Leon Steiner, 1936-2018

Former Gardiner Democratic Committee Chair, Leon Steiner, passed away on January 4, 2018, at the age of 81.  The cause was cancer.

Leon and Marlene Steiner

Leon and Marlene Steiner

A life-long Democrat, Leon served for many years on the Gardiner Democratic Committee, including seven as Chair. Leon believed strongly in the importance of working with other town committees.  In addition, he forged a close working relationship with the Ulster County Democratic Committee to elect Democrats. Leon also served for many years on the Board of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail.

A retired electrical engineer with a Master’s degree in computer science from Brooklyn Polytech, Leon worked for many of the top aerospace companies. He was most proud of his work for NASA on the Hubble Space Telescope. He and his beloved wife, Marlene and family moved to Gardiner in 2000.

Gardiner Democrats, as well as the entire Gardiner community, mourns the passing of this civic leader.  May he rest in peace.

Gardiner Election Results

Dear Fellow Democrats,

On Friday, November 17, in a crowded conference room at the Board of Elections Office in Kingston, absentee and affidavit ballots cast in the November 7 election were opened and tallied.  The race for Gardiner Supervisor was the only one hanging in the balance.  Our Democratic candidate, Lisa Lindsley, was there with her attorney and three members of the Gardiner Democratic Committee—Barbara Sides, Glenn McNitt, and Tom Kruglinski—for moral support.  Republican/Conservative candidate Marybeth Majestic was also there with her attorney and Ken Ronk, Republican Chair of the Ulster County Legislature for support.

The ballots were opened district-by-district over the course of about an hour.  The final tally was 1052 for Majestic and 1032 for Lindsley, a difference of 20 votes. Following the count, Lisa conceded the race to Marybeth and congratulated her on her victory.

Though the results of the Supervisor’s race are disappointing, we need to keep things in perspective.  The Gardiner Democratic ticket did quite well.  Our candidates, David Dukler and Warren Wiegand, won their Town Board races by very wide margins.  Tracey Bartels won her race for a fourth term representing Gardiner and parts of Shawangunk in the County Legislature.  And though she did not win, Lisa’s performance was nonetheless outstanding.

The name Majestic, of course, has been a household word in Gardiner for more than a hundred years.  Lisa was a virtual unknown prior to her campaign, having moved to town a mere four years ago.  By all rights, the race should not have been close at all.  The fact that the margin between the candidates was just 20 votes (less than 1 percent) is an indication that her Democratic arguments for “doing better,” for smart development (not all development), for infrastructure improvement, and better recreational programs resonated deeply with Gardiner voters.

Moreover, Lisa was an outstanding candidate who ran a superior, and truly grass-roots, campaign.  She recruited more than 50 volunteers who knocked on 1,793 doors, made 1,646 phone calls, wrote letters, put up signs, entered data, and encouraged citizens to make significant financial contributions to the Democratic campaign.  Lisa also led and managed, quite masterfully, the data analytics that we used in this election and that will be a key to future Democratic victories.  So, we salute her, thank her for her tireless work and leadership, and look forward to working with her on important issues in the future.

There is still much to be done in Gardiner. While we will make every effort to work with the Supervisor and new Town Board for the betterment of Gardiner, we know that the entrenched old-boy network is still quite active, especially on the town’s Planning Board. That body just issued a determination that the Shaft Road development will have no significant adverse environmental impact.  The Planning Board is poised to issue a similar determination on the Heartwood resort development, which will mean that no Environmental Impact Statement is required. There will soon be two openings on the Planning Board and we will turn our attention to working to ensure they are filled not by developers and their allies, but by citizens who will prioritize open space and environmental protection.

Finally, we are quite gratified at the sharply increased interest in Democratic causes in the age of Trump.  If you voted for our candidates, THANK YOU!  If you contributed volunteer time or financial resources to the campaign, THANK YOU!  If you stepped forward to get involved in any other way, THANK YOU!  If you have any inclination to be actively involved, please let us know by contacting us via our website, gardinerdemocrats.com and we will find a way for you to make a difference. We are living our Democratic values here in Gardiner and we treasure your support!

Best wishes for a happy and safe Thanksgiving,

The Gardiner Democratic Committee


Majestic Wins by Narrow Margin

Following an absentee ballot count, Democratic challenger Lisa Lindsley conceded the race for Gardiner Town Supervisor to incumbent Marybeth Majestic and congratulated Majestic on her victory. Majestic prevailed by a margin of 20 votes.

