Town Board 2010

December 15, 2010 Town Board “Regular” meeting

Putnam Valley

Yikes! Yikes!
This isn’t the one to watch. It was excruciating.

The major event of this meeting was the vote on incentive zoning. Someone complained that she didn’t know about it. We were informed
that it was posted on the website and in the legal notices, but the truth is that the term incentive zoning has very little meaning to most of the public,
and few read the public notices anyway.

Still, Bill Zutt has been pushing this for quite a long time. The Comprehensive Plan committee considered the issue and discarded it, but bad ideas have a way of coming back again, especially when you keep the same entrenched pols around.

Bob gave us the same spiel about the things that can be done with incentive zoning, and none of what he said requires incentive zoning. He must have some reason for lying. Or perhaps he just thinks we’re stupid. We’ll find out in time. He and his sidekick both thanked the public for participating. I’ve heard that before from Gene. It is an obnoxious, dismissive attitude. I had higher expectations from Gene. At this point, I have no expectation for anything better from either one of them. Or from Jackie or Bob Cinque.

They know what’s best for us, and we can file Article 78’s if we don’t like it. That is a specific type of lawsuit that allows the public to challenge their bad decisions.

Only we can’t. In order to file an Article 78, we would have to have standing in the court, that is, be an adjacent landowner or tenant. In this case, since the Town Board can do anything anywhere and since they did no environmental review, we might just all have standing.

Bob’s pretty funny when he talks about the public not trusting politicians. He was a big Leibell supporter. Mr. Leibell exercised a lot of influence in this community where his aide and the county legislative attorney, Clem van Ross, lives, sits on the Town Republican committee, and chairs the Ethics Board. And Mr. Tendy did well politically by the association. And he has touted the pork that Vinnie brought here, the $15,000 monument in Lake Peekskill, and the $250,000 office that Bob is building for himself. They authorized that grant at this meeting.

Somebody said that people were “grandstanding” on this issue. The Board members judge others by their own actions. It is preposterous to think that the state environmental review would protect us from abuse. Look at the Maple Leaf application. Or look at the lack of environmental review for this incentive zoning law. The silliest thing though, was the suggestion that the Planning Board could Article 78 the Planning Board for their obvious abuse of power. They could, but the Town Board has set it up so that the attorney pushing this law is the attorney forall the Boards. Not a good idea. This way, the boards have no independent function, and that has indeed been the case. Everyone does what Bill Zutt tells them to.

Bob allayed our fears by telling us that we are all misinformed. According to him, the objection to this law is all political. He thinks that because he is always running for office, that the rest of us are too. He has even politicized Christmas. It took him a full 10 minutes to get to the meeting because he is so busy with his positive political speak. And even Gene told him to eliminate his this day in history nonsense.

People called him and think this law is a monstrosity. But the people be damned. He wants it.

I loved the suggestion that public hearings would make a difference, just like it did in this case.  Just watch how the Planning Board makes all its decisions ahead of time in backroom meetings, and then, just ignores the public. Much like the Town Board. The legal obligation is to hold the public hearings, not to pay any attention to the public.

And then Bob said that biodiversity had been ignored for the last couple of years. He’s evaded it for more years than that. He doesn’t need incentive zoning for that.

To see how well Bob and Gene have protected steep slopes, look at Big Blue. There is talk of senior housing behind that building on the Zarcone property. The county likes that idea – a mix of housing types. And water at Oregon Corners will complete that concept.

And there is talk of bringing water to the salt contaminated houses at Crofts Corners.  How many are there now? And since both Oscawana Lake Road and Church Road are both county roads, why is the town left holding the bag for that? After the extreme expense of bringing water to Mill Ponds, you would think we would have learned something.

Jackie clearly has no understanding of the function of the Town or Planning Boards or what this incentive zoning law says or allows. You can listen to her comments to know what I mean. She says she got her info from Mr. Zutt, who has been pushing for this for a long time.

The earnest youngster from the Planning board said something to try to be supportive of these politically connected Board members, but it didn’t come out that way.

Tom Carano explained that everything Bobo said did not require this law with its concurrent abuse of power, but none of them listened. Gene Yetter’s comment wasn’t even congruent with Bob’s. Gene knows that cluster zoning doesn’t require this stupidity, but he wants the power anyway.

Cinque says we can trust them because the people of Putnam Valley elected them. Vinnie Leibell and Earl too!

All in all, it was quite painful to listen to. You expect your elected officials to know a bit more about what they are doing. Lower you expectations.

There were other things at the meeting.

Earl gave the highway report. It was embarrassing to watch. He talked about the winter weather and your tires. There is a new patch for potholes that is partly recycled and biodegrades.  But with his recent arrest, it was discomforting. The word on the street is that the tailgate
was removed for another town official. Mr. Annabi has let Bob know that he cannot dismiss another elected official, since Bob got it wrong.

The fire department report was numbers that don’t mean anything to most of us and an election that maintained the status quo.

The oil coop will not require a 2% discount for COD deliveries from vendors because some of them don’t want to. There is a town that offers 20 cents off the best price we could find, but I’ll be surprised if that happens here. As we are well into December, I don’t know that this coop will help much this winter.

While we’re on the topic of heating oil, NuWay will have biofuel for the same price as oil within a few weeks.

Phil Keating got a 2 year extension for the infrastructure for his ill-conceived 3 house development on Lake Oscawana. This was approved in December 2005. Bad ideas are with us forever. If you want to test Mr. Yetter’s comments about how the Planning Board stops bad projects, check out Big Blue, and the Sisyphus Café , both approved under Mr. Yetter’s watch. Or Mr. Keating’s project, also under Mr. Yetter’s watch. Check out the Maple Leaf Associate’s approval. Or perhaps look at the Elite Environmental approval, overturned 3 times by a judge, and still operating the same way. Or look at the peculiar Tompkins decision and order.

Mr.Yetter is right about the Canopus Hollow Road property. I’m not convinced that anything at all should have been allowed there. They are nice people who thought their property would have value, but it is very wet, and should not be built upon. The Planning board did alright there, but that doesn’t change the myriad of bad projects in this town. Oh right, take a drive up Marsh hill Road, and see what politics has built.

Your community has not been protected, and the incentive zoning law makes that worse. Bad politics, bad board. Mr. Yetter thinks that he is better than Carmelo’s board, but I have to say that Carmelo made a better show of listening to people. Sometimes, he actually did.

In his legislative report, Mr. Oliverio somehow thinks it is a surprise that George would go into court on the 90th day. That is standard procedure. He is playing the game that the town and the county have set up. Sam O says that the property is $750,000 in arrears, but $300,000 of that is Bob’s wall. The county is trying for summary judgment, but I think that George should have his day in court.

The county never should have allowed Bob to swindle us all like that. What a ridiculous story of town and county government! Who would we trust – the county who approved the environmental review on the road plan before they had it and pretended that they would change the project? Or the Town who built the uber wall at taxpayers’ expense.

Sam O didn’t mention the purchase of the Reitz and Zarcone properties to advance the county’s unchanged Peekskill Hollow Road plan. He mentioned the historic preservation law,and the pending weight limit. The historic preservation law does nothing. Who knows about the weight limit.

And he mentioned the 1/4 % sales tax that will expire. They are going to State Senator Ball to ask for support to maintain it. Ironic, ain’t it? Mr. Ball never saw a tax he liked. The loss of revenue will approach $11 million, and the county will have to make cuts if they lose that revenue. How much would we save if we got rid of the legislature? Oh well, not enough. A well known blogger and former county Executive candidate, Mike Santos, has suggested that we get rid of county government. I think that assessment, personnel, health, and elections should be at the county level. There is a point to that branch, only smaller. Maybe we should be Dutchess. Putnam just hasn’t done so well.

Sam O. said that Mr. Bondi, Ms. Odell, and Mr. Hay are not under consideration to replace Vinnie Leibell. He cites Mr. Leibell as his mentor. How could he not have noticed? I still want to know who paid for the Leibell flyer with Sam O on it. It said paid for by Democrats for Leibell, but is not in the BOE reporting. Hmmmm…..

It is outrageous that Mr. Leibell continued his campaign, under the circumstances. But why did people vote for him? I really don’t get it.

Ted Muniak thinks we have only had a couple of little problems in Lake Peekskill this year. I think he must have been distracted by other things.

The library has books online now – Nook, SONY Reader, Kobo, Literati, and Pandigital. Not Kindle, but Project Gutenberg, also available through the library has 15,000 titles that are available on Kindle.

So, instead of watching this very painful meeting, read a book!

Adopt cats, buy bagels, save sea turtles.

DP

Mr. Tendy’s Incentive Zoning Law Public hearing 12-8-10 & “work session”

There has been no public outcry for incentive zoning. This is just more of the backroom dealing that we have come to expect in Putnam Valley. Gifts for favors – anything, anywhere.

Indeed, the public comments are in opposition. This time, Mr. Tendy could barely even bring himself to listen, conversing with his deputy during the first comment. The comments were good, well thought out, and well presented.

Most interesting to me was Irv Flinn, who presented the legal flaws in the law as written. The state enabling legislation is specific in its requirements, and this law does not meet them.

Bob’s Law gets its own article in the code. It is a rezoning, which requires a generic environmental impact statement, instead of the little environmental assessment form that the Board has. The Board would need to present the findings of the impact of doing anything anywhere before they could pass it legally. Kinda hard, if not impossible, and expensive.

So Bob is just gonna do it anyway…. He put it on for a vote on Wednesday. Just like Leibell, if you can, you do.

The public hearing was a formality. Bob didn’t care. The only thing that he commented on is that he does not professionally (as a lawyer – remember this is a part time job for him) represent developers. I think that it is as a public official that he is perceived to represent developers, not as a criminal attorney. Developers like VS Construction, the Zarcones, HYH. Mr. Zutt wanted to discuss the comments that were made, and the law’s inadequacies, but Bob made him wait for Wednesday’s  vote. Everyone has already made up their minds.

Priscilla is wrong. It is this current Board’s lack of ethics, honesty, and goodness that make this law worrisome to the public. The law is lax, sloppy and ill-advised. Perhaps Bob is just trying to push his law through before another indictment comes down.

It seems like odd public behavior. Bob made a public remark second guessing the Sheriff’s department in an arrest when he had no facts. He made a public statement about dismissing an elected official when he has no authority to do so. Perhaps he believes himself to be as omnipotent as his good friend Vinnie believed himself to be. Or perhaps he is worried.

An incentive zoning law, unchallenged by his political cronies on the Board, that allows anything anywhere, that codifies backroom dealing, isn’t even good for the politician who is doing it.

