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Letter to the Editor: Ossining 2011 Election

The following is a letter to the editor from Croton resident Bob Armanini.

To the editor:

I’m writing in support of Susan Konig, who is running to represent District 9 on Westchester County’s Board of Legislators. This year’s election is extremely crucial if you’re looking to change how the county functions. The status quo, a Democratic super-majority, has solidified Westchester’s position as the highest taxed county in the nation, and engineered the Affordable Housing Settlement with HUD—a settlement that can potentially cost all of us $100 million and leave local governments’ ‘home rule’ rights threatened.

 This past July, Moody’s Investor Services downgraded the County’s bond outlook from ‘stable’ to negative’, largely in part to the Legislature’s super-majority dipping into reserves to restore cuts that Executive Rob Astorino had proposed in his budget.

Two years ago, voters were decisive that a change was needed at the top of county government. Now we have an opportunity to make that change even more meaningful, by breaking the super-majority.

Susan Konig’s agenda is about common sense and change. She stands for fiscal responsibility--no tax increases and living within our means. Susan understands the need for preserving local control of our communities. Susan recognizes that county government’s long-standing reputation as an overreaching, tax & spend entity has to be reversed.

There can no longer be ‘business as usual’. We must insist on a healthier Westchester. Please join me in voting for Susan Konig on Nov. 8. Having Susan on the County Board will give Mr. Astorino the support he needs to achieve the above-mentioned goals, as well as the ability to implement true change.

Bob Armanini

Croton-on-Hudson

 

