Posted by: Dawn Powell | August 15, 2015

Library Hatred

You gotta love Putnam Valley.  Put a referendum on the ballot and they come out unabashedly against libraries, Democrats, and anything else they can think of.

I do not have information to support such a dramatic increase in the budget, but I do have enough information to vote against this crop of Republicans, who are spewing such misinformation and hatred.  I became aware of the kerfuffle when my name was brought up as a conspirator with Sam O and Priscilla to bring bring tax dollars $$$$$$ to the library.  They really don’t know me very well do they.  Their evidence was that I had been rather quiet on this blog.  That is the level of perception they seem to be bringing to their entire diatribe.

Supposedly, the library is now a subject of the ethics board (you are kidding right?) and the attorney general because Sam O spoke at the library meeting.  Didn’t Bill Gouldman speak at the meeting or did he just sign the petition?  And didn’t the nasties’ ” little darling,” Jackie Annabi say that she would support the 414 for the library?

I am confused.  I don’t know how this plot of “the Democrats” is supposed to work.  And how does an anti-library letter get circulated that is signed by the chair of the Republican dominated ethics board?

Plots, plots everywhere, but you should get your message straight.  Otherwise, it just sounds like you are screeching.

Unlike Mr. Bondi, I don’t hate the library.  Libraries and books have been part of my life since I was very small, and I suspect that is so for a lot of people.  I still seem to find use for libraries, several of them, despite my computer and phone.



  1. Dawn- sorry to disagree with you on this one, but putting all the conspiracy theories aside, the very real story here is once again abuse of power and abuse of the taxpayers. Forget party affiliations as this has nothing to do with the library referendum. By the way, before going any further, I have been a book lover my entire life and I dare say that I have more books in my home than the PVL as I am an avid collector. I remember when the PVL was a shed in the LP parking lot in the 1950s that was run by a very elderly couple. I remember the joy I felt when I got my first library card. I remember Laura Porter and when the library moved around the corner to Morrissey Dr.

    All that history aside, those days are gone and by spokeswoman Priscilla’s own admission, the library today has become more of an entertainment center with little to no emphasis on books. In fact, one of their biggest points for this referendum is that there are still poor people in the Valley who can’t afford cable tv and internet so we need to have a “library” for them to supply these vital services. Of course Priscilla has never once documented the number of these poor people who are so needy.

    Nor has she documented the unbelievable number of users that they claim are in the PVL every day. They have been asked to provide the technical info for their “beam counter” including make, model, etc. and proof that the readings it gives are accurate. In other words, they are not willing to backup their data. I personally am trying to see the machine and will let you know if they ever make it available. But they have no right misinforming the public in order to solicit more and more money. There has been no transparency from the PVL board until Dan Vera presented his research into their IRS tax forms and other data that he acquired. His information had no politics involved, it was straight from the IRS filings. To say that the board had been less than candid about all the money they have received is an understatement.

    Finally, people must understand that if this referendum goes through it becomes a forever tax. No matter whether or not the PVL needs less money, they will always be given the same $450K year after year. Unless, as Priscilla said, they go through the referendum process again to ask for more. Of course as she also said, there’s virtually no chance they will ever ask for less.

    I love libraries as much if not more than the next person but this isn’t about libraries. It’s about a small group of people who are unelected by the voters, demanding a forever tax under very questionable circumstances. I urge everyone who reads this to vote NO.

    • Did you read what I said?

      Whether you support this or not, there has been massive misinformation and nastiness spewed at the concept of library and Democrats. The anonymous trolls on the Daily Voice, the anonymous mailing, the Bondi letter, and the odd fb page have made this all a political issue for Jackie and Hayes. There is an awful lot of hysteria whether you support the referendum or not. I have met a few who do. And an attorney general complaint? Overkill for someone who is supporting Jackie.