Priscilla went on about how surprising it was that a good guy (Vinnie) turned out to be a crook. I have heard this expressed in several places now. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise, especially to those in the inner circle. One would have to assume from a recent campaign flyer, that beau Sam O was one of those. The county legislature has continued all this time with Leibell’s aide as their counsel, and the Town has him as the chair of our Ethics Board. I wasn’t surprised about Vinnie, and I didn’t vote for him. The Republican committee, our Board, and Sam O have had strong ties to Leibell for many years now.

And while we are on the subject of ethics boards, the second member of the board to try to use that position to catapult herself to political office wrote a letter to the editor about Patty V causing the fire department to lose their grant. How ridiculous! The statement, “If I lied, I did it for a good cause,” tells you something about the problem. Even if a false statement had been the reason for losing the grant, pointing out the false statement is not the problem. It has become the norm to allow some people to get away with lying, cheating, stealing, breaking the law, because they are the good ol’ boys, because they know the right politicians, because they are part of the right network. You would think that someone who has already been on the ethics board for a couple of years would know something about that. But then, the Putnam Valley Ethics Board is political, to protect the status quo.

I certainly digress. There was a work session that followed that sham public hearing. Priscilla talked about the cemeteries, and it was interesting. I don’t know why she would ask the Town Board about gaining access to a cemetery on private property. Cemetery law is involved and there is a county cenetery committee. Either the county or the state should help, but Bill shouldn’t really be asked to research cemetery law.

And cemeteries are nothing like stone walls. There are people buried in them.

Adopt cats. Buy bagels. Save Sea turtles.

DP

comment on work session

The meeting I attended that Dawn writes about was a lot worse than it sounds, if that is possible. It seems that Tendy’s bullying and thuggery has gotten worse if that can be imagined, and it seems that it is no longer possible to have any kind of dialogue with him in the room. He does not tolerate any disagreement or contradiction and his rule is law. The name calling has gotten completely out of hand and it has gotten to be worse than inappropriate- it is behavior that one would expect from a street gang. No wonder at all that people want nothing to do with this regime and seem to hope that it will all just go away.
 
The truth is- it looks like we are going to get this $10 million dollar+ firehouse, whether we want it or not. The emergency services voting bloc is just too powerful. Those are a solid 300 or so votes Tendy & Co. can count on & they make the difference in any election. We are not just getting the new firehouse. We are also getting a new town hall and courthouse after the old fire station is completely retrofitted to make it comply with all existing codes, etc. That could cost over $2-3 million, but what the heck? We have to keep our brave heroes happy and satisfied. Sometimes lobster tails and filet mignon just aren’t enough.
 
By: Patty Villanova on November 18, 2010
 
from DP
I agree that the meeting was worse. Being in the room, being at the podium is always worse than it plays out on television. Walking up to that podium for the abuse that is sure to come leaves a knot in the stomach. I’ve seen lots of people shaking when they get up to speak, and I’ve spoken enough times to know what it feels like.
 
Some might think that Bob saves his nasty behavior for Patty and me, but that is just not the case. He uses the tactic against anyone who disagrees with him. And Gene has done the same thing, although on such a smaller scale that it hardly seems like noting. Gene is the only one who has tried to stop Bob’s excess. I have only seen Wendy display the behavior in private, subjecting unfortunate individuals to her nastiness.
 
I have never seen Mr. Cinque behave this way, and so perhaps he should be the mean monitor.
 
But it has already damaged public perception. No one wants to express their opinions. And the firehouse is one subject where people are afraid. They are afraid to say what they feel, and they are afraid that the cost will push them out of the town. While everyone is cutting back, the Board’s attitude toward public funds is cavalier and wasteful. And the attitude of a few members of the fire department is that we do not have the right to know how the money is being spent. We do have the right to know, for all the town contracts, and for all town departments for that matter.
 
Secret government does not serve the public.
 
I do not know if the existing firehouse can be retrofitted, and I do believe that some updating is essential. The fire department needs to make their case for the public they serve, and they need to do it openly and honestly. Stop believing that attacking Patty makes your case.
 
No more bullying.

Town Board meeting – November 17, 2010

Bob removed Peekskill watershed enforcement from the agenda.

He had an executive session on highway personnel.

Since he’s gonna continue to use the Lake Peekskill Community Center for political purposes, could someone please tell him that it’s not a civic center?

He’s gonna tear down that blue house that he doesn’t like, at your expense. Wendy abstained.

The County Legislature approved the “takings” of private properties on Peekskill Hollow Road for their road project.

They are going to sue NYC over watershed protection and want the Towns to join. Michael Rights, Supe of Southeast will not join.

David Spittal will replace Tina Mackay on the school board.

There is a budget advisory committee for the school board. You can join if you want to.

The Town Board approved their 2011 budget. I can’t give you the figures yet. Jackie voted no, then they discussed it. Bob blames everyone else. He always has. Gene says they’ve been cuttin’, cuttin’, cuttin’. He thinks that the tax increase is reasonable. Bob C. went along. Jackie and Wendy voted no.

Bob said that elected officials weren’t getting raises, and he was wrong. Jackie pointed out his error. The discussion is 34 minutes in, if you want to catch it. Bob also forgot that he has already given raises to the judges. What I want to know is why Louis was not included in that resolution they passed about working hours and salaries. I also want to know why managers’ hours were half of other employees.

Did they already pass the fd budget?

They voted to accept another road – Wood Glen Drive – even though they claim not to do that anymore. Jackie and Wendy voted no.

Marie Zarcone wants water at Oregon Corners and she does not want a referendum of any kind. She wants to use the sewer district map. Several times problems have been raised with that, but that doesn’t seem to matter.

Gene voted against the oil co-op because some people have electric or propane heat, and won’t benefit. I guess he will vote against an Oregon Corners water district for the same reason.

 There was another discussion about the highway budget. For the fans of political positive speak, Gary Wulfhop certainly wins the highway superintendent race. It may seem a bit early, but the powers that be have made your choice. I like Gary.

He is a decent man who has always been kind to me.

Enter Donald Earle, who wants the job. Donald has a point, several of them. Why are they
budgeting less than they are spending? Bob blames Earl, but Earl doesn’t set the budget and Bob seems to have a great deal of trouble understanding that. He has always understood it when he wanted to cut blacktop or snow removal.

The Town Board sets the budget.

Bob did his usual, dissembling, attacking, changing the subject, and the town Board did their usual, and let him. No one addressed the question. They also didn’t respond to the issues of truck replacement. They are a short-sighted political lot.

Donald brought up the salary for Highway Supe, and Bob’s proposal to lower it. Bob talks so much he can’t even remember what he says. When it was politically useful, he has said that he will lower the elected officials’ and management salaries. It is like not accepting new roads. He doesn’t actually do it. It’s merely theoretical. He was going to lower the Town Board salary for new officials if Patty won. I have
no doubt that he will lower the salaries of his political opposition should they win.

The Town is getting $750K for Lake Oscawana. Way to go Folchetti Engineering! And the Dems – they have come through for Oscawana. When Todd replaced the Town Engineer with Sam’s election, his engineering firm has done grant proposals. That is how we got the vacuum truck and the two additional computerized salting trucks. I am grateful that Bob did not roll back that progress.

On another note, though, when the DEC is cutting enforcement, and the state has just sent out pink slips, this grant seems large.  Shouldn’t the money and the pain be spread around a bit more? And can’t Lake Oscawana, and the Town Board at least listen to Aquatic Restorations Clean-Flo, and biomimicry ideas, and possibly proceed with a more cost effective plan?
Check out their website at aquaticrestorationsllc.com.

They have a proposal in to do muck mapping, and come up with a proposal for Lake Peekskill for $200! And the Town board will not look at it. Maybe Jackie will. Instead, someone is promoting debris screening for Carraras Beach. Why?

I thought it was visionary of Mike Kaplowitz to talk about saving the many lakes in this region. It’s important to the future economy, and the value of homes, as well as important to the environment and drinking water. But still, I find myself torn about the size of the grant, the current fiscal crisis, and my sincere desire to see improvement in Lake Oscawana.  I guess Gene will oppose use of the grant, since it does not benefit all the residents.

But on the subject of the computerized salting trucks, both Gary and Donald brought them up. I’ve heard about problems with them, and increased (and very expensive) salt use on the roads, and would be interested to know what is going on.  Sometimes politics isn’t the most effective method of communication. It does, however, seem to get you elected in Putnam Valley.

DP

Budget Meeting 11/3/10 and “Work Session” 11/8/10

I thought that Donald Earle, head mechanic for the highway department, presented excellent points, and presented them well.
For the last 3 years, the Town has budgeted significantly less than spent for equipment repair. Since 2007, the Town has purchased 1 truck. There is no capital equipment fund for buying new trucks.

In the 2011 budget as well, the Town Board has still budgeted less than the highway department has been spending on repairs.
Bob thinks the solution is that Donald who is paid to be the mechanic should fix the trucks. He believes that
budgeting is politics. Gene thinks that the budget should reflect reality.

Then Bob yelled at Patty. He doesn’t like her, so nothing she says at public comment is acceptable, and he started yelling. The one who yells the loudest wins, right? And he thinks that she should apologize to him….. He used the “irresponsible blowhard” term, but he wasn’t
looking in the mirror. Unless he’s planning to develop some self awareness, he should lose that phrase.

The only reason that we know anything about the fire department funding is Patty. Reiterated at this meeting was that the fire
department has a contract, and they believe that negotiating should be done in the backroom. But these are public
funds, and the fire department needs to tell the public what they are spending money on. The arrogance on all fronts about
public funds has to end. And it should not be necessary for Patty to file endless FOIL requests to find out what is
being spent.

Whenever I talk to people around town about meetings, they continually tell me that they don’t want to subject themselves to the bullying. In a time when bullying is getting more attention, you would think that someone on the Town Board would understand that
Bob’s example is not a positive one.

Mrs. Annabi’s children were there. They should not have to sit through his bad behavior. If bullying from the Town Supervisor is
tolerated, what does that teach children about bullies? If we tolerate it, if we allow it, everyone is hurt.

Back to the fire department, Patty has a figure of $700K already spent on the fire department building; they admit to $382K with bills coming in. There is a $500K contract with the architect. $100K for SEQR and $11K for a feasibility study. This year, the Town is hit with large
increases in service awards to the fire department and large increases in insurance premiums. And the large increase in the
tax amount does not reflect the costs of the proposed building.

Apparently, we are being bludgeoned with the building. Eddie said at a public meeting that they would not move forward if they
did not get the grant, and they did not get the grant. But they are moving forward, spending a lot, even when they want a large increase in their contract amount.

They need more space, they need washing facilities, but this whole method of proceeding, regardless of the obstacles, and lack of funds, with no reality about the current state of economics, just is not winning them friends, even on their own fire department. When your own group is
complaining about the money you are spending, it is time to listen. Frank has a winning way. His presentation was
informative. We need more of that. Patty’s way may not be as winning, but she was well-informed. She has done her
research, and she has shown amazing courage and persistence against a Town Board that tries to do everything in secret, and then bullies anyone who tries to find out what’s happening or, heaven forbid, speaks up.

