Journal News Columnist to Speak on Putnam Politics

Says he will “connect the dots” between major players

David McKay Wilson, the Tax Watch columnist for the Journal News who first reported on a non-profit tourism agency in Putnam County created by then-director Libby Pataki that didn’t appear to have a functioning board, says he will “connect the dots” between Pataki, former Fox News chief Roger Ailes, County Executive MaryEllen Odell and County Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra in a presentation at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at St. Mary’s Church in Cold Spring, followed by a discussion.

Odell, Wilson and Pataki at the 2014 Putnam Cycling Classic. The reporter was one of the 67 riders who took part. (Photo provided)

Odell, Wilson and Pataki at the 2014 Putnam Cycling Classic. The reporter was one of the 67 riders who took part. (Photo provided)

5 thoughts on “Journal News Columnist to Speak on Putnam Politics

  1. This is sure to be a very exciting event. David Wilson has been hands-down the most prolific reporter of County shenanigans in these parts and no doubt he will have a few surprises up his sleeve.

    Following up on his numerous stories about the ill-fated Tourism Agency, I can report that things have taken an even shadier turn in recent days. As I mentioned in one of my other posts, I have applied for the job of tourism director to replace the former director, Libby Pataki. Of course, I realize that I have about as much chance of getting the position as… well … as … David McKay Wilson, but nevertheless I did apply if for no other reason than to be able to document how utterly crooked the process and the people running this charade are.

    Well, just the other day I got an email that purported to be from the Putnam County Visitors Bureau Board informing me that they have just changed the job description six months after it was initially posted, no doubt to make it look better when they appoint one of their unqualified political friends. They then sent another email to ask me if I was still interested in applying after reading the new description! I mean really, can they be any more obvious?

    I replied that, of course, I was still interested but could whoever sent me the emails please have the courtesy to let me know just who’s who on this new board since they will be deciding my fate. No response to that email or the FOIL request I later sent to the county clerk’s office since it was clear that nobody there is talking unless it’s mandated by the law.

    So I will definitely be attending David’s soiree, if for no other reason than maybe I can find out more about my job application.

  2. As a follow-up to the Wilson “connecting the dots” expose, how these same individuals together with their legislative puppets have systematically perverted the rule of law, would be instructive and troubling.

    Wednesday night’s Special Full Legislative meeting would be a case in point, wherein Legislator Albano together with Legislators Nacerino and Scuccimarra attempted to steamroll an amendment to the lease — yes, another one — heedless of the 48-hour notice rule, a rule which former District Attorney and now Legislator Wright tactfully reminded his colleagues was being violated.

    Why should a rule, adopted so that sufficient time would be given to both legislator and resident alike opportunity to access proposals stand in the way of the greater good of providing Odell/Walker and the developer with an approved lease or such was the position of Legislator Albano. Furious, Legislator Scuccimarra bounded from her place, stormed out of the meeting but later returned, admitting under questioning by Legislator LoBue that she had consulted with Deputy County Executive Walker and, receiving her instructions, suggested a way to circumvent the rule by approving the lease as adopted at the Sept. 6 full legislative meeting and with the amendment postponed for two weeks until the October meeting.

    Did the ends justify the means? Why was a Special Meeting called when the regular meeting was on the horizon? What was the rush to approve the amendment? Audio available.

  3. The question isn’t whether Putnam County Executive Odell and her gang are guilty of using public office as their personal playground. Unfortunately, we know all too well the answer to that question. The question is by what mechanism of real democracy will the honest people of Putnam County be able to elect real public servants to county office?

    The problem is the very long-running non-democratic tradition of the one-party system which has run Putnam County since forever. With the death hold of only one party, real debate and real competition cannot happen. It takes real competition to keep government honest. There is no real competition for office in Putnam County. Is there any group of politically active people able to unseat Odell and tribe and bring real public service to county government? Probably only if Odell tramples on enough old-line Republican party faithful toes or commits black-and-white illegal acts will she get the hook. Til then it’s the Odell/Bruce Walker dog-and-pony show with its official, free press release agent Eric Gross and the good people of Putnam County paying the bills.

    Everyone not on her payroll sees the problem. But who has the energy and stamina to take the bully off the playground?

    • Unless you’ve run for public office, you may not be aware of what the structural problems are for someone trying to get elected. To say that the process is arcane and favors the incumbents is an understatement. The first obstacle is to collect the required number of valid signatures on your petitions. This is probably the hardest part for many. Also, the politicians of both parties pretty much control things. The one party system is not unique to Putnam County. In true blue NY State, many if not most of the districts are controlled by Democrats.

      What’s even more important is to have an involved and informed electorate. Most people don’t know and/or don’t care who is running their government or how their taxes are spent. Increasingly people are addicted to their screens. They must don’t pay attention or if they do, it is limited.

      It was good to see people get excited about the Butterfield Senior Center debacle. Let’s see how long it lasts once stop gloating about getting Roger Ailes to withdraw his donation.