Friday, October 14, 2011

Greece Dems Call On Rep. Candidates To Listen To Voters, Not Party Boss

October 14, 2011

Greece Democrats often make the point that Republican office holders show more loyalty to their political bosses than to the voters. This week, voters could plainly see how true that is. At the eleventh hour, Republican Chair Bill Reilich ordered his candidates to stay away from a neighborhood group’s “candidate night” where questions would be taken from the audience.

NorthGate Neighbors, a neighborhood association in eastern Greece, conducts a Candidate Night event every year. The public is welcome and local candidates from all parties are invited to participate. Typically, candidates are given time for remarks, followed by questions from the audience. No Republican candidates participated in this year’s event, which was held Wednesday evening. Minutes before the event began, Republican Chair Bill Reilich informed the group that he had ordered his candidates to stay away.

“This week, the people of Greece could clearly see where the loyalties of the Republican candidates are, said Dave Garretson, Leader of the Greece Democratic Committee. “Their Republican Party boss told them to stay away from a forum where voters could ask questions. To a person, the Republican candidates all obeyed, even though some of them had already committed to participate. We need public servants who owe their loyalty to the voters, not to political bosses.

“Why should voters elect candidates who make it obvious they care more about obeying Bill Reilich than listening to voters? In the case of Republicans on Town Board, they already demonstrated their unwillingness to listen to voters wishing to speak at their meetings. At the last two Town Board meetings, they muzzled voters with whom they disagreed. Now they are even unwilling to go into the community where voters might disagree with them or displease their boss.”

Garretson is a member of NorthGate Neighbors and serves on its Executive Board. The group is non-partisan. His wife, Rita Garretson, is a candidate for Greece Town Board.

These Republican candidates were invited to NorthGate Neighbors, but were ordered to stay away by Bill Reilich:

Monroe County Executive – Maggie Brooks
Monroe County District Attorney – Bill Taylor
Monroe County Court – Gino Nitti
Monroe County Legislature – Fred Ancello
Greece Town Board – Shannon O”Keefe
Greece Town Board – Andrew Conlon
Greece Town Justice – Charles Schiano

For more information contact:
Dave Garretson
Town Leader, Greece Democratic Committe


Anonymous said...

It's non partisan, but his wife is running for a seat. Need more be said?

Anonymous said...

I am inclined to beleive that Reilich would tell candidates to stay away form NGN-- what with the bad publicity over crony-filled county govcernment. Still could someone provide the basis for this claim.

Anonymous said...

to 3:55 - Lucky for you this guy doesn't attend your church or scoutmaster at your son's Boy scout troop. People would say they are partisan groups too just because he is there. I think it is possible - no, it is likely - that non-partisan groups can have partisan people in them and the group can still be non-partisan. If this little neighborhood association was as political as people are claiming, I doubt they would still be around. I bet it is just a neighborhood association too bad the politicians are making it look like something else

Anonymous said...

How can this group claim to be non-partisan when its leadership consists of the Greece Democrat party boss, his Democrat candidate wife, the wife of the Democrat County legislator from the area, Democrat party political cronies and the candidate night was moderated by the former Democrat party boss, who ran for supervisor as a Democrat and also ran for the state Assembly as a Democrat and whose wife ran as a Democrat for supervisor and as the Democrat for County Legislator, etc., etc., etc.

And look who is speaking for the group as part of this thread... the DEMOCRAT POLITICAL PARTY BOSS!!!

It's not non-partisan just because all the Democrat political officials that run the group say so.

I also heard there were hardly any questions asked of the Democrat who attended. Why? Non-partisan my backside!

Anonymous said...

Reilich is not a party boss?

Dave Garretson said...

This is Dave Garretson.

I am writing in the hopes of clearing up misconceptions about NorthGate Neighbors. The comments below are from me personally, not as a representative of any group.

Clearly, as Town Leader of the Greece Democrats, I am an active Democrat. No question. But that has nothing to do with NorthGate Neighbors. I am NOT the leader of Northgate Neighbors, which is a non-partisan group. I am one of eight people who sit on NGN’s Executive Board. The board serves under the leadership of NGN President Jeremy Carter, who is fiercely apolitical. Most of the Executive Board members have little or no interest in politics.

