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Jail’s fate up to legislature

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    Residents filled the board room in Catskill for the public comment session on the jail bond on Monday.
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    Crane Davis speaks to the legislators and the public about the ATI’s recommendations for the new jail at the public comment session in Catskill on Monday.
September 18, 2018 08:52 pm Updated: September 19, 2018 04:34 pm

 

CATSKILL — A proposed jail with fewer beds is expected to go before Greene County lawmakers for a vote tonight.

The existing Greene County Jail on Bridge Street in Catskill was closed for safety reasons April 20 after the Commission of Corrections ranked it in February as one of the worst jails in the state.

Finance committee members approved a resolution Monday for a $39 million bond to construct a new jail behind Greene Correctional Facility off Route 9W in Coxsackie with a 7-2 vote. The committee voted in favor of the measure after approving an amendment to cap the new jail’s beds at 80 — a reduction from 96.

Legislators Charles Martinez, R-Coxsackie; Harry Lennon, D-Cairo; Thomas Hobart, R-Coxsackie; Larry Gardner, D-Hunter; Linda Overbaugh, R-Catskill; William Lawrence, R-Cairo; and Kevin Lewis, R-Greenville; voted in favor of the amendment and bond resolution.

Legislators Aidan O’Connor, D-Durham, and Kevin Lennon, D-Catskill, voted against the amendment and bond.

The committee meeting took place after several residents shared their thoughts on the jail project during a one-hour public comment session at 6 p.m. Dozens of residents spoke during the public comment portion and expressed mixed feelings about the project.

“I plead sanity for all of us,” said Jon Phillips, of Catskill. “You’re acting like someone is holding a gun to your head because interest rates are rising, but there is no crisis, there is no emergency. It’s all a big lie.”

Marvin Segelman, of Jewett, echoed similar statements.

“I’m begging you not to make this mistake,” he said. “Don’t bury the future of Greene County in the Coxsackie swamp.”

Some residents wanted an updated study analyzing the jail’s requirements, saying the Ricci-Greene was completed in 2014-15.

“Studies are a way to kill something,” Catskill Planning Board Chairman Joe Izzo said. “Greene County is unique. It’s important we keep our identity and the jail is a major component of that.”

During the committee meeting, Legislator Larry Gardner, D-Hunter, proposed the amendment to reduce the new jail to 80 beds.

“I thought the 96-cell proposal was excessive and should come down significantly,” Gardner said Tuesday, adding he planned the amendment and did not propose it in response to Monday’s public comment session.

Lawrence and Harry Lennon seconded the amendment to reduce the jail’s number of beds.

“Right sizing is the right approach to making it work,” Lawrence said.

Catskill resident Crane Davis worked with the Alternatives To Incarceration Committee to determine an appropriate size for the jail, he said.

“We recommended 66 beds or a maximum of 78 with double-bunking,” he said before the committee voted to reduce the facility’s beds.

The ATI committee’s recommendation for a smaller jail is because of the lack of outside inmates boarded in Greene County, Davis said.

“Who’s going to send people to Greene County if it’s the worst?” he said, referencing the study that ranked the Bridge Street facility as one of the five worst in the state.

Phoebe Potter, of West Kill, voiced her concerns about the 80-bed cap not corresponding with the ATI’s recommendations.

“It should say 80 beds and 66 cells,” she said.

Potter was also disappointed the bond resolution did not include a commitment to funding for alternatives to incarceration, she said.

“I know from conversations with [Gardner] he supports alternatives to incarceration,” Potter said Tuesday.

The finance committee did not know how the fewer beds would change the jail’s projected costs at the time of Monday’s vote.

Kevin Lennon made a motion to postpone the committee’s jail bond vote until lawmakers had more information about how much the smaller facility would cost.

“We’re putting the cart before the horse,” Lennon said. “It’s not how we should do business.”

The Catskill legislator expressed concern about how in-county services have not been used to evaluate the jail project, citing the county’s Buy In Greene and Invest In Greene programs established to promote local businesses.

“We say ‘Buy in Greene,’ but we’ve used outside real estate agents and engineers for this project,” Lennon said. “We should find a way to use our companies to do it.”

Legislator Lori Torgersen, D-Windham, does not feel all options have been explored, she said after the meeting.

“We have an incredible opportunity to be leaders for criminal justice,” said Torgersen, who has a Ph.D in criminal justice. “I think some of my colleagues are fearful of innovation. We obviously don’t have all the information… it is unequivocally not our only option.”

