Carmen's blog

Monticello Spring Cleanup, Saturday, May 14th to 21st, 2016 Free for Village of Monticello Residents

Flyer announcing spring clean-up for Village residents, May 14, 2016



Congratulations And Invitation To Public Swearing-In, Reorganizational Meeting Of Monticello's Board Of Trustees, Tuesday, April 5th, 5:30 PM

Positive and supportive letters and emails from friends, loved ones, and supporters are always welcome, but this one received in today's mail from my favorite Senator, the Hon. John J. Bonacic, was especially gratifying. Endorsement early in my campaign by a respected Senator of the opposing party helped propel my re-election, for which I remain grateful, even if newly elected officials received similar congratulations. It is reassuring to know Senator Bonacic remains in our corner, and recognizes the value of experience and competence in local government, as we move forward toward exciting times ahead and a bright economic future for Monticello and its surrounding area.

I am pleased to announce that the Hon. Frank J. LaBuda, Sullivan County Court Judge and Surrogate, has very kindly agreed to administer my Oath of Office. I look forward to the occasion and hope the public will join us.

Voters, residents, friends, and family are invited to attend the swearing-in ceremony and annual reorganizational meeting of the Village of Monticello Board of Trustees on Tuesday, April 5, 2016, 5:30 PM, commencing with the Oath of Office administered to myself and newly elected Mayor Douglas Solomon and Trustees Aleta Lymon and George Nikolados, on the second floor of Village Hall, 2 Pleasant Street, Monticello, NY.

Letter from NYS Senator John Bonacic congratulating Carmen Rue on re-election as a Village Trustee

Thanks From Trustee Carmen Rue For The Voters' Trust - Hand Extended In Partnership - As Monticello Looks Forward To Continued Progress And Economic Growth

I feel grateful and humbled to have been re-elected to a third term as Village Trustee by the people of Monticello. This result is an affirmation by the people of their favorable judgment not just of my work on their behalf as a board member, but of the progress Monticello has made since I took office.

Unofficial numbers released by the Sullivan County Board of Elections indicate the top two vote-getters are a mere dozen votes apart as of now, with Trustee Larissa Bennet significantly behind. The precise numbers have not yet been certified and may change by a few here or there.

Mayor Doug Solomon and Trustee Aleta Gomez (two-year term) secured for themselves the endorsement of what should normally be the opposing party, resulting in low-key, low-energy campaigns by them. Former mayors Gordon Jenkins and Gary Sommers – who were not even running – received a surprising number of write-in votes.

I offer congratulations to all who won, including new Trustee George Nikolados, and pledge to continue to work to the best of my ability for the good of Monticello. For as long as I have been on the board, when constituents have reached out to me for help, I have always returned their calls. I have been told time and again by Monticello residents that I make myself more accessible than most, and I will continue. As I have for eight years, I work hard for all the residents of Monticello – not just the wealthy and privileged – with fairness for everyone.

I extend my hand to my colleagues on the Board of Trustees, inviting them to join me in keeping our eye on the ball, working together in a positive and professional manner for the good of those who have entrusted us with the responsibilities of local government. As the senior member of the board (by several years), I am more aware than most what it takes to serve the public. I call on the mayor and all the trustees, as well as appointed officials and department heads at Village Hall, to work together in unison. We are there to serve the public, not merely our friends or special interests.

The people of Monticello look forward to continued growth as we move forward toward economic development, doubtless driven and sustained in part by the construction of the Montreign Resort and Casino just outside our boundaries. The hope and expectation of the entire Board of Trustees is that this project will create jobs for Village residents at the same time as it boosts the entire area.

By continuing to work together as a community, our area will prosper. Letting go of negativity of those who would oppose us, no amount of lies or orchestrated “social media” attacks can stop our growth. The final election results indicate that I did well in the minority communities, as well as with the traditional voters of Monticello old and young. The reason is simple – we are all one community, and when we do the right thing the majority of voters know and support it.

During the recent campaign, my focus remained with the voters of Monticello. I worked hard at every opportunity to communicate with the people who vote here. I personally collected 165 signatures on Democratic designating petitions, securing that ballot line not also for myself but also my running mates. It became clear when the Democratic petition was filed that without those signatures that I collected, the Democratic line could easily have been challenged and thrown off the ballot, leaving only the Republicans – an insult to the people of Monticello and the concept of democracy. I sought and obtained endorsements not only for myself, but also for my Democratic running mates, by the Conservative and Independence parties, as well as Laborer's Local 17. These endorsements, and the support of countless community members who worked on my campaign, made the difference.

