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No pistol permits within county seat

Greene County Sheriff Greg Seeley
March 21, 2019 12:00 am

CATSKILL — Greene County residents can no longer obtain pistol permits in Catskill, the county seat.

The Greene County Sheriff’s Office maintains a civil office in the records room of the Greene County Office Building at 411 Main St., Catskill, to handle paperwork for evictions, foreclosures, subpoenas and levies.

Pistol permits are not a civil action, so residents have to go to the Coxsackie location.

The sheriff’s office, formerly located on West Bridge Street in Catskill, is now temporarily housed at 370 Mansion St. in Coxsackie. The county is leasing the building for three years while the new jail facility is constructed, also in Coxsackie. The former jail was deemed unsafe in April 2018.

“I find it appalling that residents can no longer get a pistol permit in the county seat,” Legislator Matthew Luvera, R-Catskill, said Tuesday.

A sheriff’s satellite office at Jewett Town Hall is the other location that administers the permits, Greene County Sheriff Greg Seeley said.

“We wanted to set something up for the mountaintop community so people didn’t have to drive all the way down to Catskill,” Seeley said, adding that the service is offered on Wednesdays.

A Catskill satellite office is not in the cards for the remainder of Seeley’s term. The sheriff, who is a Republican, will stand down at the end of the year, after serving the county for 12 years.

“Could we open another office?” he said. “Sure we could. I would encourage the next sheriff to.”

Retired state police investigator Pete Kusminsky was nominated by the Greene County Republican Committee to run for Seeley’s vacated seat. Kusminsky said he would support expanding the services in Catskill.

“I would explore expanding the services at the civil office to include that service,” he said. “I want us to be accessible as possible. I don’t want to make it more difficult for people to get pistol permits.”

Republican Diana Benoit, who lost the GOP committee nomination to Kusminsky, said she supports a new satellite in Catskill.

“I don’t think it would be much of a problem to have a satellite in the Catskill area,” she said. “I want to make it as easy as I can for people to avail their Second Amendment rights if they qualify. I’m not opposed to more outlets.”

Coxsackie is not the best location for the new jail and sheriff’s office, Benoit said.

“It was not my choice to move to Coxsackie,” she said. “I would have kept it more centrally located.”

The location was chosen by the Legislature, not the sheriff, Benoit added.

Seeley expects the number of individuals seeking permits will increase with the gun control controversy on the rise, he said.

The Greene County Office Building would be an ideal location for a satellite, Seeley said.

Once the new jail is built and the sheriff’s office has moved there from the Mansion Street location, residents will go there to obtain permits, Seeley said.

Use 80 Bridge Street for the satellite office, heck, use it for the Sheriff's Office.

Here's a link for County Law sections 216 and 217.

The Sheriff's office is the Sheriff's office. The legislative law and the case law (decisions by a court that interpret legislative law) don't allow a sheriff office to be moved out of the county seat (Catskill) without a public referendum. The whole county needs to approve such move BEFORE the sheriff's office is moved. Benoit right about not moving to Coxsackie, it's also the law. But she's not right that the decision was made by the legislation, it was made by Greg Seeley and Jail Superintendent Michael Spitz. The legislators weren't even allowed to see the plans until I forced it after Attorney Ed Kaplan denied my FOIL. USDA honored the same FOIL request within a week.

Yes, Coxsackie's a bad place for a sheriff's office. If you look at the plans for the monster in Coxsackie you'll see what USDA saw, it thoroughly incorporates, and moves, the sheriff's office.

The cost of the monster in Coxsackie is $90 million (construction, operations, maintenance, interest, etc.), which comes out to a 16% tax increase for 30 years (the length of a bond/loan). Insane. Every dollar for a new jail is OVER the legal limit of 2%. Insane. The only way to allow such a horrible expense is to say the new jail is REQUIRED. But it's not, obviously. There are 691 empty cells in the adjoining counties. We don't have much crime in Greene County. Greene County IGNORED the fine work of the Alternatives To Incarceration Committee.

So, I'm suing. Does Anyone want to join in?
The Sheriff's office loaded and lobbied for the Coxsackie Jail 100%. It was a collaboration between them, and Pete Martinez, Lawrence and a twe others with mysterious motivations. Certainly economy and common sense or public interest did not play a part in their plot. Nor did a public referendum.

The gun permits are for Seeley's convenience. He hates Catskill. He's a mountain boy and cow boy with an impaired sense of civil liberties and ingrained prejudices that make him extremely undesireable in a law enforcement administrative position.

Republican Diana Benoit, who lost the GOP committee nomination to Kusminsky, said she supports a new satellite in Catskill.

Coxsackie is not the best location for the new jail and sheriff’s office, Benoit said. But, she is playing cute when she says it was the Legislature's choice. They totally followed the lead and phony information fed them by Sheriff Seeley. Coxsackie is a deeply flawed and expensive option.