Meet the Candidates

Election Day: Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Kingston Uptown Residents’ Alliance (KURA) has developed six questions that relate to the major issues facing Kingston. These questions were based on a survey of its membership and recent analysis. An individual letter was sent to all candidates and they were given an opportunity to express their views for publication in the electronic media. The issues were: 1) Kingston is not competitive because of its high taxes 2) The unaffordable and unsustainable pensions and benefits 3) Kingston’s failure to attract required new businesses. 4) Kingston’s poor and deteriorating physical appearance 5) Over assessment of Kingston properties have cost taxpayers dearly 6) Kingston’s unmet potential for being a tourist destination The candidate’s unedited positions follow each question. The document is divided into two major sections the Mayoral Candidates and the Alderperson Candidates.

Question #1
(for Mayoral Candidates)
Kingston City taxes have been increasing year after year. Kingston has been identified as the city with the third highest per capita taxes in the State and a relatively low median income. Kingston’s Commercial taxes are almost double the residential taxes. Both are too high and make Kingston non-competitive. As Mayor, how do you plan to deal with this situation? - Please provide your specific plans to increase revenues. - Please provide your priorities for the reduction of expenditures. (e.g. Administrative, Police. Fire Department, DPW, Other)
Candidate: Shayne R. Gallo With the 2 percent tax cap now in effect at every level of government, the question of escalating taxes will be somewhat muted moving forward. The homestead/no homestead tax structure can be attributed to diminishing the competitive advantage of Kingston, but a rapid move to equalize the tax rates would be untenable in a down market when the assessments of all properties are going down. The flight of homeowners (a disproportionate number on fixed incomes given the proportion of retirees in our city which attributes to the low/median income) who would no longer be able to keep up with property taxes would rob our business community of the very customers they depend on to conduct business. What I will focus on as mayor is making our city an attractive location for families to live, work and raise their families. Attracting (and maintaining) young families in our community is essential to a healthy economy because these individuals are the next generation of business owners, the little league coaches, and PTA leadership. We cannot expect to attract or keep families in our community if we do not offer an attractive place to live and that requires vital services and a desirable quality of life. My next commitment is to demand the very best from every department and employee in the city. Throughout this campaign I have spoken with hundreds of individuals and the common theme has been that the quality of services, the responsiveness of city hall, and communication to residents is lacking. People want to know that the money that they spend in taxes is not wasted, that the benefits are distributed in an equitable manner, and that our departments are responsive to their needs. I cannot promise a rapid and dramatic change in the tax rates of our city, but I do commit that under my leadership our collective resources will be spent wisely in an environment of accountability and transparency. Raising revenues for our local government during a national economic downturn is not going to be easy. What I don’t support are policies, such as the privatization of trash collection where the average resident would not see any decline in their tax bill, but would be required to fund a private hauler at upwards of $500/year. I do want to better explore how we can maximize the economic benefit of our transfer station because I do not believe that we are fully utilizing this resource. Additionally, I want to study the viability of developing a city ambulance corps, that could work in coordination with our private services, as other communities across the state have done to offset the cost of handling medical calls. Currently almost 50 percent of all fire calls are

medical and we are not legally allowed to be reimbursed by private or public insurance programs for any part of that expense. A full cost/benefit analysis must be undertaken to determine if the initial startup costs could justify such a move. I would also like to reallocate personnel in the police department to make sure there is the proper balance between administrative personnel and patrol officers. If I am elected, I would like to put together a transition team that will conducting a 360 degree efficiency analysis of every department and service to examine redundancies and seek out cost savings so that on January 1, 2012 I am ready to put into effect the type of changes we need to run a more efficient and effective organization. Candidate: Ron Polacco One of the ways I will alleviate the current tax situation is by cutting budgetary spending and working to expand the tax base in the City. This will lower the tax burden for all taxpayers. I realize that economic revitalization and a fiscally responsible city government are the keys to helping Kingston rebound and thrive as a prosperous City.

Candidate: Richard T. Cahill In order to deal with rising property taxes, the next Mayor must identify real spending cuts. Unlike federal income taxes, which can generate extra revenue by cutting the rate, city property taxes, by their regressive nature, cannot. As such, only spending reductions will allow for a reduction. I have identified numerous areas where cuts may be made. I have not yet finished reviewing the 2012 budget proposal recently submitted by Mayor Sottile. To give you some idea of the nature of my proposed cuts, I am including my budget proposals* I actually submitted during the 2011 budget process. Almost all of the same concepts apply, though the numbers may be slightly different. (The Account numbers and line numbers are set forth in the 2011 budget proposal.) * EDITOR’S NOTE: Detailed, line by line recommendations for budget reductions, based on Mr. Cahill’s 2011 budget, are included in Appendix A. Central Purchasing : Eliminate the entire department (saves $59,828.00) There is no need for this position. There is no reason why each department head cannot make the necessary purchases for his or her department. All receipts for purchases would of course be filed with the City Comptroller to allow for proper auditing. Economic Development Office: Eliminate the entire department (saves $173,639.00) For years, we have dropped hundreds of thousands of dollars into the city’s Economic Development Department. In the most recent budget, the total expenditures for this department totaled nearly two hundred thousand

($200,000.00) dollars. As is obvious, there has been precious little economic development in our city. Certainly, the money we have spent, which exceeds one million ($1,000,000.00) dollars in the last six or seven years, has not been fruitful. Therefore, I propose that the Economic Development Office be eliminated and replaced with two more positive and fruitful ideas. First, a small portion of the funding from this department should be used to create a grant writing office. There are numerous state and federal grants available especially in the areas of law enforcement and fire fighting. We need to pursue these grants aggressively. To fund this office would require only about ¼ of the current funding. The balance could be applied to tax reduction. The second thing that should replace the Economic Development Office is an Economic Growth Team made up of Kingstonians with expertise in business, law, real estate, architecture, and other areas of importance to economic development. For years, the city has hired consultants from outside our city. I believe that Kingstonians have the ability to solve the problems facing Kingston. By creating this group of civic-minded volunteers and allowing them to study the problems facing our local economy, we can use the combined brain power of our city to create solutions and new ideas to unleash Kingston’s true economic potential. Kingston created a similar team to deal with housing issues. That team offered several valuable proposals that have been implemented by the city and proven quite successful. This part of my comprehensive plan will save a large amount of taxpayer money, allow us to tap into other resources and take the burden off our local property taxes, and will provide for new and innovative economic ideas. Human Rights: Eliminate the department (saves $25,546) Necessary services would be available through the County Office. However, all employees would be notified in writing of this change and provided with the proper procedure for filing human rights complaints with the county. I would not want another major lawsuit against the city. Fire Department: To cut overtime with the Fire Department, changes need to be made to exactly what calls to which the Fire Department will respond. Calls such as “an intoxicated man on North Front Street”, assisting in transporting a person to drug rehab, or assisting in transporting a mental health patient to the Hospital are not proper calls for the Fire Department. Calls should be limited to firematic emergencies/duties and only those medical emergencies where the Fire Department EMT’s are the closest first responders. Additionally, there are now EMT’s in every volunteer department in the city. These need to be used as well to cut overtime costs. DPW: There is no need for 2 Assistant Superintendents. One oversees the Sewer Treatment Plant. The other oversees trash pickup. There are already positions in the budget to cover these responsibilities. Cut both positions and save $144,841.00

Sewer Budget: Unnecessary overtime covers 8 people. Each day, because of a discrepancy in shifts, one person does a 30 minute inspection (called a PM checkout) and gets a 3 hour overtime payment. Currently, there are 2 shifts at the plant: 6am to 2pm and 9am to 5pm. If the second shift is amended to 12pm to 8pm, then the overtime line is totally unnecessary and saves the taxpayers $100,000.00 !! Reduce Line 472 to 0 (saves $74,188.00 ) By way of explanation, this is the line for the CAMO consultant. At least one of the 2 senior plant operators ( the more senior) has or is close to having the needed license. Once obtained, we no longer require the highpriced consultant. This is a great idea, especially since the city has been paying for seminars and other training for the sewer management workers. In fact, it is my understanding that one of the 2 plant managers may already have the necessary licensing to do the job. Why should taxpayers pay for training if the workers will never use it? I have always said that the City of Kingston has no problems that Kingstonians cannot solve themselves. I have no doubt that the DPW worker currently serving as one of the plant managers could do the job of CAMO and save the taxpayers significant amounts of money. Most people do not realize that the consultant in question shows up for 1/2 hour every week or sometimes every other week and gets paid $70,000.00 of taxpayer money. It's good work if you can get it, but I fail to see why taxpayers should be footing this bill. For many years the City of Kingston did run the sewage treatment plant without a consultant and managed just fine without one. I urge the public to go down to the plant and look at the plaque honoring Jules Albertini. Mr. Albertini was the Chief Plant Operator for many years. He did an outstanding job running the sewage plant without requiring an outside consultant to tell him how to do his job. I see no reason why people already working at the sewage plant are not capable of doing this job. In an economy as bad as the one we are in, how can this Council possibly justify spending over $70,000.00 of taxpayer money for a consultant putting in less than 2 hours a week in actual work. It just does not make sense to me. We also do not require 2 Senior Plant Managers. For decades, the city operated with only one. The junior SPO (Mr. Winchell) should be elimanted. This would save the city.$74,150.00 Candidate: Steve Ladin This question has 3 parts: Expenditures. A recent study found that Kingston’s budget cannot be cut any further. I disagree. 1. How often do you see a City Bus traveling around town empty? Savings can be made in this system through: merging with the County system; or

privatization; or rethinking the operation to more closely align with customer usage. 2. Will someone explain to me what the Office of Community Development does besides mismanage a grants program that requires little time and effort to administer? I propose merging the Office of Economic Development, Community Development, and Planning into one office. There will be several administrative positions eliminated as a result of this consolidation. A Deputy Mayor of Planning will assume leadership of this new office. And guess what: there will be a significant monetary savings and an increase in efficiency and efficacy. 3. Why does a fire truck answer calls that can be handled by a volunteer rescue squad? Enough said. 4. Everybody will be punching a time clock – no cheating, it will require a thumb and fore finger print-match. The men and women who pick up the trash and plow the snow do a great job. Do they take off early when the garbage pick-up is finished? And does the City get charged overtime when they plow the snow at all hours in the winter? You can’t have it both ways. And this is just a start. • Revenues. There are so many vacant buildings, a good number of them in foreclosure. Look around on Broadway; downtown; mid-town; the Stockade. How many empty storefronts do you count? An empty storefront, a vacant building = revenue loss. 1. As Mayor, I will ask that every property owner of a vacant storefront to turn it over to an artist for a display/installation of their work, either free of charge or an individually negotiated arrangement. At least the storefront won’t be vacant anymore. The artist, will, of course, agree to give up their space if the store is rented. This program will attract new tenants and businesses to Kingston. But don’t take my word for it. Look at our sister city in Massachusetts: Pittsfield. 2. Kingston is a wildly diverse city in ethnicity, income levels, architecture, history, geography, education, job skills, and just about anything else you can think of. What a great place for a corporation to settle in. Why not reach out to a corporation like Google: come to Kingston, use our city as a test market for your ideas. We have an ideal and diverse demographic. And this is just a start. • Taxes. Everyone agrees that taxes are too high. The City has done a poor job in communicating how our tax dollars are spent. Yes, I too believe that taxes are high; but I’m not about to move to Pennsylvania, the land of lower taxes and fracking. 1. If citizens know where their tax dollars are being spent and in an efficient and thrifty manner, perhaps there wouldn’t be so much complaining. Look no further than the County Jail fiasco. As Mayor, I will communicate effectively with everyone. They will know when, where, why, and how much, in advance. 2. The honest answer is that lower taxes may never come. All the vacant properties have to begin producing again. Increasing the tax base will be a long slog and will require leadership that brings everyone together, businesses and residents and city workers, with a common goal and a noble purpose. Are we all prepared to be noble? It will require sweat equity and some generosity on everyone’s part.