In closing, the people of Monticello owe a gracious "thank you" to outgoing Trustee Larissa Bennett for her four years of service, as I also offer thanks once again to the voters for their continued confidence. If Larissa had been more open to campaigning with me door-to-door, while absentees were being collected, I know the entire team would have secured the continued approval of the voters. However, her good work for the community deserves to be acknowledged, and in two years there will be another opportunity. It is now up to the board to work together as a team.

Thank you, also, to my husband, Tom Rue, and children, Janesa, Eddie, and Carolina, and the entire family for all their patience and support during a long and time-consuming campaign.


Carmen Rue
Village Trustee, 2008 to 2020

Unofficial Election Outcome Remains Too Close To Call

As I have said repeatedly before, I want to thank the many people who have supported each of my election campaigns, past and present, and for the voters who have expressed hope for continued progress toward a better Monticello.

The outcome of tonight's election remains unclear. First of all, the set of numbers released to the media by the Board of Elections appears to differ significantly from the machine totals read aloud by election inspectors when the polls closed at 9:00 P.M. on March 15th.

In addition to clarifying the "unofficial" machine totals in dispute, over 122 absentee ballots have to be counted. While I am making no predictions concerning the final count of absentees, I can say that I did a huge amount of footwork communicating with voters to make sure that their right to vote was assured and that their votes will count.

Even if tonight's unofficial machine tallies are accurate, I remain optimistic concerning the final outcome. I have confidence that I, and possibly Trustee Larissa Bennett, may continue to pick up enough ground to change the outcome.

So stay tuned. Thank you.


Carmen Rue
Monticello Village Trustee

Download : Re-Elect Carmen Rue Monticello Village Trustee, March 15, 2016

Please click the image below to read my flyer mailed to Monticello voters on January 23rd:

Village Trustee Carmen Rue Carries Message Of Hope For Economic Development: We ARE Rebuilding Monticello!

[If you live in Monticello, I am YOUR Village Trustee, Carmen Rue, running for re-election on the Democratic, Conservative, and Independence Party lines, on the March 15th ballot. (FULL TRANSCRIPTION APPEARS BELOW.) If you live in Monticello, I ask for your vote. I gave the following brief remarks at a fund-raiser held by the Town of Thompson Democratic Committee on March 6, 2016 at Fat Boiz restaurant, Broadway, Monticello. The video starts off a bit rough, but please listen and vote for me. Thank you.]

"Most of you already know me. Yes, I am in the news and on Facebook, but they are not my friends.

"My friends are my constituents! That is the people I represent. I get in touch with them almost every day. I've been going to village meetings since the 1990s.

"I am familiar with the village. I know the financials. Yes, we are very good in all the departments. In water, sewer, and sanitation we used to have nothing, and now for the last two years we have in each department almost a half million dollars. Also, like Bill [James] said, we have $1.2 million in the general fund. So, now we are now really running in the right direction.

"We have a lot of grants that are still pending. Yesterday we got a $15,000 grant from Renaissance to improve some signs and also to help us hire another code enforcer. That way we can fix and be tough on the people on Broadway especially, where the people need a lot of code-enforcement and enforcing very hard on those buildings.

"We passed the law, our board, that the people can rent upstairs two bedrooms. That's a plus for the village. The village would not allow use of the second floor because there was an Artist Loft [Law], but now we changed that law. That gives more opportunity for people to rent upstairs. Also, it gives more opportunity to the owners to get more money to their buildings. They get finances from the rental, they get help so they can keep the buildings up to code. Before, you see, all those buildings were closed upstairs. They couldn't rent for a living area, only a business area. Now it's different. We hope that change will bring more business and that the owners will care more about the buildings on Broadway.

"It's going to change completely. We have a lot of grants. On Jefferson Street, we got a half million dollars like a year ago. Jefferson Street is going to start in the spring. Jefferson Street is going to be beautiful. There's going to be plants. There's going to be benches for people to sit, and for people to walk to work. We see what happened to Pleasant Street a few years ago, like about 2004 or 2003. That was when Jim Barnicle was Mayor. In that time, that was all grant-funded, and it changed completely. It's a different look. So, this is going to happen with Jefferson Street.
"And we're very excited. We all work with the same goals, to serve our community, to lower taxes, not to give lay-offs to our employees. So, what else can I tell you? You can ask me any questions. I think we're all running in the same direction, with the same goal, that we want our village to be number one. And now with the casinos, you're going to see the people working!"