If you attend NGN meetings you will encounter both Republicans and Democrats, but it won’t be obvious, because politics is not usually discussed at the meetings.

NGN is a neighborhood association, period. Meetings are open to everybody. Recent topics included flooding, an update on the construction at NorthGate Plaza, emergency preparedness, and trees. Speakers have included Town Assessor Leo Carroll, GCSD’s Lou Alaimo, Chamber of Commerce’s Paul Chatfield, and Police Chief Todd Baxter. When elected officials are present, NGN invites them to the podium. Joe Robach, John Auberger, Jeff McCann, Andrew Conlon and Shannon O’Keefe have all done so.

NGN values its relationship with the Greece Police Department. GPD representatives often attend and/or speak at meetings. NGN hosted Night Out Against Crime before it became the Dewey Family Festival, and continues a principal sponsor. When morale in the Police Department declined in 2009, NGN showed support for GPD’s rank & file by decorating Dewey Avenue with ribbons. Earlier this year, NGN welcomed the new Maiden Lane Precinct by bringing meals and treats to the station.

Politics enters the picture at NGN on one day of the year, at the annual Candidates Night. It is one of the few forums in Greece where candidates answer questions from the audience. NGN welcomes everybody who wishes to attend. Anybody can ask a question, and the questions are not screened. What could be more fair?

In closing, a word about this year’s moderator, Fred Amato. Prior to retiring from politics ten years ago, Fred served with distinction in the County Legislature and also ran for NY Assembly. Fred is a Democrat, but he is hardly a party-line guy. Fred has a widely-accepted reputation for fairness and independence. He does an outstanding job as moderator of the Charlotte Candidates Night, and Fred agreed to add NGN to his schedule. You can judge Fred’s fairness as a moderator for yourself by attending the Charlotte Candidates Night on October 25th.

I encourage everybody to attend a meeting of NorthGate Neighbors. I promise you will feel welcomed.

Dave Garretson

Anonymous said...

OK, so the local democrat political party boss comes here to explain that even though the Greece democrats control this group and directly run the NGN candidates' night, that they don't control Northgate Neighbors? Dave, do you even listen to yourself type?

Can Garrettson explain then why this group refused to acknowledge at the event that the republicans reached out prior to say why they weren't coming? this little tidbit was withheld from the people there by the supposed apolitical group. Please also explain who knew about this and who made then decision to hide it from those in attendance.

Oh, and the Democrat County political boss Joe Morelle was on hand to speak for a Democrat candidate. Democrat bosses all over the place that night!

Please, just call yourselves what you really are and move on. Democrat political leaders hijacked what used to be a fair organization and now they use it for their own political benefit.

there's nothing wrong with that except for the fact that you keep hiding that this is indeed the case here. Just be HONEST!

SCATS said...

To 2:55PM ~~ I do realize that YOU post multiple times in multiple places to attempt to drown out any other opinion. My question to you is this: What makes this Candidate's Night at NGN any worse than the one held in that big church the local Republicans controlled until the July 4th stink this year? Seems about the same to me, except that the Reps. ensure they get to answer screened questions at the megachurch ;) Maybe they've got too much to hide!

Anonymous said...

It's a wonder 2:55 can breathe, given how deep the bs is surrounding him/her.

Not all that many questions of the Democrats?

Well, maybe if THEY WERE THE ONES IN POWER, people would have some better questions for them.

Plain and simple, the Republican status quo in Greece doesn't want to hear from its constituents. Not individually, and certainly not in a group where embarrassing questions can be asked.

You insulted and blew off residents of the Northgate area simply because you were AFRAID OF BEING ASKED HARD QUESTIONS.

Governance is about far more than payoffs to your political cronies and growing the Monroe County Republican Farm Team by giving bozos public paychecks. That's what Greece government under Republicans is now.

I am a Republican and I'm disgusted by how many county Republican mini-bosses-to-be are woven into Greece government. You think we don't have eyes? Does any single member of that REPUBLICAN town board earn a paycheck on their own? Are they all sucking off the government teat?

Survey says ...yes.

You contemptible bunch of leeches.

Anonymous said...

Our polical culture is corrupt. Those in power act like they are victims of the party out of power. They scream about media bias but large media companies like Fox and Clear Channel blare their messages without opposion all across the country. Rich people (though clearly not all look at Buffet and Bill Gates) act like they are the victims of the poor.

