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Out of Control at Town Hall

June 7, 2015

Dear Gardiner Citizens (and other interested parties)

Ok, so I have not been doing my civic duty by regularly attending town board meetings in Gardiner as I should. For the most part, they are mind numbingly boring at best. However, John Habersberger does, and sends me detailed notes for each meeting which I try to pass along to you. I must say that this week’s meeting notes (May 12, 2015)  are stunning in what they suggest is going on at Town Hall. If I put the pieces together from the attached, it appears that:

1) There was an effort by some town board members to refer Czar Zatz to the Ethics committee for some unstated reason.

2) Town board members are overstepping their official powers and abusing their office by acting in some way(s) without full board approval

3) Town board member(s) are making “intimidating or threatening phone calls” and are making contact with a citizens’ employer, because that citizen had spoken out at a town board meeting.

4) Citizen(s) who have spoken out at town board meetings are receiving “threatening or intimidating actions” against them by town board member(s).

So, exactly what is going on here? Who is being threatened by whom and why?

Without knowing the answers to these questions, I feel I can share some of my past experiences with Czar Zatz with you. In the past, I witnessed Zatz push his finger at Marion Kells’ face and threaten her to “not use sarcasm in MY town hall”. I was the only witness, and alas, Marion is no longer here to confirm it. I’ve also been told by an older citizen, who regularly attends town meetings and speaks out against actions of Zatz and the board, that Czar Zatz has had the State Police go to his house on several occastions, with the accusation that he is “threatening”. I’ve been at many town board meetings where this person has spoken out, and while he can be strident and loud, I’ve NEVER seen him physically threatening. There are other instances that I’m unable to verify, so won’t mention here.

It appears that Czar Zatz has a pattern of trying to chill speech he doesn’t like with threats, intimidation and retaliation, especially with women and the elderly, his choice targets.

At the following June 2nd Town Board meeting, Carl Zatz took the word “inappropriate” to a new level.  During discussion about the above altercation and harassment of a town employee, I understand that Carl directly asked one town board member if he was having an affair with said town employee!  Then, looked out to the audience and smiled.  He then repeated his question/muse/accusation, and smiled to the audience again. When the town board member replied back that he was married, Carl then said something about that having nothing do to with having an affair.  This is the most disgusting, inappropriate and low accusation uttered in a public meeting from a supposed town representative of the people!

Well, it’s time for you and me to put our eyes back on the ball in Town Hall and start paying attention to what is going on. Czar Zatz and some town board members may think they are a law unto themselves, but they are not and need to be reminded of it.

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