The writers at the HV News Lies found a little parody that was written by Michael Dupree and was published in his friend's (and charity case) newspaper during the last administration.


The writers found this column interesting for serveral reasons. Michael Dupree is HEAVILY involved with the Rohr administration to the extent that he can be considered an advisor to Aileen Rohr. Michael Dupree is also pushing the administration to revisit the goal of focusing on tourism in Hyde Park rather than the economic development that the town board ran on.

The writers reviewed the article that Mr. Dupree wrote and while he attempts to writer a persuasive argument, if you possess analytical skills, you would see through all this pomp.

Mr. Dupree talks about the layout of Hyde Park and its less than inviting appearance.  True, Hyde Park's layout lacks a town center, but in terms of the town's history, it is appropriate. For anyone that is knowledgable of Hyde Park's history, it was originally a farming community and the business district was actually Staatsburg. That was where the hotels and the post office was located. It was when F.D.R. as governor created a bypass around Staatsburg that the hamlet was reduced to what exists there today.  The truth is, Hyde Park was never planned to be a tourist attraction (even the CIA was not founded until 1972) and the little history it does have is by no means to compare to other communities, such as Kingston which served as an early capital to the state of New York. However, in a means to capitalize on the FDR legacy, a past adminstration decided to create a guise of 'Historic Hyde Park'  (and replacing  the town's signs and stationary with FDR's profile from the more accurately historic Stoutenbugh crest-Thank you Nancy Alden)  and town boards have been trying to somehow keep this guise on life support ever since. 


Mr. Dupree talks about the 'millions of visitors' that come to Hyde Park to visit the wonders that are contained right here in this very community. One can only drive down the road and observe the millions that flock here on a yearly basis although it is hands down that the 'millions' are usually on the roads right around the morning and evening commute (but how would he know since he doesn't work, most likely spending this time of day enjoying a latte and brioche at his riverfront property).

The problem with the speculation of the amount of tourists, and in this case, millions, is that IT CANNOT BE SUBSTANTIATED.  Hyde Park, unlike other tourist destinations, such as Lake George or Cape Cod can measure their tourism, such as the campground and hotel registrations as well as the increase/decrease of business cycles during various parts of the year. The only meaurable means that Hyde Park can base numbers on is the amount of people paying to take tours of the three parks, which is no more than a few hundred a day given the maximum number on a tour + the number of tours a day. Even if the park had 10,000 paying visitors per month, it still would only equal to 120,000 people per year and that number is generous since it doesn't factor in the winter months where Val-Kill is closed and there are limited tours at the other sites.

If Mr. Dupree truly wanted a number that truly reflected the number of tourists, a survery would need to be put into process in which customers of the local businesses would need to indicate if they are a resident or tourist. This survey would need to be done over a period of months and years if a more accurate number of how many tourists patronize the businesses of Hyde Park. This of course is illogical, so Mr. Dupree's 'millions' is mere fiction. It is more likely his idea is based upon  the potenitally millions of people out there that could come to Hyde Park if they only knew about the FDR/Vanderbuilt/CIA sites.

We should also note that Aileen Rohr has been noted to be meeting with the National Park Service in attempts to create an alliance. The National Park Service is especially intriguing, considering they possess over 1000+ acres of land with plans of obtaining more.  The National Park Service can be considered parasitic in terms of Hyde Park. They take and take and they don't give back. Services are used, however, they are exempt from paying taxes. They claim to give 'hundreds of thousands' to the community, but the only proof that was able to be produced was for no more than $5,000 to the Hyde Park School District that was the most recent (document to come). The town got...nothing...zilch...zero.

