CLERMONT TOWN BOARD
JANUARY 7, 2013
The Clermont Town Board held its organizational and regular meeting on Monday, January 7, 2013 at 7:00 P.M. at the Town Hall. Those in attendance were Supervisor Raymond Staats, Councilwoman Nancy Moore, Councilman Robert Desmond, Councilman Evan Hempel and Councilman Edward Kahle.
Others present were the family of Anne Poleschner, Daughter Betty Jane Harte, Granddaughters Alyson and Caitlin Harte, son-in-law Tom Harte, five other town residents and John Mason of the Register Star.
Supervisor Staats opened the meeting with a moment of silence in memory of Anne Poleschner who passed away recently and the pledge of allegiance.
A letter was read and presented to the family of Anne Poleschner recognizing the service and contributions she made to the Town and County as Town Historian, member of the Clermont Memorial House, Friends of Clermont, Columbia County Historical Society and Columbia County Hospital Auxiliary. Betty Jane Harte presented an American Flag and Certificate, which was presented to Anne in 1988 by Congressman Gerald Soloman.
A motion was made by Councilman Desmond to accept the December 3rd meeting, seconded by Councilwoman Moore. All in favor. So carried.
A motion was made by Councilman Desmond to accept the December 27th Year-end meeting, seconded by Councilman Hempel. All in favor. So carried.
- Town Clerk’s Report: The town clerk presented checks to the Supervisor for the General Fund in the amount of $604.00 and for Trust and Agency in the amount of $1,448.75. A motion was made to accept the Town Clerks report by Councilman Desmond, seconded by Councilwoman Moore. All in favor. So carried.
- Letter to Community Residents about a Community Meeting to discuss school safety on Friday, January 11th at 7:00 P.M.
- Councilman Kahle reported that Berkshire-Taconic has another grant application, which he will be working on.
- Councilman Desmond will report to the Zoning and Planning Board about changes in pay scale for members attending meetings and alternates attendance.
- Councilman Hempel reported that Red Hook School will be holding a presentation tomorrow at 8:00 P.M. at high school on school safety.
- Web Committee: No comments or suggestions
- AUDIT: Professional Service Bids have been requested out for the outside audit. Three have been received and expect there will be a determination in February.
- INSURANCE BIDS: A presentation at the year-end meeting was made by Fingar Insurance. They had the lower bid over Kleeber Agency. In addition the deductible was increased from $500.00 to $1000.00 at a savings of $143.00. Councilman Desmond asked about discrepancy on the quote on the reduction of $165.00. This was a misquote at the presentation. A motion was made by Councilman Kahle to accept the quote of Fingar Insurance of $13,511.92, seconded by Councilman Hempel. All in favor. So carried.
- ENGINEERING AND LEGAL: Quotes have been received from Morris Associates, Town Engineers and Freeman-Howard, Town Attorney, but no others have come in to date.
- BOOKKEEPER: The current bookkeeper, Brian Fitzgerald has been reappointed, but until the Annual Report is completed and filed, no change can be made. Once we have received quotes they will be reviewed.
- Highway Department: The Highway Superintendent notified the Supervisor that the 2006 Ford 550 Dump truck used for plowing and hauling sand has a blown motor. The options are to either replace the motor or buy a new truck. The truck is in good shape and it pays to put a new motor in the truck, as opposed to $55,000.00 for a new truck. This would be an emergency repair because the truck is used for plowing and transport of materials, etc. The estimates received are from Joe’s Auto Repair for $15,000 for a new motor and labor and $15,065.00 from Rhinebeck Ford. Supervisor Staats suggests replacing the motor, which can be done this week, and awarding the bid to Joe’s Auto Repair. He is local and does work on our trucks. Councilman Hempel asked if this might be put through our insurance. The Supervisor will check into this. A motion was made by Councilman Desmond to award the bid to Joe’s Auto Repair to replace the motor and labor costs for $15,000, seconded by Councilman Kahle. All in favor. So carried. There is money in the budget, coming out of the Capital fund transfer done at the end of the year.
- Saturday, January 12th is the audit of the books for Clerk, Tax Collector, Justices and Supervisor at 10:00 A.M. The Board will also conduct interviews for the Zoning Board, Board of Assessment Review and for the Data Collector.
- BUDGET: The county budget was passed with a .4% decrease. This is the third year in a row with a decrease and the concern is that the cash on hand is decreasing and is down to about 7 million. This can be an issue when the retirement payment at the year-end is about 6 million. He feels that they have to change by looking at departments that can be either eliminated or be able to compete with private sector, such as the Solid Waste Department. Councilman Desmond said that as costs go up to get rid of the trash, people may start throwing it on the side of the road. The Supervisor believes costs could be reduced by attrition rather than layoffs.
- COURT HOUSE: The County is relocating employees to the Claverack School from the Court House, so that work can be done at the Court House.
- PINE HAVEN: Requests for Proposal’s have been put out for costs of what it will take to build a new nursing home.
- TOWN FINANCES: We will have final budget numbers from 2012 in February.
- The Supervisor thanked those who came out for Holiday Party, and those who helped to make it possible.
A motion was made Councilwoman Moore to approve General Abstract #1, vouchers #1-#16 in the amount of 18,287.23, seconded by Councilman Desmond. All in favor. So carried.
A motion was made by Councilman Kahle to approve Highway Abstract #1, voucher #1 in the amount of $2,279.13, seconded by Councilman Desmond. All in favor. So carried.
- Eileen Cassidy asked if there would be any changes in the Workplace Violence Policy. The board will be reviewing it on January 12th and any changes will be covered at the February meeting.
- Judy Blessinger-Neary would like to see the wording changed to "illegal" weapons. She feels that most of these shootings happen in gun free zones. The fact is that if it goes out on cable or reports that this is a gun free zone, it would not stop anyone from coming in and putting people in harms way. Councilman Desmond said that there is a provision for employees to carry with permission. He would like to see a consensus between the board members on this subject.
- Eileen is disturbed that this has turned into a discussion of 2nd amendment rights when it is a discussion on workplace violence. The board needs to work on the workplace violence policy, not the 2nd amendment rights. Councilman Hempel said that the members of the board are all concerned and not trying to legislate on gun free zones.
- Ed Cassidy asked if the lawyers had any problems with this policy? Our attorney gave us the copy of the County’s policy and probably doesn’t have any problem on changing it.
- Eileen doesn’t think that this is the place for weapons.
- George Davis asked if in February this would be further discussed. If there are no changes, the adopted will stand, but there are two other suggestions for changes and have to be reviewed.
- Ray Quintero asked if the Supervisor found out anything on why he was not notified of a subdivision on the Cole Property on Route 9G. The Supervisor apologized for not checking on this. He will contact the Planning Board Chairman.
- Judy Blessinger-Neary asked if the Community House could be used for social gatherings of political parties if the fee was paid. There would be no problem with that.
A motion to adjourn at 8:20 P.M. was made by Councilman Desmond, seconded by Councilman Hempel. All in favor. So carried.
Mary Helen Shannon, RMC