john November 04, 2011 at 03:22 PM
And every word of this letter is true. Go Konig!
Liam November 04, 2011 at 04:10 PM
First off, readers should know the author of this letter is the Treasurer of the Croton Republican Party (Susan Konig is President). When Susan Konig was a one-term Croton Trustee back in 2007-2009, property taxes INCREASED every year, despite the fact she and her fellow Republicans held the Board majority and Mayor's chair. In addition to raising taxes, Ms. Konig was involved in the implementation of "Sewer Rent" in Croton which siginficantly raised water bills for residents and was a method of extracting money from religious institutions and community organizations that are exempt from property taxes. Ms. Konig has no track record making Croton more affordable as she and Mr. Armanini claim. In fact she was responsible for the exact opposite. In addition, Susan Konig did not propose a single piece of legislation as a one-term Village Trustee, tax cutting or otherwise. Her attendance record as a Croton Trustee shows she attended less than 10% of her Committee Liaison meetings. Finally, Ossining residents should know the primary campaign strategy Ms. Konig employed both as a candidate and as a Croton Republican Party official was to "Protect Croton from Turning into Ossining".
john November 04, 2011 at 04:41 PM
Liam--enough. Susan Konig is not the president, Mr. Armanini is not the treasurer, of the Croton Republican Party. That's the first of your assertions that are surprise, wrong. The sewer rent is not charged to churches. The democrats have left it in place. That is another place where you are wrong. Your claim that Konig only attended 10% of her committee liaison meetings is also incorrect (Mr. Olver said it was 6%, but you guys are always flexible on your numbers.) While Ms. Konig did miss some committee meetings due to serious family health issues (she buried her father in the year in question), she reviewed all committee minutes, scheduled additional meetings, and surprise, kept in touch by phone and email. Finally we know you are. You're that Harmon dreamer and fortunately for all of us, Susan will be representing more than just Croton, where bitter men seethe over lost dreams and harbor long standing resentments.
linda November 05, 2011 at 03:00 PM
vote for Catherine Borgia
Lisa Cohen November 05, 2011 at 03:48 PM
From croton.homestead.com, the sadly dated website of the CrotonReps: OFFICERS ChairpersonSusan Konig 271-2476 Vice Chairperson Randy Swan 271-3261 Treasurer Estelle Calcutti 271-5448 Secretary Bob Armanini 271-5261 If Ms. Konig can not fulfull her obilgations as an elected official, the prudent thing would have been to step down. Her ego does not allow for this. While I find the opinion that a woman can't fulfill obligations outside the home incredibly sexist, it's actually worse for all women when a gal says she can do it all and fails. Here's an endorsement for Konig from the Right To Life party: http://www.righttolife-9jd.com/
john November 05, 2011 at 07:55 PM
Old website and the wrong website but it doesn't matter. As you can see, Mr. Armanini is NOT the treasurer nor is Ms. Konig the "president" as Liam a.k.a. I have a Dream wrote. As for the rest, Ms. Konig has received many endorsements and it may come as a shock to Miss Lisa, herself a Croton Democratic Party official, that there ARE people out there who feel differently about a great many things in this world. But enough of this shell game tactic employed anytime Konig runs. Susan Konig is an outstanding person who writes the check with more than her mouth. Her African relief work is outstanding. Her tenure as a Croton trustee, also outstanding. She is fearless, witness her position against the democrat issued special permit to the now closed waste transfer station, a subject of investigation by the federal monitor Mr. Mack. Last but not least, one wonders why Ms. Cohen just doesn't get it. No one is impressed. No one cares and Susan is running for a position to represent EVERYONE not just Croton residents, to lower taxes, in Westchester, not Washington.
Lisa Cohen November 05, 2011 at 09:53 PM
"John" falls back on her/his standard CrotonRep rant about a waste transfer station that hasn't been a relevant topic for about a decade. Let's talk about representation at the county level, shall we? I really could care less about your opinion of me--I'm not the one putting my name on the ballot or on the many mailings. I do get that Ms. Konig's press materials are full of the usual falsehoods and embellishments, and her vow of "fighting HUD" stands to cost the county an amazing amount of money in legal costs. BTW, here's the "new" address for CrotonReps, www.crotongop.org. See if you can spot any difference.
john November 05, 2011 at 09:59 PM
A decade? Really? Obviously Ms. Cohen you really haven't been paying attention at all. Time to visit www.crotononhudson-ny.gov and check your facts about the 1A site. A decade. Sheesh. What an amazing gaffe. Look, the election is on Tuesday. Let's leave it at that. And while you are at it, putting things in quotes again, please provide the exact place where you found Ms. Konig stating a "vow" of "fighting HUD". The exact place Ms. Konig. From a real newspaper or news service or minutes or an article. Where? If you guys can't shake it up, you'll make it up. Standard M.O.
Lisa Cohen November 06, 2011 at 12:15 AM
http://www.thedailycroton.com/news/republicans-slam-legislature-housing-settlement, http://www.nyjnews.com/candidates/general/view.php?id=278 I think her lack of real experience shines through in her statements. It would be interesting to see her attendance record of attending County Planning Board meetings. Phone and e-mail conversations are no match for face-to-face discussions. Maybe personal contact doesn't work for you. And people tend to take you more seriously if you use your real name. Maybe you should go back to the Pennysaver.
