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 30th, 2014

Village Elections Map Future

Several Sullivan County Villages are gearing up for major elections to be held on Tuesday March 18, 2014. Monticello, Liberty, Bloomingburg, Wurtsboro, and Jeffersonville residents could face a major shift in their governments depending on the outcome.

All eyes will be focused on three of these municipalities, Monticello, Liberty, and Bloomingburg, with the most controversial obviously being Monticello and Bloomingburg.

All of these villages provide extensive public services to their residents. They are all responsible for impressive budgets.

Regrettably, Monticello has become famous for its political controversy. Mayor Gordon Jenkins has turned our County Seat into an embarrassment.

Jenkins has habitually used the race card as he mismanages Monticello and allows it to further sink into the ground.

Democrats loudly denounced Jenkins on Tuesday in a stunning defeat of his candidates running in a Democratic Primary. They said – Enough is Enough!

Voters overwhelmingly supported former Police Chief Douglas Solomon, and Sullivan County Planner Jill Weyer over Jenkins’ live in girlfriend Rochelle Massey and resident Oswald Allen.

Monticello Trustees Carmen Rue and Larissa Bennett campaigned heavily for Solomon and Weyer, as did Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther. Other elected officials who took a sideline are now expected to enter the fray in support of Solomon and Weyer.

Congratulations to Town of Thompson Democratic Chairman Bill James and Republican Chairman Ray Nargizian for an impressive job in uniting their forces to get out the vote for Solomon and Weyer.

In the March elections, Solomon and Weyer will be running on the Democratic, Republican, Conservative, and Independence lines. The first time all four major political parties backed the same candidates.

Massey and Allen are expected to run on Jenkins’ independent GMAN line, while another Monticello resident Vincent Gilmore is expected to make his own bid on his own independent line.

As Solomon and Weyer focus their tremendous victory from the primary to the general election nothing should be taken for granted, but hopefully positive change is finally on the horizon.

The Village of Bloomingburg has been in turmoil over the planned Hassidic Development making current residents fearful that their municipality has the possibility of turning into another Kiryas Joel.

Incumbent Mayor Mark Bernentsen has been facing the heat with accusations flying that he benefited from granting approval of the Orthodox development. Trustees have resigned from the Village board.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Schick Thursday ordered a halt to the construction of the 396 homes until next Thursday to hear arguments in a lawsuit filed.

There is a claim that the annexation of land for the development was illegal as residents did not have the opportunity to vote on it.

There has been talk of merging the Village into the Town of Mamakating to prevent “takeover” of the municipality.

Because candidates do not run on major political party lines, candidates have until February 11, 2014 to come forward.

There is expected to be a challenge to Bernentsen from the Rural Community Coalition one of the groups fighting the development.

In Liberty two trustee positions will be up for grabs.

Incumbent Trustee Joan Stoddard will be running with former Village of Liberty Police Chief Robert Mir on the Democratic and Independent line, while former Mayor Richard Winters who lost last year to current Mayor Dan Ratner will be running on the Republican and Conservative lines with former Trustee Thomas Sprague.

What is interesting in this race is that popular Mayor Ratner, a registered Republican, ran last year on the Democratic line and is supporting Stoddard and Mir in the March elections.

Stoddard and Mir are expected to run on the accomplishments of the current board, public safety, stabilized taxes, and pushing resort destination casino at Grossinger’s.

Winters and Sprague are expected to attack Ratner’s endeavors and compare them to Winters’ tenure as mayor, be less supportive of the police department, and possibly call for merging the village into the township.

This village political season should be brisk, enlightening, and hard fought to say the very least – Stay tuned.

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself on 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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