Town Board Meeting follows Public Hearing.

 PUBLIC HEARING
 CABLEVISION FRANCHISE AGREEMENT
 APRIL 21, 2005

A Public Hearing was opened by Supervisor Ray Rice on April 21, 2005 at 7:15 PM in the Town Hall on Broadway in Port Ewen, New York with the following persons in attendance:

Supervisor Ray Rice
Councilman Gloria VanVliet
Councilman Wayne Freer
Councilman Michael Lange
Councilman Ernie Germano
Roger Conner, Director of Government Relations for Cablevision
Administrative Recorder: Diane L. McCord, Town Clerk,

Supervisor Rice opened the Public Hearing.  The following Legal Notice was printed in the Daily Freeman on April 7th and April 14th:

Roger Connor, Director of Government Relations for Cablevision was introduced by Supervisor Rice.  Roger Connor stated this concerns part of the Town of Esopus where cable is not in service.  The Town has a already existing franchise with Time Warner.  There are State regulations about the density required in specific areas to see if it would be economically feasible to run cable lines.  Time Warner has refused to service this area, however, Cablevision serves the Town of Lloyd and they would be willing to run the lines.

The project entails running two and one half miles of cable that starts at the Town of Esopus Line goes up Swartekill Road and Loughran Lane.  There are thirty homes and 2 ½ miles of cable, however, there are state regulations about having the proper contracts with the town.  The stage we are in right now needs for the Public Service Commission to grant a waiver and that has not been issued yet.  Since the Public Service Commission has not granted the waiver as yet it would be a little pre-mature to have the Town Board grant a Resolution to that effect.  The town attorney has received the documentation which is a standard cable franchise agreement.

An exhibit has been sent to Ms. Jaclyn A. Brilling, Secretary New York State Public Service Commission by our Town Attorney  Re: Application for Waiver Pursuant to Part 590.3
and 590.22, Subtitle R of the regulations promulgated by the New York State Public Service Commission (Exhibit B).  The following “Letter Agreement” has been submitted to the town:

Whereas, the Town of Esopus, New York (the “Town”) wishes to grant a cable franchise to Cablevision of Wappingers  Falls, Inc. (“Cablevision”) (each a “Party” and collectively, the “Parties”) so that approximately 31 households on Swartekill Road in the Town who currently do not receive service from the franchised cable operator may receive cable service; and

Whereas, the Town wishes to permit Cablevision to begin construction as soon as possible so that Cablevision may provide service upon approval from the New York State Public Service Commission (“NYSPSC”) of a mutually acceptable non-exclusive cable franchise agreement between the Parties;

NOW, THEREBY, the Parties hereby agree as follows:

1.  Term and Termination

a.   The term of this agreement commences on the date written below (the “commencement Date”) and ends the later of the effective date of a cable franchise agreement between the Parties, as such effective date is determined by order of NYSPSC, unless extended by the Parties in writing.

b.  Cablevision may terminate this agreement upon 30 days notice to the Town in the event that it determines that it may not economically provide service to residents of the Town.  In event of termination, Cablevision, as its sole cost and expense and upon direction of the Town, shall remove the cables and appurtenant devices constructed or maintained in the public right of way.

c.  The Town may terminate this agreement for a material breach of this Agreement, after providing Cablevision with 30 days notice and an opportunity to cure, or, if cure cannot reasonably be completed within 30 days, good faith commencement of cure.

2.  Construction

a.  Cablevision is hereby granted, subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, the right, privilege, and authority to construct a communications system (the “System”) within the streets, alleys, and public ways of the Town identified in Exhibit A hereto.  Cablevision may erect, install, extend, repair, replace, and retain in, on, over, under or upon, across and along the public streets, alleys, and ways, such wires, cables, conductors, ducts, conduits, vaults, manholes amplifiers, appliances, pedestals, attachments, and other property and equipment as are necessary and appurtenant to the operation of the system in conformance with the Town’s general applicable local laws, ordinances, rules and regulations.

b/ Nothing in this Agreement shall be deemed to waive the requirements of the various generally applicable codes, and ordinances of the Town regarding permits, fees to be paid to the town for permits or construction, or the manner of construction.

3.  Agreement Subject to Law and Regulation

a.  All terms and conditions of this Agreement are subject to Federal and State law and to the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission and the NYSPSC.

b.  All rights and privileges granted hereby are subject to the police power of the Town to adopt and enforce laws, rules and regulations necessary for the health, safety and general welfare of the public.
 
c.  The Town shall, within 30 days of the Commencement Date, seek waiver from the NYSPSC of Part 594.4 of the Commission’s Rules by letter (requiring the establishment of a cable television advisory committee and the preparation and publication of a request for proposals) in substantially the form attached as Exhibit B hereto.