john November 06, 2011 at 01:09 AM
These posts are interesting, from ALL the candidates involved. Why did you post them. Nowhere does it state specifically the exact wording you used. Nowhere. In fact you don't seem to have a problem with the federal government overriding NY's home rule autonomy. Fortunately for the rest of us, we have courageous candidates and a county executive that does. Maybe you have no problem with the government altering the terms of the original settlement. Many people do. Quoting Ms. Konig, and thank God for her stand and the stand of the other republican candidates mentioned: “New York is a home rule state that protects the zoning rights of local municipalities. It’s outrageous that our own legislators voted in favor of an agreement that threatens property rights and local control of our communities,” Konig, who serves on the county’s planning board, said in a statement. “The voters need to hold them accountable in November.” Go Konig!
Liam November 06, 2011 at 01:17 AM
John, Ms. Konig is running as a tax and government transparency reformer. Can you dispute any of the following about Ms. Konig for the Patch readership: 1) Croton's taxes increased each year Ms. Konig served as a Croton Trustee. 2) The Republican majority which Ms. Konig was a part of during her tenure as Trustee held more executive (closed to public) sessions than any previous or current Village Board over the last 10 years. 3) Ms. Konig did not sponsor\champion any tax cutting or government transparency related legislation as a Croton Trustee. 4) During her tenure as a Vice-Chair\Chair of the Croton Republican Party, it was sited by the League of Women Voters for multiple fair campaign practices violations. Finally, you are taking off on some wild tangents which quite frankly I simply don't even understand. I found this letter and some others disingenuous and decided to point out some issues about Ms. Konig that voters, particularly Ossining voters really should know before pulling the lever on Tuesday. Remember John, as much as you may want Ms. Konig to represent you in the Westchester Legislature, it is not just your tax dollars that will pay her salary. People have a right to know if the retoric and reality don't match up. If this case they simply do not.
john November 06, 2011 at 01:52 AM
1) Ms. Konig inherited a 17% tax increase. She & her fellow republicans got it down to zero. The democrats who were in charge for 27 years prior raised taxes every year 2) I dispute your figures. During the 10 years prior that the democrats were in charge, far more executive sessions were held especially about cutting a deal with the 1st owners of the transfer station, then the 2nd & 3rd. Currently, this board is averaging 3 exec sessions a month 3) Whereas residents were previously forced to submit a foil request for even PUBLIC documents,foil requests were cut by almost half during her term. That administration placed more documents online. 4) During that same year, the democratic committee was cited for multiple campaign violations Finally, it is apparent that you dislike anyone who stood in the way of the Harmon re-zoning, as well as business owners (reflected in other comments which have been removed by Patch) who did not "buy into it". Ossining voters are perplexed by this Croton fascination with Borgia. One need only look at the overwhelming amount of letters in the last several issues of the Gazette that have stated this openly. Again Ms. Konig will be serving ALL the residents of Ossining, Briarcliff, a portion of Peekskill, etc. Not just Croton. The voters in those communities will make up their own minds on Tuesday. Judging from the overwhelming letters from these communities in favor of Konig, we'll just have to wait & see
Liam November 06, 2011 at 03:04 AM
John, I agree, voters will decide on Tuesday as they did when Croton voted Ms Konig out after one term as a Village Trustee, as Croton voters did when they rejected her candidacy for District 9 County Legislator in 2009, and as they did to her candidate slate in Croton in 2011 by the widest margin in recent memory. You are entitled to your opinion as I am mine. From my vantage point, Ms. Konig's rhetoric simply does not jive with the reality of her record. Finally, I don't think Ossining voters would appreciate Ms. Konig and her supporters' condescending views on Ossining if they were aware of them. We will just have to wait and see. Vote Catherine Borgia for District 9 County Legislator!
john November 06, 2011 at 08:03 AM
Wow the Croton re-zoning being held up in court is really killing you, and by the way, Ms. Konig lost by 9 or 10 votes last year in her race against the settlement approving, SOI promoter, Bill Burton. BTW everyone, here's a must read BEFORE THE ELECTION on Tuesday. A comprehensive summary of the current HUD situation. Residents all over should take a good look, digest, then remember who and what party got us into this mess. Astorino needs our support. Here's to the ticket that says this far and no further. We're sure after reading this, voters in Briarcliff, Peekskill, Ossining, and the town will know what to do even if folks in Croton don't. http://www.lohud.com/article/20111106/NEWS02/111060327/Westchester-pact-feds-boost-housing-diversity-upscale-areas-hits-roadblocks?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Frontpage
Liam November 06, 2011 at 04:03 PM
