The primary is scheduled for next Tuesday, September 13, with voting from noon to 9 p.m. at local polling places. The winners will carry the Democratic Party endorsement in the November 8 general election. The Woodstock Republican Committee plans to choose its party’s slate of candidates at a caucus on September 15.
Audience members submitted written questions that the moderator, Peter Cantine, posed to Terrie Rosenblum and Jeremy Wilber, who are running for town supervisor, and four aspirants for two openings on the Town Board: Peter Cross, David Gross, Ken Panza, and Jay Wenk. Three incumbents who are running for reelection unopposed — town clerk Jackie Earley, town justice Frank Engel, and highway superintendent Mike Reynolds — delivered opening and closing statements but received no questions from the public.
The questions covered topics such as the current and future state of the town budget, which in 2012 will be subject to the state’s newly enacted two-percent cap on property tax increases; whether the town should proceed with a renovation of Town Hall; and the need for, and affordability of, a Comprehensive Plan to guide future development.
Following are summaries of the candidates’ positions, based on their opening and closing statements and responses to questions.
Terrie Rosenblum. A first-term councilwoman who for the last three years has served as supervisor Jeff Moran’s deputy, Rosenblum expressed unequivocal support for the property tax cap. Reciting statistics furnished by the town bookkeeper, Rosenblum presented a view Woodstock’s financial condition whose optimism was at odds with the grimmer perspective of other candidates, including Wilber and Panza, and some incumbent officials who consider the situation dire. Rosenblum maintained that anticipated revenues for the remainder of 2011 would more than compensate for a $220,000 deficit in the current budget. For 2012, she said, “We feel that we can stay under the two-percent cap and keep our taxes pretty much where they’ve been.” In an interview after the meeting, she demurred when queried about the prospect of a gap of as much as $450,000 in next year’s budget, referring the question to councilwoman Cathy Magarelli, who supports Rosenblum’s candidacy.
Rosenblum observed that the Town Board had voted to proceed with a renovation of Town Hall and was doing so, although in the prevailing economic climate the project will probably have to be completed in stages. With interest rates low, now would be a good time for the town to borrow money if bonding is required to fund the renovation, she said.
The councilwoman praised the town’s response to Tropical Storm Irene, reporting that she and Reynolds, the highway superintendent, had transported and distributed emergency supplies donated by Central Hudson. She added that the town’s communications systems were in need of improvement so that information could be relayed more quickly and efficiently to residents during future emergencies.
Jeremy Wilber. The former town supervisor, who held that office from 2000 to 2007, stated that no unexpended fund balance would be available at the end of 2011 to appropriate to the 2012 town budget and thus stave off double-digit tax increases for the general fund and the highway fund. Amid “very visible signs of economic stress in our community,” said Wilber, he would strive to keep taxes low but would not deny a service that was urgently needed by children or older residents, for example, for the sake of political pandering. “I ain’t no Tea Partyer,” he said, adding that compliance with the tax cap in 2012 would likely require “a drastic cut in services.” On his first day in office he would scrutinize the town’s ledgers and “make a full report” as soon as possible to citizens on the state of town finances. Wilber also pledged to “start a community conversation” on the town’s future, ensure that town government was accountable for its actions, and give thanks to the new owners of the Woodstock Playhouse for their restoration of the local landmark.
Wilber asserted that, while a Town Hall renovation “has to be done,” he was reluctant to embrace bonding for the project and would initiate a “conversation with the community” about how to complete the project most efficiently and least expensively. He concurred with Rosenblum on the need to improve the town’s communications systems during emergencies and proposed an expanded use of radio transmissions, noting that most people had access to a car radio if not a device operated on battery or crank power.
Peter Cross. A surveyor and a lifelong Woodstock resident, Cross is currently the town’s wetlands inspector and a member of the Planning Board. His first order of business as a councilman, he said, would be to develop a sound municipal budget. “Like any family, the town should live within its means,” he said. Citing his familiarity with regulations and concerns related to planning and zoning, he emphasized the importance of formulating a Comprehensive Plan to guide the town’s preservation of sensitive environmental areas and future growth and development. While Gross, Panza, and Wenk balked at spending an estimated $100,000 for such an endeavor, Cross argued that much of the work could be performed in house, at much less expense, and might be supported by grant funding. Cross also recommended that the town develop more space for parks and recreation while land is still available for such uses.
