Linda R. Briggs, to Landmark Preservation Commission
Jason Zeif as code enforcement officer (Note: Mr. Zeif is already working in this position. The appointment appears to be to an upgraded position. The resolution was not in the published agenda.)
Lori Rotunno, from the Board of Assessment Review (Note: Ms. Rotunno was recently hired for a staff position in the Tax Office.)
3. Public Hearing, Sunoco Gasoline Station special permit
(See Town Board, 4/8/2014 and Planning Board 4/21/2014 for background.) In response to Supervisor Grace’s question about the status of a new sign, the Sunoco representative stated that he had passed on the town’s interest in a new sign to a different department in the corporation and that an internal conversation has begun on a new design, but that the sign issue was not part of the current application. In response to a resident’s comment that a sign that showed prices before she entered the station was an important feature to her, the representative agreed, adding that showing prices was a priority for the station.
After closing the hearing, the board voted 4-0 to grant the special permit. The Sunoco representative said the work would start in about two weeks, that the station and store would be open during the construction, and that the project would not take very long to complete.
4. Public Hearing on local law to fill vacancy in elected positions
Based on comments made during the hearing, from board members as well as residents, the board voted 2-2 to not adopt the law as proposed and then directed the town attorney to prepare a third draft for a new public hearing that addressed the concerns discussed during the hearing. Councilmen Bianco and Patel voted for the law as is and Councilman Bianco asked why Yorktown was having a problem enacting a law that the county and other towns already had.
As written, the law would have given the board 30 days to decide on an appointment to fill the vacancy. If no agreement was reached, the board “shall, at its next regularly scheduled meeting… call for and set a date for a special election...” Town Clerk Roker said that she has asked the Board of Election commissioners to review the draft and that they had no problem with its provisions. Councilman Bianco said the 30 day appointment time frame coupled with the special election provision gave the board options.
During the hearing, four issues were raised.
1. If the board was deadlocked 2-2, how could it vote to set a date for the special election?
It was agreed that to avoid this possibility, the language should be revised to mandate that the special election take place – while preserving the 30 day appointment option. Supervisor Grace argued the law should be appointment or election and not both.
2. Should the board be allowed to consider an appointment, after the initial 30 day period had expired?
Councilman Murphy suggested the law allow the board to make an appointment even after the special election date had been set – but before the election actually took place. Several residents spoke in opposition to this suggestion, noting that it would be unfair to candidates who spent money preparing for the election to suddenly have the election canceled. It would also mean that the money the town spent to set up the election would be wasted. The board appeared in agreement to reject this suggestion.
3. When would the special election take place?
Given the uncertainty as to when a position might become vacant, e.g., resulting in the death of an elected official, Supervisor Grace raised the possibility that a special election could be held just before the November election, something that didn’t make sense. He also noted that if the vacancy occurs on January 1, the election couldn’t take place until the end of April/early May at the earliest.
When Ms. Roker advised the board that state Election Law, which she said takes precedence over local law, addresses the timing issue and would apply to Yorktown, Supervisor Grace said that local law takes precedence over state law.
4. How would candidates for the special election be selected?
It was explained that under state Election Law, for special elections, the political parties choose their candidates but that nominating petitions, required for regular elections, are not required. Supervisor Grace thought this was unfair because it didn’t give party members an opportunity to challenge the parties’ selection in a primary challenge. In response to the question of how independent candidates could get on the ballot, it was explained that they would have to get petitions, but that there was likely to be a short time period for them to get the required number of signatures. This discussion also raised the issue of which law takes precedence: state Election Law or a local law.
The board directed the town attorney and the town clerk to meet with the Board of Elections commissioners to review the legal issues and prepare a new draft law for discussion at the next board meeting.
5.Sylvan Glen/Granite Knolls parkland alienation
Town Clerk Roker handed board members a 3-page document that she said was related to the parkland alienation issue. When Councilman Bianco said he wanted to read the document before voting on it, Town Attorney Koster explained that the document was a questionnaire that had to be sent to the state Parks Department as part of the town’s alienation request. On the suggestion of Ms. Koster, the board agreed to permit her to forward the draft responses to the questionnaire as long as it was clear that document was only a draft.
6. Courtesy of the floor
Correction.Dr. Carl Tegtmeier asked why the resolution approving the IMA (Intermunicipal Agreement) with the Northern WestchesterJoint Water Works to proceed with fluoridation that was on the board agenda released the previous Friday was not on the agenda this evening. In response, he was told that the town attorney had not yet reviewed the document. Councilman Bianco asked that the documents we ready for a vote at next week’s meeting.
7. Selected resolutions passed unanimously
Digitization: Authorized a contract with Sullivan Data for $13,600, to be paid in three phases, related to preparing an RFP for digitizing town records and overseeing the installation and implementation of the project.
Hunterbrook Field. Authorized a contract with Environmental Maintenance Contractors for $11,825 for soil testing for a proposed multi use field.
Turkey Mountain: Accepted a donation of 4.5 acres adjacent to the Turkey Mountain Park Preserve from the Arrowhead Subdivision in satisfaction of the applicant’s recreation fee requirement, and dedicated the parcel as parkland.