Gardiner Dems to Host FUNdraiser to Honor David Dukler

Retiring Gardiner Town Board member, David Dukler

The Gardiner Democratic Committee will host a fundraiser in Majestic Park on Sunday, September 26, from 1:00 to 4:00 in the Pavilion.  The guest of honor will be David Dukler, who is retiring after serving two distinguished terms on the Town Board.  Dave is known all-around as a team player who worked best forging consensus as well as championing issues such as his work on the Transfer Station, the kennel law, and achievements in parks and rec.  As an avid biker, he is also a champion of maintaining and improving the rail trail.

The event is billed as a FUNdraiser focused on family.  There will be yard games for kids (those -12 and under are free), good food and drink, and fellowship with other Democrats.  The signature event will be a live auction with a wide variety of items donated by local and area businesses and individuals.  The highest value items include a session with award-winning photographer, Michael Gold, valued at $400, and a skydive donated by The Ranch in Gardiner, valued at $300.  The marquis item on the auction block will be one week (seven nights) at the Marriott Orlando Cypress Harbor resort, June 4 – 11, 2022. It has two bedrooms two bathrooms and accommodates up to eight people. The value is $1750.  The winning bidder can trade it for any other available week (any time prior to that week) in the Marriott timeshare system, including Kauai, Oahu, Virgin Islands, Mallorca, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Scottsdale, and many others. Transportation is not included.  These highest valued items will be available for advance bid.  For more information, contact Tom Kruglinski at chair@gardinerdemocrats.com.

Also set up near the FUNdraiser and available to anyone in the park will be the Democracy Tent, an project of the Ulster County Democratic Committee.  It is a tent with a variety of information on progressive causes as well as voter registration and absentee ballot requests.  It will have kids’ activities such as “kid voting” and campaign button making.

A number of elected officials will be in attendance, including County Executive (and Gardiner resident), Patrick Ryan, Assemblymember Kevin Cahill, County Comptroller March Gallagher, our County Legislator (and Gardiner resident), Tracey Bartels, Candidate for Supreme Court (and Gardiner resident), David Gandin, Candidate for Ulster County Family Court, Sarah Rakov and Marisa McClinton, candidate for County Legislator representing Plattekill.  The event will also include all local (Gardiner) town candidates, including Supervisor Marybeth Majestic, Town Board member Warren Wiegand, Town Board candidate Carol Richman, Town Justice Bob Rich, Town Clerk Michelle Mosher, and Highway Superintendent Brian Stiscia.

Advance registration is necessary.  Admission is $25 for adults (18 and up), $5 for teens (13-17), and kids are free.  For more information and for registration, please go to: gardinerdemocrats.com/fundraiser .  Attendees can pay securely online via PayPal with their credit cards or PayPal account.

The event flyer is here.

June 22nd Primary: Vote for Richman and Wiegand for Town Board

We are doing a primary this year on June 22nd instead of our usual caucus to choose town candidates.  For more information on what that’s about, click here.  David Dukler is retiring from the town Board after two  productive terms (Thanks David!).

All voting will be at the Town Hall (no voting at the firehouse this election) from 6 am until 9 pm. Please plan on coming out to vote for the Gardiner Democratic Committee’s two endorsed Town Board  candidates,  Warren Wiegand and Carol Richman. 

Carol Richman is running for election to the Gardiner Town Board.  Carol is a local attorney who has made Gardiner her home for almost two decades. Like many of us, Carol was initially attracted by Gardiner’s exquisite landscape with its unique biodiversity.  She is committed to protecting this legacy and preserving Gardiner’s rural character and environment for future generations. To this end, Carol has served on Gardiner’s Environmental Conservation Commission from 2008 to 2014, including holding the position of Chair for a two-year term. Since then she has been a member of the Gardiner Planning Board, which applies the town’s zoning law.

Carol was an artist and designer before her law career. As a lawyer, Carol has practiced in variety of public-interest law fields. She will bring to the Town Board her legal expertise to help protect high-priority land, vitalize Gardiner’s business center and family farms, increase green infrastructure, and promote smart development and inclusive and affordable  housing.