John, I did not mention the HUD settlement in any of my comments yet you seem to continually bring the conversation back to affordable housing. Ossining, which makes up the vast majority of District 9 is not one of the 31 communities that must build affordable housing under the HUD settlement. Briarcliff and Cortlandt already have projects in the pipeline. The only place where this seems to be such an issue is in Croton, among Ms. Konig's closest political advisors, allies and small group of supporters. So if Ossining voters want a representative that has not lowered taxes or reformed government and will spend the majority of her time and effort fighting the HUD settlement which is not a relevant issue for them, Susan Konig is your candidate. If not, vote Catherine Borgia for District 9 County Legislator on Tuesday!
john November 06, 2011 at 05:39 PM
Liam, we're done. Again, http://www.lohud.com/article/20111106/NEWS02/111060327/Westchester-pact-feds-boost-housing-diversity-upscale-areas-hits-roadblocks?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Frontpage for a clear picture of awaits us all. He who comes for my neighbor comes for me tomorrow. As a matter of fact: 7/25/08 GAZETTE People who did not to attend Kieran Murray’s Monday 7/14/08 presentation of the Harmon Economic Dev. Comm.’s final report on how to enhance the economic vitality of this portion of Croton on Hudson could have done so two evenings later in Briarcliff Manor where he is pictured far left meeting with a committee looking at Briarcliff’s commercial zones. For Harmon the recommendation includes requiring mixed use. While Mr. Murray a Croton resident & Ossining based developer was complimented by members of the Briarcliff Committee for his ad hoc group’s analysis which included calculation of rate of return on investment for landowners/developers in Harmon, he was taken aback when told that any zoning recommendations involving residential in Westchester really need to take into account so called affordable housing Indeed, Briarcliff Manor committee members noted that county officials have &continue to be looking for “players” when it comes to increasing “affordable housing stock” and that the carrot is county grants as well as its belief that there is increasing sentiment in the county seat for Westchester to mandate new “affordable housing” goals.
Liam November 06, 2011 at 06:14 PM
John, I have to admit I am having difficulty following your argument and will respect your wish to breakoff this conversation, although I think it has been beneficial to debate the merits of Ms. Konig's candicacy in a public forum as we have been doing. I will leave the voters of Ossining with one final thought. John said the following in an earlier post: "Ms. Konig will be serving ALL the residents of Ossining, Briarcliff, a portion of Peekskill, etc. Not just Croton." Ms. Konig's unbending stance on the HUD settlement is actually HURTING Ossining as HUD is withholding ALL Community Development Block Grant money from Westchester including money slated for Ossining, even though Ossining is NOT one of the 31 communities covered under the settlement. How is Ms. Konig's platform of fighting the HUD settlement helping Ossining when it is costing them signficant Community Development Block Grant money? It seems to me if elected, Ms. Konig would be working more for Rye, Larchmont, and Bronxville to the detriment of Ossining rather than for it's benefit.
Rob Armanini November 06, 2011 at 09:07 PM
Listed as part of the HUD settlement are the following District 9 communities: Briarcliff, Cortlandt, Croton on Hudson, Ossining Town
john November 06, 2011 at 09:16 PM
Thank you Mr. Armanini. Uninformed voters, and it is clear that "Liam" is one of them, will be voting for Borgia. Informed voters and there are lots of them, know what to do on Tuesday. Go Konig!
Liam November 07, 2011 at 02:56 PM
The Village of Ossining is not one of the 31 communities required to build housing under the HUD settlement as Mr. Armanini attempts to assert in his comment above. The Village of Ossining makes up roughly 50% of the total population of District 9 and is being denied much needed Community Development Block Grant money due to Westchester's impasse with HUD. Ms. Konig's unbending position against the HUD settlement HURTS Ossining while benefitting the interests of Bronxville, Larchmont and Rye. If Ossining voters want someone who has never lowered taxes as an elected official, never proposed any legislation to do so, and whose HUD stance will continue to result in loss of much needed Community Development Block Grant monies for the Village of Ossining, then Susan Konig should get your vote. For everyone else, Catherine Borgia is the obvious choice for District 9 County Legislator.
john November 07, 2011 at 03:49 PM
Once again Liam", Counterpoint, Truth, Guillame, et al: he who comes for my neighbor today, comes for me tomorrow. Here is a list of the municipalities in question from the county website: Ardsley, Bedford, Briarcliff Manor, Bronxville Buchanan, Cortlandt Croton-on-Hudson Dobbs Ferry, Eastchester Harrison, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington Larchmont, Lewisboro, Mamaroneck, Town Mt. Pleasant, New Castle, North Castle, North Salem, Ossining Town Pelham, Pelham Manor, Pleasantville, Pound Ridge, Rye, Rye Brook Scarsdale, Somers, Tarrytown, Tuckahoe, Yorktown The village of Ossining's officials may be fine with HUD's over-reaching, many residents in the village AND the TOWN are not. To understand fully the scope of Washington's intent for Westchester County, you are all once again urged to read this article: http://www.lohud.com/article/20111106/NEWS02/111060327/Westchester-pact-feds-boost-housing-diversity-upscale-areas-hits-roadblocks?odyssey=tab Then vote for ALL the opposition candidates who do not intend to see their county turned into a national experiment. See as well: http://everythingcroton.blogspot.com/2011/10/astorino-response-to-yet-another.html Vote them ALL out. Start over.