Davis expressed an interest in looking into rehabilitation options or picking another site that is less environmentally sensitive because the Coxsackie property is on wetlands, he said.

“We have the worst heroin problem in the state and we’re third for oxycodone,” he said.

After Monday’s vote took place, residents and legislators discussed the committee’s decision.

“I’m disappointed they’re not going to take a year to look at all the options,” Potter said. “I’m grateful they recognized that the current proposal is too big.”

Gardener felt the re-sizing was appropriate.

“I’m pleased with the outcome,” he said. “We have significantly lowered the bed count for what we’re submitting to [the] Commission of Corrections.”

The full county legislature will vote at 6:30 p.m. tonight in the county building’s legislative board room, 411 Main St., Catskill.

*Editor's note: This story corrects an earlier version. Legislator William Lawrence said “Right sizing is the right approach to making it work,” in reference to amending the number of beds in the proposed county jail project.

 

Comments
I'm sorry, I appreciate Joe Izzo's good heart and civic pride, but could not disagree more that "jail is major component of Greene County." And I can't think of a reason in the world we would want it to become one, either. Do we really want a 'jail culture county?'

What was clear from the pro-jailers at yesterday's hearing is that they have an emotional investment in their history of advocating for a jail in Greene County, when in fact it is cheaper to approach this issue as a multi-tiered set of options adapted to our current criminal justice trends and real life options. It is clear that the difference in cost impacts on Greene County over the proposed 30-year life of the bond and cost of running a jail as proposed v. alternatives is at least $60,000,000 that could be spent on education, health care, elder services, and other social needs besides arbitrarily confining detainees adjacent to a swamp sink prison site in Coxsackie.

A mixture of boarding out according to need, while reducing jail populations with alternative venues and dispositions and combining this with one or more cooperative agreements based on different population needs can best accommodate disparate demands much more cost effectively. Our justice system needs to address medical, gender, or treatment priorities and still have appropriate detainment venues in reserve when circumstances recommend.

There is nothing, absolutely nothing to recommend a tremendous capital expenditure to pursue all these needs and collect them under one incredibly expensive to build new roof on a dubious parcel of swamp land that needs to have sewer lines, electricity, and other basic services installed from the ground up!

The only gun being held to our heads is by the urgent pressure to vote for a bond that will crush the tax payers of Greene County for a highly dubious enterprise that will not add any jobs, any development and just bring on a lot of debt and max out our tax base. VOTE NO!! Please stop this foolish rush to spend money we don't have (that's what debt is) on a jail we don't really need.
Dear Lee:

The numbers provided by Ricci-Green were fraudulent. They were fired half way through their non-compete contract.

The current number of detainees is 51. 1 is in mental health in Albany. 10 are in Hudson, 40 in Ulster. Of this 75% are detained pending court. Removing adolescents (happening), improved defense (happening), improved ATI (happening but ATI needs to be a standing committee), all bring numbers DOWN. The trend is down, and the intention is to bring the numbers down. Jail ruins people, ruins careers and families. No jobs are lost avoiding a new mega-prison, and these aren't economy plus jobs in the first place. It's jobs watching people in human cages.

Our security needs are already well handled by the shared/regional jail solution AND that this is paid within budget. We're already there Lee.

You can't just make up stuff Lee. Your letters don't make any sense, don't connect to any actual facts, and aren't made better when you try to explain them. Mr. Groden's scolded you for the persistence of error.

Rehab the Sheriff's office at 80 Bridge street retaining booking and some holding cells. Secure the shared/regional jail solution and make ATI a standing committee.

Then... the county needs to get on with real business - attract and retain new money industry and tech.

Scott Myers
(518) 291-8169
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Dear Bettina:

This is not necessarily political information. Your work is political as much as a county is political, or how we manage our community is political. I am not favoring one party over another. In Kurt Vonnegut’s Cats Cradle, he invents two political parties, their names are almost unimportant. As a satirist (and humanist - he was president of the US Humanist Society) Vonnegut saw with an acute eye.

Here, at a potentially massive expense, in a county with very little new money industry, our government is excited to build human cages they clearly don’t need. We must use these resources more wisely. That’s not political, not democratic or republican, not conservative or liberal. The justice issue and the odd proclivity to build human cages and put people in them is not a party issue.

What's likely needed is to increase our for-profit local economy, rehab 80 Bridge Street, and secure the shared services regional jail with Hudson. Jail is not prison. If someone genuinely needs long-term detention they are tried, sentenced and sent to prison. Otherwise "alternatives" such as social and mental health work, family counseling, and jobs is the best option. By removing adolescents from jail (done), reforming bail (done), and doing better social and mental health work (soon) we will divert from human cages to better solutions. This is an important opportunity to do just that.


