Village Budget Review, Fiscal Year 2014-2015, by the NYS Comptroller's Office, With Full Budget Available for Public Download

The Office of the NYS Comptroller recently completed a follow-up site visit to Village Hall for the purpose of reviewing the Village's budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. Linked here is their Report of Examination of which summarizes the findings and recommendations. The auditors came in response to my request on 12/12/2012 for a full review of Monticello's books and records. This visit for the budget review was a follow-up to the audit conducted last year.

From: LGSA-Audits @ osc.state.ny.us
Date: Fri, Jun 27, 2014 at 3:45 PM
Subject: Village of Monticello - Budget Review
To: crue @ villageofmonticello.com

Dear Ms. Rue,

Enclosed is a Report of Examination for the Village of Monticello prepared
by the Office of the State Comptroller. A copy of the report has also been
mailed to the person responsible for filing such report and making it
available for public inspection.

The examination was made, and report prepared, in accordance with Article
5, Section 1 of the State Constitution, and the authority granted to the
State Comptroller by Article 3 of the General Municipal Law (GML).

A written corrective action plan (CAP) that addresses the findings and
recommendations in this report should be prepared and filed within 90 days,
pursuant to Section 35 of the General Municipal Law.

I trust that this report will be helpful to you. If you require assistance,
or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Binghamton
Regional Office.

Very truly yours,
Gabriel F. Deyo
Deputy Comptroller
Division of Local Government
and School Accountability

Enclosure

On 6/24/2014, the Board of Trustees adopted a final "bare bones" budget for Fiscal Year 2014-2015, within the 2% cap, levy of 2.8%.

Audit Report for Fiscal Year 2013, Village of Monticello by Cooper Arias LLP

The following audit report for Fiscal Year 2013 was delivered to the Board of Trustees of the Village of Monticello in April 2014:

Spring Clean-Up, Saturday, May 18th to Saturday, May 25th


*** One load at maximum of 350 lbs. of non-recyclable materials per family ***
All materials exceeding 350 lbs. will be charged the standard rate of $90.00 per ton.

Proposed Public Hearing Unlawfully Scheduled for April 3rd is Cancelled by Order of Supreme Court of New York State

From: Carmen Rue
To: Janine Gandy, Dennis Lynch, Alak Shah, Wade Beltramo
cc: Larissa Bennett, Gordon Jenkins, Jill Weyer, Doug Solomon, Stacey Walker
date: Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 11:58 PM
subject: RE: Agenda & minutes

Jannine Gandy, Clerk
The Village of Monticello

TAKE NOTICE that the public hearing that was unlawfully scheduled for the morning of April 3, 2014 at 9:00 AM regarding an illegal proposal to adopt a Local Law superseding NYS Village Law has been cancelled pursuant to an order of the Supreme Court of New York State a copy of which is attached herewith for convenient reference.

Sincerely,

Carmen Rue
Trustee

"Reorganizational Meeting" Placed On Hold, Thanks To Publicity and Legal Opinion From NYS Conference of Mayors

Due to advance publicity given to the failed scheme cooked up by the outgoing losers of the recent Village of Monticello election to steal the appointed positions that must be approved by the lawfully elected Board of Trustees, nearly all of the appointments that were on the unauthorized Agenda circulated recently by the Village Clerk Jannine Gandy were "placed on hold" [DOWNLOAD AUDIO].

Gandy falsely told the board that she had received advice from the NYS Conference of Mayors advising her that it was lawful to proceed with annual appointments which do not expire until April 7th. When I forwarded Gandy's e-mail to NYCOM, she received a phone call making it known that this was not what they told her, and that their advice was actually consistent with my statement. As a result, little of consequences occurred at the April Fool's Day meeting, and nothing or almost nothing that may have been done that night can not be undone by the incoming board.

