Sunday, November 25, 2012

Small town missing big money

Small town missing big money - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Czajka and Rappleyea, February, April and November 2012

I am a small business man who paid a kickback to my town's attorney. I eventually FOIL requested all of the attorney's invoices and found that the guy billed as much as 26 hours per day. And he is not alone. It's a racket at the heart of local government involving many attorneys. The 26 hours thing was front page news. There is a lot more to this than a few 26 hour days and more than just this one lawyer, Tal Rappleyea.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

reading my book

I will be reading from my book, Juba, and hope some folks can come... thank you. 

Inquiring Minds Bookstore, 65 Partition Street/ Saugerties, NY 12477 (845) 246-5775 


Here is the whitewash article: "unwanted attention to the county Attorney’s Office." Definitely unwanted. I mean, if you're stealing millions of dollars, you usually don't want attention, right?

This "article" is the press release for the whitewash in the works by the "joint investigation"of the comptroller, the DA.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Jurkowski and Everett, together again

Here is an article from Canaan. Key points:

The developers were also represented by attorney David Everett of the firm Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna LLP.... The town’s engineering consultant, Ray Jurkowski, of Morris Associates...

Can anyone say Gravy Train? Town attorney for Canaan? Andrew Howard, assistant county attorney, the guy who defends this guy, as they are both submitting false timesheets to the county. Andrew Howard was paid $15,000 by the town of New Lebanon for 45 minutes of work, to add on to the $70,000 in benefits and wages he gets on a false basis from Columbia County for many years. He is still getting all that money for nothing.

I wonder who the bookkeeper was/is? Not Fitzgerald? Or is there another bookkeeper in the pack?

Same guys everywhere you turn. They rove as a pack. Tal Rappleyea, Andrew Howard, Jurkowski, all part of the gang. The county attorney scandal involves more than a million in ongoing fraud involving five attorneys, not just Tal Rappleyea, as reported on the front page of the Times Union. Howard is as guilty of grand larceny as Rappleyea and Fitzsimmons. But back to the other guys in the gang...

Jurkowski did the highway garage project for Stuyvesant -- a salt shed and a new roof for the garage the town spent up to $700,000 to do when other towns have built the same size salt sheds for $70,000 and the garage repair should have been nothing really... the roof didn't leak or anything. It was fine.

Anyway, Jurkowski collected $70,000 for himself as engineer when the whole project should have been about that much. Meanwhile, by sheer co-incidence, he also found time to try to write some kind of idiotic nonsense against me, as the person trying to stop his garage/salt shed boondoggle.

Then there is David R. Everett of the firm Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna LLP. He wrote this letter, a bit on the nuts side. I know law is adversarial, but you have to wonder what the guy was thinking, if he was thinking at all.

David Everett is also the chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals of Chatham. Guess who is the attorney for Chatham sitting next to Everett at the ZBA hearings? Tal Rappleyea.

When Stuyvesant had trouble with me calling Tal a crook and needed more fire power to hurt me for revealing more than a million dollars in ongoing fraud, they called in Everett to beat me up.

Everett collected $200,000 from Stuyvesant to pursue a dog barking complaint that does not involve an allegation that the dogs were actually loud. He broke some laws to get his money in secret, in violation of a bunch of laws.

Everett, Rappleyea, Howard, Jurkowski, Fitzgerald... Stockport, Stuyvesant, Chatham, Canaan, New Lebanon, the county. A criminal syndicate is running Columbia County and robbing the taxpayer blind. $250,000 from Stockport, much more from Stuyvesant, million from the county...

Starts to add up to real money.

Monday, November 19, 2012

saying the pledge in the 1930s and 1940s

Back in the days of Americans doing this quite familiar salute, people were killed for sitting the pledge out. That picture, all those kids doing the "Nazi" salute, that's America.

And the supreme court said that you could be kicked out of school. Some took that decision as a green light to lynch the refusniks. 

In my experience, the ones who say the pledge the loudest have the least idea what the constitution actually means.

How many people know this chapter in the history of the pledge? Knowing what the constitution means is not something you can achieve with mindless pledges. In fact, mindless recitation is the opposite of understanding the fundamental principles that make the principles behind the US constitution a major step in the history of humanity learning to live with itself.

Another commentator said, "When Bellamy originally wrote the pledge in 1892 it said 'I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.' In 1942 the US Congress formally recognized the pledge with the following wording I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Still no "God" mentioned. Then in 1954, during the cold war, the phrase "under God" was introduced into the pledge as a way to differentiate the US from the atheist communist states. At best this form of the pledge is outdated, and at worst it's unconstitutional. Thus I won't stand for it."

Sunday, November 18, 2012

pflaum v. casey,

Here is a post on the blog Thanks for paying attention, Greene County. Sleepergate is a two county scandal.

Next, here is a lawsuit I filed last week. This suit is technically about the zoning equivalent of a traffic ticket. The zoning officer gave me a ticket and punished me at the same time, revoking my business permit. I appealed to the town zoning appeal board. Instead of ruling on the ticket, they revoked my permit again for a bunch of different reasons. They knew the ticket was not true so they came up with a different reason to do the same thing they wanted to do all the time, revoke my permit and put me out of business.

So I went to state court. The court said no to the town zoning board: you can't do that, make up a new charge and get him for something unrelated to his appeal. Just rule on his appeal. The judge threw it back to the town zoning board. The board voted against me again the second time around. So I went back to state court.

In the petition linked above, I explain that this is a first amendment, free speech case. There are some 800 pages that are linked to the petition, plus a lot of video and audio.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

sleepergate and Register Star chaos

If the Register Star wants to improve their image as a news source and not a propaganda outlet, they should cover Sleepergate, as it ran on the front page of the Times Union already. It's in Columbia County. It's never been mentioned in the pages of the Times Union. Do the editors think a guy not standing for the pledge is news but the county attorney justifying more than a million dollars in ongoing fraud and larceny is not a story?

