WGHQ: Live Call-in: Mayor Shayne Gallo and Town of Ulster Supervisor Jim Quigley


By  Rebecca Martin

Call-in to ask questions regarding the Niagara Bottling Proposal to both City of Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo and Town of Ulster Supervisor Jim Quigley on WGHQ 920 AM.  845/331-9255

Mayor Shayne Gallo: 8:10am 
Wednesday, October 15th

Town of Ulster Supervisor Jim Quigley: 7:10am
Thursday, October 16th

Hit it Kingston citizens.

View their schedule HERE

Kingston Water Board: Members and Term Limits


By Rebecca Martin

Are you as curious  as I to know who sits on the Kingston Water Board?This five member board believe that they alone have the authority to decide whether or not Kingston’s water source can be sold to the Niagara Bottling Company. Five people who are independent of Kingston City Government.



Joseph DeCicco, President
Al Radel
Robert Niedzielski
Raymond McSpirit
Dennis Croswell
Shayne Gallo, Mayor

In 1895 by a special act of the NYS legislature to provide potable water to the residents of the City of Kingston, it says that the Water Board is a “financially and administratively independent department within the City of Kingston and is governed by the Board of Water Commissioners. The Board is a continuously sitting body and each member is appointed to a five (5) year term by the Mayor. The Mayor is a voting member of the Board.”

A five year term.  I’d like to see how long each member has served. I have a hunch that some of them have been sitting around that table for longer than five years.

What was relevant in 1895 – over 100 years ago – probably isn’t all relevant today.  Back then, in being independent the idea was to keep politics out of water.  How’s that working for us in 2014?

Have a look at the Town of Ulster Supervisor Jim Quigley addressing the Water Board after everyone left.  VIEW

Furthermore, to assume that back then it was ever anticipated  that bottling and selling surface and groundwater and shipping it far and wide – or climate change would be in their purview is just plain silly.

Reform is a good thing, folks.

This builds a stronger case of the need to update Kingston’s charter.   I like the idea of exploring new forms of government too while we’re at it, such as City Manager Form of Government where a professional with a background in public administration could be hired.  KingstonCitizens.org recently hosted a public educational meeting on the subject and it was enlightening.

Here’s how I feel about THAT.

For today, it’s important for Kingston citizens to look at every aspect of the proposed Niagara water deal and that includes who this Water Board is.  Their backgrounds and for how long they have served should be made priority.



WHAT TO EXPECT: October 14th Meeting Hosted by the Kingston Conservation Advisory Council



Kingston Conservation Advisory Council: Monthly Meeting/Special Presentation
with Kingston Water Department Superintendent Judy Hansen

Tuesday, October 14th

Kingston City Hall, Council Chambers

By Rebecca Martin

We are pleased that the Kingston Conservation Advisory Council has quickly organized a meeting to host Kingston Water Department Superintendent Judy Hansen. She will be giving an overview of the Kingston Water Supply and Distribution system, present the details of the Niagara Bottling Proposal as it pertains to the City of Kingston and the scope of what the involvement/authority/commitment the City of Kingston would have into the project.

The League of Women Voters of the Mid Hudson Region will moderate the public Q&A period following the Kingston Conservation Advisory Committee Council members have their own public Q&A period with Hansen.  Questions will be requested in writing prior to the meeting.

Below is the agenda and ground rules for the public.

Kingston is fortunate to have a Conservation Advisory Council with many years of environmental experience. The group has sponsored many great INITIATIVES  that includes CLIMATE SMART KINGSTON  that embraces comprehensive policies and programs for the City of Kingston to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance operational and energy efficiencies, reduce energy costs, support local job growth, and adapt to a changing climate while improving quality of life, saving taxpayer dollars and promoting social justice.   It’s a document that Judy Hansen as of Wednesday hadn’t yet read, or distributed to the Water Board.

READ more to learn about the members and their long standing history on environmental matters.  City of Kingston employees Gregg Swanzey (Director, Office of Economic Development & Strategic Partnerships) and Julie Noble (Chair, and Environmental Educator) are both members.

KingstonCitizens.org will be filming this meeting.

For more information on this meeting, contact Julie Noble at: JulieLNoble@kingston-ny.gov