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Work Meeting of UVTB 9.6.18-no notes, no video, no agenda, no public comment

This meeting, once again without key transparency elements: no published agenda, no minutes stored for public edification, and no public taping, began with a discussion of the Re-cycling Center with Tom St. Onge.  This year began with revenues higher than expected and costs lower and then the cost of carting away recyclable went in May from a couple of hundred dollars to $1,100. per month ( remember that China had been a big part of the US recycling industry. editor). Also because of the problems with having the materials removed, recycling will no longer be single stream: paper must be clean and separate, and metals and plastics must also be clean but may be disposed of together.

Options:

1. Close facility –There are 800 permit holders, 500 from Union Vale and 300 from Beekman). The majority of these are senior citizens.

2 Raise fee to $4.00 per bag. ( Royal Carting charges $35.15 per month for its services).

3. Eliminate Senior Discount

4. Skip Wednesday service or Sunday service

5. Charge for use of Debris Bin

The UVTB must consider these options.

Employee Issues

1.Holidays: Consensus stay at current 11

Question: seasonal employees and part-time employees might get time and a half on holidays

2. Personal time off: now 4 days (some proportion thereof for part time)

New paycheck system allows Town to figure 1/4 hour increments

How much advanced notice does Town need for use of these days

May they be used before or after a vacation?

Is there accused sick time: Should the Board vote on individual cases?

May unused personal days be converted to sick days accrued?

Sick time per year now 4 days. Proposed 10-12 which can be received after 90 days probation time for new employees–vacation time is available for new employees after 6 months)

Town may require doctor’s note or request one. Is there a limit of accrued days?

What about the Sick Bank?

What rules govern disability?

Vacation seems to be now: one yr. service= one week

two -five years of service=2 weeks;

five to ten years of service=3 weels

ten to fifteen years of service=4 weeks

sixteen plus years of service = 5 weeks –Vacations must be approved two weeks ahead of time by managers or—-

IT POLICY

-based on Pawling’s policy; costs and accessed discussed; will be part of new employee packet and will be coordinated with employee handbook

Ms. Maas said that the Library Contract Discussion will be at a Voting Meeting of the UVTB

(HOWEVER, a meeting of the UVTB was called by Ms. Maas for Sept. 3, 2018 and promulgated on the Town site.  This meeting was held at 5:00 pm. and NO MEMBER of the public which attended was allowed to speak. Also, the meeting took place before sundown, thus  making it difficult for those in our community who observe Rosh Hashana ( Jewish New Year).

 

August 16,2018 Official Town Board Meeting

Once again there is no sound on the televised presentation which was to have been aired on channel 22, so those residents without computer access are no longer served by a visual record of the meeting. (The Town Board has radically reduced the ability of citizens to access their official conversation, understand their priorities, and hear their goals, yet when I pointed out that without access to all of their official deliberations, with the exception of executive sessions, the Town’s people could not hold the Board accountable for its actions or make meaningful comments on the budget, Ms. Maas interrupted me during my speaking time allotment. Anne).

The best way to get a sense of what was done is to go to the Union Vale Town page and go to the bottom and watch the YouTube of the last official meeting. This YouTube version has sound.

Watching and/or going to the Town Board meeting is time consuming, often tedious, but always revealing. Watch the topics and the tone and ask yourself questions. See if you can find answers.

The big topic this week is the resolution to reinstate the position of Tax Collector in Union Vale.

The only member of the Board to question the introductory comments included with the resolution to reinstitute the position of taxpayer was Ms. Kelley who objected to the use of terms which could not be backed by evidence on a town wide basis. Ms. Kelley’s objections were brushed aside.

  Mr. Welsh made no objections and voted for the resolution to reinstate the position although in the January 18, 2018 meeting of the Town Board, Mr. Welsh questioned why the experiment with Saturday tax collecting would continue until June since after May the taxes went to the County, and then later reminded people at the meeting that ” a lot of this can be done by mail.” Continue reading

Public Comments about the 2019 Budget-

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
TAKE NOTICE, that the Town Board of the Town of Union Vale will hold a public hearing at the Town Hall, 249 Duncan Road, LaGrangeville, New York 12540 (in the Town of Union Vale) on August 16th, 2018 at 7:15 o’clock, p.m., on or as soon thereafter so public comment can be heard at the beginning of the budget process for 2019.
TAKE FURTHER NOTICE, that the Public Hearing will be from 7:15 o’clock, p.m., after which time the regularly scheduled Town Board meeting will take place. DATED: Union Vale, New York August 13th, 2018.
ANDREA CASEY, TOWN CLERK

The No Video, No Agenda, No Promulgated Minutes UVTB Meeting 8/2/18

We have audio tape of the entire meeting because we believe in documenting Town Board Meetings in an effort to make the Town Board decisions as transparent as possible and thus afford taxpayers the opportunity to hold the Board or members of the Board responsible for their decisions.

The meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Discussion of Possible Buyer at the Town Center ( a parcel of about 15 acres). The buyer and his friend appeared at this work meeting and was allowed by Ms. Maas to discuss a proposal regarding an offer on 11/2 to 2 acres of this designated Town Center area. This man had attended an earlier Town Bd. Meeting asking why he had not received a response to an offer he made on the property on April 23.Ms. Maas said that she had heard no such offer from any realtor. He intends to open a Fitness Center of approximately 2,500 square feet, one story, using solar panels on the roof, using a pre-fab structure. The building will be steel. He hopes to entice other businesses to join him.  He is willing to dress up the face of the steel structure to fit the area. The ceilings would be 12 foot high with three large windows across the front.

The Board suggested the potential buyer speak with George Kolb, Code Enforcer, and the Fire Department to check on code requirements. Possibly he will have to buy the entire parcel and would then become the developer. Ms Maas briefly outlined the process of buying the land and having the building approved. The Union Vale portion of that property is about 10 acres Mr. Frasier and Ms. Maas agreed.

Reports from Board Members

Corrina Kelley has spent the last few weeks gathering information on how 16 other municipalities deal with employee issues such as vacation, sick, and personal time. Kelley supplied a detailed chart of points of comparison. The Town of Clinton grants benefits to full time employees only.The Town of Beekman does not pay for unused sick days but does bestow some benefit for those unused days at retirement. Beekman gives a day off after Christmas. Other Towns had floating holidays which might include the day after Thanksgiving. Corrina noted which Towns were union and which were non-union. Some of these municipalities do have sick banks.

The Office of Comptroller uses 41J as an alternative to payout for unused sick days rather than direct pay by the town. Beekman uses the alternative.

Corrina also included much information about various approaches to the sick bank concept. Fishkill gives no sick pay to hourly/seasonal employees. Fishkill puts personal time on a hourly possibility which gives employees the chance to use just what they need. Most towns say that medical verification “may be requested” as opposed to demanding documentation at each absence from work.