Here is the story about the Register Star in the Times Union. Here is another take:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tal, lawyer on call 26/7

Here is the article in the Times Union again. And here is a quote:
Asked how it's possible to work over 80 hours a week and not collapse from exhaustion, Rappleyea said, "I'm in pretty good shape."
He'd have to be... in order to work 26 hours in a day, he'd have to be moving at 20% of the speed of light. 
"When I submit (bills) to a town they go by at least six eyes."
Let's see, See No Evil, one monkey, two eyes, Hear No Evil, another monkey, two more eyes, Speak No Evil, third monkey, six total eyes. Yup, six eyes, all closed, unless I just saw one wink a bit when you passed him that envelope.
"I worked all these hours." Rappleyea said. "Yeah, I'm a workaholic. My wife and I talk about it all the time."
When would you see your wife? Unless your wife is the supervisor of Cairo and you're billing her for these phone calls. Working 26 hours a day does not leave a lot of time for pillow talk unless you're billing for it.
DA Czajka did respond briefly, saying only: "I can neither confirm or deny if I am conducting an investigation."
We are trying to determine if there are in fact only 24 hours in a day. 
Fitzsimmons said the office employed a "two-sets-of-eyes approach," where at least one attorney in the county office was aware of what another attorney was working on.
Does this other guy with these eyes have a name? 
"At the county level he did what he needed to do," Fitzsimmons said of Rappleyea. "He got the work done."
He must have worked in the highway garage repairing trucks because he did not produce a single solitary legal document of any kind. I FOILed and am in court and there is not one scrap of paper, no record, no memo, no court filing, nothing, indicating any such work.

Unless he was changing oil every Sunday for 15 hours. The guy just cannot stop working!

And when I say "what he needed to do" I mean to keep his trap shut. He did that. So we gave him so dough. If he keeps doing it, we'll give hims some more.
Fitzsimmons was asked if, as a county and municipal attorney himself, he felt working a 90-hour-plus week seemed plausible or even possible. "If you're willing to put in 90 hours, so be it," he responded, "I used to tell (Rappleyea), 'I don't know how you do so much but more power to you.'"

12 hours invoice is "more power to you." 

26 hours billed in a day is "you lying ass." 
"I never felt that we didn't get what we paid for," said Chatham Supervisor Jesse DeGroodt. "He's served us well."
Boy, does he regret this quote. If he could get in Tal's time machine and re-do this one...
In Germantown, however, Supervisor Roy Brown described his relationship with Rappleyea as "OK." 
And after this article it went from "OK" to "Tal who?"
"Certainly as a supervisor it feels like we're on call 24/7," Brown said. 
But Tal? Tal is on call 26/7.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

welcome times union readers

Welcome, Times Union readers. The story is now online.

A couple of points: this billing 26 hours in a 24 hour period business is the tip of the iceberg. I call the no show job scandal at the county attorney's office Sleepergate. There is a lot of evidence, beyond the invoices. (The FOIL lawsuit, the phone records, the videos, the emails, etc.).

If Tal Rappleyea were defrauding welfare of say, $1,824, he'd be in jail. The District Attorney Paul Czajka has no trouble filing charges against these guys. But what about a connected lawyer?

I met with Czajka in February. He has known about the 26 hour problem for nine months. What did he do? Rappleyea stole 100 times more than the schmoes he prosecutes routinely for welfare fraud.

The story is not about one crooked lawyer. It's about the whole Columbia County Board of Supervisors, every elected official in Columbia County, Democrat and Republican, rubber stamping a million plus dollar fraud ring lead by the de facto county administrator, Robert Fitzsimmons. Unanimous vote, the elected supervisors let the gang of crooked lawyers do whatever they want. Five no show jobs in just the county attorney office. When you have this kind of corruption at the top, how hard do you think the rest of the people are working? Or showing up?

Here is an older Times Union story about my fight with Stuyvesant.

I am a small business man still under siege from the local government because I refused to pay them more bribes and kick backs, although I did pay Tal Rappleyea $437.50 in one kick back. Rather than pay them, I FOILed their documents. I'm in court defending my business (or will be soon). They came at me harder. They tried to lock me up, hired a special prosecutor (two actually) from Whiteman, Osterman and Hanna, the capital district's largest law firm to try to close down my small family dog boarding business. They spent $200,000 to close my business and lock me up. Criminal court in town on a false charge based on perjury, zoning abuse, planning abuse, sent the county sheriff to my house, they threw whatever they had at me.

Millions are being stolen in this county and, I'm sure, many counties in the state.

What do you expect? There is NO SYSTEM to enforce ethics (or even the penal code) at the local, municipal level. Comptroller: no jurisdiction.

The Attorney General thinks it's okay for local guys to steal. The Joint Commission on Ethics is a joke. The BAR association?   Local oversight? Right. The comptroller?

I'm in court looking for documents. I'm in federal court (Northern District New York) to stop assessment fraud and more lawyer invoice fraud (1:11-cv-00335-GTS -RFT Pflaum v. Town of Stuyvesant).

These crooks throw away what I send them in sales taxes in five minutes. Everywhere I have looked, I found nothing but crime. New York local government is completely broken.

We need a new ethics regime in New York. Not kabuki theater. A real, effective system. It's possible. The guys in Albany, the elected officials, don't want to pass a real law. They'll authorize a commission to study the issue every once and awhile and stack the commission with cronies then ignore the conclusions of the report, but no, the senators and representatives like it the way it is. They have friends at the local level who are doing just fine as things are now.

Do you want to stop the kleptocracy? Then throw up one of these signs.

The dog sign means you believe New York needs a real system of ethics that includes local and municipal government, that 1200 jurisdictions can not be left alone to police themselves.

Email me and I'll get you a sign. More corruption stories here.

Friday, November 9, 2012

last night's budget hearing

Links to come: video (below! verify for yourself), budgets, and salt shed/garage contract (this one piece of documentation may take awhile).

Here is the Register Star article on the same hearing you can watch in video below. No mention in the paper of the fact that the same accountant/bookkeeper in Stockport and Stuyvesant and that Stuyvesant's numbers don't add up. This article is from the same hearing. Also, not really what I took away from the meeting. The website had the wrong boat on it. A number of residents objected that this is The Half Moon,  Look at the boat on the website when it comes out and see if the one the town paid for looks historically accurate. This is in the public domain.

Otherwise, it seems like a waste of money to hire a firm to make a website with no more functionality than this blog that I spend $15 a year on ($10 for the domain name and $5 to have google use the domain instead of

At the start of 2011 end of 2010, the town reserve fund was about $200,000. I found the preliminary 2012 budget passed in November 2011. UNEXPENDED BALANCE, last line of the 2012 budget page 7 says $100,000. In 2011 the town spent $100,000 of the reserve fund by November 2011, or so they reported.

Supervisor Ron Knott said $180,000 as of January 1, 2012. Not true. Less than $100,000 as of the beginning of 2012. Ron is clearly wrong. Not $180,000. Can't be. Less than $100,000. Must be.

See minute 5:00 in the video at the end of this post.

At the time the budget listed $100,000, November 2011, the town only listed $40,000 in the budget for Whiteman, Osterman and Hanna but had already spent or received invoices for $100,000.