David Gross. The chair of the Woodstock Environmental Commission stressed that the town government should base its consideration of local issues on an understanding of the community’s “core values, as opposed to taking an ad hoc approach to each problem that arises and embracing “feel good” solutions. His own values, said Gross, who is retired from a career in the wine industry, include a focus on caring for the town’s youth, old people, and environment and on maintaining a vibrant business climate. He opposed Wenk’s proposal to charge a fee for parking in the Mountain View lot as a means of raising revenue for the town, arguing that the fee would discourage tourism and thus hurt the local economy. Gross said that he would strive to reduce the town’s carbon footprint, in part by lobbying the state government to change a policy that prohibits municipalities from using hybrid-powered police cars.
Ken Panza. A local resident for more than 40 years, Panza, a retired computer industry executive, has served as a volunteer on the library’s board of directors, the Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Telecommunications Committee. In recent years he has assiduously attended Town Board and the Planning Board and circulated his independent research on local issues. Panza predicted that the 2012 town budget would be unable to comply with the state tax cap; consequently, a majority of the current Town Board would be forced to adopt a local law that would override the cap for one year. If elected, Panza would promote the prompt formation of a committee to implement a soon-to-be-adopted stewardship plan for the Comeau property. He supported the suggestion that the Town Board interact more frequently with residents including second-home owners, many of whom provide considerable employment to trade contractors and other members of the local work force.
Jay Wenk. The former and current councilman — he previously served on the Town Board from 1990 to 1993 — told listeners at the forum that he would stand on his recent record as a board member, including his longstanding support for the Comeau easement, efforts to convert the Mountain View lot to a paid-parking facility, resistance to a proposed exemption of town building projects from Planning Board review, and opposition to the proposed purchase of the former Elna Magnetics building as a site for town offices. He emphasized the importance of increasing town revenues but admitted that he did not understand much of the background of the shortfall in the current town budget. Wenk abstained from the vote to adopt that budget, citing his opposition to unfunded state mandates and the federal government’s tax-funded pursuit of foreign wars. If elected to a new term the councilman would try to instill increased cooperation among the Town Board, Planning Board, and Building Department. “One overwhelming issue facing the town and the Town Board is an absence of collegiality and consensual thinking and working,” said Wenk. “Without those things we don’t get anything done.”++
Woodstock polling centers
District 2, Lake Hill Firehouse, 4128 Route 212
District 5, 9, Woodstock Fire Company No. 2, 367 Wittenberg Rd.
District 3, 6, Zena Firehouse, 443 Zena Rd.
District 1, 4, 7, 8, Woodstock Community Center, 56 Rock City Rd.
POLITICAL LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - September 8, 2011
ALL OPINIONS COUNT
Several recent letters to the editor assert the town board is intimidated by loudmouths and bullies. One writer claims “their faces red, charging the podium, waving their arms, pumping their fists and yelling.” What nonsense!
Every town board has to deal with issues that are controversial and of strong public interest, and Woodstockers are not shy about expressing their opinions and their disagreements with the decisions of the town board. But as Harry Truman said, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
Town board members have not been threatened, they have not been bullied, and they have not been intimidated. But they have been criticized; their judgment has been questioned and the apparent failure to do their homework has been scrutinized. Anyone seeking public office should understand this is part of the job.
I’m a candidate for town board and I welcome the opinions of the loudmouths and others who might disagree with me. I don’t consider their participation as disruptive, but rather as informative. It’s not possible to make an informed vote until you thoroughly understand all the alternatives and positions. I will not reject anyone’s opinions out of hand and I will not call them bullies.
Ken Panza, Candidate for Town Board
WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU
Irene was forecast to arrive and did. Jeff Moran was not available and Terrie Rosenblum was in charge as deputy supervisor. She was physically available at the Town office. Jeff did not call Terrie. Terrie with the help of Jackie Earley took charge of the emergency.
Dry ice and bottled water, Terrie was working with Central Hudson and it did not start off well. Terrie persisted and could have used “help,” you past and new politicians who could have helped did absolutely nothing.
