Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Back to the Gardiner

Tempers flared at the April 17 Gardiner Planning Board meeting, when board alternate member Mark Rausher accused board chairman Mike Boylan of giving preferential treatment to one of the other members of the board:
The meeting was about to adjourn when Rausher requested that a letter he had written to the full Planning Board subsequent to its March 20 meeting be read into the record.
The letter outlined what Rausher perceives to be a conflict of interest when it came to how the board had dealt with an application by board member Paul Colucci:
"When applicant Paul Colucci appeared before the board [on March 20], he was treated differently than any other applicant. He was allowed to strut back and forth instead of remaining sitting, to use a bullying and belligerent tone in an attempt to intimidate members of the board who questioned his application," Rausher wrote. "I believe the chairman, biased because of his friendship with the applicant and the applicant's status as a member of the board, did not act in a neutral and objective manner, and allowed the applicant to act in a manner unacceptable at any other time."
This led Colucci to respond rather angrily:
Colucci flared up at the accusation. "To stand here and make a statement like that, I think it's irresponsible," he told Rausher heatedly. "I take offense to it."
Rausher, however, stuck by his guns and said that Boylan should recuse himself from any decisions involving Colucci's application:
"In order to maintain the full faith and confidence of the community, it's our job to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest," said Rausher, adding that in Boylan's case, in his view, "There is an apparent conflict of interest that a reasonable person might suspect to be true. It's a simple matter to recuse yourself. I don't think you should be chairing the board during these discussions."
Boylan then said that, in small-town U.S.A., everyone already knows everyone, so there's no way to avoid such conflicts. Colucci, however, has recused himself in the past, so it shouldn't be a big deal for Boylan to do so now, Rausher said.

Rausher then added that he feels this is yet another example of the petty corruption seen in small towns:
"There's a reason why small towns have a stereotype of being rife with cronyism and old-boy networks, because to some extent it's true. . . I'm not the only one who thinks this is a problem."
Indeed, Mark; this blog is in agreement with you. Cronyism is how these networks manage to perpetuate their interests at the expense of the residents of a community. Planning boards are the very nexus of this kind of petty corruption.

Keep it up, Mark. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Note: This article appeared in the April 26 print edition of the New Paltz Times, a publication that is more interested in preserving its brand than it is in engaging the community. Hence, no link, as the story is not, nor will it ever be, available online.


  1. No surprise this has been going on in Saugerties for Years almost every town has their problems. We have county goverment that leads by example in this department

  2. WRONG on this one, Cloakroom,,

    Mike Boylan & Paul Colucci are 2 of the finest people i've met in 40 + years in this area.

    Community - minded, moral, honest to a fault,, old faSHIONED " MEN OF THE EARTH",,
    Shame on these latecomers who haven't given 1/10 th of what Mike & Paul have given to their community & many other worthwhile organizations in the Gardine/New Paltz area !!!

  3. Yes, shame on these "latecomers" who aren't part of the old boy network. Who are they to tell us how we run OUR business. Your comment illustrates the problem exactly, 5:53.

  4. As I read 5:53's post it reminded me of an individual who would throw a few back before posting drunken comments on other Ulster County related blogs a few years ago. I cannot help but wonder if it is the same political throw back who was posting comments while under the influence (PCUI) back then.

  5. you know who !!!9:41 AM, May 10, 2012

    no 6:57 i am not Noonan, I AM however someone who despises these Zimet-like agenda - ridden city-minded people who seem to have overtaken our political process. They have no regard for the "country way of life" we are a Farm area still despite their calls for streetlights & dog parks - UGH !
    Do any of you even know Mike Boylan ? Have you been to his & Tammy'sfamily-owned business ? Do you support local farmers or do you buy your "produce" at ShopRite ?
    Gimme a break ? ME ?? NOONAN ? HA ! Don't even drink, you addled-brained treehugging lefty,
    The Colucci family has helped so many familys & businesses here in Ulster County you shpould be hit by a lightening bolt for even hinting of impropriety.
    SHAME AGAIN on YOU !!!

  6. What is important is that the process is open and everyone follows the smae rules. Being a board member or any other part of local government means that you must follow all the rules and set an example. I know that Paul is dedicated to the best interests of the town and has given back more then most people even know about. It is important that the farmers and long time residents be considered, they protect the open-space and way of life which attracts the new residents to this beautiful area.