Ms. Maas said that he health care rates are up 12% this year. Mr. Welsh agreed and said that the Town cannot be “overly generous.” At this point Supervisor Maas suggested Merit Based Increases. Mr. Frazier says that where he works, “there is a lot of pettiness between certain people.”

Ms. Kelley suggested that a full discussion of pay between the employee and the department head should be a part of the process.

Here Mr. Frazier, this is the third such request in as many meetings, interjected that the Town Hall air conditioning needs to be addressed.He wondered whether the problem was that the system was on timers.

“This ( Corrina’s research) is really extensive, Corrina,” Ms. Maas said. “Yeah, you got a lot of data, ” said Mr. Welsh.

Ms. Maas said the one rental house is empty as of yesterday.” We still have” the security deposit “I don’t want to make it sound worse than it is, but they left big piles of garbage.”

” Next time we should talk about the insurance,” said Ms. Maas. “Maybe at the next workshop.”

Direct deposit may save the Town money if a paycheck is lost by the employee.

August, September, and October there will be fifteen minute public hearings, before the official meeting starts, on the budget. ( This seems to indicate that public remarks will not be on public record.) On September 6 there will be a preliminary budget.). August and October will have preliminary meetings at 7:15 pm. for public comments.

They will use George Kolb’s format for all department head budgets.

Maas, said of Ryan Cortien’ s worksheet for the budget  (of last year prior to her becoming Supervisor) she thought  was a “perfect worksheet” and would use it herself as a basis for this year’s budget. Mr. Frazier said he was very confused by it.

Ms.Maas said she has to update infrastructure budget.

Ms. Maas said In regard to the rental house, windows have to be replaced, cracked windows need to be fixed. Master Plan says we need to do more for nature conservancy type non-profit, so maybe we could rent to them ( was rented for $2,300 a month).

Dave reported on solar in the landfill. Dave did research on other towns. Ms. Maas said the revenue from landfill leasing was 112 thousand by leasing to solar companies.

Ms. Maas said we will probably deal with brown field solar leases.

Mr. Frazier said he is not an expert but is very skeptical because the solar companies needed government subsidies. ( Oil companies are still receiving subsidies from the government. Did Mr. Frazier mean these?)  Ms. Maas said the companies she has investigated commit to removal of the equipment themselves.

Ms. Maas said the companies will come and answer these questions.

Mr. Welsh wanted to share with Beekman, but Ms. Maas and Dave pointed out that that Beekman’s energy already has a buyer.

Dave’s research on town aggregates has revealed a savings of 9 million. The Towns then become the utility company.

Corrina went to meetings on aggregates and basically the towns create a buying club ( of at least 20,000 customers). Union Vale could get into the Hudson Highland aggregate. The power must go to the same utility.  Based on the buying power, the cost could be very low for each consumer. And, there is an opt-out for each resident who could return to Central Hudson.

Ms. Maas said we have to focus on one project: the landfill which can be used for nothing else. Mr. Frasier said he isn’t opposed to this, but wants not to maintain the property. Mr. Welsh said that schools taxes would be applied, but Mr. McMorris said that there is an agreement by which the company will pay school, county, and town taxes. This agreement pilot is good for 15 years.

Ms. Maas said we should focus on this project. The companies want control. The nice thing is that Paul Curran, an nationally known provider, is right next door.

Mr. Welsh is worried about liability to the town regarding water.

Mr. McMorris said the EPA has already approved the process. The Town of Washington is working on this now.

Mr. Welsh thanked Dave and Corrina for all their work on this.

Mr. McMorris said the sooner the Town acts, the more options it has.

Ms.Maas said Computel said Altice will not respond to Computel, but will look into getting the $15, 000 back.

There are a lot of projects in play now. Mr. Welsh said that since 2012 we no longer have a scenic road section in the Town Code. It was supposed to be replaced but wasn’t. Changes to these roads would have to be addressed as part of the planning process. West Clove Mt. is one such. The lady from Dutchess County is coming to the next Official Meeting to talk about signs and Greenway.

Frasier wants parking lot lights on photocell not timer. This would increase safety.

Estimate for silos is $4,400 to fix, said Ms. Maas.

Frazier said these repairs are below the amount which requires a resolution.

Twelve years ago the silos were fixed, and then they later were removed.

Maas:    “We  called IT people, and he is coming by tomorrow.” He will officially get us on Board after Labor Day.

Bathrooms: there is rust everywhere. These have to be put on the list.

Tentative budget for next meeting.

(No mention of the library at all in this meeting.)

( My question is about the Town Board and the pre- vote Public Meetings: Will these be taped and or televised? And, will there be sound for this on the televised site?)

 

Non-agenda Town Bd. Meeting– July 5, 2018

Editorial Preface: Before you read about what went on at this meeting, I’d like to highlight what did not happen and preface that information with a summary of a motion which occurred after the Public Comment about Town issues section of the Official Town Board Meeting of last month,  June 21, 2018.

As the 6. 21. 18 meeting of the Union Vale Town Board ended, Supervisor Maas brought up the fact the the Contract with Mid-Hudson library was again a topic. The Mid-Hudson Library Association had sent a letter to the Town asking the Town of Union Vale to respond to the three year contract proposed by the Association. Ms. Maas asked what written response the Town Board wished to give. Mr. Welsh suggested sending a written record of the results of the Library Steering Committee of last year. Ms. Maas agreed, saying that the Association could have seen that on YouTube but that Mr. Welsh’s suggestion was good: a written response. Ms. Kelley suggested that the Association was familiar with the response, having seen in on YouTube, and that she wished to proceed to the question of signing the contract for three years because the Town had nothing to offer as a replacement library right now. Further Ms. Kelley pointed out that 75% of those responding to the survey were in favor of paying the library dues. Ms. Maas said that not everyone had returned the survey, but Ms. Kelley countered that an11% response rate was a decent return rate on 188 responses. Mr. Walsh agreed.   Ms. Maas still resisted and said not everyone responded and wanted to honor the work of the committee.

Mr. Welsh said the prior Board had not given any final response to the Standing Committee.  Ms. Kelley reminded Mr. Welsh that he had given the response saying, “Now is not the time to deal with this.” Mr. Welsh  then agreed he had said that comment at the meeting last year as Ms. Kelley remembered,  and then this evening (6.21.18) Mr. Walsh added,” Now is the time.”

Mr. Frazier said it had been some time since he had read that work and wanted time to do so.

Mr. McMorris suggested that this topic be the subject of the next workshop meeting to be voted on at the next Official Meeting.