This Town Board is complicit. They are all bullies.

When you are able to listen to Patty, and speak to her civilly, perhaps other people will start to feel that they will be able to speak.
Residents used to come to meetings, watch meetings, and make comments. Now it is only Patty who has the courage.

It is a sad state of affairs in Putnam Valley. Worst government ever.

The budget may be going up again. At the work session, they did not discuss it in public. They did have their usual executive session on contracts, employment, and litigation with Kaspar and Adorno. The budget will be a surprise on Wednesday. They believe that backroom meetings are the
place to discuss budget considerations. Bob wants government to be conducted in private.

Jackie wants more work on cutting the budget, but no one else does. Start with the Lake Peekskill budget. That one should be going down.

At the work session, they appointed a third attorney for the Maple Leaf Associates application, with no explanation. They
make all their legal decisions in the backroom after they announce that no decisions will be made.

They are going to award a bid (no, a proposal) to tear down the blue house on the corner of Oscawana and Cimarron. You’re paying
because Bob’s wants it gone…

Bad budget, bad behavior, bad government.

The good news is that Peekskill will be stepping up its watershed enforcement. That is the one positive sign in the midst of arrogant, overpriced, unresponsive government.

DP

Regular Town Board Meeting – October 2010

The Republicans must be practicing talking into the camera, unless it’s just contagious.

They have appointed an ad hoc to the Planning Board. I don’t know how to spell his name and it was
not on the agenda – Joseph Reitzer. They had an executive session on litigation and personnel.

Habitat for Humanity and Make a Difference will rehab the VFW. I guess they need to fix the bullet
holes. This is a good thing.

The town’s budget to budget increase 2.57%, 2% lower than last year, but the tax increase last year was 9.5%. They are “borrowing” $75,000 from the fund balance. They are actually taking it, not borrowing it. At 6PM on Nov. 3, they will have a public hearing, then the fire department public hearing. I have no idea what is proposed for the fd,or how much the highway increase is.

Sam O. says the county has put forward a 0% tax increase. I prefer to hear about tax increases, not budget increases. The tax increase is what I have to pay, and I’d rather not have to do research to find out what I will have to pay.

Sam talked about the county legislature as “they.”

They are going to pass the historic designation for Peekskill Hollow Road, but it will not impact the Peekskill Hollow Road project…. They will consider a weight limit for PHR.

On August 31, the garage was served a foreclosure notice. They have 90 days to respond.

Wood Glen Road – The Board that does not accept new roads will accept this one, but they will be waiting for the proper documentation. I don’t care for the contingent approvals.

At the “work session,” Bill Zutt and Bob Cinque both acknowledged their own financial interests at Oregon Corners, and I thought they would recuse themselves from the water district discussion, along with Mrs. Annabi, but there was no sign of that at the regular meeting. Mrs. Annabi and Mr.
Cinque have expressed their support. It doesn’t seem like an appropriate way to proceed.

Marie Zarcone is the force behind the push to bring water to Oregon Corners, and I have to give her credit for acknowledging that the library is concerned about the cost. This might be a very costly project. The town can proceed and make this a Town expense which would be reimbursed if the district is formed. This would be subject to a permissive referendum. I had the impression that a referendum could not be avoided, so I will have to look at the law again. Mr. Zutt wants to extend the district to go up Morrissey Drive. Mr. Tendy said, “If it turns out that it’s wildly expensive, we should do it anyway. “ If you don’t agree with him, you are a Luddite. It’s not surprising. He didn’t care how much it would cost to bring water into Lake Peekskill either.

Did the water problems get worse when Big Blue was built?

Bob told the Boy Scouts to “Relax and enjoy the show.” Mr. Cinque said,” Now we have to do a
show?”Mr. Tendy responded that, “We do a show all the time.”

Jackie Annabi likes Incentive Zoning. This is the other area where I think that she, Bob Cinque and Bill Zutt have a conflict of interest. Bob Cinque says that SEQRA is a safeguard, but SEQRA only requires that the review be done, and that mitigations be identified. Since this Board has in the last two meetings, declared themselves lead agent and declared no environmental impact at the same meeting, the great care of their environmental review has been lost on me.  At one of those meetings, they declared no impact before making themselves lead agent (the ones doing the environmental review). Letting large developers override the zoning for some gift is an invitation to abuse.

Watch the public hearing. The objections were stated very well.

The next public hearing on incentive zoning will be on December 8th.

There’s something wrong with the verbage (sic) (that is also contagious) on the bids for the demolition of the blue house on Cimarron Road, so we don’t have to pay for that yet.
But we will.

We can build walls and tear down buildings, but we can’t put up solar panels. Politics…..

At least the church in Pleasantville will be going solar.
There is progress all around us, but Putnam Valley is lost in time.

Lake Peekskill is buying a new Ford pick-up. According to Bob, we have lots of money to spend. It doesn’t seem that public opinion can change the budget.

Town Board “Work Session” – October

There was a public hearing on “no parking” on Harper Street for the purpose of garbage
collection. No one commented.

Dog licensing will change in January. The Dept. of Agriculture will no longer handle it.
Councilwoman Whetsel commented about dogs getting loose and running out of this jurisdiction. The truth is
licenses and collars get lost. Microchipping is the best route to recovering your lost companion
animal.

Bob gets to go to his personnel management seminar because he never asks for anything. Ms. Whetsel and the
citizen advocate, who objected so strenuously to Sam’s attendance at a management seminar with two town managers, said nothing. Hmmm….

The BAN – bond anticipation note for the 2005 Northway project was renewed – $100,000 at 1.17% interest.

There will be a public hearing on the fire department budget and/or contract and/or LOSAP (length of service
award
) and on the Town budget on November 3.

They talked about Wood Glen Drive, or rather Bob talked about it. The town is going to accept the road. This is the board that passed a resolution
about their intention not to accept any more new roads. This is the third one that they have accepted since the resolution….

They talked about the water district at Oregon Corners. It’s a good thing that I blog. Since the September work session, at which Marie Zarcone presented her intention to bring in Cortlandt water to Oregon Corners, Mr. Zutt and Mr. Cinque have discovered that they have a conflict of interest in promoting this project. Both have offices at Oregon Corners, Mr. Cinque’s in the Zarcones’ building, Mr. Zutt in Phil Keating’s building. Mrs. Annabi’s husband also has an office in the Zarcone’s building (as does the Planning Board Chair). Mr. Zarcone asked the Town to bring water in
at Mr. Tendy’s Oregon Corners meeting. Mr. Cinque, still promoting the idea despite his conflict of interest,
says that the businesses at Oregon corners are quite willing to foot the bill to bring in water. The problem is that
some of the businesses are not willing or able to foot this burden, and they are not able to express their opinions because of the Zarcone/Keating/Annabi/Santucci/Tendy interests in this project. It is the responsibility of the three remaining board members to provide a safe forum for the other opinion to be heard.

What I am wondering about, since the reports are that water quality problems have been reported,
and wells are said to be running dry, why is it that Big Blue was approved? The Town shouldn’t just allow the building of
buildings, nor should the health department, when the water resources are inadequate. So who is to blame for the
problem?

There is a problem with the bids on demolishing the blue house that Bob wants torn down. So we don’t have to pay for it yet.

Budget so far: 2.57% budget to budget town increase, no mention of how that relates to tax increase,
$3.9 million highway department budget, including two $80,000 BANs for highway equipment. I didn’t see any other taped
budget meetings. Did I miss them? This was like coming in on a conversation that had already started, and very little was explained.

They were planning an executive session for litigation, Mr. Adorno, and contractual matters at the “regular”
meeting.

 

Misstate of the Town  September 26, 2010

SOT – Tendy 2010

1. In 2008, Councilwoman Keresey researched Bob’s use of town equipment, personnel, and media for his own political agenda, and was informed that he had to allow equal time. He has not done so for two years, and did not this time. This is use of taxpayer funds for his own political gain. For him, the advantage to this format is that there is no one to dispute his misinformation, and his party doesn’t have to pay for political media time.

2. As for that misinformation, town taxes actually went up 9.5% last year. County taxes went up 3.7%. Bob’s math is as fuzzy as his science. He doesn’t seem to know how much he raised taxes. And while he gently slammed the school for their high taxes, their increases have been held down over the last several years, while the Town’s have not. The local tax bite has become a larger and larger portion of your tax bill. Mine was 43% this year. Moreover, Bob has voted for every increase every year. His first month in office, he voted to deplete the fund balance to reduce his tax increase. He did that again, in his last year as Councilman.

3. Bob has been on the Board for 8 years now, yet he does not like to “take credit” for what he has done over that span of time. He pretends that the seriously depleted fund balance was not his fault. He omits the fact that he created that emergency for political reasons. He and three other Board members voted to deplete that fund balance. Sam Davis did not.

5. While Bob lauds his work to keep the lowest paid employees in Town government to a 1.75% increase, he did not accomplish this with the Teamsters union. For a comparison of his salary increases from 2008 to 2010, please see dawnpowell.wordpress.com and then go to salaries, https://dawnpowell.wordpress.com/salaries/. Or for a list of salaries by employee, go to lohud.com’s database, http://data.lohud.com/labor/salary_form.php.

6. Bob likes to say that he reduced the workforce but he never gives any details. He eliminated ½ job in the zoning department because of the bad housing market, but during his imperial tenure he created1 ½ others. During his long tenure before that, he created numerous other jobs, vastly increased some salaries, and showed no improvement in efficiency.

7. Bob wants to build an $11 million firehouse. He has not held public meetings to discuss this project. He has not helped the fire department to site the building out of a residential zone. He has done nothing to acquire funds. He has denied the public the right to even a non-binding referendum. He did not even take on the role of co-lead agent in the environmental review process to ensure that public concerns were thoroughly addressed. Everyone understands the value of emergency volunteers to our community, and appreciates their courage and commitment. That does not mean that we can afford this project as things stand now. He has bullied members of the public who have tried to ask questions, and has done nothing to assist the public, or the fire department. He did not even bother to attend the Planning Board scoping session on the firehouse.

8. In addition to an $11 million firehouse, Bob wants a new office at a cost of $250,000. Bringing the needed technology to Town Hall would be cheaper, and would make his expansion unnecessary. He wants to buy a summer camp. Currently, he is renting one for $67,500 plus personnel and equipment costs. He wants to borrow $1 million for the Lake Oscawana project. He wants to build more ball fields. He says that they will produce revenue. Aside from questionable profit, is it the purpose of Town government to run a baseball business?

9.Bob tells us that Roaring Brook Lake is in excellent condition. Fuzzy science. He is wrong.