“The close results were an important message from advocates of open, progressive local government,” said Lindsley. “Voters are watching closely and are no longer going to let the old boy network run Gardiner unimpeded.”

Gardiner Democratic Committee Vice Chair Barbara Sides, who witnessed the ballot count, said “Our Town Board nominees were victorious. The fact that the Supervisor race came down to 20 votes is indicative of the opposition to the incumbent’s attitude that all land development is good for Gardiner and that the same entrenched interests should be appointed and re-appointed to our boards and commissions.

Gardiner Democrats meet on the second Thursday of every month at 7pm in the Gardiner Town Hall. For more information, visit


Election Results

Here are the election results from yesterday from the BOE site:


Majestic:          1002

Lindsley:         981

Town Board:

Dukler:            1171

Wiegand:          1253

Hayes:              824

O’Dell:            427

So it was a good night for our Town Board candidates.  Lisa did better than most expected and is still in a position to win after the absentee ballots are counted.  124 absentee ballots were sent out.  We don’t know how many were actually received back.  We are looking at the possibility of a manual recount.  Results will probably take 2-3 weeks to be finalized. Lisa ran an outstanding campaign, as did our other candidates.

Thank you to all who came out to vote for our great candidates!  Turnout was very strong.

We are cleaning up our election signs. Please help us by picking up  any of our yard signs you can. Tracey’s signs can be saved and dropped off at her house at 45 Sandhill Rd. or at Mike Kruglinski’s house at 12 Wolf Lane. Our other yard signs can be left at the transfer station (no charge) or at Mike’s house or in your trash. We try to save and reuse the metal frames, which can be left at Mike’s house.

More later.

Dukler Describes Democratic Team’s Plans

David Dukler, candidate for re-election to the Gardiner Town Board, described the Democratic Team’s plans in a letter in the November 2nd edition of the New Paltz Times:

The upcoming election in Gardiner is full of implications for the next period of time.  There are substantive differences between the slates of candidates that will have a major impact in the near future. Being part of the Democratic team, I know that our values distinguish us.

We support the vision for Gardiner as outlined in the Master Plan.  We will continue to develop and implement plans for smart growth as our community grows.  We are open to creative ideas for growth that help to maintain our open spaces, foster the growth of the hamlet, provide for residential alternatives   and promote public spaces. gunks-2

We will work to protect the resource of the land itself with its water, fauna and flora, recognizing that we cannot take them for granted.  We only need to look at communities further south to see how they have squandered shat were once beautiful rural communities to see what we do not want.  To achieve a different outcome takes vision and a commitment to be proactive, not reactive, as we see more of the inevitable growth that must come.  We are committed to promoting a balanced approach to community going forward so we can have the town we want while maintaining the rural quality of life.

We will provide prudent financial management of your valuable tax dollars.  We believe in giving value, saving money while addressing the needs of a growing community. We recognize that the growing cost of living and increasing taxes, especially in light of the escalating lack of financial support codavid-dukler-squareming from Washington and Albany, is making it challenging to continue to live here. We concur.  We also understand that almost all of this is beyond our control.  We will do our best to keep costs down while providing for the needs of the town.  We will actively seek grant opportunities where relevant and use those dollars—our taxes—to meet our needs.

We will be proactive as we look to the future.  We will anticipate and address issue and concerns before they become big problems and leave us in reactive mode.

We will be thoughtful, open-minded and information seeking.  While everyone’s has their preferences, we are not ideological.  We do not have the answer ahead-of-time.  What we do have is the desire to understand what we are facing and to have open conversations about how to proceed.

We will be good problem solvers.  We will bring together our local resources—people, knowledge, energy, dedication to place—so together we can take an active part in the next stage of Gardiner’s history.  We recognize that as a small town government, we have limited abilities, monies and time.   Within this reality, we will be the team that brings the skills to the table that is needed for the future.

Vote the Democratic team in Gardiner on November 7th.

Vote Lindsley, Wiegand and Dukler

David Dukler


The Duck and the Bull: Marybeth Majestic is No Democrat

As a lifelong Democrat, I have worked to elect Democrats in almost every election since 1972. I hold dearly the values of Franklin Roosevelt and the Democratic Party, such as devotion to bettering the fortunes of the poor and middle classes, fighting for health care as an economic and moral right, believing in the right of a woman to have control of her own body and reproductive health, for protection of the environment, and for advocating for the civil rights of all people no matter how marginalized.