Scott

Scott Myers
Desktop Labs
414 Main Street
Catskill, NY 12414
(518) 291-8169

Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science (Buckminster Fuller)
Dear teachers:

This is perhaps the last chance to properly transform Greene County. It is not a political or party issue. It's simply a community issue. The reports from Albany' Commission of Corrections slams Greene County. We are the worst offender. It is not the architecture, it's the behavior of Sheriff Greg Seeley and Jail Superintendent Michael Spitz. THIS is what we must transform. If evil is allowed at that level here it undermines all other work. I witnessed beatings, needless suicides, and horrible abuses of justice. I am an internally displaced refugee from 9/11, our home at 12 John Street was destroyed by that terrorist attack. But, Greene County did far more damage to myself and family. 30 charges, 10 arrests, and convictions but complete dismissals on appeal. I had to get rid of Judge Pulver (forced to recuse), and recuse Judge Simon in Hunter - which allowed former Sheriff Hussey to be prosecuted for DWI and removed.

There's no need or money for a new jail in Coxsackie. The monster is a mega-prison no one really wants. The statistics on "crime" here are actually quite low. The number driving the size of the Coxsackie disaster are fraudulent. Ricci-Greene was hired but without a competitive bid. They said we need 134 new human cages, then 98. But we only have 51 detainees at present. We're "sharing" Columbia and Ulster's extra space, and without borrowing. With bail reform, removing adolescents, and better social and mental health services this 51 will no doubt drop to 40 and even 30 or 20. Jail is just a temporary holding area until a court or social services can figure something out. It does almost no one any good.

Matt is unfortunately overinfluenced by politics. The reality of these dollars is that they LEAVE Greene County. We're truly being carpetbagged. Delaware, SMRT, Pike, Ricci-Greene, and even USDA are NOT Greene County Businesses. There is a 30 year 20% property tax increase! And for nothing.

ATI is Alternatives To Incarceration. The committee, that I forced, met 20 times. Lori Torgersen has a Ph.D. in criminal justice and lead the group of social workers. Managing our population is FAR smarter than putting 100 people in human cages. It is also FAR less expensive. A regional/shared jail is completely legal under existing law, we're in fact already in that mode. There's plenty of capacity nearby. Hudson is closer to the court than Coxsackie.

The truth is that the county has NO growth. 4 years of sales tax figures show absolutely flat growth. Administrator Groden has no plan for non-public, non-seasonal, for-profit jobs or industry. All he can come up with is a giant mega prison that we don't need. It will harm all of us.

This is probably not wanted by any of you. Teachers are particularly community minded, we teach children by example. Please tell Matt to act with his conscious. He noticed that County Law 217 prevents moving the Sheriff's Office out of Catskill. He certainly doesn't want people harmed by police. It's the pattern here, unfortunately. It's time to end the poor practices, repair the 80 Bridge St. facility with booking and some holding cells. The shared/regional jail provides all of our security needs without an onerous unaffordable loan.

Matt is one of two swing votes. A supermajority is needed tonight. I can likely prevent USDA from lending to us, but it's best if the legislators act like grownups and prevent this monster from going forward, and to secure ATI as a standing committee.

Scott
__

Scott Myers
Desktoplabs
414 Main Street
Catskill, NY 12414
Dear administrators and teachers at Catskill Elementary:

Your colleague Matt Luvera is possibly about to vote for a new jail, for a loan for a new jail. This is a strong request to tell Matt not to vote for new human cages in Coxsackie. Please! The jail project is irresponsible.

The cost is insane. $67 million. Taxes go up 20% - for 30 years! This doesn't include operation costs, maintenance, and on and on. We do not have the money in Greene County for a new set of human cages.

We do not have a need for a giant new prison. The shared/regional jail solution handles our security needs and is legal, which is proven since we're sharing Columbia County's jail now. County Law § 217 allows for our jail to be in another county.

County Law § 217 requires the Sheriff's Office to remain in the county seat, which Matt noticed and now seems to ignore. Any change requires a public referendum. It is not on the November ballot.

A jail is not a prison, but the monster designed for Coxsackie is every bit a prison. Matt noticed, as did the lending source, US Department of Agriculture, that the Sheriff's Office is thoroughly incorporated into the plans.