Lines A8010.1, A8010.4, A8020.4.

I can post the 2012 budget and the invoices and I will, when I get the video of the hearing. The documents (video, budget, invoices) will confirm that 1) Knott said $180,000 when that cannot be true, 2) the budget listed $100,000 as of November 1, 2011; 3) that the town paid Whiteman, Osterman and Hanna in excess of $75,000 between the November 1, 2011 and February 1, 2012. 

The town wrote Whiteman, Osterman and Hanna a check for $75,000 after the November budget, meaning the reserve fund would have been $100,000 minus $75,000. Some of the $75,000 paid in late 2011 may over lap with the missing $60,000 from the budget but not all of it.

The tax increase only added about $65,000 according to the budget we received tonight.  I will scan and post that document too.

Look at the current revenue lines in the current budget.

The total amount billed by Whiteman and Better is more than $200,000 and it has never been fully listed in the budget. It mostly came out of the reserve fund. Only 150,000 is kind of listed at Lines A8010.1, A8010.4, A8020.4 this year but some money is missing, maybe $50,000 not reported. 

Next, the board announced they were planning to borrow $700,000 for the garage/salt shed project. However, the town only received one bid for this entire project and that bid was for $450,000.

I will post those documents too when I get them. 

The town sold a truck for $40,000 and didn't list it. The money went into and out of the reserve fund. 

Further, the town accountant, Fitzgerald, penciled in $2750 for Tal Rappleyea in 2009. There is no other paper justifying the money moving into Tal's pocket other than Fitzgerald writing the number on a list of payments on a computer print out. You can't just write in a number by hand on a print out and say "That explains it." 

The same accountant/bookkeeper Fitzgerald did not notice $250,000 disappearing from Stockport. 

The truck covers the difference between the reported $150,000 lawyer expenses and the $200,000 actual expenses. The $700,000 bond covers the fact that they spent the whole reserve fund, all $200,000. They are borrowing to cover operating expenses.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

pflaum v. grattan

Here is the latest filing in my FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) lawsuit against Columbia County. What I asked for was a single piece of paper produced by Tal G. Rappleyea before he quit one week after I posted the first episode of the Sleepergate scandal. You would think if the guy was clocking 30 hours a week for nine years, he would have made some kind of paper, being a lawyer and all, right? Apparently not.

So far, six reasons not to give me a piece of paper but no paper. Read the court filing for yourself. I can put the other papers up from the suit if anyone is interested. Thanks for following the case.

post election day blog post: 3 questions

1. How come a county that has gone consistently for Democrats presidents and governors has been so totally dominated by Republicans locally at the town level? Will the local Democrats ever get the Obama votes to the polls on an odd numbered year?

2. How will Republicans like Gibson in districts that went for Obama stick with their sometimes fairly extreme Republican leadership or will these kind of Republicans, particularly Gibson, work with Obama to pass the agenda the people of the county want: universal health care, higher taxes on the rich, funding for science research, no more wars, environmental protection, green energy, and an economy that works for the middle class, not the oligarchs?

3. Can the Republicans change? Will they listen to their reasonable members or will they continue to be dragged down by the nuts?

Columbia County: President
Barack Obama (D/WF) (inc) 14,068 55%
Mitt Romney (R/C) 11,059 43%

New York House District 19
Christopher P. Gibson (R/C/I) (inc) 135,328 53%
Julian Schreibman (D/WF) 118,358 47%

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

election day blog post

Here is an endorsement in a local court race. And meanwhile, here is an interesting blog from East Greenbush.

Now, I was in Brooklyn last night. I saw people waiting in line for gas. In Brooklyn, you have Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Secular, college-educated, high school drop outs, rich, poor, native born, foreign born, and yet Obama will probably carry Kings County with about 85% of the vote.

There is probably some rural, southern county, plus somewhere in Utah, where Romney will carry the county with 75% of the vote (but not 85%). The difference is that the Republican county will be all white, rural, all Christian, less than average percentage of college educated, etc.

The Democrats are failing to reach one piece of the electorate. The Republicans are failing to reach many parts of the electorate. If the Republicans cannot get some kind of divide and conquer thing going on in a place as diverse, with as little common ground, as Brooklyn, they are doing something very wrong. You can't write off this broad a swath of the population.

Meanwhile, of a different topic, whenever I hear local politicians discuss any issue, any issue at all, Democrat or Republican, I think: kabuki theater. I can imagine a sincere conservative speaking to a board of elected officials, talking about high taxes or something, then a sincere liberal talking about the environment of something, and I just imagine the internal dialogue in the head of the normal elected official in New York: "I can't wait until this naive peasant stops talking so we can do what we always do." The Democrats go around talking about some issue, then the Republican talk about another issue, and then you find some paper that one gang or the other is stealing. Silence.

More to the point, the bookkeeper in the Stockport case, the missing $250,000, is also the bookkeeper in Stuyvesant. While the fact that Stuyvesant Town Attorney Tal G. Rappleyea was part of a gang that stole more than a million dollars from Columbia County over several years should not mean we forget that he also stole $10,000 from Stuyvesant in 2009.  Other members of the gang include Robert Fitzsimmons of Fitzsimmon, Mack and Mills, Andrew Howard of Freeman Howard and a few others.

Bookkeeper Mark Fitzgerald or his partner and uncle penciled in $2750 for Rappleyea here:

There is no way to get to the amount Rappleyea received, $10,000 more than he billed, without Fitzgerald penciling in $2750.  Here are the monthly amounts billed and recieved:

Here is Tal's incoherent explanation. Here we have a linked between the missing $250,000 in Stockport, to the missing $10,000 in Stuyvesant to the missing 1.5 million in Columbia County through Rappleyea, Fitzgerald, Fitzsimmons, etc. Oh, and about $500,000 in assessment fraud, tangentially related. 

Same gang. Republican gang. Any Democrats care to complain? No. Why? They are doing the same crap here and other places.

Everywhere I looked, I found problems.

Vote for them today. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

like father like son
Everyone is for Rapp!


Meanwhile, a few years ago in the same town with the missing $250,000 now...

