The Rottenness of Rockland Politics!
If any single happening exposes the rottenness and hypocrisy of
Rockland politics it is the treatment Joseph Meyers received from
the County Legislature.
Joe Meyers was recommended, 28 to 2, by the 12th legislative
district committee persons to replace Ellen Jaffee. For the first
time in County legislature history the recommendation of the
grassroots Democratic committee people were told to shove it.
Meyers is a "troublemaker" say the Ramapo political chieftains.
Joe had the temerity, the chutzpah, to forcefully argue that the
Ramapo in which he and other families have made their homes, is
being ruined by the disastrous land use, zoning and code enforcement
policies of the St. Lawrence/Schoenberger machine.
History is replete with examples of political machines utilizing
every dirty undemocratic trick when threatened.
Chris St. Lawrence is determined to keep his substantial lifetime
sinecure, its benefits and pension.
Legislator Ilan Schoenberger, is most obstinate to preserve
Ramapoís status quo. Wow, does Ilan have a gig! $32,000 as County
legislator, part time; $97,760 , as Ramapo Finance Director; $59,000
to Mrs.Schoenberger, Ilanís wife, Ramapo Judge, part-time; $60,000
to Ms. Schoenberger, daughter, aide to County Judge Apotheker. Add
it up and it's a family gig of $248,760 annually, plus benefits plus
pensions. On the side, they do a little lawyering. No wonder
Rocklandís political class doesnít want government consolidation.
This self-imposed beneficence takes place under the radar. Folkís
daily lives are too busy to keep track of all the shenanigans. Few
people vote but St. Lawrence and Schoenberger cohorts vote. In 2005,
St. Lawrence received 20% of his total vote from three of the townís
90 districts: two in New Square and one in Kaser. The other guy
zero. That kind of solid unanimous "support" has a price tag paid
for by Ramapo and county taxpayers.
Getting back to Meyers. Legislator Schoenberger punished Meyers.
He with Legislator Murphy engineered a coalition of six Republican
and four of the ten Democrats to anoint their personal preference,
Pat Withers. Withers is not a "troublemaker"
If Schoenberger was manipulative the Republicans were hypocrites.
The Republicans could have insisted on a special election.
Legislator Levine gave them the chance. He proposed the choice be
made by a special district election. The 6 Republicans and nine
Democrats did not support Levine.
The Republican minority, over the years, has pleaded with the
Democratic majority for special elections.
When the Legislature selected Connie Coker last April,
Republican Minority Leader Bierker, argued: " I hope my
colleagues vote no to the appointment of Mrs. Coker in the hope that
she would be afforded the dignity of standing for an election."
Bierker, without gulping, voted for Withers. No "election" thus
depriving poor Pat Withers of his "dignity".
Democratic Legislator Fried trumped Bierkerís hypocrisy.
In 2005 voting for another vacancy, Fried responded to
Bierkerís request for an election, "The Charter of the County of
Rockland vests the power of appointment to vacancies in this body
----. Our tradition has been, and should remain to execute the will
of the majority of the legislative district committeepersons in
making determinations with regard to the filling of vacancies in
this body regardless of political party affiliation. I support this
process. It keeps Legislative appointments in the hands of
residentsóas it should." Legislator Fried, without blinking an
eye, voted for Pat Withers, taking the choice out of "the hands of
the residents" throwing the choice into the "hands" of Schoenberger
Bierker and Fried add emphasis to that aged conundrum: How do you
know when a politician is lying? When he moves his lips.
If you have comments or questions for Mr. Feiner you
can reach him at