Question #1
(for Aldermanic Candidates)
Kingston City taxes have been increasing year after year. Kingston has been identified as the city with the third highest per capita taxes in the State and a relatively low median income. Kingston’s Commercial taxes are almost double the residential taxes. Both are too high and make Kingston non-competitive. What proposals will you try to implement in an effort to reduce taxes by raising revenues (excluding increased taxes) and the reduction of expenditures? Where and how will these expense reductions occur? (e.g. Administrative, Police, Fire Department, DPW, Other)

Alderman-at-Large
Candidate: James R. Noble, Jr. Candidate: Joseph Marchetti A) Re-integrate our approx. 15 qualified volunteer Fire Fighters into the paids to offset over time. They currently work with the Town of Ulster Fire Dept. because we won’t allow them to participate. B) Reduce our staggering O.T. in the Police Dept. By allowing the DA’s office to do more of the court time/ paper work duties. See John Sennett! C) Basic fee on all tax exempt properties based on linear frontage. Every body pays something. D) Moratorium on new tax exempt properties. NO Response

Ward 1
Candidate: Matt Dunn Candidate: Albert E. Teetsel NO Response NO Response

Ward 2
Candidate: Thomas R. Hoffay Candidate: Seth Allen If I am elected, I will try to move the City in a new direction. “Business as usual” must end. We have to look out for the bottom line or else we will be bankrupt. The City cannot sustain the current system of shrinking tax rolls and increasing expenses. The numbers simply don’t work. I propose an overall audit, either from within or external, of the entire City budget and government structure. From this evaluation, we will be able to remove NO Response

excesses and redundancies across the board. I believe there is always fat that can be trimmed. If there is a vacant position that is not necessary, it does not need to be filled. All new hires must be justified and the interview process must be objective. The right candidate is the one with the best qualifications and experience. Set a limit for the number of hours an employee must work in order to qualify as full-time and only fill positions that are part-time or below the limit. I hope for an energy efficiency initiative for the City. We have the ability to reduce the amount of waste by switching to energy-efficient appliances and lighting, installing motion sensors and timers on lighting in government buildings, making sure there is proper insulation, using energyefficient heating and cooling systems, solar panels, etc. By becoming more energy-efficient, we will save a lot of money in utility bills. Some initial cost is expected when doing this, but there are grant and rebate opportunities available to purchase materials and the new energy-efficient systems will pay off in the long run. It is also eco-friendly so it is a win-win! I will encourage initiatives that grow the tax base, bring in revenue for the city and those which contribute to a healthy business environment. I will discourage plans that do not do any of these things. Some examples of ways to bring in new revenue include eliminating unnecessary traffic lights. By doing this we will save money in electric costs. We will also have surplus lights so we will not have to purchase new ones when needed or new parts for maintenance. It is also safer for our neighborhoods when people are forced to stop at a stop sign instead of speed through a light. Additional parking is needed in Uptown Business District and revenue can come from additional parking meters. Many do not like meters, but they free up parking spaces and limit the duration of how long a car is parked. Fines and meter revenue are good for a City that is in a fiscal crisis. I would also like to examine how much we are charging (if anything) for the many film shoots in our City. The neighborhood is inconvenienced and extra city employees are needed for surveillance and traffic flow. We deserve to be fairly compensated. This is a major industry in NYC. Most of the expense reductions should occur in the Administrative departments and administrative positions. Other departments like the Economic Development and Community Development departments could be eliminated or combined. (The economic development officer is retiring). The building department could be combined with the fire department and they could perform inspections.

Ward 3
Candidate: Nathaniel B. Horowitz Candidate: Charles Landi I am of the opinion that if we are to rein in costs in this year of expiring contracts we must consider restructuring the three major departments to do it. With a diminishing population and tax base we cannot even consider raising taxes as we have done so often in the past. NO Response

Ward 4
Candidate: Frasier L. Sprague Candidate: Shirley Whitlock There first needs to be a freeze placed on all wage increase. When a City is in this state everyone should be held accountable to wait out the storm. NO Response

Ward 5
Candidate: Bill Carey Candidate: Nicky B. Woerner Candidate: Craig D. Johnson Without having full access to the city’s budget numbers, this is a difficult question to answer. First and foremost, I will need to review line by line the existing and proposed budgets to review expenditures. Then I would review actual costs and invoices to ensure that what is budgeted is actually expensed: meaning if we have a budget of $xxxx on a certain line item, are we actually spending that amount. If it is less, then clearly that line can be decreased. Secondly, every contract will need to be fairly and legally reviewed. As Alderman, my purpose will be to represent the needs of the community, both by ensuring their services are provided while their taxes are utilized effectively. I would encourage fair and open discussions surrounding the contracts of the unions employed by the City; Fire Department, Police, DPW etc. I would ensure that the needs of the community are met through exceptional services offered at the most reasonable cost, meanwhile fairly meeting the needs of the employees of the service lines. Third, I would review all services offered to the City, and remove any identified duplication, and potentially reallocate resource to meet the needs of the community. Candidate: Janai McDonough In order to raise revenue here in the city we have to start by making it easier for new businesses to want to come. Cleaning up and making it a safe and inviting environment for both visitors and residents alike. The reduction of expenditures will not be an easy task; I feel that cutting services such as Police, Fire and DPW is not the answer. We should also be looking into ways to cut back on expenses like adding solar panels in order to reduce our electric bill. NO Response NO Response

Ward 6
Candidates: Elisa Ball NO Response

Ward 7
Candidate: Maryann Mills Candidate: Curtis Dankelmann On this question of taxes, I feel the implementation of the State’s 2% cap on municipal tax raises is nothing more than a stunt by Albany to make them look as if they did something worthwhile. Albany should be addressing the real issues that can save us on tax spending: Bringing the welfare eligibility thresholds into line with other states, allowing the communities to bring about a moratorium on tax exempt parcels in their community. Also redefine what should be tax exempt. Eliminate the forced binding arbitration between Unions and municipalities for personal contracts. Raise the individual amount of retirement contribution paid in by the employee. And make the eligibility for retirement at the same age as social security. These are the issues I as an Alderman would want to take to our State officials. These people are elected to represent the same people as I would be but they seem to be representing another contingent of voters. Regarding the reduction of expenditures for the operation of the City of Kingston I would seek to do the following: Combine the administration and work force of the Recreation and Public Works departments. This would cut administrative costs while combining labor forces for better utilization of resources. I would also consolidate all the vehicle maintenance in one location using in house personnel and resources rather than “farming out” the repairs and maintenance. I would seek to streamline the way refuse and recycling is collected in the City. The plan I have is rather detailed as this has been my livelihood for the past 35 years. Then close the City’s transfer station and enter into an agreement with both Esopus and Ulster for city residents to utilize those transfer stations. I think the manner in which overtime is distributed in both the Police and Fire Departments can be reassessed and manpower needs studied. NO Response

Ward 8
Candidate: Robert Senor NO Response

Ward 9
Candidate: John T. Simek Candidate: Mark A. Halwick, Jr. Candidate: Deborah J. Brown NO Response NO Response

With the 3rd highest per capita taxes in the State, coupled with a relatively low median income, it is no wonder that Kingston is becoming increasingly non-competitive. How can we reverse this trend and turn our city into a destination location for quality business’s providing good paying job’s for its employees and a place where people want to own homes, go to our schools and raise their families here? It is not easy - it is hard work, and work that needs to be done each and every day. As we do reverse the trend, revenues to the city will raise - why? Because there will ever increasing spending activity by residents & consumers - by visitors - by businesses - by home buyers all generating revenues for the city - eg Sales Tax. The Mayor states in his 2012 Budget that Sales Tax is the largest revenue source aside from the Tax Levy and he is projecting a 2.05% increase over 2011 or $230,000. For 2013 - we need to DOUBLE that increase, at least, by making sure we make significant progress in making our City a compelling place to live and work, and to get started I will work towards and propose the following: First -- we need to get the City’s budget in shape, and we need to have real zero based budgeting. No more just filling in the blanks or just adding a percentage on to what was the budget last year , and saying this is how it has always been done …instead we need to build our budget based upon our plan of action for the upcoming year (in the private sector they call it a Business Plan). We need to take control of the plan, and develop our budget accordingly. I.e., what are we doing? How are we going to pay for it? This needs to be looked at every year - we can’t be lazy and roll forward year to year without taking hard, close looks at everything. You ask in your question, what expenses would you cut? Why aren’t you asking about intelligent, effective budgeting that follows the LEADERS plan of action? One overall principle that I would have is that every line item in the Budget would be there because it will help us towards accomplishing our plans and goals. I will demand to know why each $dollar is budgeted - no one can afford to pay for unnecessary expenditures - not homeowners, not businesses. An example of how hard examination can uncover unnecessary expenditures - look at the City’s Property and Casualty Insurance and the City’s Health & Dental Insurance. I have been told, that commissions paid to Insurance Agencies for these policies amounts to $100,000 or more. Why don’t we demand that these policies be quoted flat? i.e., excluding commission coinciding with a contract for services, where we could legitimately RFP for Broker/Agencies and evaluate them based upon their proposed services and their proposed fees. I have been told that we could easily save $50,000 per year, or more and probably improve our overall Insurance Program, while at the same time ensuing that the contract stays local (currently the Health Insurance is with an Albany Broker). Second - we need to set our priorities - critically important to all citizens in Kingston. What is a priority? For example - when there is a Fire at your house, you want the Fire Dept there as soon as possible; when there is a drug related shooting within a block of your home, you want the Police there instantly to protect you and your neighbors. On trash pick up day - you want your trash picked up on time, neatly and completely, and when it snows -- you want your street plowed, quickly. While we do have regulatory and legislative mandates, there is much we can decide on and control. Too often we have followed the path of taking governmental grants that

