Posted by: Dawn Powell | April 25, 2014

Fast Forward to the end

of the “regular” Town Board meeting.  At public comment, the president of the newly formed Tompkins Corners Cultural Center for the Arts spoke about buying and resurrecting the wonderful events at the church.  If you ever went to any of the musical events, this is welcome.  If you haven’t, then you have something wonderful to look forward to.  There is a wealth of musical talent in the Valley that has not been highlighted enough.  They are not there yet and will need financial help, but this is a great step.

Very nice news.

Bob-O, who could not be nasty enough at the March meeting was all kinds of supportive this month, and wants to help with the zoning change.  Some are saying that it is community commercial, but it is assessed as Residential 3 acres. 


April 16, 2014

Nice tie, Louie.

No open burns.  It is prohibited now with the rain deficit.

The video equipment has been overheating.

The Town Board is pursuing the Leibell addition to Town Hall using modular construction. It requires their immediate attention in order to maintain the grant that Vinnie Leibell got from the dormitory authority.

Jackie wanted an executive session on contractual issues, but she didn’t want to announce in public for what, and I couldn’t hear.

Mary Ellen Odell did a long campaign commercial.  She is kicking off her campaign for County Executive. MEO of the 1000 days.  I had heard that Greg Ball was going to announce in April, but April is nearly over, and he hasn’t said.  Sam Oliverio is running too. 

MEO’s message for 2014 is Pathways to the Future.  She mentioned the whole government run as a business idea, and said it can’t be, but it is the corporate “messages” and “initiatives” that seem to be such a dismal failure.  Pathways to the Future doesn’t actually say anything, and when she mentioned “rebranding” our public transportation system as “Putnam Moves,” I had that cringe response.  In Putnam Valley, we don’t need rebranding for public transportation.  We just need public transportation.

MEO complained about the mandates, and I would agree about Medicaid, but she said that 70% of the budget is mandates.  It is what they do with the other 30% that concerns me.  Tilly Foster Farm, the golf course, Oregon Corners, Peekskill Hollow Road, and Crofts Corners.  When she mentioned property maintenance when the county owns a parcel, I cringed again.  And I was sorry no one asked her about her Peekskill Hollow Road plans.  It is on the schedule for 2015.

George’s Superstation is waiting for a buyer with a vision……I am on a totally different planet.

On Medicaid, MEO has hired a consulting firm that has found “fraudulent or improperly prepared applications”, and saved $650K.  I don’t quite know what that means.  Are there poor and/or elderly people who don’t know how to fill out the applications?

Clearly Medicaid should not be a county responsibility.  The state should take over the costs, and merge the program with others. 

The county managed to stay under the 1.66% tax cap (unlike the town) and has an AA2 bond rating.  Impressive.  But still, Tilly Foster, the golf course, our 2 deteriorated county parcels, Peekskill Hollow Road.

They have taken some trees down.

They are being wrongfully tagged as intolerant (the Mahopac incident)? The Journal News is out to get them.  Nothing like owning intolerance in your own communities.  “This is a county based on respect and tolerance.”  Yup, those are just the words that come to mind.  Just look at Mr. Tendy’s hateful outburst to the Tompkins Corners church people last month.  But MEO said that he mentioned Passover, so that shows how tolerant we are.  This is the same MEO who took Greg Ball’s advice that she didn’t need the support of the Democrats to get elected.  You can look at her Tilly Foster committee for a view of diversity Putnam County style.

Did you miss that public process for Tilly Foster?  I’m not surprised.  Two afternoon meetings, one Saturday and one evening during Holy Week.  Super speeded up – more for appearance than reality.  MEO and Dini LoBue both want a farm-to-table restaurant, I guess because the county has been so good at its entrepreneurship.

Oh, and yes, she did mention the lawsuit against the Journal News who had the temerity to ask for public information.  That newspaper is really out to get them.  The public information is for gun licenses, and Dennis Sant is holding fast, despite gun owners’ right to opt out of public disclosure.  He is “fighting the good fight.”  I just wish that he and Ms. Odell would fight it on their own dime. I wish that some of them cared about the children who were killed at Sandy Hook, and the children who are still being killed.

There is a good program for internships with county government, children of county employees excluded.  That should be children of town employees too.  I did appreciate the nod to out of control nepotism, as well as the opportunity for young people to become intimately involved in local government. 

Local government is within your control if you choose to exercise it.

Bob-O says we see her frequently, but I only remember one other visit.

MEO mentioned the Sheriff and the DA in one sentence. She is the one who did not call for the resignation of the DA, preferring to allow the legal process to move forward, instead of making snap judgements. Mr. Tendy, Mr. Oliverio and Ms. Annabi called for his resignation.

MS. Odell says that we are the most patriotic county.

At the “regular” meeting, after the campaign ad, there was an auditor’s report, hard to follow without the report in front of you.  The Cablevision franchise fees were down $41K from what was budgeted.  The insurance reimbursement for the Parks and Recreation fire was $350K.  The fund balance was 13% last year, now 11 1/2 %.  The highway department fund balance is up.

$75K was taken from fund balance to balance the budget this time, as opposed to $25K the year before. 

Mortgage transfer tax is up.

Bob-O complained because the state is going to offer an incentive for towns that decrease their budgets by 1%, and he thinks he was ahead of the curve, and is being penalized because of that.  He says that he has eliminated 3 full time jobs, and 1 part time. Zoning/planning lost a full time employee. The building department replaced the job that had been eliminated. He created a full time job from a part time, and put an extra full time employee in his office. Anything else? Oh right, the highway department eliminated the deputy superintendent.

SamO said that the legislature is tryng to have cigarettes out of all drugstores. Bob-O said he would try to get Sam another vote on the leg. Has he stopped smoking? Ms.Scuccimara is trying to have Styrofoam eliminated. She also mentioned the Butterfield project. I have heard the DMV satellite mentioned a number of times. I have been to DMVs in different places. Putnam County’s was definitely the best I’ve ever been in. I know that it is a trek, but do we need a new one? They are also trying to have a moratorium put in for the Algonquin pipeline expansion, until safety questions are answered.

Are we losing volunteers by huge numbers?

 McKinney was awarded the bid for turf care at the town park for $8000. The lawn applications will be separate.


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