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The Non-accomplishments of the Gardiner Democratic Party.

October 5, 2017

Wow. Talk about fake news! The information below was taken directly from the Gardiner Democratic Party website and touted as their “accomplishments”. Frankly, the Gardiner Democratic Party had nothing at all to do with any of these actions, as they were all done collectively by Town Boards over the years, with individuals of every party affiliation (or none).

However, I’ve put some of my specific added comments to each point, in red, below.


  • Rebuilt the Town Hall – actually, the rebuilding of the town hall was started by Conservative Jack Hayes, who successfully moved the town offices to rented space to begin renovations, and also spearheaded and researched the idea to use a pre-fab building to save money.
  • Sold the old library for $100,000 – yes, but previously took over a million dollars of tax money to build the new one, after years of saying that not one penny of tax money would be spent on a new building.
  • Passed a law encouraging developers to give money to the parks, not “donate” worthless land. – this is so nonsensical, that I can’t even speak to it.
  • Got Robert De Niro to reimburse the Town for $129,000 in legal fees – um, I believe that was due to a highly negative newspaper article that appeared in a large NYC paper.
  • Secured state and federal funding to build sidewalks, new lighting, and improve the Rail Trail – that state and federal funding was taxpayer money in the first place, and now it’s the town’s responsibility for the upkeep.
  • Improved and added recreational programs – really? More bread and circus? Entertainment and recreation should not be aims of a government.
  • Rebuilt the Town’s Transfer Station – uh, the “rebuilding” was done with insurance funds from a fire that happened on your watch, and was due to negligence.
  • Purchased the Rail Trail for no reason what-so-ever, for $75K of taxpayer money, and added $$$ and responsibility for upkeep.
  • Replaced three aged unsafe Highway Department trucks with three large new trucks – at significant debt to the town.
  • Kept Gardiner’s property taxes among the lowest in the county What?
  • Maintained the town’s financial reserves to protect against a severe recession What? You spent money like water.
  • Created the Open Space Law to protect working farms – they were already protected by the farmers who were the true protectors of the land.
  • Protected the Kiernan Farm and the Hess Farm from development not- this was done with private funds, from a small committee including myself, and you had nothing to do with it.
  • Created new zoning to protect “The Ridge” and to maintain Gardiner’s rural character – and now you are claiming that this same zoning is not protecting Gardiner’s rural character. Which is it?
  • Worked with small businesses and G.A.B. to make Gardiner more “Business Friendly” so I guess that’s why you are trying to stop a eco-friendly tourism business in the town. Heartwood embodies everything stressed in the Master Plan, and now you are against it.
  • Supported construction of the new Gardiner Library which has become the center of cultural life in our community You had nothing to do with that. I personally was a library trustee and worked for many years with others to raise funds to construct a new library. It was Gardiner Dems, including Barbara Sides, who turned and got taxpayers funds for it.

So much for honesty and transparency.  Anyone can say anything they want and make any claims they want, but that doesn’t make it so.  I will feature some of the real accomplishments of theirs in a future post.



Throwing my hat in the ring

August 26, 2017

POFORTBI’m running for the Gardiner Town Board in November 2017.  Stay tuned for more ideas from me about why to put me on the town board.  Here’s a little bit about my background for you:

Pamela O’Dell was raised and schooled in Troy NY, and attended Hudson Valley Community College where she majored in Liberal Arts and was a member of Tau Beta Phi sorority. She then completed her Bachelors Degree in French from the State University College at Brockport and also attended l’Université d’Aix-Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, France, graduating in 1975.

O’Dell spent much of her career in the advertising industry, first in general advertising in the Albany area. In 1982, she joined Precision Marketing Associates, the in-house marketing agency for Garden Way, Inc, for the Troy-Bilt brand of rototillers, until 1990 when she was Assistant Director Media Services. After a short time at an Ohio headquartered direct marketing firm as Television Media Director, she returned to New York State. She did direct response TV Media consulting for Wunderman Cato Johnson, and then worked as Direct Response Media Director for Bozell Worldwide, NYC, until late 1994. Brands she worked on included Nordic Track, and Mutual of Omaha.

From 1994 through 2005, O’Dell headed up her own direct response TV media buying agency, headquartered in the lower Hudson Valley. Other marketing positions included Director of Corporate & Professional Development for the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals, which she held until retiring in August 2016.

Very civic minded, O’Dell was a staunch supporter of the Troy Public Library, and also served on the Board of the Troy YWCA. After moving to Gardiner NY in 1993, she served several years on the Gardiner Library Board of Trustees, and also was a member of the Town of Gardiner Open Space Committee, as well as the town Ethics Committee. O’Dell was active in the Gardiner Republican Party Committee for many years, and ran for town supervisor and town board positions over the years, and then joined the NYS Conservative Party in 2013.