john November 07, 2011 at 04:06 PM
Posted by: Gerald McKinstry - Posted in Uncategorized on Oct 21, 2011 A member of President Obama’s administration earlier today said that its housing settlement with Westchester County should act as a “wake up call” for the nation. Speaking at an affordable housing symposium at Pace University, John Trasvina (standing behind for County Executive Andy Spano in a 2009 photo), assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said the federal government and communities that accept monies must do a better job ensuring that fair and affordable housing is a reality. Westchester is part of the “national vision”...The landmark settlement, which was brokered in 2009 between Westchester and the federal government, is among the first of its kind and is said to be a model with implications for other communities throughout the United States. READ MORE HERE http://polhudson.lohudblogs.com/2011/10/21/hud-westchester-part-of-national-vision/
Liam November 07, 2011 at 04:17 PM
Here is proof for John and Mr. Armanini that the Village of Ossining is an ineligible community under HUD settlement straight from the County website. http://homes.westchestergov.com/images/stories/settlementpdfs/AppendixE-1-iii.pdf The Village of Ossining makes up roughly 50% of the total population of District 9 and is being denied much needed Community Development Block Grant money due to Westchester's impasse with HUD. Ms. Konig's unbending position against the HUD settlement HURTS Ossining while benefitting the interests of Bronxville, Larchmont and Rye. John and Mr. Armanini's comments illustrate the mindset of Ms. Konig's inner circle, which is to protect Croton from turning into Ossining at all costs, even if it means Ms. Konig takes positions that directly and negatively impact 50%+ of the District 9 population. If Ossining voters want someone who has never lowered taxes as an elected official, never proposed any legislation to do so, and whose HUD stance will continue to result in loss of much needed Community Development Block Grant monies for the Village of Ossining, then Susan Konig should get your vote. For everyone else, Catherine Borgia is the obvious choice for District 9 County Legislator.
Sheet 2 Girl November 07, 2011 at 04:27 PM
We are the highest taxed county because of school taxes. County taxes are quite low, comparatively speaking. Indeed, most county employees have not had a raise in 8 years, not even cost of living. If you want to lower taxes, start on the school budget. The county tax argument is just a red herring.
john November 07, 2011 at 04:49 PM
Wow, you just don't get it. No matter. Tomorrow you will. Here's more for those who understand how important it is for Astorino to have support on the board of legislators when it comes to HUD's over-reaching. Rest assured that support will NOT come from the ever so silent Ms. Borgia: WSJ Editorial on Astorino’s continued fight against overreaching HUD: 9/19 Dear Friend, As many of you know, when I took office I became responsible for implementing the affordable housing settlement that was agreed to by my predecessor, Andy Spano, and approved by the Westchester Board of Legislators. This agreement was a bad deal for Westchester taxpayers and now the federal government is attempting to make demands that by their own admission “go beyond the four corners of the settlement,” which would dramatically increase the cost of the settlement from $50 million to over $100 million and dismantle local zoning rights. This settlement has national implications because HUD is attempting to use Westchester as a test case for the rest of the country...I thought you might be interested in today’s Wall Street Journal editorial (see below) that effectively outlines the issue and supports my position to defend Westchester against unreasonable and illegal demands by HUD. READ THE REST http://ltpbazzo.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/icymi-wsj-editorial-on-astorinos-continued-fight-against-overreaching-federal-government/
Liam November 07, 2011 at 05:17 PM
John, it is you who simply does not understand that the County Legislator for District 9 must represent the best interests of the entire district, not just a subset of it. I fully recognize and support Mr. Astorino's position that the HUD settlement should not be expanded mid-stream due to the increased cost implications associated with doing so. What you don't seem to get is that Ms. Konig's hardline stance against the HUD settlement will negatively impact the Village of Ossining by continuing to deny them much needed CDBG money in order to protect the interests of her inner circle in Croton, even though the Village of Ossining is not a community required to build any of the 750 units called for in the HUD settlement. Ms. Konig and her supporters have a long history of fear mongering about affordable housing and allowing alleged low income "outsiders" from moving into Croton. They, among many other things were sited for unfair campaign practices in the last election for using pictures of slum tenament housing on their campaign materials. In stark contrast to Ms. Konig's devisiveness, Ms Borgia has demonstrated her ability to compromise to get results. Vote Borgia for District 9 County Legislator.
john November 07, 2011 at 05:59 PM
http://yonkersinsider.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/press-release-westchester-county-executive-rob-astorino/

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