Help was needed and I worked the Rescue Squad. Help was needed at Meals on Wheels and we got it up and running. Help at the Food Pantry came through.
Family was open.
There was a fair amount of unhappy people but did you help yourself? Supplies include filling tubs, buckets, and pots with water. For clean up for mildew, bleach and face masks. Where the Hell was my brain?
TERRIE IS WORKING FOR US
Terrie Rosenblum, deputy supervisor of Woodstock, was in charge of the town, working for us everyday, since the hurricane blew into Woodstock.
Terrie has been in the office making sure there were open shelters. She was on the phone for endless hours, consulting with Central Hudson. Terrie was the reason that Central Hudson provided the town with dry ice and water.
She was in contact with key personnel; fire, police, highway, maintenance, dispatch rescue and the Youth Center.
Terrie has been answering phone calls to assist Woodstock citizens everyday. Terrie took charge and followed through. I appreciate that she had the experience to tackle the many tasks that occurred over this week. Her leadership was needed and she used it effectively.
This was a serious emergency. It is not the last one that will happen in Woodstock. I was assured that someone like Terrie was looking out for our interests from the beginning to the end.
CROSS AND WENK
Peter Cross and Jay Wenk are far and away the best choices for Town Board in this year’s Democratic Primary. They will move the Board in a more progressive, not to mention functional, direction. Jay has been a lone voice of sanity and functionality on the board, and Peter Cross is a kindred spirit with a similar independent mindset, and practical goals for the town.
As much as I like Ken Panza personally, I fear that, as he did in the previous primary, his presence on the ballot may split the progressive vote and allow the fourth candidate to get on. That would be a disaster, as it was when Ken’s ineffectual run for the nomination two years ago resulted in splitting the vote and causing two more deserving and proven candidates from getting on the Democratic line. That has led to the depressing situation, financially and otherwise, in which Woodstockers now find themselves. I happen to think that Ken would make an excellent choice for Supervisor, however, and hope that he will consider running for that position in future — including in this year’s general election, where I would support him unreserevedly. But not for Town Board.
I hope the Democratic voters of Woodstock will think pragmatically and do the right thing to prevent the ongoing dysfunction of the current Town Board from being perpetuated, to the great expense of all of us. So vote smart on September 13, and vote for Peter Cross and Jay Wenk for Town Board
WRITE IN JOJO
I am urging all Democrats to write in JoJo for Supervisor in the upcoming Democratic Primary. JoJo is the only candidate who has committed to honor the 2 percent property Tax Cap law. JoJo is the only candidate who is not accepting campaign contributions, and JoJo is the only candidate who vows to bring the best and brightest of Woodstock’s talent, regardless of party affiliation, to the town’s table to solve the current fiscal crisis. JoJo supports creating a bike tourism economy in Woodstock. JoJo supports a tree commission that will bring back and sustain the “urban forest.” JoJo supports creating truly affordable housing for young artists looking to live and create in Woodstock. JoJo supports expanding our community gardens and will safeguard the Comeau from uneeded development. JoJo is Woodstock. If you really love Woodstock, as I do, please consider writing in JoJo for Supervisor at the Democratic Primary.
PETER CROSS FOR TOWN BOARD
A vote for Peter Cross for Town Board is a vote for an open, honest and considered evaluation of every issue that comes before the Board. Peter is a third generation Woodstocker. His love of and concern for the health and welfare of Woodstock is deeply ingrained. His concern for the future of Woodstock is genuine and sincere. He has hiked through our hills and valleys and knows them better than most of us know the backs of our hands. His years as a Planning Board member have given him an in-depth understanding of land use within the framework of our Zoning laws. His experience as a surveyor and his certification as a wetlands delineator have increased his concerns for protection of our natural resources. He also recognizes the importance of small businesses, having owned and operated his own business in the past. His appreciation of the arts comes from growing up in an artistic environment. He raised his daughter and son in the Onteora school system and is concerned about the content as well as the cost of local education. As a homeowner he is also concerned about seeing every tax dollar spent wisely. You can’t go wrong by voting for Peter Cross for Town Board in the September 13 Democratic primary.