At the start of the meeting, after voting "No" to adopt the agenda, I read the following statement and directed the Clerk to include it in the Minutes of the night's special meeting:

STATEMENT BY CARMEN RUE TO READ ON APRIL 1, 2014:

The Village Clerk circulated an Agenda for a Reorganizational Meeting to be held tonight. The reorganizational meeting of the Board of Trustees is when newly elected members are sworn into office and annual appointments are made by the Mayor or Manager, including any that are subject to approval of the Board of Trustees. When the unlawful nature of tonight's scheme was pointed out to her, the Clerk sent an e-mail admitting that, after she checked the law and with NYCOM, she discovered that I was correct – holding the reorganization meeting prior to the installation of the newly elected trustees was illegal.

But, instead of changing the nature of the meeting, she edited the Agenda to delete the word "Reorganizational" from the meeting's agenda, but did not change the purpose or intent of tonight's unlawful meeting. Not only that, NYCOM also explained to Jannine that the term of office for appointees currently in place do not expire until the 7th.

I hereby declare this meeting, and any of the actions which may be taken here tonight to be null and void, subject to approval of the duly elected Board of Trustees at the annual meeting to be held April 7, 2014. I advise anyone whose contracts or interests may be on tonight's agenda not to rely on these votes, and to take no action on these matters until they are considered at the annual meeting of Trustees on April 7, 2014, as any or all of the votes which may taken at tonight’s meeting are presented with fraudulent intent and may be null and void unless or until ratified by the elected board.

Carmen Rue
Village Trustee


The public is invited to attend the annual Reorganizational Meeting of the Village of Monticello Board of Trustees on Monday, April 7, 2014, at 7:00 PM, on the second floor of 2 Pleasant Street, to witness the swearing-in of two newly elected Trustees Douglas Solomon and Jill Kenny Weyer, and Village Justice Josephine V. Finn.


Download April Fools Day regular meeting of the Board of Trustees

Jenkins, Massey, and Matthews Try Last-Minute "Reorganization" in Violation of New York State Law, Grasping to Preserve the Corrupt Status-Quo

Gordon Jenkins and outgoing members of the Village of Monticello Board of Trustees have announced that they intend to hold an unlawful "reorganizational meeting" on Tuesday, April 1st.

In any municipality operating under the laws of New York State, the annual reorganizational meeting of a legislative body commences with the swearing-in of newly elected members. The losers of the recent election are again thumbing their noses at the voters of Monticello who sent a loud, clear mandate in a massive landslide, bringing an end to the corruption of the Jenkins administration.

Without approval of the Board of Trustees, Village Clerk Jannine Gandy released an unauthorized Agenda on March 28th, putting the cart before the horse, allowing votes and appointments which must be made by the new incoming Trustees to be made by the outgoing losers, and directing the unlawfully appointed "Village Manager" to sign documents and take official actions to benefit Jenkins and his losers, and authorizing contracts and apparently presenting falsified (forged) past resolutions which were never presented to the Board of Trustees for a vote, including a proposed illegal amendment of a law regarding the residence requirements for the Village Manager position for which no public hearing has been held, and which is over-ruled by NYS Village Law. This item does not appear on the "Preliminary" agenda, but is planned to be added at the last minute as an addendum.

The annual meeting can not take place until "the first Monday in the month following the date of the general village election" - in other words, since the election by the people of Monticello of Trustees Douglas Solomon and Jill Kenny Weyer and Hon. Josephine Finn as Village Justice on March 18th, April 7, 2014. (See final Election Results here.)

NYS Village Law § 3-302

Official year, terms of office, extension or reduction of terms, biennial elections.
1. An official year begins at noon on the first Monday in the month following the date of
the general village election
or the date such an election would have been held had elections
been held annually.
2. The term of office of each elective village officer shall commence at the start of the
official year following his election; the term of office of each officer appointed at the
annual meeting of the board of trustees shall commence at the start of the official year
in which he is appointed; and the term of office of each officer appointed at any other time
shall commence at the time of his appointment.


For the information of Jenkins who may have missed the news, the tally of the general election held March 18, 2014 was as follows:

  • Josephine V. Finn (elected Village Justice) - 756
  • Douglas Solomon (elected Village Trustee - 714
  • Jill Kenny Weyer (elected Village Trustee) - 690
  • Rochelle Massey - 226
  • Oswald Allan - 218

The unauthorized Agenda includes approval of a contract with one of the mayor's criminal lawyers, Feerick, Lynch, MacCartney LLC, who defended him and his girlfriend, Rochelle Massey, in their trademark infringement convictions.

