of it myself. Wouldn't it nice to be done?
You will pay more for this case than the town will pay for the justice departments, assessor's office, recreation fees... a lot, maybe combined. It could be a large piece of the 2011 budget if things are not brought under control, even before we get to federal court.
Voodoo politics is costing you a lot of money, a lot of dollars per man, woman and child in the town of Stuyvesant.
Had enough? I've been ready to quit, settle, build, study... whatever they wanted, I tried it. Its time for the board to call it quits. The science is clear.
To be clear for those that need reminding, I have been charged with something that is impossible according to the laws of physics. If I had been charged with kidnapping Santa's elves at least that would be possible because Santa does exist.
A physics professor submitted a paper showing that the charge is impossible in 2010. An engineer with a major acoustics design firm took measurements which showed that my facility produces no measurable noise at all, report submitted just this month. That is: ZERO because the normal sounds (wind, birds, cars in the distance) is MUCH louder, such that the increase from the dogs when they are encouraged to bark and are in fact barking is ZERO, nada, at the property line.
No one has consistently complained of dog barking. One household wrote a letter stating that there was no problem for four years, then complained, then says it's just my own personal dog, then says it's not loud but is annoying, then says it's loud, submits a video that shows that the barking cannot ever be loud, as indicated by the measurement and calculation.
Is this complaint really all that compelling?
Everyone else who complained only did so 1) when they were encouraged to submit statements months after my permit was revoked or 2) at the instigation and with the encouragement of Gerry Ennis.
One neighbor complained who lives 2400 feet away who I have only spoken 10 words ever talked about property values. He said that I said something negative about members of the planning board. Untrue. Other than criticizing Tom Shanahan for this outburst I had never mentioned and still have never mentioned any member of the planning board on any blog. He also mis-identified horse manure as dog waste and made a series of false statements in his letter to the board. Another neighbor who lives 1600 feet away said that I referred to her as a "hick" in an email or blog (I have never spoken to her in person). This assertion would be easy to prove true if it were true. Untrue. This same neighbor has said three times that she did not know my camp existed until Gerry Ennis told her what the source of her barking problem was. Two of her neighbors have indicated that the source is not Glencadia Dog Camp.
Members of the town board have known for months that the charge is false.
Voodoo government? Occult municipal law?
This means no noise at all as measured:
“The sound level meter constantly monitoring the dogs of Glencadia Dog Camp captured only two sustained periods of barking, both of which required the client to run around the pen with all of the dogs currently staying at the camp. During these periods of barking, measurements were taken with the other meter at the property line, see measurements 04 and 05, between minutes 18-23 (approximately). During these measurements, the average background sound levels at the property line did not increase from previous measurement when the dogs were not barking.”
-- Ken Andria of Acoustic Dimensions, May 2011
This means impossible as calculated:
“Glencadia Dog Camp has more dogs than other residents of the hamlet. However, distance is a tremendously important factor, given the inverse square calculation. Light intensity, the effect of gravity, many other forces in nature decay at the inverse square of distance given the formula of the surface of a sphere. To say that Glencadia Dog Camp obviously produces more barking noise at the relevant locations makes no more sense than to say that the sun is the brightest star in the universe.”
-- Markku Jaskelaainen of the Institute of Fundamental Sciences, Massey University, October 2010
Read the whole thing here.
Question and answer
Q: Hey, Will, couldn't you have figured out a way to make this all go away quietly?
A: In 2010 I spent $5000 on sound proofing even though I didn't think there was any real problem, as agreed with Gerry Ennis. Gerry Ennis illegally revoked my permit anyway, only a couple of weeks after I finished doing the construction.
Thanks for showing a willingness to work with us!
Q: Hey, Will, couldn't you just settle this thing?
A: In December 2010 I offered to settle with two conditions: 1) only 50 dogs and 2) dogs in the barn from 7PM to 7AM. I offered to settle to save time and money, not because I thought the conditions were very logical. Instead of accepting my offer in good faith, the town attorney and supervisor intended to use my offer as an excuse for a second ambush (after the October ZBA travesty) and essentially render my permit void, as Valerie Bertram told me they intended to do to me.
My offer to settle, rather than leading to a quick and cheap settlement, lead to public comments and a sound test which cost me more than $10,000. I've spent $50,000 in less than a year, not including interest.
Thanks for offering to settle!
Q: Hey, Will, why don't you drop all the stuff about the missing money from the town budget and the unfair assessments and stop blogging? Maybe then they will leave you alone.
A: No deal. This government conspired and broke the law to take something that is important to me, my business. It's mine. It does not belong to Gerry Ennis or anyone else. I made it. I invested my money and time and it's how I provide for my family.
They wanted to take it from me, just like communists do after a revolution. They can't do it, but they really wanted to ruin me. Why? Jealous? Racist? anti-Semitic? Mean? Dictatorial? Cruel? Punishment? Intimidation? I don't know everything about all the reasons. I have a couple of telling hints. I know there is no good reason, so I list the possible bad ones.
Someone want to say with a straight face that this would have happened if I have gone to school with Gerry Ennis and we were buddies or something?
No, I decided, you can't just run over me. I don't know what I'm going to do, or how, but this is some bull and I'm not taking it. I never dreamed a government would lock arms and attack me like this for nothing. It just never occurred to me.
I hate conflict. I don't like to fight. I'm very easy to get along with. But this was just bull. I was complete railroaded and given no chance to present my side of the story.
At first I wanted them to back off. Boat club assessment, profitable laisse faire invoicing procedures, useless salt shed/boondoggle/slush fund: you have stuff you care about too. Why should you get to keep all that if you try to ruin me for nothing?
I expected them to back off me before it got this far, but they kept on coming. At first, I only meant to throw a brush back pitch to stop crowding the plate, do a little FOIL back. But they charged the mound. This was my first game and I wasn't prepared.
Now I want to be sure that this kind of crap will never happen to me or anyone else again. It's not enough to leave me alone. This corrupt government has to stop being corrupt and the system has to change. Then I'll be done.
But I'm not done now. I'll know when I'm done and this blog will be closed and I'll head back to the ranch. That time is far in the future.
This is a real waste of time and money. What an eye-opener.
Q: I still don't get this case.
A: Let's say you open the mail one day and it's a letter from the authorities: "Dear Will, You have kidnapped Santa's elves and until you either prove you didn't do it or let them go you will pay $200 per day in fine and fees."
So you write and ask how to appeal this decision. You have no right to appeal.
So you go ahead and prove that you didn't kidnap Santa's elves. You invite all the town over to have a look and see if anyone can spot them. You hire a professional elf finder, then another, and, nope, no sign of them anywhere.
Still, you keep paying the $200. After 6 months paying $200 per day, the guys accusing you of kidnapping the elves decide that they do need some evidence. So they get a video. They use this video to increase the fine to $300 per day.
After two months, they finally let you see the video. It doesn't show that you kidnapped Santa's elves. It's an episode of the Simpsons from 1997.
That's what happened!