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Response to Impounded Ballots Posted by County Executive Ed Day

 "Regarding yesterday's ward system vote held by the Town of Ramapo ... In response to a number of substantive messages
I have received from many of you, coupled with details of alleged voter fraud and improprieties that included specific
details of the criminal impersonation of our County Board of Election officials, I today formally requested that our
District Attorney initiate a criminal investigation to the extent it is warranted as determined by his office."

Supreme Court Judge Orders all Ramapo Ballots Be Impounded

September 30, 2014 Michael Parietti and Robert Romanowski successfully argued in Rockland Supreme Court that there were serious irregularities
and possible fraud in the Special Referendum Vote in Ramapo today. Supreme Court Judge Margaret Garvey ordered that all ballots be locked
and stored at the Rockland Board of Elections in the custody of the Rockland Sheriff's Department. They will then be prepared for a careful and
thorough investigation before the election can be certified. At issue are affidavit ballots the Town accepted from individuals who are not registered
voters and who have lived in Ramapo for as few as 30 days. Also to be closely looked at are what might be extraordinary numbers of absentee ballots.
And finally there is the issue of the seeming concerted effort on the part of the Town to not provide voters with adequate information on the rules
that were different in this election. For tonight, Judge Garvey has ruled, "that all USB sticks (from the voting machines) and register tapes reflecting
the votes cast, military ballots, absentee ballots, emergency ballots and affidavits ballots shall be impounded." This story is developing--more
tomorrow.    

     

 

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Ramapo Town Clerk Refuses to Answer Questions about
a Plan to Allow People Who are Not Registered Voters to
Vote in Tuesday's Ward Referendum Election

September 29, 2014 Watch the video here and then read the list of voters questions that
he had no time for here.

The First Job for a New Town Board Will Be to Cut Payroll

September 28, 2014 If we elect a new town board in November of 2015 its first job will be to stop the incredible abuse of our tax payers.  
As most of us have already learned, according to the New York State Comptroller Ramapo is the most financially stressed municipality in
New York State.  The Comptroller reported that no one on the town board acknowledged that they knew anything about the funding of
St. Lawrence’s $60 million stadium.  Our town board seems equally ignorant about the funding and sale of what St. Lawrence promised
would be “affordable housing”.  That housing has proven to be so expensive that many of the apartments have been sold illegally to
limited liability corporations that rent apartments to new residents. Perhaps we should excuse these “mistakes” and hope our rubber
stamp town board will pay more attention to town affairs in the future.  That, unfortunately, is not likely. (More)

 

Letter: Ramapo ward system ensures protection for all

September 28, 2014

A ward system for Ramapo would ensure minority representation, and goes to the heart of the Voting Rights Act's
protections, Spring Valley Trustee Emilia White says. The writer advocates for "yes" votes on expanding Ramapo board,
instituting wards.

Ramapo Councilwoman Brendel Charles reports that she has written to the Department of Justice with concerns that a ward system
could "potentially undermine minority representation." This is pure hypocrisy. (More)

State Reps Slam St. Lawrence's Banning Poll Watchers

September 27, 2014 All three local state representatives condemned the Supervisor's refusal to allow independent poll watchers
at the Tuesday, Sept 30, Referendum for a Ward System.
Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, D-New City, said the upcoming referendums
are "too important to not have the transparency that is afforded to every other election." Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, D-Suffern, agreed.
"Poll watchers are a positive aspect of our democratic election process, while helping to ensure that voting results, at the local, state and
national levels are reliable, fair, transparent and honest," she said. "Allowing poll watchers will benefit the entire Ramapo community by
instilling confidence in the voters." Sen. David Carlucci, D-New City, said denying poll watchers "goes against the spirit of fair and open
democracy.
"From national elections to the smallest hamlets, preserving the integrity of the voting process is fundamentally crucial to our
communities." When St. Lawrence was asked for a response he refused. Read the complete Journal News story here.

Read Press Release from Robert Rhodes regarding the ban here    

Poll Watchers Barred from Ward Referendum Vote Scheduled for Ramapo
this coming Tuesday, Sept 30

September 25, 2014 The Ramapo political machine spent two years fighting tooth and nail to prevent a ward referendum in Ramapo. 
The referendum has finally been scheduled for this coming Tuesday, September 30.  The referendum will decide whether Ramapo
will be divided into six wards for the election of town councilman.  Town councilmen are currently elected at large.
We find it hard
to believe that this morning Judge Garvey of the Supreme Court agreed with St. Lawrence that there is no provision in the law or
precedent requiring poll watchers!  What a terrible black mark against democracy in Ramapo.  What a terrible precedent for democracy
in New York state.  What an embarrassment to the United States! (More)

Ward system allows fair representation

September 25, 2014 We've had "at large" elections in Ramapo offices for many years, and where has that
gotten us? There is heavy debt, overdevelopment, population density, illegal conversions of houses, ignored
environmental issues, a ballpark that more than two-thirds of the people voted against, culminating in an FBI
raid of Town Hall and a U.S. Security Exchange Commission search for fiscal wrongdoing. There is a longer list,
actually. (More)

E. Ramapo uses Albany lobbying firm for PR

September 25, 2014 "The East Ramapo school district is on track to spend at least $49,000 this year
on an influential lobbying firm and longtime Albany insider tasked with bolstering the troubled school board's
image and leading its campaign to convince the state to increase its education aid." Complete Journal story here.