Carol’s email is cprichman@gmail.com

Warren Wiegand is running for re-election to the Gardiner Town Board.  Warren needs no introduction  in Gardiner, having spent the last eighteen years working to make Gardiner a good place to live and to raise a family.  His contributions include:  being a leader in building the Gardiner Library, saving farms and open space from development and providing smart financial management for the town.  Warren served on the Town board for twelve years, including eight years as the Deputy Supervisor.  Also, he served on the board of assessment review, chair of the library’s fundraising committee, chair of the Open Space Commission, and as a member of the Gardiner Planning Board.

Warren’s public service career was preceded by a successful career as a businessman and marketing executive.  His top priorities for his next term include protecting Gardiner’s rural character while allowing sustainable development, maintaining the town’s financial strength while controlling taxes. Warren also prioritizes promoting diversity and inclusion in Gardiner as well as helping less affluent community members continue to live in Gardiner as housing values rise..

Warren’s email is wiegandwarren@gmail.com

June 22 Primary Election 2021: What’s Happening this Year in Gardiner?

As you probably know, in years when there is no congressional election (odd-numbered years) there are elections for local offices.  In 2021, Gardiner voters will elect officials to the following offices on November 3 (Note: we do not know, at this point, whether our Democratic nominees will face opposition by Republicans or Conservatives):


This Year for Gardiner Democrats, It’s a Primary, Not a Caucus

Traditionally, for the town-level positions, the Gardiner Democratic Committee has held a caucus in late spring, with candidates for all town offices being nominated, giving speeches, and voting by all registered Gardiner Democrats in attendance.  That’s a tradition we like, because it is visible participatory democracy in action.  HOWEVER, this year, because of COVID, in January we decided to nominate local candidates via petitioning, with any (Democratic) contested offices decided in a June 22nd Primary Election. This year, the Gardiner Democratic Committee endorsed a slate of candidates in February and carried nominating petitions for those candidates in March, all of whom gained access to the November ballot for the Democratic Party.

Our endorsed candidates were generally unopposed, except in one instance, Town Board Member, where our two endorsed candidates, Carol Richman and Warren Wiegand were contested by a third candidate (for two seats), Todd Baker.

The only decision Gardiner Democrats will make at the June 22nd Primary Election is which two of the three candidates for Town Board will gain access to the Democratic ballot line in November.

We encourage you to support Carol and Warren in the June 22nd Democratic Primary.  We will soon send out more information on their backgrounds and qualification in another message.  Please stay tuned for that.

ONE MORE THING: Location, Location, Location

Voting in the June 22nd Primary Election will be at the Town Hall only.  If you are a registered Democrat in Gardiner who usually votes at the Firehouse, this year you will vote at the Town Hall.

Questions about any of this can be referred to Tom Kruglinski (914) 475-3601 or tom.kruglinski@gmail.com.

Call for 2021 Candidates

 

Candidates Sought for Gardiner Offices

Gardiner, NY— 1/3/2021 — The Gardiner Democratic Committee (GDC) is looking for Gardiner residents interested in running for town offices this coming November and being endorsed by the GDC.  The positions on the ballot include County Legislator (UC District 16), Town Supervisor, Town Board Member (two positions), Town Clerk, Highways and Roads Superintendent, and Town Court Justice.

Residents interested should send an email to chair@gardinerdemocrats.com expressing interest and, briefly, their reasons for possibly seeking office.  A resume is also requested if available.  Questions can be sent to the same address, but be sure to include a phone number for a return call.  Those interested will need to complete a questionnaire that will be sent to them shortly after their initial email.

 

 

Update From the Gardiner Democratic Committee–Election 2020

November 22, 2020

Fellow Gardiner Dems:

This is the first chance I have had to communicate with you since the election and I wanted to give you an update and a call to action on Georgia.

Key Races 2020

We have a lot to be thankful for this week of Thanksgiving.  Our four-year Trumpist nightmare is almost over.  Despite his pathetic attempts to hold onto a job he obviously detests, Donald Trump will vacate the White House and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States on January 20 2021.  Personally, I am looking forward to the beginning of recovery from the damage the Republicans have wrought and, at a personal level, simply not hearing from the worst president in our nation’s history multiple times every day.  THANK YOU for going out to vote and for everything else our volunteers and supporters did to make this victory a reality.  Your engagement wins elections!

