Friday, March 27, 2009


Many of the faithful readers of this Blog are familiar with the two News Papers that cover Kingston. The Daily Freeman and the Kingston Times.
The relationship with the staff at either ebbs and flows like the issues they cover. This week is no different.

There is an article in the Times this week focused on Ward Nine and my two primary challengers. Simple enough story with a little tension and intrigue. But, like so many other tech savvy public figures and the advent of mass rebuttal, the need to print with less of a sway is imperative because we can respond more quickly.

Funny thing with me, I have a daily Blog with hundreds of visits per day. So I get to respond to not only what is said about me, but correct the misquotes that are generated.

In the Kingston Times, Jesse Smith states: Madsen said he is not worried about the challengers and believes he will enjoy broad support for his
re-election among both Democratic Party officials and constituents. I can embrace that quote.

Here's the strange one: He also had harsh wor
ds for his opponents. That's an interpretation to help fuel the paper sales. I don't blame Jesse, the print media is suffering financially.

Jesse forms my quote as: Halwick just wants to be an Alderman so badly that no one can talk him out of it. Actually I said: "I just DJed a party for Mark and his family last fall, I mentioned his desire to run for Alderman to his mom and she said there's no talking him out of it, he just wants to be Alderman. No reflection on your job"

I'm willing to bet, the quote attributed to Mark regarding my attention to the residents was just as altered. So, I have no reaction to anything I read coming from Mark, because I no-longer trust the source.
And it's true, Mark and I were making phone calls for GOTV together at my friend Amee's house last week. We shared Pizza and soda while having a few laughs. Not quite the picture you'd expect from this article.
I consider Mark a friend.

Here's the other quote: Debbie Brown is motivated by anger over his failure to attend Ward 9 group meetings and give more attention to the group's agenda. Not so, I think certain members of the Ward Nine group are mad at me for my stance against allowing a commune on Stuyvesant St and that, compounded with my support for the Main Street Manager, motivated their leadership to push Ms Brown to run. I don't recall using the word AGENDA either. I hold no hard feelings toward Debbie and have had a terrific rapport with her over the years. As I said on the phone: Deb and Gerry are good people.

As for the number of meetings Aldermen attend...I do attend many more than the minimum requirement, simply because I'd rather be informed when I get to the council floor. For that, I'm sorry...what was I thinking?
The opposite has come up recently pertaining other Aldermen, but that's a different issue.

The quote: "I think she's upset because I'm not showing up at the Ward 9 group to talk about victory gardens, considering that I'm going to 10 or 15 meetings a month to discuss council business, to work on budget issues, I think I can get away with it." Fascinating.

Sitting close to Debbie in the chambers before the last Council meeting, my friend and I were laughing at the workload and the 12-16 meetings I attend monthly. Not including the daytime visits to City Hall and constituent homes. I repeated this to Jesse on the phone. Perhaps the phone signal was breaking up.

"I think I can get away with it?" As if.

Indeed, I do have my hands full. The Aldermen have so much to do to stave off the financial catastrophe that threatens Kingston. Meanwhile we are working with Legislators Dart & Provenzano on revamping our health insurance options, while promoting the Quadracentennial and Biannual sculpture exhibit this summer.

Where this ends, well the primary I guess. I promised Mark I would help him with petitions if he asked. That would be contingent that any flaws you may see in me are offered without malice. Just listen to the reporters questions more clearly before answering.

It hurts to think I have to second guess all the statements by all public officials in the paper from now on. I've had a very different impression of the Kingston Times for a while now, and I'd hate to change that over this episode.


Anonymous said...

Great post Mike!!!

It's apparent that people who are truly Fair and Balanced do not even have to state it. The blog and the person speak to it so it need not ever be said.

Thanks also for your lack of defensive and abrasive language and behavior, which shows a real maturity and strong sense of self that is essential to public service. Frankly, I need to work on this myself.

This city sorely needs you and people like you as well as your style of openness and honesty that remain a bright spot in the Public Forum..Best of luck!!!

This doesn't mean the Nancy and I will stop tweakin you every chance we get...smitty

Anonymous said...

Right on, Mike:

I have found Jesse Smith to be overwhelmingly biased on some local issues which apparently gives him "carte blanche" to distort the facts.

Yellow Journalism at its best. Thanks, Geddy! You're ranking right up there with the Enquirer and the Daily Mirror.


Anonymous said...


I've certainly noticed "selective" coverage by the local papers, as well - as would anyone that attends City meetings, Council meetings, etc...

So, as always, it is a shame that more folks don't attend at least a smattering of these meetings... it truly is!

The citizen-groups are great (and they have accomplished a great deal!) in their way, but would ideally compliment (not necessarily agree on all topics, but at least cross-reference / collaborate) with the City government on the City government's (where decisions are made) turf.

This should not become a situation of one group versus another... We have plenty of THAT already!

Anyhoot... just thoughts...

As you know, I think you are doing a terrific job - and that you are - in fact (from what I've witnessed) - one of the most active - if not THE MOST active - Aldermen in this city!

Respectfully sincere,


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Mike, Janette resigned from the committee on health insurance and Frank Dart was never part of it. Provenzono is part of the problem. Sha has the empire health insurance as a secondary to medicare. She only uses 20% of that plan while the city pays for all of it. Is Dart still taking the buy-out from the county, while getting FREE HEALTH INSURANCE from the city. See the problem.

Anonymous said...

Is it just a coincidence that The Times was very much in favor of Common Fire going into the historic home on Stuyvesant? Lets not forget they did a pity piece on the Tubby Row evictions. Both slamming the authorities as THE MAN.

Tubby Row's residents did their share of raising awareness, the frequent police visits for domestic abuse, external fighting all hours of the day and the hundreds of 5 minute visits by "friends" all night long.
You went and got the neighborhood to show up at that Planning Board meeting and shut it down. Of course the Times is upset with you.

Mike Madsen said...

Comment 3:22 was deleted because someone from Ward Nine said something derogatory about Ms Martin.
I had mistakenly published it from my iPhone. Character assassination is not the goal here.

Anonymous said...

Mike, you realize Reynolds is the last Alderman to pay attention to Rebecca Martin. He is helping the Brown campaign behind your back to get you out of the way. He has bigger plans that you may bust. Watch your back.

Anonymous said...

Mike, I'm sure you will win hands down. I don't know Mark or Debby, but if Rebecca Martin is behind either one of them, then shame on them. She is not well balanced.

You're doing a great job - there are always going to be naysayers who are nothing but armchair quarterbacks. It's always easy to criticize others - but they really don't know all that you do.

Rebecca Martin said...

"Not so, I think certain members of the Ward Nine group are mad at me for my stance against allowing a commune on Stuyvesant St and that, compounded with my support for the Main Street Manager, motivated their leadership to push Ms Brown to run."

Hey, all. Important to note that what Mike writes here just isn't true. The Ward 9 community group was created to form a healthy dialogue between the residents and Alderman. Although it hasn't been very successful in that way, it has formed some new and good relationships between neighbors helping to create support for a number of productive and good projects.

Deb Brown, Mark Halwick and Hayes Clement are running for the Alderman seat in Ward 9 as Democratics because they want to. Forcing a primary is a sign of a healthy democracy and over in Ward 9, the incredibly hard work over the last three years is showing itself in a most profound way.

My congrats and thanks to those new people stepping forward in Ward 9. Let's hope to see more of it in every ward. The city should always expect fresh and new ideas in having new people run.

Government positions are not meant to be career jobs. It's a public service.