Anger and Paranoia at Ramapo Town Hall

This article is in response to the bizarre disingenuous recent press release issued by Ramapo Democratic
Chairwoman, Mona Montal, regarding the vote on the Ward System referendum, which will take place on Tuesday,
September 30th, 2014. The press release is intellectually dishonest and generally offensive. And that’s its positive
message. It is the type of platitude laced angry diatribe that the public has grown weary of, right out of the
Chris St. Lawrence playbook. (More)

East Ramapo contingent takes concerns over cuts to fiscal monitor

September 23, 2014 "The longest writing assignment Olivia Castor had during her senior year at Spring
Valley High School was two pages. In 2013, she arrived at Harvard University and was assigned a whopping
22-page paper. Castor, who has a dual concentration in social studies and African and African-American Studies,
says the term paper is one example of how ill-prepared she was for the rigors of college life — and at an Ivy
League, no less — during a high school career marked by disappearing classes, clubs and teachers in the East
Ramapo school district. "I'm playing catchup here," Castor, now a sophomore, said in an interview between
classes Friday.
This is what she and her peers explained to East Ramapo fiscal monitor Hank Greenberg during a
recent visit to Albany with their mentor, Willie Trotman, president of the Spring Valley National Association
for the Advancement of Colored People." Read entire Journal story here.

Community View: Ward System Benefits all Ramapo Communities

September18, 2014  A recent article in The Journal News suggested that the Ramapo Ward Referendum
scheduled for September 30 is motivated by the desire “to counter the political influence of Ramapo’s growing
Orthodox community.”   This characterization is not fair. The unfortunate fact is that Supervisor Christopher
St. Lawrence has become a petty dictator who has made our religious community hostage to his irresponsible
conduct.  His incompetent rule is an example of why democracy is necessary for honest and efficient government.
(More)

East Ramapo shuns immigrant students

September 14, 2014 "East Ramapo is a very diverse school district. People from all over the world live here,
they share a dream: a better life for their children. So when the superintendent of schools made remarks singling
out Spanish speaking students, many in our Latino community and beyond felt offended and turned up to the next
board meeting to make their opinion known to the board and the superintendent." (More)

Rockland primaries: Fonvil, Stein, Zebrowski win—Wieder Loses

September 10, 2014 “Spring Valley Village Trustee Vilair Fonvil, leader of a board majority that has stood against
Mayor Demeza Delhomme,
defeated challenger Chrispin Eugene Tuesday in a Democratic primary, according to
unofficial results. Meanwhile, in a strong showing, Rockland County Legislator Aron Weider of Spring Valley appeared
to
narrowly lose a Democratic primary in the 98th Assembly District to Elisa Tutini of Monroe, unofficial results show.
Complete Journal coverage
here.

LoHud Primary vote totals: Rockland, Westchester, Putnam

Cuomo Defeats Teachout, Liberal Rival, in the Democratic Primary

Sept. 9, 2014 “Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York claimed the Democratic nomination for a second term on Tuesday,
but at a considerable price: A liberal challenger with little money or name recognition, Zephyr Teachout, was on track to
receive about a third of the vote, a signal of the potent dissatisfaction with Mr. Cuomo in his party’s left wing. With 85
percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Cuomo had 60.7 percent of the vote, compared with 35.5 percent for Ms. Teachout.
Though she ran her campaign on a shoestring and with scarcely any organizational support, Ms. Teachout was on pace to
record the strongest challenge to an incumbent governor since primaries for the office were established in New York in 1970.”
Read the complete New York Times coverage
here.

Day Slams Sparaco in a Landslide—Sparaco Loses In His Own District

“Results coming in on the Republican Primary show that candidates endorsed by County Executive Day will take control of
the Republican Party in Clarkstown with a landslide. Sparaco, who has worked to undermine Day, resigned in disgrace from
the Republican Committee and was recently removed from his position as minority leader o
f the Republican Party in the
County Legislature. He decided to attempt a take-over of the Republican Committee with the help of Vinnie Reda, Wayne
Ballard, Donna Held and others imported from the Bronx and Yonkers.” More at
Clarkstown - What They Don't Want You To Know.