There is also the issue of creating a 'town center' that Mr. Dupree is advocating. The town LACKS a sewer district and the cost to install one would run at approx. $300 a foot.  How would the town pay for this exorbitant cost? The other question is if a town center was created with new building that would entice retail business, where would one place this 'town center?'  Mr. Dupree fails to mention that these buildings would also have to have their own sewage treatment facilities. The truth of the matter is, the entire town would have to be razed north of the drive-in (which is now in the hands of the NPS) and rebuilt in order for his plan to come to fruitation.  We should keep in mind that the town center project that was supposed to be built behind the Amish Market was abandoned, not only because it was NOT shovel ready, but the shale on the property would require blasting along with DOT issues.

Mr. Dupree also made mention of the 'ire of citizens' that opposed commercial projects. Maybe these 'citizens' were among Mr. Dupree's circle of Curry Lane friends and the Stop the Sprawl crowd, but the last administration ran on the platform of economic development...and won. Do we also need to mention that Aileen Rohr abandoned her Stop the Sprawl ideals for a hot minute when she ran on the economic growth in Hyde Park? The truth is that the average middle class resident in Hyde Park couldn't give a toot about tourism. They want stores...that they can shop in.  Of course, Mr. Dupree probably doesn't mind spending the $3.99 per gallon to fuel up on one of his high end German imports to drive to NYC and buy his food and clothes at some over-priced store simply for status. But the majority of residents in Hyde Park are rather...tired of having to drive to South Road or even Kingston to shop at *gasp* Wal-Mart.

The issue of tourism has been revisted time and time again with little success. Why has the various town boards have been repetative hoping to achieve different results and fail? In the wisdom of Winston Churchill, 'Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  For over thirty years various town administrations have made numerous attempts to profit on tourism and as we can see from the state the town is in financially, it has failed. Their fervor has left Hyde Park lagging in many ways. Other than small buildings or the Stop and Shop, what major commercial project has occured in Hyde Park over the past 30-40 years? It's because of this unwillingness to reliquish this ideology that prevents Hyde Park from making any progress.


Mr. Dupree also made the following: This town board is working to systematically eliminate all citizen participation, the foundation of democracy.

Did the readers happen to see the town board meetings in the summer of 2010 when Jim Langan orchestrated 'protests' in response to his town hall snitch, Joanne Lown being terminated in her employment as bookkeeper?  (Per FOIL requests of her work e-mail address, Joanne Lown was also a snitch to Michael Dupree as well , releasing confidential information to him). If not, here's a taste of the 'silencing' the public endured...more like what the town board had to endure from Mr. Dupree and Mr. Langan's friends.  Mr. Dupree's comments are quite contrary, because public comments at town board meetings are actually not a legal requirement when conducting town board meeting, there are purely allowed out of courtesy.

* Note: Considering Mr. Dupree got his definition of democracy off of dictionary.com, perhaps Mr. Dupree should probably become familiar with Winston Churchill, who was probably one of the great stateman of the 20th century if he's wishes to gain a more intellectual insight into the democratic process...he also said the following of democracy:


The  best argument against democracy is a five minute
conversation with the average  voter.

It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried
 
*For the readers reference, the woman proclaiming that the town board works for her is Sharon Piraino-Buko, who served as a councilwoman under Pompey's administration but was forced to resign when it was revealed that she didn't reside in the ward she represented.
And for further reference 1) volunteer work is not a requirement for running for office and 2) the town board members have and do actively volunteer with various organizations.

 
 
The HV News Lies has secured a copy of the supposed 'hundreds of thousands of dollars' that the NPS has claimed to bring to the town. As you can see, it is a mere $525.33. Now that the NPS has possession of the drive-in property to build their 'Welcome Center' the town will be short-changed. By ALOT of money.
The drive-in property brought in aproximately 50 times that amount in yearly taxes. And as one reader pointed out, the NPS does not participate in a profit sharing program with the town. So much for spread the wealth, eh?
We should also note that it is the NPS desire to reclaim all of the original land that was owned by the Roosevelts, which includes many residential communities as per the below map. The NPS service has already been claiming land in other parts of the country, one example being land in the Everglades.  This should give the residents of Hyde Park reason to be alarmed especially considering Aileen Rohr is in close communication and attempting on building a relationship with the NPS.