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.