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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September 1st, 2011

Summer draws to a close

It is time to pack up our white shoes and open that box of moth balls. Who can believe it is Labor Day weekend?

As our summer community packs up, and schools prepare to open, the quality of life in Sullivan County once again becomes front and center.

Tragically, our County is in the worst financial shape it has ever been in and there still is no sign of any major economic development on the horizon.

Our hopes for casino gaming seems to be going nowhere despite the diehard support of our elected officials.

Although Governor Andrew Cuomo recently said he is working on a plan to bring us legalized gaming, the industry continues to flourish elsewhere.

State Senator John Bonacic, who heads the senate’s powerful wagering and gaming committee will be holding hearings next week and he plans to include Sullivan County in them.

Bonacic told me, “In ten years since Native American gaming has been legalized in Sullivan County, no casino has broken ground or been approved. The federal government changes the rules as to who qualifies whenever they deem it convenient to do so. Senator Reid, the Majority Leader from Nevada, has pledged to fight Native American gaming in the Catskills. I don’t rule out Native American gaming, but the facts speak for themselves and I am seeking input on another path forward.”

Our elected officials will indeed have a heavy plate ahead of them this fall.

Although there are no federal or state positions up for grabs, we can anticipate a big campaign season. The entire County Legislature is up as are all Town Supervisors and many local positions.

Six incumbent legislators are seeking reelection. Two Republicans and two Democrats often vote as a block. With all of the problems we are confronting, it will be fascinating to hear the defense and rhetoric they have to offer.

It will also be interesting to see how angry our electorate really is and if our angry labor movement will have any impact.

In some local townships the fight for political office is already downright dirty.

At a recent Democratic caucus, Republican Town of Callicoon Supervisor Tom Bose was accused with filling the room with Democrats in an attempt to get the opposition party’s nod over Bruce Ferguson.

And, four Democrats running in the Town of Delaware seeking the Rural Heritage Party line were thrown off the ballot due to a technicality challenge from Town Republican Chairman Gerald Mudge.

Supervisor candidate Steve Lundgren and board candidates Dick Ried, Marc Dubrovsky and John Murphy were kicked off ballot not because they didn’t have the correct number of signatures, but because a pencil mark was missing from their petitions. This will show you how low and desperate political leaders will get to protect their candidates.

Several primaries are slated for next week with two well known town judges holding on for dear life. In the Town of Thompson, Judge Perry Meltzer is facing a battle from insurgent John Kelly, and in Bethel, Judge Harold Block is facing strong primary challenges from former Town Judge Cindy Barber and lawyer Susan Harte.

However, before we start thinking about all the political antics, let’s not forget the true meaning of Labor Day.

Let’s send accolades to the contributions labor has made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our great nation.

Have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend.

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