were available, regardless of our plans, just because the money was there, without detailed plans for what happens beyond the grant and how it fits into our plan for how to run the city. I will hold Town Hall meetings in Ward 9 to hear the residents of Ward 9 speak about what is important to them - i.e., what they see as our essential priorities. Third - we need to see and work with the unions as our partners - not our enemies - our fates are intertwined. There is no doubt that given the chance, they want to help the city - because that is helping them too ! Remember, they work each and every day, and they pay taxes too ! Can anyone doubt that they have good ideas and can contribute? As is true in business and in the military, many times those on the front lines know the problems, and often have good ideas for how to do things better. I will meet with all unions, all departments, to get both department manager and employee input. I believe, most unions are rightfully concerned about the future and how they fit in and they are anxious to cooperate and contribute. Fourth - commercial taxes vs. residential taxes -- as you stated in your question, they are both too high and contribute to Kingston’s non-competitiveness. At the end of the day, NO one is happy about the potential of paying more in taxes. I will hold Town Hall meetings in Ward 9 that will give residents and business’s an opportunity to have their say as to how these issues can be reasonably solved. It is very important to have everyone be part of the discussion and have their say in how we can all solve this situation. We are all paying the bills -- how we develop a fair system that pays for what we need is critically important to all of us. The Real Property Tax situation, as some commercial developers would have it -- cannot and should not be force fed ; instead it has to be a collaborative effort between government, homeowners and businesses. Good leadership can bring these groups together and produce effective results and I am committed to doing that. This is a long term effort we have to commit to, now. Fifth - we need to keep the business’s that are located in Kingston here; we need to actively work with organizations such as UCDC, the Chamber of Commerce and the Business Associations in Kingston, to recruit and sell the City of Kingston. Why? Good, quality business’s, will generate more Sales Tax revenue and will provide more good jobs for the City of Kingston Citizens, and will provide better property management by the business owners. I was at Guido’s Little Italy this past Sunday night -- prior to the UPAC event at 7pm, Little Italy was packed -- 30-40 minute wait for a table; and most people there were from out of town -- spending money at UPAC and spending money at Little Italy, including sales tax. Imagine that same scene, 4-5 or even 6 nights a week -- all over town -- from uptown to downtown. It is within our reach. We need a variety of business’s in Kingston, from restaurants to retail to professional to medical to financial to manufacturing to distribution and I am committed to getting those business’s here. Sixth - as the Ward 9 Alderman, I will be constantly on the alert for state and federal programs that the city can utilize to accomplish it’s goals and objectives . I will do this by continual and effective Internet searches of appropriate and relevant sites for state and federal agencies, and by effective and productive relationships with our state and federal elected officials and representatives. Further, I will encourage EXISTING City staff to do the same -- not new, nor special appointees, nor consultants, BUT EXISTING.

Question #2
(for Mayoral Candidates)
The major issue with regard to Kingston’s continued viability is the unaffordabile pensions and benefits of its workers. In our city budget, the cost of the defined benefits and health plans have increased from 41% of personnel expenses in 2002 to 74% in 2011. This trend is projected to continue. The problem is not unique to Kingston and is being addressed throughout the nation. What are your objectives for the results of negotiations with the unions? How much do you feel that City employees should contribute to their health care? What other concessions do you believe are mandatory?
Candidate: Shayne R. Gallo Pension costs are statutorily driven, however the Common Council will be moving to amortize the pension costs so that radical increases during the periods of down markets, and the corresponding willingness to direct savings during market highs will be avoided in the future. A Labor/Management Health Benefits Subcommittee was undertaken last year and significant savings were identified. For example, Medicare eligible retirees could move to supplemental plans at almost 1/2 the cost of their current insurance with negligible changes to the quality of coverage. However, under the current Empire Plan regulated by NY, the City of Kingston cannot require this switch, it must be voluntary. Even after offering a significant financial incentive, the fear of change seemed to direct the behavior of City retirees. I cannot comment on specific proposals I will be offering during negotiations because I do not want to undermine the City’s bargaining position moving forward, but I will offer you a sense of how I will conduct these negotiations. The principle of “we are all in this together” will govern my approach. My extensive background negotiating contracts with civil service unions informs my belief that the unions will come to the table with meaningful concessions, but only if they believe management is also sharing in the sacrifices and their concerns and ideas are respected. So for example, I share with the city unions the notion that consultant fees as a portion of our city budget are too high Our city employees understand the economic climate we are in and have valuable ideas on how we can save taxpayer dollars. A good contract is one in which both sides will walk away from the table with something they can live with, but did not get everything they wanted. One area that offers promise for cost savings is the ability to flexibly allocate our workforce which will provide the services we need, when we need them, and reduce the expense. Candidate: Ron Polacco As Mayor I am looking for a win-win situation for both the employees and the taxpayers of the City regarding the union contract negotiations. Kingston, like all other cities, depend on civil employees to maintain our streets year round; to repair our infrastructure when needed; to provide emergency care and protection to our citizens, and the list goes on. As Mayor, I will see that the City contracts are beneficial to the taxpayers in order to ensure that we maintain the level of service that the citizens of Kingston deserve.

Candidate: Richard T. Cahill I do not know whether there will be any contractual negations in the next administration. The current Mayor could sign a four year contract and take the matter completely out of my hands. Assuming, however, that contracts are still on the table, there are several things that must be considered. The city must take a strong stand on the issue of raises. At the state level, the contracts have been zero raises for at least 2 years with very minimal raises thereafter. This must be the template. On health care, the unions will not agree to contracts that substantially alter the payment plans of current employees. This is especially true of CSEA as their past negotiations have centered on a theory of not asking for significant raises in return for the “Cadillac” of insurance coverage. I do believe that the unions might be amenable to contractual changes on health care for new employees. By doing it this way, the employees nearing retirement will sign on because their health insurance is cut only slightly. As more new employees replace retiring employees, the high payments toward health care are slowly replaced with a plan that increases employee contribution and reduces city payments. In a sense, it is a form of cutting by attrition. Another part of the CSEA contract to be clarified is the nature of work. Recipients of county “Safety Net” payments are supposed to work for the individual municipality as part of “Work Fair not Welfare” programs. Unfortunately, the CSEA contract does not provide specific delegations of job duties. This results in the union grieving most attempts to get “Work Fair” relief. I think we must get a clause in the contract which sets forth specific job duties that may be done by “Work Fair” members. This would allow for added accomplishments and results in the city without added expenses. It would also allow full implementation of the “Work Fair not Welfare” program. With the Fire Department, the big issues are overtime and mandatory staffing. The city must insist on reductions in the “Manning Clause” and be willing to go to mandatory arbitration over the issue. On overtime, changes must be contractually to the types of calls firemen will cover in the City of Kingston. We should eliminate lock out calls. (calls for those who lock themselves out of their car). The Fire Department should be responding only to firematic and serious medical calls where the department is the obvious first responder. With the Police Department, the biggest needed change involves the contractual formula for hiring and shift manning. As Chief Keller has explained, to hire one extra office per shift requires multiple hirings in order to fulfill the contract. This must change. We need more police, but cannot afford to hire the numbers required under the contractual formula. With the city’s substantial crime problem, there must be a change to allow for more efficient hiring of police. Candidate: Steve Ladin This question has 3 parts: • Expenditures. A recent study found that Kingston’s budget cannot be cut any further. I disagree.

5. How often do you see a City Bus traveling around town empty? Savings can be made in this system through: merging with the County system; or privatization; or rethinking the operation to more closely align with customer usage. 6. Will someone explain to me what the Office of Community Development does besides mismanage a grants program that requires little time and effort to administer? I propose merging the Office of Economic Development, Community Development, and Planning into one office. There will be several administrative positions eliminated as a result of this consolidation. A Deputy Mayor of Planning will assume leadership of this new office. And guess what: there will be a significant monetary savings and an increase in efficiency and efficacy. 7. Why does a fire truck answer calls that can be handled by a volunteer rescue squad? Enough said. 8. Everybody will be punching a time clock – no cheating, it will require a thumb and fore finger print-match. The men and women who pick up the trash and plow the snow do a great job. Do they take off early when the garbage pick-up is finished? And does the City get charged overtime when they plow the snow at all hours in the winter? You can’t have it both ways. And this is just a start. • Revenues. There are so many vacant buildings, a good number of them in foreclosure. Look around on Broadway; downtown; mid-town; the Stockade. How many empty storefronts do you count? An empty storefront, a vacant building = revenue loss. 3. As Mayor, I will ask that every property owner of a vacant storefront to turn it over to an artist for a display/installation of their work, either free of charge or an individually negotiated arrangement. At least the storefront won’t be vacant anymore. The artist, will, of course, agree to give up their space if the store is rented. This program will attract new tenants and businesses to Kingston. But don’t take my word for it. Look at our sister city in Massachusetts: Pittsfield. 4. Kingston is a wildly diverse city in ethnicity, income levels, architecture, history, geography, education, job skills, and just about anything else you can think of. What a great place for a corporation to settle in. Why not reach out to a corporation like Google: come to Kingston, use our city as a test market for your ideas. We have an ideal and diverse demographic. And this is just a start. • Taxes. Everyone agrees that taxes are too high. The City has done a poor job in communicating how our tax dollars are spent. Yes, I too believe that taxes are high; but I’m not about to move to Pennsylvania, the land of lower taxes and fracking. 3. If citizens know where their tax dollars are being spent and in an efficient and thrifty manner, perhaps there wouldn’t be so much complaining. Look no further than the County Jail fiasco. As Mayor, I will communicate effectively with everyone. They will know when, where, why, and how much, in advance. 4. The honest answer is that lower taxes may never come. All the vacant properties have to begin producing again. Increasing the tax base will be a long slog and will require leadership that brings everyone together, businesses and residents and city workers, with a common goal and a noble purpose. Are we all prepared to be noble? It will require sweat equity and some generosity on everyone’s part.

Question #2
(for Aldermanic Candidates)
The major issue with regard to Kingston’s continued viability is the unaffordability of pensions and benefits of its workers. In our city budget, the cost of the defined benefits and health plans have increased from 41% of personnel expenses in 2002 to 74% in 2011. This trend is projected to continue. The problem is not unique to Kingston and is being addressed throughout the nation. What recommendations would you make to the Mayor for the resolution of this critical problem? What is the minimum you would be willing to approve as an Alderman?

Alderman-at-Large
Candidate: James R. Noble, Jr. Candidate: Joseph Marchetti Higher employee contributions with higher co-pays. I am told that the standard $18,528 we pay on medical alone could be reduced to $12,000. This confirmed by no less than 6 local insurers. NO Response

Ward 1
Candidate: Matt Dunn Candidate: Albert E. Teetsel NO Response NO Response

Ward 2
Candidate: Thomas R. Hoffay Candidate: Seth Allen I would recommend that the Mayor look over the current pension and health package and reach out to the providers to see if there is any way the City can avoid increases. If the provider is not able to offer an opportunity to reduce expenses, he or she should shop around and find a more cost-effective plan. It might be beneficial to save money in health care by changing to a HSA (Health Savings Account) or a higher deductible policy. It is also the role of the Mayor to negotiate these contracts with the union and try to work out a deal that is fair and not a high burden on the City and taxpayers. Lastly, employees could be asked to pay more for either their benefits or pay for coverage of their spouse. It is also good to eliminate reimbursements for employees who are already covered by their spouses’ benefits. This is excessive and wasteful. There are other ways to offer compensation besides pension and health benefits as well. Possibly offer additional time off? Or offer Kingston Cash for raises and compensation. This is a program that has worked for many municipalities across the country. Fake money is created that can only be spent in Kingston businesses. City employees could be given this and if the business owner allowed it, they could purchase goods with it at their shop. The City would pay back a percentage NO Response

of that transaction to the business owner. The business owner would take a bit of a hit by offering to participate and so would the City, but it would increase retail tax revenues because it would encourage more people to shop local in the city of Kingston instead of shopping in the town of Ulster. There should be a minimum on the amount of Kingston Cash one can spend in one shop though. This would encourage people to shop at multiple stores and it would prevent any one person from making a substantial purchase and the business owner losing out on that revenue. New customers would go to these stores and bring more business. Maybe they would spend actual money in the store to make up the cost as well. Also, the program would attract new businesses to open up shop here because they know there would be guaranteed customers. I would not ever vote for increases in the percentage of benefits paid. In terms of a minimum, 50/50 seems fair, but I realize that this cannot really be determined unless one is present at the negotiation.