Former NY town judge charged with grand larceny
The Associated Press - August 4, 2009

ALBANY, NY -- A former town judge is accused of using $27,000 in court fees and bail money to pay taxes and utility bills at his restaurant and stave off foreclosure on his home. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office filed charges against 47-year-old James Funk, the former town judge in Stockport, 25 miles south of Albany. Cuomo says a state audit found the money withdrawn by Funk was mostly bail money held by the court. Funk was the only person authorized to sign for the account. Funk was charged Tuesday in Stuyvesant (STYE'-veh-sihnt) Town Court with grand larceny, falsifying business records and official misconduct. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison. He was released without bail. Funk's lawyer, Peter Moschetti, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Guy steals gas, Germantown, Stockport, Stuyvesant all have the same accountant

In the wake of the revelation of up to $250,000 missing from Stockport’s town coffers, Germantown Councilman Michael Mortenson called Thursday for a special Town Board meeting to discuss an audit of the town books.

Germantown’s accountant is Brian Fitzgerald. His uncle and partner, Mark Fitzgerald, was the bookkeeper/consultant for Stockport.

“The state Comptroller’s guidelines say the board should have an audit annually,” Mortenson said. “Germantown hasn’t had one in six or seven years.”

Supervisor Roy Brown is polling board members. The meeting could take place Tuesday evening, which had been reserved for a budget workshop if needed.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

board votes 4-3 against me, dog war continues

Here is the article in the Register Star. The vote was 4-3, not 5-3. Steve Montie can't vote, alternate. Also, Amy was on the board in the past. Steve and Pat Casey were not. I think the quote might be a bit mixed up. Also, all the board members who actually came to my house for a sound test voted to uphold my appeal. None of the ones who votes against my appeal ever came to any of the three tests they were invited to. Complaints? Video of the neighborhood and some sound tests. Sound test. Another sound test. More sound tests. Open house. More letters, more open houses, more letters...

Really look at this and note the dates.

I would really liked to have been done with this. Sadly, the town of Stuyvesant voted to continue their vendetta tonight, leading to more litigation and more battles. I would like to thank the three board members who vote with the truth. The four board members who voted in favor of lies should be ashamed of themselves.

The board voted to sustain a two year old ticket for dog barking, after spending $200,000 in legal fees and losing in court, when they have 1) no complaint of dog barking from any one prior to ticket being issued; 2) the barking is 1000 feet away from who ever would have complained (no one); at that distance any noise is below 30DB, below ambient noise, and hard to hear, not at all loud. Who complained, leading to the ticket you guys are voting on? Name? No one.

Here is town lawyer (one of many) William J. Better (serial sexual harasser as county attorney, exposing his penis to three different women in the office, with the three lawsuits settled out of court at a cost to the taxpayer of $400,000) comparing the case to a traffic ticket:

The difference between Mr. Better's analogy and this case is that I did not get a ticket for driving 85 miles an hour; I got a ticket for driving 20,000,000 miles an second. If I walk into court and say, "This ticket can't be true because no vehicle can ever go this fast" that means that on Tuesday, when I got the ticket for exceeding the speed of light, it was not true because it can never be true.

I have been charged with an offense I not only did not commit, I cannot commit the offense even when I try. If you get a speeding ticket, you have to drive fast. If you get a noise citation, the noise has to be loud. We all agree the sound we are talking is not loud. Therefore, you cannot give me a ticket.

As to frequency of barking, if the problem is more frequent noise, even if barely audible, not volume in decibels, then how can you base your case on the report of the zoning officer who lives far away? He cannot know about frequency. Further, in his paperwork he said "loud" and he said "complaint." He cannot say who complained and we all agree the charge of loud is false.

So, dismiss the ticket, right?

You see, at 1000 feet a dog barking is never loud. A car will never drive 20,000,000 miles a second. It can't be true.

And here is an excellent point by board member Amy Abbatti. ZBA Chair Pat Casey says that a sound study in 2011 that proves that dogs barking at 1000 feet is not at all loud is invalid because it occurred after the ticket was issued. Pat Casey said they would not consider evidence from before the ticket was issued, except when it comes to complaints.

Hun? I should have done the sound study before the ticket was issued? Or the laws of physics change based on whether or not some officer issues a ticket?

Amy says it perfectly here:

They didn't let me talk. I can post video of that later. Here's me after they get done voting, as they file out of the room:

$200,000 and 21 hearings on dog barking with no complaint when the charge is impossible? This can't be about dog barking can it? No.  I'll let Gerry Ennis, zoning control officer for the town of Stuyvesant, tell you what this is all about.

Monday, October 15, 2012

apparently there is a hearing tonight in Stuyvesant

Who knew? Not me. Hearing number 21 on dog barking that no one complained about that isn't loud tonight...

tax increases in Stuyvesant

New to the blog? Want the biggest story? Now, on to today's news. Here is a story in the Register Star. It says:
The tentative budget calls for the town to spend $100,900 of an unexpended fund balance to soak up expenses. Knott said that would leave about $80,000 in that fund balance.
That doesn't seem possible. Let's go to the next part:
Combined contractual fees for the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board totaling $49,000 were reduced to a total of $2,000 in the preliminary 2013 budget. Knott said that the 2012 contractual fees “were in anticipation of some steep attorney fees.”
Wait. The 2011 budget was written in November 2011. At that time, the town had spent $100,000 on Whiteman Osterman and Hanna to put me in jail on false charges and to close my business down on false charges. Although they spent $100,000 without me filing any suit, the budget only showed $40,000 spent, $60,000 was simply not listed.

They knew they would have to pay Whiteman Osterman and Hanna to defend the action of the ZBA on September 27, 2011, so they allocated $40,000 more for 2012. In short, in 2011 and 2012, they budgeted $80,000 but ended up spending $200,000. And, they achieved nothing at all for all that money.

How did the reserve fund get back to $200,000 when they left $120,000 out of the budget?

Hext the article says:
Four out of five lawsuits brought against the town by Glencadia Dog Camp Owner Will Pflaum were decided during 2012.
Is the implication of this statement that the suits caused the attorney fees? Can't be true. In federal court, the town has insurance, so there were no expenses. The fees to Whiteman, Osterman and Hanna were spent BEFORE any suit was filed. What about the others, including the one on appeal about Ron Knott?

One suit claimed that ZBA Secretary Shirley Narzynski is operating an auto service facility in an agricultural zone. The town did not need to spend any money on that suit, as they could have deferred to the personal attorney for the Narzynskis. The town paid for her lawyer.

One suit claimed that Ron Knott is operating a heating and cooling facility without a permit. The town did not need to spend any money on that suit, as they could have deferred to the personal attorney for Knott. The taxpayer paid for Knott's personal attorney.

One suit was filed to get documents through FOIL. If the town had supplied the documents through FOIL, I wouldn't have had to sue. But the town learned nothing and they are STILL not giving out documents when requested. Guess what the next step is if your FOILs are denied?

