Disheartened to hear about the arrest of Samuel Tress. I wholeheartedly believe in innocent until proven guilty. However, if these charges are true the damage goes far beyond the individual. One of the most important lessons my father taught me was that politics and government are about helping people and community. If these charges are true, Mr. Tress should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We can punish the wrongdoer. Repairing the faith and trust of the people…not as easy. This is a sad day for Rockland. Kristen Zebrowski Stavisky – Chairwoman, Rockland Democratic Committee
While we appreciate Ms. Stavisky’s effort to at least acknowledge the arrest of Mr. Tress, she completely missed the point when she called it a sad day for Rockland.
In the view of many, it was a sad day for Rockland when Tress won the Democratic Party’s nomination for a seat on the Ramapo Town Board! That this took place without a word of objection from the Democratic Party leadership added further insult to injury; Tress already had a known prior felony conviction on his record AND admitted to living in New Jersey.
Yet, Chairwoman Stavisky didn’t speak up to object to the presence of a convicted felon and admitted interloper on her Party’s line. If Mr. Tress is eventually found guilty, the day of his latest arrest on a felony charge will have proven to be a welcome and happy day in Rockland for anyone hoping to end corruption in Rockland County’s politics.
If Ms. Stavisky wants to reflect on ‘sad’ days, there could possibly be a doozy ahead on March 8th for those in the East Ramapo Central School District. On this Tuesday evening, the leadership of the Ramapo Democratic political machine, which Ms. Stavisky refuses to condemn or attempt to disrupt, could very well attempt to prevent a resolution in support of a veto-empowered monitor in East Ramapo from going before the full legislature for a vote.
Democratic Legislators Soskin, Wieder and Schoenberger are adamantly against the veto-empowered monitor. Republican Legislator Tyer is reportedly supportive of the resolution and Republican Legislator Falciglia is said to be in favor of at least moving the resolution out of committee to a full vote by the legislature.
This leaves Democratic Legislators Aney Paul and Toney Earl as the two remaining committee members. Both Paul and Earl voted in favor of last year’s memorializing resolution, so logic would dictate they will support this year’s resolution. However, both Earl and Paul have extensive track records as unthinking followers of Legislator Schoenberger. Certainly, either could easily now claim that with a monitor already in place that veto power is no longer necessary. It’s a long four years until the next election and both Paul and Earl could possibly be willing to roll over now as and when required to do so and hope that the public forgets their subordination by 2019.
Another ploy to prevent movement of this item out of Soskin’s committee would be for either Ms. Paul, Mr. Earl, or indeed any other member of the committee not opposed to the resolution, to simply absent themselves from Tuesday’s meeting. In that event, the absentee legislator retains political cover, while the other is free to vote in favor of the resolution as it would then be destined to fail anyway in what would be a 3-3 deadlock. The particular resolution in question needs a majority vote to move forward from committee, so a tie is as good as a win for Wieder, Schoenberger and Soskin.
Is there anyone out there who follows the Rockland County Legislature that believes this is a far-fetched scenario?
This is merely one example of the potential price to be paid for Legislative Chairman Alden Wolfe’s inexplicably stupid decision to place the Ramapo Democrats in charge of the two most powerful sub-committees in county government. The Rockland County Head of the Democratic Party, Kristen Stavisky, sat in silence as this went down. We, the unfortunate county residents, will now reap what Stavisky and Wolfe have sown.
In the likely event the resolution in support of the veto-proof East Ramapo monitor does get squashed in committee, Stavisky may issue another Tress-like statement regretting its failure and expressing her support of the monitor resolution. Her words will ring hollow – this Ramapo debacle is happening on her watch. Where the control of the Rockland County Democrats by its Ramapo clique is concerned she has not once sounded an alarm.
I suggest that if they are politically smart the members of the MultiServices Committee should vote to move the resolution out of committee for a vote by the full legislature. After all, the resolution is simply a statement of support; it is no more than a message to Republican State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan expressing support for the State to pass real legislation for the children of East Ramapo.
Given there is no indication that Flanagan cares at all about what the people of Rockland have to say on the monitor issue, Wieder, Schoenberger and Soskin likely have nothing to fear in this event and everything to gain by looking ‘legistorial‘. Flanagan has their backs and with Flanagan staunchly in their corner, it can be argued that the trio won’t be creating a big political outcry over nothing. Then again, Legislator Schoenberger recently made a deliberate decision to create a crisis that could have bankrupted the county over a political point involving non-profit funding so who knows what this trio really wants to do.
It likely doesn’t matter to the Ramapo Democratic machine that their other Democratic colleagues in the legislature – who conform to the principles of the Democratic Party – overwhelmingly want this resolution and the actual legislation to pass. The Ramapo Democrats call the shots and were placed in this position of control by Wolfe as Stavisky sat by and did nothing.
With control of the Budget & Finance Committee in addition to the MultiServices Committee also in their pockets, the Ramapo Democrats have no reason to heed anything Ms. Stavisky has to say now anyway. It’s essentially as if Wolfe has handed them the rope, the duct tape and the keys to the getaway van needed to hold the county hostage at their whim and Stavisky has disabled the security cameras. Even if this potentially sad day for the East Ramapo monitor is avoided now that it has been brought into public view, Stavisky has seen many other days of woe come and go without comment.
I am reminded of another sad day for Rockland when Thomas Ninan received the political blessing of both Ms. Stavisky and Clarkstown Democratic Party leader, Stephanie Hausner, to run for political office. Ninan was granted the party’s nomination despite his highly publicized and disastrous tenure on the New City Library Board. It was later revealed that Ninan, as unit president of the Rockland CSEA Union, is required to have a monitor present in his board meetings partly due to his offensive behavior toward women. Ninan’s presence on the Democratic line was so objectional that it prompted a group of principled Democratic Party members to issue a letter stating they disavowed themselves from Ninan and would vote for his opponent. Not one word of regret came from either Stavisky or Hausner.
Another sad day for Rockland took place when Democratic County Legislator Aney Paul, an apparent lackey for Legistor Schoenberger, was allowed to run unopposed in a Democratic Primary to a second term in office. Despite being nothing more than a puppet for the Ramapo Democratic faction, Ms. Paul seems to have the full backing of Chairwoman Stavisky. Each passing day in which Ms. Stavisky continues to remain silent as the Ramapo contingency led by Christopher St. Lawrence, Ilan Schoenberger, and Aron Wieder hijack the Party that she leads with their own self-serving agenda is yet one more sad day for Rockland!
Hopefully, more people are starting to share the opinion that any happy days ahead for the Rockland Democratic Party will only come after a change in Party leadership. For now, the public can try to prevent another sad day in Rockland County politics by coming out and showing their support for a veto-empowered monitor for the East Ramapo School System by attending the Multi Services Committee meeting on Tuesday, March 8th at 6:30 pm.
The meeting will be held at 11 New Hempstead Road in New City.