Monday, October 04, 2010

Stephentown Democrats Select Candidates for November 2, 2010

Our thanks to the enthusiastic Stephentown Democrats and guests who attended our Caucus on September 16 at the Fire Hall. The local Democratic Party continues to gain momentum and to build its reputation for being well-organized and focused on its goal of providing excellent, bipartisan candidates for local positions.

The local candidates on the Democratic line (Row A) in the November 2 election will be:

Bill Jennings - Town Council





Wes Edwards – Town Justice




Bill Jennings has resided in Stephentown for 33 years. He is very active in the Fire District, Fire Department, Historical Society and the Library, and is also a member of the Stephentown Democratic Committee. Bill is retired from a distinguished academic career at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and brings an energy level and commitment to excellence that will be a welcome addition to town government. Bill would join Democrats PJ Roder and Chris Demick on the Town Council, providing a new direction for the future of Stephentown. His election will ensure that Stephentown continues to move forward and avoids a return to the embarrassments and mistakes of the past.

Wes Edwards has served Stephentown residents with distinction for 47 years as Town Justice. He is a registered Republican and will also appear on the Republican and Conservative lines, but is pleased to be part of our continuing bipartisan approach to finding the best available candidates for local positions. We are delighted to have him join our ticket for the first time in his long and distinguished career.

We invite everyone to a Meet the Candidates event on Sunday, October 17 from 2-4 pm in the Fire Hall. The event is open to all Stephentown Residents. Light refreshments will be served and Democratic candidates for national and state positions have been invited to attend. Introductions will begin at 2:30 pm.

We were very successful last November, with every local candidate on Row A winning his/her election. We now have the opportunity to take an active part in moving Stephentown forward, but we cannot do it without your continued support. Please make sure you vote on November 2. Please also consider sending a contribution to the address at the top of this letter. Contributions will also be accepted on October 17 at our Meet the Candidates event at the Fire Hall.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

STEPHENTOWN DEMOCRATS SCORE DECISIVE VICTORIES

TOWN DEMOCRATS WIN IN VIRTUAL SWEEP

Democrats scored a decisive victory on election day as voters turned out in huge numbers in Stephentown and provided Democrats with almost a complete sweep of offices.

“This was a great day for the Town of Stephentown, and a great day for Stephentown Democrats”, said Andrew White, Chair of the Stephentown Democratic Committee. “The voters have clearly chosen to move forward in a positive direction. We offered residents a slate of hard working candidates with proven integrity, honesty and commitment to the well being of the entire Town of Stephentown and the final vote reflects that. We are very grateful to our friends and neighbors turning out in record numbers for a local election.”

Cyril Grant was returned as Town Justice by an overwhelming vote of 758-307 over challenger Joe Champion. PJ Roder and Chris Demick were re-elected to their second terms on the Town Council, receiving 633 and 664 votes, respectively. Challengers John Meekins and Donald Burdick received 387 and 374 votes, respectively, in a race that was never close. Town Clerk Patty Gallup and Tax Collector Ruth Rieger appeared on both the Row A and Row B, receiving totals of 976 votes and 998 votes, the vast majority of which were on the Democratic line.

Appointed Highway Superintendent Aldie Goodermote was elected to his first full term by a vote of 682-445 over Republican Neil Gardner, a convicted felon who had been removed from office the previous year. Republican Larry Eckhardt, ran unopposed for Supervisor and receiving a stunningly low total of only 491 votes.

Stephentown’s Democratic sweep was almost total as candidates for County offices also scored victories. Judge Andrew Ceresia received 619 votes over Charles Wilcox’s 386. In the race to replace retired Stephentown resident Judge Linda Griffin as Rensselaer County Family Court Judge, Troy Attorney Beth Walsh received 526 votes to 418 for Arthur Dunn. In the race for the two County Legislator District 5 seats, Democrats Suzanne Putnam received 468 votes and Bob Melesky 440. Republicans received their only good news of the night as incumbent Lester Goodermote edged out a lead with 478 votes while incumbent Stan Brownell came in third with 458 votes.

“A new era has begun in Stephentown,” said White. “The voters have spoken. Today’s results show that residents want a government that works for everyone.”