10. Bob tells us that Lake Peekskill is in excellent condition also. He is mistaken there too. Please see the 2008 CSLAP report on the nysfola.org website, http://www.cslap.net/2009/.

The LP budget committee established a truck fund when we found that Bob and his Board buds had not provided any means to update the district garbage equipment. Now Bob wants to deplete that fund for his little projects. He wants to “force” (he likes that word) the Health Department to allow a septic system at the district garage at a cost to the district of $36,000. There are cheaper, more ecological options. He wants to buy a backhoe, no dollar figure provided. He wants to screen debris from Carraras Beach for $15,000. And he is getting us a brand new pickup truck.

Before we leave the topic of Lake Peekskill, let me refresh your memory. Bob wanted a public water system in Lake Peekskill, and in much the same “tax and spend” attitude, he didn’t care what it cost the community or how the community felt about it. To that end, he (and his Board buds) borrowed $200,000 for engineering costs to look into it. That money is finally paid off. Instead of reducing the budget by that annual $40,000 payment, Bob wants to keep spending that amount of money. In his SOT, he says that LP has a healthy fund balance, so he’s going to spend it.

11. Bob takes credit for the $400,000 obtained by Democrats through Congressman John Hall’s office for Lake Oscawana restoration. Bob had nothing to do with it. Be vigilant about where that money is going. As stated, Bob also wants to borrow a million dollars to continue his project, including environmentally unsound and costly dredging.

12. Commercial development and Incentive zoning – Commercial development was Bob’s big sales point when you elected him Supe. He was not able to deliver, and is no more realistic about this goal than he was then. At this point, he says that business accounts for 1.5% of our tax revenues. Even if he could double the businesses in town, as promised long ago, it would not give us any tax relief. Still, he wants to give away something to developers for either commercial or residential development – his gifts for favors program for large developers. He wants to allow large developers to build more homes, or evade zoning and planning. “It gives much more power to a small few.” Oh no, he didn’t say that. That is what I heard.

The truth is that in Putnam Valley, the power is already held by a small few. Over and over again, everyone else has said that we do not need incentive zoning to preserve open space, to allow cluster housing, or to obtain parkland. In the midst of his political campaign commercial, Bob says that we should take politics out of it, but I can’t imagine that he would ever be able to do that. The incentive zoning public hearing was not political, except for Bob. Watch it. The presenters were clear and well-informed. Bob’s mind is made up. He really wants that power to make deals with developers. He’s got his votes and that’s all that matters to him.

13. In his SOT, Bob praised himself for passing an unenforceable town law banning phosphates. The other towns didn’t waste their time or tax dollars with it. Luckily for us, the state has passed one that will actually be meaningful.

14. Then he went on about “forcing” the DEC, and next he wants to “force” the county. Before the forcing, he bought the $300,000 wall with our tax dollars.

15. Bob has finally realized that blacktop needs to be budgeted and that it is expensive. We are still paying off the money he borrowed to pave Bryant Pond Road.

16. The Davis zoning code had wide public acceptance, but Bob refused to pass it despite accepting grant money for it. He has been unwilling and unable to move forward with implementation of the Comprehensive Plan. He has not increased the efficiency and effectiveness of Town Hall. He has not even begun a public process for a Master Plan for Oregon Corners. He has been incapable of moving forward with the Code or Comprehensive Plan for 8 years. He has not established a legitimate means of hiring. He has been unable to hold the line on budgets. And his big priority is overriding the zoning code for the sake of big developers.

So in answer to his question, “Have we used your money carefully?” A resounding “No!” But of course, there was no one there to answer, or even hold up cards saying , “No!” That was part of the plan. Bob alone in a room with his camerawoman, on the taxpayers’ dime.

Beyond his many, many words on SOT night, and his continuous blah,de blah, blah, blah, finding out basic information is more difficult than ever. For 2 1/2 years, Bob’s committee did secret work on the already complete Davis code. That document had to be liberated underground and provided to the Town Clerk, and the librarian. Fire Department information has had to be uncovered, and paid for by individuals, facing public ridicule at every step. Misinformation on Peekskill Hollow Road, and Oregon Corners still abounds. And the Town Board discusses and approves litigation behind closed doors. We would have to FOIL and pay for all the information that is supposed to be public. Government transparency is not a concept that Bob supports. All talk, and nothing that you want to hear.

Bob – Bad Government with a heavy price. We should teabag Bob.

9-8 “Work Session”

Bob announced the amendments to the agenda and the continual executive sessions on litigation and contractual issues. Eileen made him announce the litigation topics properly. Yay! He and Gene both complimented her, but had no praise for me for 2 1/2 years of saying that they had to state the litigation topics. It must have been an oversight.

But before you jump for joy because Bob, a lawyer who has been on the Board for 8 years, has finally learned how to announce an executive session, he still didn’t get it. Eileen wasn’t at the “regular” meeting and Gene had to prod him to announce the topics.

It was a jam packed meeting.

The litigations – Cimarron Ranch, Adorno, the Lake Oscawana weed harvester, and 12 Peekskill Hollow Road! Contractual – Bob is buying land, 73 acres on Peekskill Hollow Road for Parks and Recreation.

Then they talked about the sale of town gas to the Continental Village Fire Chiefs (3 of them) for their personal vehicles.

Then they accepted the audit for the Town Justice Court. someone should FOIL that.

Next was water at Oregon corners. Mrs. Zarcone wants it, and so does Phil Keating, and the owner of 12 PHR, etc. and Mr. Annabi. Speaking of which, Mr. Zutt, Mrs. Annabi, and Mr. Cinque all have financial interests at Oregon Corners, so their participation in this discussion is conflict of interest. It’s not a make believe conflict like the powers that be spent so much time screaming about. It’s a real one. None of them should be involved in this discussion or the incentive zoning discussion.

Here I was wondering how the business owners would pay for water, when a concerned citizen said that Mr. Santucci, Mr. Zarcone, and Mr. Annabi would be able to do whatever that want with incentive zoning. Hmm……..

Not only is Mr. Zutt involved in the discussion, he is doing the research for the interested parties, the legal work, and drafting their petition.

Seems that when most of the Town Board has ties…..

We’ll find out what the plan is when they want to tell us….. It’s all worked out.

The Town Board wants to put No Parking signs on Pecoho Road. After they announced this at the “work” session and the “regular” meeting, they figured out that they actually mean Harper Street. The public hearing is a week from Wednesday.

And then there was a discussion of George’s application to rebuild the section of his building that the Town took down as part of Bob’s $300,000 taxpayer funded wall project. The Planning Board discussed this in their July backroom meeting, and the Chair was really angry about the application. The Town Board is suing him or he is suing them, so they decided to discuss the application in executive session.

The budget meeting is tomorrow – not that they will care what you have to say.

September “regular” Town Board meeting.

Bob talking to the camera, except when he was talking to the Boy Scouts.

Eileen was not there, and in a moment that typifies his Neanderthal approach to efficiency, Mr. Tendy praised Ms. Rau for taking minutes of Mr. Yetter’s overly long PV school report. In this day and age, there is no reason why anyone should have to rewrite, and then retype, a written report that is read at a meeting.

Mr. Yetter did not explain that only thing that PV wants to know about the PV schools, why Mr. Space left, why he is being paid, and why Ms. MacKay quit. School liaison is apparently a ceremonial position for political advancement.

Mr. Tendy, of course, announced his executive session. He likes his private meetings. Mr. Yetter made him do it legally, and stated the topics. For contractual, they were talking about a land purchase, 73 acres on PHR for Parks and Rec. On personnel, they were discussing the management “contract” for Town management, and they were interviewing a Planning board ad hoc candidate. Can you imagine if Sam had left the ad hoc position vacant for 10 months? It would have been front page news. In PV, it pays to be part of the political family. And on Bob’s favorite topic – litigation – they discussed Cimarron Ranch, Adorno, and suing the Lake Oscawana weed harvester manufacturer.

They passed a neg dec on the Lake Oscawana stormwater retrofit project. Then they declared themselves lead agency (was that circulated to involved agencies?). Then they rescinded the neg dec, so that they could declare themselves lead agent. Then they declared themselves….well, you get the picture. Sounds like a thorough environmental review. The State Environmental Quality Review Act requires that the Board actually consider environment impact.

They had to be reminded to declare a neg dec for their 2 laws that nobody cares about. Mr. Zutt has decided that they board doesn’t have to wait for a response or a non-response from County Planning. I’m not sure I understand what purpose the county referral serves.

They set a public hearing for the no parking on Pecoho, that is, Harper.

They awarded the garbage bid to AAA Carting. I wish I knew what the DEC permit issue was, but I certainly don’t expect reassurance from your elected officials.

Budget work is going on now. If it’s as bad as the districts….Wed. – budget meeting.

They appointed a second attorney for Maple Leaf at $125/hour.

Bob Cinque announced 3 driveway opening without saying where.

They are buying a new pickup truck for Lake Peekskill.

Mr. Oliverio, as read by Bob T., says that there is a new approved plan for PHR. In the usual level of transparency, no one seems to have seen it.

In one of those really uncomfortable moments, when you want to crawl under a chair, Bob forced the Boy Scouts to come to the podium. The first young man engagingly reported that he had found the meeting to be exhilirating.

Wendy talked about the oil co-op.

PRESS RELEASE: August 24, 2010

IT’S OFFICIAL- NO FEMA MONEY FOR NEW FIREHOUSE

PUT VALLEY FIRE DEPARTMENT FAILS TO SECURE $4.9 MILLION GRANT

Villanova Demands Halt to Expenditures and Planning Board

Review Pending Outside Investigation

After numerous FOIL requests by taxpayer advocate Patty Villanova, the Putnam Valley Fire Department released an e-mail dated July 21st from FEMA, notifying the Department that their grant application for a new firehouse has been rejected. The controversial request was submitted to FEMA on July 10, 2009, and was a major issue in last November’s town board election. The new station is estimated to cost over $9 million dollars and loss of the grant money means that the entire cost would be paid for by the taxpayers. The proposal is currently being reviewed by the Planning Board for economic and environmental impacts.

The grant application erroneously claimed, among other things, that the existing firehouse was uninhabitable and that there was a “mandate” from the State to correct serious violations in the town hall/courthouse. Thanks to records obtained by Villanova through the Freedom of Information Law, these representations were later determined to be untrue. It was also discovered that in addition to a new firehouse, there were plans to retrofit and renovate the existing building into a costly new town hall and courthouse.

Despite these revelations, fire department officials, along with Supervisor Tendy and the Town Board, have continued to move the project forward, regardless of the cost. Due to the many questions that have been raised, and the complicity of the town board, Villanova is demanding an immediate halt to all spending on the project pending an outside investigation by State and Federal authorities.

