Telling My Stories

A life lived outside

Freedom of Religion means Freedom of ALL Religions, except in Catskill New York

Posted by catkisser on May 9, 2010

Our 3 1/2 year battle with the Town of Catskill for our mandated property tax exemption is now making the news.  Town attorney, Daniel Vinceletti, is spinning wildly trying to brand me personally as an angry old lady who’s anger is misdirected.  Town assessor Nancy McCoy is telling reporters they never challenged our status as a legitimate religion.  They are both lying through their teeth.

From day one of this battle they have challenged our legitimacy over and over and more so, my own as well.  Vinceletti barged onto the property after lying on the phone to me about who he was and what he wanted.  He then wrote a legal opinion for the Town justifying not renewing our exempt status.  A legal opinion the town absolutely refused to show us for two years running leaving us no way to answer his lies.

For 2008, despite our being IRS certified as a 501 (c)(3) Religious Charity, they forced us to submit all that information to them and then wrote a following up letter challenging my ministerial credentials, my educational background, my credentials as a historian and more.  They did this again in 2009.  We have copies of all correspondence.  In 2009, in the Board of Review hearing, McCoy handed us a copy of a memo she had just written to the board stating we were being denied on the basis of zoning violations (ludicrous as our property is zoned commercial and the third standard of commercial listed in the code is Religious Institution).  She also mentioned building code violations as in not getting permits.  We never, since the day we moved here, had any communication from Catskill, formal or informal, verbal or written indicating a problem in either of these.  None of the work we have done on our property required a building permit under the zoning code.

She’s been forced to change her tune yet again to “land use” because I have pointed out that zoning and building code as a reason to deny property tax exemption is a violation of Federal criminal law that opens every one of them involved to individual criminal liability as in jail time, Federal prison jail time.  She’s changed her tune but we have the memo. And on land use, they are misrepresenting caselaw about parsonages and willfully ignoring the New York Real Property Services legal opinion regarding Convents.  A legal opinion we have made them aware of for two years running.  Further, under the legal definition of “Religious Institutions” in their zoning code, religious retreats, camps etc are all included as well as churches and temples.

Vinceletti is telling reporters my anger is “misdirected”.  Hardly.  It is actually directed with pinpoint accuracy at him and McCoy who have engaged in a conspiracy at the direct request at a yet unnamed member of the Catskill Town Council (as per McCoy herself in the 2008 Board of Review hearing) to deny us equal treatment under the law for religious bigoted reasons.  Vinceletti’s so called “legal opinions”, obtained under freedom of information act action, indicate an extremely personal investigation of myself, everything I’ve ever written and private communications.  No fewer than four lawyers who have read them have shook their heads in disbelief at the overt prejudice openly displayed in them.  Past experience with those who engage of this level of stalking behaviour of women with a history similar to my own would indicate someone with deep seated gender issues, probably deeply unresolved internal homophobia and psycho-sexual disorders, but I cannot know this for certain. Misdirected anger?  At someone who went out of his way to make this personal?  Vinceletti has told reporters I am ignorant of the law.  His associate, Hannalore Smith, was so incompetent as to not even get correctly the name of the Town she was representing, the court she was addressing or even the right county in the last hearing.  When pressed by the Judge for the actual reason we were being denied she stated Catskill did not want to “open the floodgates to similar exemptions”.  ON THE RECORD.  I stand amazed at the apparent non existent standards for passing the New York Bar given her and Vinceletti’s apparent total lack of knowledge of the law.

In ancient times we were known for our ability to predict the future, cure, bless and curse.   The Cybeline Revival does not curse people.  We do, however, turn those like McCoy and Vinceletti over to the darker aspect of the Mother Goddess for justice, the ancient justice.  We have done so.  Misdirected anger?  I don’t think so.  In the ancient time Boudicca of the Icenni of Britain took on the Roman Empire and nearly defeated them, Catskill and Vinceletti are no Roman Empire, but I have the focused anger of Boudicca aimed directly at them at this point.  On some level I pity them.  Two future generations of Cybeline leaders are also willing to take this as far as needed.

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