Mary Phillips Burke
JOJO’S FIFTH PLANK — ACCOUNTABILITY
Except for Jay Wenk, members of the Town Board generally vote as one block. Yet, they are never held accountable for any of their costly screw-ups. Their shortsighted tactics to resolve financial blunders is to raise taxes. Hence, it’s the taxpayers who ultimately become accountable for the financial mess created by these same town officials. Innocent homeowners are held responsible for all the wasteful spending by the Wilber/Moran mindset.
Their decisions have increased Woodstock taxes and decreased Woodstock’s revenue. For example, they squandered tens of thousands of dollars in taxpayers’ money on numerous engineering and architectural plans only to trash them. They spent ridiculous amount of money on attorney fees for town blunders. The Stewardship Plan alone has cost the taxpayer an additional $20,000 in legal fees due to substandard results by town officials. The Geo-thermal system in the highway garage has cost taxpayers exorbitant fees in electricity because of poor planning. These same town officials foolishly decided to give away Woodstock’s “cell tower gold-mine” to a no-bid cell tower company significantly impacting Woodstock’s revenue. Most serious, the erroneous transfer of funds amounting to $450,000 produced a shortfall for Woodstock’s 2011 budget. The likely result, higher taxes again.
JoJo’s fifth plank is to enhance accountability. Taxpayers can no longer afford pervasive financial blunders by elected officials especially without consequences. In this context, Moran must resign immediately. His salary will be used to help pay back the $450,000 shortfall that he created. Likewise, Rosenblum, as Deputy Supervisor, must also resign as she was also sleeping on her watch. Furthermore, all town officials who were advisors to these individuals must resign from politics. This includes candidate Wilber who was a member of Moran’s “kitchen cabinet.” This careless political faction financially screwed Woodstock and destroyed confidence in local politics. And as Albert Einstein stated: “You can’t solve a problem with the same minds that created it.” Your vote can finally hold these culprits responsible. A vote for JoJo is a vote for zero tolerance for thoughtless spending.
GET OUT AND VOTE
This is the last communication before the Democratic Primary on Tuesday, September 13. No candidate is a guaranteed winner. You each have to do your part, while remembering the tragedy linked to that week.
The passage of Irene through Woodstock and the entire area was no laughing matter, but the work of various Town departments was wonderful in dealing with the devastation. There is one area that can be seen now as needing improvement for the future, and that is communication with the public. Radio WDST can be requested to issue hourly information. The Town Board, through its good offices, can try to arrange for battery operated radios for sale to citizens without them. ‘Family’ can also be contacted on the same basis. The bulletin board in front of the Town Hall should have information there. The Dispatch office did a fine job disseminating information as they received it, but I would like them to be more available for other emergencies; Town government ought to be and can be doing more in terms of reaching out to sources of information in emergencies and publicizing it. If there were to be a water emergency, the plan to deal with it is ridiculous; it’s a secret that only the Supervisor and the water/sewer superintendent know. There is no plan to inform us what to do, where to go, and with the Supervisor remaining on vacation during this event…
I am trying to get a cell antenna mounted on the ‘TV’ tower, for much greater cell coverage for Woodstockers. It will be complicated and I can’t make any promises, although this should have been done a long time ago. Clearly, this is a crucial need. There are all sorts of emergencies that don’t depend on Hurricanes or heavy snowstorms in October.
I will continue to run for Town Board on my record of having saved millions of dollars from foolish projects, utter transparency in government, inclusion of the public in Town decision making, such as the Comeau Easement Management Plan, in spite of the refusal of Terrie to allow that, at the cost of $13,500, and my personal accessibility.
The Democratic Primary is Tuesday, September 13. If folks don’t come out to vote because they believe their favorite candidate is sure to win, they may be sorry. Please get out and vote.
JEREMY’S ALWAYS AVAILABLE
These past couple of weeks have been very trying on our residents and neighbors. I was so impressed with the relief efforts by our volunteer fire companies, police, highway and maintenance crews, businesses and churches. Neighbors pulled together magnificently and I know for many, relief efforts have just begun.