In my opinion, in order for honest government to return to our Village, Lynch and his minions must go!

Other items on the "preliminary" April 1st unauthorized Agenda include re-appointment of Village Clerk Jannine Gandy, Treasurer Lilu Li through September 2014, as well as an unnamed Planning Board member by the mayor, (none of which can occur without approval of the duly elected Board of Trustees); a resolution setting the date, time, and place of future regular Village Board meetings; a resolution "authorizing the Village Manager to freeze all further appointments until a later date"; and, finally, "setting Special meeting date for Monday, April 7th, 2014 at 7:00pm for the swearing in of the newly elected officials".

This last item (#23) is a distorted re-write of an item that I submitted, in my capacity as an elected official, to the Village Clerk in an e-mail on March 26th for inclusion on this agenda. At that time, I ordered her to: "...place on the agenda of the April 1st meeting to send a press release that the Reorganizational Meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held on Monday, April 7, 2014 at 7:00 PM."

This last-ditch grab at power by the corrupt outgoing trustees and the mayor cannot be allowed to stand.

At this writing, Jenkins is currently away at his second home in Gillsville Georgia, where he drove on March 26th in a vehicle loaded with boxes, but plans to return to Monticello by Tuesday. This is the same place he hid out last October during the demolition he contracted of the former Village court-house which still sits in an ugly asbestos-laced toxic waste pile on Pleasant Street awaiting final action by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

Jenkins is also awaiting sentencing on the crime of Obstructing Governmental Administration (of which he was convicted by a jury), which all by itself itself constitutes a violation of his oath of office. When the full extent of what Jenkins and Massey are hiding is discovered, they will be held accountable.

Jenkins is demonstrating by his behavior his disdain for the voters of Monticello, and that he has no regard for the laws of the State of New York. He is attempting to prove that he has more power than the District Attorney of Sullivan County, the Supreme Court of New York State, and the Appellate Division of the Third Judicial District, where a petition under the NYS Public Officers Law for his removal from office as a result of his misconduct is currently pending.

I call on my constituents to watch for news about this latest attempted power grab. Come and raise your voice on April 1st, to show support for the newly elected board and demonstrate that the old corrupt ways of the past Jenkins administration are over.

Corrupt Hiring Process : Of Three Recent Applicants for Village Manager, and Dozens Who Applied Last Year, Jenkins Allowed the Board of Trustees To Interview Two Men

In 2013, we had more than 50 applicants for the position of Village Manager. This year, after an advertisement ran in the same publications, the Board of Trustees was only told about the existence of a grand total of three applicants.

Jenkins privately interviewed one at the Goshen law office of Michael Sussman. Sussman is one of Jenkins' criminal defense attorneys. Why Sussman was involved in brokering Village Manager interviews remains unclear. His connection to the criminal charge of Obstructing Governmental Administration on which Jenkins has already been convicted, and other unrelated criminal charges still pending against Jenkins, is well known.

The board was not given an opportunity to interview the applicant seen at Sussman's office, though this gentleman was was interviewed a year ago and at that time and was seriously considered by the full board. This time around, Jenkins misled the man into believing that he now wanted to hire him, even though a year ago he bitterly opposed him. However, this was a lie. Jenkins had no intention of hiring this man, or even of allowing the board to interview him, but then publicly accused "the Monticello United team" of not wanting him.

Of course, the public already knows Jenkins is a liar. I certainly do.

One other man was scheduled by Jenkins to meet with the board at Village Hall on March 12th, but at that point Jenkins and Rochelle Massey clearly had someone else in mind whom they had already interviewed alone without the rest of the board being notified. The first applicant we interviewed on the 12th, whom I did not know previously, wrote me a letter immediately afterward expressing anger at Jenkins for wasting his time with what was obviously a sham interview.

The Board of Trustees did not approve the content of the newspaper ad this time around. That ad specified that applications be sent directly to the Mayor. We only got three applications this year, but 50 last year?

This hiring process stinks of corruption.