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Superintendent of Highways: Alden "Aldie" Goodermote



Alden Goodermote
Highway Superintendent

Aldie Goodermote seeks your support for election as Stephentown Highway Superintendent. Aldie is a lifelong resident of Stephentown and graduated from Berlin Central School. He first worked for many years at Sykes Store and then joined the Stephentown Highway Department in 1992.

Aldie was appointed Highway Superintendent in October, 2008 when Neil Gardner was forced to resign following his conviction on 24 felony counts in his role as Highway Superintendent. Aldie has done an outstanding job since taking over. He has brought honesty, integrity and accountability to a position that has lacked all three for the past two decades. Aldie works full time as part of the highway crew, as well as serving as Highway Superintendent, saving Stephentown the expense of a full salaried position, nearly $50,000 a year.

Within months of Aldie’s appointment, Stephentown was able to implement a Fuel Management System that accurately accounts for the fuel used by each town vehicle. It is also shared with the Stephentown Fire District, which had been seeking such a shared system for a long time, but which had always been opposed by Neil Gardner. This is a prime example of how Aldie can help move Stephentown forward.

For those who live on town roads, a dramatic improvement in quality and oversight has been observed since Aldie became Highway Superintendent. Aldie can be seen almost daily, taking inventory of the condition of each of the town’s roads, and follow up by he and his crew is immediate. No better example can be given than the tremendous work by Aldie and his crew during the recent flood.

Aldie works well with an experienced, well-established crew. Each brings his own strengths to the department and Aldie uses these strengths appropriately. He looks forward to continuing with this crew, as well as adding other, capable, honest employees as members of the crew approach retirement. The opposition has promised to dismiss all current employees and to create an entirely new crew. This would be a disastrous direction for Stephentown to take. Aldie also works well with the other local highway departments, and the Rensselaer County Highway Department. He knows what it means to engage in “shared services”, a concept his predecessor could not understand.

Aldie is honest, dependable, and hard-working. He represents a complete break from the chaos of the past. He has demonstrated what he can do. He deserves your support for election as Highway Superintendent in Stephentown.

Town Council: Christopher Demick



Chris Demick
Town Council

Chris Demick seeks your support for re-election as a member of the Stephentown Town Council. Chris is a lifelong resident of Stephentown and a graduate of Berlin Central School. Chris also completed Hudson Valley Community College’s HVAC program. He is a member of the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union Local #7 and has worked for 20 years as an HVAC technician for Honeywell. He and his wife, Christine, and their two children live on Madden Road. His hobbies include hunting, fishing and camping.

Chris is completing his first 4-year term on the Town Council. He has worked effectively with PJ Roder to bring more integrity, accountability and a more open forum to the Stephentown community. He worked to implement a new Fuel Management System for the Town and shared services with the Stephentown Fire District, the Berlin School District, and the Rensselaer County Highway Department. He has also worked with the Dog Control Officer to improve local laws and enforcement procedures of stray and mistreated animals.

Chris and PJ have worked closely with ERCSWMA, which has improved Stephentown’s input into the day-to-day operations of the Transfer Station, which accounts for 20% of the Town Budget. This has allowed the modification of services to better meet the needs of Stephentown residents and a lowering of overall costs. They have also been successful in making improvements at the Transfer Station, including the installation of concrete pads, and the Town Garage, including repairs to the roof and overhead doors, and the installation of new entry doors. Chris and PJ have also worked through the budget process to procure a new snow plow and mowing tractor for the Town Highway Department.

Chris has been a positive force on the Town Council and is dedicated to taking a bipartisan approach to the issues of Stephentown. He often says he is “just a regular guy trying to do what is right for my family and the community.” He deserves the chance to serve Stephentown for another four years.


Town Council: Philip "P.J." Roder



P.J. Roder
Town Council

Philip (P.J.) Roder seeks your support for re-election as a member of the Stephentown Town Council. He is a graduate of Averill Park High School, has taken additional courses at HVCC, and has completed the first two levels of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) training. He serves as a Board Member for the Eastern Rensselaer County Solid Waste Management Authority, and is an active member of Laborers International Local 157 and the Stephentown Trail Riders Snowmobile Club. PJ lives on South Moore Hill Road with his wife, Eileen, and his stepson. His hobbies include hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and auto racing

PJ has been a Superintendent for Rifenburg Contracting Corporation for over 12 years, where he is involved with the day-to-day operations of state, municipal and private construction projects. Recent projects he has headed include the new Beechnut Plant in Montgomery County and the Albany Landfill Expansion. He typically is in charge of projects valued at several million dollars and often has 50-60 employees under his direction. He is accountable for all purchasing and spending on these projects, giving him extensive experience with budgets. He also coordinates the work of both employees and sub-contractors, which has led to the development of strong management and interpersonal skills. He knows what it takes to develop a productive team and how to work as a member of a team.