Antonio Delgado will be our Congressman for another two years.  He was re-elected with 52% of the vote to Kyle Van De Water’s 46%.  The remaining two percent was split among the third-party candidates.  We congratulate Congressman Delgado and will do all we can to make help this next term a success for him and for all of us in New York’s 19th Congressional District

Jen Metzger’s race for State Senate has not been called yet, after a week of counting absentee ballots.  As of Friday, there were still about 10% of those still left to be counted, mostly from Sullivan County.  Senator Metzger was about ten points behind on election eve and she still trails by a significant margin we are told.  There is still a path to victory possible, but chances, frankly, are not good.  The good news is that redistricting will take place soon and our 42nd Senate District will look different in a couple of years, hopefully transformed to not heavily favor Republican candidates as it is now.  I will keep you posted on the results as they come in.  Jen has been a great State Senator and we hope for the best.

More good news came Friday night with the announced victory of Michelle Hinchey in her race in our neighboring 46th State Senate District.  She was significantly behind the Republican Rich Amedure on election eve but more than made up the difference when the absentee ballots were counted this week.  The Democratic pick-up (the seat had been held by Republican George Amedore, who retired) leaves our party just one seat shy of a supermajority in the NY State Senate.  New York continues to rock Democratic!

Georgia! Georgia! Georgia! We Win Georgia, We Change America!

As Democrats, we had two significant disappointments on Election Day.  One was simply that, despite losing, Donald Trump got 70 million votes from our fellow Americans, including many of our neighbors. While Joe and Kamala’s victory has turned out to be significant (it will turn out to be 306 to 232 in the Electoral College and more than a six million margin in the popular vote), there will be strong headwinds along the way.

The other disappointment was not outright taking the Senate.  As of right now the Republicans hold a 50-48 majority in the Senate with both Senate races in Georgia headed for a January 5 run-off.  If the Democratic candidates win both races, the Senate will be evenly divided and, with Kamala Harris casting the deciding vote, the all-important Senate majority will go to us.

This means that ALL of our efforts for the next five or six weeks need to go into ensuring that Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff win their run-offs challenges against their Trumpist Republican incumbents, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.  It is the responsibility of each and every one of us give and do what we can.  We all know that if Mitch McConnell continues to control the Senate, he will obstruct everything Joe Biden and Kamala Harris try to do.  On the other hand, with our own Chuck Shumer running the Senate and Kamala breaking ties, we can change America!  So PLEASE, give until it hurts and volunteer your time and effort between now and January 5 to pitch in and help bring about victory.

Here is a list of worthy organizations and ways to get involved (thanks to Melissa Servant for help with this):

  • The Warnock campaign website is here and the Ossoff website is here. You can find out more about them and donate using their donate buttons and you can also volunteer to do phone banking by clicking the sites’ volunteer buttons.
  • The Democratic Volunteer Center helps volunteers make calls, write to voters, and send texts to help get out the all-important Democratic vote in Georgia. This is a great way to contribute.
  • The work of Stacey Abrams and others helped turn Georgia blue in the presidential race for the first time in almost 30 years. Her organization, Fair Fight works to raise money for progressive candidates, organize on the community level, and register voters.  This is a great cause to contribute to and will help flip both Georgia Senate seats blue.
  • The New Georgia Project also holds volunteer registration drives and other activities to register progressive voters. It is also a great organization to volunteer for.
  • Indivisible Ulster for Georgia Run-offs runs a phone and text bank Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-6 pm. Contact Indivisible Ulster if you wish to participate with a group of your neighbors trying to bring about change in Georgia.
  • Black Voters Matter is an organization whose goal is to increase power in black and other minority communities to allow community members to determine their own destiny. They focus on voter registration, GOTV, and policy advocacy.
  • Post Cards to Voters focuses on having volunteers write friendly, handwritten reminders from volunteers to targeted voters giving Democrats a winning edge in close, key races. This is an easy and satisfying way to pitch in on the Georgia fight.

