Posted by: Dawn Powell | January 31, 2012


The Vacancy Redux – they just don’t seem to be able to get over it.  Petitions and such.

This is great isn’t it?  Newt Gingrich is going to colonize the moon, and Bob-O is going to get his guy back in office.  I’m not sure how he is going to do that, but he is determined, desperate even.

A long post, so the synopsis:  The Republicans are pulling out all the stops to get their guy in office.  Bob – O will tell you how non-political he is…..  There is a petition.  About 51 people have signed on, about 14 names are public.  The rest will be if they present the petition to the 2 Democrats on the Board.  There was a tie for 2nd place.  No one won.   You will hear much about “common sense” – Putnam Valley Republican Committee style, and how it’s about the people…. Bob O has turned everything into 2 Republicans and 2 Democrats.


Esther McHenry starts her letter,

Putnam Valley voters chose two incumbents for one town board seat in a tie vote. The law for towns in New York state asks the new board to try to choose one of the two, if possible.”

You may remember Esther, or not.  She ran for Town Board on the Republican line, and the Republican voters voted her out in the primary.

So, her first two sentences on this subject: 

“Putnam Valley voters chose two incumbents for one town board seat in a tie vote.”

Actually no, they didn’t.  The reason that there is a vacancy now is that the voters did not choose either or both of the incumbents.  The Republican committee has yet to acknowledge this. 

Then she goes on to say that state law asks the board to try to choose one of the two, if possible.  Yikes! Nowhere does it say that or imply that or ask that or encourage that.  They can do that.  But they can also not do that.   And the law doesn’t much care how they resolve the issue.

“— clearly the voters like both equally.” Or dislike both equally.  Is the glass half empty or half full?

“Our voters’ choice should be respected by our Town Board, and one of the two should be chosen to fill the seat.” Please understand that you did not choose.  Had you done so, there would be no vacancy. I am a voter, and I did not vote for one of your guys.  I want my vote to be respected.

“It was reported that Ms. Whetsel and Mr. Mackay have been “interviewing” non-elected people for the open/tied position.”

Another Putnam Valley rumor.  I don’t imagine that any of the Town Board members have interviewed anyone for the vacancy – the vacancy, not the tie.  This is a political game that you are engaging in, as well as the Bobs and Jackie, not a search for the best candidate.

“ I find it troubling that these two councilpersons will not agree to select one of the two candidates who ran for office and who were chosen by the voters of Putnam Valley. The voters have already held their interviews and have voted. We want one of the two.”  You want one of the two.  Clearly you could not have gotten another vote.  There are lots of people who don’t want your choice.  The voters did not choose your guys.  You don’t get two second place winners.  If one doesn’t win, they lose.  I find it troubling that the Republicans are trying to force us into their choice.

“ The voters of Putnam Valley should make it clear to Ms. Whetsel and Mr. Mackay that they want their votes to be counted — not disregarded for what unfortunately seems to be nothing more than political party considerations. This doesn’t look like “public service” to me.”

The votes were counted, and recounted, and recounted.  The Republicans failed to elect.  There are 4 duly elected representatives of the Town of Putnam Valley.  How can Ms. McHenry pretend that her letter is anything more than a plug for her own party?  How silly.

Then there is the 27 year old – Kevin Byrne.  (He said at the meeting that he has lived here for 27 years…)  You can see his comments on his lohud blog – Ms. McHenry’s letter, my comments, his comments, and Patty Villanova’s.  He posted the letter, the exchange, and a letter that people are supposed to sign to convince my representative(s) that they should cave to bitter Republican politics.  They even call Mr. Cinque an Independent.  He is not.

“Appoint the candidate selected by Putnam Valley residents, Bob Cinque!” If the Putnam Valley residents had selected Mr. Cinque, he would be sitting on the board now.  Instead there is a vacancy.

“There is a clear choice.  The seat is vacant do(sic) to a tie.”  Due to a tie, not “do to.”  Yes, the seat is vacant.  There was a tie.  No one was elected.  And now, there is a vacancy.  Aside from the misspelling, we agree on that.

Yet, members of the town board are trying to play politics and appoint someone else, not elected by the people and not accountable to us town residents.”

Yes, members of the town board are trying to play politics.  We even agree on that.  I would just say that all of the members of the town board are playing politics, as are most of the Republican committee, including Ms. McHenry and Mr. Byrne.  It was Mr. Tendy and Ms. Annabi who wouldn’t allow discussion of the vacancy at the reorganization meeting, until they could rehearse their performances for “THE VACANCY MEETING” on January 18th.  Talk about playing politics.

Whether to try to find someone to fill the vacancy or not could have been an open question to be debated, but Bob and Jackie are closed to discussion, pretending instead that their guy was elected.  This is the worst kind of politics.  It is mere bullying.

“ One of the two candidates from the tie has since conceded to the other. Yet, members of the town board are trying to play politics and appoint someone else, not elected by the people and not accountable to us town residents.”

Had Mr. Yetter withdrawn from the race before the vote, that would have been meaningful.  To concede a close race means that there has been a winner. That is not the case here.    For the Republicans to decide that they are going to go with Mr. Cinque after their failure to elect either man is absurd.  It isn’t up to them.  They are trying to bludgeon us all into giving them what they want, instead of any meaningful discussion of possible non-partisan or bipartisan choices.  I have never seen Mr. Tendy or Mr. Yetter ever go beyond bitter partisanship. 