The Putnam Valley Fire Department has accumulated a fund balance in excess of one million dollars by over-taxing town residents. This surplus enabled them to spend over $340,000 on the project with no oversight by elected officials or the public. Villanova is calling on Supervisor Tendy and the Town Board to reimburse the taxpayers by deducting this money from the Department’s $821,000 contract when it comes up for renewal this year.

At the August 21, 2009, town board meeting, FD spokesman Ed McCarthy stated that if they did not get the grant, the new firehouse would be “a dead issue.” Given the state of our economy, and the FEMA notification, it’s time for McCarthy and his colleagues to stop wasting time and money on a project that is unnecessary and certainly unaffordable.

Tendy Putnam Valley, August 24, 2010

Noone could make Tendy look as bad as Tendy himself.

“Tendy criticized Villanova for “rejoicing” over FEMA’s rejection and accused her of being a “self-aggrandizing egotist” who wanted to make the current administration look bad while making a name for herself. He said a new firehouse for the town was sorely needed.

“All you have to do is take a look at the building and you’ll see they need a new facility,” Tendy said.”

– from Art Cusano’s NCN article this week. It’s worth a look.

Self aggrandizing and egotist are good words to describe Mr. Tendy. I can’t imagine that someone who wants to promote themselves would take on the fire department. It’s a tough fight. I did not notice any rejoicing.

But perhaps Mr. Tendy can explain to us why he did not obtain and release the information that the fire department did not get the grant. It was known by at least July 21. Perhaps he can explain why it is that he did not obtain and release the information that the fire department has spent $700,000 on this plan when the parcel is not zoned for the firehouse. Perhaps he can explain why it is that he has not been proactive in planning for the fire department when he has been in office for oh so many years. Perhaps he can explain why he did not even bother to go to the firehouse scoping session.

But he will not. In all the blah de blah blah blah, he will not say anything that you actually want to hear. Maybe the fire department can put out the hot air.

August Town Board

No News at the Putnam Valley Town Board

At the August Town Board work session and regular meetings there were two topics notably missing. There were no mentions of the rejection of the fire department’s FEMA grant application on July 21. And there was no mention of the DEC closure of the Karta Peekskill site, which had been reported previously to be the base of operation for AAA Carting.

When the Putnam Valley bid was awarded to AAA, hostilities were ongoing with Southeast and the DEC, and the Town Board members remained mute. They still are. I have no idea how this will impact Putnam Valley, but I’m sure that the question has been asked. Since the Journal News report about the Karta closure, there have been a lot of searches on this site for information about its impact here.

Regular Meeting” August 18, 2010

The fire department report did not mention that the fire department did not get the FEMA grant for their new firehouse. It did mention brush fires at Fahnestock Park.

Bob, of course, announced an executive session on possible litigation and possible contractual issues.

Sam O announced that there is no contamination at the Oregon Corners garage. That is not surprising. So now the property is supposed to be put up for a tax sale. That bizarre Chapter 31 change to the county code is now not needed and should be rescinded….. Bob expressed his sadness that the business owner is being kicked out……even though his taxpayer funded $300,000 wall helped to make it possible.

Sam O also mentioned charter revision, and that he does not believe in term limits….

He mentioned Peekskill Hollow Road, and used the same rhetoric that he has used forever, drainage improvements, turning lanes at the high school, and bridge repairs, only from Oregon Corners to Adams Corners. Getting rid of the garage gives the county the property they need for their 4 and 5 lane intersection, albeit at great cost to the taxpayers, and no one has seen or mentioned a new plan. Sam O promised us a new plan when everyone was so upset about the current one, but that remains the approved plan, and no one knows anything about a different one. So far, nothing has changed.

There was a discussion about the new hires at the highway department – 40 hour weeks without benefits. Gene said, “just because it’s been done doesn’t mean it’s legal.” Thanks for that. Bob said, “We’ve always done it” and used the word “violative” again.

At public comment, Ted Muniak said that the Lake Peekskill Civic Association takes care of problems.

The Town Board had their executive session. They said that no business would be conducted. So, since all of the litigation, and its cost, is a secret, when is that business conducted?

DP

Work 8/11/10

There was a public hearing on retirement incentives. Three of the Lake Peekskill employees asked questions about it. To qualify for the incentive, the job has to be eliminated with the retirement or a 50% reduction has to be realized. Bob gets to decide. He was so anxious to vote on it that Gene had to remind him to open the “work session” and put it on the agenda. Why couldn’t this wait until the “regular” meeting?

Bill said that he found the state statute difficult to understand.

The time limit is Oct. 3 – Dec. 10. Bob said they were obligated to put it out there, but that’s not true.

They announced an executive session on possible litigation and employment matters. One of these days I will write a letter to the Committee on Open Government (they are supposed to announce the litigation topic).

4 Cimarron Road was mentioned. That’s the house that Bob wants to tear down. He has 3 prices for demolishing it (that’s with your money). Maybe they’re (we’re) gonna get sued.

They are sending Mike Raimondi to the Planning Federation Conference at a cost of about $800.

2 highway employees are taking 90 day leaves and 2 people are being hired to replace them.

Then, the porta-johns at the Lake Peekskill garage were brought up. Bob’s word for August was “violative.” Perhaps he thinks it makes him sound like a lawyer. He kept saying it. He wants to force the county to allow a toilet at the garage at a taxpayer cost of $30,000. Sam Davis had looked into this. The BOH (Board of Health) said yes to a sink, and no to a toilet. Sam recommended an Incinolet or a compost toilet, both of which would be environmentally sound, and would cost the taxpayers a lot less money.

As the guys do not have to stay at the garage all day, they do have access to the facilities at the community center. The new plans for Maple Leaf Associates did not include sanitary facilities for the transient employees, and the Planning Board seemed fine with that. The BOH has no facilities on record for McKinney’s and everyone seems fine with that. And when the plan (no longer in effect) was approved for 14 Morrissey, the facilities were only planned for the employees who worked in the building, not the truck drivers who would be in and out.

Is any of that violative?

*note – spell check does not like Bob’s word.

I wonder, Gene, if you could supply the LP budget committee with the cost of garbage collection in the other districts, so that we can compare that with the cost of our district employees?

The Town Board voted to make itself lead agent for the environmental review for sterile carp in Roaring Brook. They are probably competent to do that environmental review, but instead of doing one, they then declared a negative declaration of environmental significance for SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review). That was the fastest environmentaI review I ever saw. I don’t imagine anyone would sue, but you never know. For anyone who is wondering, sterile grass carp are introduced to a lake to reduce weed growth. Lake Peekskill has successfully used them for years now. Bob now knows why sterile carp do not reproduce.

There was a complaint from an unnamed carter that Tompkins has been advertising a 3 year contract, and that is not allowed under the license agreement. I am wondering what license agreement with the town is being referred to.

There was a discussion about the Continental Village fire department buying their gas from our highway department. It seems that the County, the fire department and ambulance corps all use this gas without any formal agreement. The school has a formal agreement. Apparently the users have electronic access. There have been some questions about the record keeping. It would seem that before the Board gives access to another entity, they should formalize all arrangements with all the organizations to whom we sell gas, and proper record keeping should be established.

A tax certiorari will be granted for 12 PHR for the last three or four years.

Town Board – July 21, 2010

Mr. Tendy started his meeting with an executive session on potential pending litigation, an advisory discussion with the Town Attorney. Gene added that the issue was land use. By now, the rest of us all know that for a legal executive session, the subject of the litigation must be announced. In spite of that, nobody knows just what the Town is litigating or how much it is costing the taxpayers.

I don’t know how litigation can be pending and potential.

Bob had a cigar to give away. It reminded me that he did not support the anti-smoking campaign. And he gave another plug to Entergy.

For those of you who wanted to know why we now have a special prosecutor, it was not announced. He is being paid $150/hour for 2 cases in the Town court.

Some at Barger Pond want a larger dock.

MS4 was mentioned – stormwater drainage. I don’t remember seeing the public meeting announced this year, although I remember seeing it cancelled. The state has now banned phosphorus in detergent and fertilizer, so that should help with some problems. And they have banned pesticides in schoolyards and playing fields. That’s good news.

Mr. Oliverio says that the county is going to take the garage at Oregon Corners and that it will never again be a garage. Automotive repair is a special permit use in that zone. It is not within the county’s purview to determine that use. But I am sure that they will take their extra lanes for the five lanes they want to widen Peekskill Hollow Road and Oscawana Lake Road. For the taxpayers, this is a most expensive taking of private property.

Legislator Oliverio mentioned that the county has several capital projects costing more than $100,000 to start that have already been approved. Peekskill Hollow Road or Orgeon Corners?

“New Draft ZoningCode”

Mr. Tendy has spent 4 1/2 years being “not Sam Davis” and he is still at it. So now, he is trying to tell us that the Comprehensive Plan committee wouldn’t take his suggestions, and that the code was written behind closed doors. He is a liar.

I have been to Marie Z’s and Kate Lucarello’s Master Plan meetings, to the Comprehensive Plan committee’s meetings, and to the “wordsmiths’” meetings. There have been some others who have been there as well. All groups allowed members of the public to comment. The Comprehensive Plan committee drafted the current Comprehensive Plan, and the unadopted zoning code. They kept meticulous minutes, and incorporated public input. The committee was a model of functional government.

That committee was comprised of 2 Town Planners, the Town Supervisor, 2 members of the Planning Board, a representative from the business community, another Town Board member, and 2 other attorneys with Comprehensive Plan experience. When the code they created came up for a public hearing, there were only 2 opponents, one engineer with business in the town and Bob. The code was a victim of political ego. That never results in a positive outcome for the electorate.

Mr. Tendy then got rid of the committee, has done NOTHING to implement the Comprehensive Plan. He appointed a new committee to change the language of the code, arrogantly wasted 2 ½ years of their time, and now says he doesn’t like the code because it is Sam Davis’ code.

Sam Davis did indeed work very hard on the code, and in two years, while under siege, brought in a Comprehensive Plan, and draft zoning code. Bob certainly could not accomplish anything like that. But Sam did not write it. If he had, it would certainly have been far more restrictive. The code was definitely a collaborative effort.

Do not mistake this writing as support for the current state of the code. I have not seen it. It is apparently a secret document. I FOIL’ed it, but Bob is hiding it somewhere. So I have asked the Committee on Open Government if this document is secret due to national security. I think I could score a bootleg copy of it, but isn’t this a little ridiculous? Bob sure likes during things in the backroom.

While I like and respect some of the members of the Wordsmiths’ committee, I didn’t care for their process. They kept no minutes, and there was very little wider perspective in the group.

To be specific about Bob’s comments, he doesn’t like the restrictions on removing ridgelines and rocky outcroppings, and trees. He did say something at another time about lopping off mountaintops, and we have so many trees, we could cut down a few. He doesn’t like the limitations on square footage and buildable area.

Did you really think he was an environmentalist?