PJ has found his first term on the Town Council to be both fulfilling and fun. Although members of the Town Council often disagree, PJ enjoys working with his colleagues to find solutions that are in the best interest of everybody in Stephentown. He was part of a team that ran 4 years ago on the platform of Accountability and Integrity in local government and will continue this focus if re-elected. Accomplishments he is proud of participating in during his first term include a lowering of expenditures for Legal Council, implementation of a new Fuel Management System for the Town (which is shared with the Fire District), improvements in both the Town Garage and the Transfer Station, and the development of spreadsheets to track expenditures for the Transfer Station, the Fuel Management System, and an Inventory of all Town assets. As one example of how accountability works, he sites the decrease in expenditures for uniform cleaning from $8,000 per year to $2,500 per year.

Town Justice: Cyril Grant


Cyril Grant
Town Justice

Cyril Grant seeks your support for re-election as Town Justice. Cyril is lifelong resident of Stephentown and a graduate of both Berlin Central School and Hudson Valley Community College. He has been the Superintendent of Grounds & Buildings at Berlin Central School since 2005. He lives on Garfield Road with his wife, Mary, and their two daughters.

Cyril has a sincere commitment to public service. He served 10 years as a member of the Town Council and is now completing his 10th year as Town Justice. He has been a member of the Stephentown Volunteer Fire Department for 28 years, serving 7 years as Assistant Chief and 5 years as Chief. He currently serves as Deputy Fire Coordinator for the Rensselaer County Bureau of Public Safety, providing service to Battalion 5, which comprises Stephentown, Berlin, Petersburgh and Hoosick.

Cyril is a proven, bipartisan government official who works diligently alongside his Democratic and Republican colleagues to improve the services and quality of life for all residents of Stephentown. As a member of the Town Council, he was directly responsible for the oversight and successful completion of the Town Hall expansion and renovation project. He was also significantly involved with the successful closure of the former Town Dump, the creation of the current Transfer Station, the construction of the Salt Shed at the Town Highway Garage, and the purchase of several new Town Highway vehicles and equipment.

As Town Justice, he has presided over hundreds of cases during his 10 years as a judge, including some of the most serious misdemeanor charges that one could face. He is an experienced Town Justice who has successfully completed all Basic and Advanced Level Training as required by the Office of Court Administration, as well as extra curricular education and training as sponsored by the OCA, DCJS, New York State Magistrates Association, and Rensselaer County Magistrates Association. Cyril, along with his co-Judge and Court Clerk, was able to retain the services of a renown Prosecuting Attorney to handle all pre-trial conferences in conjunction with vehicle and traffic matters dealing with the New York State Police, most of which were previously being dismissed. This has significantly increased net Town Court revenue in Stephentown while simultaneously providing fair justice for all.

If re-elected as Town Justice, Cyril will continue to be a dedicated public servant who works hard and remains current with the many changes that continue to occur in the New York State Court System. He will remain a judge that is fair yet firm, and who treats everyone who comes before him with dignity and respect.

“I would be honored to continue to serve the residents of Stephentown as your Town Justice for the next 4 years, and I humbly ask for your support”

Town Clerk: Patty Gallup



Patty Gallup
Town Clerk

Patty Gallup seeks your support for re-election as Stephentown Town Clerk. Patty is a lifelong resident of the Stephentown area and 24 year resident of Stephentown. She is a graduate of Averill Park School, the Elim Bible Institute and Albany Business College. She is also a licensed Notary Public. She and her husband, Lyle, and their three children live on Gentile Road.

Patty has served as Stephentown Town Clerk for the past 14 years. She is also the Registrar of Vital Records and the Records Management Officer for the Town. She is a member of the New York State Town Clerk’s Association, the Rensselaer County Town Clerk’s Association and the Association of Towns. She has led the computerization of the Town Clerk’s Office and successfully secured a Records Inventory Grant. Her work is regularly audited by both State and private auditors and has always received excellent reports.

