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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October 19th, 2012

Monticello’s Turmoil Cannot Continue

The constant turmoil and scandals plaguing the Village of Monticello cannot continue to exist. It is time for the village to dissolve and merge into the Town of Thompson once and for all.

John LiGreci was fired last week as Village Manager, a position he never should have been hired for in the first place.

During an emergency meeting called by Village Mayor Gordon Jenkins, trustees Carmen Rue and Larissa Bennett joined in ousting LiGreci. Trustees Theodore Hutchins and James Matthews voted against the measure.

LiGreci, once the favorite son of Jenkins, saw their apron strings cut once Jenkins and Hutchins began feuding. Informed sources tell me LiGreci began to take his marching orders from Hutchins, shutting Jenkins out.

LiGreci was alleged to have been holding back information from Jenkins and other trustees. In a laundry list letter addressed to Jenkins and her fellow Trustees in August, Rue gave substantial reasons to fire LiGreci.

Rue accused LiGreci with “persistently making false statements and demonstrating untrustworthiness and fiscal incompetence including financial mismanagement and failing to properly account for public funds.”

Rue also claimed that LiGreci “divisively and deceitfully” pitted elected officials against each other for his own interests and gain.

For his part, LiGreci told members of the press that Jenkins was a “dictator.” He claimed he was fired because elected officials were more concerned with politics then having him professionally run Monticello.

Jenkins will now legally serve in the capacity of Mayor, temporary Village Manager, and of course Police Chief.

Although Jenkins has been getting a lot of heat for the way he has been running the Village, supposedly he is not totally to blame.

District Attorney James Farrell has been investigating potential criminal activities hovering over the Village of Monticello. A Grand Jury has been convening during the past several weeks. I am told that a great deal of the investigation and witness testimony is surrounding LiGreci, Hutchins, and other officials, and not just Jenkins. Whether there will be any indictments remains to be seen.

The straw the broke camel’s back forcing LiGreci’s firing involved the Concord development. Apparently representatives appeared in village offices last Thursday expecting to sign a water usage agreement between the municipality and Concord developers, but Jenkins and other trustees were unprepared to sign such an agreement.

Jenkins was not even aware such a meeting was scheduled, and “just happened” to be in the office with Rue when the out of state developers appeared.

No matter what actually happened with LiGreci, the issues hovering over the Village of Monticello are very serious and simply cannot continue.

The village may very well be on the verge of bankruptcy. It appears to be in a free for all. Legal expenses alone will reach close to if not over $200,000 this year. Just a few short years ago such expenses were under $50,000.

While running for governor, Andrew Cuomo made consolidating governments a campaign issue. During a stop in Sullivan County he spoke about the need to shrink our 176 municipalities to cut costs. The Village of Monticello should take the lead and dissolve. It is broken and it cannot be fixed.

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