Please do something—contribute what you can, volunteer to make calls, or write letters or post cards.  Your activism helped us make gains on election day this year.  We are extremely thankful for your generosity in that regard.  But Georgia on January 5 will be make-or-break.

THANK YOU, and I wish you a peaceful and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.

Tom Kruglinski
Chair, Gardiner Democratic Committee

 

 

Gardiner Dems Join with U-ACT in 9/12 Metzger Fundraiser

The Gardiner Democrats, in conjunction with Ulster Activists (U-Act) will be doing a fundraiser to support the reelection of our State Senator, Jen Metzger on Saturday, September 12 from 1:00 to 3:00 in Gardiner at a private home.  This in-person fundraiser is limited to 50 people.  Attendees can mingle with the candidate and her supporters as well as bid on a variety of great items in an auction (part silent, part live).  Auction items include:

  • Handcrafted Jewelry
  • A Skydive from The Ranch in Gardiner
  • Pottery and other items from local artists
  • Majestics Hardware Gift Certificate
  • Gift Certificates from Cafe Mio, The Mountain Brauhaus, and Garvan’s
  • Services such as an acupuncture session, a professional photography portrait session, and haircuts
  • A poster signed by Jerry Seinfeld
  • Wine, wine, and more wine
  • Much more!

All proceeds go toward the Senator’s reelection effort.

For tickets (minimum contribution $50) click here 

Voting In 2020: The Stakes and All the Information You Need

Election Day, November 3, 2020 is likely to be the most consequential election of our lifetimes.  Trump’s incompetence is vast, and his crimes are too many to list.  We all know what is at stake in Gardiner as well is throughout the nation: our democracy and maybe even our lives.

Voting Trump out of office is obviously the most important task in this election, but here in Gardiner there are other key election decisions we must make, including:

  • Our state senator, Jen Metzger has—in less than two years in office—resolved 400+ constituent requests for assistance; sponsored 21 bills that have been signed into law, with 100% bipartisan support (including bills on reproductive rights, automobile safety, rural development, voting rights, bail reform, support for healthcare workers, Lyme disease, helping our farmers, and many more); held mobile office hours in 31 locations around the district, and sponsored 20+ community events throughout the district. She has made quite a positive impact on our district and on the state as a whole.

However, Jen is facing a daunting challenge in that the 42nd Senate District was gerrymandered to favor Republican candidates and her opponent is a multi-millionaire who is self-funding a very sophisticated campaign against her.  The Republicans have identified her seat as one of their key targets to take back in 2020.  We can’t let that happen.  We need to send Jen back to the NY Legislature.

  • Our Congressman, Antonio Delgado’s victory in 2018 helped flip the U.S. House of Representatives blue. Since then, Representative Delgado has built up a very strong record of progressive accomplishments, including: advocating for universal affordable health care, a tax code that works for working people, and improving economic opportunities for our farmers and rural communities.  He has helped shepherd multiple bipartisan bills into law.  He has held 35 in-person town hall meetings across every county in NY-19 and 10 virtual town halls since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.  He has fought the rollback of crucial environmental regulations that protect our rivers, mountains and forests.  He introduced the Green Jobs and Opportunities Act to address our climate crisis and to ensure the workforce is ready to transition to an economy based around clean energy

Antonio is facing a serious challenge from a Republican determined to take a seat the GOP sees as theirs.  We need to help our congressman continue the great works he has begun over the last two years.

So, casting our vote for the Democratic candidates is literally more important than ever and it is critical that every one of us make a plan to vote.  Click on the links for key voting information.