Patty exhibits a positive work ethic and has demonstrated the ability to effectively work with a variety of town officials, both Democrats and Republicans. She runs the Office of the Town Clerk with efficiency and integrity. She interacts directly with residents more often than any other town official. She knows in detail how town government works. We need her experience and her commitment to accountability and integrity as Stephentown moves forward. She has earned your support for re-election.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Why Does Gardner Need a Gun to Campaign?

Why does convicted felon Neil Gardner need a gun to campaign? What is convicted felon Tom Spargo, a lawyer convicted of extortion and attempted bribery, trying to pull now? Who are they trying to intimidate? Gardner's opponents - YOUR elected officials here in Stephentown? Or YOU the voters of Stephentown?

Is he afraid of the voters of Stephentown? He should be. On Tuesday, November 3, 2009 YOU get the right to exercise the strongest weapon in the American arsenal... The Secret Ballot.

We, the Democratic candidates on Row A, trust that you, the voters, the people of Stephentown, clearly see through Gardner's desperate attempts to deceive you and cast blame for his troubles anywhere but where they belong... squarely on him and him alone.

On Tuesday, November 3, go to the Polls. Exercise your right to Vote. Send a strong message that this sort of behavior has no place in government.


Judge refuses to return candidate's a pistol permit

BOB GARDINIER, Staff writer
Last updated: 5:22 p.m., Friday, October 23, 2009

STEPHENTOWN -- Neil Gardner, the former town highway superintendent who lost his job last year after a felony conviction for filing false documents, wants his permit to carry a gun back.

Gardner and his attorney Thomas Spargo appeared before county Judge Robert Jacon this morning asking for a certificate of relief from the aspect of his felony conviction that prevents him from holding a pistol permit.

Assistant Attorney General Nancy Snyder told Jacon the state does not want Gardner to get the relief.

Gardner, who is running for re-election in November to the post he lost, said his property in town has been vandalized, including people stealing his campaign signs.

''I bought 90 signs and only have 30 left,'' Gardner said after court.

Gardner said he also needs the permit back because a company building electricity-generating windmills at Jiminy Peak in Massachusetts is using his property to store expensive parts that Gardner needs to guard.

Jacon told Gardner he was concerned over an ''air of vigilantism'' he saw in his court papers.

''This is just Stephentown, for God sakes, not Miami,'' Jacon said.

Jacon then denied Gardner the relief.

The Town Republican Committee is backing Gardner, a popular Republican, to run for the post he held for 20 years before his December conviction.

Despite the conviction, Gardner can run for office because he received probation.

Rules governing politicians with felony convictions are covered under the state's Public Officers Law, not election law, said John Conklin, director of public information for the state Board of Elections.

''A felony conviction means removal from office but there is nothing to bar the person from running for the office again after their sentence is up,'' Conklin said.

State law only prohibits a convicted felon from ever running for any judicial office.

Gardner was sentenced to five years' probation on charges he filed forged documents to cover up illegal gravel purchases for the town from a mining operation that had no permit.

Bob Gardinier can be reached at 454-5696 or bgardinier@timesunion.com.

TO: Our Friends and Neighbors of Stephentown

October 12, 2009

TO: Our Friends and Neighbors of Stephentown

FROM: The Stephentown Democratic Committee

Over the past two weeks several attempts have been made to distract the focus of the current election campaign. A lawsuit, since dismissed, was filed in Supreme Court in an attempt to steal your right to a choice in town elections. Political signs have been stolen and thrown in the woods; lawns left torn up by tire tracks and mailboxes bashed in by bats. This has occurred at homes of both Democrats and Republicans. The common factor is that all this activity has been directed against people opposed to the return of convicted felon Neil Gardner to office. While Neil Gardner is by no means the only issue facing Stephentown this year, he has, unfortunately, made himself the most divisive one.

Is it in the best interest of Stephentown to have a man convicted of 24 felony counts while in the performance of his duties as Highway Superintendent returned to the office he was removed from upon conviction?

Or, is it better for Stephentown to move forward, leaving legal troubles and embarrassments behind us, by keeping Aldie Goodermote as Highway Superintendent?

