Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Round and Round

It’s a common saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. If that’s true, we should be getting some good mental health specialists to visit some people in town hall.

Take for instance the Town Board’s temporary reappointment of former assessor Sharon Hornbeck to the assessor’s position after the Town Board’s choice for her replacement, Mike Sommer, had to resign temporarily because he was unable to meet a legal requirement of the job. The terrible condition of the Assessor’s Office during Ms. Hornbeck’s tenure was documented in a report to the Town Board issued by the town’s tax grievance committee, again in a written report by Dan Baker, the assessor hired to replace Ms. Hornbeck, and also by Mike Sommer himself to the Town Board. Yet, Ms. Hornbeck got her job back. Fortunately, it’s only for a week.

Another instance is the appointment of Antoinette Sindone to the Youth Commission after she wasn’t reappointed by the old Town Board. Sindone was arrested in 1999 for child neglect. At the time, she operated a child care business and was arrested for leaving a child in her car in 20 degree weather while she was having her hair done. The parents declined to press charges, but the state Office of Children and Family Services revoked her child care license. The old Town Board adopted a law requiring background checks on all volunteers and employees who would work with children on the Youth Commission. Supervisor Carl Chipman apparently didn’t think the background check or the law were that important, so he did a quick “internet check” rather than contacting local law enforcement authorities. Supervisor Chipman said he “didn’t find” anything, so he got his colleagues to appoint her. What confidence should our Town’s parents have knowing that their children are under the supervision of someone who’s no longer allowed to take care of children. What type of legal liability does that give the Town?

Past performance is usually an indicator of future results. In this case, our Town Board seems to be on its happy merry go round, going around and around and around making the same bad decisions over and over again. When are they going to realize that the only way to bring the improvement they promise is to change a few of the faces they appoint?


Appalled in Accord said...

Um... Isn't this still America? You know, innocent until proven guilty? This kind of mudslinging is so similar to what was done with the porn nonsense.

Either prove the allegation in a court of law or treat people as if they are innocent, because without proof that's what they are.

Why do liberals insist on due process for drug dealers, rapists, murderers, terrorists, etc., but not for the people who disagree with them?

I disagreed with your first posts, but you seemed to be a responsible person in what you wrote. This post is just shameful.

Anonymous said...

Umm..."appalled in accord," did you read the Daily Freeman article in 2002 that noted the State Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision that Sindone did, in fact, leave a 2-year-old unattended in a car while she had her hair done and did, in fact, have her child-care license revoked?

What more proof do you need? And why throw out the tired "liberal/conservative" tags into the dialog?

How is this blogger's post shameful when referencing court decisions? Can you provide proof to the contrary?

Anonymous said...

Thanks United Rochester for speaking up and protecting Rochester.

Anonymous said...

Toni went back to court in Dec.07. The administrative judge for the state ruled that her past mistake was no longer relevant after nine years. The Freeman didn't cover that, did they? Your time should be better used to volunteer yourself to the Youth Commission, or some other organization and then you'll see for yourself how valuble Toni is, judge not unless your willing to do the work she does for this town. I guess it's just easier to throw unnecessry stones, shame on you. You must be perfect,never made any mistakes. So,negative are you jealous of her positivity and energy?

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your offering additional information. So, the judge ruled that she should have her license back? I wasn't sure honestly from what you wrote as to why she went back to court. In this context, information is generally more helpful than your trying to shame someone for entering public discourse. I do volunteer work, but that should not have to be a qualification for discussing town matters. I think the person who writes this blog was making a point about whether or not the current supervisor is being responsible for all concerned; however, if the blog writer was simply trying to create a sensation by bringing up Toni's past, then I agree that's irresponsible. The blog writer would have a good point if there is legitimate and ongoing evidence that Toni has not been responsible with youth (which it sounds like there is NOT overwhelming evidence).

Regardless, we're all perfect as we are. Perfection has nothing to do with keeping town employees - which the Town Board members are - honest.

And for the record, I think the Youth Commission has been great and doing really good work. I was questioning your bogus logic more than Toni's character.

Carol Dennin said...

In commneting on Antoinette Sindone, and also the issue of background checks, I would like to make 2 very important points very clear.
1st The children are NOT under the supervision of Toni or any other Youth Commission board members. That is not the role of the board. Toni works very hard outside the scenes on all events and various activites. She is the only board member that consistantly volunteers her time and she is at every event from start to finish. The only people in direct contact with the children are personel hired by the town. There are 4 Youth Coordinators, 1 Director and 1 Asst. Director. 2nd point. Yes,the "old town board" adopted a law for background checks on volunteers and employees but never implemented the process. Which I am sure none of you realized especially since Pam Duke had stated in the state of the town address a few years back that this process was in the works. It never happened. Even I, as the Youth Dept. Director. was hoodwinked. I would send over the appropriate documents for the background checks, and assumed they were done. Carl Chipman was the first person to implement the checks contray to the statements made. You talk about Toni's behavior, If anyone has put our children at risk and you are really head hunting, looking for someone to chew up and spit out, then I would say the "old town board" endangered our children. Thank You, Carol Dennin, Youth Department Director

Toni said...