However I must say that I and many others have been asking where our town leaders have been through this very difficult time. Information was not forthcoming and most people had to go to other towns’ newspapers, and local business websites to get information about which roads were closed and when the power was expected to be restored. I know of people who called the Woodstock dispatch about water and dry ice deliveries and the dispatchers knew absolutely nothing. With Supervisor Moran away and with acting Supervisor Rosenblum in charge, we were kept in the dark literally and figuratively. It’s time for real leadership in this town.
That’s why I’ll be voting for Jeremy Wilber on September 13. Whenever things went wrong, Jeremy was always available by phone and did his best to keep everyone apprised of the situation. We need someone who will respond to the people and help shed some light. Not someone who, by their inactions, will continue to keep us in the dark.
JOJO FOR SUPERVISOR
JoJo has my vote for Woodstock’s Supervisor. He is the only candidate taking a defined stance to solve specific town problems. Even if, for some unforeseen reason, he doesn’t win, JoJo’s platform should be a model for his democratic opponents to emulate. For example, “Tax Cap” during bad economic times will keep the extra dollars where they belong, in the homeowner’s pocket. “Spending Cuts” are mandatory and everything should be considered. “Delegate Wisely” will seek the best skills across Woodstock’s entire political factions. “Work Smart” will minimize Woodstock’s costly blunders. JoJo’s platform speaks of actions to resolve issues not generic catch phrases that apply to all candidates. Of course all candidates want to help the environment, our youth, and seniors but only JoJo defines how.
I am writing in support of Jay Wenk for reelection to the Woodstock Town Board. Jay’s fervent belief that the government belongs to the people is reflected in his simple, one word campaign slogan — Transparency. Anyone who pays attention to the news of government at all levels has to know how sorely lacking We the People are in truthful and complete information from the people who are supposed to represent us. The government belongs to us, not our elected officials, and I know that this is a position that Jay upholds in his deeds, as well as his speech. He often likes to say that talk is cheap. Jay lives by his actions, and I know that he has all of our best interests at heart, in words and actions. I encourage everyone who cares about our town to attend Jay’s No Speechifyin’ fund raiser at the Colony Café this coming Friday, and to get out and vote for Jay on Primary Day. Our town will be all the better for your support of Jay Wenk, and open government.
RESTORE CONFIDENCE WITH WILBER
Woodstockers need solutions to the problems facing us today. Questions of fiscal responsibility, lack of public information during emergencies, archaic infrastructure and a community divided over zoning practices, cry out for reliable leadership that can provide a quality of life that we’ve come to expect for one of the world’s greatest little towns. Jeremy Wilber is the person we need to restore confidence in Woodstock’s government.
Jeremy is running in the Democratic primary on Tuesday September 13 to be our candidate in the November election. This is a very important step and we will need all registered Democrats to come out on the 13th between the hours of noon and 9 p.m. at your local polling place. Simple as that. If you can’t make it on the 13th then you will be able to register an absentee ballot. Visit: www.co.ulster.ny.us/elections to obtain an absentee ballot and for other helpful information such as polling place locations.
Many local elections are decided by a mere handful of votes and we are counting on you to exercise your right to vote. I’m hoping that you will join me in electing Jeremy Wilber as our Democratic candidate this Tuesday, September 13. Let’s restore confidence in our leadership here in Woodstock.
FOR JEREMY WILBER
After four years of the Moran administration’s budget bungling, failed oversight of the RUPCO project, dropping the ball on a Comprehensive Plan, and diverting the town from renovating Town Hall, it will be a relief to have former town supervisor Jeremy Wilber back in charge after the November election.
Jeremy is a lifelong Woodstocker who has his priorities straight. He cares about the welfare of current residents, and he knows how to handle a budget. The next leader is already faced with a deficit inherited from the present administration. Sad to say, Wilber’s chief opponent was sitting next to the Budget Officer while mistakes were made. If town board members have no responsibility for the budget, why hold all those extra meetings to review it?
PETER CROSS FOR WOODSTOCK
I wish to gain a position on the Woodstock Town Board because I believe I can make a positive contribution to my home town via that Board. As a third generation resident of Woodstock and father of two, I care about Woodstock’s present and its future. I want my children to be able to enjoy living here as much as I do. With your support I will apply myself to the fiduciary duties to the townspeople, giving my all to get our financial house in order and keep it that way. I will work diligently with whoever is on the Board to restore a fiscally sound future for Woodstock.