After all this, the town LEARNED NOTHING. The 21st hearing on me is scheduled for October 23, 2012, a ZBA hearing for the same old stupid dog barking charge that no one complained about.

Why didn't Ron Knott pay for his own attorney? That would have saved a lot of money. I had to pay for my own attorney. Here is the appeal of the issue. Here is a quote:
To wit, the record demonstrates that the contract between Knott and special counsel William J. Better to defend the current use without permit or public hearing constitutes a violation of New York General Municipal Law § 805(1)(c). The purpose of this contract was to defend Knott’s private 8 business interest from the imposition of a routine public hearing, as mandated by law, a contract that benefits Knott Industries exclusively with no pretense of a public interest. Knott himself met with Better prior to hiring Better. Knott voted to hire Better. Knot signed the contract and approved Better’s invoices. Better served as ZBA attorney while also representing Knott in Supreme Court, all paid by the taxpayer. 
Here is the contract. That contract violates New York General Municipal Law § 805(1)(c). It's a misdemeanor, but a crime. So, the suit argues, if you read it, that Ron Knott should have a permit for his business to store chemicals and fuels and that he should pay for his own lawyer and not get free legal services from the taxpayer.

It's on appeal. Another FOIL lawsuit is certainly possible based on this letter.

In Stuyvesant, rumors in private conversations is the main way most people get their information, not in open discussion. In an open discussion we can agree on the facts that no one disputes and then figure out what the facts mean openly and frankly.

If people whisper in each other's ears when the other guy is not there to say, "Not true!" then you cannot move forward having established the facts.


1. This thing started by the town coming after me. The town started it.
The town of Stuyvesant revoked my permit and tried to close my business down to impoverish my family and tried twice to lock me up on false charges in 2010 and 2011. I had no opportunity to present evidence on the basis of no violation in August 2010 before the town revoked my permit. The charges in criminal court were false and the town violated Public Officer's Law hiring a special prosecutor. 
2. The dog barking charge isn't true and no one within 1500 feet of the barn has complained and three have written letters saying as much. All my near neighbors agree with me.
The charge of dog barking defies the laws of physics and no town resident complained about dog barking in any way prior to the zoning officer revoking my permit. No complaint on record prior to revoking the permit. No complaints from any near neighbors, only from people who live very far away who complained months after the zoning guy already revoked the permit. 
3. The town spent $200,000 on a dog barking charge that does not involve anyone alleging the barking was loud.
They know the barking is not loud at more than 1000 feet. So, they spent all this money on a noise violation that involves quiet noise. Noise laws are for LOUD noises. 
4. The zoning officer put my house under surveillance 25 times before dawn in July 2010. There has been vandalism and threats directed against me, some of it by town officials.

5. Everything I alleged in court is true.
I filed a lawsuit arguing that the zoning board secretary is violating zoning law. She is violating the law. I filed a suit arguing the supervisor is violation zoning law. He is violating zoning law. I filed a suit arguing they did not give me documents requested through FOIL. They had not given me the documents requested through FOIL. I filed a suit because the town violated Public Officer's Law. They did violate Public Officer's Law. I filed a suit because the town assessor engages in assessment fraud. He does engage in fraud. I filed suit because the town attorney stole $10,000. He did steal $10,0000. I filed suit because the town attorney extorted $437.50 from me. He did extort money from me. 
I would like to establish these facts as a baseline.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

new to the blog? saw a dog sign?

Sunshine on the Hudson is written by the owner of Glencadia Dog Camp, Will Pflaum. New York State has NO SYSTEM to police local and municipal ethics. The dog sign says that needs to change. My experience proves that with 1200 jurisdictions, New York needs a system to control local government corruption. No exaggeration: right now, not one New York corruption cop on the beat for 1200 jurisdictions.

After I paid one kickback and refused to pay another as a small business owner, the town of Stuyvesant revoked my permit to run my business and tried to imprison me on false charges. On the other hand, I have spent a few years requesting government documents, finding no show jobs, assessment fraud,  embezzlement and extortion, abuse of zoning and contracts, and the violation of public officer's law to hire the capital district's largest law firm to target me for investigation and prosecution for no other reason than my Freedom of Information requests (FOIL).

So that's what the dog sign is about: a battle between a government that abuses the law to help themselves to the taxpayer's money and a guy using the law to reveal these abuses and publish the results here on the blog, and getting hammered for saying no to corruption.  

The town of Stuyvesant will hold their 21st hearing on my business on October 23, 2012. They lost in state court and learned nothing. The dog signs stay up until they learn that the government exists for the public interest, not for the officers of the government to pursue vendettas and help themselves and their friends. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

bad town, good town

Here is a good town, Ancram. Taxes decreasing. Open space protected. Beautiful website. Functioning environmental advisory board. Newcomers and old timers on the board working together.

Here is a bad town, Stuyvesant. Nothing but a little clique of closely tied people on the board. Hiring lawyers to pay for vendettas and to protect their petty rackets.

Taxes in Stuyvesant, spent on lawyers this year. Taxes spent on lawyers last year. The increase is 25% tax increase over two years, as the increase in 2013 is on top of the increase in 2012, increasing the 18.8% by 6.1% as well.

The increase is justified or not justified. As we see with Ancram, when a town is governed by intelligent, well meaning people, you can save money and lower taxes.

That is the problem in Stuyvesant: we are not governed by intelligent, honest, well meaning people.

Where did the money go? Look at this file. I call it FILE ONE.

Its kind of big and will take a long time to load on slow Columbia County internet connections, but it's worth a peak. On this paper you can see the money flying out the door for lawyers. What did the taxpayers get for that money?

We paid for Ron Knott's private lawyer with taxpayer funds. Yes. More here.

We paid for Whiteman, Osterman and Hanna in 2012, following 2011, to continue to try to close down my business in state court and lose? At just the ZBA/Town criminal court stage, they spent $140,000 and then another $50,000 in state court on the special prosecutor William Nolan and the special counsel David Everett of Albany's biggest law firm.

Look at FILE ONE again. That's your tax increase. What is the public interest in all of that?

Here goes the taxpayer's money. Here goes some more. Here goes some more. The honorable William J. Better. Next thing you know, it's all gone.

The only way to explain this is to blame me. I am a private citizen trying to operate a business that has not violated any provision of any ordinance. If the town says, "It's Will's fault because he sued us" that can't be right. If you mess with your business owners, they may sue you. As a government, you should think about that before you mess with them.