It is very important to know the $67 million simply leaves Greene County. The engineers Pike, SMRT, Delaware are not Greene County companies. The very very large interest payments go to USDA not a Greene County Business. We're being carpetbagged.

Administrator Shawn Groden's 2018 budget showed no growth for the past 4 years, and no plan for non-public, for-profit, non-seasonal, new money business. None. So how will we pay back the enormous loan? We can't. A look forward shows the economy will not grow, the federal reserve is already raising interest rates. We don't have any new money industries here in the first place.

As far as justice issues, we were recently rated the "worst offender" by NY State. I FOILed the correspondence for the past 5 years - the problem is the management, not the architecture. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1BF4_ubrhNcbq3vselkZkaztF_xer5BJk A new clubhouse for Greg Seeley and Michael Spitz is inappropriate. They both need to go.

I was not allowed to see the plans. There are reasons. The place is a disaster. The soil's clay, which means no drainage, which means no geothermal. It means it's $8 million just to break ground. My FOIL to the county attorney failed. So I FOILed USDA instead. A gym for the staff's included, but a YMCA is across the street. It's a mega prison. This is the link to the loan application. https://drive.google.com/open?id=18aidAvQDtUI0gW_V5XIMApdSeOp-IPdN

FOIA NY18-02 USDA GC Jail Binder.pdf
drive.google.com


The county used fraud to create the numbers of human cages. They hired Ricci-Greene. But when asked, Ricci-Greene had no raw data to justify their 136 and now 98 human cages. They were fired. Actual numbers of detainees are low, around 50. These are easily accommodated in Columbia and Ulster County. The county refuses to fund a shared/regional jail study, which means they overlook the affordable solutions.

While some suggest that "boarding out" embarrasses Greene County that's just plain silly. Sharing the existing, overbuilt, facilities takes care of our security needs and is paid out of budget - no loan, no interest payments...

A county jail is not a prison. It's a temporary holding area to use until a solution is made for the person. Program is not part of jail, program at a jail is shown not to work since the person in a human cage is not likely to respond.

When the jail bond was tabled an Alternatives To Incarceration Committee formed ("ATI"). I met with them for 20 weeks. Each of the social service and justice administrators met and discussed our need and our solutions. The DA, the Public Defender, the head of Twin Counties Recovery and Mental Health, a retired judge. All of this was chaired by Lori Torgersen. Dr. Torgersen has 20 years in criminal justice and a Ph.D. in psychology. She is a legislator from Windham.

An intelligent plan moving forward is to repair the 80 Bridge Street Sheriff's Office (just like the library and courthouse), retaining booking and some holding cells. We must then formalize the shared/regional jail with Hudson (which btw is closer to court than Coxsackie). We must then secure ATI as a standing committee to administrate our social and non-court justice issues.

Please tell your colleague Matt Luvera that a vote for a jail bond is irresponsible. Funding the shared/regional jail and ATI is productive.

Anyone is free to call or write to me to discuss these points. I can provide any document you might need concerning this issue. Please tell Matt not to vote for this monster. The alternatives are productive, anything new in Coxsackie is not.

Scott
__

Scott Myers
Desktoplabs
414 Main Street
Catskill, NY 12414
518 291-8169
William Lawrence

Chairman Safety Committee

Greene County Legislature

411 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414



September 4, 2018





Re: Any loan for construction of a new jail in Coxsackie

is the most irresponsible act any legislator can do





Dear Bill:


Thank you for your roll in the jail issue, but as you know we’re failing.


There is no money here. There is no plan or implementation of new money, for-profit, non-seasonal, jobs or industry. We are already operating under a shared/regional jail method. In all actuality, we don’t have much crime here.

The Worst Offender’s Report from the Commission on Corrections[1]notices the problem is the behavior of Sheriff Greg Seeley and Jail Superintendent Michael Spitz. Like Rikers, which is closing, it’s the management, not the architecture that needs an overhaul.

When I stopped the $90 million[2]jail bond in February the legislature created an Alternatives to Incarceration (“ATI”) committee. I attended every ATI and public engineering meetings. I didn’t see you at any of them.

As you know, the data from Ricci-Greene was wrong, but it’s these trumped up numbers that drove the sizing of the jail, first 138 now 98. When pressed they had no raw data. They lied and they were fired, but we’re still using their baseline to drive this monster’s size in Coxsackie.


The actual current number of detainees is 33. With aggressive defense and ATI intervention, this will drop much further. The conversation about the size of Hudson’s facility is largely moot since their numbers are also dropping. Isn’t it better if we incarcerate fewer people? Our safety needs are already well met.