Putnam Valley is ruled be fiefdoms, and the lords all want to keep their turf without regard for the public.

Ms. Whetsel said that Ms. Annabi is an expert on construction. I didn’t see that in her campaign info. What is her construction experience? Ms. Annabi said that there is a lot of opinion in the code, but since we can’t see it, we don’t know what she is talking about.

More stall tactics. They are champions – at least a decade of stalling.

Other things.

They are applying for a grant for GIS. I thought we already had that.

Regarding an environmental assessment form, Bob actually said, “Do we have to read this whole thing, Bill?” The Board is supposed to actually consider environmental impacts before voting on environmental significance. Just one reason they shouldn’t be lead agent for the Lake Oscawana Management Plan. What I don’t understand is if the wetlands inspector is an involved agent in oversight for the plan, how can he also manage it?

They are setting up a committee to pick an architect for Bob’s new office. I thought they already had one. How do we commit $250,000 of public money to a project without public input?

At North Beach (I thought it was Carreras) they are talking about skimming the area to keep debris from coming ashore. I thought that the public discussions were about substantive water quality improvements.

In Oscawana, there are a lot of weeds – millefoil is an invasive that can be pulled out from the roots, now that the water level is low. Bob is planning to dredge, but that was at another meeting.

And they voted to close public comment. I think that was a first.

DP

 

July work session

Gene held a public hearing and a work session in 36 minutes total. Impressive.

I did get a public comment about the public hearing (about boat tags in Hilltop).
Someone wants to know why Hilltop residents won’t have to pay for boat tags, but Lake Peekskill residents do.

They were going to hold an executive session on litigation regarding Kaspar and Adorno. Might be nice to let the public know what’s going on there.

They are planning more incentive retirement – the public hearing is tomorrow night. I think that retirement packages should be standard, as opposed to payoffs.

They renewed the highway department $350,000 BAN – borrowed money – from 2005.

The Lake Oscawana plan needs to go through SEQRA. The Town Board wants to be the lead agency. So why couldn’t they have been the co-lead agency for the firehouse. I would rather see the Planning Board handle this one. But why wasn’t this done before the Town Board accepted the plan? They are doing it now so that they can borrow money – $1 million – from the state revolving fund. I’d like to know who’s paying for the engineering for the project, preparation of the environmental assessment form, evaluation of the DEC wetlands.

Incentive Zoning public hearing – July 21, 2010
Bob and Bill’s plan to override the Planning Board and zoning code to make deals with developers in return for some gift.

It was an interesting hearing until Bob went off on why he doesn’t support the zoning code. But I have to say, guys, that you should have known. He has had many years of avoiding a zoning code. It puts restrictions on developers, and he doesn’t like that. Besides, Sam would get some credit (he actually said it). He brought up Sam several times. What’s that about?

He also talked about a corrupt government. Is he getting nervous about FBI investigations?

But you can turn the tape or tv off before you get there. The comments were impressive. Sam O got up and said that he doesn’t support increasing housing density. He doesn’t think that the Town Board should circumvent zoning, ‘though he can see it for business. He mentioned bringing water into Oregon Corners.

This is more evidence of closed door discussions. The businesses can form a water district and bring in water, and the highest assessed properties would pay more toward it.

The Town Board gets to make the laws. They can change zoning. They don’t have to make special deals on an individual basis. It really stinks of corruption. Bob’s word was well chosen. Intent and planning should be a public process, not Bob’s secret.

Seeing plenty of failed plans, I wonder what happens if they find that they can’t deliver on the promise. Suppose Mr. Santucci or Mr. Zarcone said that they would bring in water in return for, say, a five story building or strip mall at the corners. Then, they built their building, but discovered that no municipality wants to supply water, or that the water is too expensive for the businesses to survive. What happens then?

Sam O brought up Emerald Ridge, but I don’t think that’s a model of planning. It was noted at the time that there were enough legal means to stop that project, but Ms. Whetsel’s deal with Mr. Santucci gave him the Town Board votes to push it through.

And suppose you let one guy (or gal) do something. Zoning works by precedent. How do you then deny the next developer the right to do the same thing. They will have the money to take it to court.

Back to the public hearing, Wendy’s comments were well prepared and well delivered. She doesn’t want increased density because housing costs us $1.33 for each dollar raised in taxes. She noted that we already have the zoning tools to preserve open space. She wouldn’t want to see commercial in a residential zone.

She also noted that energy efficiency can be written into the code. The Town does not need to provide incentives for it. She said that you may think that you are going to get a field for free, but in the long run, you are going to see it in your taxes.

John said that there shouldn’t be a concentration of power at the Town Board. The state structure gives each board its own powers. This law would break that down. He also noted that while businesses are important to the community, we cannot hope for any significant tax contribution from businesses.

Mr. Tendy promised to double businesses in 2 years. That doubling would have increased the contribution from business from 1% to 2%. And in that time, the town taxes have increased so much that the 1%, had it been realized, would have been essentially meaningless. Westchester and Nassau Counties should be enough proof that strip malls or big box stores everywhere don’t solve the property tax problem.

Mr. Chmar, of the Hudson Highland Land Trust, raised some interesting concerns about the law. He noted the broadness of this law, allowing any use, anywhere in Town. And within his expertise on land conservancy, he reiterated that open space can be preserved without Mr. Tendy’s incentives.

Irv Flinn, an attorney who has worked on the Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Code, and the land trust, said that he has no problem with incentive zoning, and noted that it is most often used with regard to affordable housing. He was concerned about how general and open ended this law is. Incentive zoning is ordinarily very specific. He also mentioned that the objectives that are stated are those of the Town whose law was used, rather than referring back to our own Comprehensive Plan. He said that incentives should be used to achieve the goals of the Comprehensive Plan.

But Bob doesn’t like the Comprehensive Plan and wants to change it. He doesn’t like the zoning code, and nobody writing it would listen to him. He said that incentive zoning is a useful tool and that it is a useful tool (he said it twice) and gives him greater power, and leverage. He is quite confused about open space preservation. This law is not needed for that, nor is it necessary for cluster zoning. Can someone please explain that to him?

He mentioned the summer camp and the Little League fields and a project that was supposed to give that to the Town. There was significant public opposition to that project, but Bob didn’t mention that. And the summer camp probably doesn’t need to be run by the Town. There is a time to give up on costly public programs that can be handled more effectively privately. In Putnam Valley, we have gone past that time.

Bob didn’t listen to anyone. He is the one promoting this law, and he has already made up his mind. He was rude and argumentative, as is often the case. Bob C. and Gene expressed no opinions. We can hope they heard something.

Bob read two letters from 2 previously id’ed supporters. Jack Zadrima who is anticipating a lot of growth in the Town and Mike Finn who wants more aggressive governance. Both letters were general support, and did not express what specifically this law would do for the rest of us. We already have some idea what it will do to us.

Mr. Chmar raised another important issue. Mr. Tendy arrogantly says that if you don’t like what the board allows, you can vote them out. Mr. Chmar said that the building that the voters don’t like will be there for many years. We already have some ugly scars.

There was a strange discussion about not being able to speak in public about what large parcels there are in the Town that might be developed in the future. Huh? All parcels in the town are public information. And most of the large ones have been subjected to public discussion for one reason or another. Cimarron Ranch may be the largest, about 440 acres, also reportedly has a facebook page. One parcel was sold off, so I don’t quite know the current size. Part of the CYO camp is rented to the Town for its camp. The parcel on Bryant Pond has been the subject of several proposals over the years. There’s the HYH proposal in Roaring Brook. The Gair properties have also been the subject of several public discussions for various reasons. Development proposals are meant to be publicly discussed.

The Town is allowed to regulate development through zoning, despite Bob’s continual cries of private property rights. But his agenda has always been clear, and he believes that he is supposed to have and promote that agenda.

DP

 

April 14, 2010 -TB work session

Regular meeting will be Wed, April 21 at 7PM, the day before Earth Day!

So the title search on the agenda was for the house on the road into the Town Park.  Acquiring it is a good idea, but the timing is lousy.  The Town Board authorized Bill Zutt to do the title search.  Huh? Does that mean it’s going to the Pregno Agency at 11PHR?

Was this such an emergency that it couldn’t wait for the regular meeting?  What is a work session anyway?

Mr. Zutt is once again moving his incentive zoning concept forward.  To that end, he provided the legislation that enables the Town Board to do that. They will discuss a resolution about incentive zoning at the regular meeting.

He also wants to re-amend the non-conforming lots or uses law, and has already sent his new change to County Planning.  And again, huh?  And the Town Board did not ask what the issue is that caused him to want this new change, or what the issues were that caused him to want the last change.  Why do they vote on things without asking questions? And get angry when other people do ask?

They hired Patricia Rau from the civil service eligible list!  Yay!  Is this the first time they have hired someone who has already passed the test?

Then, they didn’t hire Bob’s pick for building inspector.  It is tabled until the next meeting.  They had an exec session to discuss that and the sewer district.  The sewer district?  You can have an exec session for contractual, personnel or litigation, as long as the reason is stated, and other topics are not discussed.  I never saw ‘sewer district’ in the list of stated reasons in the state law.

They announced the Planning Board opening that will be created when they appoint John to be building inspector.  I’m sure that Bob is looking forward to a letter of intent from me.  They will interview for the Planning Board, but they didn’t interview for building inspector.  Apparently, they will not interview for the highway department position.  They will just appoint someone at the regular meeting.

Before Wednesday, can someone please tell Councilwoman Whetsel where Northview is?

There was a discussion of Cortlandt’s oil coop. Peekskill and Somers have oil coops also.  Our Town Clerk has generously volunteered to set up a spreadsheet of members to get it rolling.

Jef Tkacs, who did the presentation, is retiring.  He has provided a valuable interaction with Cortlandt.

There are two parameters for capping the price, and when you are a member (for a $5 initial setup fee), you can still buy elsewhere if you find a lower price.

Mr. Yetter believes that this is not a function of government.  Bob likes having premium service, and is willing to pay more.

Thank you to Patty Villanova for pushing this issue.  If not for her, it would have gone away.

VS Construction delivered cashiers’ checks to replace the expired Key Bank letters of credit for Emerald Ridge et al. They have a one year extension.

Mrs. Zarcone attended the meeting.

The Keating 3 lot subdivision has a one year extension too.

Both are controversial projects.

Something about a penalty on Blair?

Lake Peekskill – they are giving you a new employee.  And they are talking about an easement across your property at North Beach.

They will release the Trading Post Lane performance bonds.

At 6, they will hold a public hearing on an alleged unsafe building at 4 Cimarron Road.

DP

April work session

Wednesday, the Town Board will hold its work session.

There will be a presentation on the oil coop for anyone who still cares.

