Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Mendolia Hurls Down the Gauntlet

Victor Mendolia, the mayoral candidate endorsed by the Democratic and Working Families parties, has challenged incumbent mayor William Hallenbeck to a debate--several, in fact. Here is the press release received by Gossips on Tuesday at 8:23 p.m. 
Democratic Mayoral candidate Victor Mendolia challenged his opponent William Hallenbeck, Jr., to a series of Town Hall meetings and a citywide debate. Mendolia proposes a Town Hall meeting in each Ward with both candidates and a citywide debate. Mendolia said, "Each Ward has its own unique problems and concerns. Both candidates should hear those concerns and have a chance to present their plans to address them." 
Unfortunately, the Columbia County League of Women Voters, which often moderated local debates, disbanded a few years ago. In the absence of League sponsored debates, Mendolia's campaign will agree to have any publisher, editor, reporter, or team of reporters from any mainstream press outlet operating in Columbia County [serve] as moderator(s) for the proposed debates.
Mendolia continued, "Hudson is at a crossroads, and the voters of each Ward and the city at large deserve an opportunity to hear how the candidates would address the issues they care about. I sincerely hope that the Mayor will participate in these forums."

1 comment:

  1. Only in debates can residents get certain questions answered.

    Almost three weeks ago I received a reply to a records inquiry addressed to the City of Hudson's official RECORDS ACCESS OFFICER: "please refrain from your requests."

    Strangely, my records request was handled by the COMMON COUNCIL PRESIDENT!

    Mr. Moore's improper and unwarranted records denial has since been referred to the NYS Department of State for review.

    Along with the City Clerk who is our official Records Access Officer, Mr. Moore copied his email to the mayor and to attorney Cheryl Roberts, the city's "Corporation Counsel."

    I can only suppose it's because Ms. Roberts has no official email address at City Hall that Mr. Moore used her personal email address for his unusual purpose.

    Yet if I were to "reply all" to his email, I'd then be instructed in legalistic tones not to communicate with Corporation Counsel.

    During another records access controversy in April - a challenge which saw the public vindicated - I exposed an extra-legal maneuver on the part of Ms. Roberts that got me disinvited from all further communications with her. This ban was seen to include a subsequent email of legal bearing in which I merely copied Ms. Roberts in a list of other addressees, and to the address she formerly used for all her City of Hudson business (as provided by her erstwhile colleagues at the Rapport Meyers law firm).

    While it's hardly new for unscrupulous officials to run interference for one another, nowadays if you even appear to be seeking information which might expose official wrong-doing (and how is the public to know when that is happening?), you run the risk of being instructed by a lawyer that you may no longer communicate with this or that official.

    To any principled person this is unimaginable! It is totally unacceptable!! Unless you're in Hudson I suppose, or Stuyvesant, or Moscow.

    My hope is that the current mayor will be challenged in debate to explain why the city's Corporation Counsel - legal advisor for multiple commissions, boards and councils - cannot be reached by residents for comment or clarification on issues which directly effect them?

    Why doesn't an official appointed by the mayor have an official email address or phone number?

    I confess that another purpose I have in making the present comment is to publicly present the fact that Cheryl Roberts' personal email address is being used in official emails of legal import, and despite the circumstance that I am forbidden from replying. The evident entrapment may be inadvertent on Mr. Moore's part but it is certainly implicit, in which case my entire comment above assumes a legal context.

    That said, in Hudson residents are wise to heed the words of Sherlock Holmes: "Many things are forbidden by law, but what law is there in such places as these?"