Posted by: Dawn Powell | May 26, 2010

Putnam Valley Town Board – 5-19-10

“Regular” Town Board, May 19, 2010

 Dull, until public comment, not at all what I expected.

 Auditor – 14% of town budget in fund balance, highway find balance at $273,000, and he discussed health benefits and retirees’ benefits.

 Then the blah de blah blah blah.

 Sam O – George’s clean up is taking place without the strange revision that the legislature made to Chapter 31.  He is removing the tanks pursuant to a DEC order that had been set aside for financial hardship.  So where does that leave the county, and all of Mr. Tendy’s plans?  If he wants an environmental cause, how about the repair of the riparian buffer at the Osterer property.  The wetlands permit was for removal of the burned out building, not annihilation of the buffer.  Of course, Bob has been out there damaging buffer himself, so I would think he believes that the destroying wetlands is a good thing.

 There is a charter review of the county legislature in conjunction with the census.  Term limits are being discussed.

 Firehouse – The cost estimate is now over $10 million.  Mr. O requested a referendum.  Bill Z. says we can’t do one, but he is asking the state comptroller for an opinion.  The Planning Board has declared a positive declaration of environmental significance for the project.  The scoping session at the Planning Board has not yet been set.  Patty tried to ask about the grant, but was ignored, then told she would have to wait for public comment to ask a question.

 Bob said “we are discussing” the Town use of the existing firehouse, and some fuzzy financial advantage to that.  But we never know who “we” are.  We just know it’s not us.

 There was a promotion in parks and rec….. I thought that civil service steps went along with time on the job, not special performance bonuses…..

 Incentive zoning – on for July 14 at 6PM.  I will post it, but it is going to be amended. They did not discuss Bob Cinque’s changes publicly.

 “Non-conforming uses” was amended without regard to an irregularity in the public hearing, and no consideration of the comments and responses.  I will post Bill Zutt’s reply, but the Town Board didn’t care.  There must be someone for whom they are changing it, so time was of the essence.

 There is a group rehearsing at the Lake Peekskill Community Center.  I wonder if they are paying for it.  Why is it that the residents of Putnam Valley have to provide public space at district expense, but none of the buildings that the town taxpayers are paying for, have to do so?

 Public Comment

Bob made Patty wait for a song and a dance to ask her question.  Why doesn’t someone just tell us yes or no – was the grant submitted on time?  Do we still have any chance to get the grant?  Eddie M. said the project would not move forward without it.  Is he still saying that?  Do we have to pay the engineer the $500,000 if the current project is abandoned?

 And of course, the Town Board has never answered the questions, and the fire department hasn’t either.

 John Cohen asked that the public be given more information and access to discussions about the fire department.  Openness and access is a recurrent theme for the night, and Mr. Tendy remains clueless.  “My door is always open.”  “Feel free to call and ask your questions.”  But never any answers in public.  Odd….

{His answers in February – 

Will there be a vote and when?

BT’s response, “Dunno.”

Do you think the people of Putnam Valley can afford the firehouse?

BT – “Dunno.” }

 Part of the problem is that the Town does not want to give real access to information, and they do not want to have their discussions in public.  Planning Board documents should be online.  Any proposed laws should be online.  The firehouse documents should be online.  If you haven’t posted it for computer access, you are not transparent.  And if you have not included the public in your discussions, you are not transparent.

 And another part of the problem is that they are never clear about the process.  The next step for the firehouse is the scoping session at the Planning Board.  When they set a date, I will let you know, and probably PVRC will, but don’t count on your Town Board for that.  Forget assurances, just explain the process.  When someone asked about the process at the Planning Board meeting, she was told to discuss it with the Chair.  Huh?

 The scoping session is the moment when you get to ask that all your questions be answered.  They will not be answered there.  But they will be included in the environmental review.  The Town Planner will prepare his scoping questions first, but you get to add yours, in person or in writing.

 But I have a question before we get to that.  This zoning district is R3.  One document says that the Planning Board classified the firehouse as a municipal building, and therefore allowed in R3.  When exactly did they do that?  But Mr. Zutt was clear that this is not a municipal building, and that seems accurate.  So why are we even talking about it in an R3 zone (residential – 3 acres)?

 “If I were living in your house, I would have the same passion.”  Have that passion because these are the people you are supposed to protect.

 Then Bob was rude – hardly newsworthy.

There was also comment about a fence built without a permit, and non-enforcement by the building department.  It shouldn’t come to that.

DP


Responses

  1. Hello Dawn, I was at this town meeting and read the letter to the Town Board about the fence being built. The fence is still there.

    Would you have any suggestions on how I can proceed with my complaint? We do not have the money to hire an attorney.

    There is an ordinance (I believe it is called) in place that prohibits people from constructing a fence that blocks right of way access. Would you know where I would go, who I would ask, or where I should look to find out when this ordinance came into effect in Putnam Valley?

    Regards,

    Eleanor Yankovich

    • Well, that was quick action! That meeting was a year ago. Did the Board do anything? Did you go to the new building inspector with it? What is the right of way for and what is the fence blocking?


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