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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November 2nd, 2015

Election Day Is Here – Please Vote

The future of Sullivan County is at stake today, and we are all afforded the opportunity to have our say. We have the one time chance in four years to decide whom we want to represent us on the Sullivan County legislator.

If you do not come out to vote then you have nothing to complain about.

It is our obligation to sort through the campaign rhetoric, review all the issues that have confronted us during the past four years, and decide whom we feel will be the person to lead us, and work together with all of our other elected officials during the next four years.

On the Countywide level – County Clerk Dan Briggs – Treasurer Nancy Buck – and County Coroner Alan Kasten are all running unopposed.
The only contested Countywide race is to fill the coroner seat held by Tom Warren. Appointed Coroner Patrick Harrison is facing a challenge from Albee Bockman of Mobilemedic EMS.

Besides several other races which we will touch on in a bit – The big races involve the Sullivan County Legislature.

The issues confronting Sullivan County are very serious. The economy and health of our County is on the critical list. It is imperative that we vote for people whom we feel will do the best job and not elect someone based on friendships or popularity.

Unfortunately no one came to the forefront to oppose current Legislature chairman Scott Samuelson. It would have been good to see debate on his tenure as our so called leader. That debate will have to wait for another day.

There are two big open legislature races to fill the seats held by Cora Edwards and Cindy Kurpil Gieger. Both woman were highly vocal and often found themselves in heated debates over the issues which impact our lives. They both are true public servants.

Running in the districts being vacated by Edwards and Gieger are four formidable candidates.

In Edwards’ district which includes Liberty and Hurleyville, outspoken community activist and businesswoman Mirada Behan is running against Luis Alvarez a popular former member of the Sheriff’s Department.

Behan is running on the theme that she will be a fighter for the people in her district, and understands their needs and concerns while Alvarez is running on his name recognition.

Isaac Green Diebboll is running against former Sullivan County Chamber president Terri Ward. The district which covers the western end of Sullivan County also includes Swan Lake and While Sulphur.

While Ward is familiar with the inside operations of Sullivan County – Diebboll is a fresh face on the political scene representing our younger generation. He has pounded away taking his campaign door to door.

Probably the most talked about race pitting two Democrats – is the race between 16 year incumbent Kathleen LaBuda and Lumberland Supervisor Nadia Rajsz.

The district includes Forestburgh, Lumberland, and parts of Mamakating, and Highland.

LaBuda is claiming that she is running for reelection because voters in her district want her to – while Rajsz has mounted a strong campaign saying that after 16 years there is a need for change.

I have made it no secret that I support Rajsz. Sullivan County government will be a better place without Kathy LaBuda in the legislature. Nadia Rajsz has the ability to leave politics at the door and work with everyone for the benefit of Sullivan County – She proved that in Lumberland.

Legislator Kitty Vetter who currently serves as Vice Chair of the Legislature, is facing a challenge from retiring Neversink Supervisor Mark McCarthy. Besides Neversink, the district also includes Rockland.
Vetter who is known for working with Democrats has made bringing better broadband connections to Sullivan County one of her legislative goals.

IDA Chairman Ira Steingart, whom many say is responsible for securing a casino in Sullivan County is being challenged by Monticello Bagel Festival organizer Jeff Siegel. The district includes parts of Thompson and Fallsburg.

Siegel has made many statements during the past several weeks that has raised eyebrows, amongst them is ceasing the allocation of tax dollars towards not for profits.

Legislator Gene Benson who is known for his in your face brand of politics and organizing Sullivan County’s rally to fight the SAFE ACT is being challenged by likeable Fallsburg businessman and former Councilman Joey Perrello. The district includes parts of Fallsburg.

Former Legislative Chairman Jonathan Rouis is facing a challenge from Catherine Owens the wife of Mamakating Town Supervisor William Herrmann. Owens also serves as Herrmann’s confidential secretary. The war in Mamakating has been bitter with the undertone being Bloomingburg and developer Shalom Lamm. Rouis has kept his part of the campaign clean.

