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Most politicians throw terms out to the public during election times in their attempts to sway the public to vote them into office. Flashback to 2008 and recall the 'transparency' and 'new leadership' that then candidate Barrack Obama promised for his term as president. Did the country attain the 'change' he so promised? Yes, it did, but not for the better.

These recycled terms are now being tossed to voters by not only the Hyde Park Supervisor candidate, Joseph Kakish, but his Republican running mate Justin Varuzzo who is bidding for a county legislator seat.

May I point out that these candidates present no specificity to their objectives of 'transparency' and 'new leadership.' These terms sound impressive, but in reality they are nothing more than a bunch of hot air.

Let us take a look at Justin Varuzzo and his letter to his 'neighbors' that was recently mailed out. There is so much wrong with the contents of this letter I am at a loss of where to begin. But let's break it down.

1) Justin Varuzzo is running for County Legislature, which represents COUNTY issues. However, he makes it clear that the issues he is most interested in is TOWN issues (and should be running for Town Board in that case).
What would be an example of County issues? 

a) Addressing the overcrowding of the DC County Jail, which must farm out prisoners to other facilities because the jail cannot hold the number of prisoners that are currently being held there.

b) The Election Charge Back tax. The most recent county wide charge back tax in Hyde Park was $40,000 which was reflected by the 0.9% increase in your town taxes. The current legislator, D.J. Sadowski cast the deciding vote in favor of this tax.

c) The county waste plant which has been running in the red. 

None of these above examples or any for that matter were addressed by Justin Varuzzo in his letter. As a liason for the County Legislature for the past three years, he should be able to include some of the problems the county is facing today in this letter. Instead he elaborates on his interest in music, his home and how much his wife was concerned about the amount of taxes they were paying to the town.

If he was so interested in knowing why his tax bill was so high and where his tax dollars were going to, perhaps he should have made the short trip to the Receiver of Taxes office at Town Hall. If he had done so, he would have been able to explain that the breakdown of his tax bill is as follows:

1) 70% of his property taxes are school tax. Perhaps he should be running for the school board instead?

2) 30%, the remaining balance is local, county, state and special districts which include  fire, library, etc..

And in further addressing his 'open government' statement, it should be known, that as a member of the Hyde Park Republican Town Committee, Mr. Varuzzo was a party to writing by-laws that would give the Chairwoman, Jean McArthur, the right to exclude town committee members from speaking at meetings. So, in essence, the Chairwoman, much like China's Chairman Mao, had ultimate authority to bar members from attending and speaking at  Republican Town Committee meetings. So much for 'open and transparent government' Mr. Varuzzo.

For all of this rhetoric in his letter, Mr. Varuzzo fell far short of what he should be addressing, which is why he should be your choice for County Legislator. Instead he resorts to using alot of filler and fluff terms, not to mention using a 'Checkers'* like speech in order to gain sympathy from potential supporters as a tactic to deflect that he has not demonstrated any knowledge of County issues in this letter. Much like his Republican running mate Sue Serino, they have yet to articulate any county issues in their campaign. It should be noted that Ms. Serino has failed to introduce one piece of legistation as a Town Board Member in Hyde Park.

In conclusion as a voter, do you want to gamble your future with abstract terms such as 'transparency' and 'open government' as those voters did in 2008. 


*Nixon famous 'Checker' speech in his run for Vice-President in 1952 that referenced his dog 'Checkers' and the sympathy he was attempting to gain by telling this heart wrenching tale and deflect the attention to the accusations of receiving bribes.