Ward 3
Candidate: Nathaniel B. Horowitz Candidate: Charles Landi NO Response

Unfortunately the NYS unfunded mandates are leading this parade in-so-much as civil service law and the Taylor Law Triborough clause dictate that all provisions of labor contracts remain in place even after the contracts expire. The state legislature must be convinced to repeal these unfunded mandates and return control of local government to the local legislature. NYS is moving in this direction however slowly with the recent creation of the new civil service tier 5 and 6. Unfortunately the visible monetary corrections will be a long time coming.

Ward 4
Candidate: Frasier L. Sprague Candidate: Shirley Whitlock NO Response

Now that the contracts will be open for negotiations, the City Council and department heads should take their time and look for all of the problem areas. We cannot continue to give out big raises and pensions when the taxpayers are not receiving the quality of life they are paying for, or that they deserve.

Ward 5
Candidate: Bill Carey Candidate: Nicky B. Woerner Candidate: Craig D. Johnson Initially, I would recommend restructuring any contract for health benefits that exists. I would “shop” around for a more cost effective plan to provide wellness benefits to the City’s employees. I will also review employee contribution to benefits and pension programs. Without knowing payroll figures, it is difficult to determine what I would recommend as a fair employee contribution. There are many different health programs that promote wellness and have monetary incentives for health seeking behavior (i.e. not smoking). The average “private” corporation has employees contribute approximately 20% of the cost of health benefits, and offer many more voluntary benefits. I would certainly advocate for employee contribution of some percentage. NO Response NO Response

Again, not knowing what the current benefits offered to the employees consist of, I feel that stating a minimum or maximum percentage to approve is unfair, as I would be making a recommendation without having accurate information. Candidate: Janai McDonough Trimming expenses becomes a necessity when there's an economic downturn, we need to take a closer look at our benefits packages and make some changes. I would also recommend hiring part time employees and in some areas internship as these positions would not require benefits.

Ward 6
Candidates: Elisa Ball NO Response

Ward 7
Candidate: Maryann Mills Candidate: Curtis Dankelmann NO Response

Items like Vacation, Health Benefits employee contributions, and holidays needs to come closer in line with the real world. The issue of pensions I discussed in question #1 as any real savings have to be approved by the State legislature, as far as I know. Until Albany comes to grips and really wants to help municipalities the only control we would have is in the Health Benefits, Vacation and holidays. Health benefit packages need to be negotiated as a whole to all the employees. A package such as those that provide major medical benefits and some managed care be offered rather than the all inclusive packages that are currently offered would provide a savings. Because these plans are at a lower cost the employee contribution could be higher. Vacation packages could be limited to four weeks maximum a savings would be achieved. Holidays could be reduced to 10 days. These are the recommendations I would make to the Mayor.

Ward 8
Candidate: Robert Senor NO Response

Ward 9
Candidate: John T. Simek NO Response

Candidate: Mark A. Halwick, Jr. Candidate: Deborah J. Brown

NO Response

The pension program that the City of Kingston has for it’s current employee’s -- whether CSEA, or City Hall staff, or the Police or Fire Department, are State governed programs. Our City government, initially elected or chose the initial level of benefits, and then the City does not have the authority to reduce those benefits. The City must pay the annual contributions determined by the state Actuary. The Mayor is proposing in his Budget for 2012 that we enter into the “Employer Contribution Stabilization Program” to level out our payments - we will still owe what we owe, the total expense will be whatever the Actuary says it is, but it will be leveled out. But this program will help the Cash Flow. It would take a state constitutional amendment to reduce benefits for current employees. BUT benefits can be reduced for NEW employees -- so that is where we start -- structure new employees at an affordable level -- in today’s economic environment, the city pays good wages we don’t have to give away the store with lucrative pension programs. This is not difficult, and can be implemented immediately and I strongly advocate for this. The City’s Health Insurance benefits-have been shielded and protected by the current administration. There are two components - the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) ( a program for State and local government employees, retirees and their families). and the second (2nd) component , regional companies such as MVP. While towns, municipalities and counties throughout our area have taken aggressive action to control and even reduce costs for Health Insurance, our city does very little , and why is that? What or who is the Mayor protecting? One of the things I will do as Alderman, is demand the public release of the Regulation 87 forms for the last 2 years (2009 and 2010) for the City’s Health Insurance Broker -- Capital Bauer from Albany, (is that keeping it local? Are you kidding? ). Lets see who got paid commissions for the City’s Health Insurance. As I said earlier, we should have Broker arrangements by Contract including requiring that all Insurance policies are quoted flat - or net of commissions. The City’s current Health Insurance Broker is probably receiving $25-35,0000 annually in commissions; while we struggle to do basic maintenance and repairs, and maintain our parks, there is a Broker in Albany receiving what could be equal to a city worker’s salary. You pay $10,000 to a consultant here, you pay $25,000 - $35,000 in commissions to an Insurance Broker over there, and pretty soon the money mounts up -- would you do this with your own money? Your own business? The Health Insurance can be controlled, it can be reduced -- we need leadership to do it. There are many qualified firms in Kingston that can help -- and probably help for little ,compensation, perhaps for free. We should have as our goal -- reduce Health Insurance Costs by 10% -20% while maintaining employee benefits. Towns, municipalities, counties, are doing it -- why not us? Have we implemented Medicare Advantage programs as the only Retiree program we will fund? There are quality programs out there, affordable and less expensive. Have we looked at High Deductible plans with Health Savings Accounts (H S As) or Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) ? Or looked at modifying plan designs to higher copays perhaps coupled with an HRA?

Have we? Don’t take “we can’t do it” as an answer -- of course we can. It takes creativity, it takes leadership; I have both.

Question #3
(for Mayoral Candidates)
Kingston, due to its non-competitive taxes, has had difficulty attracting new businesses to partially fill the void since IBM left the area. Most feel that its business development efforts have been a failure. What are your plans to attract new businesses to Kingston, which will contribute to the needed increase in revenues?
Candidate: Shayne R. Gallo Economic Development efforts in our City have not effectively leveraged all the resources that are available to us. The best way to increase revenues for our city will be to increase the number of ratable properties so it is vital that this area be addressed as a top priority. I would like to see better coordination between the Ulster County Development Corporation, the Ulster County Dept. of Tourism, the Business Alliance of Kingston, the Chamber of Commerce, the Kingston Local Development Corporation, and the Governor’s Regional Economic Development Council to maximize grants and better market the assets of the City of Kingston. But there is also a critical role to be played in better organizing the City Departments so that each area, be it Planning, Economic Development, or Engineering are communicating effectively and working in concert to make any new development initiative successful. Speaking with the business and development community during this campaign, there is a growing reputation that “who you know” is the single most important factor to effectively doing business in and with our City. I am embarrassed and deeply ashamed to hear this about our community. But truth or perception, we have to turn this notion around if we want to create a climate that welcomes business. Transparency, an emphasis on “good government” best practices and a clearly spelled out process that is exactly the same for all, will be my job to institute if I am elected. The comprehensive planning and rezoning process that has just begun is a positive step in the right direction, because built into our current process are glaring inconsistencies. Finally, every business needs a market and when whole sections of our city are not desirable for many people to visit because of rampant quality of life violations it cannot assist our business community in realizing their objectives. Addressing quality of life issues has been a major component of my campaign for mayor because the neglect and decline is driving away opportunities and residents. Candidate: Ron Polacco As your Mayor, I plan to cut government spending in order to create an efficient, fiscally sound government and in turn, ease the tax burden on our citizens. Another priority as Mayor is to make Kingston a safer, more family-friendly community that will be inviting for new businesses and residents alike. I have worked with the local police during my time as Alderman to gain a better understanding of the challenges our Officers face every day. I have gone so far as to accompany the police on a drug raid and saw first-hand the blight that gangs and drugs have caused in our City. I know that in order to attract any new businesses, my first task at hand as Mayor will be to support our police in their fight against crime with the purpose of making our neighborhoods safe and attractive places to live and work.

Candidate: Richard T. Cahill The City needs a Mayor who understands how vital it is to both cut taxes and spending, and bring new employers into Kingston. Most importantly, the next Mayor of Kingston must have an economic development plan that addresses the tax burden, the homestead vs. non-homestead tax differential, and the yards of red tape and governmental regulation that face businesses and developers looking to invest in Kingston. We simply cannot continue to force entrepreneurs to wait five or six years and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars without even getting a shovel into the ground. My economic recovery plan involves a strategy of multiple facets. There is no magic button to push or one single act which will ignite Kingston’s economic engine. A plan must address multiple areas and change our governing philosophy over the long term. My plan does both. I believe the best thing government can do for businesses is to get out of the way as much as possible. Business owners and entrepreneurs are swimming in the economic ocean which is currently embroiled in an economic storm called a recession. With taxes and regulations, government often places a great millstone around the necks of business people and then says, “Sink or swim”. I believe in less intrusive government. Government is not the solution to our problems. Government is most certainly a part of the underlying problem. I hold this philosophy dear. When I served as 6th Ward Alderman and even prior to that, I submitted budget proposals that would have resulted in tax decreases. I know the city budget extremely well and know areas that can be cut and areas that should never be cut. I will enact spending cuts in various departments (see answer to Question #1). There are numerous redundancies in our government which serve only to waste money and resources. There are changes in policies that will save hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime costs. These and other spending cuts must be enacted to first stop the growth of city taxes and eventually lower them. During my time as Alderman and Minority Leader, as well as my many years involved in local politics, I have become extremely familiar with the various departments in the city. I understand each department’s budget and know where changes must be made. I will address the crippling effect of the commercial tax levy. Previous attempts to solve this problem have failed because of poor planning. The commercial tax rate cannot be dropped all at once due to the terrible effect resulting to city homeowners. The rate must be adjusted gradually over a period of years to give businesses much needed relief while not socking it to city residents. I will order the Corporation Counsel’s Office to conduct a thorough review of all city laws, internal regulations, and procedures being used by the City Planning Board. Though New York State has laws that cannot be disregarded, we must make sure that the City of Kingston does not add to the tangle of red tape preventing business owners and developers from investing in our community. As much as possible, we need shovel ready projects in our city. Further, I will create an Economic Growth Team made up of Kingstonians with expertise in business, law, real estate, architecture, and other areas of importance to economic development. For years, the city has hired consultants from outside our city. I believe that Kingstonians have the ability to solve the problems facing Kingston. By creating this team and allowing them to

