Notes on No Minutes, No Public Comment, No Video Town Bd. Meeting 3.1.18

This Town Board Meeting is referred to as a “Work Meeting,” and Ms. Maas made clear it needs not have minutes, video recording, or public comment. We in Union Vale now have only one Town Board meeting, the second meeting of each month at which there are minutes taken, video recorded, and public comment and questions accepted– but this last has been changed to a three minute maximum as of the last public comment session at the dictum of Ms. Maas.

There were three town constituents present, two of whom made sound recordings of the meeting ( Open Meetings Law permits this). This summary is made from a sound recording.

The meeting began with the reading of an unspecified document which, based on references to language in the document had to do with the possession of credit cards by department heads and others. There was some sharp interaction between Mr. Frazier and Ms. Maas as to who might be issued such a card and whether direct access to the computer system was advisable. Ms. Maas said that her decision would be reviewed every year. The Town Clerk noted that an Amazon store card would make figuring the exact purchase and price easier.

Then there was a discussion of who had been holding Union Vale Town credit cards. Ms. Maas said that although the audit said only four, she had collected twenty. Mr. McMorris cited the loss of $11.000 at the concession stand and its connection to lack of good planning before purchasing.

Mr. Frazier reiterated his point that only Department Heads should have credit cards; there should be no designation of them to staff. The presence of invoices and statements as documentation of larger purchases was discussed.

Ms. Maas said that the internet policy under review now would be an issue in the purchasing method. Use of the computers must be restricted so that no Malware viruses could be introduced. Mr. Frazier asked how one could “shop” all sites. Ms. Maas introduced the idea of one computer not connected to other Town programs being used for such shopping.

Mr. Frazier asked why Ms. Maas had to be directly involved in the purchasing, and she replied that she did, suggesting that if he did not like this he vote against this. Mr. Frazier wanted “criminal charges” added to the penalty for misuse of credit cards. The others said this was a given. Mr. Frazier said that savings result from shopping by computer. Mr. Welsh asked whether Richie ( Wisseman) had been consulted about the policy, and Ms. Maas said that “Richie never uses a credit card.”

Ms. Maas and Mr.Welsh discussed using Trusted Agency Accounts for”some of these things we got going”– no specifics available through their conversation.

Ms. Maas mentioned that “Corrina wanted to chat about the open meetings law.” Ms. Maas went on to say that Mr.Robert Freeman said that in work sessions if there were no motions and votes then there was no requirement for minutes. Ms. Maas said there was something “we cannot talk about tonight. Something for the 15th…a confidential audit response. Call me tomorrow.”

At the next meeting there will be discussion of the fee schedule, three code issues — one of which is about the use of escrow accounts for area as well as use.

A town resident on Brush Hill Rd. asks that he be allowed to have a distillery and tasting room on his property. The code at this point does not allow this.

Mr. Molinaro has praised the Adapted Easter Egg Hunt.

Ms. Maas has a new flyer ready for renting out the Town fields, but Mr. Frasier reminded her that the attorney should approve this first,  based on past problems.

Mr. McMorris said the cameras were ready to go as agreed and voted on.

There was some question about the gas tank in the park being empty. No details were audible, except that Ms. Maas said, “That’s what I was told.”

Next, vouchers were signed and more conversation about Town business took place:

  • Portable toilets need to be put out to bid
  • Need to tighten up petty cash ( purchasing of ice packs cited here)
  • MS-4 requirements will give more info and plan to avoid future floods–some bridges and culverts need upgrades
  • Handicapped access needs to be discussed
  • Bid process needs to be addressed
  • First part of 3/15 meeting will be vote on Cold War Veterans Exemptions extension — 600 of these in Town-

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