They did use the government as their personal vendetta machine. It didn't work, but it cost a lot of money. Back in 2011, they went around then complaining that it was my fault, hitting me in the face and complaining their collective hand hurt. That was before I filed any suit that they had to pay for. Insurance picked up the tab, so they kept on trying to get me.

If they are going to complain about their hands after they punch me, then they certainly will complain when I hit them back. Should we listen to them howl after they punched me? When they complain that I punched them back? Do you usually listen to the bully howl when the victim whoops him?

Who started the fight? Did I send a certified letter to Gerry Ennis, the zoning officer, or did he send one to me? Was that letter he sent to me correct or false? If it was false, not true, and everything that happened stems from a lie, well... who is at fault? Not hard to figure this stuff out.

I spent my own money. The cronies spent the taxpayer's money. I won. Now they want more taxpayer money. For what?

Did they learn something from this terrible experience? No. On October 23, 2012 the town will conduct their 21st hearing on my business. They have not changed their ways. They have learned nothing. They will keep using the government resources to conduct vendettas and feather their own nests.

So far, Ron Knott and company have learned nothing.

The town was in the wrong. The dog barking complaint was not worth the money and isn't true.

The town needs to fire Gerry Ennis, get rid of the lawyers and stop the hearings. Gerry Ennis is the zoning officer in the town. He revoked my permit and issued notices of violation on the basis of no complaint, saying the sound of a dog barking at 1000 is loud. It's not loud. He lied. He screwed up. It cost the town more than $200,000. Fire him.

25% tax increase and no end in sight. The first rule of government is that government exists for some kind of public interest. Tell me what the public interest was in all these lawyers? What is the public interest in hearing number 21 on dog barking when there is no complaint?

Time for the Town of Stuyvesant to look at the town of Ancram and learn something.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

a cat sleeping on a sheep: it's not all corruption all the time at sunshine on the hudson!

This was the runt of the kitten litter with the lamb that almost died after birth. They have been interested in each other since the beginning. Last evening, Ollie, 10, put White Star on Rosie's back. Looks nice up there. If you listen carefully, you can hear the cat purr.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

political vandalism in Stuyvesant

Here is the Register Star article on the legalistic portion of this vendetta. Here is the story on the vandalism. When the law isn't working for them as a weapon, they grab a spray paint can. Same guys in both cases. Different methods.

Both stories fail to mention this, which I guess is fine.

On our local Yahoo forum, Peter Donahoe said, "Signs defaced by vandalous fascists" that "many of the White on Red dog silhouette signs have been defaced in the last day.. well just wait until you get pushed around by bullies and look for help from someone..."

Lee Jamison noted, "Stuyvesant Vernacular Lawn Art collections were defaced in a massive town-wide attack this past Monday night!"

Michelle Richardson asked, "We usually blame "kids" with too much free time on their hands in late October. That one or more alleged "adults" with too much free time on their hands - which I don't doubt is the case here - took the time to drive around and paint on signs...well, it's Stuyvesant, so we're not really surprised, are we?"

Christian Sweningsen said, "I'm surprised - and I'll be surprised when the swastikas appear, too."

Michelle Richardson responded, "Vandalism has been ongoing. There are dog signs in the creek by the bridge, someone took the VFW sign letters to spell messages, and other activity in the West Ghent Rd area. I imagine any noise-sensitive neighbors that may have been sitting at home, might have noticed the extra traffic breaking the silence of hamlet/hamlet extension zoning."

Stuyvesant Falls report: Mine was defaced. Also, Carol and David. Pam's was stolen. Teresa's was defaced. Krishna's was stolen. Her neighbor's was stolen (forgot their names). Robert's was defaced (dome house). Kate's was not damaged. Phyllis's (post office) was not damaged. The one next to Phyllis by the post office disappeared (forgot the names, sorry). Chris's was stolen. Eva's was stolen (his neighbor), mother of Christine. The one on the house next to Red Oak farm was defaced. Jim's was stolen on Route 9. Peter's? Stolen, route 9?

Stuyvesant: Lee's defaced, Andrew's stolen way back? new one not touched, Ned's?, Mike's defaced, his neighbor's (Chris?), defaced, Frank's stolen...

Look at this video to see the official government response to this and other acts of vandalism:

I painted those myself, with my kids. They mean something to me. Thank you to everyone who put them up. 

Who did it? 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

how many mean people can one small town have?

Don't get distracted by dog barking and keep your eye on Sleepergate.

Video from the hearing below, just a snippet. It's hard enough to talk in front of a room without being interrupted all the time. They don't read the paper when I give it to them and when I try to put it in their ear, they tell me to stop talking. Was I talking to them? Not really. I was trying to talk to the other people in the room, and to the video, to post here. Why not? The meanies don't listen.

Listen to Aenne at the end of her speech. It's all true. They wreck our property, shout "X" in the street,  racial stuff, bizarre stuff on facebook about children swimming.

What the hell is this? How about this? A member of the government wrote that note and put it into the public record. Who? They won't say. How about this? Nice? Or this? What does Al Sharpton have to do with my family, other than both his family and mine contain black people in them? Here is the fire chief, also on the ZBA stopping me from speaking last night, telling me to move out of town. We have posts about my children and family, calls for violence, racism, telling me to move out of town by a town official. And here is board member threatening more violence. Violence, vandalism, racism, perverted facebook posts about my children swimming naked. A fine bunch of people here in town running the place.

All you need to do is go to Google maps and then do 1/R^2 or, if you can't do that, drive by and roll down your window and listen. You don't spend $200,000 on lawyers for a dog barking complaint.

If you had a two year old traffic ticket, would the judge dismiss it just because its two years old? Seems like a good idea.

Lot of paper.  More here.

20th hearing set for TONIGHT

7 PM Stuyvesant Town Hall, 5 Sunset Drive, Stuyvesant NY 12173

Dear All,

Tomorrow night the Stuyvesant ZBA has called for the 20th hearing and 3th public hearing on a dog barking complaint by a former resident that defies the laws of physics, as no dog barking can be loud 1000 feet from the source. The hearing is to determine whether or not the town zoning officer was right to cite me for loud dog barking on August 9, 2010 based on the hearsay allegation that a neighbor who has since moved away complained of loud dog barking 1000 feet away from the source of the sound. 

From the Stuyvesant Zoning Ordinance, page 37:

Enforcement of Violations

The following procedures shall be applied when enforcing the provisions of this ordinance. 
A. Any person aggrieved may file a complaint.
B. The Z.E.O. may file a complaint on personal knowledge.
C. All complaints including those made on personal knowledge shall be in writing and must be filed in person with the Z.E.O.

