Town of Essex New York
Town Board Meeting February 12, 2015
Unofficial Meeting Minutes
Supervisor: Ed Gardner
William Morgan (unavailable)
Also Present: Michael Diskin Essex County Treasurer, Joe Provoncha Essex County Clerk, Pat Gardner Town Assessor, Tina Gardner WWTP Operator, Jane Terlouw, Bonnie Monoski, Vickie Dickerson, Mr. Dickerson, Bradley French Highway Superintendent, Hillary Stransky, Jan Fortune, Dr. John Fortune, Rob Ivy, Sharon Boisen, Kristen Peden, Zach Peden, Emily Gardner Phillips, Steve Phillips and several others who arrived later and we were unable to get their names.
(The meeting room was filled with residents, highest number of attendees in over a year. Thank you for coming.)
Supervisor Gardner opened the meeting by leading those present in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Roll Call was done by Pat Gardner (results above)
Supervisor Gardner advised the audience Sharon Boisen was videotaping the meeting.
Vicki Dickerson was introduced. She wanted to publicly thank Ed Gardner for all of his work on the transfer of the Cemetery.
Supervisor Gardner introduced Mike Diskin who is County Treasurer (20 years’ experience) who will be helping Essex with the taxes in the Town Clerk’s absence. The County has a Resolution that allows the County to become involved with Town taxes – if the County and Town agree – to collect taxes. It allows the County to help to collect taxes if a Resolution is passed by the Town and a written agreement is signed between the Town and the County. A copy of the County Resolution was shared with the Town Board. No plan developed to do this yet and will require some work with the IT people. Will probably collect at the County and may send someone to Essex. If and when you appoint someone as deputy they can handle taxes also. They will require training.
Resolution offered by Supervisor Gardner to allow the Town and County to jointly collect taxes for the Town of Essex. (Permanent Agreement unless rescinded, but need not be used each year.) No discussion. Roll call vote – all in favor.
Mike Diskin will be out of the office next week but will have his office call and begin discussion.
Supervisor Gardner announced: For Public Information – Billy appointed my wife Patty (Gardner) here as his Deputy Town Clerk. (Date of appointment was not shared.) She has been duly sworn in and has plenty of experience in both bookkeeping and secretarial work ¦ (This is in addition to the Town Board’s appointment of Dottie James as Deputy Town Clerk at a Special Town Board Meeting on January 26, 2015. There was no authorization by the Board for a second Deputy Position, nor town board resolution accepting said appointment.)
Opened to questions from the Public: Dr. John Fortune asked how we were to make out checks, the tax bills state pay to order of William Morgan, Tax Collector – Councilman Wrisley asked if checks could be cashed. Was advised yes. Councilman LaPine stated that the Town Clerk never signed the checks, they were stamped for deposit only.
A resident stated he/she was unable to hear Board Conversations despite the fact he/she was seated in the front row. She/he was told by the supervisor I’m not talking to you, I’m talking to them (town board) and perhaps you need a hearing device.
Olive Alexander presented residents’ questions received from the Public via her privately owned web site essexnewyork.org. Residents want to know if the taxes will be shown as paid on date they were received, rather than the date processed and also if receipts would be provided with the actual date paid. Mike Diskin assured the public this can and will be done. It may be a while before everything is caught up however.
Discussion of Donation received from the Vanderhorsts to secure the bench they donated that is in front of the Town Hall. Discussion on how this could be accomplished but no decision was made.
Discussion reference Air Quality Sensors (3) for the Waste Water Treatment System. Tina Gardner has found them available on the Internet for $300.00 (+) each. She has established an account with the Internet Vendor that allows the equipment to be billed (30 day). Purchase was approved.
Resolution to approve a request for a handicapped Parking Space for the Community Church. (North and South on Rte. 22). This was approved by all and a request will be made to New York State for their approval.
Resolution of Appreciation to Craig Jackson and family for shoveling snow around the Town Hall. All approved.
Resolution to Establish a Safety Committee for the Town of Essex (Requested by NYMIR, the Town’s Insurer): Bryan Garvey, Bradley French and Donald Christian nominated and approved by all. The Committee will conduct safety reviews at the Town Hall and other Town owned buildings. Jan Fortune asked for clarification and Supervisor Gardner explained this is done to identify and remedy safety violations.
Resolution to move $1,000.00 from Animal Control PS to Animal Control CE to cover the cost of shared service Dog Control with Willsboro. Approved by all.
Reports: No copies of any of the reports were made available to the Public. (It also appeared that the Councilmen were reading the reports for the first time during the meeting.)
Town Clerk Report – This was tabled since the FBI has the computer. The public was assured by the supervisor that this will be prepared when the Computer is returned from Virginia.
Supervisors Report – available but not shared verbally
Supervisors County Report – People are interested in the storm drainage. Work should start by end of March and hope to complete by end of June. There will be an informational meeting and we will notify the public. This is an informational meeting so you are requested to write down your questions. Supervisor stated he has not seen the plans.
Highway Superintendents Report – Brad French advised us that the new fuel storage tank is installed (partially filled), built catwalk and ladder for access, and that they have insulated heating pipes at the building. Hopefully this will reduce fuel costs
Wastewater Operators Report – Tina (Gardner) and Ronnie (Jackson) have met with someone to discuss receiving Raw Sewage at our WWTP. They hope to visit a pilot program in Buffalo NY this spring and summer. Another opportunity is in Lake George (different company). Will be extra costs for labs. Remaining matter will go to the transfer site. Have to work out cost and savings.
Supervisor Gardner added that the County will assist us with grants.
Water Superintendents Report – available but not shared verbally (Annual test was made and reports same). Hoping to have a new test well drilling on School Street (Close/Mallet property). Supervisor Gardner stated the EPA won’t allow water from lake.
Code Officers Report available but not shared verbally
Assessor’s Report available but not shared verbally
Planning Board Report available but not shared verbally
All above reports were approved.
Emily Gardner-Phillips asked about the ZBA and advised they have accepted Dorothy Bliss’ resignation. (Supervisor Gardner stated he and others had attempted to have Dorothy remain on the ZBA.) Supervisor added there is an ad in the paper for a member of the ZBA and one for a seasonal employee at the transfer site. Emily complimented Kevin DeLaughter on his handling of the Chairmanship.
Supervisor Gardner advised the Public the Board would go into Executive Session for personnel matter. (Per OSC Personnel is not a valid reason for an Executive Session. Specifics are to be shared with those present, although the name is not shared. If it is in reference to an elected Official, it must be part of the Public Meeting. This requirement was not met. See Plattsburgh Press Republican January 21, 2015.)
The Board returned from the Executive Session and announced no action taken. Supervisor Gardner then adjourned the meeting.