Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Bazzomanifesto Update 02/10/15: 4 Topics In Today's blog


1) Excerpts from Astorino's CPAC 2015 Speech

2) ICYMI: Sheriff Chris Moss on Corruption

3) Town of Ossining Supervisor Susanne Donnelly: Supervisor’s Update - February 9, 2015

 4) Public Meeting Agendas] Yorktown Town Board Work Session 02/10/15

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On Tuesday, February 10, 2015 11:25 AM, Friends of Rob Astorino wrote: 

CONTACT: Jessica Proud (914) 438-5325

Below are excerpts from the speech delivered yesterday by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino at the 2015 Conservative Party of New York State Annual Convention. 
Let me take a quick look back at 2014 before I say a few words about the future -- how I think we need to move forward as a state, and how I think the Conservative Party can help move us in that direction.

First of all, let me be clear and unequivocal:  A conservative Republican ran for governor of New York last year.

Did anybody here notice that...that a conservative ran for governor...against a first-term incumbent Democrat... with 50 million bucks... in a two-to-one Democratic state?

We won 74% of New York's counties. You'd think pigs were flying or that Jupiter collided with Mars, even if we didn't prevail in the short term.

People kept asking me throughout the year, 'when are you gonna tack left? When are you gonna shift to the center?' It's the same thing people asked in my unsuccessful first race for County Executive.

I told them the same thing I said in 20o5. 'It's not right and left I'm worried about;  it's right and wrong.'

Let me reiterate some of what I said:

I think it's wrong when a state punishes its citizens with the highest taxes in the nation.

It's wrong when a state depresses job growth with the worst business regulations AND the highest taxes in the nation.

It's not right when a governor bans outright the single industry that could be an economic game changer for New York, one that's reaping billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs for other states and bringing long-dreamed-of energy independence to America.

It's wrong when women get attacked in the hallways of state government, and when those who cover it up get away with it.

It's not right when a state spends the most on education and gets average results.  When it spends three times what other states do on Medicaid, then says it's gonna pay for elective sex change operations. I'm sorry. Go ahead and do what you want, but don't expect your neighbors to cover it -- even if you did win Olympic gold!

It's wrong to have the most corrupt government in America.

It's wrong when Constitutional rights are trampled, and when local governments are forced to spend money they don't see fit to.

Call me crazy, but I also think it's wrong when Republicans allow all this to happen in the name of bipartisanship, year after year.  That's not bipartisanship; it's complicity.

These are some of the things I talked about in 2014, and they're things I'm going to keep talking about in 2015 and beyond, God willing -- because they have to be said. Because they're true.

I got a late start in 2014.  I didn't have time to raise enough money for the New York City media market, in retrospect.  But when you win 46 counties and come nine points away from 50% after being outspent almost 10-1 -- and after getting carpet-bombed with scurrilous ads -- you know you're starting to reach people.  That conversation could not have begun without those of you here in this room, and I promise you it will continue...statewide.


We're here in Albany at an interesting time.  One tyrant just got ushered out, and a tyrant-in-waiting just got ushered in.

You may ask, how can I say that about a new Assembly Speaker who hasn't even had a chance to do anything yet?  In fact, I'm about to meet with Mr. Heastie, and I'm sure he's a perfectly nice man. This is nothing personal.

I say it because men in power almost always become tyrannical in time. None of us is exempt. Not Sheldon Silver; not Carl Heastie; not Rob Astorino. Public power and tyranny are like lungs and CO2. Tyranny is the byproduct of power; it's a truth the Founding Fathers warned us of repeatedly. George Washington realized this when he stepped down after two terms...to the shock of the world.

Thomas Jefferson knew it, too: 'Sometimes it's said that man can't be trusted with government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others?' Jefferson posed that question more than 200 years ago, saying history would be the judge, and it has been.

Jefferson also reminded us that it's not just individuals we need to look out for. Whole 'bodies of men as well as individuals are susceptible of the spirit of tyranny,' he warned.

The lesson isn't unique to the United States, though we had the advantage of being warned about it at our founding.  Friedrich Hayek, the Austrian-born Brit, rightly noted that: 'The state itself becomes more and more identified with the interests of those who run things than with the interests of the people in general.'

I'm going to repeat that since we're in Albany and the acoustics might be off: 'The state itself becomes more identified with the interests of those who run things than with the interests of the people.'

Sound familiar?

I have a prediction this morning.  I predict that the most popular words in the lexicon of New York politicians this year will be 1. 'ethics' and 2. 'reform.'  'Ethics reform.' It has a nice ring to it. We're already hearing a chorus.