study the problems facing our local economy, we can use the combined brain power of our city to create solutions and new ideas to unleash Kingston’s true economic potential. Candidate: Steve Ladin This question has 3 parts: • Expenditures. A recent study found that Kingston’s budget cannot be cut any further. I disagree. o How often do you see a CityBus traveling around town empty? Savings can be made in this system through: merging with the County system; or privatization; or rethinking the operation to more closely align with customer usage . o Will someone explain to me what the Office of Community Development does besides mismanage a grants program that requires little time and effort to administer? I propose merging the Office of Economic Development, Community Development, and Planning into one office. There will be several administrative positions eliminated as a result of this consolidation. A Deputy Mayor of Planning will assume leadership of this new office. And guess what: there will be a significant monetary savings and an increase in efficiency and efficacy. o Why does a fire truck answer calls that can be handled by a volunteer rescue squad? Enough said. o Everybody will be punching a time clock – no cheating, it will require a thumb and fore finger print-match. The men and women who pick up the trash and plow the snow do a great job. Do they take off early when the garbage pick-up is finished? And does the City get charged overtime when they plow the snow at all hours in the winter? You can’t have it both ways. And this is just a start. • Revenues. There are so many vacant buildings, a good number of them in foreclosure. Look around on Broadway; downtown; mid-town; the Stockade. How many empty storefronts do you count? An empty storefront, a vacant building = revenue loss. o As Mayor, I will ask that every property owner of a vacant storefront to turn it over to an artist for a display/installation of their work, either free of charge or an individually negotiated arrangement. At least the storefront won’t be vacant anymore. The artist, will, of course, agree to give up their space if the store is rented. This program will attract new tenants and businesses to Kingston. But don’t take my word for it. Look at our sister city in Massachusetts: Pittsfield. Kingston is a wildly diverse city in ethnicity, income levels, architecture, history, geography, education, job skills, and just about anything else you can think of. What a great place for a corporation to settle in. Why not reach out to a corporation like Google: come to Kingston, use our city as a test market for your ideas. We have an ideal and diverse demographic.

o

And this is just a start. • Taxes. Everyone agrees that taxes are too high. The City has done a poor job in communicating how our tax dollars are spent. Yes, I too believe that taxes are high; but I’m not about to move to Pennsylvania, the land of lower taxes and fracking.

o

o

If citizens know where their tax dollars are being spent and in an efficient and thrifty manner, perhaps there wouldn’t be so much complaining. Look no further than the County Jail fiasco. As Mayor, I will communicate effectively with everyone. They will know when, where, why, and how much, in advance. The honest answer is that lower taxes may never come. All the vacant properties have to begin producing again. Increasing the tax base will be a long slog and will require leadership that brings everyone together, businesses and residents and city workers, with a common goal and a noble purpose. Are we all prepared to be noble? It will require sweat equity and some generosity on everyone’s part.

Question #3
(for Aldermanic Candidates)
Kingston, due to its non-competitive taxes, has had difficulty attracting new businesses to partially fill the void since IBM left the area. Most feel that its business development efforts have been a failure. It is easy for one to say that we need to increase our tax base. As Alderman, what are your recommendations for attracting new businesses to achieve new sources of revenue?

Alderman-at-Large
Candidate: James R. Noble, Jr. Candidate: Joseph Marchetti A) Phase-out homestead/non-homestead over 5 yrs. B) Fast track all permits by simplifying all forms and impose bi-monthly meetings of all boards involved. C) Reduced water/sewer rates for 1 yr. NO Response

Ward 1
Candidate: Matt Dunn Candidate: Albert E. Teetsel NO Response NO Response

Ward 2
Candidate: Thomas R. Hoffay Candidate: Seth Allen NO Response

Each and every consumer has to make responsible decisions when it comes to spending their money. By shopping local, more revenue goes to the City. It would help to more visually define the City limits so consumers know if they are shopping in Kingston or the Town of Ulster. We have to support the existing businesses while working to attract new business. We can do this and grow the tax base by lowering the non-homestead tax rate. This can be achieved without raising residential taxes. More people and companies would do business here as a result. We should also continue to benefit from being a NYS Empire Zone. We must encourage new development and traffic projects that are good for business. We should explore new industries that can relocate here. We have to continue to focus on tourism, which is a major industry in this area. We can work to attract anchor stores to our business districts that will bring in more shoppers and additional shops. Directional signage and traffic flow from the thruway in and out of the business districts is very important, as is adequate parking. It is also crucial to promote visibility of storefronts. Lastly, the historic integrity of our neighborhoods and architectural significance of our buildings must be preserved. These were the top three points urban marketing professional Norman Mintz, who was hired by the City a couple of years ago to assess how to bring back the vitality of the Uptown neighborhood, made in his report. There have also been numerous objective traffic studies done on Uptown, which support this idea.

Ward 3
Candidate: Nathaniel B. Horowitz Candidate: Charles Landi NO Response

I think that the above answers to questions 1 & 2 easily answer question 3 also.

Ward 4
Candidate: Frasier L. Sprague Candidate: Shirley Whitlock NO Response

In order to attract new business there are two areas we need to focus on first. We need to get our own house in order. Why would anyone want to locate their lives and their business in a place that is neglecting the people that already reside there? We need to work on finding support for the business already here, while we seek to draw in new. We then need to set a special tax incentive in place that will interest other business to look into locating here in this beautiful city.

Ward 5
Candidate: Bill Carey Candidate: Nicky B. Woerner Candidate: Craig D. Johnson NO Response NO Response

First of all, we need to keep Kingston affordable. To do so, we need to curb spending, while maintaining service. We then need to work diligently as a community to clean up the City, physically as well as maintaining the safety of our citizens and the businesses that exist. The Common Council can work out legislation to ensure safety, however, we will need to work with the police force and Neighborhood Watch organizations to ensure that the laws on the books

are adequately enforced. As Alderman, it will be my job to engage and encourage the citizens of my ward, and the City to actively participate in neighborhood cleanups, as well as look out for each other thereby fostering and cultivating the lost sense of community. As the citizens work with each other, and with law enforcement, the city will maintain an aesthetic value, and safety will increase while crime decreases. With the community working along with the Council and the police, we could then attract multiple different types of businesses, not just tourist or retail oriented business. If Kingston is a clean, safe and affordable City, business will thrive. Candidate: Janai McDonough In order to attract more business we need to make use of what is already there. Our city has a rich history and is quite progressive. Building our tourist base can be a catalyst to revamping our economy.

Ward 6
Candidates: Elisa Ball NO Response

Ward 7
Candidate: Maryann Mills Candidate: Curtis Dankelmann Over the years I have tried to promote Kingston to businesses that I know wanted to move into the area. Their main complaint was the regulatory process and it’s slowness. Business needs to move fast in the implementation of its plans and decisions. It does not have the luxury of moving at a glacial speed like government decision makers have. With the economy in the toilet and there being no end in sight a business can’t afford to tie up precious capital resources waiting for the process to go forward. For the City to be competitive in attracting new business or allowing existing business to expand they must do the following: Reduce the premium tax rate on business and commercial property. Develop and approve a “Shovel Ready “ catalogue of properties for development within the City. This could be done in house at minimum expense. After an expedited planning and review process all they would need to do is submit their building plans. Having Shovel Ready properties, with Water, Sewer, and utilities already in place and a reasonable tax structure in place would be a big draw for businesses. I would also be putting the pressure on the Mayor and seeking the entire Common Council support to take to Albany the issue of giving every Tom, Dick and Harry’s non or not for profit’s desire to have tax free land in the City of Kingston. Even if it resulted in a moratorium, it would be a start. We can’t ask our taxpayers to support these entities by giving them a free ride on the backs of taxpaying citizens. NO Response

To expand revenues I would look at the ability to place user fees on the non or not for profits for the services they use.

Ward 8
Candidate: Robert Senor NO Response

Ward 9
Candidate: John T. Simek Candidate: Mark A. Halwick, Jr. Candidate: Deborah J. Brown Most importantly, you have to make Kingston a compelling place to live and for businesses to thrive. That cannot be done with a high tax rate, barriers or hurdles put in the way of development. Reasonable guidelines are expected by any reasonable businessman -- such as basic health and safety compliance, along with aesthetically appealing structures. Look nice, be clean and safe -- that is expected. I have always felt that without a vision or comprehensive plan for a modern society here in Kingston we cannot move forward or promote ourselves with any type of a common theme. It has been a hodge podge. I will continue to be a strong advocate for a comprehensive plan. We encouraged the Broadway corridor economic development, even going as far as to get design guidelines in place, but they are not enforced. The planning and zoning board must take responsibility for their inactions in enforcing rules that have been put into place. As Alderman, I will see that they do. Developers would be more welcomed here if we could show what we have in mind for moving Kingston forward. We need a blueprint to show what our ideas and goals are so that businesses and their representatives, would know that they are welcomed and they would be compelled to open up shop here. We currently have little committed in writing. Basically we are tossing out anything to see what sticks to the wall in the way of developers - we need to be better than that. NO Response NO Response

Question #4
(for Mayoral Candidates)
Kingston’s physical appearance is poor and deteriorating. Sidewalks and streets need repair. Graffiti needs to be prevented and removed. There are 81 abandoned or vacant buildings that are creating blight in their surrounding areas. These owners, as well as slumlords, are not maintaining their properties. What is your plan for addressing these quality of life issues?
Candidate: Shayne R. Gallo I believe the quality of life issues in our city can be addressed in several ways. As Assistant Corporation Counsel to the City of Kingston I drafted and amended the Nuisance Abatement law and then again expanded this legislation to include more quality of life code violations, which if enforced can be an effective tool to reduce problem properties. Pending before the Common Council is new legislation I have recommended for “Rental Certification” to ensure building safety is regularly visiting and evaluating the safety of rental units. I would also like to see an expansion of Block-by-Block, not just on a seasonal basis but all year and with better coordination with every relevant department. However, none of these efforts will be effective unless we hold accountable the social service safety net that has used our community as a dumping ground. That means the Department of Social Services, RUPCO and others must not enrich the slumlords at the expense of our community. A direct quote from a visitor to our city shared with me on the campaign trail says it all: “I saw these trashed apartment houses that I assumed were abandoned, but I was shocked to see people actually living there.” This sad state of affairs must not be allowed to continue. Just like we increased revenues in our Parking Enforcement by bringing on additional enforcement officers, I believe we can bring on additional code enforcement officers that will pay for themselves simply by stepping up enforcement activities. An increased and visible police presence, particularly in Midtown is also essential to cracking down on quality of life violations. Working together with our new Chief Tinti, I would like to reallocate staff to areas where the most calls are coming in and get more staff out on the streets. Finally, we have a wall between Sanitation and Building Code enforcement. I would like to see these two departments better coordinated since we all know that problem properties generally are chronic violators of all city codes. Candidate: Ron Polacco I know that one of the most important assets Kingston has, is it’s beautiful, diverse neighborhoods. Throughout the City it is evident that some landlords and property owners are failing to maintain their properties and as a result, we have “eye sores” throughout our City. As Mayor, there are a few things I can do to alleviate this problem. Building and property owners will be held accountable for the appearance and functionality of their properties. I will make sure the Building Department strictly enforces fines for code violations and continue to follow up until the problem is rectified. I will also work with the Common Council to address property issues throughout the city. Another thing I would like to see happen with regard to beautifying our City is to get our youth