Whistleblower’s Lawsuit Details Systemic Corruption
at Ramapo Town Hall

September 4, 2014 When you read the lawsuit summons, several themes emerge. St. Lawrence’s
abuse of his power to hire and fire appears over and over as he rewards those who join in in his
effort to retaliate against a whistleblower at Ramapo Town Hall. The Statement of Facts (the narrative)
portion of the lawsuit reads like fiction as he hands out promotions and raises for each co-conspirator as they line up against
the solitary voice speaking out against what she knew was wrong. Most depressing is the general unwillingness to even listen
to the warnings Melissa Reimer, Ramapo’s Supervisor of Fiscal Services, offered to legal and financial officers, the Supervisor,
and even the outside auditing firm about illegal practices and skewed bookkeeping. "You do not have to do the right thing here,"
Ms. Reimer recalls being counseled by Nat Oberman, "you only have to play ball and make the Supervisor happy." (More)

Immigrants decry East Ramapo chief's dropout comments

September 3, 2014 "A crowd of immigrant students and their families rallied Tuesday night in a show of opposition to what
the East Ramapo schools superintendent has recently remarked is an immigrant-driven inflation of the district's drop-out
rate.
The group of at least 80 people stood outside the district headquarters before a board meeting chanting and holding
signs that read: "Education not discrimination" and "Klein resign." Several speakers at the rally and later during the meeting
shared why they found Superintendent Joel Klein's comments offensive and discriminatory." Read complete Journal News
coverage here.

Another Smelly Deal in Ramapo

Letter in Our Town September 2, 2014 The Ramapo Town Board has just voted to give the developers of a luxury housing
development in Suffern a long-term reduction in their real estate taxes of 85%! (More)

Clarkstown poised to pass term limits for elected officials

August 30, 2014 "Term limits are close to being approved in Clarkstown, potentially the first town in Rockland County to enact
such a cap. The Town Board wants to hear comments on the matter during a Sept. 9 public hearing, but three members — enough
for passage — said they already back the limits, including Democratic Councilwoman Stephanie Hausner. "I imagine that it will pass
unanimously," Hausner said. With the exception of town justices, the proposal limits elected town officials to eight consecutive years
in the same office. It would apply to any town official elected in a regular election after Jan. 1. The person could run for a different
elected town office after reaching the eight-year limit. Hausner says tremendous public support for such a limit played a role in her decision.
Read the full text of the Journal News story here.

Tax Watch: Ramapo Central fights $16M tax deal

August 29, 2014 "The school board met Tuesday in response to the Town of Ramapo's decision last week to impose the tax deal
upon the school district. That came just as schools officials were negotiating their own deal with Goldstein, the third generation
of Goldsteins to seek their fortune in the Rockland development world. "We weren't part of the negotiations," said school board
President Theresa DiFalco. "There were no phone calls, no discussions with the town." Goldstein's appearance Tuesday, alongside
his father, Jeffrey, marked the latest skirmish in efforts to redevelop downtown Suffern, the Rockland County village on the
New Jersey line already reeling from the imminent departure of pharmaceutical giant Novartis, the town's largest employer.
He warned the housing would never be built unless the school district sacrificed millions of dollars in potential tax revenue.

Welcome to high-stakes brinksmanship and power politics in Rockland, involving a company with ties to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's
re-election campaign, whose treasurer, Richard Sirota of Irvington, is one of the project's partners." Complete Journal News

story here.

Ramapo's deal for Suffern development binds schools

August 26, 2014 "A luxury apartment project has been handed a tax break by the Town of Ramapo that also lowers its school taxes
by potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars — without the school district agreeing to the deal
.
The town of Ramapo on Thursday
adopted a resolution to set the 91-unit apartment development's property taxes for the town, the school district and for the county
for at least 25 years and up to 40 years.The developer, Orange Avenue Associates, is owned by Sheldon Goldstein, who has strong ties
with Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Richard Sirota, Cuomo's campaign treasurer, is a partner for the project. Theresa DiFalco, president of the
school board, wrote in an email that the district "was not privy to the negotiations and ultimate agreement reached between the Town
of Ramapo and the developer."
The school board set a special meeting for 5 p.m. Tuesday at the district office in Hillburn to discuss
the issue." Read the full text of the Journal News coverage here.

Ramapo holds referendums on government's size, shape Sept. 30

August 22, 2014 "Two referendums set for Sept. 30 will be an opportunity for residents to change the size and makeup of the Town
Board — which a pair of activists hope would create a more robust opposition to the current administration. Putting an end to
the 21-month court battle initiated by local activists, the Ramapo Town Board on Thursday unanimously agreed to schedule the
referendums from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 30. All the polling sites in town will be used for the vote. Complete Journal News story here.