Comments by jerryrock
Posted on January 10 at 9:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)
The City of Amsterdam was steamrolled for eight years under Ann Thane. Her dictatorial decisions making changes to city owned property were all done without the consent or approval of the people or the Common Council.
Mayor Villa's election with a 2 to 1 margin, indicates the citizens of Amsterdam want change. We put our trust in Mike Villa and support his decisions. This is a media non-event driven by politics. A small following of Thane's minions are upset, the majority...not so much.
Posted on January 10 at 9:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)
This is a media non-event fueled by politics. Mayor Villa was elected by an overwhelming majority (2 to 1). Our citizens wanted change, not more of the same dictatorial attitude that erected the labyrinth without anyone's approval or consent.
Let's move on.....
Posted on April 22 at 11:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)
It is disingenuous of Mayor Ann Thane to say this project was not forgotten and always on the priority list. That is all just political spin. The truth is, the project was tossed around like a hot potato with nobody wanting to take ownership and get it done. It went from von Hasseln to the Veterans Commission, to Joe Isabel, back to von Hasseln and was finally dumped on the Recreation Director in December of 2014. There are no set plans, designs or even a location to erect the memorial. I wrote three blog articles about this situation on the Grove Street Photographer over the past four years, the last one picked up by WCSS radio and then it went viral. I am very pleased to see the WTC memorial finally getting the attention it deserves. There is something wrong with local government when you have to shame politicians into doing their jobs. Mayor Ann Thane should acknowledge responsibility for this failure and apologize sincerely to the citizens of Amsterdam and the relatives of those who died in the WTC bombing on 9/11.
Posted on February 5 at 7:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)
More appropriately, the NYS Division for Human Rights should intercede. The City of Amsterdam to date failed to adopt any local policy of non-discrimination, The city has discriminated against this group because of their religion and country of origin.
Posted on February 4 at 8:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)
There is a "set in city code" way for the Controller to go forward. Chapter 214 (Taxation) of the Amsterdam City Code details exactly how and when the Controller should collect delinquent property tax. The fact that Amsterdam had no forclosures or auctions of surplus properties in over 5 years is due to the incompetance of the elected officials at the expense of the taxpayers.
Posted on February 1 at 5:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)
Their financial backers pulled out after the properties continued to be burglarized. The city began a targeted code enforcement effort on the same properties they let rot for years. When the priperties were not being repaired quick enough for the cities liking, the violations and fines contined until the Buddhists had enough. They offered to sell each of the parcels for one dollar each. A representative from Sunlight recycling bought all of the properties and planned to scrap them. The properties were legally sold 2 years ago and no longer the responsibility of the WPHO. This year the religious organization was again targeted, this time by the Assessor who is trying to illegally revoke the religious tax exemption for the parking lots belonging to their 2 temples. There is no rational reason for this move other than to harass this religious group. This is also being usef as a smokescreen to cover up the fact that Amsterdam has not forclosed on or held a public auction in over 5 years. Any property held by the municipality is supposed to be sold at auction within 6 months of acquisition. The city now has over 600 properties for which 5 years woth of taxpayers money was used to pay guarenteed tax to the Amsterdam School District, this because of poor management and failure to do their jobs. Because of this the city has failed to collect 13.39 million in back taxes that are counted as assets in the city budget that is already in shambles. THIS is what the AG's Office needs to investigate.
Posted on January 30 at 8:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)
The owner of the River Ridge Complex and proposed expansion Paul Guttenberg, who purchased the property in 2013, has already received 1 million dollars from NYS in economic development grants, a sales tax exemption and a PILOT. Now they want the City of Amsterdam to bond for $500,000 and install improved water and sewer lines to accommodate this business, for which they will, be paid back in installments, a legal way for a municipality to loan money to a private business. Amsterdam is a financial mess, after a failed NYS audit, still does not know how much money it has in fund balance. Because of poor leadership, has not foreclosed on property or sold surplus property in over 5 years and is owed 13.39 million dollars in back taxes. Meanwhile, other local startups that would create new jobs in the city were denied economic stimulus grants or any other financial aid from the city. This project was developed by Montgomery County Business Development Center and any further financial aid should come from the county, not the cash strapped city.
Posted on January 7 at 5:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)
Over half a million dollars and none if it is going to be used to actually demolish blighted property. Instead it will be used to fund the bureaucrats responsible for letting conditions deteriorate in the first place.
Posted on January 4 at 11:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)
Several new businesses trying to open in Amsterdam applied for NYS Regional Economic Development Grants. These businesses would have created new jobs to help Amsterdam's economy. None of the local businesses that applied received any money. Why, because Amsterdam's self-serving Mayor Ann Thane left them off of her priority list that was submitted to the state. Instead she promoted her pet project, artwork for the not yet built pedestrian bridge and a facelift for city hall. Her pet projects received over half a million dollars in taxpayer funded state grants while local businesses suffer. The whole Regional Economic Development Grant process is a political farce, a front to fund political pork.
Posted on October 24 at 6:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)
The Charter proposal strips the Common Council of power and gives the Mayor even more power. It gives the Mayor total control of 4.5% of the city's $28 million dollar operating budget without any input from the Common Council. It gives the Mayor power to transfer money between funds without approval from the Common Council and to contract, create new positions all without Council approval. It removes checks and balances in place, making Amsterdam even more of a dictatorial type of government than it is now. Our fund balance is already at at all time low and our credit rating has dropped because of the spending of our current Mayor. She will soon bankrupt our city. VOTE NO TO THE CHARTER CHANGES