The shared service with Columbia County is not a lessening of prestige for Greene County it's a giant step towards accountability, both in terms of justice and in terms of economy.


Albany, Hudson and the majority of GC citizens are wholly supportive of the regional jail solution. There’s no doubt whatsoever that a shared/regional jail is completely legal – we’re already doing it.


Every dollar wasted on a new jail is money borrowed, money not spent on addressing the root cause (poverty), and not spent on programs to cure. Coxsackie is further away from our courthouse than Hudson. Transportation costs (done by non-law enforcement) exists for the Coxsackie or the Hudson solution.


As USDA notes, the plans thoroughly incorporate the sheriff's office, But, as you completely understand, the Sheriff's Office must remain in Catskill. It can’t be moved without the success of a public referendum. A public referendum will fail of course, which is a reason it’s not on the November ballot. Both the civil and the criminal portion are moved according to the USDA narrative.


Greene County has a horrible history of poorly delivered justice. Let me provide the short list: Judge Spargo was sent to Federal Jail for taking bribes on the bench. Sheriff Richard Hussey was removed for being a perpetual drunk. Judge Pulver removed himself from my case after I provided evidence of bribes, land abuses and various illegal pictures of minors on his chambers computer. When I deposed Probation Director Allen Frisbee at trial he acknowledged he couldn't remember if he took psychology in college. I had to make certain Charlie Bucca didn’t inherit the position as District Attorney. Replacing Sheriff Greg Seeley and firing Michael Spitz are priorities.


We must rehab the 80 Bridge Street jail retaining the Sheriff’s Office, booking and some holding cells. Then we must formalize ATI as a standing committee to administrate our social and justice systems, and secure the shared/regional jail solution with Columbia County. Any other solution is irresponsible at best.


Respectfully,

/s/

Scott Myers

414 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414





C.c. Members of the public and the press


[1]http://www.scoc.ny.gov/pdfdocs/Problematic-Jails-Report-2-2018.pdf https://www.newyorkupstate.com/news/2018/02/five_most_problematic_jails_in_new_york_state_with_repeat_violations.html

THE WORST OFFENDERS REPORT: THE MOST PROBLEMATIC LOCAL ...
http://www.scoc.ny.gov
80 South Swan Street, 12th Floor, Albany, New York 12210 │ 518-485-2346 – phone │ 518-485-2467 – fax │ http://www.scoc.ny.gov THE WORST OFFENDERS REPORT: THE MOST PROBLEMATIC LOCAL CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES OF NEW YORK STATE February 2018 . Thomas A. Beilein


Five most problematic jails in New York State with repeat ...
http://www.newyorkupstate.com
A New York State watchdog agency has deemed Rikers Island in New York City and four Upstate NY jails as the worst jails in the state. The Commission of Correction issued a report Wednesday to Gov ...

[2]$53 million at 3.5% for 30 years = $90 million. 98 cages is $918.367 PER CAGE! This doesn’t include operation, maintenance, staff, defense, transportation or program costs to the detainees. Taking $13 million from reserves does not reduce the principle – it’s the county retirement money.
Dear Pastor Snowden:


If you look closely at the project, as I have, you would not want it built.

The crews will not be from Greene County. The engineers aren’t from Greene County - Ricci-Greene, Pike, SMRT, Delaware. The interest for the monster loan will not go to a Greene County bank, but to the US Department of Agriculture. If I succeed we save a lot of heartache for the detainees (they will simply fill a new one up - 98 human cages) and save a LOT of county taxpayer money - $39 million + the $13 million taken from reserves (which is retirement and healthcare for county worker funds) + interest of 3.5% for 30 years + operation costs + maintenance, program, and defense costs - total ~$110 million. We’re being carpetbagged.

Moreover, on examination, we don’t have much serious crime here. The current number of detainees is just 30, and of these 15 could be released since they’re awaiting trial and aren’t a harm to themselves or others. The behavior of Sheriff Greg Seeley and more pointedly Jail Superintendent Michael Spitz is horrendous. Beilein’s Worst Offender report notices the management is 85% of the problem. I do not want this behavior rewarded with a new clubhouse for torture in Coxsackie. The plans included a gym for the staff. A YMCA is across the street.

$110 million is an entire year’s Greene County Budget. But when it’s spent as the budget most of it is spent here. This $110 million simply leaves. About 50 people are employed, but at $110 million in local taxpayer moneys, that’s a little insane. Hunter Skibowl for instance recently sold for $37 million, a huge piece of real estate with a substantial business income producing business.

