Friday, April 17, 2009

Poll: Should he stay or should he go now?

In a Letter to the Editor in this week's New Paltz Times, Village Trustee Pete Healey announces a poll on Mayor Terry Dungan. Without any realistic way of assessing the Mayor's approval level, this is the next best thing.

The full letter is below:
Thanks for top billing in your story on the upcoming village elections, to be held on Tuesday, May 5 at the Fire House on Plattekill Avenue. I have spent my first year on the Village Board learning about the process used at Village Hall and getting to know the other board members, the employees and volunteers who serve the public in their various capacities. I believe I understand the frustrations and sometimes the satisfactions that come with this kind of position, and I'm willing to accept the risks that come with standing for election again.

I want to state for the record here and now, however, that I don't expect to serve out my full four year term. I'm looking forward to the day when, two or three years from now, I can decide if I care to campaign for election to a unified New Paltz municipal government, which will replace the separate village and town governments.

Until then there is of course the current election process, for two open board seats. First, I want to say that Michael Zierler's presence will be sorely missed at Village Hall since he has decided not to run for another term, and his current term expires on May 31. Second, I'm disappointed that, just like two years ago, an inexperienced petitioner and candidate for public office in this village has been removed from the ballot. Those of us who have experience in the political process ought not to use this knowledge to block others' attempts at joining this process. On the contrary, we ought to encourage people to engage and help them to work through the difficult, detailed signature-gathering and filing procedures.

Finally, it's my contention that the overriding issue in this campaign is the direction and leadership of this village government, and I have to state here that I've been sorely disappointed in Mayor Terry Dungan's efforts during my time in office. I have researched Village Election Law and can find no fair and reasonable way to hold a vote of no confidence nor conduct a special election for the remaining two years of his term, to either confirm or deny his continued leadership in this village.

I have, therefore, set up an informal poll on Mayor Dungan with essentially a "Yes or No" vote on his leadership. If you support the mayor then he should "Stay," if you want the mayor to change direction and adjust his leadership style then he should "Go." The poll can be found at Any questions regarding this poll or any of the issues I've raised above can be directed to me at

Pete Healey

New Paltz

1 comment:

  1. Can I request a post? I'd like to hear your take on public spaces like Village Hall, and why all of the sudden everyone is requiring $1,000,000 of insurance (literally) to even have a meeting in what should be a public space open to everyone. What gives? Who owns these spaces, anyway?