Posted by: Dawn Powell | May 22, 2014

Putnam Valley TB- May 21 – the event

as opposed to the proposed agenda.

I agree with Patty’s comment, that the meeting was far more comfortable and informative without Bob-O. I hope he will continue to do other things on meeting nights. With his teaching job, law practice, and District Attorney campaign, I’m sure he can find other things to do.

Jackie allowed questions on agenda items, and it makes all the difference in understanding what is going on.

There are lots of town and county events. I must say that I don’t need government to plan events for me. I don’t know how that has happened. I do understand that they believe it is good politics, but it isn’t necessarily good government.

There was a discussion of the ground and surface water protection district. BZ says that his proposal addresses an oversight in the law. Huh??? Allowing petroleum based businesses an oversight? I thought that after the spill into the Peekskill Hollow Creek, the public didn’t want them. No public hearing is set yet.

At the end of the meeting, I asked about the trucks parked at Fowler Fuel, and elsewhere, which have been the subject of at least 3 complaints, and also the subject of Bob-O’s remark that he will not enforce the Ground and Surface Water protection district. Jackie came prepared. They are working hard to allow something that does not seem allowed. She said that it was mobile storage of petroleum products that is not allowed, and those trucks are empty. Empty? How empty? Who checks them? Doesn’t that make that aspect of the law unenforceable? So I asked about the zoning, and BZ said that it would depend on the history of the parcel, but even if 50 years ago, that sort of thing was allowed, a pre-existing use is discontinued after 2 years, and Perosky certainly was not this type of use. The judge for the Putnam Valley Petroleum case thought it clearly was not allowed. Mr. Zutt ackowledged that in all likelihood, this would not be allowed in the LP district. We’ll see what Jackie and Bob-O come up with next.

LOSAP points – The state sets activities and maximum points for those activities for fire volunteers to apply toward retirement. The town is deciding whether or not to amend their system.

The Ambulance Corps contract is still held up because of the issue of the town charging the fees. If that is what state law says, I think we should lobby the state to change it. Nice that they discussed it in public instead of hiding in the back room.

They discussed whether or not to re-bid for the addition to Town Hall, the Leibell wing. It has gone out to bid twice already. I believe that there is some cost to the bidders in the process. This time, they want bids for a modular unit to evade paying prevailing wage. Jackie believes that the cost for a modular will be about $400K. The grant was for $250K, and some money has already been spent on the architect, although Jackie seemed to think he hadn’t been paid. Wendy thinks we should spend the $400K plus because it will have Sam’s free but long delayed solar panels on it. There seems to be some dissension about this whole scheme. They did not know if the money could be used to improve the existing building. They did not vote on going out to bid, yet again.

Speaking of poor planning, they approved the work that an Eagle Scout has already been doing on a town parcel in Lake Peekskill. The approval came very late in the process. I heard about the project when residents started complaining about it. Bobo-O, who seems to have a great deal of contempt for the public unless he is currying adoration, had an idea. The ideas don’t come from conversations with the community, but rather from Bob-O’s needs.

I like scouting and 4-H. I am not critical of the Scout involved in this, who has been working hard. It is the process. The town owns the parcel. They should have cleared the trash. Bob-O decided that it was ripe for “community beautification.” Clearly his concept of that has little to do with the communities in which he despots, and he never feels the need to talk to the people in those communities. He also seems to have it in for anything low lying that grows or nests. I have no idea if there was anything growing in there that we might want, but we know that it wasn’t and shouldn’t be wood chips. Now to the complaining. This is an odd little location for a “park” with benches. Thinking positively, perhaps people walking their dogs will want to rest a minute. The fear is that, since residents all over this town see what appear to be drug deals going on, this will only provide a new locale. And of course, this will be maintained by the town as well as it was maintained before. Actually it has been proposed that it be maintained by the Lake Peeksill district. If they don’t own it, and don’t want it, they shouldn’t have to maintain it. So the Town Board approves work on their parcel after it is already being done, and before the community has a say in what they want. Silly planning, to use Bob-O’s favorite word. Along with his Leibell wing scheme, perhaps some planning and dialogue would be in order prior to the infliction.

If LP decides that they do want something on this site, perhaps the town should give the parcel to them, and let them figure it out.