P. Rau will be appointed in the Town Clerk’s office.  Did anyone see that job advertised?  There was a list of those who took the test and passed it,  at the Civil Service office.  I hope that P. Rau is on it.  Any relationship to Liz Duffy-Rau who works in County Planning, and was part of that Oregon Corners presentation?  Long time PV resident.

I know someone who was told that there would be no replacement for this job.  Now, why would they be told that?  I would love to see an honest, straightforward method of hiring in this town.

I wish Maureen well.

Speaking of that, there is a listing on the town website for a code enforcement officer/building inspector.  I had already heard that the job was going to John Landi, who is on the planning board.  Has he passed the civil service test?  That leaves an opening on the planning board.   I can apply for that!

As for the rest of the agenda:

They are going to present the letters of credit for payment regarding the Keating subdivision.

They will authorize another title search, on 2 parcels.  Without the tax map numbers available, I cannot identify them.  Perhaps they could id them for people who might have an interest.  The title searches that have been at issue are Woods End Road, Northview, and North Beach in LP.  I’ll assume that the agency for the title searches will be Pregno of 11 Peekskill Hollow Road.

They will talk about litter clean-up,  a good thing to get involved in.

And they will discuss the sewer district.

Public Hearing – Unsafe Building, April 21, 2010

Mr. Tendy’s latest target is the 110 year old blue house on the corner of Oscawana Lake Road and Cimarron Road.  To some of us, it used to be a lovely house. To Mr. Tendy, apparently it is just an old falling down house. “Just because it’s old, doesn’t make it historic,” he says.

But regardless of any opinions of the structure and its beauty or history, why is this one structure deemed to be an unsafe building.  Why have these people been targeted by Mr. Tendy? Who is the public that Mr. Tendy says he is protecting?  Whose “life and safety” is he protecting? There is no one going in and out of the building.  There is no one living there.  Was there trespass committed to determine unsafe structural defects?  There is an unsafe house across the street from that house, with residents living in it. Mr. Tendy could have demolished that one years ago.   He declined the opportunity.

He tells us that if someone wanders in and gets hurt, the property owner will be sued.  Be that as it may, as a taxpayer, it is not incumbent upon me to protect the landowner from being sued.  (It is your tax dollars that will demolish this building.)

So why does he have it in for that particular structure?

The current owners have a possible sale and asked for consideration while the new owner decides what to do.  Mr. Tendy apparently knows who the potential buyer is.  He said that they have been identified, but of course, he did not share that information.  He shares as little as possible with the public.  But if someone wants to secure the property, and salvage that house, shouldn’t they be permitted the time to do that?

Mr. Tendy told us the law allows us to prevent the destruction of a building, so it should allow for demolition.  What law allows us to prevent the destruction of a historic building?  Councilwoman Whetsel was uncomfortable with the demolition of this house when a new homeowner may want to save it, and uncomfortable with the unclear criteria for determining one building among many to be unsafe.  Someone suggested that she should seek a rewrite of that section of the code, not a bad idea at all, although perhaps the code has already been rewritten and rewritten and rewritten.

Two members of the public tried to make comments.  One clear presentation was continuously interrupted with that cross-examination mentality that makes public comment so difficult.  And as usual, no one on the board stopped the badgering.  Mr. Tendy was at his most obnoxious when he questioned Chris about the location of the house.   “What house are you talking about?” he demanded.

Chris did know what he was talking about, but the Board did not treat him with any basic civility.  And they never heard what he was saying.

The other comment was from a Cortlandt resident who was familiar with the house, and supported saving it. He was however, confused about our Comp Plan and zoning.  He thought the property should be subdividable, but 3 acre  zoning is supported by our zoning, our Comprehensive Plan, and the county’s aquifer study.

Perhaps we should be as supportive to saving a structure as the Town Board is to tearing it down, or perhaps more supportive.  I am astounded at the architecture that has been lost in Putnam Valley.

Ms. Whetsel voted against the 60 day deadline to demolish, or have a plan in.  She was, of course, outvoted.

DP

March 17, 2010 Town Board Meeting

Once I realized that the meeting is erroneously dated Feb.17, I watched.  The meeting started with an executive session on litigation – topic not announced even though that is required by law, and also on contractual issues.

They added Cimarron Ranch to the agenda.

In spite of a 10 minute  opening, Bob announced that he would be commenting at public comment. It was one of those shows that I find tedious, but perhaps some love.

Very interesting report by our County Legislator.  First, he disagreed with Mr. Bondi about a Board of Supervisors.  I don’t know if a Board of Supervisors ever worked in Putnam.  It didn’t in Nassau, but neither does the legislature.  It’s time to consider something else.  I don’t think we should be part of Westchester, but we can certainly increase shared services. Assessment and the County Clerk belong in Putnam County, and possibly could be upgraded and expanded, but there is lots that is not working.  I do understand that Mr. Oliverio wants to keep his 2nd job.

But then, it got interesting…….The county has proposed a law to allow a company, S&W Reclamation to come in and clean up George’s Super Station without going out to bid.  Then they get first dibs on the property when the county is ready to sell.  Does the County own it yet?  Something doesn’t sound quite right.  Sam says that there is almost a million dollars owed on the property.  That seems high even with Bob’s $300,000 wall.  Bob says, and Wendy had already said that they took soil samples from the area, and that there is no contamination.  That was before Bob’s buds covered up the oil tank that they had uncovered.  Bob said he has already talked to Andy Gershon.

And then there is supposed to be some kind of corporate or fast food business there, next to the DEC stream, and the Peekskill water supply that supposedly we care so much about protecting.  Hmmmmmm………

I asked Mr. Oliverio for a copy of the proposed amendment to the law, but he was unwilling to supply it.

He said something about a lease agreement for biofilters.  I’ll have to listen to that again.  And also something about a county foreclosed house on Barger Street that Habitat for Humanity wants to knock down and rebuild.

The 3 retirees who will get added incentive to retire are Maureen McHugh, Anne Spoonhour, and John Allen.  There are civil service exams listed on the Putnam County website for 3 building department titles.  And we have double duty in the court for awhile, paying for 2 employees.  This scheme doesn’t sound like much of a tax saving. CSEA employees don’t get paid all that well.  I would replace Maureen with a records management officer to inventory and digitize Town Hall’s excessive paper.

Which brings us to the new budget line for Bob’s Town Hall expansion, partly paid for by what Bob refers to as “Senator Leibell’s grant.”  Dormitory funds from your state tax dollars plus an additional bond to be spent because Bob doesn’t want to modernize, and he doesn’t like the small office he made for himself, and Senator Leibell has a political campaign to run.  The amount of the line is $350,000, unless Bob wants to spend more.  And this doesn’t include remodelling the existing firehouse.

There will be a May 12 hearing on no landscaping businesses in Putnam Valley, because actually they are not allowed in the code and were not envisioned in the code.  Restriction on construction material sales is being included in that law but it is unknown at this time what those restrictions are.  Some would like to see construction material sales eliminated, as it is an industrial operation that was not envisioned.

Bob wants to give Lake Peekskill owned North Beach property to a lovely family who bought a house there knowing that they did not have access, because he says they’ve been coming through there anyway, they have a child, and it’s important to come to some kind of solution to this problem.  They have agreed to pave our park…..just that piece of it.

Bill said that a town can’t alienate park property, but he thinks that is property acquired by state funds.  He is trying to find a way to give our property away.  How did the district acquire that property?  Was it donated to protect the property rights of the whole district or of a few individuals?  Why are we trounced with that property owners’ rights phrase when they want to take something away from us, but never when it will protect us?  Gene seemed to be the only one who had some concern about taking this beach property and putting a road on it.  Thanks Gene.

Bob said the family should be acquainted with the facts.  They were acquainted with the facts before they bought the house. They chose to buy it anyway.

The compost operation at Cimarron Ranch.  We, the taxpayers, have paid Mr. Donahue to formulate a remediation plan.  Mr. Zutt selected him and selected the reclamation company.  The court has appointed a Mr. Todt to take things from here, but he charges $350 an hour, so the Mr. Zutt wants to keep Mr. Donahue on the job, and Jackie Annabi says, “And he’s got the experience.”  What I don’t understand is why this cost is being borne by the taxpayers at all, and why these amounts aren’t authorized at open meetings, with caps.  I have heard that the antique building was taken down.  Too bad.

They are going to advertise for a Roaring Brook lake superintendent, and Lake Oscawana weed harvester operators.  I don’t know if those are real job openings.  I sure would like to see all jobs posted on the Town’s website before the jobs are filled.

The Census – Why did we get a separate letter telling us it was coming? How much did that cost?

Fill it out, guys, before April 1 to avoid someone coming to your house to ask you the questions.

Then there was the performance.  Bob had gathered a group of his friends to come in and say that they had come to consensus about Oregon Corners, and incentive zoning (they want it) and they have a cogent vision for the town that is actionable.  I don’t think that’s what they meant.  They met at the Zadrimas’ house, and they are long term residents, which seems to be the prerequisite to expressing an opinion, although it has never worked for Patty or John.  They will let other people come to their meetings – 284-2040, but gave no indication of who they are or why they decided to meet without any public process or inclusion.  Mike Finn, a Republican from 2 Miller Road, gave his little spiel.

So we have had an initial vision of Oregon Corners that was drawn up by Jackie Lynfield, and rejected because people didn’t feel that they had any input.  Then we had a unanimously passed Comprehensive Plan which, with significant public input decided that Oregon Corners should have its own master plan with input from the business community, the taxpayers, Town of Cortlandt residents and the City of Peekskill.

Instead of what should happen, the County hired a New Jersey planner to come up with their vision.  They talked to one property owner, who has not moved forward with his plan.  That plan was met with hostility, except from Bob.  Then, Bob turned over the whole thing to the Putnam Valley Business Association, not a solution that satisfies the need for a public process or inclusion of other people and municipalities.  Certain business interests want to bully everyone, and everyone suffers.  We have lost businesses, and there are problems.

So now, we have another backroom group, and we don’t even know how they self-selected.

Volunteerism is great, and so is caring, so instead of different groups vying for attention, how about if we have a real Oregon Corners planning process.  Mr. Finn, you seem like you might have the courage.  Let’s do it!

DP

Putnam Valley Work session March 10, 2010

I told you they should move Town Hall to 11 Peekskill Hollow Road.  Mr. Zutt told the Town Board that they should pay the Pregno Agency $1200 for a title search so that the taxpayers can take the “gift” of Woods End Road, and the Town Board, of course agreed.  Mr. Zutt said that the agency is in Peekskill, and they do have a web listing there.  But they also have a web listing at 11 Peekskill Hollow Road, which I only looked up because I’ve seen their name on the door, with John Zarcone, Jr. and Majed Annabi. I guess Mr. Raimondi, and Mr.’s Goldsand and Cinque don’t have their names on the door. Was Bob’s name on the door when he was there?

