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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January 1st, 2010

Sullivan County approaches 2010

As we enter 2010 I wish I could say that Sullivan County is in better shape today than we were last year. Instead, we have become a ticking time bomb. Our taxes keep going up and there is still no end in sight.

Our saga for Indian run casino gaming is never ending. Despite the push and united effort from all of our elected officials, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar still has not issued a reversal on the Kempthorne memorandum. We are in desperate need of economic development and approval can be the beginning of our turnaround.

Sullivan County taxpayers finally woke up in 2009 and forced the legislature to revise the newly enacted waste fee. Legislators Alan Sorensen and David Sager must be acknowledged for their efforts.

The recent vote on the budget finally shows some signs of coalition building between Democrats and Republicans.

Chairman Jonathan Rouis has over the past several months begun to show some major leadership qualities. He is beginning to realize the need to work with everyone, and to separate himself from backroom self centered politicians.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Monticello Mayor Gordon Jenkins. Jenkins still refuses to play the role of diplomat and bring all factions together.

Town of Thompson Supervisor Tony Cellini summed it up best when he called Broadway “Ho Chi Minh Trail.”

In 2009 we celebrated our bicentennial with many memorable events.

County Clerk Dan Briggs was also wrongly accused of playing politics when he attacked the releasing of names of gun owners. The law must shield these names just as it does for those on social service programs.

Sullivan County’s two major political parties officially elected new chairs, Steve Wilkinson by Democrats and former Assemblyman Dick Coombe by Republicans.

Both Coombe and Wilkinson will work together and do what is best for Sullivan County. They already proved it with the bipartisan County Executive Research Committee.

Thank you to David Sager for having the courage to challenge the voter registrations of summer renters. Hopefully the Board of Elections will understand how serious this issue is.

Jim Farrell was elected our new chief prosecutor over lawyer Glenn Kroll, while Michael Schiff remains our sheriff defeating legislator Frank Armstrong.

Fallsburg attorney Steve Vegliante was elected to replace retiring Supervisor Steve Levine. Tom Bose will move up from the council in Callicoon to become their new Supervisor, while Harold Baird will run Mamakating.

The Sullivan County electorate proves time and time again they will not allow party affiliation to be their determining factor in electing candidates, and for that they must be applauded.

As we enter 2010, political eyes will be on the County Court Judge seat held by Burt Ledina. If criminal cases can be split amongst County Court Judges, we can expect Steve Lungen to make a run.

Other than Lungen, Republican circles have prominent attorney Marvin Newberg and Town of Liberty Justice Brian Rouke possibly jumping in the race.

On the Democratic side, we can expect Town of Thompson Justice Marty Miller to challenge former Bethel Town Judge Cindy Barber. Barber if you recall lost to Ledina. Most political experts give Barber credit for even challenging the popular Ledina, and blame her paid media consultant for not doing enough.

In 2010 we might also be voting to amend our charter to create the elected position of County Executive. It is no secret where I stand on this issue.

State Senator John Bonacic and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther will be running for reelection and no one should even question if they warrant our support.

Speaking of Gunther, I want to personally thank her for always being there for our most vulnerable. Her efforts saved Rape Intervention Services and Education (RISE), our highly respected program of intervention and counseling sexual abuse victims from closing.

Gunther must also be thanked for introducing legislation to protect our developmentally disabled population with respect to Sexual Abuse. As shocking as it may sound, it is only a misdemeanor to sexually abuse a mentally disabled person.

As we enter 2010 Sullivan County healthcare is in better shape thanks to the turnaround at CRMC.

Helping others while making productive change is what we all should embrace in 2010. Thank you to all of our dedicated volunteers. From our Volunteer firefighters, ambulance workers, to members of civic and religious organizations, and so on, we must all be grateful for them.

My New Year’s resolution to you is that I will continue to keep roaring about the issues confronting Sullivan County.

Happy and Healthy New Year!

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