organizations involved. I will advocate for involving the youth of our community in assisting with neighborhood clean ups, community gardens and simple maintenance projects in our City parks. This will give our youth a unique experience to be directly involved in the community and will, hopefully, foster a sense of responsibility and civic pride. I know that abandoned buildings and properties attract the wrong element to our City and I take this issue very seriously. As Mayor, I will do all I can to ensure that buildings and properties in our City are maintained and presentable. Candidate: Richard T. Cahill Your question involves only the portion of “Quality of Life” involving the city’s appearance and urban blight. I am going to include my proposals and ideas on crime because I believe the issues go almost hand in hand. When I was an Alderman, I proposed in 2006 and 2007 that the city pass a Nuisance Abatement Law. I referred to this in both of my State of the City speeches. My original proposal did not pass, but a similar proposal offered later by now County Court Judge Don Williams did pass. This law needs to aggressively enforced. As part of and in conjunction with the Nuisance Abatement Law, the Corporation Counsel’s Office must aggressively prosecute violations of city code, especially against irresponsible landlords AND tenants, as both are to blame. Additionally, the city must take a strong, zero tolerance policy against crime. I previously called for the creation of a Commission against Crime constituted of various members of law enforcement and citizenry which would be dedicated to the research and review of various ways, methods, and ideas to reduce crime and make Kingston the safest city in the State of New York. I believe this is still a necessary step. Moreover, the City must recognize and work closely with various citizen groups such as KURA and the City-wide Neighborhood Watch group founded by Mr. And Mrs. Darcy. This is vital for proper communication and efficiency. In addition, I have proposed bringing back the neighborhood stabilization units, though I referred to the concept as SCAT (Street Crime Attack Team). This will put officers on foot patrol throughout the city with an emphasis on those areas more strongly hit by crime. Crime is threatening to overwhelm our city, much like it has Newburgh. No real attempts have been made to seek state and federal law enforcement grants. As a former Assistant District Attorney, I have actually taken criminals off the streets. I understand law enforcement. I also know what the limits of my knowledge are and when to allow the law enforcement experts to make the day-to-day decisions. This combination of skills and understanding will help rid Kingston of the criminal element which is making life so difficult for so many of our friends and neighbors. No other mayoral candidate has the law enforcement and legal credentials that I possess. While crime continues to plague our community, the Kingston Police Department has recently suffered a black eye due to criminal charges and pending investigations against two of its most honored members. The fallout of this scandal threatens to undermine the morale of the men and women serving this city regardless of whether the officers in question are convicted or acquitted. It will take time for the department to recover There will need to be changes in regulations and procedure to prevent future problems within the department. There will need to be a concerted effort to assure the citizenry that the Kingston

Police Department is still an honorable institution existing to serve and protect the public. I believe this strongly. Candidate: Steve Ladin It’s called the ‘broken window syndrome’. An abandoned car with a broken window will attract vandalism at a much higher rate than an abandoned car in good condition. • Paris, London, Madrid, and a host of other major cities around the world have squads of street sweepers doing it the old fashioned way. Five or six full time street sweepers assigned to Kingston neighborhoods strategically can keep the streets clean; they can assist senior citizens with front yard work and snow removal from sidewalks; they can communicate with the police and other agencies, a neighborhood watch that actually does something. And guess what? It won’t cost anything: grant programs exist to provide employment to individuals who would love to have such a job. • When Rudolph Giulliani assumed the job as Mayor of NYC, he hired William Bratton as Police Commissioner. Together, they came up with a plan to eliminate crime from New York City. The first thing they did was to make the ‘squeegee men’ disappear. You remember them, don’t you? They were the ones who extorted money from drivers (by washing your car windows) as you entered NYC from the Holland and Lincoln tunnels. This sent a very powerful message to the criminal element: zero tolerance, no matter how small and benign the crime. My first target as Mayor: the idiots riding around on their un-muffled motorcycles. Do you know that they wear earplugs, but everyone else has to suffer their noise? Most of these gentlemen either don’t have a valid operator’s license, or insurance, or registration. With help from the State Police, in a matter of 2 weeks, Kingston will be known as a ‘quiet’ city. And we might have a few impounded vehicles to sell off at auction. And for your information, I own a motorcycle and have an operator’s license for it. I think I can identify an idiot on a motorcycle when I see one. And this is just the start.

Question #4
(for Aldermanic Candidates)
Kingston’s physical appearance is poor and deteriorating. Sidewalks and streets need repair. Graffiti needs to be prevented and removed. There are 81 abandoned or vacant buildings that are creating blight in their surrounding areas. These owners, as well as slumlords, are not maintaining their properties. What are your recommendations for dealing with these and related quality of life issues?

Alderman-at-Large
Candidate: James R. Noble, Jr. Candidate: Joseph Marchetti NO Response

A) Work with local banks to create a Porch Beautification Loan (PBL) up to $2,500 dollars with 24 hr approval and modest terms. B) Tear down abandoned homes beyond the point of reasonable return. Vacant land is easier to sell. C) Better pro-active parks with arts related programs. Music instruction, sketch, dance . . . ‘ask’ should be allowed to create a curriculum with year end juried events. (Bag pipe inst. too!) D) No loitering! Period

Ward 1
Candidate: Matt Dunn Candidate: Albert E. Teetsel NO Response NO Response

Ward 2
Candidate: Thomas R. Hoffay Candidate: Seth Allen Code enforcement is necessary for building owners who do not keep their properties safe and up to code. Fines should be levied against violators and this will bring in revenue and force landlords to comply. Additional fines and increased amounts could be levied for second and third offenses. We also need to encourage homeownership and make owning a home in Kingston affordable. These are the people who keep our neighborhoods stable. We must try to work against boarding houses and multiple unit dwellings that exceed safe capacities. If we are more responsible with tax revenues, we can improve the sidewalks and curbs that are crumbling and maybe put additional cops on the streets. There is definitely a need for increased police surveillance Uptown as recent events have shown. More cooperation between private and public organizations and the City could bring about more opportunities for grants and funding sources for revitalization of our neighborhoods. These projects must always be managed properly and not go over budget so that taxpayers do not have to foot the bill. NO Response

Ward 3
Candidate: Nathaniel B. Horowitz Candidate: Charles Landi NO Response

The new mayor must intensify the Block by Block and Nuisance Abatement Laws to force slumlords to comply with the standards of decency. Again the KFD must be directed to turn the EMT service over to the ambulance companies and then use some of it’s manpower to augment the Block by Block and Nuisance Abatement laws, thus cleaning up the City.

Ward 4
Candidate: Frasier L. Sprague Candidate: Shirley Whitlock NO Response

At this time I think there needs to be a special task force set up just to deal with these particular issues. I am aware of the Block By Block which did a great job identifying the problems, but the on going problem is the follow up work. We need to go after the non-resident landlords. They need to be held accountable for their properties weather they live in them or not. When there is an issue a fine is ok, but after there is no response the city should be able to take over the property and do the necessary upkeep. Identifying the problem is one thing, fixing it is another.

Ward 5
Candidate: Bill Carey Candidate: Craig D. Johnson Candidate: Nicky B. Woerner Candidate: Janai McDonough Combating quality of life issues will help with all of the questions above. We need to be aggressive when it comes to absentee landlords and bank owned properties. Heavy fines should be levied against slumlords and homeowners that are violating our city’s ordinances. If these fines go unpaid jail time should be the next step. If the city needs to step in and clean up a vacant property, the bank who owns it should get a bill. NO Response NO Response NO Response

Ward 6
Candidate: Elisa Ball NO Response

Ward 7
Candidate: Maryann Mills Candidate: Curtis Dankelmann The City needs to develop or enhance existing laws regarding for profit housing. The absentee landlord registry is a good start but it lacks the enforcement it needs. Many communities put in place design and maintenance requirements for their respective zones in their communities. Because the absentee landlord has let a property deteriorate it becomes a hazard to the people who live there, therefore the City can condemn the property. Once the properties are condemned the landlord has a set amount of time to notify the City of how and when they are going to fix the place up. If the landlord fails, the City takes possession of the property. There is a growing problem with our youth. They lack direction, life skills and job skills. A program could be developed between the trade unions to take a group of these kids under their wing and with a revolving loan, guaranteed by municipal bonds, they could fix up a dwelling and then sell it at auction. Selling it to people who would occupy the dwelling. Local banks, and I’m not talking about big national banks, could help provide the funding of these projects. This whole concept would be similar to habitat. Profits form the sale of these dwellings would go back into new construction and also to repairing sidewalks, and other things to beautify the neighborhood. But this would give a purpose to the NO Response

kids, clean up the blighted neighborhoods and bring quality of life back to the neighborhoods and the City. If at anything the slumlords see this happening and don’t want to loose their investment they might be shamed into cleaning up their act and making the property nice again.

Ward 8
Candidates: Robert Senor NO Response

Ward 9
Candidate: John T. Simek Candidate: Mark A. Halwick, Jr. Candidate: Deborah J. Brown Kingston’s appearance is appalling. For too long we have looked to our city administration to clean up the city but they are not up to the task either by manpower or finances. So, it is left up to our citizens to organize. I would like to see a movement in every ward that would incorporate the sense of volunteerism in keeping your neighborhood clean. If there is a blighted and abandoned piece of property in your ward take the extra step to mow and trim bushes. Now you might say,” that is not my responsibility or why should I?“ but who benefit’s the most if a property is maintained? You do and your neighbors do. Do you want to eventually sell your home? Do you want your home to hold its value? Life is tough and not always fair but we have to do things to keep up appearances. I also feel that more can be done in building and code enforcement. We need super sleuth computer geniuses to flush out the absentee landlords. Offer local high schools or college students an internship program to spend time on the computer tracking down these scofflaws and slumlords freeing up the staff to do more physical inspections. It is a forensic mission. It is a maze to track some of these housing corporations who hold the titles on these abandoned or condemned properties. As to street and sidewalk repairs we need to start now even with limited finances. One small step at a time. We have spent decades neglecting what is on the street and below. I will be an advocate for seeking out state, federal or even private foundation grants. I will also demand that we have a repair plan in place..shovel ready for the next federal incentive jobs bill. Cities who had one in place got the stimulus funds the first time it was offered. We have to be prepared. NO Response NO Response