I am not a fan of Morelle but he was right to say that the people are being left out of county government

Anonymous said...


I read what Garretson said. Seems reasonable and makes sense. Until I learn different, I can accept that Northgate is just a neighborhood group and not a front for the Democrat Party.

Then I read what 2:55 said. Sounds like a complete maniac who hates Garretson and the Democrats and just won't let go no matter what.

I was on the fence but I am ready to pick a side. 2:55, the intense vile-filled nonsense that comes from your side are helping me to clear up my thinking. It doesn't matter whether Northgate neighbors is a den of rabid Democrats or not. Your Republicans were cowards when they wimped out and stayed home. Shame on you.

I bet there are lots of Republicans like me who are ready to vote for somebody else even if it is a Democrat. Conlon, come pick up your lawn sign. Wednesday is trash day on my street.

Anonymous said...

"except that the Reps. ensure they get to answer screened questions at the megachurch"

hey genius, they don't ask questions at that candidates night. You of all people should learn a bit more about a situation before you stick your paw in your mouth.

And no republican candidates, electeds, their wives, husbands or political cronies run it.

Just like I said, it's fine that the NGN is controlled by the Greece Democrat Party. I'm not chastising them for that. All I'm asking is that they admit that this is the case instead of pretending it's not their show. What's wrong with that?

Sorry if the truth hurts you guys.

PS - sorry if someone who doesn't always agree with you is so bothersome. Then don't act like this is a fair blog where everyone's opinions are welcome.

SCATS said...

To 8:34PM ~~ Of course they don't ask questions there! As I've said repeatedly, the Republicans won't participate in anything they can't fully control ;)

You really ought to look for sarcasm. I use it liberally, just like you spread your opinion :)

Anonymous said...

Exactly where can I go to ask questions to a Republican candidate. Tell me and I will go there.

Anonymous said...

10:41, just swing by Antelli's hairdressing parlor and Legislature office in the plaza he owns at North Greece. If the red pickup with the plate N GREECE is there Antelli will listen to you.

When you leave he'll call the Board of Elections to learn if you vote frequently. If you're regular with your voting Antelli will rember what you said.

Anonymous said...

8:34 I write in here every so often and thank scats for the opportunity to vent freely. But I also realize this is a personal blog and scats does not have to agree with us or even be nice to us. Now to spread some opinion on my toast.

Anonymous said...

I'm with 8:33. How do I get a Democrat sign?

SCATS said...

To 7:22AM ~~ Or as I like to say ... if I wanted your opinion, I'd give it to you .... JUST KIDDING :D

Anonymous said...

There are no questions asked at the church? Then I guess it is safe for Republicans candidates to show up.

SCATS said...

To 10:33AM ~~ Republican candidates ONLY go where everything is COMPLETELY CONTROLLED. Of course,

Anonymous said...

Completely controlled just like this blog--DYSFUNCTIONAL.


And the DEMS do the same thing. So don't act like they are the better party. Both parties lie, cheat, and steal.

SCATS said...

To 11:20AM ~~ I'm assuming your comment was aimed at me. I've NEVER said any party was better than another. In fact, I belong to NO party. What I do say is that our system of democracy relies upon a balance of power. That balance has been MISSING in Greece for many years. The ONLY WAY TO RECTIFY IT IS TO PUT 1-2 non-Republicans on the Greece Town Board. Capisce?

Anonymous said...

Balance of power in Greece: We (r's) get the power you pay the balance

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see if Republican candidates show up at Charlotte's Candidate Night - Oct 25th. The poster on it says to ask questions, so it would seem there will be an open forum. Fred Amato is hosting this one too - does that make it a Democratic ambush?

Anonymous said...

Charlotte is a democratic strong hold with the incumbents being democrat. Once you are on the ballot you have the job if you are a dem in the city for council or school board. So maybe there it's the dems that won't show up.
Unless they are running unopposed as is so often the case in the city.
They have primaries to choose the democratic candidate and that choice is the winner for November. No need for an election in the city. Ask Tim Mains and Parrinello about that.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte's a Dem stronghold!? You mean the same Dem stronghold that has Republican Joe Robach and Republican Rick Antelli representing them in the State Senate and County Legislature? I'm pretty sure both outright won the Charlotte area of their district over their respective challengers.