We believe the choice is a clear and obvious one. Aldie Goodermote is well known as an honest, hard working man of integrity and ability. He has done a superb job this past year. His work during the flood has been widely praised. We believe Stephentown is best served by electing Aldie and all the Row A candidates who will work with him for the best interests of Stephentown on Tuesday, November 3. The choice rests with you.

Neil Gardner has many friends and supporters in town that continue to stand by him. This is understandable. He is a lifelong resident who held the office of Highway Superintendent for over 20 years. It is very unfortunate that his actions have become so divisive, and destructive of the well-being and reputation of our beautiful town. Do not let his tactics confuse the real issue.

The Stephentown Democratic Committee, its coalition slate of candidates, and their supporters, have not and will not, engage in juvenile and illegal behavior. We do not condone vandalism, theft or political game playing of any sort. This is not what we stand for. Our platform is one of Integrity and Accountability in town government.

We offer you a slate of experienced, hard-working and honest candidates committed to serving the interests of everyone in Stephentown. We ask that Stephentown residents stay focused on the facts, and make wise decisions on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3.

Stephentown Democratic Committee:

Andrew White Bill Jennings Mary Grant Bill Sell

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stephentown Democratic Signs Found in Berlin Woods

PRESS RELEASE: EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY

DEMOCRATIC SIGNS FOUND IN WOODS


Stephentown Signs Found in Woods off Schaefer Road in Berlin

25 Democratic lawn signs were found dumped in the woods off the very remote Schaefer Road in the Town of Berlin on Thursday, October 8. The signs were found by a NYSEG meter reader who happened to come across them while walking in the woods. Trooper Silvernail of the New York State Police investigated and released the signs to Town Justice Cyril Grant and Town Councilman PJ Roder, who had been notified of the discovery. Most of the signs were still intact.

“Well, at least we have some of our stolen signs back”, said Andrew White, Chair of the Stephentown Democratic Committee. “They have been disappearing at a rapid rate throughout the town, along with the vandalism of mailboxes and lawns.”

Several additional reports of missing Democratic signs were made to the State Police on Friday afternoon, October 9. This latest activity closely followed the decision by Judge Roger McDonough to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to throw out the entire Democratic slate. This suit was filed by supporters of convicted felon and Republican Party candidate for Highway Superintendent, Neil Gardner. Investigations are continuing.

“I want to make it absolutely clear that the Stephentown Democratic Committee, its coalition slate of candidates, and their supporters have not, and will not, engage in immature behavior of this nature,” said White. “We are trying to move Stephentown forward in a positive direction. We call on all Stephentown residents to help bring these bullying and thuggish actions to an end. Stephentown deserves better.”

Lawsuit dismissed against Democrats

Published: Saturday, October 10, 2009
By Danielle Sanzone
The Record

STEPHENTOWN —A lawsuit which would have left the town’s Democrats without a slate in next month’s elections was dismissed Friday.

Three town residents filed the suit against the Democrats stating that the Democratic caucus on Sept. 18 was not advertised sufficiently in the community. Democrats admitted that they “unintentionally” did not use the newspaper to announce their caucus but they did post information about the event at about 10 locations, said town Democratic Chairman Andrew White.

Local law states that either a newspaper should be used or 10 announcements in the community. The town Republicans used both methods, said Tammy Madden, the town’s GOP chair, who was subpoenaed to give testimony Thursday. She said she was unaware of the suit until then.

Democratic officials claim that three residents — James Phillips, Stacey Shufelt, and Kelly Beebe — were asked by Neil Gardner, the GOP candidate for highway superintendent, to file the suit so he would not have any competition for his position.

“We’re obviously very pleased with the court decision,” said White. The case was decided by state Supreme Court Judge Roger McDonough. “This was a completely frivolous suit, and represents the action of a desperate candidate. It was filed in an attempt to divert the focus of this campaign away from the fact that a convicted felon is running for the same office in which he committed 24 felonies.”

Gardner held the highway superintendent position for more than two decades until he was ousted after being convicted in October 2008 on 24 felonies, including 12 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and 12 felony counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing.

The charges stemmed from Gardner purchasing gravel in 2004 and 2005 for the town from an illegal mine on Route 22 which did not have a permit. Gardner could have faced seven years in prison but he was sentenced to five years probation instead.