4.  Conditions on Use of Street and Public Grounds

a.  Any work that requires the disturbance of any street or that will interfere with traffic shall be undertaken in accordance with the generally applicable ordinances, local laws and regulations of the Town.

b.  No poles, underground conduits or other wire-holding structures shall be erected by Cablevision without the approval of the appropriate municipal official through established permits procedures to the extent that same now or hereafter may exist, with regard to the location, height, type and any other pertinent aspect of such wire-hold facilities; provided however, such approval may not be unreasonably withheld or delayed.

c.  All structures, lines and equipment erected by Cablevision within the Town shall be so located as to cause minimum interference with the proper use of street, alley, easements and other public ways and places, and to cause minimum interference with rights or reasonable convenience of property owners who adjoin any of the said streets, alleys or other public ways and places.  Existing poles, posts and other structures of the electric power company or any telephone company or any other public utility that may be available to Cablevision shall be used to the extent practicable in order to minimize underground, Cablevision’s cable also shall be placed underground.

d.  Cablevision shall have the right and authority to remove, trim, cut and keep clear trees and bushes upon and overhanging all streets, alleys, easements, sidewalks, and public places in the Town to the minimum extent necessary to keep same clear of poles, wires, cable, conduits and fixtures.

e.  In the case of any disturbance of pavement, sidewalk, driveway or other surfacing, Cablevision shall, at its own cost and expense in accordance with the generally applicable local laws and ordinances, rules and regulations, and within thirty (30) days, replace and restore such pavement, sidewalk, driveway or surfacing so disturbed to as good a condition as existed before said work was commenced.  In the event that any municipal property is damaged or destroyed by Cablevision, such property shall be repaired or replaced by Cablevision within thirty (30) days and restored to as good a condition as existed before said work was commenced.

f.  All structures and all lines, equipment and connections, in, over, under and upon streets, sidewalks, alleys and public ways and places of the Town, wherever situated or located, shall at all times be kept and maintained in a safe, suitable, and substantial condition, and in good order and repair.

g.  In exercising rights pursuant hereto, Cablevision shall not endanger or interfere with the lives of persons, nor interfere with any installations of the Town, any public utility serving the Town or any other person permitted to use the streets and public grounds, nor unnecessarily hinder or obstruct the free use of the streets and public grounds.  This Agreement does not establish priority for use over other present or future permit holders or the Town’s own use of the streets and public grounds.  The town shall at all times control the distribution of space, in, over, under or across all streets and public grounds that are occupied by the System.  All rights granted for the construction of the system shall be subject to the continuing right of the Town to require such reconstruction, relocation, or change of the facilities and equipment used by Cablevision in the streets, alleys, avenues, and highways of the Town, as shall be reasonable under the circumstances and necessary in the public interest.

h.  Nothing in this Agreement shall hinder the right of the Town or any governmental authority to perform or carry on, directly, or indirectly, any public works or public improvements of any description.  Should the system in any way interfere with the construction, maintenance, or repair of such public works or public improvements, Cablevision shall, at its own cost and expense, protect or relocate its System, or part thereof, as reasonably directed by the town.

5.  Indemnification

a.  Cablevision shall indemnity and hold harmless the Town, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all losses and claims, demands, payments, suits, actions, recoveries and judgments of every nature and description, resulting from bodily injury, property damage or personal injury, brought or recovered, by any act or omission of Cablevision, its agents, employees, contractors and subcontractors in the construction, maintenance, service or repair of the communications system or any portion thereof, or of any failure to comply with any law, ordinance, or regulation, or by reason of any suit or claim for royalties, license fees, or infringement of patent rights arising from Cablevision’s performance under this Agreement.  Notwithstanding any provision contained herein and to the contrary, Cablevision shall have no obligation to indemnity or defend the Town from the Town’s negligence.

6.  Miscellaneous

a.  Should any provision of this Agreement be held invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction or rendered a nullity by Federal or State legislative or regulatory action, the remaining provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.

b.  This Agreement may be executed in counterparts.

In Witness Whereof,

CABLEVISION OF WAPPINGERS FALLS, INC.

By:

_____________________________
Timothy Rooney
Area Vice President
Date:________________________

Town of Esopus, New York
 
By:

____________________________
Name
Title
 

Date:_______________________

Roger Connors continued.....there is a standard cable franchise agreement and he drew attention to two actions.  One is the territorial limits of the document which spells out exactly what we would build on the map (Exhibit A) and the franchise fee is something for the town to determine.  Federal regulations allow for a municipality to charge between zero and five percent and it is a fairly standard document.   Whatever the town determines is up to you.  Our construction folks and design folks have surveyed the area and we would have to lease space from Central Hudson on their poles.  We are probably looking at mid summer to have this up and provide service.

Councilman Gloria VanVliet: What is a franchise fee?  It is a fee paid by customers based upon the total amount of the bill.  If the bill is $50 five percent of the revenue would go directly to the town.  Early in the cable industry...that fee for the towns was designed to monitor construction and maintenance of the cable system and over time that revenue has gone into the general fund.  Some municipalities have used the fee to purchase equipment i.e. cameras. According to the Supervisor, the Town of Esopus does not have a franchise fee because the way it is currently handled...it is a hidden tax and passed straight through to the consumer.  Our residents do not need another tax.