My upbringing included the arts community, farming and appreciation of and for the environment. I love the beauty of the natural environment surrounding Woodstock and how it allows us to enjoy living here as much as we do. I realize a community has to grow to remain healthy and prosperous. In order to protect our natural resources we need to allow smart growth while simultaneously retaining our rural nature. To achieve this balance it is imperative that we have a comprehensive master plan.
Some of the goals of this plan should include: 1) Promote highest quality of healthy life for the towns’ residents 2) Promote the highest level of environmental quality 3) Preserve the unique blend of ecological, cultural and scenic resources 4) Preserve and enhance historical resources and historical settings 5) Enhance the pedestrian environment 6) Create low impact harmonious affordable housing opportunities 7) Create and improve recreational and park facilities for all residents 8) Promote appropriate scale, type and design of business and economic development.
I will devote myself to that end. I have served several years on the Planning Board, am a surveyor and a certified wetlands delineator and therefore I understand the challenges facing the town in both zoning and land use issues. I also believe we need to support the arts culture and help keep our business entrepreneurs vibrant and successful.
Your vote will allow me the privilege of serving the citizens of Woodstock.
Peter Cross, candidate for the town board
SUPPORT JAY, SUPPORT WOODSTOCK
I have known Jay Wenk as a friend and neighbor for over 18 years and have experienced him in many different settings. Jay is a person of great integrity. He does not make decisions based upon maintaining his popularity, nor on how others perceive him, nor even on his own legacy. He, thankfully, is not your typical politician who always has one eye on the next election. Jay is a public servant who is only beholden to us, the public. He owes no allegiance to any party, nor to any person. I know him to be principled and thoughtful. Jay is open and available for discussion, even when we’ve had disagreements. I appreciate his commitment to peace and justice and to treating all people with respect. And, he is a man who is in touch with his feelings and those of others. In my world of usually voting for the lesser of two evils, or abstaining, I am happy to have Jay Wenk as someone whom I can unequivocally support. Join me in returning Jay to our town board.
WILBER SUPPORTS BUSINESSES
As a business owner in Woodstock and a Democrat it will be my pleasure to vote for Jeremy Wilber for town supervisor in the September 13 primary.
It was Jeremy’s administration that adjusted the Town’s maintenance department’s workweek to include a Saturday and Sunday shift, thereby not letting the parking lots get too littered and the public bathrooms get filthy over the weekends. Yes, it was simply a matter of changing a shift from Monday through Friday to Wednesday through Sunday, but why hadn’t anyone thought of it before?
Also, with the financial help of Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, and the capable engineering and work performed by the highway department headed by the late highway superintendent Stan Longyear, Jeremy transformed the Houst/Tannery Brook ankle-breaking parking lot into a safe place to park and walk to the stores.
The Village Green became a welcoming sight, rather than the scraggly yard it had turned into.
He stopped in its tracks an amendment to the zoning law requiring businesses to go through a cumbersome site plan review process before making even the slightest improvement to their stores.
The list goes on. We know times are tough, and resources are not abundant, but I also know that Jeremy is a supporter of the business community and will do what he can to get us through this difficult period.
Jeremy is the obvious choice for town supervisor in the September 13 Democratic primary. I urge the business community to support him.
CROSS HAS MY VOTE
Having known and worked with Peter Cross on Woodstock’s Planning Board, I am certain he would make a competent and effective councilman. He has often arrived at reasonable answers to problems and has visionary ideas toward helping the Town plan for its future. Having been a professional surveyor (among other interesting careers ), he has contributed greatly from his expertise in the field. This experience has enabled Peter to grasp local law in practical ways. He has shown many of us that he is a progressive, forward thinker while at the same time is pragmatic in his approach. From zoning, to parks and recreation and affordable housing, Peter has offered many thoughtful solutions toward planning. He has also re-energized efforts to utilize the Town’s ArcGIS mapping system. This of course, as he has maintained, would serve as a useful tool to guide the development of an updated Comprehensive Plan for Woodstock. Future challenges lie ahead and I think having a person like Peter working on behalf of the Town would be very promising. Peter Cross has my vote in the upcoming September 13 primary and I hope he has yours too.