Since he did not serve any time, he is eligible to run for the office again, said Madden.

“He had the job for more than 20 years and did a good job. The people nominated him to serve again,” she said.

Gardner was unable to be reached for comment.

The GOP faces an all-incumbent slate, including Gardner’s opponent in the race Aldie Goodermote who was appointed to the position after Gardner’s conviction. The rest of the slate is made up of both Democrats and Republicans: Cyril Grant for town justice, Chris Demick and Philip Roder for council, Patty Gallup for town clerk, and Ruth Rieger for town tax collector. The two latter candidates are Republicans.

The GOP slate includes: Larry Eckhardt for supervisor who is running unopposed, John Meekins for councilman, Donald Burdick for councilman, and Joe Champion for town justice. Both Rieger and Gallup are also running on the Republican line.

Danielle Sanzone may be reached at 270-1292 or by email at dsanzone@troyrecord.com.

Lawsuit by Gardner Supporters Dismissed

PRESS RELEASE: EFFECTIVE DATE 10/9/2009

LAWSUIT BY GARDNER SUPPORTERS DISMISSED

Acting Supreme Court Judge Roger McDonough ruled today to dismiss a lawsuit filed by supporters of convicted felon, Neil Gardner, seeking to throw out the entire Stephentown Democratic slate for the upcoming election. The candidates chosen at the Democratic Caucus held September 18 at the Fire Hall, attended by over 150 Stephentown Democrats and their Republican guests, will remain on the ballot. Voters are now ensured of a choice in the November election, although it is possible that an appeal could be filed.

“We are very pleased with the decision of Judge McDonough”, said Andrew White, Chair of the Stephentown Democratic Committee. “This was a completely frivolous suit, and represents the action of a desperate candidate. It was filed in an attempt to divert the focus of this campaign away from the fact that a convicted felon is running for the same office in which he committed 24 felonies. This is the real issue. We expected diversionary tactics such as this, as well as the campaign of vandalism, theft and destruction that Gardner and/or his supporters are waging in Stephentown. We expect that on Election Day, Stephentown residents will say Enough is Enough.”

Democratic Candidate Signs Stolen and Destroyed

PRESS RELEASE: EFFECTIVE DATE 10/6/2009

POLITICAL SIGNS STOLEN AND DESTROYED

In a night of vandalism, theft, and destruction, political signs belonging to supporters of the Democratic slate of candidates were stolen from private lawns, run over and otherwise vandalized at various locations throughout Stephentown.

At least two official reports have been filed with the New York State Police, and at least 6 other incidents are known to have occurred during the night of October 5. Residents are encouraged to report any incidents occurring on their property to the State Police and to keep a close eye on signs, particularly those placed on private property.

In one incident, signs supporting the “Row A” coalition of Democratic and Republican candidates were stolen from a resident’s front yard and replaced by a Neil Gardner sign. In another incident a resident’s mail box was vandalized, which is a federal crime.

Signs in support of “Row A” candidates on the November ballot have already been destroyed or removed from the following locations: Madden Road, NY 22, Goold Road, Gentile Road, Garfield Road, South Stephentown Road and Hanky Mull Road. These signs had been put up on Saturday, October 3rd.

“Sadly, more such destruction and theft can be expected,” said Andrew White, Chair of the Stephentown Democratic Committee, which paid for the purchase of these signs, “This occurred to a smaller degree 2 years ago when signs were stolen from private property on Rt. 22.”

White went on to say, “This is exactly the sort of behavior we are working hard to bring to an end in Stephentown. Our ‘Row A’ slate of candidates is a coalition of Democrats and Republicans that have shown the integrity and just plain basic decency to stand up to this thuggish behavior. We call on all sensible residents, of all parties, to help put an end to this criminal behavior. Enough is Enough.”