Jenkins and Massey are desperate to hold onto control of the public's finances and the flow of information at Village Hall. They have spent many thousands of dollars on private attorneys to pay their own criminal defense bills. Many thousands of taxpayer dollars are missing and can not be accounted for, according to the NYS Comptroller's Office.

Jenkins wants a man who will follow his orders. He obviously believes Thompson is such a man.

When I suggested to Mr. Thompson that if he honestly wanted to "work with" the Board of Trustees at whose pleasure the law says he would serve if were hired, he should wait until after this Tuesday's election. His response, "I already have a majority," proved he views himself as only working for Jenkins.

Something is truly wrong in Monticello government. If voters care, the way to show it, and to TAKE BACK YOUR VILLAGE, is to vote this Tuesday, March 18, 2014, Noon to 9:00 PM, for Doug Solomon and Jill Weyer.




March 18th Election (Noon - 9 PM) Allows Monticello Voters to Choose Two Trustees, Village Justice, AND... Selection Process of Our Next Village Manager

Those who have been spreading rumors pretending to know who the next Board of Trustees might choose as a Village Manager (or even assuming who will win Tuesdays election) were sent a strong rebuke by a couple of board members purporting to join Jenkins in appointing a Rockland County resident to the the post, part-time, at a salary of $78,000.00. It was a message; but of little legal consequence.

The truth is, we will not know until more events unfold, commencing with the election scheduled to be held this Tuesday, March 19th, from Noon to 9:00 PM. If you live in Monticello, you have a voice not only in who will serve on the Board of Trustees, give a vote of confidence to our distinguished Village Justice Josephine Finn, but also who will select Monticello's next Village Manager.

Gordon Jenkins, convicted last month in the Town of Liberty of a crime constituting a violation his oath of office [PRECEDENT], wants the one-time mayor of Spring Valley to take his place. Jenkins is currently defending against a removal petition filed with the Appellate Division. He has committed many wrongs in his capacities of mayor and acting manager, and has much that he wants to keep hidden.

Jenkins also has a short memory. Four short years ago, in one of his lawsuits against the Village that he lost, the NYS Supreme Court issued a Decision and Order on the precise question of residency of Monticello's Village Manager. We have been down this road already and the matter of local residency is settled law, decided in Court. (See Local Law No. 2 of 2010.]

In addition to ruling on other relevant points of law, the Hon. Vincent Sackett ruled that under State and Local Laws, which are still in effect, our Village Manager must be a local resident. How many Judges does it take to persuade Gordon Jenkins that he is not the controlling power of all matters governing the Village of Monticello? There are higher laws than his imperial wishes, or even than votes of the Board of Trustees itself, that we are sworn to uphold.

Jenkins is afraid of a shadows and rumors. He told reporters that his reason for rushing to appoint this part-time Manager, violating our Local Law requiring residency in Sullivan County, was that he was terrified the new Board of Trustees might hire someone he does not like. The truth is that several credible local people have been considered by various board members and candidates. It is impossible to say which one would be chosen until after the results of Tuesday's critical election.

If the Board of Trustees decides Mr. Thompson should have the position, which will require him to move his residence to Sullivan County, I can work with him. However, the actions taken by Jenkins and his cronies on March 14th are a meaningless sham.

No resolution was presented to the board for consideration, and no actual contract was given to Trustees to discuss and vote on. Jenkins' lawyer was inexplicably absent, and the board as a whole had no legal counsel present. Although several local people expressed interest in the post, Jenkins did not allow the Board of Trustees to interview any candidate other than the one he wanted.

The fact that Mr. Thompson was willing to take part in such a charade does not speak well for his ethics. Repeatedly, both in private and in public, I urged him to wait until after the April First reorganization, to demonstrate a genuine willingness to respect and work with the governing board. His response? An arrogant, "I already have a majority." This does not suggest that he is willing to accept direction from, work with, or "serve at the pleasure of" the Board of Trustees. At this writing, Mr. Thompson does not have a valid contract, regardless what papers the mayor might manufacture after the fact fooling him into believing so.