The final legislative race people will be watching is the one pitting incumbent legislator Alan Sorensen against Village of Monticello Trustee Aleta Gomez.

Sorensen has been viewed, as has Rouis, as the mild mannered intellectuals on the Legislature. Gomez, who is black, states the case for the need of minority representation on the legislature.

Two popular Town Judges are retiring – Perry Meltzer in Thompson and Ivan Kalter in Fallsburg. As expected the campaigns in those townships are hot and heavy.

In the Town of Thompson Steve Mogel, who is the former president of the Sullivan County Bar Association and has a law practice in Monticello is running against former Town Councilperson Sharon Jankiewicz. Both have been campaigning hard and are respected by all who know them.

While the judgeship race in Thompson has been clean and above board, I am sorry to say that is not the same in Fallsburg.

Three great qualified people are running for the respected seat being vacated by Kalter, but somehow it got very dirty and nasty and has set a disturbing tone for a local judicial race.

Running are Amanda Ward, Maria Zeno, and Stuart Wizwer.

The nastiness in the campaigns began when all three candidates decided to use the election law that allows judicial candidates to seek all political lines and nominations through a primary.
At the end of the day Zeno is running on the Democratic Line and Ward is running on the Republican Line. They are both also running on secondary lines. Zeno who is a practicing attorney is claiming that Ward is not because she has not been admitted to the bar.

Wizwer who is running on his own “Justice For All” line is a retired law enforcement official. Both Zeno and Ward view Wizwer as the possible spoiler in the race possibly taking away votes from both of them.
Wizwer has been campaigning hard and says he is in the race to win it.

Many town Supervisor and Council races are unopposed, but there are several that have become heated and downright nasty.

In the Town of Thompson, Monticello Building Inspector TJ Brawley has waged an all-out war against Supervisor Bill Rieber.

Rieber has taken the highroad in the battle and is running on his positive record. He points to all the development coming into Thompson.

What is disturbing in the Town of Thompson is the number of seasonal members of the Hassidic community that have registered to vote. It is believed that the registrations are aimed against Rieber who has taken a tough stand on code enforcement. To Rieber his concerns involve safety.

In the Town of Mamakating, Supervisor Bill Herrmann is facing a challenge from Peter Labuda, the brother of County Court Judge Frank LaBuda.

In Bethel, popular Supervisor Dan Sturm is facing a challenge from Councilwoman and fellow Democrat Lillian Hendrickson who is running on her own Independent Line.

In the Town of Forestburgh there is a bitter feud between incumbent Supervisor Bill Sipos and Highway Superintendent Dan Hogue. Both are Democrats, but Sipos is running on the Republican line after his loss in the Democratic Primary.

In the Town of Highland, there is a bitter battle between Donald Hass and Charles Petersheim.

For a complete list of candidates please visit:

Thank you to all those dedicated people seeking elective office.

Today is the day to have our say. We can all make a difference by voting.
Please vote.

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.

1 comment to Election Day Is Here – Please Vote

  • Jack McGuiness

    I listened to the debate between Rajsz and LaBuda. Thanks for providing the link. Ms. Rajsz has so much more on the ball than the current legislator. Ms. LaBuda’s claims to have done this for that group and that for the other group were vague at best and evasive at worst. It’s time for a change. I can tell you that Ms.Labuda was invisible when the village of Bloomingburg was in the throes of a hostile takeover by an unscrupulous developer and his cronies (Duane Roe, Berentsen, Wood)? There are no programs in this town geared towards young people, there are no jobs, there is a major drug epidemic, the local roads are in need of repair, there are no new businesses. What has the legislator done in any if those areas? Nothing that I can see. Talk of “Experience Matters,” is cheap. We need a change. The good old boy network hasn’t worked. Give someone else a chance.