Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Gentleman from Taghkanic

At the end of the article in today's Register-Star, announcing that Tyrone Hedgpeth is succeeding George Bednar "in the top spot at the Hudson Youth Department," some other appointments made recently by the mayor are reported. 

Last year, Mayor William Hallenbeck appointed Kathy Harter and Geeta Cheddie to the Hudson Housing Authority Board. Victor Mendolia objected to those appointments, pointing out that according to the HHA's bylaws, "not more than one member of an authority may be an official or an employee of the municipality at any one time." Harter is employed at the Columbia County Board of Elections; both Harter and Cheddie serve on the City of Hudson Zoning Board of Appeals--positions that are mayoral appointments. Harter and Cheddie have since resigned from the Housing Authority board, and the mayor has appointed three new people: Alan Weaver, Vernon Cross, and Lola Roberts.

The question of holding more than one position at a time in a municipality brings us to the person who inspired the title of this post: Cappy Pierro. Section C2-3 of the city charter states:
No person shall, at the same time, hold more than one of the offices created or authorized by this Charter, except that the holding of the office of Commissioner of Deeds or Superintendent of Cemeteries shall not disqualify any person from holding any other office hereunder.
Pierro has served on the Planning Board (formerly the Planning Commission) while at the same time being aide to Mayor Rick Scalera and being an alderman from the Fifth Ward. Now, although Pierro moved from Hudson to Taghkanic in 2013, the mayor has appointed him chair of the Planning Board. Section C2-4 addresses this situation:
No person shall be eligible to any City office under this Charter, except the Superintendent of Public Works, who, at the time of election or appointment, shall not be an elector of the City; and no person shall continue to hold office hereunder after ceasing to be such elector.
The operative word is elector, meaning qualified voter. The assumption is that someone who is qualified to vote in a municipality also resides in that municipality, but Pierro, as others before him, has found a way around that. His voter registration gives 16 Paddock Place as his address, the home, it is believed, of an aunt.



  1. People of bad faith see things first (or only) in terms of personal or group interests, and then according to what they can get away with.

    They don't even realize their behavior is unseemly, so decent people owe it to themselves to confront the indecency and, wherever possible, say No.

    Pouring hundreds of millions of gallons a year of unfiltered runoff into North Bay is currently being explained in terms of what the city can get away with. The thinking is reprehensible, although its practitioners aren't the least bit embarrassed. Instead, they're thinking of the "free money," free because it's federal. (That the motivation is egregiously RINO, too few are in any position to point out.)

    It comes down to this: we either stand up to the atavistic opportunism, or we all lose.

    Between now and Election Day, let's push back. Let's close down the years of boss rule, the tyranny of the old boys, and their blight of bad faith.

  2. Five years and $15 million ago, the dynamic duo of RICO Ricky and Cappy the Capo Pierro promised to use shovel ready "free money" to separate storm water, and open up the shore at North Dock "for everybody."

    Funny how storm water mixed with sewage flows freely and the free flow of fishermen is still restricted three years latter. And how is it that the Ice House on 6th moved so quickly, to Galvan?

  3. When he was 5th Ward Alderman, the Man From Taghkanic practically ensured the increase of truck traffic in Hudson (right through the 5th Ward!) by arguing that the Widewaters development on Fairview Avenue would DECREASE the number of trucks through the city. Seriously!

    If you say "SEQRA," some people will foam at the mouth (or at the outfall pipe, so to speak).

    Because the 5th Ward is all-powerful, the Man From Taghkanic and his colleague Mr. Donohue won that argument, by voting down a Resolution requesting Greenport to conduct a traffic study under a SEQR environmental review.

    But Hudson wasn't going to be affected by the trucks, and that was the end of that. No SEQR review meant no traffic study. This was largely the accomplishment of the Man From Taghkanic, whom the 5th Ward continued to reelect.

    (I hasten to add that I admire the 5th Ward's newest Alderman, Mr. Delaney who, even when I disagree with him, strikes me as a thoughtful and fair-minded man.)

    1. The righteous is a guide to his neighbor, But the way of the wicked leads them astray. Isaiah 32:6