Mr. Thompson's resume looks impressive, but due diligence requires that his past be examined and other candidates be considered. For example, why did Thompson fail badly in his last election bid in his home town of Spring Valley, garnering only 13.8% of his former constituents' votes? He comes across as a pleasant man, but the sneaky, dishonest, and apparently unlawful manner in which Jenkins and two of his cronies showed hubris by arrogantly attempting to shove this a failed mayor from another county down the throats of the people of Monticello was wrong.

The recent NYS Comptroller's audit proves that Jenkins has failed as acting Village Manager and can not be allowed to continue in that seat. The US Department of Agriculture, in a letter dated February 6, 2014, threatened to cancel a $6.7 million grant (a total package of $15 million when low-interest loans are included) for a much needed sewer project in Monticello if Jenkins is not replaced by a full-time, competent professional manager and other "staff changes" within 90 days of that date (i.e. May 6, 2014). Part-time appointment of Mr. Thompson, with no other changes in staff responsible for finances; supposedly to become full-time in August fails to meet these requirements and will result in a huge financial loss to the Village.

Who Jenkins' replacement should be is a decision to be made by the new Board of Trustees after they are elected by the people and the votes are counted. One thing that is sure, though, is that the Monticello United team had made no decisions, and to my knowledge there has been no apparent agreement at this point as to who should be the Village Manager, except that it should not be Gordon Jenkins.

I have held no meetings with any Trustee candidates to discuss who the next Manager should be. Plans or promises of that nature would be premature and disrespectful of the voters, regardless of the lies and rumors spread by Jenkins and political operatives. Trustee Candidates Doug Solomon and Jill Weyer each have their own minds and their own opinions, and they have not confided in me their preferences for a Manager appointment, nor should they. At the moment, they are not on the Board of Trustees, and I would not presume to expect them to make promises in advance of their election.

Jenkins' publicly announced desire to harm the Village of Monticello by trying to saddle taxpayers with a $156,000.00 obligation to Mr. Thompson if the future elected board is not pleased with his pal's performance is of no force or effect. No contract was shown or presented to the Board of Trustees for approval on the night Jenkins announced its passage, and even if it were Mr. Thompson is not eligible for the job because he does not live in the county. We have many local people who are qualified for this job and have expressed interest. There may also be other candidates willing to relocate here who are worth considering after a thorough search and application process.

According to the Monticello Village Code § 45-5:

Administrative and executive powers.

The administrative and executive powers of the Village, including the power of appointment of officers and employees, except the Village Clerk, Village Attorney and Village Treasurer, are vested in an official to be known as the 'Village Manager' who shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees and hold office during the pleasure of such Board; he shall receive compensation as shall be fixed by the Board of Trustee.

Mr. Thompson needs to prove himself in order to win "the pleasure of such board". If he does, starting by making himself eligible for appointment by complying with the law that he must live in Sullivan County in order to be hired, and the board legitimately votes to hire him, I would support him. However, if he is only there to cover for Jenkins and has as much contempt for Local and State law as he does, he would be well advised not to waste the gas driving up from Spring Valley for our next meeting.

Jenkins' attempt to coerce the future board into accepting his preferred pick is offensive and holds no water.

My only agenda is in serving all the residents of the Village of Monticello, not protecting the personal interests or ego of Gordon Jenkins.

The election of Douglas Solomon and Jill Weyer, as well as the re-election of Village Justice Josephine V. Finn, are vital to restoring the trust in our local government. This election is one of the most important in recent memory.


DOWNLOAD FULL AUDIO OF THE MARCH 11, 12, AND 14 2014 MEETING OF TRUSTEES

Protecting Cronies a Centerpiece of Jenkins Administration - Last Minute Rush to Hand-Pick New Manager, and Give Contract to Double-Dipping, Unqualified Pal Before Election

Four members of the Board of Trustees voted at the March 11, 2014 meeting of the Board of Trustees to destroy the Village's youth department, placing it under the control of Code Enforcement Officer, James Snowden, who already has another full-time Civil Service job with the Village.

Mayor Jenkins made some reckless and potentially slanderous remarks about the recently departed Recreation Director, Michael Greco, even going so far as to suggest, without any supporting evidence, that he believes Mr. Greco was stealing money from the Village while working in service of our community's youth.

