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Anything to win an election

November 2, 2011

Some people will do anything to win an election. I am particularly referring to a letter to the editor published in The River Reporter by Bruce Ferguson, who is running for Supervisor in the Town of Callicoon.

Bruce Ferguson is now claiming that he "will not ban gas drilling" or do anything that could result in the Town of Callicoon being sued for millions of dollars by local property owners. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Having been seated across the table from Bruce Ferguson at many meetings attempting to find common ground between local property owners who want gas drilling and representatives of the environmental movement, I can personally testify that Bruce Ferguson is an extremely vocal environmentalist who will in fact do or say anything to ban gas drilling.

In my opinion, Bruce Ferguson's election to the position of supervisor would be an absolute disaster for the Town of Callicoon.

Also, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Sullivan County Farm Bureau let me emphasize that no one running on the Rural Heritage Party line has the support of the Sullivan County Farm Bureau.

Don't be fooled by Bruce Ferguson and his friends on election day.

Bill Graby
Callicoon, NY

I find Bill Graby's

I find Bill Graby's assertions meaningless, and frankly idiotic, sound and fury. Bruce Ferguson doesn't have the power to ban gas drilling, and as a supervisor, never will. Mr. Ferguson answers that in his response. Zoning is an issue, land use is an issue, and property rights is an issue.

Since high volume, slick water, multistage hydraulic fracturing and drilling into rock formations is a heavy industrial use, that if left up to the marketplace speculation, would overwhelm our area, negatively impact our quality of life, and in many cases, our health, I'm not surprised that if Mr. Ferguson had the power to ban it, he would, but that's another matter.

Mr. Graby falsely presents this as a conflict between "local property owners who want gas drilling", and "representatives of the environmental movement". What a crock of bull. It is pitting property owners against property owners, residents against residents, taxpayers against taxpayers, locals against locals, and for Graby to portray Ferguson as an "extremely vocal environmentalist", and himself as a "property owner" is again, a grossly false statement.

My wife and I own a house and 25 acres. We have invested ourselves, and our life savings here, and we are against exactly what Mr. Graby wants. There is little to no "common ground" with the likes of Mr. Graby, and it is not limited to his notion of what motivates people like Ferguson, or me.

As to lawsuits, there is no way to avoid them, they are coming like flies to manure. You either have principles, or you don't, and if zoning brings a lawsuit, who would be surprised? I believe it was Morganthau, a NYC D.A., who once said that a D.A. could indict a "ham sandwich". A lawsuit is even easier to bring. Mr. Ferguson either represents the majority, or he doesn't.

ANYTHING TO GREASE THE SKIDS FOR FRACKING

Bill, I certainly agree with you that some people will do anything to win an election, In the last few days I've been subjected to an incredible number of personal attacks, some from folks like you who don't even live in my town.

Nothing I could do as Supervisor of the Town of Callicoon could possibly affect what you can, or cannot do, with your land in the Town of Delaware, so why are you so interested in how the residents in my town choose to vote? Wouldn't it make more sense for you to focus on the race between Steve Lundgren and Ed Sykes? There's an election where you can actually cast a ballot.

I can't tell if you really don't understand my position on town bans, or if you're just trying to scare the Town of Callicoon voters. Let me state my position one more time, as simply and as clearly as I possibly can.

I've taken the time to review the opinions of the lawyers who have studied this issue,and I've concluded that towns do not have the right to ban fracking, but they do have the right to control all sorts of industrial activities, including fracking, by enacting appropriate zoning ordinances. As Supervisor (or as a private citizen) I will continue to advocate appropriate zoning ordinances that reflect the wishes of the majority of the residents of the town, and that protect the public health, and the property rights of everyone. That's nothing to be alarmed about - democratic decision-making is the American way.

By the way, no one has claimed that Rural Heritage candidates have been endorsed by the Farm Bureau, just by farmers.

Bruce Ferguson
Callicoon Center