Saturday, April 30, 2011

Candidate Needs a Home

In today's Register-Star, Jamie Larson reports on First Ward Alderman Geeta Cheddie's unrelenting attack on Timothy Rodgers, the candidate endorsed by the Hudson Democratic Committee to run for First Ward alderman even though he doesn't actually live in the First Ward, in Hudson, or in Columbia County for that matter: "Cheddie suggests censuring Rodgers." The reason Cheddie wants Rodgers censured is that he applied to become a commissioner of deeds using the address of a building in the First Ward where he expected to be renting an apartment but the deal subsequently fell through.

Earlier this month, a resolution appointing commissioners of deeds came before the Common Council, which included Rodgers and gave his home address as 15 Allen Street. (According to Cheddie, the street name had been misspelled on the original application as "Alen Street.") This, it seems, inspired Cheddie to call the owner of the building--several times, according to some--and as a result the owner, apparently not wanting to be drawn into the vortex of Cheddie politics, withdrew his offer to rent an apartment to Rodgers.

Cheddie's zeal to discredit Rodgers seems to be the product of spite and resentment over the fact that she, the incumbent, was not endorsed by the Democrats and Rodgers was. Many First Ward Democrats--not necessarily Cheddie supporters--are similarly disappointed by their party's failure to come up with candidates who have some history in the ward and some depth of understanding about First Ward issues, but there seems to be no legal problem with Rodgers' candidacy. 

Section C2-4(A) of the Hudson Charter states: "No person shall be eligible to any ward office under this Charter who, at the time of election or appointment, shall not be an elector of the ward in which elected or appointed; and no person shall continue to hold a ward office hereunder after ceasing to be an elector of such ward." According to the charter, it would seem that Rodgers only needs a First Ward address in time to register to vote for himself in November. Sam Pratt's interpretation of New York State election law in his post "Mr. Rodger's Neighborhood" indicates that Rodgers doesn't have to live in the First Ward until he is sworn on January 2012, should he be elected.    


  1. There's another angle to this story that the press has failed to explore -- what role Cheddie played, if any, in screwing up Rodgers' arrangements for the apartment at the address in question. According to Rodgers' supporters, she had a big hand in making sure he couldn't move in.

    --Sam P.

  2. sam- did you read the article the press wrote? I explored it and got quotes from both sides. I was unable to catch up with the landlord but i absolutely "explored" it.