Jack Goho - Swartekill Rd. reviewed the maps provided.

The next step would be to get the document from the PSC and to pass a Resolution next month.

A Motion to close the Public Hearing at 7:30 PM was made by Supervisor Ray Rice and seconded by Councilman Wayne Freer.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

 
 TOWN BOARD MINUTES
 APRIL 21, 2005

A regularly scheduled meeting of the Town of Esopus Town Board was held on Thursday, April 21, 2005 at the Town Hall in Port Ewen, New York with the following persons in attendance:

Supervisor Ray Rice
Councilman Gloria VanVliet
Councilman Wayne Freer
Councilman Michael Lange
Councilman Ernie Germano

Administrative Recorder: Diane L. McCord, Town Clerk

Supervisor Ray Rice called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM.

Pledge to the Flag

Announcements:

The Supervisor made the following announcements:

Eighth Annual Great River Sweep April 23rd, Lighthouse Park
Availability of positions for the summer Recreation Program
Rt. 9W Citizens Advisory Committee will meet May 11th at 7:30 PM in the Town Hall
Help America Vote presentation by Kevin Cahill, May 20th, 7:30 PM in the Town Hall

Supervisor Rice asked if those people interested in the Sojourner Truth Park would hold their comments until that item appears on the agenda.

Public Comment:

Veronica Berry: “As a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) since its’ inception in 2002 and a registered non-partisan voter, I am appalled by the conduct of my fellow citizens in regard to their attack on our Town Board.  I find this reprehensible.  What is this mysterious motive these letter writers speak of?  It appears to me there may possibly be a political motive from the people doing the attacking I am suspicious of that.  Our Town Board has done nothing wrong by wanting to follow protocol in making a decision regarding the pocket park in accordance with the minutes of the ASC on December 22, 2004 and February 23, 2005 which reads......I am saddened to find that since people are willing to believe incorrect and possibly libelous statements by a few letter writers without question.  I for one, am not willing to do that.  We elected this board to help the town in making decisions not to circumvent proper procedure because someone outside the board has some sort of agenda behind this matter.  I do not believe this board should tolerate being accused of racism or sexism by anyone, especially a letter writer who has no grasp of the real issue at hand.  By knuckling under to these strong arm tactics.  You would just be giving them merit by allowing these falsehoods to continue.”

Anne Gordon: As a member of the CAC, I would like to thank Peter Beisel for his leadership of this commission.  Once again Peter has demonstrated his devotion to the interests of the citizens of Esopus and I think he has done a very great job and he will be sadly missed.

There was a question from Councilman Gloria VanVliet asking what happened to Peter Beisel?  Supervisor Rice stated he had resigned.

Town Board Resolutions:

1.  Recognition of Esopus/American League Softball Champs

The team came forward to accept the District 6 Town of Esopus American League Softball Championship Plaque.  Coach John Sentar appeared with his team.  Each girl present shook hands with the Supervisor who congratulated them on their achievement.  The award will be placed in the Town Hall Trophy Case.  Supervisor Rice stated “fifty years from now you can bring your great grand-daughters here and show them that you were a real ballplayer”.

2.  Resolution Memorializing Sojourner Truth

Prior to public discussion on this issue, Supervisor Rice read the following statement:

“In January of this year a citizen came to this Town Board and suggested that a proposed “pocket Park” located on the site of the current Town Hall be utilized as a memorial to Sojourner Truth.  Members of the Town Board requested additional time to study this suggestion and look at possible alternatives.  During this four month period many citizens groups and individuals have come forward to express support for this proposal.  Numerous letters and articles have appeared in area newspapers supporting this concept.

Unfortunately, this proposal has become bogged down in small town political partisanship.  No alternative proposals have been presented to the board for consideration.  This has become a Republicans versus Democrats issue – and this I find very disappointing – I have come to expect this kind of conduct from our Ulster County Legislature – but I find it very disquieting here in our hometown.  A recent column in the Daily Freeman took note of this polarization and portrayed our Town Board and the Town of Esopus in a very unflattering manner.

I am concerned that this situation will degenerate even further and consume more of this Town Board’s energies.  In the very near future, this Board will be confronted with some serious decisions involving millions of dollars of taxpayer money.  I believe we need to put this issue behind us, therefore, I am offering the following resolution in the hope that we can remove Sojourner Truth from the political arena and focus our energies on issues which will bring credit to our Town.

 Resolution to Memorialize Sojourner Truth
 April 21, 2005

Be it Resolved, by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus, in the County of Ulster, as follows:

Whereas, Sojourner Truth, who was born and grew to maturity in the Town of Esopus, and has become one of our most famous and honored citizens,

Whereas, Sojourner Truth’s efforts have had a profound effect on human rights in our country,

Whereas, the Town of Esopus will soon be the recipient of a “pocket Park” in the space currently occupied by our Town Hall,

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Town Board directs that the park be memorialized to the memory of Sojourner Truth and,

Further resolves, that a committee be formed of:

Rev. Jennifer Barrows
Rev. John Beukelman
Rev. David Houston
Rev. Modele Clarke

to advise the Town Board on the form of the memorial honoring Sojourner Truth.

