Dutchess County resident Susan Tooker threw her hat into the ring at the annual Columbia County Democratic Committee dinner Sunday night, announcing her decision to run against Marc Molinaro (R) in the 103rd Assembly District. A working mother, registered nurse, nurse practitioner and union member, who is pro-choice and in favor of marriage equality, Ms. Tooker was introduced as the Democrats’ choice of an opponent to challenge the two-term GOP incumbent at the Democrats’ third annual Martin Van Buren Testimonial Dinner June 6 at the Columbia Golf and Country Club in Claverack. Read the entire story in The Columbia Paper.
The Greene County Democratic Committee picked David E. Woodin as their candidate to succeed retiring Daniel K. Lalor as Greene County Judge in a meeting held tonight at Lange’s in Acra. Woodin has clerked for Hon. John J. Fromer, Hon. James J. Battisti, Hon. George J. Pulver and, for the past 19 years, for Judge Lalor. Woodin also leads the Catskill Community Orchestra.
* There is a lot of great stuff on Albany reform. Cuomo is promising to veto any gerrymandered redistricting and also a reform of campaign finance. I hope he sticks to his guns when the pressure mounts on this, as the Legislature is not going to accept this without being dragged kicking and screaming.
* There are some things in here that are going to not please the public employee unions, like a wage freeze for all state workers. The public employee unions are going to have to make sacrifices along with everyone else in the state in these dire economic times, but they aren’t going to take it easily. Although I applaud Cuomo’s willingness to ask for sacrifices from his own base, I personally disagree with a wage freeze and a new pension tier. A smarter move would be to to pay state employees more upfront and not give any kind of pension. Public employees can contribute to their own retirement accounts out of their paychecks like private sector workers, and in compensation for the removal of pensions, those paychecks should be substantially increased. There’s a reason why NY is going bankrupt and that reason is pensions. And pensions also contribute to lower up-front pay, which discourages attracting young talent and discourages mobility in the public sector labor market. Need evidence? Only 14 percent of the state’s workers are under 35.
* Cuomo is also calling for a constitutional convention to fix a lot of the structural problems with the way the state operates. This is a good idea.
* I’m very glad that Cuomo is running on municipal consolidation. Everybody agrees that the vast number of local government bodies are the driving force behind the inexorable rise in property taxes, and it would be good to build upon last year’s municipal consolidation statute. Cuomo also wants to clean house with the redundant state agencies and authorities, and more power to him.
* I would have liked some more specifics on the environmental agenda, but I doubt Cuomo could be worse than Paterson in this regard.
Columbia County Democrats Friday endorsed Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General. Schneiderman is largely backed by upstate Dems, while NYC-area Dems (and Greene County Democrats) support Kathleen Rice. Capitol Confidential reports Columbia County Democratic Chair Christopher Nolan previously supported Eric Dinallo.
Cairo-Durham school election results: School Budget Passed 551-527; Library Appropriation Failed 477-581; Biomass heating system Failed 433-625. Board Member results: Greg Koerner-Fox – 584; Thomas Plank – 564; Beatrice Clappin – 537; Pat Ublacker – 512; Nicole Maggio – 472; Dean Pectal – 456; Sam Mozzillo – 338. The Daily Mail reports Catskill results:
Catskill Central School District’s $36.6 million budget package for 2010-11 was approved by district voters Tuesday night in a 2-1 margin of 712-375. The Catskill Public Library budget was also passed with an approximate 2-1 margin, 701-368. Elected to the Board of Education for three-year terms were incumbent Michael Bulich, who was returned to the board for his second term with 579 votes, and first-timers Christopher Van Loan and Tracy Powell, who drew 439 and 408 votes, respectively. Elected to a two-year term — the unserved balance of an existing seat from a former BOE member — was first-timer Matthew Leipman, who received 402 votes.
The 2010-2011 budget for the Coxsackie-Athens Central School District was adopted by voters by a margin of 738 votes to 521. Three Board of Education seats were also up for grabs in the vote held yesterday – incumbents Mark Gerrain, Russell Nadler and Beth Tailleur were all up for re-election. Gerrain and Tailleur had easy victories, but Nadler was unseated by opponent Stephen Oliveira, who won 575 votes to Nadler’s 404.
In Hudson, Register-Star reports:
The Hudson City School District budget for 2010-2011 squeaked by Tuesday by a margin of a little more than 100 votes. District voters also reelected Mary Daly (663 votes) to the School Board and brought aboard Peter Merante Sr. (717), Justin Cukerstein, 593 votes. He may still may get a board seat. Patricia Abitabile, currently in the second year of her second five-year term, is resigning from the board as of June 30. There has yet to be a resolution on how Abitabile will be replaced, but a discussion at a recent BOE meeting seemed to indicate the candidate with the third highest number of votes could garner her seat. Carrie Haddad received 422 votes and Peter Rice Jr., garnered 263.
In Taconic Hills, Register-Star reports:
The 2010-2011 budget for the Taconic Hills Central School District passed Tuesday after polls closed, with 604 yes and 377 no votes….Joseph Costa (552), a Claverack automotive business owner who said he would encourage attendance at board meetings, and Kevin Maisenbacher (511), a branch manager at Key Corp/N.A. Licensed Investment, who hopes to involve the community more deeply in board decisions, won the district’s two open school board seats, replacing incumbent board members Scott Decker and Tom Bailey.
The story does not report the other vote totals. Also: Chatham Central School District voters passed the 2010-11 budget of $26,614,687 Tuesday by a margin of 441 for and 260 against. Incumbent candidate Melony Spock, 473 votes, Gail Day, 463, elected. A $13.6 million Germantown Central School District Budget passed easily Tuesday with 274 votes for the budget and 171 against. Eric Mortenson, 327; Theresa Repko, 320; Cynthia Smith, 304.
Voting for school board members and issues takes place Tuesday in both counties. From The Daily Freeman:
(Polls are open noon to 9 p.m.)
Cairo-Durham Middle School cafeteria.
(Polls are open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
Catskill High School gymnasium.
(Polls are open 1 to 9 p.m.)
District elementary schools.
(Polls are open 1 to 9 p.m.)
Hunter Elementary School.
(Polls are open noon to 9 p.m.)
Germantown Central School office lobby on Main Street.
Jimmy Vielkind at Capitol Confidential says Tom Poelker of the Greene County Democratic Committee, and two other upstate county Democratic leaders are about to endorse Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice for the Attorney General race. Cindy Emmer, chairwoman of the Chemung County Democratic Committee, and Mike Kunzwiler of the Oswego County Democrats are also about to endorse Rice, Vielkind says, in her race against Sen. Eric Schneiderman.