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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May 12th, 2019

Legislators Don’t Give a Damn What We Think! 6 Table Motion to Bring Staggered Term Issue to a Public Referendum

Legislators Nadia Rajsz, Luis Alvarez, and Kathy Owens should be saluted by all Sullivan County voters for wanting the people of Sullivan County to decide by referendum if legislative terms should be staggered.

Apparently, legislators Mark McCarthy, Ira Steingart, Scott Samuelson, Terri Ward, Alan Sorensen, and Joseph Perrello could care less what we think. They don’t want you to have any say in this matter or probably anything else.

If you recall, last month Members of the Sullivan County Legislature killed the motion to support staggered terms after duping Sullivan County into believing that they would vote to support staggered terms as a measure to better run our County Government.

The bipartisan Charter Review Commission (of which I was a member) met for over two and a half years looking into our form of Sullivan County Government.

The research was extensive. I can not even begin to tell you how many people were interviewed not only from Sullivan County, but throughout the State of New York.

Among the recommendations of the Charter Review Commission was the need to stagger the terms of our legislators and to change our government to include the position of an elected County Executive.

These actions by the six legislators are a direct slap in the face towards the Charter Review Commission which was appointed by the Sullivan County Legislature.

While everyone knew the legislature would shelve the County Executive proposal – it was the complete opposite when it came to staggered terms.

Sullivan County Legislators welcomed with open arms the concept to stagger legislative terms for the past three years. County Attorney Cheryl McCausland even put together a plan that would have started after this year’s election cycle.

Five legislators would have been up for four-year terms, and four would have been up for two-year terms, to begin the four-year staggered cycle.

Mark McCarthy’s and Ira Steingart’s comments during last week’s executive session of the legislature are outrageous to say the least.

Steingart who is the only legislator running unopposed and is also chair of the powerful IDA that continually awards millions in tax abatements, claimed that Rajsz, Owens, and Alvarez supported a referendum because of “political pressure.”

Political pressure? Why Mr. Steingart? Because, they wanted the people of Sullivan County to debate and vote on this issue by public referendum? What would you be saying if you had a strong opponent running against you?

McCarthy in comments reported in the Times Herald Record claimed the move was a “political stunt.” A political stunt? To have the voters of Sullivan County debate and decide on the issue?

McCarthy who is not seeking reelection and comes from Neversink where he served many years as a Supervisor and Councilman, forgets that his municipality as does every other municipality in Sullivan County has staggered terms for their elected officials.

In a quote in Times Herald Record he says, “This is about a group of people that sit at the Liberty Diner and dictate that certain people go into the Liberty Diner, how things are gonna go and they’re frightened of that group that campaigns against them, so that’s why this is before us again today.”

First of all, Nadia Rajsz and Kathy Owens never frequent the Liberty Diner. Alvarez does, and he speaks with both Democrats and Republicans and listens to everyone’s viewpoints. He even speaks with and discusses issues with his Democratic challenger Miranda Behan!

Even “Brother” McCarthy is often seen at the Liberty Diner stuffing his face and discussing political issues with others.

Hypocrite Scott Samuelson questions how the issue got on the agenda? Should we look back at when he was chairman and ran a closed-door legislature with legislators not knowing what was going on?

Alan Sorenson and Joe Perrello have two credible opponents running against them in November, and I hope and pray that George Nicolados and Gene Benson make this an election issue.

Terri Ward is not seeking reelection.

Clearly, The Sullivan County Legislature should be ashamed of themselves – and indeed they will have a lot to answer for to the public when they campaign for re-election in November.

The bipartisan proposal to stagger terms received wide support coming from both Democratic and Republican leadership.

Even Sullivan County Republican Chairman Richard Coombe (whose party controls the legislature) made a plea at public hearing urging legislators to support staggered terms.

What are they so afraid of?

How could they turn 360 degrees on the staggered term issue so quickly?

The need to stagger terms of legislators is simple. The past election cycles have seen voters dramatically change the legislative body forcing a dramatic learning curve on legislators and a slow-down of the operations and leadership of Sullivan County Government.

There needs to be consistency in running our county government and kicking out all our elected officials in one single swoop does not always work.

Certain people who are nonelected and in positions of power such the County Manager and County Attorney need to take direction form the legislature.

We need elected officials who are knowledgeable with the inner workings of our government, County Charter and Codes.

A group of Sullivan County leaders are now talking about organizing and bringing the staggered term and County Executive issues directly to the voters by petition for us to decide in a public referendum.

My heart goes out to people like Doreen Hanson, who’s late son JJ fought long and hard as one of the chairs of the Charter Review Commission to bring us staggered terms and a county executive.

Rajsz told me she and Doreen had tears in their eyes when the legislature voted to slap JJ’s memory in the face by tabling the motion to bring the vote for a public referendum.

The entire legislature is up for re-election this November and many people are looking to throw out this bunch of legislators for many diverse reasons.

It is time for the people of Sullivan County to speak out and contact their legislators and tell them how you feel.  Of course,  we now know they could care less what you think – Especially those running unopposed or not seeking reelection.

This is not a Democrat or Republican issue – This is about the people of Sullivan County having a say and being able to debate an important issue.

The majority of our legislators clearly Don’t Give a Damn about us.

Thank you – Nadia Rajsz, Luis Alvarez, and Kathy Owens for trying to do the right thing!

Contact your Legislator:

District 1  Scott B. Samuelson (D) | Phone: 845-807-0443 | Scott.samuelson@co.sullivan.ny.us

District 2  Nadia Rajsz (D) | Vice Chairman | Phone: 845-807-0442 | Nadia.Rajsz@co.sullivan.ny.us

District 3  Mark McCarthy (D) | Phone: 845-807-0441 | Mark.McCarthy@co.sullivan.ny.us

District 4  Catherine Owens (R) | Phone: 845- 807-0445 | Catherine.Owens@co.sullivan.ny.us

District 5  Terri Ward (R) | Phone: 845-807-0438 | Terri.Ward@co.sullivan.ny.us

District Luis Alvarez (R) | Chairman | Phone: 845-807-0177 | Luis.Alvarez@co.sullivan.ny.us

District 7 Joseph Perrello (R) | Phone: 845-807-0439 | Joseph.Perrello@co.sullivan.ny.us

District 8  Ira M. Steingart (D) | Minority Leader  | Phone: 845-807-0440 |Ira.steingart@co.sullivan.ny.us

District 9 Alan Sorensen (R) | Majority Leader | Phone: 845-807-0444 | Alan.sorensen@co.sullivan.ny.us

 

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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