ACCORD – Now, Ben...Have you ever repeatedly agreed to perform only to not do so? Have you done that for 25 straight years? If you had, would you now be moaning and groaning about the "unfairness" of being completely barred from ever performing again?
The CMRR was derelict in their legal obligations for twenty-five years. When the county FINALLY demanded CMRR uphold their responsibilities, the CMRR sued the county costing taxpayers even more.
A very recent letter writer put out that the CMRR only paid the county $40,000 for 22 years which comes to $1,818.18 per year. I believe the fee to the county was to be a percentage of revenue but the CMRR did not truthfully report its revenues. So, not only did the county not receive the money it was supposed to (ergo by extension we taxpayers had to make up the shortfall) but it didn’t rehab the miles and miles of track as per the lease agreement.
Not only that, the CMRR illegally occupied an area in Kingston (near Cornell Street) and used it for a storage yard. It did the same just recently up in Shandaken. The CMRR seems to think it’s beyond the law.
The question everyone seems to miss is this: Where’d the money go? We hear all sorts of figures of just how well the CMRR is doing with their special events (which are still available to it) yet, with no track rehab, with the under-reporting of revenue, with the lawsuit against the county, one has to wonder just where did the money go? CMRR used volunteers for the little work done. So, again, who made the money? More to the point, with thousands of letters to the editor in three major venues (Shawangunk Journal, Kingston Freeman and Hudson Valley One) I have yet to see ANY response by the officers/owners/shareholders of Catskill Mountain Railroad come forth with verifiable data. We hear all sorts of fantastic figures re riders and money made but ALL of those claims come from supporters and NOT A SINGLE PIECE OF COMPETENT FINANCIAL EVIDENCE from reliable, verified CMRR data.
Are we seriously to believe that such a record deserves positive reinforcement?
I think not. CMRR had its chance to fulfill its fabled "business plan" and after a quarter century, hasn’t fulfilled any of the lease agreements.
Singin’ the same ol’ song, Ben would lead to no one wanting to hear you ever again. Worse, never showing up for contractual obligations would be the end of your music career.
Why do you grant such enormous leeway to the CMRR?
Stephen L. Fornal