Gardner Supporters try to Nullify Caucus

PRESS RELEASE: EFFECTIVE DATE 10/6/2009

GARDNER SUPPORTERS TRY TO NULLIFY CAUCUS

Supporters of convicted felon, Neil Gardner, filed a lawsuit in Supreme Court on Thursday, October 1, asking that the results of the Stephentown Democratic Caucus be thrown out. The suit was filed in the Supreme Court in Troy on October 1. A date has been set for Thursday, October 8, at 2 pm in front of Judge McDonough. The suit was filed by Stephentown residents James Phillips, Kelly Beebe, and Stacey Shufelt. Phillips twice attempted to disrupt the Democratic Caucus before nominating Republican Gardner for Highway Superintendent. Beebe, is a niece of long-time Republican operative and Gardner advisor, Janet Atwater. Shufelt works with Gardner’s sons at Clark Engineering.

“This is completely outrageous,” said Andrew White, Chair of the Stephentown Democratic Committee. “They are trying to take away the right to vote in Stephentown. Our residents have the right to choose someone other than a convicted felon for office.”

Gardner was removed from office in October 2008, following his conviction on 24 felony counts related to his actions as Stephentown Highway Superintendent. He is the Republican Party candidate for this position in the November election, having narrowly defeated the current Highway Superintendent, Aldie Goodermote, by a vote of 89-75 at the Republican Caucus. The popular Goodermote soundly defeated Gardner by a vote of 111-13 at the Democratic Caucus.

Tom Wade, Chair of the Rensselaer County Democratic Committee, who attended the Stephentown Caucus added, “The audacity of this convicted felon to think that he can now steal the election through the courts after losing at a legally called Democratic Caucus is appalling. The Democratic Caucus was announced through a variety of legal, effective means. The effectiveness is evidenced by the record number of participants; a full 50% increase over any such Caucus Stephentown has ever had. The charges are simply ridiculous and represent the action of a desperate candidate. He is clearly afraid of facing the public in a fair and open election.”

“It is even more outrageous to learn that Gardner and his supporters are being advised by Tom Spargo, the disrobed, disbarred, and disgraced former judge and ex-attorney,” said White. “Our information on the driving force behind these filings comes from none other than the Rensselaer County GOP. It shows that the Rensselaer County Republican candidates are embarrassed with having to share a ballot with this convicted felon. It’s time for Stephentown residents to say Enough is Enough”.

Friday, September 25, 2009

2009 Stephentown Democratic Caucus

STEPHENTOWN DEMOCRATS ENDORSE GOODERMOTE

Friday night, September 18, an enthusiastic crowd of over 150 Democrats and guests, including many town Republicans, gathered at the Fire Hall to show their support for the Democratic slate of candidates.

“We were very pleased to see such a large and excited crowd,” said Andrew White, Chair of the Stephentown Democratic Committee. “Our turn-out this year was up 50% from two years ago. We are equally pleased to have so many of our Republican friends and neighbors join us as well. I think the people of Stephentown have decided to say enough is enough.

The Democrats began by endorsing Cyril Grant for re-election as Town Justice. Philip "PJ" Roder and Chris Demick were then endorsed for re-election as members of the Town Council. This trio will again run on the theme of Integrity and Accountability.

Two offices were contested. Incumbent Highway Superintendent Alden Goodermote defeated former Superintendent Neil Gardner by the overwhelming margin of 111 – 13. Gardner, who will be the Republican candidate, was also seeking the Democratic endorsement. He was removed from office in October, 2008 following conviction on 24 felony counts of possession and filing forged documents in his role as Highway Superintendent. Goodermote received sustained applause from the audience on three occasions.

For the position of Town Clerk, incumbent Patty Gallup easily defeated Lorri Parisi by a vote of 108 – 8. Gallup will also be the Republican candidate,. Democrats endorsed another Republican candidate, incumbent Tax Collector Ruth Rieger, without opposition.

“This election is not about Republicans or Democrats. It is about what is best for the Town of Stephentown and the people who have the best interests of the town in mind. We are very pleased to have people of the quality of Aldie Goodermote, Patty Gallup, and Ruth Rieger join us on the Democratic ticket this year. The integrity they have shown in office over the past few years has been outstanding”, said Andrew White.

District 5 County Legislature candidates, Bob Melesky of Hoosick and Grafton Town Clerk Sue Putnam, also attended. They were joined by County Court Judge Andy Ceresia, recently retired Family Court Judge Linda Griffin (a Stephentown resident) and former City of Troy Councilwoman Beth Walsh, who is the Democratic candidate to replace Judge Griffin. All were well received and enjoyed the opportunity to meet with so many residents of Stephentown.