Mr. Frazier made a motion to table the question of what written response to send and to have all review the document and take it up at the next meeting.  Ms. Maas said “We’ll bring it up at the Work Session ( 7.5.18) as well. Actually bring copies of what was delivered before.” Mr. Frazier said,”Right,” and that a comparison of the two could then be made.  All of these quotations can be checked on the Youtube video of the June 21,2018, Union Vale Town Board Meeting which when I checked last were still on the home page of unionvaleny.us

This conversation is important because at the Work Session on July 5, 2018 ( referred to by Mr. Frazier and Ms. Maas as a time to “bring it [the library issue] up) the library issue was not fully discussed.

 

The audio bar right above this part of the text works as any such insert would. Hit the arrow, and it will play a section of the ending of the work session July 5, 2018 Town Board meeting, all of which we have recorded as per NYS open meetings law. The first speaker is a member of the public.The response comes from Supervisor Maas. The second member of the public is me (Anne McCabe). Councilman Frazier is the male voice.

  Work Session Meeting of July 5, 2018:  Ms. Maas pointed out that it was almost 10:00 pm. Then  Ms. Kelley asked whether the Committee would discuss the library situation at that point. This was after the commercial sign policy, the employee manual, the Town Center master plan, the awarding of either lesser priced pool passes or recycling center passes to member of the Fire Dept., and the credit card policy were discussed. Ms. Maas said that it was too late.  Members of the public questioned why this Work Meeting did not fully discuss the library. Mr. Frazier said there was to be no public comment, (Ms. Kelley reminded him that Ms. Maas had said at the 6.21.18 Town Board Meeting that public comments would be accepted), and Ms. Maas said that just because some members of the public had come to this meeting did not mean it would be discussed at this meeting and why would the public think this might happen. I and another member of the public referred to the Official Town Bd. Meeting and what was said there as our reason for believing that the Town Bd. would do as it had promised.

Before this happened at the July 5, 2018 Work Session, almost two and a half hours were spent on other topics.  So here is the meeting as it unfolded.

Union Vale Town Board Work-Session Meeting of July 5, 2018

Although I checked the clock when I arrived at 7:28, it appeared that the Town business discussion among the Board Members  had begun before I arrived.

SIGN POLICY

  • Question by Mr. Welsh: Must the policy be approved by NYS?  Mr. McMorris said that the visibility issue was itself worth checking with NYS.
  • Square footage of the size was confusing since there was an apparent inconsistency with the one-sided–two-sided sign issue. All agreed this should be further researched. Mr.Frazier and Ms. Maas had a rather long discussion of this between them.
  • Mr. Frazier said that electronic signs are the future, and the policy should recognize this.
  • Questions of illumination intensity of the sign, time of day, ability to change messages were all good questions which were discussed. Ms. Maas said she would let the Planning Board do its work and then look at their results She also suggested a sign company present to the Board.
  • Mr. McMorris said there was a FEMA grant for some types of signs that should be considered.
  • The need to define terms was agreed upon by the Board.
  • Free Speech and signs was also discussed.
  • Ms. Maas said the Board will write the document, discuss it again, and send it to the Planning Board, then to the Town Lawyer, and then to the Town Code Enforcer.

EMPLOYEE MANUAL UPDATE

  • Mrs. Kelley presented this and addressed a concern Ms. Maas had brought up at a prior meeting regarding defining a full time employee as one who works fewer than 40 hours. Ms. Maas said she would consider defining full time as one who worked 32 or 35 hours because Ms. Maas felt their were not many extras that such employment cost the town. Ms. Kelley said that there were some, but that having a pay check service might make it easier to break down benefits according to actual hours worked. Ms. Maas said that it took ten years of working for the town as a full time employee to gain retirement benefits and that she did not see this as being a problem “on the horizon.”
  • Seasonal employees — these employees do not have the same benefits as part time year round of full time employees.
  • Sick bank discussion for full time employees was addressed and discussed. Ms. Maas dismissed the idea of having employees work as managers of this bank. I raised my hand to share my involvement with a sick bank where I had worked and pointed out that since the days available came from the employees and not the employer, the board deciding who should be eligible and to what degree eligible for such days should appropriately be employees voted on by other employees. She thanked me and then more discussion ensued.

TOWN CENTER AND THE MASTER PLAN

No particular issue with this was brought up, but  Ms. Maas introduced the topic and the Board seemed to remark on bits and pieces with the idea that more discussion would occur later. Mr. McCabe, who had worked on this issue before, and Mr. Welsh both said there were records which the Town Historian Fran Wallin might have. No member seemed to have been assigned this topic.

CREDIT CARD POLICY

Ms. Kelley pointed out that there seemed to be an inconsistency in some phrasing that granted the Supervisor permission to issue credit cards — even to part time workers — without the consent of the rest of the Board. Ms. Maas seemed not to understand Ms. Kelley’s point and argued a point not under discussion. Ms. Kelley again tried to focus the issue to the language in the document at hand which said that the Supervisor operating alone could issue such credit cards, although the Town Board as a whole had to approve budgets and transfer of  funds.  Ms. Kelley suggested the language should read the Town Board. Mr. Frasier appeared to agree, pointing out that Supervisor Maas had used the pronoun “we” when speaking of some aspects of financial management. Ms. Kelley asked whether Ms. Maas had issued a Town credit card to a part time employee, who by virtue of that status was not vested by the Town. Ms. Maas did not deny doing this but said Ms. Kelley should call Ms. Maas if she wanted to know more. Ms. Kelley said she believed that the Supervisor should act with the Town Board on these matters and should always issue reports and summaries of significant actions taken such as the meeting between Ms. Maas and the Parks and Recreation Departments. There was no written record of that meeting. At this Ms. Maas became extremely agitated and raising her voice told Ms. Kelley that Ms. Kelley needed to call her more often. Ms. Kelley concluded by saying she found zero transparency in Ms. Kelley’s private meetings. Supervisor Maas insisted that nothing happened without “you guys being informed.” Ms. Kelley’s point was that at least two events: the meeting with Parks and Recreation and the issuance of the credit card did happen without the Board being informed.  Supervisor Maas seemed very upset, and said it’s 10:00.

Ms. Kelley said,” Are we going to discuss the library now?”

Ms. Maas said,”No, no, no.  Mr. Frazier said,” I’m not prepared to discuss it tonight.” And then two (I was one) of the members of the public spoke. That is the sound bar you can play above.

Then Mr. Frazier brought up the obsolete nature of the air conditioning system at Town Hall. At the next meeting he recommends a resolution for a plan to modernized the heating and air conditioning system.

Ms. Maas  said that Jake had talked about the need to update six infrastructure issues.  Mr. McMorris spoke about the long range cost saving nature of geo-thermal energy.

Mr. Maas said that there are three grants that Jake is looking at.  Ms. Kelley and Mr. McMorris said they concurred with Mr. Frazier that numbers for each project needed to be assembled. Some solar energy companies are approaching residents about reduced rate power.