I 'd like to respond first to the question of why I went back to court.
After 9 years or so the Youth Commission Board reccommended me for Vice Chair. Pam and her Board took this opportunity to reward all the work and dues paid by kicking me off the Youth Commission Board entirely ( 5minutes before a meeting, no less with Carol delivering the bad news !) stating that I was a liability for the Town. Yes, I made a mistake that got immediately dismissed 9 years ago by the DA. This stupid mistake was very known and at the time, ironically, Tony Spano , who was then a member of the Youth Commission Board voted me in anyway since my passion and dedication to kids was evident. Pam ( and her board memmbers Francis Gray,Alex Miller, Tony Spano, and Rod Futterfus, Attny) retaliated for me being quite verbal in how she and others were handling things. They were playing this hand now for political reasons,not because of any real liability since I'd more then proved my self over the last 9 years. So, I went back to court with NYS for a ruling. In Dec 07, I received an early Xmas present at a fair hearing, the administrative judge ruled that it was no longer relavent to child care and employment with children may laspe of judgment nine years ago(remember this incident was highly tramatic to me as I never before and gotten as much as a traffic ticket and dispite the Freeman's reporting, many details were omitted & twisted by the press and others ). A side comment from her was that I obviously have learned from the experience. What an understatement... I 've gotten stronger and less naive. I have NEVER hid or tried to cover anything up.
Secondly, once the ruling became known, I gave a copy to Carl Chipman. He was wonderful, compassionate , and understanding that I wanted to be back on the Youth Commission Board. Dispite sharing this letter with the fellow Board members and doing an internet check through children's service which yielded nothing negative Lynne Archer and Tony Spano opposed me returning by voting no, but this time the majority was with me and I was put back on the Board.
Most people made mistakes. I learned how forgiving and wonderful people in this Town can be ( especially if you admit it, have integrity, and not try to shove your ideas, arrogantly, down thier throats)and work hard and humbly. I look forward to keeping involved and working hard for the of our kids and the whole Community through my passions and positions on the Youth Commission, Kerhonkson/Accord Chamber of Commerce, Memorial Day Committee and any other positions for which I get drafted or volunteer to do in the future. Toni

Anonymous said...

It's good to hear from the persons involved and it's good to get more than one intelligent view on an issue. Thank you, blogger, for starting the thread, and thank you, Carol and Toni, for adding new information and perspectives. Any intelligent retorts out there?

Toni said...

Hi again, I just wanted to add that when Pam & company first removed me from the Youth Commission Board, I petitioned through Ron Santoski, to meet and discuss this and the potential ramifications to voluteerism with Pam. She flatly refused. At a public comment period during a Youth Board meeting, I brought it up again. She became irrate and told me I was inappropriate for bringing this to a meeting at this time. I responded that she left me no choice, but to embarrass her and push, since she refused my intial request. Subsequently, she denied ever getting asked through Ron. She should have been nominated for an academy award for perpetrating some of the falsehoods she told the townspeople straight faced, looking into their eyes. Ron and I knew better. We persisted and finally got an audience with her in her office. Wow, all of you should have heard her there, whew! Hornets nest. I stressed the question of.. what message was she intending on sending to potential volunteers ? Especially, after how Manuela and I (long time community minded people)were treated? I also emphasized, Why would anyone want to volunteer for anything in this kind of climate of being bashed ?
Many good people, who had years of experence, as long time comittee members were thrown out, as if they were worthless during this regime when all they were doing was trying to do the best they could, with what they had. Please pardon my typos or mispellings ( I get passionate on this). I thank God daily that the true nature of Ms. Duke and the agenda of the puppeteer behind her became evident. The traditons we all hold dear, were legitimately in jeopardy. It was truely like a cloud lifted when Carl got elected. He's trying very hard to be fair, offer compromises, not dictate or micro manage, and to take in all thoughts on important issues that face us as we go forth in our town's future. Should anyone wants to ask me any more questions or comment on my character, feel free to do so, as I have nothing to hide. Honesty, and Faith in God will always win out over brute strength, ask David and Goliath. My parents would have been proud to know that all those years in Catholic school counted for something. haha Toni

Rob Case said...

.... Let him without sin cast the first stone!....

OK, … This town is trying to heal from the gapping wounds suffered by the hands of a few that rallied support from one political party, thereby starting the neighbor against neighbor, Republican against Democrat, Husband against wife rift in our town. We all, ALL stood up and said enough is enough, and cleaned house. … End of story. You sir, seem to be the last vestige of that cancer so, I would suggest that if you can’t get along with us … kindly please just leave.

You were welcomed here with open arms to our town, and while “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” Is the standard fare of any “new comer”, No … You sir seem to think we hicks need to be set straight on how to do things. … Well here’s a news flash, … “We got this”! Some how we’ve managed to muddle thru, all our miserable, pathetic, meaningless lives, in running OUR TOWN without help from you, and your kind. Your Divide and conquer thing is really getting old.

Sure mistakes have been made in the past, and will be made again; we’re a human, that’s what we do. So may I suggest you stop waiting for one to happen, … it will, and we’ll know it without you jumping up and down pointing your finger like a little child. Shut this site down, pay your taxes like the rest of us, support the town, the school that we send our children to, and be friendly with your neighbors. Ya know, you can even pitch in to help now and again

…. Just a thought …

Rob Case
Accord, NY