This is to acknowledge my full support of Jay Wenk’s candidacy for Woodstock’s Town Board. As long as I have known him, I have admired Jay for his integrity, his straightforwardness, his honesty, his kindness and his courage even in the face of attacks and adversity in defense of the truth and the best solutions to problems. Woodstock needs people like Jay to pursue the important work on the Town Board with ‘Transparency,’ Jay’s re-election motto.
WE NEED PETER CROSS
On Tuesday September 13…the Democratic Primary, I will be voting for Peter Cross, who is seeking a seat on the Town Board. You can meet with him this Saturday September 10 at the Community Center from 2 p.m. ‘til 4 p.m.
Peter has great abilities for the job. He brings his experience: a current Planning Board member for four years; is Woodstock’s wetlands inspector and a land surveyor. Among his many good ideas, Peter supports town implementing a Comprehensive (“Master”) Plan, although partially begun, never completed, yet long needed for strategizing Woodstock’s growth, and environmental preservation. As well, a Comprehensive Plan can enable the town to receive grants that are available for our many needs, from infrastructure to the fine arts.
Peter Cross, born and lived here all of his life, is nevertheless new and will bring a fresh energy that we sorely need. So bring your questions and thoughts to Peter and find out more of his ideas at the Community Center this Saturday afternoon.
MY RECORD, PAST & FUTURE
Since moving to Woodstock over 13 years ago, and at the risk of sounding immodest, I am proud of the work I have done for the town. I want to do even more for the town than I can achieve as a mere volunteer. Here’s what I have been fortunate enough to have done so far: As Treasurer and Fund Raiser for the Little League I enlisted the help of town merchants to contribute to the league, providing enough money to keep it solvent. As assistant coach, I helped take the Cardinals to the Town and County championships. I participated for many years in setting up the Thanksgiving dinner as well as securing contributions for the Christmas dinners, which I helped cook and serve. As Chair of the Telecommunications Committee, I was instrumental in bringing dependable cell service to the Town. As a member of the Environmental Commission, I led the effort to ban plastic bags Ulster County. As Chair of the Commission, I am leading the charge to amend our zoning law to prohibit the extraction of oil and gas in the Town. The Commission is also finding solutions to the Emerald Ash Borer blight, which is putting all of the town’s Ash trees at risk. I am serving on the Woodstock Democratic Committee, restoring the Democratic ideals of openness and fairness to what had previously been a secret club. I am Treasurer of the Ulster County Democratic Committee.
What I am dedicated to doing if you honor me by nominating me to run and then electing me to the Town Board, is to thoroughly examine every proposal that comes before the Board. I will spend the town’s money as though it were coming out of my pocket. I will continue to work towards making the town carbon neutral. I will ensure our zoning laws are rational and fairly applied. I will make sure our solutions spring from the fundamental core values for which Woodstock is renowned.
If you like the way I will approach the issues, please vote for me in the Democratic primary on September 13.
David Gross, candidate for town board
During my term on the Town Board from 2000-04, I had the great pleasure of working with Jeremy Wilber under his leadership as Woodstock Town Supervisor. The town did well from a fiscal stand point and we were able to accomplish a lot of very positive work in our community. I strongly encourage my Democratic friends and neighbors to vote for a truly special person who possesses the ability, experience and vision to lead our town during difficult times. Please join me and support Jeremy Wilber in the upcoming primary!
WENK IS THE BEST
Jay Wenk is the best candidate running for office. I hope he is reelected.
Jay acts with soul and with reason. He’s transparent no matter the season. We want a clear voice, he’s clearly the choice because his record’s historically pleasing. Let’s vote Jay Wenk for town board. It’s a choice that can’t be ignored. For social awareness and penchant for fairness, his absence we just can’t afford.
TERRIE WAS HERE
The weekend of the 25th of August, Woodstock’s town supervisor was out of town. When Hurricane Irene hit, deputy supervisor Terrie Rosenblum was in charge.
In spite of a basement filling with water and a leaking ceiling at her own residence, Terrie was at the Town Hall fielding calls from Woodstockers who needed help, assistance of directions for emergency procedures.