Then Ms. Maas said, “I would never say this in public….( Supervisor Maas should have been fully aware that four members of the public were still very obviously in attendance) you (These remarks were addressed to the other four Town Board Members) are not coming around.  You’re not doing extra work…I know you guys mean well, but you’re not doing extra work.”

Ms. Kelley said that she had donated an entire day of being down on the park on Home School Day, and to her knowledge was the only one.  Then as Ms. Kelley continued, the Supervisor cut her off reiterating that more work needed to be done and ending with ….”Good Night…”  as she picked up her materials and unceremoniously left.

These are the people to call regarding their work on the Town Board: For best results, call all or email all members.

Betsy Maas email: supervisor@unionvaleny.us ; office phone 724-5600

Dave McMorris-email: mcmorris.uvny@gmail.com ; phone 845-279-5412

Corrina Kelley -email:corrinakelley2015@gmail.com ; phone724-3126

John Welsh -email:councilmanjohnwelsh@gmail.com ; phone 724-7060

Steven Frazier-email: councilmanfrazier@gmail.com; phone 845-227-8475

Please have your say. Democracy depends on ALL the people being involved.

 

 

Public May Comment Meeting: June 21, 2018-UVTown Board

 

These are the people to call regarding their work on the Town Board: For best results, call all or email all members. 

Betsy Maas email: supervisor@unionvaleny.us ; office phone 724-5600

Dave McMorris-email: mcmorris.uvny@gmail.com ; phone 845-279-5412

Corrina Kelley -email:corrinakelley2015@gmail.com ; phone724-3126

John Welsh -email:councilmanjohnwelsh@gmail.com ; phone 724-7060

Steven Frazier-email: councilmanfrazier@gmail.com; phone 845-227-8475

Please have your say. Democracy depends on ALL the people being involved.

Thanks for reading, Anne–

(The Town Board Meeting began late, at 8:06 pm, because of an Executive Board Meeting; however, at 7;54 pm for some reason, the Town ran the June 17, 2018 meeting on Channel 22. I think that had I not been watching that channel since 7:30 p.m., I would not have realized what was happening. The 6.17.18. meeting loop was removed at 8:01pm when the live t.v. screen showed a Town Board table occupied only by Mr. Battistoni, Town Lawyer.)The meeting was continued at 8:05pm in public.

Fire Department Presentations: Fire Chief  talked about the various roles of volunteers in the Union Vale Fire Department. Clove Rd. is Station #2 in Union Vale– two engines are stationed there.  Station #1 is in Verbank which has one fire engine and one rescue truck.  There is a tankard in that station also, a very important tool in our fire fighting. Station #1 has a brush truck as does Station #2.  There is a hose truck which helps in fighting a fire in a residence with a long driveway. There is also a side-by-side vehicle which is used for assisting people in areas hard to reach from the roads. There are about 60 members in the Union Vale Fire Department.  There is a Board of 5 Commissioners.  The organization has many fund raisers and is always looking for more volunteers.

The Resue Department then had a presentation. Rescue Squad Division is a part of the Union Vale Fire Department, but all members are NYS certified EMT’s.  Union Vale has 22 people on the squad, 12 of which are EMT’s. We have fully certified people. It is a 35 minute ride to any of the hospitals, so the Rescue Squad wants to be as well prepared as possible.  The Union Vale squad is even prepared for those who overdose on opioids. Opiod abuse is happening everywhere indiscriminate of financials, quality of houses, skin color, etc. 

Betsy Maas asked for a qualification of terms.Fire District –legal entity same size as town–can collect and assess taxes. Fire Company is under the jurisdiction of the Fire District. We should refer to the officers as Fire District Officers.

uvfdny.com is a good way to contact them or stop by one of the fire houses. This group received warm applause.


Then Cricket Valley Energy presented: (Scott was the presenter)

-Cricket Valley started in 2009; in 2017 all the permits were received: Building 1100 megawatt power station. Cricket Valley is putting in transmission lines through Union Vale. ( tree clearing, helicopters, etc.)

A new trasmission line is necessary for the greater output, and the current line is fifty years old. This also provides for a backup line.  Cricket Valley did not purchase new lands for this line; it is adjacent to the old ConEd line and within its property.

Article 7 (NYS permit)  Process was used to put through the transmission line.This state requirement necessitated public hearings which started in 2014.  The Public Service Commission had hearings in Albany. The permit process was three years long.

The plant is in Dover. We had several legal notices posted, and Town Supervisors were notified–see Cricket Valley newsletter on their site.

What are benefits from transmission line in Union Vale? This fifty-five million dollar line will provide a backup for the power grid. They have used some union workers, and some are from here.

Before the line goes on- line, the ownership will be transferred to ConEd.

Construction  update on Transmission Line: started work in 2017; completed right of way access–removed trees. Now we are installing the foundation for towers ( 140-165 feet). In 9 locations they have drilled into bedrock. ( Also they have an endangered species monitor.) Also they have just done a danger tree assessment– trees with dead limbs or in danger of falling- by state law these trees must be removed. Starting in July towers installation will be begun. Helicopter work is involved. The helicopters are staged at Sky Acres. These copters fly equipment into the sites. When they get ready to set the structure, there will be a second larger helicopter used. It just flies over the right of way. “We don’t fly over people. We don’t fly over cars.” NJ Electric is our contractor on this. ConEd maintains the towers. The installation of towers will start in July. Project is roughly 55 million.

Update on Power Plant–

It was old munitions plant , then a tire company  that burned down. Cricket recycled as much as possible. All they took off site was hazardous material as required by NYS. Then this site became a brown field. Three one-on-one combined cycle units are being built. Last month most of the underground work was finished, and now vertical work begins. “It’s just beautiful out here,” said Scott. Four hundred workers on site now.  They are using some local sub-contractors.

Maas: People want to know what is going on in North Clove? Answer: these are access points to get to the Dover Plant. In some cases there is an agreement with landowner as in case of Able Christmas Tree Farm.

Walsh: Is there grant money for Union Vale?  Answer: no

Bill McCabe: Where does gas come from ? Answer : Iroquois Pipe Line

Town Supervisor’s Report:  Betsy Maas–Town Finances

We are about 78% year of expenses to date. Another week and pay check service will be in place. Made a change in insurance brokerage firm. We paid the $55,000. to pay the bill for paving. We found that keeping the Town Hall open on Saturday mornings petered out (when?–not clear when). We did a little survey on U.V. Town Hall site? ( Who knew?) New Hours–8:30-4:00. Jan -June we can do Sat. hours.  ( This was very confusing to me. Will these new hours create a new employee? Also, who knew about the survey? I am on the website but saw no mail from the Town of Union Vale until today. So how does this survey reflect even the people on the website? Anne).

Seven buildings in Tymor Park need new roofs and there is other repair work to be done. We should start working through how much these things cost.

Sheet on taxes– anybody on mail list got this today.  General fund is $1,079,000. Try to pay before the 31st.