They spend.  You pay….

VS Construction….Emerald Ridge….Meadow Ridge….Marsh Hill Road…Val Santucci…a rose by any other name….The letters of credit were due for renewal in Feb.  The bank says they’re not renewing.  Mr. Santucci told Mr. Zutt that he’ll have them by April 15.  A year’s extension will be given for project completion.

– Completion bond $160,000

– Erosion $50,000 (see Ms. LeBlanc’s question about the drainage problem at the bottom of Marsh Hill Road.)

– Monitoring $25,000

Never seemed like a good idea to me.  Up a long, dangerous, steep slope, in a bad housing market.

Mr. Tendy wants to give (or sell) an easement over Lake Peekskill property at North Beach.  There was a summer house built there years ago with no vehicular access.  Back in 2002, the owner wanted access across the park property.  It seems like a serious public danger.  The Town Board said no.  When there have been vehicles on that property, there are a lot of complaints.  Before the current owners bought, they inquired about that access, and chose to buy despite the lack of access.

They are very nice, so Mr. Tendy thinks we should give them an easement.

Mr. Tendy wanted to be lead agency (for the environmental review) for the firehouse.  Now he doesn’t.  The Town Board should be co-lead agency, since this is such an important project for the Town.  They could address issues that the Planning Board never does.  Mr. Zutt doesn’t want them to be, so they won’t. The PB will declare themselves lead agent tomorrow, Monday March 22.

Happy Spring!  For those of you who have been looking for relief from your oil bills, not to worry, Councilwoman Whetsel is on it.  She is gathering information, and wants to talk about it at the April work session.  Her facebook page back before the election said that she initiated the oil co-op.

At least she doesn’t have an office at 11 Peekskill Hollow Road. But she did sell her land to Val Santucci, and make a secret deal with him on Emerald Ridge, so I guess she sorta belongs to the club anyway. On the outside looking in.

The Town Board is planning to take landscaping out of permitted uses in the code.  It is not one, but see the March 8 Planning Board meeting for a further explanation.  They are also going to do something regarding materials sales or storage or something, but hopefully, they will not put it in the same law.

They ended the meeting with an executive session on litigation, Bob’s favorite subject.  The law says that you have to state the litigation, but Bob almost never does.  The taxpayers are entitled to know how their tax dollars are spent, and when there are conflicts of interest.

They were supposed to announce who we were paying to retire, but the TB meeting is not on the website or on the schedule for Channel 20.

A note that I will put on this even though it wasn’t discussed at the meeting.  Lake Peekskill’s Civic Association usually runs a Memorial Day ceremony at the Lake Peekskill monument.  This year politics will take center stage.  It always does, but sometimes they try to disguise it a little and at least pretend that it’s about veterans. Senator Leibell has a political campaign, and he is paying you your money to get your vote.  He decided that in this very difficult economy, with so many hurting, your money should be spent on a monument for the relative of a friend of his.  And now, Bob has decided that the political campaign is more important that any decency and respect. So the civic association, Lake Peekskill, and veterans will take a backseat for politics.

Anyone want to have a real ceremony dedicated to those who have died in defense of this nation?  Let me know.

February TB 2010

It’s Sunshine Week! dedicated to openness and accessibility in government.

We’re not so good at this in Putnam Valley.

P.S.   Oh, and they awarded the open top container bid to AAA Carting.  They’ve been in the news lately.

Money to Burn

They seem to have plenty of money to spend.  Town Board Meeting, February 17, 2010. In the court, they are paying one employee to retire, and another to learn the job before that retirement.  They are paying that new employee more than they pay any other part timer.  Doesn’t seem fair…

And in the assessor’s office, they are restoring the job that Sheryl had, with a higher salary than the clerk is paid.  There was a civil service exam for that job.  There are eligible people who passed the test.  But they are ignoring that list.

They are signing the contract for the summer camp for 3 years, increasing amounts each year, $60,000 on up.

They are accepting a new road, or an old road actually.  I love the term – “accepting an offer of dedication” –  a gift that keeps on giving.  The developer gives.  We pay.  They said they won’t keep doing this, but they keep doing it.

The developer “would obviously benefit, as would the town,” Mr Zutt said.  How does the town benefit?  We go to great lengths, to help developers develop.  How generous we are!

And then, there’s our Town Hall Annex, an extension to house old excess files and give Bob a bigger office (seems he made his too small).  The money for this project came from the “dormitory authority.”  It is a campaign commercial for Senator Leibell, for whichever office he is seeking.  The rumor is county exec.  The MTA is an”authority” that you have been hearing a lot about lately.  Governor Paterson was planning to reform authorities.  There is not enough oversight.  There is not enough public disclosure, input, accountability.  And they are still spending money like crazy.  After all, your vote counts.

And don’t worry if it isn’t enough to cover Bob’s Building.  He has already assured us that he will bond the rest.

But my favorite part of the Town Hall discussion is that the survey is being done by Badey and Watson!  Do you remember the out of town engineer who came to the zoning code public hearing and spoke in support of BT’s unpopular position against the zoning code?  He wants to develop on wetlands in Roaring Brook.  You guessed it – Badey and Watson.

Also, on spending money and getting elected, we’re also getting money for a baseball practice facility at the park.  I’m grateful that the economic downturn and the financial stress that we have all experienced is taken so seriously by our elected officials. It’s nice to think we’re all in this together.  But then, wasn’t Senator Leibell the most costly state legislator north of Westchester?

On to topics that don’t involve throwing away the taxpayers’ money.

3 neg decs – Negative declarations of environmental significance, as part of SEQR*, the state’s environmental review. What I was taught was that the neg decs had to be separate from the passage of the laws, and the boards had to give actual public consideration of the EAF* (environmental assessment forms).  That would require that, at the very least, they have the EAFS in front of them.

I’m such a stickler.

I even think that they should follow the law on executive session for litigation, but that would mean that the people who have the right to know what the Board is discussing, and when they are ignoring conflicts of interest, would know.  We can’t have that.

Gene voted against the phosphate law, the one that is not enforceable.  No one cared.

Bob Cinque voted against the septic law because there was a problem with it that he wanted corrected.  If you’ve had a pumpout in the last 36 months, and prove that in 120 days, the law won’t affect you for years.

What amazed me about the law is that those in the affected properties have not been notified, and they haven’t even been identified.  Seems a bit shoddy.

Of course, if Gene and Bob C. paid attention to each other, and anyone else paid attention to anything, some of these ineptitudes could be corrected.

At public comment, Mr. Tendy’s display was disgusting.  Part of Wendy’s campaign was that she initiated the oil coop.  Mr. Tendy says that he spent 2 months working on it, but if Patty wants to know what happened, she will have to meet with him privately.  He will not discuss publicly why there is no oil coop, and if Patty brings it up, she will be publicly insulted.

Since she came close to being elected, and had almost as much public support as the winners, he seems to need to be as abusive as possible every time she says something.

I’m glad somebody says something about things.  There is something rotten in the state of Denmark.

Denmarkians might object, and I really have no idea how things are in Denmark, but I digress.

Patty asked about a vote on the firehouse.  Mr. Tendy said some circuitous thing about if a vote was appropriate…. Lots of people are concerned that there will be no public referendum, and he seems to be confirming that fear.

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.”

(Do you remember when BT voted for the Lake Peekskill water system and didn’t care if the residents of the community could afford it?)

Then the Board went into an executive session on litigation, without stating the litigation, as is required by state law.

I didn’t watch the first half video and didn’t see the county report, but I do know that the county has given up home health aide service to Visiting Nurse Service.  Mr. Bondi proposed privatizing, and was soundly beaten up for it before the election.  But just a few months later, apparently, the county legislature no longer feels compelled to retain that service.  Additionally, they are borrowing money to buy a Board of Elections building. 

You people out there have lots of money to give these guys. Are you allowed to have a tea party against big spending Republicans

My Reorganization Meeting, January 22, 2010

A member of the Ethics Board suggested that Town Hall should be moved to the Big Blue building at Oregon Corners.  It would eliminate the need for a new Town Hall, would satisfy the desires of those who believe that Oregon Corners is the center of Town, and the bagels are right there.

The building is, in fact, at the edge of Town, and at the edge of the county, and lots of residents never go through the area.

But that aside, instead of Big Blue, I think we should use 11 Peekskill Hollow Road for our Town Hall location.  After all, plenty of folks are already there.  It will be a little cramped, but the Planning Board backroom meetings show a willingness to share close quarters.  I’m not sure where we’ll park that big old trailer where the records are kept – perhaps next to Bob’s Big Wall or over the stream that Mr. Zarcone wants to see culverted.  Anyway, it seems like more efficient use of our personnel.

The building is owned by the Zarcones.  Mr. Tendy is the former law partner of John Zarcone, Jr.  It is the law office of Mr. Zarcone and Majed Annabi, husband of Councilwoman Jacqueline Annabi.  Ms. Annabi is in the employ of her brother, William Sayegh, former Putnam County Independence Chair, and former boss of Robert Cinque.

In that same space is Michael and Sons – Michael Raimondi’s company.  He is the Chair of the Putnam Valley Planning Board. His company was involved in the construction of Big Blue.

That office is also the satellite office for Robert Cinque, current Councilman, partner of Robert I Goldsand, former tax certiorari for the Town of Putnam Valley.  Mr. Cinque was formerly in the employ of Jackie Annabi’s brother, William Sayegh, former Putnam County Independence Chair.  That firm, and Mr. Cinque specifically, defended Thomas and Mary Cabot against the Town of Putnam Valley, when they owned Cimarron Ranch.  He represented them in the sale of that property to Alex Kaspar, and publicly spoke out against the sale of the parcel to a land trust.

Mr. Zutt will be near at hand, across the street in Phil Keating’s building.

And Big Blue is close by too.  That building is currently owned by Philip Annabi.  I don’t know what relationship he has to Mr. and Mrs. Annabi, but after a nasty anonymous attack on the blogs for asking if they were related to Sandy Annabi of the Yonkers scandal, I won’t ask.  You can’t choose your relatives, but Mr. Annabi hails from Yonkers, and still has an office address listed there, and I’ve only ever heard of 4 Annabis.

Mr. Annabi bought the building from Val Santucci (VS Construction), who built it after John Zarcone’s Planning Board approved it.  Mr. Santucci bought the property from Mrs. Zarcone, John’s mom. Mr. Santucci is the current owner of the Maria’s Deli property and the builder of the Emerald Ridge/Meadow Ridge development at the end of the steep Marsh Hill Road.  He is also the one who bought a parcel from Wendy Whetsel in order to develop Pheasant Run Road.  As Councilwoman, Ms. Whetsel made a deal with Mr. Santucci to allow him to develop his Marsh Hill Road property.

It just seems like it would be more efficient to have Town Hall down there.

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