She is an ardent defender of individual property rights, and in 2007, won the Private Property Rights Defender Award from The Property rights Foundation of America, Inc, for her activism against an open space tax/bond referendum in the town of Gardiner.

In 2009, O’Dell became a leader in the tea party movement in the Hudson Valley of New York state, and started a blog group under the name of GardinersRight. In addition to actively supporting national and local political campaigns, from 2010 to 2012, she participated in an advanced learning program called Foundations of Liberty, led by Dr. Shanon Brooks from Monticello College, Utah. This began a self-study of the United States foundational documents, including the Constitution, The Federalist Papers and others. For several years, she led a small Constitution Study group in Gardiner, and is a lifelong lover and supporter of the Constitution and all causes for liberty.

She supports a number of good causes to name a few: Shawangunk Valley Fire Company, The Heritage Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project, USO, Monticello Colleges’ Robert Morris Foundation, Salvation Army, Property Rights Foundation of America, Hillsdale College Barney Charter Initiative, and others. After retiring, she became active with an organization called “Stars for our Troops” based in Troy, NY, which makes and distributes stars from decomissioned flags to distribute to active and retired military and first-responders in honor of their service. She also volunteers for the Humane Society of Walden.

Pamela O’Dell has a 3+ decades-long partner, Bill Barrett, and has resided in Gardiner for 25 years.

Healthcare Insurance solution for Dummies

June 29, 2017

Ok, so I’m not an insurance expert.  But with a little thought, I’ve come up with the following suggested solution.

First, let’s all accept that government at any level has one main goal – to protect the rights, property and lives of citizens.  The government should have no role in providing healthcare or healthcare solutions.

However, I feel that government entities, especially at the local level like towns, cities, counties, can be the conduits to bring lower cost, more accessible health care insurance to citizens.

Most all governments are “groups” that offer insurance to their employees as a benefit of employment.  That would not change.  However, that government entity could also become a larger insurance group by allowing residents to sign up for insurance as part of the group. This would be open to residents who do not get their insurance through their employers (also self-employed) to up when they turn 65 and would be eligible for Medicare.  Joining the group would be optional.  The insurance company would handle all of the sales and administration, and the government entity may only be needed to verify residency.  Individuals can sign up for a myriad of different types of insurance that suits their needs, including low cost, high deductable catastrophic hospital insurance so that one does not go bankrupt.

On the whole, the more people who make up an insurance group, the lower the premium costs and the more spread out the risk.  People with diagnosed conditions would be able to join the group, but they may have to be in a sub-group that pays slightly higher premiums.

Insurance companies would benefit from being able to sign up more people, and they could offer reasonable variety of plans without government intervention. A government entity such as a town, could over time make the insurance option a positive benefit of being a resident.  Having a low cost, great health insurance group would be as much of a draw as say having a great school district would.  Groups would not be “one size fits all” in terms of individual elements.  Each town and entity could tailor group plans to fit their residents and regional needs.  Insurance companies would compete to represent and sell to the best “groups” in terms of risk and payout costs.

Again, I’m not an insurance genius, but with some calm and collected thought, I’m sure the health insurance industry can provide for all without having government drive the bus.


Jack Hayes and Term Limits

September 16, 2016

Kevin Cahill (D) has been the 103rd NYS Assembly district representative since 1999….that’s 17 years.  Jack Hayes (C) is challenging Cahill for the seat, and we think it’s about time and overdue.  Jack is a big proponent of term limits in most elected offices.  The Assembly in NYS has a 2 year term, with no term limits, and Cahill is well past his shelf life.  The 103rd district is most of Ulster County (except Saugerties), and includes Red Hook and Rhinebeck on the other side of the river.

Restricting the amount of time one can be in any one office is a way to prevent the amassing of power by politicians, who spend more time focusing on politics versus policies.  “Career” politicians spend too much time pandering to constituents to get re-elected, versus working on their behalf.  My personal opinion is that 12 years total is the right amount of time for anyone to spend in one office.

Jack Hayes has spent his entire career in public service.  However, his service spans the military (Navy), State Police, Gardiner Town Supervisor, Ulster County Legislator, where he served without making a career out of any one office.

Let’s get off our laurels and work to elect someone new, who is not jaded in the office and indifferent to constituents needs. Elect Jack Hayes on row C on November 8.  You may learn more about Jack and his ideas at his “Jack Hayes for the People” Facebook page.

Why are we surprised?

