That's Our Senator!

Monticello Trustees Victor Marinello and Carmen Rue, Sen. John Bonacic. Photo by Tom Rue.

Monticello Trustees Victor Marinello and Carmen Rue with NYS Senator John J. Bonacic (R-C, 40), October 12, 2008 in Livingston Manor.

Dispatcher Pat Duiguid Retires After 20 Years With Village of Monticello Police Department

Over 100 coworkers, family, and friends came to wish Pat Duiguid's well after two decades as dispatcher for the Village of Monticello Police Department. She accepted a plaque from the Monticello Police Benevolent Association, presented by PBA President John Riegler.

Boys and Girls Club Of Sullivan County Draws A Community That Cares At DeHoyos Park

A Boys & Girls Club Day for Kids took place at the Village of Monticello's DeHoyos Park on Sept. 20th.

Click the the photo of the children pictured at right to see the rest of the pictures that I took throughout the day-long family event.

Sullivan Family Court Mark Meddaugh Judge Mark Meddaugh spoke to the crowd. The Sullivan Masonic District provided free "Child ID" kits to parents. The Youth Advocate Program of Sullivan County, and other organizations that work with teens held relay games, basketball, a double dutch contest, arts and crafts, scheduled entertainment, music and a barbecue.

Open Letter From Trustee Rue: Improvement In Monticello Requires Cooperation and Openness

To the Sullivan County Democrat (Sept. 5):

Thank you to my friend Victor Gordon for signing his name to a column (8/26) expressing his hope for better times in Monticello. As a Village Trustee, I share Vic's desire for a return to the Monticello we remember. I have worked hard, not just since being elected in March, but for many years, as an energetic taxpayer advocate in support of open, fair and frugal government. I remain committed to a cleaner, more open Village of Monticello.

Barbarite Alters Broadway Renovation Project Plan -- DOT Puts Project On Hold Until 2009

Monticello's long-awaited Broadway renovation project has been put on hold yet again, according to Charles Walker of the NYS Department of Transportation. I called Mr. Walker on September 2nd. After we spoke, he e-mailed me a copy of the letter from Village Manager John Barbarite which appears below.

To put the matter in context, note this question and answer from the April 21, 2008 minutes of the Village of Monticello Board of Trustees:

Dr. Marc Hudes questioned if the consultants hired by the Village regarding the Broadway Project were going to hold additional informational meetings regarding the design since once the project is completed the residents will live with the result for the rest of their lives. He cautioned the Board to make sure the NYSDOT does the right job and not cut corners and take into account the needs of the residents and the business owners.

The Village Manager explained that the previous administration has already signed off on the design of the plan that will go out to bid this May and to incorporate new changes would probably require this project to be scrapped and start over again.

Weeks later, on June 16th, with no authority to do so, contrary to two unanimous resolutions of the Board of Trustees (see below), knowing full well the effect of asking for changes (evidenced by the above answer to Dr. Hudes), Village Manager John Barbarite sent the following letter to the NYS DOT incorporating changes to the design of the plan:

The above letter was provided by the DOT about why the lights were canceled came as an attachment to the following message. Mr. Walker told me the project will not begin until the spring or summer of 2009:

Aside from knowing that asking for changes "would probably require this project to be scrapped and start over again," the following resolutions of the Board of Trustees show that Mr. Barbarite acted wholly without authority when he made this change to the Broadway plan. See resolutions of January 28, 2008 before the March election; and May 23, 2008 after the election, both carried unanimously -- approving the Broadway plan as submitted and directing that no changes be made by the Village of Monticello.

In my opinion, lights are essential for Broadway's safety. The greatest deterrent to street crime and road hazards is LIGHT! Until Mr. Barbarite put his fingers into the matter, we were assured what amounted to an $896,000 grant to pay for these lights. They should not have been deleted from the project. and the Board of Trustees must now take action to reverse Mr. Barbarite's unauthorized move.

On January 28, 2008, the former Village Manager, Ray Nargizian, reported to the Board of Trustees:

On Wednesday, January 9th I received a call from the Department of Transportation (DOT) informing the Village that the State has agreed to reinstate installation of the decorative lighting for the Broadway project. Three years ago due to financial constraints the DOT removed from the Broadway project decorative lighting. After several months of intense negotiations the Mayor and I convinced the DOT that the right thing to do would be to install said lighting.

Without Mayor Barnicle’s persuasive abilities and his tenacious persistence DOT would not have given in. Decorative lighting on the Pleasant Street project cost $14,000 per lamp post. The Broadway project will have 64 decorative lamp posts. They will be “green friendly”. If you do the math that amounts to an $896,000 grant. Thank you Mayor Barnicle.

At the end of September 2, 2008 meeting, when Trustee Victor Marinello and I repeatedly demanded to know who authorized Mr. Barbarite to send the above letter to the DOT deleting the lights from the Broadway renovation project (since the Board did not), Mr. Barbarite's only response was to assert that it wasn't his fault that the project was canceled again, for yet another year!

Diverse Crowd Of More Than 500 Enjoys Family Day At Monticello Islamic Community Center

Islamic Community Center, Monticello, NY
Over 500 adults and teenagers attended a community-wide "family day" at the Islamic Community Center of Monticello on August 23rd. Besides members of the mosque, including many immigrants from Montenegro, many locals not affiliated with the group played, visited, and ate very well.

Turnout At Betsy Conaty's "Moving On Party" Demonstrates Community Priorities And Unity

Award Presentation

As she takes on the challenge of becoming an Assistant Professor of physical education at SUNY-Sullivan, Betsy Conaty's 20 years serving the community was praised by coworkers and by Village, Town, County, and State officials of all stripes at a "moving on party" held in her honor at Bernie's on Aug. 20th.

New Brochure Fails To Mention "Redemption Fee" For Your Confiscated Trash Cans

After I raised objections to fining residents and businesses for violating new laws of which they were never informed, the Village Clerk came up with a colorful brochure listing the fines for new "sanitation surcharges". As long as you don't pay your taxes by electronic funds transfer through your bank, you may get a brochure with your next tax bill.

Don't Be Caught Off Guard By Monticello's New Sanitation Surcharges

I support efforts to clean up Monticello. It is important that people not feel ambushed by new local laws that few have been told about.

The following are a few of the new fees adopted by the Board of Trustees "effective immediately" on July 21st:

Overloaded dumpster, $50
Uncovered dumpster, $50
Overloaded/uncovered or clean-up around Garbage Can, $10
Cleanup Around Containers (spills, tears, etc.), $50
Unscheduled special trash pickup, $50
Storage of trash/recycling bins left out after hours, $3 "redemption fee"

If you have questions, call John Barbarite at 845.794.6130, ext. 13.

You are invited to attend meetings of the Board of Trustees and tell us how we're doing.

Monticello Junior Athlete Goes For The Gold

The Monticello Recreation Department hosted a local Jr. Olympic Skills competition in April, said Parks & Rec director Besty Conaty, who recently announced her resignation after 20 years with the village for step up to a career position at SUNY Sullivan.

Only two athletes from New York qualified: Shane Jackson from Monticello, and Carissa Pompa of Rochester.

Shane's family, and the entire community, can be proud.


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