Michelle left her job to take another job, so there will be a new employee.

Councilperson Walsh: salt shed must be dealt with–new project–infrastructure

Councilperson Kelley: Union Vale can form an aggregate to save money. She is researching it now. Home school day was a success. Birdwatching, historic walks, and history are a great resource here. Corrina brought a program from LaGrange Community Day to compare and contrast.

Councilperson Frasier- still not feeling completely 100%–nothing to report

Councilperson McMorris- working with Councilperson Kelley to see about aggregates and making money on recycling.

Highway: Mr. Wisseman-absent

Ms. Maas said she wants to work on circle to improve it. Richie and she will work on it.

Mr. Frasier: can we put signs around the Town Hall to direct traffic? Answer: Yes

Tax Collector Report: County has been paid.

Tom Murphy, the Chair of the Assessment Review Board presented.

Every house in the town is reassessed every four years ( 1/4 of houses done each year). Presently this is a 5 member board with one person on it who is on two town Boards, which may be a conflict of interest, so Board is considering 4 or 3 members). Town Board will discuss this and get back to it.

Mr. Kaich, head of Community Day Committee- big success–$78.00 profit. Thanked Arlington jazz bands; Next year will include Millbrook .

no exact number of participants

surveys returned were few– next year they will be distributed better

good job

Jessica: Recreation Dept.

Thanked Mr. Kaisch and all who worked Community Day, especially life guards.

Reviewed the upcoming Recreation Calendar. Movie next week is Black Panther.

Park Update: Jake Gosnell sent it in.

Working hard and thanks for new mower.

Animal Control

Dutchess County kennel is a disgrace. We need to study alternatives.

Library : Dues for Next 3 Years

Ms. Maas said she wants to send last year’s committee minutes to MidHudson Library. Councilwoman Kelley said the Mid-Hudson System was familiar with the committee and the fact that 75% of the Town of Union Vale supported paying the system to keep the service. Ms. Maas still wanted to wait. This will be taken up at July 5 meeting.( IF you want to support the library system access, please email or call ALL five members of the Town Board– 22 people have already supported this measure.)

Procurement Policy was adopted.

Shannon Blake, the Acquatics Director at Tymor Park questioned why a pool ladder making the pool accessible to wheel chair patients which had been approved in the 2010 budget was knocked out of the  current budget. Shannon believes this might be a violation of the handicapped persons law.  Ms. Maas said they had to talk about this.

Bill McCabe rose at public comment time and said the public input had been reduced by 50% and that the “working” meeting should be televised with public comments recorded. Ms. Maas said that he and she had discussed a bit at the last working meeting, so Bill said that he expected that that would continue and be televised.

Meeting ended: See the meeting yourselves on YouTube: Union Vale Town Bd. June 21, 2018.

 

Notes on the No-speak, no interaction with constituents 6/7/18 UVTB Meeting

(Editor’s comments within the parenthesis–After the last public meeting it became obvious that not permitting public comments or questions during this “working meeting of the Town Board” had severe drawbacks. At the last “official” meeting the Town Board ended up voting to remove the money amounts from the Town Code procurement policy — this was a good idea to remove the costs, which change with the market, and I applaud this. But the vote was taken before the second policy to accept this new procurement had been changed from a form which  included two contradictory paragraphs. Nobody at the public speaking town board defended the paragraphs: after a taxpayer (Bill McCabe) pointed out the contradiction, Ms. Maas said yes, Councilperson Kelly (who was absent from the work meeting because of family business) had pointed this out the day before, and yes, it was contradictory. Ms. Maas also stated that the Town lawyer had found two other problems with the wording of the new Code  (Ms. Maas did not state what these issues were). Nevertheless the illogical wording was voted on and passed by Ms. Maas, Mr. Walsh, Mr.Fraiser, and-Mr. McMorris — who at least offered a protest but concurred after the others said it could so easily be  fixed at a later time. So, this efficient method of pushing things through with little public reaction, has resulted in an efficient process by which to do shoddy work.)

Meeting of the Union Vale Town Board (no public comment was accepted) on June 7, 2018

The first item discussed was the Procurement Policy — which had been approved at the public-are-allowed-to-speak meeting of May 17, 2018.  This document which all members present at the time of the vote had agreed was flawed had nevertheless become Town policy with this May 17 vote.

It was agreed by the whole Town Board that current “C” — which the Town Attorney said was not legal — would be stricken and replaced by current “D.”

The language within new “C” was changed from ” lowest bidder” to “lowest responsible bidder.”

Then there was a discussion of language present in the approved bill that said”performance bond” which the attorney felt would be better stated as “irrevocable letter of credit.”

In section “H” on page 5 of the flawed, approved document the Town Bd. agreed to remove wording which said,”not needing to solicit quotations” and require the explanation sheet for the purchase so that such purchase would be consistent with the rest of the policy. The Attorney will revise the wording  and it will be voted on in the public -comment- permitted June meeting, now referred to as the “Agenda” meeting.

Next was discussion of the revision of the Employment Manual

Sick Days are now 4; they were 5, and the employees have requested 12; consideration might be given to 6.   There is a limit of 32 hours of accrued sick time (4 days). Personal time is for full time people only. Holidays are 11 — employees requested 2 floating days as well.

The Board made it clear that there should be differences in benefits for full time workers, part time workers, and seasonal workers.

The Town could start a deferred payment savings plan, a change in bereavement leave to 3 days, a change from 5, and use the other 2 for vacation, personal, or sick — to be discussed.

Right now a full time person is described as one who works at least 35 or 40 hours per week (depending on job description) year round.

Miss Maas suggested making 32 hours full time, which would expand the number of full-time employees, increase retirement costs, and increase medical costs. The rest of the Board did not concur.

Mr. Frazier pointed out the distinction between elected officials and town employees.

The resolution going forward is to stay at 35 hour minimum for full time status with no floating holidays — so stay with 11 federal holidays. On snow days, people staying at home must use a personal day unless the Supervisor declares an emergency, but there is a specific paragraph in the Handbook to cover various scenarios. The County Executive’s calling an emergency does not  apply to Town Employees. This discussion will be continued at the next “work meeting.”

(So….what do you think? Do you think that the presence of non-Board members at these “No Agenda”— no comment meetings would be helpful in creating better legislation and widening the perspective of the Board members?  Call  or email ALL the Town Board members and let them know.

Betsy Maas supervisor@unionvaleny.us ; office phone 724-5600

Dave McMorris mcmorris.uvny@gmail.com ; phone 845-279-5412

Corrina Kelley corrinakelley2015@gmail.com ; phone724-3126

John Welsh councilmanjohnwelsh@gmail.com ; phone 724-7060

Steven Frazier councilmanfrazier@gmail.com; phone 845-227-8475

Please have your say. Democracy depends on ALL the people being involved.

