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.