Sometimes it will be used genuinely and sometimes it will be used cynically, to advance ideological agendas, like with the Working Families Party. The WFP wants 'ethics reform' in the form of public financing for elections. That's welfare for politicians for those who need a translation.  The WFP wants to see private money out of elections so that public unions can have even more influence over them. I'm sorry, but where's the ethics in that? Where's the First Amendment?

So whom do you trust to talk about ethics reform?  James Madison had good advice: 'All men having power ought to be mistrusted.'

So how do you know who are the good guys and who are the bad guys when they're both saying the same thing?

I'll tell you.  You trust the ones looking to limit their own power.  ...You trust the ones with the wisdom to tie their own hands and keep the power in the public's hands.

That was the example Washington set for us, and it's at the core of American conservatism.  We know that men aren't angels -- none of us -- so we must limit man's power over others at every turn.  It's why I passed term limits for myself in Westchester. No good comes from being in office too long.

While we're mentioning Founding Fathers, I have to single out John Adams for being most honest about this point. Here's what Adams said when elected to Congress. It's classic: 'I have accepted a seat in the House of Representatives, and thereby have consented to my own ruin, to your ruin, and to the ruin of our children. I give you this warning that you may prepare your mind for your fate.'
Now there's a man who understood government.


You and I know that Albany as presently configured doesn't work. Can any objective person disagree with that? After years of operating the same way, backroom deals and political coziness have yielded utter failure for this state.

The question before us today is, how does a state with the highest taxes; the most counterproductive regulations; the most wasteful spending; the worst business climate, and the most corruption in government -- a state with zero inclination to change its ways -- how does that state truly begin to change?

I suggest the starting point is limiting the power of its elected leaders. And the way to do that is term limits -- term limits for legislative leaders; term limits for all state officeholders.

Think about it: If longevity in office breeds corruption and stasis, term limits are the insurance policy against longevity.  Sure, there will still be crooks and compromised legislators, but they won't have enough time to get truly entrenched. 

That's when the real damage occurs.

Yes, we would lose some good legislators with term limits. There are some terrific Republican legislators in New York.  But the overall good of the state has to supersede the interest of any one man or woman.  We have to trust the voters to elect other good representatives.

Calling for term limits is an easy statement to make.  The tough part is making it happen.

In fact, whenever you mention term limits in New York, people roll their eyes. That tells you a lot about New York politics: Whenever people are polled, the public consistently says it wants term limits at every level of government -- by overwhelming margins, something like 75%  -- but the governing class simply says, 'no.' What does that tell you?  It tells you what the priorities of government are, and it begs the question, 'whose government is this anyway?'

There are a couple of ways to go about pursuing term limits in New York. The most likely scenario would be through a state Constitutional Convention in 2019, and that would be difficult.

But while the spotlight is on Albany corruption -- Preet Bharara suggests it's going to remain there for awhile --  why not call for an up or down vote on term limits in both houses of the legislature?

Why can't New Yorkers demand that senators and assembly members stand up and be counted on the issue? With the attention of the public and of editorial boards fixed squarely on state government, such a vote could actually be forced.

Term limits might not pass, but at least it would identify who wants to put his political tenure above the clear desire of the voters.

This, I think, could be a meaningful opportunity for the Conservative and Republican Parties to assert themselves in New York.  It would allow us to seize the reform mantle and show the public that we believe they, ultimately, are in charge.

There are other needed ethics reforms. I proposed a whole slate of them last year in my race.  But term limits -- even getting the conversation started -- could bring the most positive change to this state.  I ask you to think about; talk about it, kick the tires. Breakfast was good. But this is a little extra food for thought.

Thank you for lending me your ears. It is always an honor to address you at CPAC.  It's where I come to see good and loyal friends.

And thank you again for all you did for me and Chris in 2014. We may not have prevailed in the short term. But as I said on election night, 'we planted a banner deep into the ground, and we will be back to advance it further still."
Thank you all, and God bless you.






February 10, 2015
In case you missed it, we thought you might want to take a look at this editorial by Sheriff Chris Moss in the Binghamton Press Connects last week:

