February 6, 2018
Personnel, law enforcement issue, contract negotiations, litigation
1. Report from Supervisor Gilbert
The supervisor announced that he has been meeting with condo associations regarding recycling issues. Also that he hopes to do more community outreach on the need to recycle and why and how recycling saves the town money. He also advised residents to notify his office if they see broken utility poles so that he can convey the information to the appropriate utility company.
2. Housing issues
Karren Perez, Section 8 coordinator, announced that February 8 was the deadline for submitting applications for the affordable housing lottery for the 12 units at Kear St and 70 units in Somers. Her office (in the YCCC) is also available to residents as a resource for questions dealing with housing issues.
3. Nutrition Center
Several drivers for the senior Nutrition Center were honored for their services.
4. Alliance for Safe Kids (ASK)
The annual Save a Life forum will be held March 18. There was additional discussion about efforts to address the drug crisis.
5. Legal services/town attorney
(See Town Board, 1-16-2018.) Marc Oxman, head of the Oxman Law Group that will provide interim legal services to the town, was introduced and in turn introduced Richard Abbate, a member of his firm, who will serve as town attorney. Councilman Lachterman, backed up by Councilman Diana, repeated his objections to the appointment and Supervisor Gilbert repeated his position that the town needed temporary legal services after Mr. McDermott announced his intention to resign. Supervisor Gilbert repeated his plan to advertise a RFP for permanent legal services, adding that he had not yet read the draft RFP that Mr. McDermott had drafted although Councilman Lachterman said he had viewed the RFP a week earlier. Mr. Lachterman also questioned Mr. Abbate’s lack of municipal law experience. During Courtesy of the Floor, Robert Puff reiterated Mr. Lachterman’s objections to the appointment of the Oxman firm.
6. Courtesy of the Floor
Kear Street: Jay Kopstein spoke about traffic problems on Kear Street resulting from the construction of the new building. In response, Councilman Roker said that she has also experienced the fact that the street sometimes becomes one way only.
Stony Street Traffic Study: Former Councilman Greg Bernard asked the town to proceed to select a traffic consultant to study possible improvements to the Stony Street/East Main Street intersection. (See Shrub Oak International School.) He said there have been four responses to last year’s RFP/.Based on last year’s RFP, he said there had been four responses to the RFP.
Town Board Liaisons: Former Councilman Greg Bernard asked if the board has appointed liaisons to the advisory boards. Supervisor Gilbert said that no decisions have been made to date.
Sober House/Underhill Ave: Geri Schwalb asked about the status of the sober house and what the town was doing based on a recent article in the newspaper indicating that the facility was operating. In response, Supervisor Gilbert said that the building inspector has not been allowed entry into the facility and that he and the new town attorney were gathering more information about the issue. Councilwoman Roker said the town was reviewing some legal issues, but did not specify what they were. (Note: during a discussion on the drug crisis, it was noted that the NYS Senate will be holding a public meeting on the possible need for legislation regulating sober houses on Thursday, Feb 15 at Pace University in Pleasantville.)
Dumpster litter: Dan Strauss advised the board of the litter problem from the dumpsters on Maple Hill Street and urged the board to clean up the area. He referenced a draft dumpster law that was proposed in 2016 but was tabled when some business owners objected stating that the law would be too expense for them to comply with.
Hyatt Cemetery: Edward Pell asked again for the board to act to take over the abandoned cemetery.
Second Courtesy of the Floor: Ed Ciffone asked about adding a second Courtesy to the end of the agenda. In response, Supervisor Gilbert said he thought that the beginning Courtesy may be sufficient and that adding a second Courtesy hadn’t been discussed by the board.
Granite Knolls Sports Complex: Ed Ciffone asked about additional costs to complete the project. In response, Councilman Lachterman said that the town had received $6.1 million from Spectra that will be used for the project and Supervisor Gilbert said he anticipated that there will be a shortfall of funds and that he was “working on it.”
7. Master Fee Schedule
(See Town Board, 1-23-2018.) The board decided not to advertise a public hearing on a proposed law that would have let the board change fees by resolution rather than local law. Councilman Lachterman noted that in the name of transparency, the law had been changed in 2017 to require fee changes to be made by local law rather than resolution. (Note: a public hearing is required in order to adopt a local law but not a resolution.) Supervisor Gilbert said that the change had been suggested by outgoing town attorney McDermott but added that neither he nor Councilman Roker were wedded to the idea.
8. Weyant/Roma Building mini study
The board tabled a proposed resolution calling for the Planning Department to coordinate a mini study of the two proposed abutting developments. Councilmen Diana said that the study would be unfair to Mr. DeVito, the Weyant developer, who needed a quick decision from the board, adding that lumping the two developers together was not a good idea. Councilman Lachterman supported Councilman Diana, adding that in conversations with Ms. Lee, who was representing the owner of the Roma Building, he was told that the owner did not have a real idea of what he wanted to do and that therefore it didn’t make any sense to study the current plan which he said was not a realistic plan. Councilman Roker said that while she supported the idea of a mini study and believed that it could be expedited, she was willing to table any action on the motion and talk again with Mr. DeVito.
9. Town Hall closings
Town Hall will be closed to the public on Thursday, February 15 and Friday, February 16 for the annual Records Management Inventory.
10. Weed harvester
The board awarded a bid for an aquatic weed harvester and tilt deck trailer, at a cost of $105,815. The equipment will be used on all town lakes, including Mohegan Lake. The funds will come, in part, from an $80,000 NYS grant. Prior to the vote, Ken Belfer, president of the Mohegan lake Improvement District thanked the board for the decision to move ahead with the purchase. (Note: the new harvester will replace an aging one owned by MLID that the community group made available to the town.)
11. Public hearings scheduled for March 201, 2018 (See Town Board, 1-23-2018.)
Wetlands permit for Jefferson Village drainage maintenance program
Crompond Road (Route 202) Gulf gas station special permit
Saw Mill River Road (Route 118) Mobil gas station special permit
Contract negotiations and legal matters