  • Are we and all of our family and friends registered to vote? Are our registrations current and for the addresses we currently live in. The deadline for registering new voters in New York is October 9. The deadline for changes of address is October 14.
  • Are we voting in person at our regular polling location on election day, or is another option (early voting or absentee/mail in voting) right for us?
  • If we are voting absentee/mail-in, then what are the rules for requesting and sending in our absentee ballot? What is the easiest way to request an absentee ballot? How should we fill out our absentee ballot application if we are staying home because of the COVID pandemic?
  • If we choose to vote early on the designated days for early voting in Ulster County, where will we show up to cast our ballot?
  • Is legal to request an absentee ballot and then choose to cast our single vote in person: (YES! This is the word of our Ulster County Board of Elections.)
  • If we vote on election day, November 3rd, where is our polling place, what time are the polls open (answer: 6:00 am to 9:00 pm) and what time will we plan to be there?
  • Is in-person voting, whether early or on election day, safe given the COVID crisis that has killed more than 170,000 of our fellow Americans (as of 8/23)? Yes, polling locations are as safe as they can be, with poll workers required to wear masks (if they don’t please report it to the BOE at (845) 334-5470) and there is plenty of hand sanitizer available.  But WEAR YOUR OWN MASK!
  • What other key information might I find helpful in planning my vote? Note that Jen Metzger’s campaign site has a wealth of information.  If you have a specific Question contact the BOE at (845) 334-5470.
  • If you need a ride to the polls, either for early voting on November 3rd, contact us at chair@gardinerdemocrats.com or call (914) 475-3601.
  • Volunteer to be a poll worker! Poll workers are going to be in short supply this year due to the COVID crisis.  If you are younger and healthy, please consider working the polls to make it easy for others to vote. Click here to apply to be a poll worker or contact the Ulster County Board of Elections at (845) 334-5470

Candidates Sought for Associate Membership

Help Wanted

The Gardiner Democratic Committee (GDC) is the official arm of the Democratic Party in Gardiner NY.  We have an immediate opening for a volunteer associate member to serve on the committee.  Unlike voting members, associate members do not serve as members of the Ulster County Democratic Committee and can only vote on local issues when designated by the Chair as filling in for a voting member.  That said, our pool of associate members serves as training ground for future vacancies among our eight voting members who are publicly elected officials.  Associate members are key to the smooth running and continuity of the committee and are regarded in all other ways as full committee members.

Qualifications:

  1. Being a registered member of the Democratic Party residing within the limits of the town of Gardiner;
  2. Commitment to our Democratic Party values and to the success of Democratic candidates locally, statewide, and nationally;
  3. Willingness and ability to attend monthly meetings (generally the second Thursday of each month in the evening at the Gardiner Town Hall);
  4. Willingness and ability to support, through the contribution of time and effort, projects important to the GDC such as: political campaigning, fund-raising, community-building, and other strategic and tactical activities. Approximate time commitment: 4-6 hours per month; more during the several months immediately prior to elections;
  5. Desire to make a positive difference in our community through Democratic political activity.

We believe each member brings their own strengths to the position of associate member and we will leverage those strengths in a win-win-win for the benefit of the GDC, the community, and the member him/herself.

We would love to have you apply.

Send statements of interest to Chair@gardinerdemocrats.com

Mike Kruglinski 1949-2020

We lost Mike Kruglinski on Monday, February 3.  Mike served as Chair of the Gardiner Democratic Committee from 2010 until last summer.  Mike led the GDC during a period of increasing influence of the committee in electoral politics locally and Democratic domination generally across the county.  Mike was involved in practically every political discussion in Gardiner since “Save the Ridge” in the early 2000’s. The following is a statement from Mike’s family:  

On Monday, February 3rd, we lost Mike Kruglinski, our quiet hero, after a 5-year long battle with prostate cancer.  With “Let It Be” playing in the background, he transitioned peacefully, surrounded by family who loved him dearly. While we are profoundly sad and will be grieving for some time, we are also enormously proud of who Mike was, the wonderful life he led, and the things he accomplished.

The second of four children born to parents who died very young in life, he provided leadership beyond his years to his younger siblings as they grew.  He was an academic scholar “wiz-kid” (North Bergen High School Class of ’67) who chose a proud union working-class life as a freight railroad conductor, husband, big brother, and dad over anything else he could have been.  He was who he wanted to be and that was someone with a gentle look, an open mind, a helping hand, a smile and consistent good cheer for the large majority of days and thousands of souls he touched during his time on this earth.

