Flags and Fightin' Words                                            4-15-2018

                 I didn't post after last week's Town Board meeting. That was deliberate.  Sometimes the events of a meeting need to be digested before they are discussed. Our last two meetings have been like that.

                 Dissent among the board members is something I grew accustomed to with boards and Supervisors of the past, but with the new Super and Councilmen, we had two years of amazing peace, unity, and transparency. I guess all good things DO come to an end. 

                   One thing I have always believed, is that an employer or superior should never, EVER reprimand an underling in public. In my own opinion, even a teacher should take a child out into the hallway to discuss behavior issues, and not cause unnecessary embarrassment. When a Supervisor bites a Councilman during a meeting, that is unacceptable, and when it is done in the Town Hall at any other time, it should NOT be in front of a constituent. Especially when it is not the Council Member who is in the wrong. Just sayin'. 

                    There is no group of people that can agree 100% of the time on everything. In fact, TWO people seldom agree all the time. That's why we have divorces. LOL!! There are just some arenas where airing those disagreements is inappropriate. Town Board meetings sometimes get heated in  a variety of ways, but the Super and the Council should keep it professional.

                      Last week's meeting saw both the Supervisor AND Councilmen chastising each other, but you know what?  THIS time, our Supervisor deserved the criticism. Councilman Baumli made it known how he felt about the sleazy actions taken at the March meeting re: the Miller Property. He had a text from the Supervisor saved to his phone, where she stated that NO action would be taken on that issue until a full board was present. Yet action WAS taken with Baumli absent due to a fender-bender on his way home from work. Not only was action taken, it was dirty action, as I explained in my post after that meeting. 

                       So, after Baumli had his say, he moved to have the Town Attorney contact the County in the morning and pull the Miller property from the Rail Trail.  Finally, some Common Sense! NOW, there will be an OFFICIAL Public Hearing on the matter, with ALL residents being given an opportunity to express their opinions about removing yet ANOTHER taxable property from our tax rolls. As it SHOULD be, and should have been the first time! I HATE what happened at that March meeting, and I HATE what I saw going on behind the scenes. AGAIN, let me make it VERY clear that not myself or any of the Councilmen are either supporting or opposing the Rail Trail Project! Except for Norman Rasmussen, who supports it loudly and is willing to take inappropriate actions to GET the Miller property FOR it. 

                        What we all oppose, is giving away taxable property to yet another, Non-Profit project that is being pushed by the Liberal Transplants. What does it matter to THEM? They are either wealthy retired people or people with plenty of money to toss around. Not so for the Blue-Collar working class folks in this town. If you haven't seen the article in the Register Star, I will be posting it below. 

                          If you are one of the hard-working residents who can't afford to keep picking-up the tab for these transplants and their Conservancies and Non-Profits, you have a responsibility to show up at the Public Hearing or at the very LEAST, send a letter or email to the Town Clerk and have your voice heard. Every contact is counted as FOR or AGAINST, so your opinion matters! I will let you know the time and location of that July Public Hearing as it gets closer.


                              On to the Flags.   As you know, we worked for THREE years to get those flags flying in town.  Now that they are up, it is apparent that we need at least 15 more for the Route between the park and the former Motel. We are also raising funds to get another two dozen for New Lebanon Center and West Lebanon.  After the high winds a couple of weeks ago, some of the flags became unattached from their poles. We wanted to fix that a.s.ap, but as usual, there is Red Tape involved. 

                                Consolidated Communications, who were generous enough to hang the flags for us, stated that they are too busy to fix the flags at this time, but also stated that WE could not fix them, either! Then all of a sudden, that changed, and they said we COULD fix them. So this weekend, Mark Baumli, Kevin Smith, and Ed Godfroy went out and got it done. THANK YOU to all three !!  

                                There has not been much said about the beauty of the American Flags flying in the corridor, and that is sad. Yet there HAS been plenty of negativity from a few residents. This came up at last week's meeting, and though no names were mentioned, I knew INSTANTLY who the instigator was. It was just a No-Brainer. Apparently, this guy and a couple of other folks, are upset over the fact that the flags are not lit at night, and went so far as to print up petitions to demand lighting. Unfortunately for THEM, they failed to do their homework first. 

                                The U.S Flag Code states clearly that night-time illumination of the flag is merely a "Guideline" and NOT a LAW. This was confirmed way back in 1970 by President Richard Nixon himself, when asked for guidance from a citizen. (See posted guidelines below). Naval Ships don't even light their flag at night unless they are entering a Port. Have you ever seen the other towns with flags light them at night? How about our own Town Hall?  It just is NOT a requirement, period. So, to the know-it-alls who simply like to stir up issues that don't exist, DO your HOMEWORK before you start something. By the way, none of you are among the donors to the flag project, and none of you have had a single, positive thing to say about finally HAVING flags. So if you REALLY cannot live with the flags being unlit, YOU go buy the lighting, YOU install it, and YOU pay for the power to keep them lit. Fair enough? 

                                 For those of you who ARE enjoying the flags, Thank You, and please spread the word that we are struggling to raise the money to buy the rest that we need. The link to the Go Fund Me is on the Town Website. Thank You, Tistrya.

                                  The Bridge Box Project is going very well also. We have the lumber for the new boxes, donated by Jesse Newton. We also have the carpenter, the soil, and the paint. After Memorial Day, we will be seeking donations of Proven Winner Petunias, all colors, and folks who wish to adopt one of the 6 new boxes. 

                                   Lots of people have ideas as to how make New Lebanon more attractive to businesses and young families, and a lot of those ideas are great. Still, we need to make the town aesthetically attractive if we wish to get noticed. We are looking a little run-down and worn-out these days. Speaking of which, it is now official, Stewarts is tearing down the E-Z Mart and building their new store on that site. THAT will be an awesome improvement. Their present store will then likely go up for sale, attracting yet another business. Wanna bet Dunkin Donuts buys the present Stewarts site and builds a new Drive-Thru?  

 Flag Lighting:

  Flag Lighting Rules

  1. American Legion

It is important to note that the Flag Code is a guideline, NOT a LAW, on how to properly and respectfully display the American Flag, understanding that NO Civil or Criminal Penalties can be filed for failure to properly illuminate a flag.

    1. On behalf of President Richard Nixon, April 27, 1970:

Those who fly the flag both day and night should ensure that it is made of of a material strong enough to withstand wear and tear and that it is promptly replaced when it begins to show signs of wear. While it would appear appropriate to illuminate the flag after sunset, the Flag Code does NOT require that it be illuminated and it's display without illumination is not considered an impropriety. The Flag Code is simply a voluntary guideline, it is not the Law.

  Link to Register Star article: