Cuomo must be investigated

Andrew Cuomo

Sexual harassment is unacceptable in any venue. Including in our government. Our state has strict policies in place and mandatory training that all employees and officials must take every year, myself included.

Three women have come forward to share their experiences with Cuomo, experiences that describe extremely inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment in the workplace.

These allegations are serious and must be investigated by an independent authority whose findings will be trusted by the public. A rubber stamp investigation is not acceptable.

I urge the governor to immediately refer the matter to a credible authority with subpoena power to investigate these allegations and any other that may arise.

Voting NO on stadium upgrades

Tonight I voted NO on the proposed ~$1.4M bond for Dutchess Stadium. In this time of fiscal uncertainty and pending the passage of the Federal COVID Relief bill, I felt it was fiscally imprudent to make this commitment when so many of our fellow Dutchess County residents are unable to make ends meet or get a vaccine in a timely manner.

The bond did pass and I hope our financial situation improves and the Federal COVID Relief bill provides enough support to restore our budget.

Just two months ago, the county made significant cuts to fill a projected budget gap in the name of fiscal responsibility. Among those cuts was a 15% to our county health department staff in the middle of a worldwide pandemic that has killed hundreds of our friends, neighbors, and family members here in Dutchess County.

The county has also cut 10% of the Department of Community and Family Services staff, the department responsible for investigating claims of child abuse and supporting families suffering during the economic downturn.

I voted against the budget that made those cuts.

Yet today I was asked to vote in favor of a $1.4 million bond for stadium improvements to help the NY Yankees farm team to play down in Beacon, including nearly $500K for consultants to design millions more in improvements to be voted upon later this year. The total price tag to be around $10 million.

I am not opposed to having the stadium or improving it. I understand the potential upsides – even with the questionable post-COVID projections – that might come to pass. And that maybe it will break even at some point in the future. However, with the Federal COVID relief package still unsigned and any COVID relief for our budget still uncertain, I could not support this expenditure.

It is my hope that whatever passes through Congress will provide enough budget relief for Dutchess County that we can restore our health department to heal our ills, reinvest in our family services to protect our children, and have the financial stability to afford our investment in the county stadium.

Insurrectionist acts in Washington, D.C.

Violence of any kind is, of course, to be condemned but the acts committed in Washington, D.C. on January 6 are seditious and without comparison in modern history.

To attack our nation’s Capitol in an attempt to stop the lawful transfer of power is not protest. It is not free speech. It is not civil disobedience. It is insurrection and it should be treated as such. All those who participated, supported, incited or encouraged this action should be brought to account and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

This lawless behavior was the inevitable result of the failure of Republican leaders and elected officials to set an example and speak honestly about President Trump to members of their own party. Most did not have the courage of leaders like the late Senator John McCain to stand up to Trump. America has been diminished by their inaction and cowardice.

Past failures to bring those in power to account for their actions is why this happened. Failure to do so again will only invite further attempts to overthrow our democracy and destroy our nation.

158 new cases on Dec. 1: Yellow zones are coming…

Tuesday was a terrible day for Dutchess County with 158 new positive cases reported… but is that real? Is it because of Thanksgiving or is there a better explanation? But the big spike in hospitalizations is definitely real. I discuss the latest numbers and then just past the 5 minute mark try to explain yellow, orange and red zones and how they’ll impact schools as NY’s second surge continues.

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Vote YES on Prop 1

I fought hard in 2019 to get true Independent Redistricting for Dutchess County, to end the corrupt gerrymandering of our legislative districts. We succeeded in getting it before the voters in 2020.

The change is now on your ballot for an up-or-down vote. Please turn over your ballot and vote YES on the independent reapportionment commission. It’s not perfect but it’s much better than what we have today.

How can you get tested for Covid-19?

“Where can I go to get tested?” “I’m worried and I want a test.”

Testing is STILL NOT AVAILABLE ON DEMAND. There is still a terrible shortage of tests, especially north of the city.

Two collection sites are available for pre-screened people suspected of having COVID-19 to give a specimen sample for a test. These are not testing sites. Testing is done offsite and results are not immediately available.

The collection site is ONLY for people who meet ALL of the following criteria:

  1. You called your doctor’s office and had a consultation.
  2. Based on your symptoms and other information you provided, your doctor determined you meet criteria for COVID-19 testing and ordered a test for you.
  3. You have a scheduled appointment at the collection site. Your doctor will give you the phone number to call to schedule an appointment at the collection site.

So contact your doctor.