Thompson Supervisor William Rieber, Jr. Endorses Monticello Village Trustee Carmen Rue's Re-Election

Thank you to Town of Thompson Supervisor Bill Rieber for formally endorsing my re-election as a Village of Monticello Trustee. We have worked well together for as long as I have served on the Board of Trustees; previously with retired Supervisor Anthony Cellini (who also endorsed me); as well as Town Councilman Peter Briggs.

Rue Condemns Discrimination By Local Diner - Calls For A Return To Monticello's Culture Of Hospitality

Tuesday February 23, 2016

Today I went to the Miss Monticello Diner, as an invited, paying guest of the Monticello Senior Citizens group that was meeting there. I was asked by the group to attend (in writing) and there were 15 to 20 members present. My plan was to thank the seniors for inviting me and to explain the progress the Village is making toward replacing doors at the Stroebele Community Center. This is an improvement I have long sought, as it will better accommodate the physically disabled.

When I was first invited, I was going to respectfully decline because the location of the luncheon meeting was at the Miss Monticello Diner where my opponent in the upcoming Village of Monticello Trustee race works as a cook. However, I was urged to come by the group and assured that my presence was wanted. Because the diner is a public place, I trusted that I would be safe and not be attacked by the owners because their family member was running against me in this election.

Clearly, that was a miscalculation on my part.

Shortly after I entered the establishment, George Nikolados, his brother Steve and their mother viciously, verbally attacked me. Although I had neither done nor said anything out of order, they angrily ordered me out of their diner. I pointed out that the diner is licensed by the State of New York as a public eating and drinking place; that I had a right to be there, that I was an invited guest of the group that was meeting there (verified by members of the seniors group in attendance) and that I had even pre-paid for the luncheon.

As a point of fact, I regularly attend meetings of the Monticello seniors and have in the past been a regular customer at the Miss Monticello Diner. To the best of my knowledge, no member of the Nikolados family/campaign has ever attended a meeting of the Monticello Seniors other than perhaps, when they have held their meetings at their diner (again, a public eating accommodation).

I felt ganged up on and abused by the Nikolados family. One family member even falsely accused me of calling her from Florida, which is bizarre. I told her that the only time I have ever called the diner was to order food, something I will not do again.

I am very upset by the uncivilized and uncalled for behavior shown to me by the Nikolados family. After I left, one of the members of the seniors came to meet privately with me and express sympathy on behalf of herself and her peers. My friend angrily showed me campaign materials the cook, George Nikolados, distributed after he and his mother threw me out of her establishment. At minimum, I think a full and public apology from the Nikolados family -- both to me and to the Monticello seniors – is in order.

Shortly after the incident, I filed a complaint with the Monticello Police Department. I did not ask that anyone be arrested, but simply that the incident be made a matter of public record and the names of witnesses be included. To my knowledge, no one else called the police about the incident and no other complaints were filed.

Simply because the cook at the diner is running against me for the position of Village Trustee is no cause for me to be abused, humiliated and mistreated. Any member of the community has a right to attend a public function in a licensed establishment.

By contrast, I would also note that young George Nikolados (who is not registered as a member of any political party but who is endorsed by the Republicans in the Village Trustee race), showed up as at a fund-raiser of the Sullivan County Democratic Committee that was held on February 15th. at Fat Boiz restaurant in Monticello. No one attempted to throw him out, though the Chairperson of the County Democratic Committee subsequently objected privately in writing to the person who brought him to the Democratic function, calling it unnecessary and disruptive.

Presently, I am considering all legal options, including the possibility of suing the Miss Monticello Diner and its operators, and/or filing other formal grievances with State and County authority, for violating my civil rights in a public accommodation.

At minimum they demonstrated a shocking lack of hospitality.

Carmen Rue

Monticello Trustee Carmen Rue Endorsed By Local Leaders And Parties - YOUR Democrat/Conservative/Independence Party Trustee Candidate for Re-Election

Watch this page for periodic updates.

CLICK TO ENLARGE - Collage of people and organizations who have endorsed Trustee Carmen Rue's re-electionMONTICELLO - Leading up to the March 15th election, Village Trustee Carmen Rue announced her gratitude to the local and state leaders, as well as the three major political parties, who have placed their trust in her in the form of endorsements.