March 5, 2016

Everyone, but especially the GOP elite, seem to be taken back with complete stunned shock over the recent rise of the Donald in the primaries.  But isn’t this something that most of us have seen coming, and indeed, hoped for, over many decades of shoving failed candidates down our throats? Didn’t the rise of the Tea Party movement harken this rise of “we the people” over the party elites?  We wanted to dismantle the status quo political system from the bottom up, but it takes so long with these ingrained lobbyists, political hacks and cronies.

The current rise of the Trump phenomena has more of a top-down takeover feel to it.  Finally, someone who didn’t need their power structure, money, bad advice, backing, and blessing!  Mind, Donald Trump is not my first choice in a candidate, not even my second.  But it’s wildly amusing to see the GOP establishment implode over someone they can’t control and is not the candidate they want us to want. And, I want us, we the people, to win.  I’m tired of holding my nose for a candidate I don’t really want, and then seeing them lose. Do I like everything Donald Trump says?  No.  Do I agree with most everything he says…yes, resoundingly yes. But, I could hold my nose for him because I think he can win.

For those of you who know me, you know that I’m not a “low information voter”.  I’m well educated and well informed……especially around the current state of government, politics, and the crushing of America over the last 20 years.  I want America to be great again….what is wrong with that?  I want to us to be strong again, and looked up to…and yes, feared, by the world communities. I want us to be seen again by our allies as someone they can count on in good times and bad, not someone who turns their back.

Why would the GOP put out someone like Mitt Romeny to deliver a message thinking that we would fall for that joke again? Why does the GOP think that I even care if the party as we know it implodes and blows up?  Sometimes disruption is a good thing.  Someone recently said on TV (maybe Newt Gingrich?) that what we are witnessing is a peaceful revolution.  Bring it on.

Enough to make your head explode…..

December 30, 2015

A story in this morning’s Wall Street Journal just about made my head explode.  Just when you think that Karma caught up with scumbags like former Assembly speaker Silver and NYS Senate Majority leader Skelos, something happens that makes you think that they got the better end of the deal after all.  Both having been convicted of public corruption (a good reason for term limits, folks) Silver only waited a day after his conviction to file for his PENSION from the state……Skelos filed this week.  While there are no exact numbers out yet, each is estimated to be eligible for about $95K per year in pension money funded by us chumps, the taxpayers.

It seems that the legislature recently passed a law to not allow pensions for those convicted of crimes, but it applies, conveniently, to new employees, not existing ones.  Wonder why that is, since one of the key premises to “good government” is that everyone, including lawmakers, have the laws applied equally?

UnknownSentencing for these two lowlifes will be this spring, so it remains to be seen what happens with that.   While “guilty”, each could simply get a slap on the wrist, time served, and a nice lifelong pension, courtesy of the taxpayers, which allows them to live nicely in the style they are accustomed to.   Additionally, New York taxpayers are still on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in future lawsuits with trial lawyers cleaning up, because Silver refused to bring about the needed trial reform.

Meantime, back in little old Gardiner, we have our own mini-version of ethics breach by soon-to-be-former town supervisor, Czar Zatz. One of Carl’s favorite sayings was that “elections have consequences”, as he now knows only too well.  Sunday, January 3rd can not come soon enough when we can open the windows of town hall, let the sunshine in and, and pour out the disinfectant while swearing in the new Town Supervisor, Mary Beth Majestic.

Upside down America

July 26, 2015

Are you, like me, beginning to feel like you just entered a fun house that made the Mad Hatter tea party look sane?  Cats and dogs are singing and dancing together, men laying with men, women laying with women, men who are pretending to be women, whites foisting themselves off as black, radicimagesal extremist terrorists who behead people demand our tolerance…..what in the Sam Hill is going on?
Over the last few months, either Bill or I have been approached by extreme socialist, communist lefties from our town who have in the past been our mortal enemies, but who now want to be “friends”, bury the hatchet, or apologize for any real or perceived past transgressions.  This includes our card-carrying Communist neighbor who once called me an “ankle biting poodle” in the local communist weekly journal, the aging statist we’ll simply refer to as “Stinky” (I’m sure you know who I mean!) and the rabid socialist up the road who tried to scare everyone in Gardiner by telling them that if Bill were elected to office the town would be taken over by tea-party radicals comparable to Sarah Palin (I wish!)  Is this really a sea change that all of these folks have changed their tunes and now want to be our friends?

I smell a rat, and it’s even worse than “Stinky”.  I’m not sure which way the Trojan Horse will be riding in from, or who will be riding it, but I’m sure it won’t be Paul Revere.  Stay alert, and keep your Constitution close, you’ll need it for the upcoming onslaught.