And speaking of Lake Peekskill property, it was quite astounding that after 4 1/2 years as liaison to the district, Ms. Annabi had no idea that the Lake Peekskill Community Center belongs to the Lake Peekskill district, and is supposed to be used for the benefit of the community. I was asking about the deeded use, and whether or not the enthusiastic group that wants a teen center could use our LPCC for an LP teen center. Jackie told me that Parks and Rec owns it. That Parks and Rec deal has been a lousy deal for us. Parks and Rec doesn’t own it, and at this point, there is no community use at all. Long past time for a change.

I am not convinced that the Town Board understands districts.

There was a discussion about the Rose Hill Incentive zoning proposal, except that it seemed to be a a discussion about cemeteries. Interesting nonetheless. Louie said that the TB had decided that in Rose Hill, the proposed incentive was not acceptable, that the TB had only approved the concept of entertaining an incentive on that parcel. Lawsuits just love ambiguity. I don’t know what they approved or didn’t approve, and I listened to them approve it. Vic had a lot of information about the parcel and the proposed ridgeline parcel to be donated to the town and the finances of the whole deal. It is worth listening to. I was glad he was there to participate in the discussion. Bill Zutt is clear that cemeteries are not allowed in the Putnam Valley code and that the pre-existing use of a cemetery lasts forever.

But, it was a representative for the Rabbinical Society proposed cemetery who was at the meeting, not someone from Rose Hills, so I’m not clear about what was meant by the agenda item. The Larksburg Cemetery will not be touched in the new application, but will be upgraded and maintained. The Rabbinical Society maintains that their adjacent cemetery is allowed as a religious use, not a pre-existing use. Mr. Zutt doesn’t seem to agree, but everyone seemed clear that the pre-existing use is the Larksburg Cemetery 20 acres. There is also lots of wetlands there. That didn’t come up last night. One interesting point is that when a non-profit discontinues use of a facility, it is taxable. The point was also raised that the county has to approve a cemetery. The applicant wants to proceed with the application before seeking that approval and is permitted to. Steve MacKay doesn’t want to waste the time of the voluntary decision making boards without that approval. The representative from the Rabbinical Society did not know how many gravesites would be in the proposed cemetery.

The Town Board authorized a contract with the hydrologist, but didn’t really discuss that contract, maybe to determine what should be done about the salt at town hall and how much it will cost. I’ll have to FOIL the contract. Maybe the reports on the salt contamination too.

Then Steve had his knee jerk reaction to Patty V. As with the patellar reflex, he seems helpless to stop himself. Patty told him to shut up, and while that was perhaps rude, I don’t know the secret to getting them to stop when they are on the bully roll. He did stop his embarrassing rant, and Patty presented thousands of dollars in bills that the town is spending to keep 2 old people out of their house. If they want to protect the public and the old people, they should allow work. There is a town approved engineer’s plan in place, and an architect’s plan to upgrade, and instead of allowing it to proceed, the town is obstructing, dragging it out, costing everyone at least tens of thousands, and tormenting old people. Does anyone really want someone like Tendy who would do something like this for district attorney? The truth is that the town is not trying to resolve the problem. It sounded like Louie wants it resolved, and Wendy certainly does. So if Jackie can work around Bob-O, a very disgraceful chapter of Putnam Valley history could be left behind.

Thank you Patty for citing the bills. I think that if it were their own money, they would not be so anxious to drag it on.

Adopt cats. Save sea turtles.




  1. Thanks for your recap. There was a lot going on at the meeting and I wanted to update everyone on another one of my questions. At last night’s meeting the board approved summer hiring of 116 people for day camp staff, lifeguards, etc. Just some of the salaries listed were over $100,000 and I’m sure it all adds up to a lot more. I asked Jackie last night if Parks & Rec had advertised for those jobs and she said yes I asked where and she said the newspapers, but she didn’t know which ones.

    So today I sent an email to Frank DiMarco and Sherry Howard asking them if indeed the jobs had been advertised, seeing as how there are so many people, including me, who would love to have a shot at a summer job that pays up to $4 grand.

    I suppose it took awhile for Frank to catch up with Tendy so that he could read my email and compose an answer for him, because I seriously doubt that the reply I received was actually written by DIMarco.

    In a nutshell, here’s what he said: UsuallyJackie would be correct in assuming that they advertised for part time positions, ALTHOUGH THEY ARE NOT REQUIRED TO DO SO.

    There were formal citations to the Civil Service Law and the Putnam County Civil Service Rules with regard to non-competitive class positions which these are. Also, they are so lucky this year because most of the people they hired are returnees who have been through the “process.”

    Oh- they posted reminders on the bulletin boards too. Beginning last December.

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