Posted by: Dawn Powell | February 26, 2016

Wednesday, March 9, 6PM

-The public hearing for the 3 proposed laws.  The first allows residents to finish their basements with only a building permit, up to 20% of livable space.  I don’t know if anyone objects to that, but it doesn’t seem to have aroused too much interest.

Then, there is the constitution, the 4th amendment, that is up for grabs in Putnam Valley.

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Whether you are a tenant, a landlord, or a potential seller, Sam Oliverio does not seem to cotton too much to this constitutional amendment.  There is a lively discussion on the Sam Oliverio facebook page, and aside from his fans, a lot of the frightening aspects  of this law are being discussed, with intelligence.

It is scary to me that Mr. O is entirely unresponsive to the unreasonable search aspect of these laws, even telling dissenters that they don’t care about the rights of renters and buyers.  That is, of course, absurd, but you don’t throw out the Constitution for a vaguely delineated threat.  There is nothing in the legislative intent or rhetoric that suggests that the Constitution should be overridden.

Mr. O will be limiting your free speech to 3 minutes, so I would suggest that you outline your points, and if they are made by someone else, move to other points that you want to make.  There are 2 separate laws, one for rental property, and one for homeowners, so you actually have 6 minutes.   Council Members Annabi and MacKay are already on your side, so you can try to communicate with the other 2 Council Members.

You can also write your comments.  Written public comment can be permitted beyond the 9th, but since you have no guarantee, you should get these written comments in by the 9th.  You can email the Town Clerk, or the Supervisor and Town Board Members.

Another of Mr. O’s initiatives is the zombie houses, and if you think that is clearcut, please consider the lack of preparation in these 2 proposed laws.  The news media already went out to a house that is owned, and is being renovated, harassing the owner.  Another house that was purchased and was finally being fixed up, the town has stopped all activity.

In the community where I grew up, a veteran’s house was destroyed, and all his belongings trashed, while he was in Florida, having surgery.  He arrived home to find a cleared lot.  That Town says they did everything right, but clearly they did not.  And he is not the only person to whom they did this.  Let’s not be so overzealous that we fail to take care of our town.



  1. Great summary of what’s happening. The Oliverio honeymoon lasted less than 2 months and now we are faced with one of the greatest threats to our property rights in the history of PV. The un-elected building inspector who happens to think he is a nice guy (guess he’s entitled to his opinion) thinks we should trust him to do the right thing. He and Sam know what’s best for us. People really need to get involved with this issue. It affects everyone in town. Once the laws are passed, even though they are un-Constitutional- it will be impossible to repeal them. That means you can plan on staying here forever unless you can afford to do the repairs, whatever they may be, or else walk away. It does make one start to consider some new strategies.

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