No complaints were filed in writing prior to August 9, 2010. The notice itself claims to be based on complaints, not the personal knowledge of the ZEO. Therefore, the notice of violation must be dismissed as deficient. 

Tomorrow's hearing defies a court order to vote to sustain or reject the notice of violation, an order intended to end the ongoing vendetta:

Further, the claim of loud dog barking at 1000 feet is impossible, as verified by four PhD acoustical engineers including the editor of the world's leading peer review acoustical architectural journal:

Full studies:

Quotes from experts:

Further, a sound test was done with ZBA members present that perfectly supports the conclusions of the studies indicated above:

Video from test in August 2011:

Signed statement by ZBA members:

Other sound test showed the same thing, as in April 2011:

And February 2011:

Meanwhile, problem dog barking is common in Stuyvesant Falls:

Here is a map of the area showing that people who did not complain live closer than the distant neighbors who complained:

Here are the distances in feet:

Here are some of the more than 50 letters of support:

Here is the ex-neighbor who supposedly complained saying there is no problem at all:

Here is the ex-neighbor claiming to see dogs 1000 feet away to the NORTH over an 8 foot fence through a window facing east that is 14 feet from the ground:

If the charge defies the laws of physics and if you have more than 50 witnesses denying the charge and if you have three sound test which confirm that the charge is not true yet you find that a town continues to pursue the charge, you have to wonder why. Here is why:

In short, this vendetta is motivate by unconstitutional motives and serves no public interest. Tomorrow's hearing should not be occurring. Knock it off. 


Friday, September 7, 2012

tonight at the board meeting

Also, tonight at the re-scheduled town board meeting (with no public notice) in Stuyvesant we learned that 1) they had an executive session for a "personnel matter" -- insufficient description according to Public Officer's Law -- after which someone, who knows who, slipped out the back door and sped off in a new grey Honda sedan and 2) the town of Stuyvesant is selling off its highway department equipment for unexplained reasons.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

right, dog barking, really, no kidding... and ...

Here we go again. That's the link to the surprisingly good Register Star story.

Read: new members on the board. Think: people are sick of this and quitting. Read: Ennis says 75 dogs are louder than one dog. Think: therefore the sun must, obviously, be the brightest star in the universe by far. I mean, just look at it.

Markku Jaaskelainen of the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, Institute of Fundamental Sciences wrote, “I hope that the issue soon will be settled in your favor. Anything else would be absurd if it is the noise levels that matter.” In his paper on the decay of sound, Dr. Jaaskelainen calculated that Glencadia Dog Camp would have to board 1352 dogs in order to achieve the level of sound of two dogs at 25 feet, as we see with the boxers at the Balint residence in the video annexed as file name “june 2010 walk through village” with Petition. “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.”  
(b) Ken Andria was the lead engineer on the study conducted by Acoustic Dimensions. Dr. Ning Xiang, Ph.D. Prof. Director, Graduate Program in Architectural Acoustics School of Architecture Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute wrote, “Ken Andria has obtained MS. Degree from Graduate Program in Architectural Acoustics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has presented his work at the Acoustical Society of America, has been awarded the prestigious Robert Bradford Newman Award ... as a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America I endorse Ken Andria’s measurements and report.”

But we need to have more hearings on dog barking. Got it.

The town attorney Tal Rappleyea embezzled $10,000 and extorted money, $437 on June 21, 2009, from me, which I paid. The town zoning officer Gerry Ennis stalked my house before dawn 25 times. Town board member threatened violence. Board member and town employee says to get out of town. The town, lead by Tal Rappleyea, encouraged perjury to put me in jail on false charges. And again.

But we need to have more hearings on dog barking. Right.

The county attorney, Robert Fitzsimmons and assistant county attorney, Andrew Howard, allow and participate with his colleagues in stealing and continue to steal millions of dollars. There are multiple felonies out of the Columbia County Attorney Office every day. But there is no hearing on stealing, massive corruption. The DA knows all about it. The sheriff knows. The chair of the county board of supervisors knows.

But we need to have more hearings on dog barking. I see.

The town assessor made a fraudulent assessment of the Hook Boat Club, costing the town $500,000.


The town of Stuyvesant spent $200,000 on a dog barking complaint, violated Public Officer's Law by hiring Whiteman, Osterman and Hanna in an illegal secret meeting to get me in criminal court on false charges. (David R. Everett of Chatham New York)

But we need to have more hearings on dog barking. Check.

The town ZEO Gerry Ennis said on the record that he gave me the ticket because he does not like my blog. The town clerk Melissa Naegeli passed around an anonymous note calling me a bad father for making a song she doesn't like.

Dog barking. Right. Got to get our priorities straight.

The only town resident who complained about dog barking lives so far away, 1800 feet, Mary Kline, that she cannot hear any dog barking at all. Her neighbors on all sides say they hear nothing. Mary Kline made racially weird comments online and thinks violence is the solution (online post). This is the town's only complaint, on which they are basing the $200,000 in tax money.

Dog barking, got it?

The town Supervisor, Ron Knott, took $40,000 from the town government in an illegal contract for his own business, violating General Municipal Law § 805-a (1)(c) to help himself.

Officials cannot “receive, or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before any municipal agency of which he is an officer, member or employee or of any municipal agency over which he has jurisdiction or to which he has the power to appoint any member, officer or employee.” Knott, as town supervisor, tapped public funds to defend his business in order to continue to operate Knott Industries without a permit. This undisputed misdemeanor is a violation of law. Violation of this provision for ethical government can result in the voiding of the contract in question, removal from office of the officer and return of misspent funds to the taxpayer (Matter of Keller v. Morgan, 149 AD 2d 801 - NY: Appellate Div., 3rd Dept. 1989; New York Attorney General opinions 2000-11 and 2005-10; Cahn v. Town of Huntington, 29 NY 2d 451 - NY: Court of Appeals 1972). Lesser ramifications may also be appropriate (Civil Service Forum v. Binghamton, 44 NY 2d 23 - NY: Court of Appeals 1978).

Dog barking.

Here is what I said to the board about 50 times:
In September 2010, I appealed the August 9, 2010 notice of violation still before this board. In November 2010 I submitted a paper by physics professor Dr. Markku Jaaskelainen demonstrating that the charge of loud noise was impossible based on calculations. Later, in April 2011, I submitted a paper by Dr. Ken Andria of Acoustic Dimensions based on measurements on site reaching the same conclusion, that the idea that dogs barking can be loud 1000 feet away is impossible. The results of these papers were endorsed by Dr. Ning Xiang, associate editor of the world's leading peer review acoustical architecture journal and Dr. Ernst Warsits, an acoustical engineering professor in Germany.
The fact that Ennis' notice of violation of August 9, 2010 accuses me of a violation which is entirely impossible is further established by subsequent sound tests, including in August 2011 with ZBA members Jensen, Keller, and Vick in attendance. Videos, signed testimony and audio recordings of these tests, along with science reports, were part of the record of the Article 78 proceeding in New York Supreme Court. There is no doubt that the charge in the notice of violation is false, indeed impossible.