Mr. Cinque was not elected by the people.  No matter how many times you guys say that, it will not change that fact. “…not accountable to us town residents.”  Interesting concept.  We have had appointed representatives before, Tendy among them.  They all take the same oath.  Hmmm….

 “Please review the following petition and sign the bottom to show this town board they cannot throw out our vote!”

You, Mr. Tendy. Ms. Annabi, Mr. Byrne, and Ms. McHenry are trying to subvert the vote.  You are intentionally misrepresenting the vote.  No one was elected to the second seat, and so there is a vacancy.   No one has thrown out your vote.  You failed to elect your guy.  Suck it up.

Party politics never outweighs the will of the people!”  Isn’t that what you are trying to do?  Isn’t that your intent?  How about some honesty, some integrity?

 “In light of reviewing January 18th’s town board meeting of this year 2012, it has become obvious that there are major partisan powers at work.”
Yup, you got that right.  Isn’t it just a tad ingenuous not to admit that you are among them? Bob-O was even angry that some of them go to the gym together!  So join the gym Bob.

“Facts are facts. The town board race was for two positions. One was filled, and the other was left vacant because of a tie for the 2nd position between Gene Yetter (R) and Bob Cinque (I).”  ….was left vacant,  ….was left vacant…..was left vacant….was left vacant….was left vacant….was left vacant……

 “After Supervisor Tendy recited Mr. Yetter’s letter, politely withdrawing his name from consideration to support Mr. Cinque, an Independent, we have a clear choice.”  Because after all, we are supposed to give Bob-O what he wants, and he wants Cinque.  Mr. Yetter had to be in consideration from the board members, all of them, in order to withdraw from consideration.  The voters failed at direct democracy, so now this is in the hands of representative democracy. The facts are facts, but your statements are not.  It is not a choice between Mr. Yetter and Mr. Cinque, no matter how many times you say that it is.

Mr. Cinque is not an Independent.  He is registered with the Independence Party, unlike the many independent, unaffiliated voters in Putnam Valley.  He is not a non-partisan choice to fill the vacancy.  He is not a bipartisan choice.  His representation has been deeply partisan.  He will have another shot at the job in November, and I assume that he will take it.

“With Mr. Yetter’s support, Mr. Cinque is the clear selection made by the people of Putnam Valley and is therefore accountable to all of us.”  We did not select Mr. Cinque.  The fact that you did does not make him accountable to all of us.  In fact any person, appointed, or elected to the board is equally “accountable to us” after taking the oath of office. If “you” of the Republican committee, and the Republican elite cannot let go of your fiefdom long enough to hear that, then there is no way that any of you are even accountable to your own party members, much less the rest of us.  Bitter partisan politics at its absolute worst.  You lost an election.  Work harder next time.  Represent more of your constituents, instead of your little group, lose the performance meetings, ‘though I was greatly entertained.  This is ridiculous.

….was left vacant….was left vacant….was left vacant….was left vacant…..was left vacant…..was left vacant.

“Unlike the alternative candidates proposed by Councilpersons Mackay and Whetsel, Bob Cinque is not a former Party Chairman and not a member of a major political party.”  I will not defend Steve’s and Wendy’s choices.  Mr. Cinque is a member of a third party.  Third parties wield power far beyond their numbers since they get a line on the ballot.  Mr. Cinque worked in the law firm of the Independence Party Chair until he was on the Town Board.  That is a significant political connection.  Ms. Annabi works there now, and is a family member.  There is no independence here.  There is no bipartisanship.  While Ms. Keresey and Mr. Santamorena are highly political choices, so is Mr. Cinque.  Please stop pretending that it is the will of the people that you care about.

“This is not the time for political posturing. Don’t disenfranchise the voters. We the people, will not forget.”

Yet here you are, posturing politically and all that.  The voters failed to elect.  They will have an extra chance in November to make up for that.  Kevin, don’t you think that all the speakers for your side should have disclosed when they got up.  Don’t you think that instead of telling us that you have lived in PV for 27 years, you should have said that you work for Nan Hayworth, that you are part of the Republican leadership in town, the Young Republicans?  Don’t you think that Esther should have disclosed her committee membership and candidacy as part of her letter?  Don’t you think that Dario should have disclosed?  Instead of pretending to be just regular folks who care about the poor voters who misfired in a direct election, and so have to wait until  November, shouldn’t you acknowledge that you are trying very hard to protect your own interest?

I have been a former Democratic committee member, Co-Chair, Chair, and candidate.  I am not involved with the current committee at all, and in the last election, I did not choose, campaign for or contribute to any of the board members or the County Legislator.  I did not discuss the vacancy or choices with the committee at all.

It is clear that the Republicans are still unwilling to let go of their bitter partisanship, and select an interim board member, so let’s wait for the November election, and let the voters decide.  Let’s leave the vacancy up to the voters.  We the people should get to decide this one.

We, the people won’t forget?  What would you the people forget?  You didn’t vote for Steve Mackay.  None of you did.  If you voted for Wendy in her last Town Board election, it was only for fear of Patty’s voice. 

We, the people……USA….America……the flag. 

You’re not more American.  You are the Putnam Valley Republican Committee, even with no 2011 financial filings. You do not represent the voters of Putnam Valley. You do not represent me. .

 There is no fun in the big town tonight.


Adopt cats.  Buy bagels.  Save sea turtles. 







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