You can imagine how amused I am, then, when I hear non-Democrats declare that Democrats should support someone who, when she lost the Democratic Caucus election for the nomination for Gardiner Supervisor by a vote of 105 to 46 (a margin of more than 2-to-1), decided to run as a Republican.  Marybeth Majestic was denied the nomination not by a handful of Dem Committee people, but by the overwhelming majority of Democrats who came out for a long meeting on a hot July evening.  That is the fact.  No bull.fearless-girl-and-bull

So, Majestic’s supporters are working hard to paint her as another “Democratic” candidate.  Non-Democrats such as Town Board Member Laura Walls (not a Democrat), Glen Gidaly (also not a Democrat), John Habersberger (Republican), Richard Koenig (Republican), John Friedle (misogynist Republican), Ralph Erenzo (non-Democrat), Paul Colucci (Republican), and a chorus of other right-wingers, want Gardiner Democrats to feel good about voting for Majestic because she never changed her voting registration from Democrat to Republican.  This is attempted deception worthy of the leader of the Republican Party himself, Donald J. Trump.  It’s misdirection.  It is just plain bull.

Aside fromRubber-duck wanting office so badly that she decided to run twice as a Gardiner Republican (maybe she’s a Democrat-Republican?), I know of no evidence that Marybeth Majestic has ever spoken out for a single Democratic cause or value.  Has she ever attended a rally for reproductive rights or for civil rights?  Has she ever uttered a single public word about universal healthcare?  Has she stood up for the environment? Doubtful.  Instead, Majestic is a vocal leader of the Gardiner “property-rights” faction: the group of large Gardiner land owners and Republican contractors and developers who have dominated the Gardiner Planning Board and whose economic interests are tied to unremitting development of open space.  If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, you know what it is.  Suggesting that Marybeth Majestic is a Democratic candidate is both literally and figuratively false.

There is only one Democratic candidate for Gardiner Supervisor: Lisa Lindsley.  Lisa is someone who is not just a registered Democrat, but a real Democrat who lives her Democratic values every single day.  She is a tireless advocate for the environment and open space, an activist for economic justice and corporate accountability, and a champion of those with little status or power.  Her election as the Democratic nominee makes her THE Democratic candidate for Supervisor.  Her actions and leadership on her values define her status as a true Democrat.

Don’t fall for more Trumpist bull.  A vote for Majestic on November 7 is a vote for a Republican. Vote Lindsley this Tuesday (on the Democratic Row A) for a Democratic Town Supervisor.

Tom Kruglinski
Gardiner Democratic Committee Member


Why I Am Supporting Lisa Lindsley for Gardiner Town Supervisor

I am supporting Lisa Lindsley for election to the office of Gardiner Town Supervisor on November 7. Lisa is the best candidate in the race for the following reasons: First and foremost, she is the most qualified. Lisa brings a level of management expertise we haven’t seen in Gardiner for a long time. She is a superbly educated and successful businesswoman with a long career in banking and business consulting who is ready to put those skills to work for our town.

Lisa head shot cropped
Second, her values and priorities are in the right place—she stands for something. Her democratic values precluded the “run-on-any-ticket-that-will-have-me” approach that we see in other candidates for local office. She believes in and acts on her value of environmentalism and maintaining Gardiner’s non-sprawl rural environment. She believes in and acts on her value of sticking up for the little guy and not the moneyed interests. She will fight for ordinary Gardiner citizens and not those seeking to cash-in on Gardiner’s beauty.
Third, her team leadership capabilities are superb. She has led many high-performance teams in her business and political life. We certainly need that in Gardiner. She is a people-person and an excellent listener who gets things done. I have had the pleasure of working with Lisa closely and can attest to her determination, work ethic, creativity and intelligence. I have spent 30 years as professional trainer, leadership consultant, and human resources executive and have worked with hundreds of leaders over the years, in business, labor, health care and government. Lisa is one of the very best I have seen.
Finally, Lisa Lindsley has the courage and grit to, as a relatively recent Gardiner resident, take on one of the most famous names in Gardiner because she cares and knows she can do better. Such a choice says something about the character and guts she brings to the table.
Lisa Lindsley is the real thing, the full package. Vote for Lisa Lindsley on November 7.

