Town Board “Regular” Meeting
May 18, 2011
Bob tells us this is the regularly scheduled meeting. I guess that makes the other
meetings irregularly scheduled.
Shawn Keeler, FD Chief, mentioned a pump-out and the weather. The fire department pumps out
flooded homes? I didn’t know that. Is that what he meant?
We don’t need burn permits now? Why? That doesn’t seem like a step forward.
Try composting instead.
The library is Jackie’s favorite.
Bob found something to be very amusing. Who knows what.
He mentioned the hazardous waste drop off, now over. I went to the Zero Waste Day. Many of the vendors did not make it through the full hours. I don’t understand why the county had a zero waste day and a hazardous waste drop off on the same day in divergent locations. Danny’s Cycles will recycle your working bicycles. We
can set up oil containers for recycling of cooking oil if we are so inclined. Putnam Humane Society takes
blankets and leashes, and is grateful for donations of canned food – Friskies for cats, and Grammy’s Pot Pie for dogs. Our own dog shelter can use donations, as can Putnam Felines.
And Habitat for Humanity is doing wonderful things too.
There was a meeting of the Leibell boys at the beginning. Unbridled politics. I have to give Bob credit for standing by his man. I disagree, even though Bob says that’s wrong. But Vinnie Tamagna and Sam
Oliverio are doing their best to distance themselves from their long term support of Mr. Leibell, financial as well as political, while maintaining the government that Vinnie built. So far, they are successful.
Vinnie Tamagna was at this month’s TB meeting too. Hmmm…
The auditor was there. The town’s fund balance is on the low side of acceptable – 12%. The highway department’s is too low – about 6%. The fire department’s is in negative territory.
Sam O is running again, despite term limits. He is past the limits, but they are delayed until February so that he can run again. He is very happy about the Oregon Corners bridge being half painted blue. And he
says that the county is buying the strips of property so that they can proceed with the Peekskill Hollow Road project.
That plan is intact, no changes. The public be damned.
He said something about the whole side of the mountain at the school cut down. Huh?
Bob brought up the work that Maple Leaf did next to the protected stream, without a DEC permit. Oh no, he didn’t bring that up. He talked about them cleaning up the corner. I think that you can have a business district at the confluence of two sensitive streams, and be kind about it, just not in Putnam Valley. Maple Leaf is the business that will have a landscaping equipment lot at the entrance to Lake Peekskill in a community commercial zone where landscapers are not allowed.
The school election was mentioned. Valerie Fitzgerald won for a 3 year term, David Spittal for a one year term.
Bob wants to start his $250k office in the fall, but John Landi told him that the spring was more likely.
He will be Supe for life. John Landi did a lot of talking at this meeting. What was that about?
They had a long, long discussion about properties in the flood plains of the Peekskill Hollow Creek. I don’t know why the town’s wetlands inspector was not involved in the conversation.
He would have had something useful to say. The Peekskill Hollow Creek is a DEC listed
stream. It is protected. Mr. Landi seems to believe that the stream’s path was changed in Hurricane Floyd and should be restored to what it used to be. The County has said that it would not be involved, but Vinnie Tamagna thought that they should get permission from the private property owners to work in the stream. Watch this section of the meeting. It will give you insight into the dysfunction of your local government at every level.
Bob seems to think that the DEC is unmindful of human beings, but it is the local government that has ignored wetlands and flood plains in building plans. I’m sure that the homeowners had no idea what floodplains were, but someone built in them. Think Mississippi River spillway. The stream may need some help, but don’t
count on this crew to make things better.
Someone mentioned that the flooding goes all the way to Quincy Road, but those houses were built in wetlands too, and flooding is common.
Wendy said that “We are all in this together.” We’re really not. We should have stopped making the mistakes
that we have been making, but that doesn’t seem likely to happen any time soon. And she said that “We have to
change the rules.” She has morphed into Bob. Hasn’t everyone?
Somebody talked about dredging. I think I was numb by that time.
Apparently they can’t do anything about a fence without a permit, on deeded right of way because they are busy with the grand projects.
They approved a payment to Princeton Hydro for an aeration feasibility study. Princeton Hydro did the Master Plan for Lake Oscawana for $35K. Now they will study the feasibility of that plan, for a fee. Doesn’t seem quite
right, but there isn’t anybody to do anything about it.
Mill Ponds is still having water problems. They have had years of water problems. Leaks, very high water
bills, very strange water bills. It’s not getting better anytime soon.
Bob is concerned about the water pipe/fire hydrant in North Shore Estates. It turns out that
it is Trading Post, not North Shore. The snow plow broke it and the insurance company says that the town is not liable. The fire department apparently accepts dedication of such pipes, so they own it.
But Bob says that they highway department should pay for it, and everyone agrees with Bob, and highway should mark its location. Why aren’t the homeowners responsible to make it visible in the snow? On another
topic, whatever happened to the town’s GPS? Fire hydrants could be tracked on that.
John Landi wants to upgrade the building department computers, a much better idea than Bob’s $250k office plans, much cheaper too.
John Landi wants to force horse farms to remove manure and have unannounced inspections. I remember NYS Dept of Ag and Markets on the subject. They didn’t agree with Bob or John and I’m not sure that they have changed their minds, but Bob and Bill are willing to litigate, so it doesn’t matter.
Wendy was very animated on the subject of manure. More power to her. Bob says you can’t dump in the wetlands, but Bob encourages and assists in clearing out next to wetlands despite the consequences and without proper permits. Bruce Barber was consulted on this one, but the problem is that he is
acting on both sides of the Lake Oscawana plan, and town enforcement. That just doesn’t work.
The problem with status quo is that it is status quo. The thing about no other opinions is that the
same opinion keeps rolling around in your brain like a hamster on a wheel.
And speaking of status quo, Mr. Lusardi is no longer working on the Kaspar case. Did you
think that because they do not discuss litigation in public that they are not litigating? The case will be taken over by an attorney in Bill Zutt’s office. Let’s keep it all in the family. And Bill will be handling legal work for the ambulance corps, which functions as a contract holder for the town. On both sides and the middle.
You would think that Vinnie’s guilty plea would change something, but apparently not.
Bob said that the building department should call the houses in Lake Oscawana that are required to pump out. John Landi was there, to tell him that was not feasible.
Wendy wants the town to help people pay for septic pumpouts. John Landi wants to organize a
group of septic companies to discount pumpouts. The problem is that the companies are also supposed to certify septic systems, and the town in supposed to enforce, so there is a conflict there. Bill Zutt said that they can
provide a list of companies that have expressed interest, but cannot recommend companies. He said it was a fine
distinction, but it’s a bit more than fine. They pass a law so that private companies can gain and then tell you who to go to.
Bill wants to notify the properties in the NYC watershed that they are required to pump out their septics. Shouldn’t those properties have been identified and the owners notified before the law took effect? Did they ever figure out what they considered to be the Lake Oscawana watershed or did they just go with the tax district?
Adopt cats. Buy bagels. Save sea turtles.