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Cablevision - "We've Got Issues" - August 13, 2002

Host: Terence Michos
  Pat Manning NYS Assemblyman, 99th District
  Tom Kirwan, NYS Assemblyman, 96th District

[Last 6.5 minutes of 30-minute show]

MICHOS: The last time we saw Pat Manning, many of you viewers, he was on here with Pete Idema and they had a barn-burner fight here. I didn't want to cut a [video] clip into here because I'm not trying to fuel the fire, even though it was good TV for us. But I do want to say...

KIRWAN: Go ahead and put the clip in [Manning and Kirwan laugh].

MICHOS: ...some of the lines were like, you know, "I'm gonna run you out of office"; and I think he would've run something out of office. He wanted to stick something in there; and you said, "You're so arrogant it doesn't matter." It was over sprawl in East Fishkill and all of that. Was that just anger? Have you guys talked, I mean, where are you guys at?

MANNING: No, we haven't talked since then. [Kirwan and Manning laugh]

KIRWAN: Have you shouted since then?

MANNING: No, we haven't even shouted since then. But I think one thing we can agree on: If you ever have us back, we want Pay-Per-View rights. [Kirwan laughs] I want a cut. 'Cause every time I turn it on, there should be the "Pete and Pat Channel", here on local cable. But uh...

KIRWAN: It was great.

MANNING: I mean, it's, when you're talking about issues that are so highly charged - and you bring it up all the time, Terence - about sprawl, open space and the competing demands on the space we have left, there's going to, they're going to boil over into discussions like that.

MICHOS: C'mon, Pat. I haven't had a whole bunch of discussions like that just on the issue of sprawl, even though people believe them deeply.

MANNING: I'm very passionate about what I believe in; and I'm very passionate about the people I represent; and I'm passionate about my home town; and...

MICHOS: It's not personal?

MANNING: I will tell you - I walked out of here...

MICHOS: It's not personal? With Peter?

MANNING: No...No. But I will defend my home town; and I will work to stop, you know, multi-story, industrial complexes on poisoned ground.

MICHOS: And you don't think that he cares about his home town?

MANNING: That's a question for him, for you to ask him...

MICHOS: Just understand something - I'm not trying to fuel this; but I want to... [Kirwan laughs] ...I'm not, but listen - You're saying to me, "multi-story complexes on poisoned ground." Those are not, those are words that are charged. They're persuasive words.

MANNING: Well, hopefully they're persuasive, because somebody better wake up to the fact we are poisoning our ground in the Town of East Fishkill; and the town leaders - the supervisor and the deputy supervisor, Peter Idema and Ethel Walker - are turning a blind eye to it.

MICHOS: Why? Why do you think they're doing that?

MANNING: You have to ask them. But, I'm not going to turn...

MICHOS: I will ask them.

MANNING: But as you saw - and thank goodness - because I walked out of there...

MICHOS: Uh, huh.

MANNING: I walked out of there thinking, "Oh, my God, what was that!?", because, you know, I was...

MICHOS: I know.

MANNING: ...pretty much...

MICHOS: Yeah, you were surprised.

MANNING: I was surprised by the venom of Peter, but...

MICHOS: I didn't say, I didn't say, "the venom of Peter".

KIRWAN: [smiling] Oh, I heard you [pointing to Michos], you did not say that, you did not say that. [pointing to Manning] He said that.

MANNING: About the intensity of the discussion. [Kirwan laughs] But I held my cool; and I'm happy about that. 'Cause it was supposed to be about the issues, and the bottom-line issues are not about Pat Manning or Peter Idema, but about where are we going in East Fishkill for the 21st century.

KIRWAN: It would be a great fund-raiser. I would like to, you and I should sell tickets.

MICHOS: Just read an article in the Taconic Press, and you were talking about your, what you felt about the issue of sprawl and the balance there. But you know, Pat, that seems a lot, very easy to say. And, you know, you can talk about balance while every piece of land is being, you know, bought up all over the Hudson Valley. I think there needs to be a little more aggressiveness in stopping some of the sprawl and...

MANNING: Well, you...

MICHOS:...and Peter's contention with you was just that, you know, you're against the environment, except in the fact that when you want to build with Rand-Manning.

MANNING: Uh, huh.

MICHOS: Then it's fine to build.


MICHOS: That's what his contention is.

MANNING: And as I tried to explain there, and I've explained before: the issue is not development - the issue is proper planning. The worst thing about the town, what's coming up, is that, if the Town Board does not wake up - I'll say, you know, because there's actually a couple board members that I have a great deal of respect for. But if the town leaders do not wake up to the fact of the rough-shod issues of planning in our town, then there's going to be, they'll be thrown out; and a new group will come in with an extreme position which will be: no development at all. Well now, is that fair? Is that right? Is this the issue of development...

MICHOS: Many people in the Town of East Fishkill think at this point it is right.

MANNING: Well, because they don't feel that they are being represented adequately on the town level. When you have someone who continues to say, when you have a supervisor such as Supervisor Idema, continues to say, "Go get an attorney," it makes you scratch your head and say, "I though you were our advocate. We elect you to represent"...

MICHOS: Didn't he say that once, Pat?

MANNING: No. He said it multiple times. And, in fact, I'm surprised at how many times he said...You don't, when you have meetings such as meetings with the EPA to talk about how badly poisoned the ground is, and how the cleanup is going on - when you don't have the supervisor there to at least look like they care - or the deputy supervisor with Ethel Walker - coming there and acting like they at least care - even if they're not directly responsible for the cleanup, at least to see that communication is going on with the departments, where people come now to me...

MICHOS: Well, they're just turning their back to it, that's your take on it? Because Peter, you know, vehemently disagrees with that.

MANNING: They can disagree [all they want], you know, and...

MICHOS: Is that relationship beyond repair?

MANNING: I don't think it's beyond repair. [Kirwan laughs] But Peter has to face, you know...listen, we will continue...

KIRWAN: I just, I don't know. I just watched the show; and my answer would be, "Yeah, it's beyond repair." But Pat might have a different take on it.

MICHOS: [to Kirwan] But you know Pete Idema. You have a friendship with him. What did you think when you saw that?

KIRWAN: I only, I know Peter casually. I think I met him once. So I just uh...

MICHOS: When you saw that, what did you think, except that, what, you just thought it was good entertainment?

KIRWAN: Well, I just thought, no, I just thought that my relationship might be beyond repair, but Pat [Kirwan laughs and says something] better than I.

MANNING: Hope springs eternal.

MICHOS: I don't want to stay on this, but we have about, you know, 60 seconds. Is East Fishkill, I mean, that's the gateway. That's where a lot of the problems are, you know. And everybody's hearing the argument. I know you came out of that and said you never heard so many people, you know, support you after that. Pete said he got calls of support.

Is anything changing in East Fishkill, or is that place done and just secretly they're just developing - the Town of Poughkeepsie the same way? They always say they're going to look into things; then they go develop it.

MANNING: I've come up with strong proposals that have been backed by county leaders on putting together funding streams to purchase the land - been rejected and not supported by town officials. I'm a board member on a land trust, to help grab some of these properties and help alleviate some of the pressure. It's been rejected by the Town. I...

MICHOS: Just quickly, no conflict of interest with you being a real-estate person?

MANNING: Absolutely, absolutely not. And, sadly, to throw the personal attacks out like he did in that show. Let's talk about the issues. Let's talk about the remaining open space and how do we save it.

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