Public Comment continues:

Debbie Silvestro: “Back in December, I was excited by an historical discovery......Sojourner Truth was from the Town of Esopus.  I had an idea that I hoped would be embraced by the town...a pocket park that the state was creating should be named in honor of Sojourner Truth.  Little did I anticipate that there would be dissenting voices on the board against a woman of such international renown. Fortunately, I was encouraged to persevere by so many of the townspeople whom I spoke with.  And believe me, I spoke about the park to everyone I saw.

The National Park Service has just designated the Gerritt Smith Estate as a national historic landmark.  The Chairman of the Abolition Hall of Fame Committee, Dorothy Willsey, remarked on the occasion “It’s thrilling to walk across the village green and think about all the great Americans who have walked the same steps”.  One of those visitors to the Smith house in Peterboro was Sojourner Truth.  For the first 30 years of her life, 27 as a slave, Sojourner Truth walked along roads and paths in what is now the Town of Esopus.  How thrilling that we can walk in her footsteps.  Until just a few years ago, there was no physical indication that Sojourner Truth ever lived here.  Today we have a small state marker in Rifton, the hamlet of her birth.  Drive too fast on Rt. 213 and you will miss it.  Some people have asked - Isn’t there someone more famous from the Town of Esopus...sadly, there is not.  Some people have asked what did she do that was so important?  You could ask why the Mid-Hudson Women’s Bar Association give an annual Sojourner Truth Award, or why SUNY Orange in Middletown names their annual diversity and achievement award promoting college for the young The Sojourner Truth Award, or why there is the Sojourner Truth Award for Excellence in American Literature?  Or, you could ask her friend Susan B. Anthony why she entrusted Truth with a petition to Congress to make sure that the 14th Amendment would not exclude women from voting?  Some congressmen, Anthony wrote her, want this amendment to shut “all women out,” and to that “I know Sojourner Truth will say, No.”

It was proposed at the last meeting that we can’t know what people will want 50 or 100 years from now.  I would just like to say that it would be far better to be remembered for honoring Sojourner Truth, our most famous former resident,  than to do nothing at all.  I’d like to end with the words of Sojourner Truth.  She was not a serious condescending speaker – she like to add humor to her speeches.  “Life is a hard battle anyway, and if we can laugh and sing a little as we fight the good fight of freedom, it makes it all go easier.”

Veronica Berry: In the minutes of December 22, 2004 “The Aesthetic Sub Committee (ASC) will consider the idea for recommendation to the CAC.  It was acknowledged by the ASC that additional historical figures exist and the ASC wants to make sure that all are considered before a final recommendation is made to the CAC”.  On February 23, 2005 “An informal survey of meeting attendees showed a majority supported the proposal.  A few meeting attendees, however, did express concern that other that other historical figures existed that should also be considered and the idea of the park being an information center for Town attractions should also be considered.  The NYSDOT will continue to hold off on the final design of the pocket park to allow the Town time to decide on a dedication/theme for the pocket park.  If the Town is unable to make a decision within the next few months, the NYSDOT can progress as a generic pocket park design that will not preclude the Town from dedicating the park in the future.”

Barbara Taylor: After reading about Sojourner Truth over the past few week, Ms. Taylor is most encouraged that we have this opportunity to educate the children in the Town of Esopus.  Ms. Taylor is an educator in the Kingston School District and this is a fabulous thing you are undertaking in teaching the people about Sojourner Truth.

Peggy Mabie: I am going back to the January Meeting and at that time there was a bigger audience who knew this would be discussed at that meeting.  At the end of the meeting I asked if we could have some sense as to how the board feels.  At that time, Supervisor Rice, said it was a “no brainer”.  I think the two gentlemen on the end indicated their approval so I thought it was a sure thing.  Suddenly to have the letters in the paper.  The general public finds this an embarrassment for the town.  I applaud the research Debbie Silvestro has done.

Councilman Gloria VanVliet: Ms. VanVliet’s problem with this whole thing has not been Sojourner Truth.  I have no objection to Sojourner Truth.  I object to the method to which this has been presented to the Board.  The CAC was formed to bring things back to the state.  They have been organized to act as a liaison between the town and the state.   Mrs. Silvestro went to the subcommittee meeting to discuss the design of the pocket park.  My objection is to the process that has taken place.  If this could be presented to the full CAC, like it should be,
instead of going through a subcommittee that she just approached on December 22nd and that full committee has a chance to speak, she has no objection.  This has been a bad state of affairs that this has come to pass this way.  Mrs. Silvestro appointed herself as a one person committee without speaking to any other members, she slighted them, she didn’t ask for any input, she decided on her own to do this.  Letter writers have not having all the facts have written suggesting prejudice.  Now this issue is no longer about naming a park, it has become unpleasant.  This has become a full scale campaign, organized by the Town of Esopus Democratic Committee to pressure and bully the Esopus Town Board into voting for this resolution.  All of the people who wrote have been involved in the Democratic Committee except for maybe one.  That is my objection and that is still why I am not satisfied with voting this evening.

