I love all of our Gardiner Democratic voters! I really do. They are positively-motivated, really good people who share our Democratic values and goals. We all want to get to the same place: basically, a kind and just multicultural society that respects all people and the planet we live on.
And we’re in a battle for our threatened democracy. Winning the battle requires being organized and choosing good candidates to take on the right-wing Republican machine. That’s why we have a political party: to be orderly and fair and foster success. Parties have rules to achieve these aims.
Now, nobody is saying opposition in a primary is comparable to the January 6th insurrection, but rules and good order exist for a reason. A faction of our Gardiner Dems has, for two election cycles in a row, blown through every clear and well-advertised party endorsement deadline in search of “anybody but” the candidates the party endorsed. Two years ago, their target was Warren Wiegand, and so, post-endorsement, they found someone who was “NOT WARREN!,” namely a short-term rental advocate upset by the prospect of more regulation. State law allowed them to collect signatures to get him on the ballot, so they did. Two years after he lost in the primary, no one I know has heard from him, despite numerous invitations to him to stay involved.
This year the “Anybody But” group is taking their ire out on incumbent Supervisor Marybeth Majestic. Upset that the Gardiner Democratic Party overwhelmingly endorsed Marybeth again after a careful vetting process, they blew through all the party endorsement deadlines and, at the very last minute, found a “NOT MARYBETH” challenger, a Connecticut marketing executive who had never before lived in Gardiner (he registered to vote here the day after his petitions were filed!). That person backed out and so the petitions’ legally-designated “committee to fill vacancies” (Tim Hunter, his daughter, and one other person) filled in Tim’s name as the authorized replacement for the guy from Connecticut! That is how Tim got on the ballot. Not a single Gardiner Dem signed a petition to get Tim on the ballot. But here we are. Now, Tim makes the absurd claim that he has been endorsed by every person–all 150 of them–who signed a petition for the withdrawn Connecticut marketing executive. I say, “prove it,” because we know that is not true.
candidate to represent the party against the Republicans. Does anybody but (no pun intended) me fear that this slapdash approach to procedure and rules will follow the candidate into office should he win? Is Tim Hunter the best candidate to face the Republican in the fall? Will he, with no real qualifications to run a town with a budget of $4 million and up to 50 employees, be the best choice for Supervisor? The GDC, knowing Tim VERY WELL, unanimously thinks, “NOT” (pun intended).
“Anybody But” is a formula for disaster. The party has a vetting process so your elected committee members (yes, we are elected!) can interview candidates, examine qualifications, motivations, and vision. Bypassing the rules is good for neither the party nor the people of Gardiner. Let’s be smarter than that. Vote Marybeth Majestic, a well-qualified, organized, efficient, and proven Supervisor. Vote for Marybeth in Early Voting, which begins tomorrow, or on Election Day, June 27. Maybe next time the “Anybody But” faction will get it right. We welcome their active participation in our Gardiner Democratic Party. End of story!
And in the next installment of our series designed to set the record straight:
Gardiner Primary ’23–NO BULL! Installment #2
WHAT’S BEING SAID
Accusation: Marybeth Majestic is responsible for the installation of a hated and ridge-blighting cell tower that will rain down deadly RF radiation on the heads of residents near the Municipal Garage site off South Mountain Road, which is in the restrictive SP Zoning district.
FACT: A prior Gardiner Town Board entered into a cell tower contract with a company called Wireless Edge over a decade ago that required the Town to allow a cell tower at the Town Highway Garage, on the east side of South Mountain Road, which is in the RA (rural agricultural) Zoning District, not the more protected SP. The current Town Board voted 4-1 to comply with this legal contract giving a highly conditional go-ahead to the cell tower company. Had they denied it, Gardiner would have been sued and, based upon counsel experienced in this particular area of law, the Town would have spent thousands of tax dollars on legal fees where the result was a predictable loss. The Town Board, led by Majestic, added a variety of costly conditions to the approval to mitigate the impact of the tower on the neighbors. The Town Board acknowledges the visual impact of the tower and sympathizes with the neighbors and others. Importantly in the consideration of this matter, the Town Board, as is true for any municipality, was prohibited from considering health impacts by the US Telecommunications Act of 1996 (TCA§332).
Accusation: Marybeth Majestic is responsible for the coddling of the Lazy River campground and the “unfortunate outcome of the Jellystone Park negotiations.*”
*Letter to the Editor by a person opposing Majestic.
FACT: To undo the mess that took years and years to create under both old and new Lazy River ownership, Supervisor Majestic and the other members of our Democratic Town Board, carefully unraveled the prior unpermitted and permitted activities that caused significant problems for Gardiner residents. The Town Board successfully negotiated an agreement with the business to dramatically reduce the campground’s negative impacts including a total ban on amplified music. Claiming Marybeth failed to resolve the Lazy River issues is perhaps the most egregious of the opposition’s claims, because it is an acknowledged success—most importantly to the affected neighbors. The legitimate frustrations of Lazy River’s neighbors are acknowledged. This was an unfortunate situation, but one that Marybeth Majestic and the Town Board in the end addressed effectively.
If you have any questions or doubts about Supervisor Majestic’s record or leadership, or if you just want to chat, please call her on her cell at (845) 249-6715 or her home line at (845) 255-0091. She will be glad to speak with you.
(Keep an Eye Out for Installment #3 of NO BULL! soon)
Ending With A Letter
Regarding Glenn’s letter: We don’t think the concerns of the opponents of the cell tower are silly. But Glenn does raise the important issue of coverage gaps in cell service that Gardinerites complain about all the time.
That’s all for now folks. Thanks for your time. You will be hearing from me again shortly.
Chair, Gardiner Democratic Committee
P.S. Remember, Early Voting starts tomorrow. Get out there and be heard!