The ZBA knows that the charge of loud dog barking is false. Look at those videos.

They don't need another public hearing. I did not kidnap Santa's elves.

Dear ZBA:

Our position is that the board should vote to dismiss the notice of violation of August 9, 2010 either because Gerry Ennis did not have a written complaint at the time he issued the notice of violation, as required by town zoning law, or because he did not offer any evidence to substantiate the charge of loud dog barking.

Since the ZBA took this issue after the judge’s decision of May 2012, I wrote three emails: July 24, 2012, July 29, 2012, August 7, 2012. In those emails, I made a number of points:

1. I inquired as to whether we should we write to the judge for clarification on the issues below without a response from the ZBA:
A) Does the ZBA need to or can the ZBA hold a second public hearing if it wants to, even though the decision references August 9, 2011 and the notice of the hearing referencing the very issue under consideration now, as above? Is one public hearing enough?
B) Do you need to gather more evidence or are 17 hearings and $200,000 in costs enough to allow the board to vote up or down on the notice of violation?
2.     The judge’s decision refers explicitly to the public hearing of August 9, 2011. No need for another one.
3.     There is no complaint of any kind behind this notice of violation.
4.     The charge that my dog boarding facility produces "unusual noise... that exceeds that produced by a normal residence" is clearly not true. The notice of violation is false and defies the laws of physics.
5.     ZEO Ennis is welcome to send a new notice of violation if a violation is ongoing.
6.     The notice was not based on a written complaint as required by the Town Zoning Ordinance.
7.     One of the two people who made the verbal complaint no longer lives in town. The remaining complaint, Mary Kline, is based on racial bias, as evidenced by her internet posts promoting violence and suggesting racial motivation, not dog barking.
8.     There have been 17 hearings on this issue in town hall, including a ZBA public hearing. More than 2000 pages and many gigabytes of digital documents are on file with state court pertaining to this matter. Your lawyer has all the documents and we would the entire record considered if any piece of the record is to be considered.
9.     The notice alleges a noise violation more than two years ago.
10.  There is no evidence of any violation, not even a written complaint, prior to the issuance of the notice of violation. No decibel readings, no sound tests, no coherent written complaint, nothing to indicate a violation existed on August 9, 2010 or exists now in 2012.
11.  The ZEO has explicitly, clearly and on the record linked his decision to issue a notice of violation to the publication of evidence of criminal activity by town employees on my blog. He said, "Mr. Pflaum thinks he can hide behind his computer and write whatever he wants." Correct. That is exactly what I think. The link between the notice of violation and free speech is on the record, recorded and part of the set of documents submitted to the Supreme Court as part of the Article 78 proceedings.
12.  No one who lives or works within 1500 feet of my barn has complained of dog barking. There is not one single complaint from anyone who lives or works within 1500 feet and letters of support indicating no dog barking problem from people who do live and work with 1500 feet.
13.  The ZBA includes town employees/spouses.
14.  An anonymous note attacking my family, submitted to the ZBA by the town clerk, who refuses to disclose the source of the note she introduced as evidence, an act endorsed by David Everett, remains part of the record before the board and has not been stricken from the record.
15.  Steve Montie, board member and town employee, has endorsed violence against me and said that I should move out of town in writing.  These were not slips of the tongue, as he maintains his advocacy of violence even as he sits on the board. Ed Scott also endorsed vigilante violence on video. Ed Scott stands by his promotion of violence. Mary Kline stands by her promotion of violence. Vandalism, as encouraged by town officials, has occurred at our property as a probably consequence of previous hearings here at the ZBA.
16.  The only town resident who complained of dog barking prior to August 9, 2010, Mary Kline, also endorses violence, posted racially charged attacks on my inter-racial family and lives more than 1600 feet away from the dog boarding facility. By endorsing the notice based solely on her complaint, the ZBA would be endorsing and encouraging her racist vigilantism.
17.  The ZEO is on record admitting to have stalked my property before dawn 25 times.
18.  A federal civil rights action is already filed on this case.
19.  The ZBA has already voted on the issue of noise. The majority of the board voted that there was no violation by a 3 to 2 vote. Two members voted that there was a noise violation, although they both acknowledged that the noise is not loud at the property line. The ZBA was unanimous in acknowledging no loud noise.


Will Pflaum

Sunday, August 26, 2012

New York Times quote

How's this:

Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez is accused of sexual harassment and has been censured.Senator Shirley L. Huntley said she would surrender to the authorities on Monday. She said she did not know the charges, but her announcement came months after one of her aides and three others were charged with stealing taxpayer money that had been directed to a nonprofit group that Ms. Huntley founded. Already this year, one former State Senate majority leader, Pedro Espada Jr., a Democrat, was convicted of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the nonprofit health care network he founded; another former majority leader, Joseph L. Bruno, a Republican, was charged by federal prosecutors with taking bribes, and a former Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Carl Kruger, was sentenced to seven years in prison for taking bribes.
So, if there is no agency with oversight of local government, would the situation not be even worse at the local level? Yes. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

knot suit

Here is an article in the Register Star. Point one: the town of Stuyvesant paid for the legal fees of the town Supervisor, Ron Knott, to defend his own personal business. I raised this issue in my filings but the court did not address this serious ethical breech. Here is what I said:

As Knott has benefitted materially from the contract between the Town and Better, at the very least, Knott should not have participated in the decision-making process to hire Better, nor have any conversations with Better about the matter at issue in this case, as per General Municipal Law § 805-a (1)(c). 
The New York Attorney General says (Opinion, Attorney General, [Inf.] 93-36), “The purpose of section 805-a and common law conflict of interest rules is to ensure that public responsibilities are performed impartially and solely in the public interest. If a public body was allowed to waive conflicts of interests, this important public purpose would not be achieved.” In the Better-Knott situation, the public interest is clearly secondary to the private interests of Knott. This Better-Knott problem would not have happened if Knott had hired his own lawyer. It would be better not to force the taxpayer to pay for Knott’s private lawyer.

Nothing about that in the decision of the court. This bothers me.