Supervisor Rice: Addressing Councilman Gloria VanVliet, Supervisor Rice addressed some of the comments.  Originally you insisted we contact the Klyne Esopus and we did that.  Councilman VanVliet said she also wanted them to contact the CAC.....but Supervisor Rice said this has been drug out for six months and it will be another month before the CAC does meet.  You mentioned that these people are all Democrats, I am sorry, we have had three people come forward who have addressed their support.  Where are your supporters?  You asked the fire companies what was the result of that?  Councilman VanVliet suggested we proposed a larger space for the volunteers and Supervisor Rice was in favor of that.  She also believes Sojourner Truth should have a larger space.

Peggy Mabie: Who are the people on the CAC ?  We have been to those meetings.
Councilman VanVliet stated there had not been a CAC meeting since October 2004.  You should follow prodical.

Debbie Silvestro: The CAC was formed to act as a liaison between NYSDOT and citizens of this community who are going to be effected by the road work project.  They are not a body that makes the laws.  If I am not mistaken the Town Board is the body that makes the laws and resolutions in this town.  Therefore, you should show leadership in voting for something that will benefit the entire town.  This does not benefit me, nor the Democratic Party in this town. this is something for the future of this town, for the children of this town.  It is a history of this town.  This is the reason why I started this whole thing.  I did not go over peoples heads.  I went to the NYSDOT and stated this is my idea and they said get community support.  That is what I did.  If I went to one person before another person that was just an accident of time.  I reached as many people as I possibly could and as far as I could.  In December I presented this to the Town Board at their workshop and again in January.  I was told that no one on the board would make a decision within a matter of days and if I waited another month it would be adequate to gage public opinion.  As far as I’m concerned the public has spoken.  You will never get 9,000 people speaking on this issue.  This is why we vote, this is why we appoint a Town Board to make decisions for the good of the entire town.

Supervisor Rice: Gloria, we were all elected to represent the public and this is not a decision that the CAC will have to make, this is a decision that this Town Board will have to make.  When you came to me and said you are against this because this is a Democratic issue....I find that appalling.  Councilman VanVliet believes it has been that and has originated as that and in her opinion that’s what it is.

Veronica Berry: I don’t know what Sojourner Truth could possibly be thinking at this moment,
that would warrant the vicious attack on this Town Board and that is what upsets me.  I am not a Democrat or a Republican, I registered non-partisan.  I do not like the idea of being circumvented in my capacity as a member of the Citizen Advisory Committee.  This is a surprise to many of us.  We didn’t even know about a pocket park.  So I don’t understand.  It is not that anybody objects to this dedication.....there is no rush in this dedication.  Why do we need the strong arm tactics to rush?  What is the motive of this attack?  I see nothing but a community trying to do their best for the town by not bending to one persons idea.  There is no excuse for this and no rush for this.

Supervisor Rice: I have one question for you........could you explain your relationship to Mrs. VanVliet?  Mrs. Berry asked if it mattered?  Do you think I am an idiot and that I do not have a brain of my own?  Do you have a brain of your own?  Supervisor Rice said you do not indicate what the relationship is?  Mrs. Berry.....I am married to her brother.

Councilman VanVliet: I would like to say that I asked Veronica Berry not to speak.  I called her and asked her.  Mrs. Berry said she thought that the Town Board was above saying that I did not have a mind of my own.  I severely object to this board being called racist and sexist by someone who has no idea of what they wrote.

Barbara Hill: I am sorry I did not have come up with the idea myself.  I come to every Town Board Meeting since I heard about Sojourner Truth.  I am thrilled to see the resolution.  The dialogue in the paper has been informative.  No brainer is the word.  If there are some other groups with some fabulous ideas, where are they?  I have been to the CAC and I have heard the dialogue there.  Where are the other folks?  I am shocked and dismayed this process is being dragged out.

Vince Fisher: I have been living in Ulster Park for twenty five years.  I attended the last meeting of the CAC.  In January I attended the Aesthetic Committee presided over by a member of the NYDOT and this issue was discussed.  The lady said it appeared there was a consensus that we do this but that it was up to the Town Board and they would wait for direction from the Town Board to go forward with this issue.

Michael Melendy: It was also discussed decided that it should be brought before the full committee but that hasn’t happened yet.

Isza Hare: It would be foolish not to name the park in Sojourner Truth’s behalf.

Rob Hare: I think I would agree with Gloria and everyone in general the anger supposedly between Democrats and Republicans does nothing to help the Town to move forward.  The difficultly with many committees is in the end nothing gets done.  Here is something everyone seems to feel positive about and because people are saying this committee has not said anything or that committee hasn’t said anything......we end up doing nothing.  The result of doing nothing is making everyone feel as if they cannot do anything and that undermines the Town be you Democrat or Republican.