Tom Kruglinski


Dukler Talks Property Taxes

The New Paltz Times recently published the Q&A from the candidates for the Gardiner Town Board.  Let’s look at what my opponents’ state they have to offer.   One candidate wants to reduce the town’s services to only those which she deems essential: safety, highway and tax collection.  What would that mean?  The following would immediately be eliminated:  the Transfer Station, Majestic Park, the Library.  How about the animal control officer, the Gardiner Senior Resource Committee which serves all of Gardiner’s seniors?  What will happen to the need for updates to the Master Plan and Code?  Maintenance on the rail trail?  The Pole Barn, the gazebo? New financial management software to provide modern tools to better able to manage Gardiner’s finances?

How much money would be saved?  According to the Gardiner Assessor’s Office for 2017, Gardiner residents in the New Paltz School Distrproperty tax imageict, per $1000 of assessed valuation of their property, paid:

$21.50 in school tax, 74% of their taxes

$ 4.29 in count taxes, 15% of their taxes

$ .30 for the Library, 1% of taxes

$ 1.51 for Highway, 5.2% of taxes

$ . 51 for fire, 1.8% of taxes

$ .94 for General Budget Expenses, 3.1% of taxes.

On a tax bill of $8000, $248 is what is as a result of the budget under the control of the Town Board.  All other costs are from other entities: Fire, Highway, County, and Library.  If one believes that any tax is too much, than any tax cut is better than nothing.  For some in our community, even this amount is meaningful if not large in dollars.  It certainly has a symbolism far beyond the dollars involved.  What makes a catchy slogan or a good bumper sticker does not necessarily make for good governance.  It is a lot easier to be the party of “No” than it is to govern.

Both (non-Democratic) candidates for Town Board have also called for changes to zoning that would override the Master Plan by allowing for more development.  They favor reduction of the current 5-acre zoning to 2 acres.  The argument is that such changes will make Gardiner “more affordable” for the next generation.  The cost savings obtained by the reduction on a 2000 sq. ft. raised ranch house would amount to $78/month on a 30-year mortgage at 4%.  Many of the aspects of living in Gardiner that residents have come to enjoy would be compromised.  More housing would mean more traffic, longer drives, more stop signs and lights, more kids in schools needing more classrooms and teachers, more pollution, more light at night, more noise and more demand on local resources.  The relatively few dollars saved with smaller lots will be go to higher taxes for schools and increased services.  The savings are not there.  This is the kind of thoughtful attention I give to issues that come before the board–analysis for understanding, consideration of options that fit Gardiner.  Please vote for me on November 7th.

David Dukler
Candidate for Re-Election to the Gardiner Town Board

Dave cropped 2


Gardiner Dems and Friends, we REALLY need your help in our efforts to get out the Democratic Vote for November 7!  We have a variety of GET-OUT-THE-VOTE efforts planned–including phone banking, door-to-door canvassing sessions and election day activities–and we need volunteers to do this.  You will find your efforts fun and rewarding and you will get to meet lots of new people in the process. Phone canvassing image

If you have never done this type of work before, rest assured, you will receive training before we put you to work.

Winning big in local elections in 2017 is key to prevailing in 2018 and 2020.  If you are outraged every day at the latest Trump tweets or what the Republican Congress is doing to harm our country and its most vulnerable, the place to start making a difference is now in these local elections.  Our local candidates have a huge effect on our lives and they share your Democratic values.  Please help them get into office.

Even if you can only donate a few hours between now and election day, please sign up!

You can sign up at this link.  If you have any questions regarding volunteer work, contact Lisa Lindsley at (845) 419-8929 or lisa.lindsley@gmail.com.


Gardiner Sample Ballot–Please Vote Row A

The Board of Elections has released, after a long delay related to the UC District 16 controversy, the sample ballot for Gardiner.  You can access it at the link below.

Gardiner Sample Ballot 2017

Please Vote Row A All the way!

Ballot box

Lisa Lindsley for Town Supervisor

David Dukler for Councilman

Warren Wiegand for Councilman

Tracey Bartels for Ulster County Legislator

Julian Schreibman for State Supreme Court Justice

Elliott Auerbach for County Comptroller

Michelle Mosher for Town Clerk

Brian Stiscia for Highway Superintendent

Robert Rich for  Town Justice

Also, please pay attention to the reverse side of the ballot.  We are urging voters to vote NO on the Constitutional Convention ballot question.