Thanks for reading, Anne– End of May 2018 minutes of NO-Constituent Input Town Hall Meeting

May 17, 2018: The Official Town Board Meeting: taxpayers get to speak! Taped broadcast is on channel 22 and on Youtube.

This “Official”  5/17/18 Union Vale Town Board Meeting was able to be viewed live and is on tape on Channel 22 and also on You Tube. The first Town Board Meeting of each month is still not broadcast or on tape or YouTube, and no constituent participation of any kind is permitted. Why, you wonder? So do I. Call Ms. Maas and ask her to explain her reasoning.

Ms. Maas began by saying that prior to the meeting starting, the Town Board had two public hearings:

The first was a public hearing to amend the Town Code by removing the Procurement Policy.

First taxpayer speaker Bill Mc Cabe: Although he understands updating the fees and removing them from the Town Code, he has trouble understanding the presence of “H” in the procurement policy which appears to contradict “G” in that policy. Letter “H” appears to remove accountability from the rest of the procurement policy and to set up an atmosphere in which unfair favoritism could flourish.

Ms. Maas said Councilperson Kelly had already notified the town about this yesterday. Ms. Maas said letter “H”  would be fixed. Mr. McCabe said that letter “H” opens the Town to possible cronyism. Ms. Maas agreed. Ms. Maas said Mr. McCabe was right.

Tom Beissinger spoke to agree with Mr. McCabe and to note that lack of documentation would destroy a competitive market. Ms. Maas agreed and said that the Town lawyer had noted two other issues that needed to be fixed and that revision would be done.

The Second Public Hearing was on Storm Water Management

Second Public Hearing on Storm Water Management was introduced by Mr. Kolb who explained that he is the Storm Water Management Officer– a result of the Clean Water Act of 1972.  Storm related issues are overseen by the Town, including highway projects. There are  annual report  and  public hearings required. The basic idea is to protect water quality and ensure best management policies.  All the information presented tonight can be found on the Union Vale Web Site and is also kept in the office of George Kolb. Mr. Kolb said this is an unfunded mandate, and Ms. Maas and Mr. Welch agreed. Mr. McCabe asked whether this oversite involved stream protection. The answer is that this involves any kind of water body, and the county did pay for mapping of these bodies of water. Mr. Kolb said he would work with both Highway and Recreation in inspecting and maintaining these bodies of water. Public hearing is closed.

At 7:41 pm the Official Union Vale Town Board meeting of May 17, 2018 was begun with a salute to the flag.

  • minutes were approved
  • Ms. Maas made a motion to approve the MS4 document for 2018
  • Mr. Wisseman then rose to report on his highway work. He said that this year he did not need to spend the usual 15-20 thousand dollars on buying dirt for the the dirt roads ( Ed. note: Mr. Wisseman said after saying this, “Sorry, Scott.” Apparently this was an inside joke. But it does make me wonder who this Scott is, did the Town always buy dirt only from him?  And what was so different about this year’s dirt supply?)
  • The street sweeping will start on Monday. Ms. Maas wanted to ask about the culverts on Cutler. Mr. Wisseman said he will talk to her about this. Mr. Wisseman said he has about 440 thousand dollars left. Quinlin Rd., Jordan Court, part of Still Rd., and Deer Pond Rd. are on the list to be re-paved.

The Town Hall will be closed on Saturday,5/19/18 because the parking lot will be paved.

Last year’s Board made a good decision in contracting for this last year before oil prices went up.  Motion to accept 284 as Mr. Wisseman outlined it. Motion carried.

Europa McGovern and Saving Money through Green Energy Use

  • Special Guest: Europa McGovern–She works for a NYCERTA funded program and was in Union Vale last year speaking with Council member Dave McMorris. Her program works with local government to encourage use of renewalable energy which lower energy costs. This is her update.
  • There are ten high impact actions which qualify a Town to enter this grant program. She is available to help communities work on completing these actions. When a town completes four actions, the town is eligible to receive some grants
  • .First action: Already Union Vale  has a resolution to complete bench marking ( monitoring large building energy use)
  • Second Action: Union Vale has already adopted a unified solar permit and already received some grant money for this
  • Third: certification of Town representatives in the program- Town officials have already done this by attending workshops
  • Fourth action is to be decided–

 1. Possibly  the Town could upgrade based on bench marks–10% reduction in energy- and generate reports about the upgrade

2.The Town could pursue creating Clean fleets- use alternative fuel  or vehicles–some monies are available– charging stations for vehicles must be publicly accessible– public is charged through subscription fee to use vehicle charging station–the town’s making money is therefore a possibility– grants are possible

3. Climate smart community certification and pledge– probably not achievable by town at this point.

4.   Starts with a resolution– town has drafted one. In Ulster County there are already twelve which have taken the Climate Smart pledge, and there are now 16 out of 28 communities in Dutchess which have thus far taken this pledge.

5.  Another possibility for the future is to have town become default supplier of electricity. Some towns have already done this. This can be an aggregation of towns which then buy megawatt blocks.This results in lower electrical costs and more use of green electricity.

The Town Board then introduced, voted on , and accepted Resolution 18 to Adapt to a Changing Climate Resolution. This resolution recognizes that the use of various substances by humans has contributed to an increasingly warm earth and an unstable world climate. The Town of Union Vale adopts the Climate Smart Pledge. John Walsh suggested sending a copy of the resolution to the Planning Board. This resolution was read aloud.

Town Supervisor’s Report: We collected $161,949 in timely tax payments and late fees. Recreation Dept. took in $ 64,000 for its camp registrations. FEMA sent storm damage money to the town.

We at this point are at 40% of each department budget amount.

The Board is still working on the final wording of the Procurement Policy and next is the Employee Manual. Cash audits are complete and the annual update report is ready. The Town implemented pay check reform and hired a pay check provider.  Last month 8 employees signed up for deferred compensation plan by which they contribute on a pretax basis. May 15 is Peace Officer Day, but two council members had to be out so that will be done next month.

Mr. McMorris: Memorial Day Services on the Green at 9:00 am.

Mr. Walsh: went to new Vassar Hospital, high-tech, more with neo-natal and heart care- 545 million dollars were spent. This should be open next year.

Ms. Maas announced that Millbrook High School Girls soft ball team went to state and won. Parade on Franklin St. in Millbrook.

Mark Covielo has resigned from County Legislature. The candidates to replace him will be interviewed next Monday, and then the Town of Beekman will interview. Both Town Boards vote for the replacement to start on May 29,2018.

Shredding day is next Wednesday. Grievance Day for Taxes is May 23 also.

Public Comments on Agenda Items:

Bill McCabe: The sign law making distinctions between two areas is good. Is there any attempt on the part of the Board to address strobe lights in neighborhoods, such as Christmas lights? Also although the previous Boards have made commitments to deal with political signs, nothing has yet been done. Bill reminds us of that.