Councilman Michael Lange: Councilman Lange asked if all thirty member of this CAC go to the meetings?  No.  How many on the average?  12-18 stated Sal Silvestro.

Supervisor Rice: I have heard no negative comments about dedicating this park to Sojourner Truth.  The issue seems to be “let’s wait”.  The longer we wait the longer this will be aired in the paper and the worse this town will look.  This town deserves better.

Councilman Germano: Councilman Germano did not agree with this statement.  The reason this has been aired in the paper is because of Debbie Silvestro contacting these people and having them write in.  That is why.

Debbie Silvestro thanked Councilman Germano for giving her so much power.

Councilman Germano: First of all, my position to waiting to gain consensus from the public should in no way, shape or form to be taken as dissension against a woman of world renown.
What I have been saying all along is I am not against naming the park after Sojourner Truth, what I am for is making sure whatever we name the park is the will of the people.  The only way to do this is letting the residents find out about it and to voice their opinion.  Look around you tonight see the people that are here.  It is basically people of the Democratic Party that are supporting Debbie.  There are probably 99 % of the people in the town who do not attend Town Board Meetings and who knows how many get the Daily Freeman.  My opinion is the majority of the people in the town are still not aware of what is going on here.  I know what Sal Silvestro said before, if they don’t come they shouldn’t have any say in it.  I don’t agree with that.  According to Sandra Jobson from the State DOT there is no rush to name the park.  The park construction won’t even take place until some time in 2007 at the earliest.  There is no rush to make this decision.  We haven’t even had a full meeting of the CAC to discuss this.  Although the Democrats say they are not trying to make this political.  Let’s look at the facts, there have been four letters to the editor,  one, Debbie Silvestro who is said to be running as a Democrat for Councilman in the town, 2.  Vince Fisher, another person running for a seat in the Town, 3.  Anne Gordon, Chairman of the Democratic Committee.  We have also received some letters from the ministers in town.  Not one of those ministers has called me up to ask me why I am voting the way I am?  Why not call me up and say Ernie why are you holding off making this decision?  I don’t think that is right.  I am not against Sojourner Truth, what I am saying is this is turning out to be an undemocratic process in naming this park.

Supervisor Rice: You know Ernie, you left out a couple of letters.  Gloria wrote one of those letters.  Rev. Clarke wrote one of those letters.  Councilman VanVliet said she explained her reason, and Mr. Reynolds of the Daily Freeman,  didn’t care that it was a surprise and that there was no advanced warning.

Rev. Clarke was in the audience and Councilman Germano asked why he didn’t call one of us up to ask us what are feelings are?

Rev. Clarke: Does someone here seem to know my political affiliations?  I am not angry but I am amazed that you would profess to know my motivation and that I was coerced to write a letter. I think you are wrong..  Again, Councilman Germano asked why Rev. Clarke did not call him up?
The Reverend continued.....I was exercising my constitutional rights as a citizen to write a letter expressing e my opinion....I did not think I had to get permission from this body to express my opinion.  Councilman Germano said in Rev. Clarke’s letter you talked about racism.  Rev. Clarke disagreed.  Councilman Germano quoted “I don’t want to be crass, had it been someone else other than a woman of color, would the Town Board have voted for it?”  That is not accusing us of racism?  Rev. Clarke asked, “Well would they have?”

Evelyn Clarke: I am just amazed that Councilman Germano would think that we are only here to support Democrats and Debbie Silvestro, that is not my motivation.  Where are the Republicans?  Where are your people?  Councilman Germano said maybe they were not trying to make it political.  (Audience disruption.)  Mrs. Clarke continued.....this issue is near and dear to my heart.
and it is very said.  I hope the Board can vote tonight on this resolution.

Roscoe Pecora: I have been focusing and reading what the letters have said and the editorials.  It seems to me we are at a juncture.  There is certainly strong sediments where  Sojourner Truth would be the proper person to honor and I have also heard there are those that want things reviewed more thoroughly.  What I would suggest, rather than delay after delay,  causing this problem to fester is that this Town Board take this initiative, take action, set up a committee of citizens of both parties that are interested and do a thorough study and review all those people in the town that would be appropriate.  This is what you need to do, not this “frick and frack” show.     Right now you do not have a process.  This has been going on for a couple months.  Another concern is why haven’t I heard from the Town Board, when will there be a commitment since we know we will be doing 9W over soon.....when are you going to put new water pipes in so that you don’t have to break up the pavement and sidewalks later on when there is a water break?  I have spoken to a number of people in this community that think this is a good thing to do.  Supervisor Rice stated we would not be able to afford to do this.  It is a wonderful idea but it is too expensive.  Supervisor Rice will address all these issue for Mr. Pecora.
 