Ms. Rue is a Democrat, also running on the Conservative and Independence Party lines, asking for your vote on Line A, C, or E of the ballot.

Trustee Rue, who has long served the community of Monticello in a variety of capacities, expressed gratitude not just to the still growing list of respected leaders and peers who have endorsed her, but also for all the people and organizations who are supporting Ms. Rue's reelection, including:

"Carmen Rue is an active, intelligent, and experienced Village Trustee. She cares deeply about the people of her community," Senator John Bonacic wrote in a statement released through the Senate office. "I am proud to endorse Carmen Rue for re-election as a Trustee in the Village of Monticello," Senator Bonacic declared.

The present and recent past Supervisors of the Town of Thompson added their approval for Ms. Rue's performance on the Board of Trustees, noting the open communication and good working relationship Ms. Rue has consistently maintained with Town officials over many years. "It is my pleasure to endorse you for re-election. You work hard for the Village residents and I look forward to continuing to work with you and toward the future of our great Town/Village," current Supervisor Bill Rieber wrote in a recent letter. His predecessor, retired Supervisor Anthony Cellini joined this view, recalling the more than 40 years he has known Ms. Rue. "Carmen is persistent, conscientious, like a sentinel watching out for the interests of taxpayers and all local residents," Mr. Cellini wrote.

Likewise, Town Council member, Monticello native, and current Village resident Peter Briggs added his voice of support urging Rue's re-election: "You have my endorsement and vote in the upcoming March election," Mr. Briggs wrote. "You have served the citizens of the Village of Monticello well. I look forward to working with you over the next four years in stimulating economic development, reducing property taxes, and maintaining roads, bridges and other infrastructure. The future looks very bright indeed," said Mr. Briggs.

At the County level Ms. Rue, who has served without pay as an appointed community liaison for Sullivan County Sheriff's Office since 2007 (assisting with advocacy, public education, and supporting Sheriff's youth programs), Legislator Ira Steingart, who represents Ms. Rue's district, also gave her his support. "It's been a pleasure to work with Carmen during my years in the Legislature. She is intelligent, actively involved, and looks out for the best interest of the Village of Monticello and her constituents," Mr. Steingart wrote.

Citing her decades of experience in the local community as an unpaid volunteer with a variety of organization, including being an incorporation and co-founder with her husband of Habitat for Humanity of Sullivan County, serving for 10 years on the Village of Monticello Commission on Human Rights (four years as chair), and as a volunteer and member of the Board of Directors of local charitable organizations, Ms. Rue has been recognized over recent months for community service by the Sullivan County Human Rights Commission and Sullivan County Chapter of the NAACP.

Ms. Rue requested and received endorsement of Laborer's Local 17, with the comment, "We are pleased to support politicians like you that understand the concerns of working union families."

The Democratic Women of Sullivan County have gave Ms. Rue their nod, as will be announced at a March 13th breakfast at DeFilippi's Bakery. She serves as president of the Black and Latino Democratic Club.

A longtime homeowner, Village taxpayer, and Broadway business co-owner, Ms. Rue is the most experienced member currently serving on the Monticello Board of Trustees. Ms. Rue noted the above described endorsements, as well as other solid relationships with business leaders and officials from surrounding municipal, State, and Federal governments, benefit Monticello taxpayers.

“At Village Hall,” Ms. Rue said, “we all have one goal. My running mates and I may not agree on every point or on every vote. Nor should we! I research every issue before voting and always vote my conscience. In the end, we all work together for the good of the Village of Monticello,” she said, noting that despite bumps in the road, Monticello has continued to move in the right direction.

Ms. Rue is holds a two-year degree as an assistant nurse, has lived in Monticello for 45 years as a homeowner and property taxpayer on their residence. She lives with her husband Tom Rue with whom she works as office manager of Choices Mental Health Counseling PLLC on central Broadway in Monticello. They have three grown children - Janesa, Eddie, and Carolina - and grandchildren.

Carmen Rue is running for re-election as a Village Trustee on the Democratic, Conservative, and Independence Party lines in the Monticello election on March 15, 2016. Polls will be open from 12:00 Noon to 9:00 PM.

For more information, a ride to the polls, or to offer assistance or support, call Trustee Rue at 845-791-1432.

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