October 15, 2019
Interviews with firms for the Inflow & Infiltration Study
Personnell, litigation and negotiations with town attorney
1. Hilltop Hanover Farm
Supervisor Gilbert announced that the county will spend $875,000 at the farm.
2. 2020 Census
Norma Drummond, Westchester County Commissioner of Planning, made a presentation on the upcoming 2020 census and the importance for Yorktown of getting an accurate count. She explained that past census reports have undercounted the number of residents in the northern part of Yorktown north of Route 6 and that an undercount can means significant lost dollars in federal aid programs for Yorktown. She explained that other Westchester communities with undercount issues have formed local committees to encourage resident participation.
3. Stormwater permit, 1753 Central Street
The board approved a stormwater permit to build a single family house on a vacant lot at the corner of Richard Place. Town Board action was required because of the amount of soil to be removed. By town code, the application did not require a referral to advisory boards or a public hearing. The town engineer advised the board that the applicant’s engineer had addressed all the concerns raised by his department.
4. Courtesy of the Floor
Candidates night: Jay Kopstein raised the issue of the disagreement the two political parties are having over hosting a candidates night and asked the parties to “grow up.” At issue is the position of the Yorktown Democrats that the debate be moderated by the League of Women Voters and not the Chamber of Commerce. (Note: the Democratic position is that there is a conflict of interest because at least three of the candidates are on the Cjhamber board.) His comments were followed by two members of the Chamber, Eric DiBartolo, the former president, and Serge Esposito, the current president, who stressed the Chamber’s non partisan history. Mr. Esposito said the debate will go on as scheduled.
Summit Hill. The same residents who have spoken in opposition to the proposed development at previous meetings again addressed the board. In response, Supervisor Gilbert stated that the board is still waiting for more information and that no decisions have been made regarding the rezoning.
Tennis Courts. Using before and after photographs, Larry Killian thanked the board for the nine newly refurbished tennis courts.
5. Jefferson Valley Mall/public hearing on amended site plan for an outside door
(See Town Board 9-10-2019.) The board opened and closed the hearing and approved the amended site plan. ABACA, the Conservation Board and Police Department had no problems with the request. The VR studio will only be open late (9pm to midnight) on Friday and Saturday. Alcohol will be served. The mall has 24 hour security.
6. Miscellaneous resolutions
Hallocks Mill sewer extension. The board voted to hold one or two information meetings to begin the legal petition process to establish the new sewer district for 315 parcels. However, when Councilman Lachterman said he would not be available on the two proposed dates, the future dates of the meeting were left open. In response to questions from Councilman Lachterman about the availability of $10million from the DEP to help finance the $14.3 million project, Supervisor Gilbert assured him that the money has been committed to Yorktown.
Section 8 Housing Vouchers. The board approved a resolution opening up the waiting list for Section 8 housing vouchers for two days: January 8 & 9. The dates will be published in media outlets between November and December.
Empress Emergency Services. The board extended the contract for advanced life support services for two additional years at a cost of $635,400 for 2020 and $654,500 for 2021.
Open space acquisition for recreational use. Pursuant to a Planning Board subdivision approval, the board accepted a 15,700 sf parcel at the western side of a Buckhorn Street parcel to be reserved for recreational use as a future potential connection to trails north of this property.
Obsolete vehicles and equipment. The board approved selling at auction a variety of no longer needed vehicles and pieces of equipment from the Water and Parks Departments.
ACCCC 2020 rental rates. The board approved the hourly rent schedule for rooms at the building.
Mohegan Retaining Wall, (See Town Board 9-10-2019.)The board approved a resolution that corrected the earlier resolution authorizing the expenditure of up to $25,000 for additional engineering consulting services. The board expects that the vendor who received the contract to replace the wall will pay for the town’s consultant to review the requested change in the type of concrete blocks to be used. Although Councilwoman Roker initially had reservations about the town’s ability to change the job specs after the bid had been awarded, the town attorney assured her that the change could be made as long as the substituted material was equal to the material in the original bid specs. If the town’s consultant approves the change, the contractor will issue a credit to the town and also do some additional drainage work to address runoff on the lake side of Mohegan Avenue.
Legal services. In an item not on the agenda, as a follow up to a press conference Councilmen Lachterman and Diana held the previous week about a recent ruling by the Attorney General’s Grievance Committee of an ethical complaint they made in February 2018 against the Oxman Law Group, Councilman Lachterman asked the board to approve two related resolutions: one would have the town pay to provide separate legal counsel for both Councilmen Lachterman and Diana because they have “lost confidence” in the Oxman Law Group, and a second resolution that called for the board to advertise a RFP for new legal services. The first resolution, seconded by Councilman Diana, was defeated 2-1-2 with Supervisor Gilbert voting no and Councilmen Roker and Patel abstaining. The second resolution, also seconded by Councilman Diana, was defeated 2-0-3 with Gilbert, Roker and Patel abstaining.
In the discussion preceding the vote, Supervisor Gilbert disputed the factual basis for Councilman Lachterman’s charge that there was any conflict of interest leading up to the hiring of the Oxman Law Group and he accused Councilman Lachterman of being politically motivated. He also reminded Councilman Lachterman that the letter from the state’s Grievance Committee that had “admonished” the Oxman Law Group very clearly stated that the letter was confidential and that the Councilman had violated the law by making it public. In response, Councilman Lachterman defended his actions, stating that he did what he did because he felt the public had a right to know the facts, even though the state’s letter said that if the complaining party disagreed with the Committee’s decision to keep the issue confidential, it could appeal the decision to the Appellate Court.