She spent time on conference calls with 26 other town personnel, all dealing with similar problems — closings of roads, evacuations and decisions to be made swiftly for the safety of these towns.
Terrie showed herself to be an available leader in this emergency (even taking Facebook messages to neighbors regarding house guests) and is still in charge in the aftermath and cleanup.
Jeff Moran, Woodstock’s town supervisor is still out of town at this writing. (Editor’s note: Moran is back.)
Terrie Rosenblum is who we need for our next town supervisor.
As many of you know, I have not been involved in politics for a few years, but one can’t help but notice that something is wrong, and we need a capable, reasonable person to serve as supervisor. With Jeremy Wilber, we have an intelligent fair minded person willing to roll up his sleeves and work for our community. In addition, he has been successful as supervisor before, for four terms with a number of different town boards.
There are always opposing views, especially in this paper, and rather than go through Jeremy’s list of remarkable accomplishments, I encourage you to consider his record by going to www.woodstockmayor.blogspot.com.
He is a lifelong De4mocrat. Jeremy and his partner Fran Azouz, have been good members of our community for decades. Over his many years of public service, he afforded out community the opportunity to deliberate and then led us through some difficult issues. Assess things for yourself. With today’s circumstances, we need reasonable ideas, a fair process and someone with a proven record to get us through these complicated times to vote for on Tuesday, September 13in the Democratic primary.
I believe that you will find yourself supporting Jeremy, as I am.
Now that I have been on the Board for almost two years, my perspective of what a productive, positive Board member should be has come full circle. In making this endorsement, I have considered not just ideas, but character.
It is important to work with a Board member who follows through. It is important to work with a Board member who does the work prior to the meeting. It is important that someone has strong concerns, yet listens to other ideas and opinions. It is important that a Board member listens to the community and incorporates those concerns into action. I want to work with a person who listens first, works hard and follows through.
That is why I support David Gross for Town Board. He has a positive attitude, a good work ethic and puts the people of Woodstock first.
Cathy Magarelli, councilperson
ON PATRIOTS AND PRIMARIES
Just as we are jolted by Labor Day out of the haziness of summer laziness, we now commemorate that horrific morning when the entire nation, indeed the world, was jolted out of its collective “nodding off,” if you will, to learn that there was Trouble in River City. Big Trouble.
The anniversary always gets me mulling over what it means to be patriotic. We all watched, some more closely than we ever would have chosen, the unimaginable events as they unfolded. We witnessed, or later learned about, acts of heroism and sacrifice this country had not seen in generations.
For me, in addition to the carnage and destruction that continues to haunt my sleep, I recall something most others do not. Amidst all the mayhem and disorder, we were reminded again and again to go out and vote in the primary election (originally scheduled for 9/11) and in the general election that followed. Some experts spoke of the importance of returning to “normalcy” while others declared that performing this civic duty would send a defiant message to those who would destroy us.
I saw wisdom in both reasons, and share them now because I believe they remain as compelling as ever. We often act as if we cannot see that — completely apart from hate-filled foreigners attacking us, or man-made toxins poisoning us — Americans could self-destruct simply by succumbing to apathy and disinterest in their own government’s affairs. Let’s not dishonor the countless patriots who came before us by committing ourselves to such a fate. Let’s vote to celebrate them — the known and the many more who would be known, but for their demise at the hands of British soldiers or American Loyalists in the service of a tyrant.
Democrats, please vote this Tuesday! Here are my patriotic picks:
For supervisor, we have seen that Jeremy Wilber possesses the skill set, intellect and track record so desperately needed to fix all that is broken. Terrie Rosenblum does not. Period.
For the town council, Ken Panza stands head and shoulders above the rest of the field. His financial prudence and knowledge of the law, coupled with his many years of dedicated, meticulous service to Woodstock, make him the most qualified candidate to come along in ages. Jay Wenk, though controversial at times, exemplifies political courage not often seen these days. We need his perspective. David Gross has amply demonstrated a lack of even a rudimentary understanding of democracy, making him particularly unsuited for public office. Peter Cross, if given the chance, could ignite alarming fits of yawning in a crowded theater.
Whether or not you agree, please make the effort to get out and vote. Our future depends on it.