Question #5
(for Mayoral Candidates)
The City plays a major role in the determination of the County and School taxes paid by its taxpayers. These taxes represent up to 74% of a Kingston resident’s tax bill. The total assessed value of Kingston’s taxable properties determines the share of these taxes paid by Kingston taxpayers. For example, the higher the total assessed value, the larger the share of School and County taxes paid by Kingston taxpayers. The converse also is true. The lower the total taxable assessed value the smaller the share of these taxes paid by the Kingston taxpayers. From the recent reassessment in 2007 to 2010, Kingston’s total taxable assessed value has increased by 1%. This is without significant net additions to the tax rolls. At the same time, the property values have dropped by more than 30%. This resulted in an over-assessment of Kingston properties and, in 2010, caused a one-year overpayment of School and County taxes of up to $11,000,000. In other words, the Kingston taxpayers in 2010 subsidized their neighbors by this amount. What instructions will you give to the new Assessor to rectify this problem? Candidate: Shayne R. Gallo I appreciate and value the research on over-assessment that was conducted by your organization and presented to our City leadership. I would like initiate a Business/Resident Advisory Council led by the Mayor and the Assessor to provide a plan to by the spring. The inclination to inflate assessments and to reject calls to adjust accordingly, to generate additional revenue for our city has made it very difficult for taxpayers in this city. It is simply not fair that according to your research the taxpayers of Kingston are paying more than our fair share. I hope you will serve as a partner in my efforts to address this problem. Candidate: Ron Polacco There are a number of ways to approach the problem of ever-increasing taxes in Kingston. First and foremost, the tax base needs to be increased so that more people are paying taxes, rather than less people paying MORE taxes. As Mayor, I will look into the feasibility of having another property re-evaluation in order to get a current value of the existing properties.. I also understand the importance of controlling government spending and how that directly relates to the tax burden on citizens. Controlling spending simply has to occur in order to begin to ease the strain on taxpayers. Lastly, once our city streets are safe and clean, Kingston will become more attractive to businesses and families. It is a simple fact that in order to attract new businesses and create a new tax base, we need to begin with making our City a safer place. Candidate: Richard T. Cahill Although the housing market has declined considerably, the taxable assessed values in Kingston have gone up. In addition to being illogical, this obvious error has cost the city at least $5 million

when considering the incredible impact of the school taxes. This is why the School Board announces a single digit increase, but Kingston gets hit with a double digit impact. Towns have reduced their assessments and Kingston, by not doing so, has caused its citizens to pay and continue to pay millions of dollars in unnecessary school taxes. We are subsidizing the rest of the school district. The City claims they have reduced assessments, but in fact they only did so by 10% which is frankly too little and too late. The proper reduction should have been closer to 25% to have the needed impact. As Mayor, I will order an immediate review of all assessments in the City of Kingston. If we are to have a fair system, then city assessments must accurately reflect the current market. Candidate: Steve Ladin Sorry, I can’t give you a definitive answer on this one. Not that I don’t trust your numbers, I’m sure they are accurate. I need to go over them with an expert on these matters and come to my own conclusions. If the tax base decreases by another 30% (as you seem to advocate), then as Mayor I must find an equivalent percentile cut in the budget. Remember: expenses = income, that’s what taxpayer security is all about. This is what is known as a ‘slippery slope’. Yes, I have traversed slippery slopes in my career; I have a well-worn set of cleats at the ready. When it comes time to write the next budget, I will welcome any reasonable input from all of our citizens. In all honesty, I need your help in coming up with fair and equitable solutions.

Question #5
(for Aldermanic Candidates)
The City plays a major role in the determination of the County and School taxes paid by its taxpayers. These taxes represent up to 74% of a Kingston resident’s tax bill. The total assessed value of Kingston’s taxable properties determines the share of these taxes paid by Kingston taxpayers. For example, the higher the total assessed value, the larger the share of School and County taxes paid by Kingston taxpayers. The converse also is true. The lower the total taxable assessed value the smaller the share of these taxes paid by the Kingston taxpayers. From the recent reassessment in 2007 to 2010, Kingston’s total taxable assessed value has increased by 1%. This is without significant net additions to the tax rolls. At the same time, the property values have dropped by more than 30%. This resulted in an over-assessment of Kingston properties and, in 2010, caused a one-year overpayment

of School and County taxes of up to $11,000,000. In other words, the Kingston taxpayers in 2010 subsidized their neighbors by this amount. In the future, how will you monitor this situation so that it does not happen again and cost the average taxpayer in Kingston more than $1,000 per year?

Alderperson-at-Large
Candidate: James R. Noble, Jr. Candidate: Joseph Marchetti The Assessor’s Office needs to do its job with Council oversight and a shadow board of realtors. NO Response

Ward 1
Candidate: Matt Dunn Candidate: Albert E. Teetsel NO Response NO Response

Ward 2
Candidate: Thomas R. Hoffay Candidate: Seth Allen This practice definitely needs to change. The City must put forth fair assessments and account for fluctuations in the real estate market. Assessments must reflect the true values of home and commercial properties in our City. This must be part of the assessor’s job. The Common Council and Mayor should mandate that the assessor take these changes and the economy into account. They should work closely with the Assessor’s office to make sure something like this recent overpayment never happens again! We also need to grow the tax base by attracting new business, encouraging homeownership and preventing additional non-profit properties which are not contributing to the tax rolls. There could even be a community-based budget advisory committee that can be tasked with reviewing the assessments or an expert could be brought in. NO Response

Ward 3
Candidate: Nathaniel B. Horowitz Candidate: Charles Landi NO Response

Once again NYS in the office of ORPTS is dropping the ball in-so-much as they don’t enforce the requirement that all assessments must be a reflection of true market value. If this was enforced the equalization rates would no longer be a problem. This enforcement would require all municipalities to do a bi-annual reval to stay current with market changes. NYS could make the

money needed to do this available through the AIM program (state revenue sharing) funds. It is my understanding that Saratoga County does a bi-annual reval to alleviate this situation.

Ward 4
Candidate: Frasier L. Sprague Candidate: Shirley Whitlock NO Response

Speaking for myself, I don’t think enough attention was given when the Assessments were being done. I don’t agree with the process that was used, and we are seeing first hand that we need to be more watchful. So I plan to get closer to the process, and see there is not another increase until the process is in order.

Ward 5
Candidate: Bill Carey Candidate: Nicky B. Woerner Candidate: Craig D. Johnson Candidate: Janai McDonough To ensure that our citizens are not overtaxed again we need to have better checks and balances in place. Protecting our taxpayers and ensuring we are not paying more than our fair share is what this country fought for from the very beginning. NO Response NO Response NO Response

Ward 6
Candidate: Elisa Ball NO Response

Ward 7
Candidate: Maryann Mills Candidate: Curtis Dankelmann I am not a property assessment professional and I am trying to learn the ins and outs of this subject so I can be better informed. That being said, from what I have learned thus far the property assessments should be at 100% of their value. If that is so and the tax rate is based upon the numbers of the assessment then that’s what the tax rate should be. But if a market devalues then the method for readjusting the tax assessment should be tightened up. If the State say’s for example every property should have three comparables then I would like to see it expanded to say ten. The more items to compare the tighter the assessment would be. The assessor should have the tools and resources needed to be able to perform a value adjustment each year in order to keep the tax value current. NO Response

Ward 8
Candidate: Robert Senor NO Response

Ward 9
Candidate: John T. Simek Candidate: Mark A. Halwick, Jr. Candidate: Deborah J. Brown As Alderman, I will demand that the City of Kingston Assessor, be properly qualified by a review of their professional credentials, education, experience, references and evidence of completing continuing education classes. We cannot have pretenders and amateurs in this important office. In the future I will advocate that the Mayor be compelled to present his choice for this office to the Common Council for Advice and Consent. Too much is at stake for one person to have exclusive power in this appointment. As Alderman, we have oversight and we should use that to make sure the right people are in the right jobs. We cannot have a political hack/appointee stumble along and end up costing the average taxpayer in the City of Kingston $1,000 a piece. No reason for this, none. NO Response NO Response

Question #6
(for Mayoral Candidates)
Kingston has the potential for being a tourist destination. Describe a citywide plan you would implement.
Candidate: Shayne R. Gallo When you click “Tourism” on the City’s website, you get an auto-fill form that says we will send you information. That is not going to drive traffic to our city. As I mentioned earlier, I would like to see a better coordination with the County Tourism Department, so that Kingston can participate more fully in marketing efforts such as the recent promotion with NYC transit. Our efforts to promote tourism must also be an important component of our city’s comprehensive planning and rezoning efforts. Kingston is a vibrant, hip community and we can do a better job selling ourselves. Efforts, such as the Rail Trail to connect Midtown with the waterfront, the widening of Abeel Street and continuing the promenade are important and will be supported by my administration. As a city we must also do a better job of coordinating the efforts of the nonprofits through our Community Development Department. Many of the most exciting events that bring in large numbers of tourists are hosted by community non-profits. I would like to better explore our relationship to these groups so that we are providing them the support they deserve. Finally, once we get tourists to visit our city, is it clean? Is parking readily available? Do we have adequate accommodations to house tourists? Candidate: Ron Polacco I believe Kingston already is a tourist destination. Every year, season after season, people visit our City from all over the world. Whether to visit the historic Stockade District and learn about early Dutch colonials or the Revolutionary War; or maybe to visit the Rondout and learn about the Esopus Indians or America’s industrial revolution - Kingston has always had so much to offer visitors. What I would improve on is better marketing to join all of our unique districts together and advertise our resources nation and world wide. There should be one city wide plan to welcome visitors at any point in the City, and guide them to all our great attractions. An important element to improve on is up-to-date, easy to follow signage. There is a clear need for better directional signage not only in the City, but also on highways leading into the City. Each of our districts can use some improvements, which I am aware of. For instance, the Stockade District could use a traffic study that identifies the problems with congestion and parking; the Rondout District can better market it‘s waterfront restaurants, shops and galleries; and Midtown needs to become a more attractive and safe place where businesses can flourish. As Mayor, I plan on giving my attention to all of these matters to continue to improve our City and move it forward in a new and exciting direction! Candidate: Richard T. Cahill

I agree that Kingston has the potential to be a huge tourist destination. To be honest, however, I think city government needs to get its financial house in order before embarking on any significant changes in tourist policy. The issues identified in questions 1 through 5 need to be addressed first. Once the economy improves, Kingston gets its fiscal house in order, and Kingston deals with crime and the problems with quality of life, then the city government may turn its attention to tourism. One of the things Kingston needs to look at, especially Uptown, is the parking issue and the streets themselves. Wall Street, Fair Street, and the entire Stockade area need careful scrutiny to see whether there would be benefit to altering traffic patterns. Ultimately, I do believe Kingston has the capacity to market itself as the “Willliamsburg of the Northeast” Before we can attempt this, however, we must deal with the core issues which are driving away businesses, forcing residents to move away, and causing general malaise and depression throughout the city.

Candidate: Steve Ladin Our present Mayor has been ‘the invisible man’ in marketing our city (excluding an altercation in a bar a few years ago that made the evening network news). Your question really is: “what is it that I love about Kingston?” I’m an avid outdoorsman. Here I am paddling in the lagoon at Kingston Point. This place could be a National Wildlife Refuge, and it’s right here within city limits.

We have the best waterfront between New York and Albany. I’ve already listed many of Kingston’s cultural assets. The Catskills and Shawanagunks are 30 minutes out of town. Downhill and cross country skiing are close by. We all know (or do we?) about Kingston’s historic and historical architecture. Did you know that Kingston has a collection ‘mid-century modern’ examples of residential architecture? And what city of Kingston’s size has a collection of public parks that is world class? Look at the work that the Forsyth Nature Center does. On any given day, half the users of the Zoo are from out of town. That speaks volumes: how great is that! What is it that real estate agents say? Location, location, location. Kingston has it in abundance. I can market it and close the sale because I live it and I love it. Isn’t this what the Mayor ought to be doing?

