Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lying in the Weeds

An overgrown strip of tall grass in the village of Cobleskill’s East End has yielded a virtual bumper crop of material for critics of Village officials. The Times-Journal, eager to blow the slightest village misstep grossly out of proportion, has called it a “flashpoint” for the future direction of the Village. Letters to the editor offered a similar lament.

But as the weeds grew taller, Cobleskill supervisor Roger Cohn clearly saw an opportunity to make political hay out of the weedy median and gathered a few of his friends to help. In what was obviously a cheap political stunt, Cohn and several others decided to take matters into their own hands and remove the weeds themselves.

At the next village board meeting, trustees argued over who is actually responsible for the maintaining the median. Trustee Bill Gilmore angrily chastised Tom Fissell, the village’s highway superintendent, for not tending to the median. Trustee Mark Galasso cited a lack of planning on the part of the Village Board, and argued that officials should have budgeted money for median maintenance. Clearly, someone goofed.

Does that mean that there is a “leadership vacuum” in the village of Cobleskill as the Times-Journal editorialized (8-13-2008)? Not really, it just means that village officials made an honest mistake. What I find particularly troubling is the way in which the Cobleskill town supervisor opportunistically seized on this “honest mistake” for political expediency. Cohn could have easily called Mayor Sellers and the other trustees and asked them all to come out and weed the median. Instead, he called the Times-Journal to tell them of a photo opportunity.

This kind of realpolitik shows that Cobleskill town officials are interested not in working together with village officials but in embarrassing them. The problem is not with village officials, any random group of trustees is capable of making such an oversight. The problem is the mean-spirited hardball politics that people like Cohn are playing and that the Times-Journal is encouraging.

I’m glad that somebody took the time to weed out the tall grass. I just hope that the people of Cobleskill are able to weed out the naked political grandstanding.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if Cohn had Town of Supervisor Stickers on his car he wouldnt need to be photograghed actualy doing somthing

Anonymous said...

I hope while he was pulling weeds he was in deep thought about changing zones for every tom,dick and harry that comes along just so the wound of lowes become a faint memory .All these politians the are directly to blame.

Anonymous said...

That assclown cohn put the whole community at tremendous risk. If one of those kids pulling weeds in the median slipped and got hit by a car(most over 45mph) they would have owned the village. They did not have hard hats, vests and a proper lane closure with proper signage. Absolutely amazing considering this bunghole cohn spent 40 years in the insurance agency. Gotta wonder--- if the median was on a back street would that jackass have been there or at the Country club. That should be easy to answer.

Anonymous said...

Cohn embarrassed the village. Rightfully so.

Anonymous said...

typical political hacks(mcguire Gilmore Mackay). Blame the working stiff. Why weren't Mackay,Mcguire and Gilmore pissing and moaning about the median in the middle of June when the weeds were a foot tall(not 4 feet tall in August). What gutless wonders this bunch is. There no better than that red headed "Bozo" Cohn.

Anonymous said...

How could you suggest that the village would be liable for a bunch of nut cases loitering in the middle of a state highway? They wouldn't even be considered volunteers given the circumstances. In order to be a volunteer you have to be asked. What gets me is the fact that parents would put their children in harm's way. No way would I put my kids in jeopardy just to make a point. And don't tell me that cars don't go off the road for no damn reason. Less than a week after this grandstanding stunt I saw a huge cargo van off the road in that area. From what I was told the truck lost its brakes. "There but for the grace of God...". These people "need to get a life".

Sean said...

I doubt that there would be village liability if something happened. But Cohn was clearly the ringleader of this circus, and for someone who has worked in the insurance business it was either a lapse in judgement or a case of disturbingly misplaced priorites.

Besides, the weeds weren't so bad. They took attention away from the boarded up windows.

Anonymous said...

Cohn might be guilty of political haymaking, but Sellers could have beat him to the punch and gotten out there first. The mayor of a village shouldn't need an invitation to take care of his own roads.

Anonymous said...

niles is "ghost writing " from Portland.

Sean said...

"Cohn might be guilty of political haymaking, but Sellers could have beat him to the punch and gotten out there first. The mayor of a village shouldn't need an invitation to take care of his own roads."

What? I would actually prefer it if Cobleskill's leadership would focus on actual solutions instead of photo opportunities. I really don't care who thinks of what first.

Secondly, it's not really the mayor's job or the supervisor's job. I think its the highway superintendent's job, or the state's job, or the well, I'm not sure either...

Robert Bork said...

How is it that Vince Cardone is allowed out on bail after being tagged with a felony yet they throw the book at Bob La Pietra and haul him off in handcuffs for a felony. Judge Hamm is a disgrace and has no business serving on the bench.

Sean said...

What the hell are you talking about?

LaPietra was released on bail this Monday. According to the Gazette, he was "briefly held" after being taken out of court.

At least Cardone is a felon who has the decency to live in Schoharie County (Richmondville) instead of commuting here to commit his felonies.

Sean said...

er, excuse me, alleged felon/felonies.

Officer Krupky said...

the travesty here is Cardone walked with no bail, Lapietra had to pay 10000 bail.both charged with felonies which by law require bail. Bob's joke in the paper saying mcguire could "check his sheets " struck a nerve with the old hag. Lesbe honest, something stinks here.

Anonymous said...

I smell a "Palin backlash" if he stays on the ballot.McGuire is a fiend.

Anonymous said...

When judges set bail (it was 5K bail, not 10K) history of the accused is an appropriate consideration. Cardone and LaPietra and their alleged misdeeds are in 2 different worlds.

Anonymous said...

The law says if you are charged with any felony you must post bail. How can you say "two different worlds"? It is two different world's if you say it's not what you know but who you b**w

Barney Francis said...

Sean is Niles McGiver. No blogs since he left for Oregon. Where are all the other Cobleskill socialists? No one to take up the mantle?

Sean said...

McGiver has never had anything to do with this blog. However, I will say that for a relatively young guy he was very active in the community. How many young people want to serve on planning boards or organize street fairs?

I don't know that he left the area. But he is no longer listed as a member of the village planning board. That's too bad. Cobleskill is lacking when it comes to people who are willing to put in that kind of time and energy.

I'll have more posts up very shortly.

Barney francis said...

About time you reloaded!!! We need the dialogue. This is the only stream of conciousness in this community.

Anonymous said...

Why were the trees cut down in front of Rick's Place?!?!?! (Sigh) from a Denning to a Bateman...Anon Cowherd...(I only wish.)

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