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First-- I've never been a "full-time activist"-- the fact is that for literally the last 30 years I've worked/taught successfully in public and private schools from Rhinebeck to the Bronx to Hudson to Woodstock to Millbrook and back again (actually, one of my proudest achievements in my entire life was being selected by my peers at Devereux as seventh Staff of the Month there out of 42 direct-care staff). Being a workaholic county legislator getting things done for Rhinebeck and Clinton hasn't kept me from my day job with kids for three decades. Period-- and shame on the local right wing for perpetuating lies about this, frankly.
Second-- anyone who's actually been watching our County Legislature meetings for the last several years knows that the ruling majority goes out of its way every single meeting to cut me off, interrupt me, and shut me down (as one of the few/only legislators actually willing to publicly question them; don't believe me-- watch webcasts online archived-- it's all there). The truth is that they are the ones who have been disrespectful, unwilling to even allow my bipartisan campaign finance reform legislation to appear on a committee meeting agenda. This-- even though that very same law had been passed in Rockland and Orange counties to limit pay-to-play-- $56 million in county contracts over last six years to the same 23 companies who gave County Executive Molinaro and the cunty Republican Committee $156,000.
Finally, the fact is I've been quite effective. Rhinebeck Mayor Gary Bassett asked me last month to contact our county government to see if an electric vehicle charging station could be installed locally; I contacted County Executive Molinaro and DCDPW Commissioner Balkind on this; Balkind just announced this indeed would be happening. The Crisis Stabilization Center that has garnered Molinaro national media attention was something I made happen with perseverance for years. Hundreds of thousands of county dollars for Rhinebeck's Thompson-Mazzarella Park were spent here after I helped convince Rhinebeck to join the Greenway (the 2003 election centered on that issue)-- these are just a few examples (see KeepJoel.org)
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