Posted by: Dawn Powell | November 25, 2011

Town Board – Ties, Challenges, 11/16/11 meeting

News in the Valley – TB 11/2011

Where did all that coin toss talk come from?

Gene Yetter has filed a court motion for a recount.  No news on his attorney.  Since the new machines have been used, recounting isn’t necessarily a fruitful endeavor.  The machine tells you if there is a problem with your ballot, and the numbers are checked.  Ballot counts are compared to voter counts.

Then, if you have voted by absentee or you have written in, your ballots are separated, and will be counted by hand.  The officials of the Board of Elections are present, candidates and their representatives.  Ballots can be challenged then.

These machines have improved the accuracy of the process significantly, and I am grateful for that.

Republican Commissioner Anthony Scannapieco said he had gone through the ballots repeatedly, and it was a tie.

The time line is very tight in elections.  Motions have to be filed quickly.  I thought the time was expired.  We shall see.

We can reasonably assume that no new ballots will be found.

We can also assume that the voter list has been examined thoroughly.

So a recount can ichange because a ballot that was excluded for being defective can be included, or they can exclude a ballot that was included.  That person’s right to vote can be defended.

If Mr. Yetter has indeed made the deadline, then we will see if there is any change, or if the tie stands.

Gene gave the quote of the evening at the regular Town Board meeting, “In this town, being ignorant seems to be a popular thing to do.” 

The tie has not improved Mr. Tendy’s demeanor, but it has had a positive impact on the budget.  Jackie and Wendy stood their ground, and the Board listened, even though we were treated to another one of Bob’s – it’s everyone else’s fault- diatribes.  BTW, it’s not.

But, apparently, we are still not permitted to know what the plan is for the fire department, or what they are spending their money on.  Bob doesn’t even see it as relevant.  The discussion was of the 2012 fire department budget, not the fire house, not what the fire department spends, not what is in their fund balance.  You really should hear this guy.  Sign the contract.  Let them do what they will.

Remember that the buck stops with the town board.

The rumor is that the firehouse is not moving forward, but there has been no official word from anyone, and no one has said whether the yearlong environmental review is continuing.  And if the project does not move forward, no one has talked about how we will pay for repairs to the existing building, or what will be done to alleviate the crowding issues, or whether there will be an attempt to secure other funds.

Don’t we have a right to know?  According to Bob, we don’t even have the right to ask the questions. 

And another thing, we have heard often that having a million dollars in the fund balance is not a misuse of the taxpayers’ money, that it has to be there because one fire truck costs $560,000, and then the fund balance is wiped out.  Do they pay cash?? Nobody will give them credit?  What’s that about?

Also raised as a collateral issue, the transfer station.  It is for garbage.  The lease was $30K, then there is a compaction fee.  In all, there are 4 lines in the budget related to this.  The cost used to be borne by all the districts, but one of Bob’s innovations has been to push all of this onto the Lake Peekskill district. 

I have been told that school taxes are 63% of our taxes, but that only applies if you are out of districts.  You town, highway, fire protection, county and district taxes will be a much higher bite of your total tax bill if you are in Lake Peekskill, and probably if you are in Lake Oscawana.  I am hoping that if the ties stands Lake Peekskill will have either Steve or Jackie as its liaison, so that the districts tax burden can be reduce, so that the district can make some progress, and so that there will be someone who is listening to the district residents again.

I have also been told that most people don’t live in districts, but there are 900 some odd houses in LP alone and that is a lot of taxpayers.

Is that lake really being lowered?

Back to the garbage issue, the Court of Appeals upheld AAA’s case as low bidder in Southeast, so they will be providing garbage removal for that town.  AAA is our carter too.

Sam O is very angry about spikes put into live trees for campaign signs, and he will pass a law.  He seems angry that a viable candidate ran against him when he and Priscilla had it all planned.  And he seems angry that he won by only 51 votes.  You would think it was humbling. 

Speaking of the environment, what about the SEQRA neg dec that was issued for Peekskill Hollow Road before the plan was done?  Is Sam O going to to see to it that they do an actual environmental review? And it does appear that the tacky post on Politics on the Hudson was Sam’s.  Hmmm….

He brought up the garage at Oregon Corners, which will have another day in court.  And he brought up the back taxes, but not Bob’s contribution to those back taxes.  And Bob has promised to do that again, since the county makes the town whole when the Town Board decides to piss away taxpayer money, and then pass it on to the county.  $300K! plus the DEC costs.  Is the county going to take the stream out of the culvert, and restore the riparian buffer?  Or are they going with Sam O’s next best plan, and put in a Dunkin Donut?  Time will tell.

The Town Board waived a fee for building without a permit.  The estate for which the fee was waived is represented by Bill Zutt’s partner,Harold  Hinz.  Hmmm….

Power outages and storms came up a few times.  Louis Luongo and Jackie have been talking about sending  text messages about opening of warming stations and shelters.  That sounds like a great idea.  There was virtually no communication in the last storm, and the outage was long.  I thought the ambulance corps was equipped as an emergency shelter, plus it is on the main road, and has a generator.  The senior center was not well located for access in storms. I am grateful that Jackie is addressing some of these issues that have been neglected. 

Someone from the public, not at the meeting, suggested charging stations, so that people can communicate.

Five years later, they are going to accept the grant that Sam D. got from NYSERDA for solar photovoltaics.  They are a little slow.  $44,200.  Is that the amount that Sam got?

Bob C. announced the building department report for “fees collected.”  Boy, we get to hear less and less. 

The highway department is buying the Lake Peekskill pickup truck for $1500.  Thank you to Jackie for asking why.  I appreciate that she asks what is going on.  The reason – the truck was in continuous use for LP, but will be a spare for the highway, so it makes sense.

Priscilla was back, glowing from Sam O’s slim win, talking about cats, and about the traffic on her road. 


Adopt cats.  Buy bagels.  Save sea turtles  – it is cold stun season.



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