Question #6
(for Aldermanic Candidates)
Kingston has the potential for being a tourist destination. What are your suggestions to achieve this goal?

Alderman-at-Large
Candidate: James R. Noble, Jr. Candidate: Joseph Marchetti ‘SEACO’: Special Events, Arts and Culture Outreach. This council/citizen committee will be charged with introducing arts & culture based special events like the “Hooley on the Hudson” and the “Artists Soap Box Derby.” They need a working budget. One idea out of the gate is a Fall “Tall Tales Festival.” Additionally: —A ‘SILOT’ program for qualified trades people. (call me!) —A city wide lottery to be used for park/rec capital improvement. —Use of aux police (county based) for non essential duties like traffic and crowd control at special events NO Response

Ward 1
Candidate: Matt Dunn Candidate: Albert E. Teetsel NO Response NO Response

Ward 2
Candidate: Thomas R. Hoffay Candidate: Seth Allen Tourism is one of, if not the main industry in this region. We must capitalize on this and the fact that we are a historic and cultural destination that is very close to Albany and NYC. I have studied social media, PR and marketing and graduated with a degree in Communication and Media Studies from Fordham University. I have direct work experience in the tourism field as I was previously employed by the City of Kingston and worked as the Tourism and PR Coordinator at the Visitor Center. I am currently the museum and tour director for the Old Dutch Church. I can use my education and work experience to help maximize our current marketing efforts. We need to promote events and development that encourages tourism. We can use PR tactics to generate free advertising for the City and its events and attractions. The current City and County tourism offices and the Business Associations can collaborate and pool their efforts. There needs NO Response

to be additional parking and directional signage, which can bring in visitors easily from the thruway and orient them when they are in the actual business districts and historic neighborhoods. Tour packages can be created that bring together deals for accommodations, dining, attraction admission and especially group discounts. The schedules of attractions must also be coordinated so that sites are open on busy days of the year and times of day when the most tourists are expected. Lastly, increased transportation between the three business districts is needed as well as additional ways to connect Kingston to Albany, NYC and the outlining areas.

Ward 3
Candidate: Nathaniel B. Horowitz Candidate: Charles Landi NO Response

The Rondout Creek is our ace in the hole when it comes to tourist attractions and most recently the walkway made that very apparent. The walkway and bulkheads must be continued all the way out to the light house so that boaters visiting the Rondout can walk all the way out to the light house. The city could renovate and rent out the lighthouse to a restaurant chain like “the olive garden”. Unfortunately grant money is drying up at this time, so it could be difficult to find the necessary funds to do this.

Ward 4
Candidate: Frasier L. Sprague Candidate: Shirley Whitlock With out a doubt I believe Tourism is a great way to draw needed finances, and potential business to the city. I have to go back to the fact that we need to focus on the needs of the residents that are here 12 months a year. When visitors see you taking care of your own, then, they will want to be a part of it. We need to focus on cleaner streets, a facelift along the main corridor, view the city as a whole, not just uptown, mid-town and the waterfront. There needs to be something more inviting to see when you first enter the city. The Kings Inn area needs to have a well balanced business placed there, one that will bring life to the area, and will benefit the entire city. NO Response

Ward 5
Candidate: Bill Carey Candidate: Nicky B. Woerner Candidate: Craig D. Johnson I would encourage tourism by finding ways to bring in businesses that will provide overnight accommodations. What Kingston needs are some places for tourists to stay. We should take advantage of the gorgeous Victorian style homes, particularly in the uptown area, and convert them into Bed & Breakfast establishments (rather than gutting them and turning them into multifamily residences). We could also work with national chains to bring a (small) hotel to the City. NO Response NO Response

We have a lot of existing tourist attractions, from the art galleries, to the restaurants, UPAC etc. We need to encourage those tourists to stay a while. Candidate: Janai McDonough In order to attract tourist dollars it is imperative that we promote our city. Utilizing social media and the internet is low cost and visible worldwide. Historical tours, summer waterfront activities, winter skiing and fall foliage is simply a taste of what Kingston has to offer. Working together with restaurants and B&B’s to offer packages and having more festivals here in the city instead of having to go to surrounding areas would draw people in as well.

Ward 6
Candidate: Elisa Ball NO Response

Ward 7
Candidate: Maryann Mills Candidate: Curtis Dankelmann Kingston seems to be four separate villages combined into one City. Ponckhockie has the Hudson Landing and Beach. Rondout has the Creekside waterfront and it’s attractions. Uptown is more historic with the stockade. Mid Town is stuck in between with UPAC. There was once a common thread that held these all together and that was a trolley system that ran through all. We still have some remnants of that today with the old Ulster and Delaware railroad. Track is in place from the Hudson Landing up to the Kingston Hospital. Then the rails pick up on the other side of the West Shore (CSX) tracks and continue uptown. We have a trolley museum that has a whole inventory of vintage cars that could be refurbished and placed into service. All that would have to be done is to replace some track between the Hospital and the end of tracks west of the CSX line and the system would be whole. Trolleys could run all spring, summer, and fall for transporting tourists between all four areas of the City. Much like they do in San Francisco. Trackage could be expanded to loop up town. Imagine the possibilities! A parking garage could be built on the site of the lot on Cornell street and a station could be built there sort of as a visitors jumping off point. Residents and tourists could go downtown and cruise on the Hudson, Dine Uptown or Downtown and catch a show at the UPAC. Someone needs to have the vision and desire to see the project work. Businesses would not be subject to one or two areas of the city with a core line running thru the City. The Cruise line industry has been coming to Kingston for years and this would be a great addition to their offerings for Kingston. NO Response

Ward 8
Candidate: Robert Senor NO Response

Ward 9

Candidate: John T. Simek Candidate: Mark A. Halwick, Jr. Candidate: Deborah J. Brown

NO Response NO Response

This has been a goal for many years, and many good strides have been taken to make it happen -and much more can be done. We currently promote “Historical Kingston” -- so lets maintain what we have in historical architecture. Don’t McMansion it……. Leverage the promotions that Ulster County does in promoting the County’s mountains, rivers, natural resources and recreation -- tie this in when promoting our festivals, art/music studios & events city wide promotions. Appoint an effective person for promoting special events and public relations. The recent promotional failure of the Reenactment of the Burning of Kingston (14th-16th) , by the City’s Tourism Director to enthusiastically make sure all businesses and organizations were properly informed and on board, points out what happens, when we have unqualified and ineffective people in pivotal positions. A city with charm attracts so much more than tourists. It creates an attitude. What we have currently is a shabby appearance of neglect which can be a deterrent. We need to get the City “fresh and clean” and we need to “polish the gem”. We now have a computer upgrade at City Hall. There is no better way to promote than to get on the internet and social networks. I have looked at our website for the City of Kingston. Very blasé. It needs pictures of our city, pictures of events, people, place and things. Pictures of our stately homes, inside and outside. Lastly, once the tourists come we are slow in making it easy for them to move about the city. We installed parking meters everywhere with very little free parking offered. We should have a bus that runs from downtown to uptown with hop on and off passes for them. I was in Dublin last May and we moved around Dublin with ease, as though we lived there. Some tourists come by boat and are pretty much stuck in one place on the Rondout. People arriving by buses uptown are also trapped. Cabs are not their first choice as they can be expensive if one is making several stops along the way. Make things more accessible. Move from downtown to midtown to uptown easily and conveniently.

Appendix A
Richard Cahill’s Detailed Cost Reduction Recommendations
(Line numbers refer to the 2011 City budget)
General Government, DPW, Rec Dept., Fire and Police Common Council (1010) Line 405 to $7,500 (saves $2,500.00) Line 404 to 0 (saves $400.00) Line 404 to $1,000 (saves $500.00) Parking Violations (1130) Line 402 to $4,000 (saves $500.00) Line 412 to $35,000 (saves $3,000.00) Revenue Line 1289 (add $50,000.00) Mayor (1210) Line 426 to 0 (saves $500.00) Line 444 to 0 (saves $1,000.00) Line 462 to 0 (saves $950.00) Line 476 to 0 (saves $150.00)

Comptroller (1315) Line 205 to $1,000 (saves $1,500.00) Line 402 to $3,500 (saves $750.00) Line 411 to $2,500 (saves $6,500.00) Line 462 to $2,300 (saves $200.00) Line 476 to 0 (saves $250.00) Central Data Processing (1680) Line 205 to $3,000.00 (saves $6,500.00) Line 426 to 0 (saves $250.00) Unallocated Ins (1910) Line 411 to 0 (saves $20,000.00)

Contingency (1990) Line 404 to $250,000.00 (saves $75,000.00) On Street Parking (3320) Line 487 to $4,000 (saves ($1,000.00) Revenue Line 1740 (increase by $15,000.00) Control of Animals (3510) Line 415 to $25,000 (saves $8,500.00) Line 426 to $1,500 (saves $1,000.00) Line 444 to $500 (saves $500.00) Tax Collection (1330) Line 402 to $3,300 (saves $500.00) Line 412 to $2,000 (saves $500.00) Line 463 to $3,800 (saves $300.00) Central Data Processing (1680) Line 205 to $3,000.00 (saves $6,500.00) Line 426 to 0 (saves $250.00) Unallocated Ins (1910) Line 411 to 0 (saves $20,000.00) Contingency (1990) Line 404 to $250,000.00 (saves $75,000.00) On Street Parking (3320) Line 487 to $4,000 (saves ($1,000.00) Revenue Line 1740 (increase by $15,000.00) Control of Animals (3510) Line 415 to $25,000 (saves $8,500.00) Line 426 to $1,500 (saves $1,000.00) Line 444 to $500 (saves $500.00) Rondout Dock (7562) Line 422 to $11,000 (saves $1,000.00) Line 474 to $4,700 (saves $300.00) Planning Board (8020) Line 205 to 0 (saves $1,000.00)

Line 476 to 0 (saves $400.00) Line 211 to $25,000 (saves $5,000.00) Line 103 (OT) cut to $175,000 (saves $20,000.00) • • Administration (1490) Line 443 to $4,000 (saves $1,000.00) Carpentry (1621) Line 479 to $1,000.00 (saves $1,500.00) Line 487 to $1,300 (saves $3,000.00) Traffic Control (3310) Line 487 to $28,000 (saves $4,500.00) Traffic Signal (3311) Line 483 to $1,500 (saves $1,000.00) Line 487 to $6,000 (saves $1,000.00) Maintenance of Streets (5110) Line 441 to $750 (saves $750.00) Line 487 to $60,000 (saves $3,000.00) Garage (5132) Line 408 to 0 (saves $4,000.00) Snow and Ice (5142) Line 487 to $85,000 (saves $5,000.00) Bus Operations (5630) Line 203 to 0 (saves $24,000.00) Line 211 to $1,000 (saves $1,000.00) Revenue Line #1751 (increase $7,000.00) It may also be worth considering a merger between the city and county bus services • Shade Trees (8560) Line 472 to 0 (saves $6,000.00)

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