Susan Kowatch: There is so much happening in the town at the present time, could the town residents be sent a letter telling everyone what is going on?  No everyone reads the paper or goes to the Town Board Meetings this would give everyone a chance to read what is happening.  Could there be a small newsletter?  There is a lot going on in this town right now.   This is a way to get people involved and a way to reach out to the public.  Supervisor Rice agreed with this.

Vince Fisher:  The formation of another committee is a way to delay the idea.  It has been presented to the Town Board and it is up to you to make a decision not to delay.

Evelyn Clarke: Councilman Germano made a remark that he wanted to know what the public is thinking about this issue.  What I would ask from you is what is your plan to put this issue before the public?  Mrs. Silvestro has already effectively done that.  Is there a schedule in place where this issue can be decided?  Sojourner Truth was a black woman but I do not think you are against the idea of Sojourner Truth because of sexism or racism.  There is a personality and political issue between you and Debbie.  The issue is clouded by these other things.  We need to wash this issue up.  I have lived here since 1999 and I have never attended a Town Board Meeting until this evening when my husband was driving by and we stopped..  I am just hoping that every decision made in this town is not being made the way this one is.  If you are waiting for everyone in town to give you a consensus you will never get anything done.  What Debbie has done is called the grass root movement and that is how democracy works in the United States.  People have an idea, You should lay the conflict aside and deal with the issue.

Councilman Wayne Freer: I have sat back and I have listened.  I was aware of Sojourner Truth prior to our discussions.  I feel it is a good idea.  I am shocked and appalled at what has been going on.  I decided when I first came on this board that I would make decisions based upon what I heard from the public and of my own feelings and what I have learned.  I have lived here in this town all my life.  I don’t think anyone is opposed to Sojourner Truth.  It is not racism or sexism there is an issue going on which is outside of any of those types of issues.  I will not vote on any issue that comes up before this board within a week or a couple weeks of the issue so that I can do research and make an educated decision.  I understand Gloria and Ernie’s reasons that it should go before the CAC.  I know that we are the final decision maker and we have to make this decision.  I would just like to say that I am also a little bit shocked about what appeared in the papers or what was alluded to because that is not the case.  I would also like to say in the 3 ½ years on this Board that this is the first issue that has taken this long for us to come up with a decision.  We have before us a three million dollar project the Town Hall.  We have many issues that need to be addressed.  We have pipe issues, Rt. 9W issues, sidewalks, where the building will be situated, the architect.  There is a lot of work to be done and we are getting bogged down in one issue.  I feel it is time to get this issue behind us, get it over with, which ever way it goes tonight and move on.  We need to move on.

Councilman Ernie Germano: Councilman Germano thanked Evelyn Clarke for coming out this evening and making a statement.  Since you have been here since 1999 and this is the first Town Board Meeting you have attended, you can realize that there are many other people in town that are the same way.  They don’t have time.  That is what has happened in town government throughout the country.  There are a handful of people interested but the majority of people just do not come out.  Many decisions the Town Board makes are financial.  This decision is not one of them.  This decision is rather unusual and whatever we put here on this corner will last another one hundred years at least.  The only thing I am saying is let’s make sure that a lot more citizens in town voice their opinion.  If we want to poll the people and get a feel for it.  If you didn’t know about this you would ask why didn’t I know what was happening.  The idea about a newsletter of putting it on the website is a good idea..  There is no rush

Evelyn Clarke: If I am driving bye a year from now and I have not been involved in the process then it is on me. It is my responsibility as a citizen to become involved in my community.  You cannot base you decision on what to do on the consensus of everyone in the community.  People are more aware than you know.  Still what is the plan and the process, how will you move past where you are now?

Roscoe Pecora: From what I have heard out in the community and I agree Sojourner Truth should be honored, however, is this the best location?  My family has been here a long time and I want to make sure that the community has an opportunity to voice their opinion.  His issue was there should be a sense of fairness and do it in an expeditious way that leaves good faith to all those in this room.

Barbara Hill: Each meeting I attend, I wait to hear more input from the other side.

Veronica Berry: Sandra Jobson has been ill and the CAC Meeting had to be postponed.  What is your rush?

Councilman Ernie Germano: Let’s take Roscoe’s suggestion and form a committee specifically to name the park, set a time, let that process go through and then no one will have anything to say that it wasn’t done properly or that no one had a chance to name it.  That would solve everything.

Supervisor Ray Rice: The last thing in the world we need is another committee to try and provide input for this.  I have heard no one this evening that has spoken out for naming this park anything other than Sojourner Truth.  As far as notice to the public....there have been enumerable articles in the Poughkeepsie Journal, in the Middletown Record and in the Daily Freeman.  There have been letters to the editor.  I have to believe that the public is as informed as they will ever be.  This issue has been discussed in Town Board Meetings in January, March and April.  At this point we need to put this behind us.  I would offer this resolution.