Some complain that Greene County doesn’t have a hospital or college, but Hey!, let’s have more human cages. See the point? Not a good priority.

A shared/regional jail is a) legal b) handles our security issues within existing income. The USDA noticed that the plans Mr. Spitz created incorporate the Sheriff’s Office. County Law 217 requires a public referendum to move it out of Catskill. The rue that the civil part will remain here is fiction plus. A look at the 80 Bridge Street lot shows we’re misusing 40% of it. Look around the back, a large garage is there storing skidoo boats. I notice the Sheriff’s Office and jail were built at the same as the library and courthouse which were repaired perfectly.

You know from the needs of your congregation that there are few jobs here and almost no non-public, for-profit, non-seasonal companies. We don’t have $110 million to pay back a loan. In fact, the Treasurer Peter Markou knows there’s already a $42 million unfunded mandate he doesn’t have - the county worker retirement and health care money. And, when pressed, he says THAT’s more like $110 million - just the amount a new jail will blow. This leaves the real math at $220 million missing. Groden nor Hart have no plan for new money business here. So, there simply isn’t any money, which is why this idea can’t occur. I’m sure you agree once you look at the real numbers as I have. It’s simply grossly irresponsible. It harms our local society. I”m sure that’s the opposite of your intention.


Very best regards,


Scott

Scott Myers
Desktop Labs
414 Main Street
Catskill, NY 12414
(518) 291-8169

I look for what needs to be done. After all, that's how the universe designs itself. (Buckminster Fuller)





On Sep 2, 2018, at 10:54 PM, Pastor Rick <ricksstudy@aol.com> wrote:

Hi Scott, just would like to inform you that I’m in favor of building the jail here in Greene County. I probably would not be of help to your cause. I respectfully disagree with your assessment on the matter! Thank you though! Have an awesome Labor Day weekend!

Pastor Rick Snowden and the Community Life Church Family

Sent from my iPhone


From: Scott Myers <scottmyers@mac.com>
Sent: Saturday, September 1, 2018 11:19 AM
To: Paczkowski Craig
Cc: Rev. Catherine E. Schuyler; Joanna T; Zoe Zak; Rev. Karen Monk; Jeff Friedman; Chloe Kimball; Insha Rahman; Jack Norton; Lori Torgersen
Subject: Re: Clergy and our local social services

Dear Rev. Craig:

Yes, I’m receiving support about the jail issue from local clergy. Especially Zoe Zak and Catherine Schuyler. First reform’s Joanna Tipple is great and hosted a sleepover for a jail reform march last spring. Father Richard Shaw visited most of the region’s jails each week for his entire career and has been quite helpful, even in retirement. His book, Naked As A Jail Bird is a processing of his experiences, and recommended. Witnessing is very powerful. Rev. Karen Monk, in Hunter, sad to me that if she didn’t have witnesses her church would be empty.

We’re at a point where we need to put this Coxsackie debacle to rest.

I AM interested in a letter that all local clergy will sign. It can’t be vague. I believe it needs to completely oppose a bond for construction of a new jail in Coxsackie for human and economic reasons. I’m including a proposed letter for our clergy to consider. I’d walk the letter to each clergy. It’s on word format so people can make changes. I’m including supporting documentation. This is a link to an editable version. I’ll send a password separately.

We could discuss specifics at a meeting. Everyone’s busy but an hour discussion together is a very good idea so I’m suggesting it. How about Tuesday at 8 AM at HiLo, or 4 PM on Tuesday at the public library. I can reserve the room. Or anywhere, anytime.

As you know, it’s my observation that rehabbing 80 Bridge Street, keeping the Sheriff’s Office there, keeping a few holding cells and booking handles our security needs.

We’re already in a shared/regional jail mode. Jeff Friedman, Chair of the Chamber, expects this is the default result anyway. I doubt they can get a loan from USAD for the above, for fraud by Ricci-Greene in numbering the scale of that monster, and for overt denial of due diligence in funding the shared/regional jail with Hudson.

We’re approaching the end of a 2 month fact finding period, which failed. Bill Lawrence chairs the Safety Committee and rushed out his FAQ. They are largely false. Attorney Ed Kaplan denied most of my FOILs, so I sued in an Article 78 Mandamus.

We all share for the hope of wellbeing of our community. Churchill and others notice that hope is not a strategy.

Now is the time to take advantage of what Dr. Lori Torgersen calls a [potential] transformational moment.

Scott Myers
(518) 291-8169
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