He married a beautiful woman, Diane Stromenger, who loved and stood by him as a faithful companion for almost 48 years.  She took care of him every single one of those days and was the rock that Mike depended on.  He and Diane had two wonderful kids, Michael Francis, and Kathryn Ann.  Mike and Diane raised them to be just as hard-working, conscientious, and good-natured as they were. Both children married great people who have become very natural extensions of the family (Melissa Vatalaro and Ryan Ehrhart, respectively) and gave their parents four beautiful grand-children, Lucas and Travis (to Mike and Melissa) and Addison and James (to Katie and Ryan).  Mike reveled in his growing family and they learned from him what it was to be an exemplary parent and grandparent (affectionately known as “Baba” and “Grandpa”).

Mike and Diane were also travelers—the ocean cruise being their preferred mode.  Over the years they took 43 cruises, wined, dined, and saw much of the world together, with family, and a retinue of good friends they were always in the habit of making and keeping.  They not only had a good time; they WERE a good time.  Birthdays, weddings, holidays, barbeques, vacations at the shore; there was always something to look forward to.

A railroad reorganization brought Mike and his family from their homestead in Bloomfield, NJ to Gardiner, New York in 1999, where Mike—always a walker—became an avid hiker in the nearby Shawangunks.  Nothing better than a good 5-mile hike in the woods, some stunning views, and a cold beer afterward to settle one’s soul.  He was solitary by nature, but you would never know it unless you knew him well because Mike was always such a joy to be with. Nature gave him this solitude as did an endless immersion in literature. He was a lifelong learner and voracious reader since childhood.  All kinds of books, magazines, publications, and multiple newspapers were a regular staple. Reading was a passion and respite.

Mike took up civic action in his retirement, having been passionate about social justice and politics since his college days protesting the Vietnam war.  For the last decade, as Chair of the Gardiner Democratic Committee, with Barbara Sides as Vice-Chair, he helped the Gardiner Democrats elect many great candidates and gained a reputation across Ulster County for his intellect, dignity, sharp political instincts, and thoughtful counsel in campaigns.  His loss is a significant blow to his community.

There will be no viewing or immediate service as Mike chose to donate his remains to medical research.  We will announce an event to celebrate his life in the near future.

In lieu of flowers and other tributes, please consider making a contribution to any of the following three organizations, each of whose causes Mike was passionate about:

Gardiner Library—Barbara Sides Memorial Fund

https://www.gardinerlibrary.org/supportdonate.asp

Mohonk Preserve
https://www.mohonkpreserve.org/how-to-help/donate/

Fair Fight 2020
https://secure.actblue.com/donate/fair-fight–inc–1?refcode=website

 

The following is a statement by Kevin Cahill, our Democratic Assembly Member:

Mike was more than just a Democratic activist.  He brought a special sense of purpose to the Gardiner Dems and insisted on a civility so often lacking in politics.  His embrace of community causes and his elevation of the Gardiner Committee to advance those matters was unique among local leaders.  His energy, along with Barbara’s ushered in a special era that not only made electing qualified Democrats easier, it also attracted so many more good ones to the fold.  Gardiner Democratic committee meetings were thoughtful community-based events.  We all knew we had better come prepared!

Mike boasted, and rightly so, that three of our county leaders hailed from the “Greater Gardiner Area”.  Tracey Bartels still provides unique leadership in her role as Vice-Chair of the County Legislature and did so with grace and style as Chair.  Pat Ryan is bringing us progressively forward in his role as County Executive, first introduced to many area Dems by Mike as “Gardiner’s native son” when Pat was running for Congress.  And of course, Juan Figueroa, a resident of that great Gardiner suburb of Plattekill, was warmly welcomed and introduced to our party by both town Democratic leaders.  Mike was intimately involved in advancing each of those fine individuals.

Back home, Mike made sure that the committee members shared and advanced the values of their community, resulting in successes in town and other races.  And when Gardiner Democrats celebrated, the party was always special.  From intimate gatherings to giant picnics, Mike made sure that all were invited, all were welcome and that our causes were never took a back seat to great refreshments.

His sense of community, his commitment to progressive values and, most of all, his gentlemanly way are just some of the reasons Mike was a giant among us.  The memory of his contribution to making where we live a better place will only grow.  He was an example for all to follow.