Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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December 25th, 2009

Thank you for serving us admirably

I think we would all be remiss if we did not take time to acknowledge those special elected officials who will no longer be serving us come January.

The people I am speaking about have become synonymous with Sullivan County. And, I am proud to call all of them friends.

Of course I am speaking about outgoing District Attorney Steven Lungen, Appellate Justice Anthony Kane, Town Judges Jeffery Altbach and Bob Meyer, and Fallsburg Supervisor Steve Levine.

Without a doubt it will be difficult not seeing these men in the roles we have become so accustomed, but sadly nothing lasts forever.

What can one really say about the dynamic Steve Lungen that has not already been said? He is a prosecutors prosecutor, and has always been there making certain justice was served. I am convinced beyond a shadow of doubt that Jim Farrell will be an exceptional DA; nonetheless it will seem uncanny not having Lungen there.

Speaking of his retirement Lungen said, “I would like to thank the residents of Sullivan County for making my career possible. Being District Attorney for these past 28 years took a lot of help from the law enforcement community, the people who supported me politically, my friends, my staff and of course my family.”
The no nonsense DA added, “It has always been my goal to try and make a difference. I always hoped that I would leave this office better than when I came to it.”

And, indeed he has.

Anthony Kane told me he hopes he “justified” the support the people of Sullivan County have given him over the years. He said he always treated people with dignity and respect, and loved his career as a Judge.

He said the most memorable trial he presided over was that of Anthony Burton who was convicted of a double murder. Lungen prosecuted the case, while Stephen Schick head of legal aid defended Burton. DNA evidence was used for the first time in Sullivan County. “The case was a challenge from the beginning to the end.”

Discussing his appointment to the Appellate Court, Kane said, “For me, as an attorney and Judge, this was the icing on the cake.” He wanted acknowledge his law clerks Mary Grace Conneely and Matthew Side, and confidential secretary Denise Ratner for their years of public service.

Hopefully we have not heard the last of Kane, as some political insiders would love to see him run for the Sullivan County legislature.

Jeff Altbach told me he wanted to express his appreciation and gratitude to the residents of Liberty. “Public office is a public trust. I have done my best to have patience, understanding, and respect for all litigants and defendants, and have endeavored to decide all cases fairly, diligently and judiciously.”

He said his experience as a practicing attorney enabled him to “recover tens of thousands of dollars in restitution for improper public assistance applications and fraudulent re-certifications.”

Altbach said he intends to continue to be actively involved in his Liberty law practice specializing in accident and personal injury cases.

To say Town of Cohecton Justice Bob Meyer will be missed after 28 years of service is an understatement. After becoming a civil engineer and serving in the Vietnam War, Meyer became active in Cohecton town politics. Along with his wife Kathy they have four children and seven grandchildren.

“Most citizens believe town courts only handle vehicle traffic cases or DWI’s, but we also preside over criminal cases ranging from arson, forgeries, rape, murder and civil cases.”

Meyer admits the most enjoyable part of being a judge was performing weddings. “You are able to let you hair down, but then again if only I had hair,” he quipped.

Since 1997 Steve Levine has served the people of Fallsburg as their Supervisor, but he too felt it was time to retire.

Being honest and upfront was always symbolic with Levine. When someone disagreed with him politically he always wanted to know why. Caring for all the needs of his constituents, Levine sometimes did not do what was popular but did what he felt was morally and ethically correct.
During his reign as Supervisor, Levine was responsible in obtaining millions in grant monies, created the South Fallsburg Senior and Youth Center, and instituted a plan to purchase new highway equipment without increasing taxes. New Zoning Laws and comprehensive plans were enacted, and he strengthened the financial stability of the Town.

Levine told me, “The Town of Fallsburg is lucky to have the workforce that it has and any success I have had as Supervisor is due to them.”

Thank you Steve Lungen, Anthony Kane, Jeff Altbach, Bob Meyer, and Steve Levine for jobs well done, you will all be missed.

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