Ed Kaich: Our Community Day is June 2,2018, Saturday. This committee of volunteers is working to put together a number of family oriented activities. “We are trying to get community members back involved with the community. “Every thing is volunteer based. Friday, June 22 is our Community Night, a tail gate and fireworks. Ms. Maas thanked Jessica from Recreation for making beautiful banners.

Jake         then reported about the Parks– new flag pole– ball field.

Recycling: Tom St. Onge said there were 21/2 tons of garbage picked up in the Earth Day week. Tom wants to keep this record breaking pace up, so he will continue to have the center provide clean-up bags.

Jessica: Recreation: Community Day- pool opens just for that afternoon.–visit Unionvalerec.com for details. June 25 the pool opens full time. June 8 is registration for several activities, so check out the website. Miles of Hope in April had a fine turn-out. The full moon hike was also great. Twenty people turned out for the Godfrey Park Day.

Old business-digital sign law: the county will give Union Vale its thoughts on signage. Eventually there will be a public hearing on this. (Ms. Maas did not mention election signs.)  Mr. Walsh spoke about the progress of placing handicapped parking. Some of the green areas near the Senior Center will become handicapped parking. Much of this money comes from a federal government grant. Ms. Maas then introduced a resolution to contract with engineers. The engineering survey is $12,000. The county allocated only $4,000. for engineering in their budget. Morse Associates is the engineer firm.

Dutchess County SPCA got a subpar report, its second in  a row,  for its facility in Red Hook. Possible suggestion for future is to build dog runs locally.

Ms. Hittsman then talked about Verbank Gas and Provisions. She ran the naming contest.  Only three people entered. Sharon Slocum’s Sprout Creek Station was chosen ( Ed. note: the original rules required “Verbank” be in the name. Just wondering? Also is the new name in any way ironic, based as it is on the name of the tributary which many believe is in danger of pullution from oil?).  This name choosing, Lizette said, was a way to bring our community closer.

Possibility of a Town Center–zoning, master plan discussions, a lot of work, but we need to do research. We could start discussing this.

Resolutions of Local Law #3- eliminate Chapter 24 article 64.–read and passed.

An Efficient Way to Do Shoddy Work

Resolution approving the procurement policy: — Dave asked whether this vote should be done before the policy is changed. Ms. Maas said it makes no difference. Dave withdrew his objections.– (Ed. note–  So, under the guidance of Ms. Maas and with the agreement of Mr. Walsh and Mr. McMorris (who did at first question this, but then deferred to the other two), this flawed language, which the Supervisor agreed contradicted itself, was passed. Language has value. On other occasions, the Town Bd. has even adjourned to Executive session to deal with issues, but this time a bill, which everyone agreed was not acceptable, became Town Policy. This idea of having closed Work Meetings does have a cost: there is less input and less time to consider other views.  Also rushing through a vote on a topic covered in a public meeting at the beginning of the meeting at which the vote on that topic is scheduled to take insures that there is no opportunity to make adjustments, even if everyone agrees that adjustments must be made. This is an efficient way to do shoddy work, not an acceptable way to run a town.–What do you think?)

Next Town Board meeting (no video recorded documentation and no citizen input allowed) is on June 7,2018.

May 3, No Electronic Record, No Constituents Comment UVTBd Meeting

Once, again, before we start, do you wonder, as I do, why there is no electronic recording of this other than those that members of the Union Vale Democratic Committee make on their own? Public business is discussed and public tax monies hang in the balance, so why no public distribution of the conversation? If you wonder too, please call ALL of the members of the Town Board and ask why.

The first item was a discussion of a review of the improvements to the UV Town parking lot, striping, and walkway in front of the Tymor barn complex:

  • choice of black top or permeable substance
  • striping (paint lanes for parking) vs. cement headers
  • make Tymor Rd. a private road (as public rd.,backing out on to it  is not approved
  • cost of drainage when parking lot is black-topped vs. the cost of the town’s using permeable materials (someone will need to check with state D.O.T).

Next item discussed was the Town Handbook

  • Personal Time Off–sick days, vacation, leave, personal and bereavement time off — are there too few?
  • What are the rules for taking breaks?– ambiguous now
  • Employee suggested plan to revise vacation, salary, and sick leave policies—————————–(1)probation of three months at lower rate and scale    (2) a scale of increments for vacation leave  (3) twelve days sick leaver yeare and four days personal leave
  • Health insurance–went from zero contribution from employee to 20% contribution  and 50% of deductible in one year — thus creating a 13% pay cut– UV Town was the best employer of town workers and is now the worst in Dutchess County
  • Ms. Maas did say this was harsh and needed to be examined again now– possibly joining NYSHIP’s insurance group to set up a fair pay base

Next item is Using Outside Payroll management

  • should the town go to two times a month pay periods (15th and last day) — cuts down from 26 to 24 pay checks — those paid monthly would receive pay on last day of month — would save $600.00 a year
  • no more time time clock; rather check in and out on phone app.

Next issue discussed was the procurement policy

  • one big change is an update on costs to match surrounding towns: the requirement for an attorney to approve a contract has gone from 25 thousand to 35 thousand in keeping with price escalation and the practice of surrounding towns
  • on May 17, 2018 (the Town meeting that permits constituent comments), citizens will be permitted to address the resolution to adopt a new procurement policy
  • There was a handout on the proposed policy with the changes noted in red. We assume that any taxpayer who wants one of these may go to town hall and get one. (Maybe while there ask why that first meeting of the month is not electronically converted or documented.)
  • (Editor’s note: letter H of this policy (not subject to proposed change) seems to be so ambiguous and as to permit cronyism should an unscrupulous board choose to be so. In the event that such a board might exist in the realm of all possible boards, we think the wording should be more specific so that the section says what it means rather than leaving the door open for intrigue.)

Next issue is Sign Policy

( Editor’s note: despite two requests at citizens’ speaking permitted Town Board meetings, there is no mention of political signs in this policy. Ms. Maas did say after her election that she would be willing to set a fair policy for the placement, size,  and duration of electioneering signs in the town.)

There will be two categories of Sign Policy: one for Rt. 82 (Hamlet/residential) and one for Town Center (RT. 55)– where state and county policy enters the picture

  • the maximum height will be ten feet or 20 feet?  TBD
  • there will be no flashing lights
  • the sign may change–how often has not been determined
  • no rolling or flashing, but sign can change periodically
  • no roof mounted signs
  • all lights must be LED
  • possibility that there will be a limit on the number of lumens in commercial signs and there must be conformity to light pollution issues
  • any  part of a sign structure is part of the sign
  • five foot minimum setback is required
  • Town cannot monitor content of signs

Last Topic was Miscellaneous:

*2 public hearings at May 17th Town Board meeting.

