politics

The Berne Town Board has spent more than $15,000 on investigations according to documents received by The Enterprise through a Freedom of Information Law request. All the investigations appear to have been of Democratic town board members. One recently led to a censure by partisan vote; the others were unsubstantiated.

Michelle Hinchey

Michelle Hinchey, the Democratic candidate for the State Senate’s 46th District, paid for the lawyer of Hébert Joseph, chairman of the Rensselaerville Democratic Party, who submitted a challenge against Democrat Gary Greenberg’s nominating petition, which resulted in Greenberg’s removal from the primary ballot. Hinchey had distanced herself from Joseph’s challenge when asked about it by The Enterprise in March. 

In the midst of the pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo softened election requirements; candidates now need to collect only 30 percent of the statutory threshold. Michelle Hinchey, a Democratic candidate for the state Senate’s 46th District, is challenging the petition her Democratic opponent for the nomination, Gary Greenberg, had submitted. Greenberg suggested that the challenge is emblematic of insider-versus-outsider politics.

Gary Greenberg

On March 8, Gary Greenberg called for a change in petitioning after a Guilderland woman, an American citizen of Chinese descent who was circulating his nominating periton, was verbally assaulted.

A primary will allow Guilderland’s Democratic committee to “harness the energy of more and more Democrats,” committee Chairman Jacob Crawford said Monday night in explaining to the committee why he would be voting to change from a caucus system to a primary. 

In the absence of the town attorney answering our questions, we urge Berne Town Board members themselves to read New York State’s Civil Service Law, then to do the right thing: Reinstate Cheryl Baitsholts as dog control officer. The new board members took an oath of office on New Year’s Day to uphold the law. Failing that, we urge Baitsholts to do as the Knox workers before her did: File for a ruling that will force the town board to restore her job.

Karl Pritchard and June Springer

In its first regular board meeting of the year, the town of Knox announced a renewal of its Multi-use Recreational District proposal and the advent of high speed internet in the town.

Supporters of Emily Vincent, who was illegally demoted as a full member of the Berne planning board to alternate status, have donated more than $5,000 to a GoFundMe page dedicated to her just one day into its existence. She plans to use that money to fund her brain surgery, as well as take legal action against the town.

Thomas Spargo

At its reorganizational meeting on Jan. 1, the new town board of Berne removed several long-standing employees from their posts, stoking the ire of residents. Some of the board’s decisions are illegal, The Enterprise has learned.

Joel Willsey, Councilman Berne Town Board

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