Having already consulting with the Sullivan County Personnel Department, I went on record during the meeting stating that I believe the this action to reward Jenkins' and Massey's political ally violates NYS Civil Service Law. Tonight's resolution to create a new Village Department was incorrectly done, and will fall apart on close legal examination.

In hopes of preventing any future Board of Trustees from undoing their damage, after the meeting recessed, a quorum of members of the board held an unlawful executive session in the Village Manager's office to work out the details of a proposed contract intended to protect Jenkins' and Massey's political ally and pal, and reinforce the $15,000.00 raise they voted for their buddy.

Jenkins also repeated intent to do anything in his power, "as long as I am the Mayor", to destroy the Monticello police department.

Snowden lacks the qualifications and certificates to oversee the operation pool and youth recreation department. He has not undergone an Child Abuse investigation to confirm that he can be trusted to work with our children. He is double-dipping. (See the lawful employment criteria for village Recreation Director and Recreation Attendant.)

He does not have the time to perform two full-time jobs. The village looks terrible, thanks in part to Snowden's negligence and double-dipping, time spent on the job conducting electioneering activities, and serving as the Mayor's personal chauffeur.

Jenkins and his cronies did not follow lawful procedures and once the new board takes office, I believe they (including Snowden) will be held accountable in more ways than one. This yet another call to action, for anyone in Monticello who cares about our youth, to root out out dishonesty in government, starting with a vote on March 18th for two honest and competent candidates to the Board of Trustees.

Tonight's board meeting will reconvene tomorrow at 11:30 AM for the purpose of interviewing two candidates for the position of Village Manager, whom the current majority of on the board has made it clear they intend to try to ram down the throats of the incoming board, sealing the hiring of their political pick with what they wrongly believe will be a binding contract intended to tie the hands of the incoming board. One candidate is from Spring Valley, NY, and the other is from Ossining, NY. Even if one or both of these men are qualified for the Manager position, they would be idiots to accept the job at this point in time.

Rochelle Massey and her current running mate for Trustee seats must be terrified of losing the March 18th election, for her and her paramour, the Mayor, to take such desperate and poorly thought out steps now.

Why not do the respectable and honest thing, and wait until three weeks to hire a manager? The Mayor claims he wants to "work with" the incoming board. He is proving himself a liar, once again, interested primarily in tightening his grip on power and control to cover up past corruption and heading down the same road toward economic destruction of the community while enhancing his own personal interests and those of his friends.

Either of the potential Village Manager candidates being interviewed tomorrow (Wednesday, March 12th) would be a fool to accept the position of Monticello Village Manager in the present tenuous situation.

Why not wait until after the re-organizational meeting, if they realistically hope to last in the position?

To accept the post under present circumstances would be a set-up for legal action in which any contract they may hammer out given would probably be declared null and void in a court of law on a variety of legal grounds. There is also the possibility, depending how deeply they dig themselves into the hole with Jenkins, Massey, Snowden and their cohorts, that a new Manager could end up facing the same sad fate as the last occupant of that position, before a Grand Jury, eventually convicted of criminal acts and removed from office for Official Misconduct. I ask them each: IS IT WORTH THIS RISK, JUST TO AVOID WAITING A FEW WEEKS?

Manager candidates considering coming to Monticello should research the recent history of corruption in local government here before accepting an appointment, and exercise caution before they step in something they may regret.


DOWNLOAD FULL AUDIO OF THE MARCH 11, 12, AND 14 2014
MEETING OF TRUSTEES

Appealing to US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission the Refusal of NYS Agency to Provide Mediation or Sensitivity Training to Address Monticello Mayor's Racial, Ethnic, and Other Misconduct

I will exercise my civil right as an American citizen and as an elected public official to appeal Mr. Victor DeAmelia's faulty conclusions on behalf of the NYS Division of Human Rights to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It does not appear that Mr. DeAmelia reviewed my full submissions, since he only addresses one concern, ignoring the full pattern of misconduct by the mayor outlined in my complaint.

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