  • John Rapetti retired from the Planning Board– a resume of a new applicant for  the Planning Bd. was handed out
  • Legislator Mark Coviello is resigning from the County Legislature on May 15th so the Town Bd. of Union Vale and the Town Bd. of Beekman  will meet on May 29th to replace Mr. Coviello with someone to be appointed until the next election (this November). Applicants will be interviewed prior to that meeting. (See UVTB site to get details).
  • Europa McGovern will speak at the next Town Bd. meeting regarding grant application.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 20, 2018: Official UVTown Bd. Meeting: We Get to Ask Questions

Prior to the Official Union Vale Town Board Meeting (UVTBM), there was a public hearing on Local Law to Amend Town Code for Collection of Escrow Deposits by Zoning Board of Appeals. No one from the public rose to speak, so the Union Vale Town Board (UVTB) voted unanimously to amend the Town Code as stipulated in the resolution.

The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. After the minutes were approved, the supervisor, Ms. Maas, gave her report on Town finances. Among other details, Ms. Maas said that a contract for LED lightening had been bought out in order to save 12.5  per cent yearly interest rates the remainder of the contract. The price of buying out this contract was$15,500 which came from the contingency budget (writer’s note: please come back to this figure when at the end I question why five retired town officials were given $18,000 to pay 50% of their supplemental insurance premium costs although the Town Code clearly stipulates that 100% is required). Supervisor Maas then said that the UVYB is making progress on the policy manuals, the Town  has received $35,500 for storm related damage from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a result of a request by last year’s board, has begun working a a Deferred Compensation Plan for Town employees, and has changed the titles of employees in the Recreation Department.

Each of the other members of the Town Board then commented:

Town Board Member Welsh:

  • has been working on the Town Internet Policy and a grant for handicap accessibility which had been won last year and which he hopes will be finalized next fall
  • the Dutchess County Office of the Aging will hold its Picnic on May 30,2018 in Wingdale
  • there is a need to hold a public hearing on storm water management programs

Town Board Member Steve Frazier:

nothing to report

Town Board Member Kelley:

  • introduced her research on Community Choice Aggregation which 5 Dutchess municipalities   already participate in and which has saved them much in energy costs
  • commented on her Senior Citizen works regarding home repair assistance, communication issues, and availability of rides to grocery stores and doctors’ offices

Town Board Member McMorris:

  • has arranged for a new flag pole and flag (The Fusileers were the donors) to be used for the first time this Memorial Day–a bugle is also being donated by this group to the UV Fire Company
  • Dave is arranging for a “Walk of Honor”  to be put near the flag pole in front of the UV Firehouse–he believe this could be done through donations and families buying bricks to honor veterans
  • Dave and Jake Gosnell (Head of Parks) and George Kolb (Building Inspector) all attended a meeting in Middletown to learn more so they can bring green, money-saving energy to Union Vale–the towns of Rochester and Esopus are currently saving  and even making money on their use of solar on their landfills
  • Dave pointed out that the Central Hudson lines now end at the UV property line so making the switch to solar energy should be much less expensive than in other towns

Agenda Item Comments from the Public: Mrs. McCabe rose to request that political signs be discussed in the new signage rules–currently political signs are not supposed to be put up in town prior to 30 days before the election, but if someone violates the size or placement law regarding such signs, that person is given 30 days to take the sign down before penalties are applied. Anyone can see that this law has little effect.

Next Ms. Maas introduced Ed Kasche, who has agreed to chair the Community Day committee.

Ed Kasche:

  • New community day approach– two days– June 2 and June22, the first in the day, the second at night ending with the fireworks
  • a schedule of events is in the works, many former events and some new–stay tuned for more

(thanks to Ed and his Committee for his enthusiasm and time)

Jake Gosnell (Parks)

Jake spoke of his need for a new mower and presented his research- The UVTB was very receptive

Tom St. Onge (Recycling Center)

April 21 and 22 constituent Earth Day weekend and clean-up day around Union Vale. To get involved in a hands on fashion stop by the Recycling Center get an orange trash bag, fill it, leave it by the road side, tell the Recycling Center where you left it, and help make the Town cleaner.

Safety equipment for volunteers can also be obtained at the Recycling Center.

Old Business

Ms. Maas:

Taking another look at the idea of farm operations and wedding venue site rentals, Ms. Maas said that there would be no new laws coming from the Town (we will follow State law) but that if residents had complaints they should register such with her and something will be done.

The Signage for Town Center and Neighborhood Commercial Districts has been rethought and there will be more information coming later.

Former Supervisor Hitsman was called on to announce a contest to name the gas station on Rte. 82 that will be erected on the property she sold. A free tank of gas, a beverage, and some food constitutes the prize for having the name chosen. The name must have the word “Verbank” in it.

A resolution was passed declaring April Pakinson’s Awareness Month.

A motion was made to pay town bills.

Public Comments: Mrs. McCabe read most of the following statement in her three minute time period:

Anne McCabe-Darren Rd.
Ms. Maas, at the first vote of the first official meeting of the Town Bd in 2018, you urged your peers on the Town Bd. to vote to pay 50% of the supplemental insurance premiums for five
retired persons affiliated with the Town of Union Vale. Although you never disclosed their name or affiliation with the Town, you assured your Town Bd. peers that no one had “told them” they had to pay 100% of this supplemental insurance premium cost as stipulated by the Town Code, the equivalent to the Town Constitution. The vote came as a motion, not a resolution, from Mr. Welsh who voted to pay out these public funds for this year (not agreeing to follow your suggestion to make this payment somehow “grandfathered in.) The Town Bd. voted to do so.
At the end of that meeting, I tried to ascertain whether these five retirees were employees of the town or elected officials– the difference was significant to me in terms of what a reasonable person might expect from each– the one seeking a job, the other seeking to become an official of the town. Your response was that these were “staffers.” That was not an answer to my question, so I used the Freedom of Information law to find out exactly who each was, what position each held, and when each retired. I discovered that all were in fact elected officers of the Town, 3 having been Town Supervisors, 1 a Town Clerk, and 1 a tax collector.
All were ethically charged by the offices for which they ran and the support for which they asked people to follow the Town Code. Each by virtue of his or her office knew it to be the final word in Town procedure and law.
So, although I have great empathy for all of us in these days of rising insurance costs, I find that first vote to be essentially flawed by virtue of insufficient information presented and misleading statements made. I ask you to nullify that motion.
Personally I believe that each person can only pursue happiness if given access to affordable health care, and my solution would be a single payer system. I acknowledge that most of you do not share this belief. But, I believe that you all would agree that bestowing special grants to only certain people, no matter how close to them we are, by using public funding to do so is not good policy.
I ask you to nullify that first vote of 2018 which has, no matter what your actual intentions were, all the appearances of cronyism.

Former Supervisor Hitsman then rose to recall the work she had done on removing the bushes around the fishing area.

Next Official Town Meeting  is May 17, 2018.