Term limits would curb corruption in Albany

By Sheriff Chris Moss
February 6, 2015
Having spent nearly three decades in law enforcement, I've seen a lot and have been around for a lot of arrests. But it's nothing compared to what's going on in Albany these days.
How many members of the Legislature have to be arrested before we, the public, wake up and demand real reform?
With the recent arrest of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, both the Assembly and Senate need to come to "terms" with the need for meaningful ethics reform in Albany.
The cornerstone of new ethics reform should be term limits on all state elected officials. The majority of corruption cases involve tenured politicians whose longevity has allowed them to benefit in ways far beyond the position in which they were elected.
That longevity allows politicians to not only gain power, but also increase their fundraising capabilities and ability to assist lobbyists, private organizations and special interests. Whether that assistance comes through state grants paid for by taxpayers, favors rendered for legislation or even finding a job for a relative, it's all wrong.
If we enact term limits, we effectively do away with the current broken power structure and the eventual corruption that inevitably arises from it.
Unfortunately, most current members of the state Legislature, from both political parties, oppose term limits for the very reason that it "limits" their ability to attain that political power. I find this disappointing. We're better than that.
Last fall, as I was campaigning for lieutenant governor throughout the state, sitting legislators from the Assembly and Senate would cringe when they heard my speech about ethics reform and term limits. Some legislators even contacted our campaign requesting that we ease up on the term-limit portion of our proposed ethics reform. This is a clear indication that there is no push in Albany for term limits by many incumbent legislators.
But we need real reform, and we need it now.

Read the full piece here.

April 11

    The Volunteer-Spirited Town

Supervisor's Update - February 9, 2015

Another Monday evening another day of cancellations.  This weather pattern needs to change so we can get on with our lives...
Town of Ossining Courts
Small Claims and Parking Court are cancelled for tonight. 
They are adjourned until Monday, March 9, 2015 beginning at 6:30 pm.
Joseph G Caputo Community Center
Swim classes and Recreation Programs are cancelled for this evening the facility is opened for game room,  the gym,  and open swim.
Should you lose power please call:
Con Edison Customer Service – 1800-752-6633, or 1-800-Coned
Many improvements have been made since our last massive storm.  Make sure you get an incident number but you should not have to continuously call.  Every municipality has the ability to monitor ConEd’s progress and work with them to ensure our resident’s issues are addressed. 
Please call immediately if you lose power or there are downed wires.  Please use caution because downed wires could be covered with snow.
Call your organizations and classes around the community because as you can imagine most are cancelled for this evening.
The roads are slippery so PLEASE be careful. 
Thank you to the Town Highway and Parks Departments, the Villages DPW and Parks Department and all of our First Responders for all their hard work.  These are long drawn out storms with mixed precipitation hard to stay on top of it...

Please feel free to forward this e-mail to any of your family, friends, acquaintances, or business associates who may have an interest in these, as well as other Town subjects.
As always, please feel very free to contact me with any questions.
Susanne Donnelly, Town Supervisor
16 Croton Ave, Ossining NY 10562
On Monday, February 9, 2015 4:51 PM, Public Meeting Agendas wrote:
Town Board Work Session

Calendar Date:
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - 6:45pm

363 Underhill Avenue
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598
February 10, 2015
6:45 Open Meeting then Immediately Close to Discuss Litigation, Personnel and Contract Negotiations
7:30 Crompond Terraces
Contact: Ann Kutter
Discussion: Discussion on EAF
7:45 Teatown/Croft House
Contact: Michael J. Grace, Supervisor
Discussion: Discussion
8:00 YCCC Rental Fees (Profit and Not-for-Profit)
Contact: Margaret Gspurning/Patricia DeMarsh
Discussion: Policy Discussion
8:10 Chicken Law (Keeping of Fowl on Residential Laws)
Contact: Michael J. Grace, Supervisor
Discussion: Permit Fees
8:20 Spectra AIM Project
Contact: Michael J. Grace, Supervisor
Discussion: Update
8:35 Procedures
Contact: Michael J. Grace, Supervisor
Discussion: Discussion on taping Work Sessions
8:45 Zoning Code
Contact: Susan Siegel, Councilwoman
Discussion: Review Draft Amendments to Zoning Coding (Sober Living Homes)
8:55 Code Review
Contact: Susan Siegel, Councilwoman
Discussion: Next Steps
9:10 Ethics
Contact: Michael J. Grace, Supervisor
Discussion: Annual Disclosure Form

  • Request from Alliance for Safe Kids to waive rental fee for 2015 Save a Life Event.
  • Request from Taconic Postcard Club (Yorktown Museum) to waive fees for use of YCCC
  • Request from Ben Franklin Elementary to post sign on Rte. 132 by Kamhi Drive.
  • Request from Enrichment Center to reduce the not-for-profit rate for use of YCCC to run 4th-8th grade after school program
RESOLUTIONS (to be passed Tuesday, February 10, 2015)
Request from Legal Department for Town Board to pass Resolution denying the application of Tom McCrossan and Mark McGoldrick for a special use permit for a convalescent home.

RESOLUTIONS (to be passed Tuesday, February 17, 2015)
RET76 Escrow Permit Release:




Town Hall
363 Underhill Avenue
Yorktown Heights, NY
See map: Google Maps
Bazzo 02/10/15

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