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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March 15th, 2015

Village Elections Wednesday

Sullivan County residents can expect 2015 to be an exciting and heated election season as the entire Legislature, County Clerk, County Treasurer, County Coroners, all Town Supervisors (except for Lumberland), and various town positions including Town Council, Town Clerk, and Town Judge will be up for grabs this November.

But – the 2015 election season will officially begin this Wednesday in three municipalities as Village elections in Liberty, Bloomingburg, and Wurtsboro will be held.

It is important that all registered voters in these municipalities vote in these elections even if on the surface it appears that races are being uncontested.

There is always the possibility for a write-in campaign to influence the outcome of an election especially if there is a small turnout.

If voters stay away because they think their vote doesn’t matter the outcome could be far different than what is anticipated. Voter turnout and participation is imperative. No election should be taken for granted.

Village of Liberty

The outcome of the vote in the Village of Liberty will impact the municipality for the next four years as the Mayor and two trustee positions will be decided on the five member board. Liberty now has four year terms instead of the previous two year terms.

Running for Mayor on the Democratic, Republican, Conservative, and Independence lines is Trustee Ronald Stabak. Current Mayor Dan Ratner has indicated that he might be lodging an election eve write-in campaign seeking reelection.

There has been chatter and allegations on Ratner’s part that political party leaders prevented him from receiving a political party’s nomination.

The simple truth is that in the Village of Liberty registered Democrats and Republicans who attend their widely publicized political caucuses actually decide who their candidates will be. In other words the candidates who receive the most votes on the nomination floor wins.

At the Democratic caucus both Ron Stabak and Dan Ratner were nominated for Mayor. The vote by those in attendance was overwhelmingly to endorse Ron Stabak for Mayor. Although Ratner was nominated at the Democratic Caucus he did not attend.

One does not have to be registered to the political party holding a caucus to receive that Party’s nomination. In fact, in 2013, although a registered Republican, Ratner received the Democratic nomination with no opposition.

In 2013 Ratner attended the Republican Caucus seeking his party’s nomination, but then incumbent Mayor Richard Winters won it.
This year for whatever reason, Ratner chose not to attend the Republican Caucus. Ron Stabak was the only candidate nominated and received the Republican endorsement at the Republican Caucus.

In 2013 Dan Ratner ran on his own Independent Party line as well as the Democratic line. He obtained the required 75 signatures. This year he did not submit any Independent petitions.

Dan Ratner and his supporters have every right to wage a write-in campaign for Mayor if they choose to do so. But, his name is not on the ballot because he chose it not to be there.

Despite what some people might think – Ratner has a solid record of accomplishments in Liberty. He is a successful businessman, and is always there volunteering his time for many civic organizations including Veterans Affairs.

With that said – There are many who feel that Ron Stabak is the right choice for Mayor. They look at his temperament and approach to government. As Trustee, Stabak has been highly praised for his accomplishments in negotiating contracts and implementing cost effective measures in saving taxpayers money.

Prior to running for public office Stabak completed an honorable 34-year career in law enforcement. He climbed through the ranks at the New York State DEC, Division of Law Enforcement, becoming the Chief Administrator; having oversight of all law enforcement activities for the agency in the New York City area.

Running unopposed for Trustees in Liberty are incumbent Corinne McGuire and businessman and homeowner Sal Cracolici.

Corinne McGuire has a reputation of being there time and time again for Liberty. She is running on a platform that includes keeping taxes down while delivering municipal services.
Sal Cracolici is running on a platform that claims that Liberty needs economic development in order for the municipality to survive.
Voting will take place Wednesday from Noon to 9PM at Village Hall 167 Main Street in Liberty.

The Village of Bloomingburg

The controversy in the Village of Bloomingburg never ends.

This Wednesday there will be one trustee seat up for grabs, but it is filled with argument, disagreement, debate, and a lot of hullabaloo.

At center of the controversy are developer Shalom Lamm and all the allegations, investigations, and lawsuits involving voter fraud and a belief that there is an attempt to change the scope of Bloomingburg into a secular religious community.

Running for Trustee in Bloomingburg is Rural Heritage Party candidate Katherine Roemer and Unity Party Candidate Aaron Rabiner. The winner will be elected to a two  year term.

Despite who wins, much of what has and continues to happen in the Village of Bloomingburg are matters that usually are decided in a court of law.

Despite what some might believe, I am told there is no candidate running for office this year that could not run last year.

In 2014 there were objections filed against both the Rural Heritage and Bloomingburg Strong petitions. In all cases the petitions were found to be valid.

At the time, there was also an objection filed against Harold Baird’s petition and in that case as well the petition was found to be valid.

Baird’s case is similar to this year’s contention by many Bloomingburg voters that Aaron Rabiner is not eligible to run for office since he may or may not be a resident of the Village.

Sullivan County Board of Elections Commissioner Ann Prusinski told me there is NO NYS Election Law requirement that a candidate for local Office be a resident of the district in which election is sought at the time the petition is filed but merely that they are a resident of New York State.

Prusinski said, “The Board of Elections conducted and completed an Administrative review of 250 challenged voters and issued their opinion that 205 individuals should be purged from our voter rolls. We were enjoined to refrain from purging 27 of those 205 individuals whose status will presumably be decided in court on a date that has not yet been determined.”

We can expect the usual excitement as seen in recent years in Bloomingburg.

Voting will take place at the Village Hall at 13 North Road in Bloomingburg from Noon to 9 PM on Wednesday.

The Village of Wurtsboro

In Wurtsboro – Mickey Maher is running unopposed for Mayor on the Wurtsboro First line, and Frank Sisco is running unopposed for Trustee on the Wurtsboro First line.

Voting will take place at the Village Hall at 7 Pennsylvania Avenue in Wurtsboro from Noon to 9 PM on Wednesday.

In case you are curious – Next March all eyes will be on the Village of Monticello as voters there elect a Mayor, and two trustees. Incumbent Mayor Gordon Jenkins has said he does not plan to seek reelection. But, that is a long way from now.

Voters in the Village of Liberty, Bloomingburg, and Wurtsboro, please exercise your right to vote on Wednesday. For further information call the Board of Elections at (845) 807-0400.

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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