  2. I have read your comments and think that it sound like you are making it more about politics than a taxpayer assault which I believe it is. Jackie isn’t smart enough to use this as a political issue and Sam O has already decided which side his bread is buttered on. Ellen Hayes is a candidate for town clerk which has become a throwaway position thanks to the leaders of both parties. Since town clerk can’t vote on anything and most people don’t know or care about the very important work that’s done by the TC, the library referendum is a non issue for a non voting office. It remains to be seen how the TB candidates will deal with it or not, if they or their handlers can figure it out.

    As far as trolls or anyone else who comments online about the referendum, I say good on them. The biggest problem in PV is getting word out on any given issue.

    • I think the anonymous “they” have turned it into politics.

      The library issue is very simple. The library board wants a direct vote to collect $450k instead of the $278k that the Town Board approved last year, and will approve this year (at least). The rest is politics.

      Personalities are really unimportant, as is who is sleeping with whom. If the library gets enough signatures, the voters decide. Poorly presented and ill timed, but I don’t really see that Bondi not being able to have a church there, or those evil Democrats are in any way relevant. And I don’t see poor presentation as a conspiracy.

  3. Looks like it’s all a moot point. The Board has today withdrawn the proposal.

  4. Here’s the statement on the Library’s FB page:

    The Board of Trustees of the Putnam Valley Library is suspending its campaign to move the Library to a Chapter 414 type of funding that would allow the voters to approve the town portion of its budget.

    Errors in calculating the per household financial impact were discovered while recalculating the assessment formula. These errors need to be corrected.

    While the Library must still raise additional money and create a sustainable way of funding that is in the hands of the voters, the Board has decided to wait until the 2016 election cycle to make this change.

    The Library Trustees were gladdened to learn of the support of so many of the townspeople and look forward to representing their interests in making the Putnam Valley Library worthy of their support.

    The back story here is that they basically did not tell the truth about their resources and budget. Numbers don’t lie. In this case discretion was the better part of valor.

  5. Lots of people do lie though. 1000% increase? Really? Someone needs a math lesson. The library trustees are volunteers. I think they presented this poorly, but I don’t believe it was intentional. After all, they wanted it to succeed. Do you want to be on the library board? I do think that there was a lot of overblown nonsense in the opposition that was intentionally misleading and political. I am glad it will not be on the ballot this year.

    • Sorry, but I don’t buy all that. Regardless of whether or not they are volunteers, they are receiving money from the taxpayers of Putnam Valley. They were going to try and sneak in a permanent tax increase of some $450,000 dollars per year. They were obligated to come up with the correct numbers, not try to weasel out of it. For some reason you insist on blaming the opposition which includes me, for being “intentionally misleading and political.” Please explain how I of all people was “intentionally misleading” on this issue. I think you know me better than that. But if you have a point of fact that I wrote about that was incorrect, I will be glad to review it and make any corrections if necessary.

  6. The fact that the library presented it badly does not mean that the opposition presented themselves well. That also does not mean that I am attacking you. I did not support the referendum, a fact that you seem too angry to acknowledge. But the angry letter from Bondi, the anonymous mailing, the 1000%, and the nasty anonymous Daily Voice posts in which I was one of the conspirators did not impress me. It is a tone that I have heard before, and it is one of the worst things about Putnam Valley.

  7. I didn’t realize that what I wrote sounded angry as that was not my intent. Tonight Dan Vera did an excellent job presenting the latest facts and figures – the information necessary for the TB to make an intelligent decision on the library budget. All the facts and figures were backed up with tax returns and other other documentation. Basically, what he did was all work that should have been done by the town board. That is their job, not that of a private citizen. All the things you mentioned about anonymous mailings (what was that? I never saw it), angry letters, etc. have nothing to do with the facts of this debacle. I have no doubt that if Dan did not get the word out, we would have ended up with a permanent tax increase of minimally $450K per year.

    • It is interesting how intent is not always clear when we write something.

      Mr. Vera says it is all Annabi.

      • I saw the letter and am still surprised at all the deference towards JA that was shown. Completely uncalled for in my book but then again as we both know, there is always the aspect of politics vis a vis the upcoming election. Look at the GOP slate and the answer will be clear.

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