 Resolution to Memorialize Sojourner Truth
 April 21, 2005

Be it Resolved, by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus, in the county of Ulster, as follows:

Whereas, Sojourner Truth, who was born and grew to maturity in the Town of Esopus, and has become one of our most famous and honored citizens,

Whereas, Sojourner Truth’s efforts have had a profound effect on human rights in our country,

Whereas, the Town of Esopus will soon be the recipient of a “pocket Park” in the space currently occupied by our Town Hall,

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Town Board directs that the park be memorialized to the memory of Sojourner Truth and,

Further, Resolves, that a committee be formed of:

Rev. Jennifer Barrows
Rev. John Beukelman
Rev. David Houston
Rev. Modele Clark

to advise the Town Board on the form of the memorial honoring Sojourner Truth.

Resolution offered by Supervisor Ray Rice
Resolution seconded by Councilman Wayne Freer for the purpose of voting.

Supervisor Ray Rice  Aye
Councilman Wayne Freer  Aye - I spoke on this earlier.  I said I was in favor a few months ago.  I would like to have seen the process come to a conclusion, I am still in favor and I vote for it.
Councilman Michael Lange Aye
Councilman Gloria VanVliet Aye  - I believe this issue should still be set aside or a committee should be formed but I was elected for the best interests of the town and I don’t want this town to be embarrassed, I am going to set aside my personal feelings and vote yes for the good of the town.
Councilman Ernie Germano No –I will stand by my decision that we should wait and form a committee and not rush on this and make sure we are making the right decision and make sure everyone has been heard so that when we do make a decision no one can come back and say you didn’t give it its’ just due.  Based on that I am going to vote no.

Resolution adopted.

Supervisor Rice: Thanked all the people that have helped us with this process.  The people have spoken in this case.

Roscoe Pecora: There was no process.

2.  Resolution Memorializing Sojourner Truth

Be it Resolved, by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus, in the County of Ulster, as follows:

Whereas, the Town Hall must be replaced as a result of the Rt. 9W renovations,

Whereas, the Town Board has examined a number of properties and determined that the Spinnenweber property, consisting of a four acre donation by the family, and the purchase of the remaining 21 acres of the parcel for the sum of $15,000 per acre, is in the best interests of the Town of Esopus,

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Town Board authorizes the Supervisor to purchase the property for $15,000 per acre, plus the associated closing costs, these expenses to be paid from the Future Town Hall Reserve Account.

Resolution offered by Supervisor Ray Rice
Resolution seconded by Councilman Wayne Freer

Supervisor Ray Rice   Aye
Councilman Gloria VanVliet  Aye
Councilman Wayne Freer   Aye
Councilman Michael Lange  Aye
Councilman Ernie Germano  Aye

Resolution duly adopted.

Supervisor Rice: This has also been some time in the coming.  There was a problem with one of the maps but the closing is scheduled for tomorrow morning.  There was a previous resolution, however, it was not clear where the funding was coming from and we wanted this cleared up.

Roscoe Pecora: Did I hear you correctly, now it is $15,000 per acre?  What was the reason for the additional $5,000 per acre?  Supervisor Rice said this was directed by Judge Bradley.  Roscoe Pecora continued....is it also true that there is another $645,000 in site work on this site?  Supervisor Rice said that was yet to be determined.  That was based upon an early proposal.  Any figures that were around were very preliminary and have no bearing on the actual project.

3.  Resolution to Authorize the Purchase of Property for a Future Town Hall and Municipal        Purposes April 21, 2005

Be it Resolved, by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus, in the County of Ulster, as follows:

Whereas, the Town Hall must be replaced as a result of the Rt. 9W Renovations,

Whereas, the Town Board has examined a number of properties and determined that the Spinnenweber property, consisting of a four acre donation by the family, and the purchase of the remaining 21 acres of the parcel for the sum of $15,000 per acre, is in the best interests of the Town of Esopus,

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Town Board authorizes the Supervisor to purchase the property for $15,000 per acre, plus the associated closing costs, these expenses to be paid from the Future Town Hall Reserve Account.

Resolution offered by Supervisor Ray Rice
Resolution seconded by Councilman Wayne Freer

Supervisor Ray Rice   Aye
Councilman Gloria VanVliet  Aye
Councilman Wayne Freer   Aye
Councilman Michael Lange  Aye
Councilman Ernie Germano  Aye

Resolution duly adopted.

4. Resolution Authorizing the Signing of the NYSDOT Agreement

 RESOLUTION
 Esopus Town Board
 Port Ewen, New York

Resolved, at the regular meeting of the Board of the Town of Esopus on April 21, 2005 the following Resolution was adopted, offered by Supervisor Ray Rice and seconded by Councilman  Gloria VanVliet and passed by the Board, Amending the Resolution adopted December 19, 2002 authorizing the Town Supervisor to enter negotiations with and execute documents for the State Department of Transportation pertaining to the functional replacement of the Esopus Town Hall,

Now, Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Board accept Sixty Thousand Dollars ($60,000) and the additional compensation described in the Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement of Adjustment dated April 21, 2005 in adjustment of the claim for Map 61, Parcel 76, for the project identified as P.I.N. 8039.94, S.H. 310, Old Post Road, Part 3, and
Be it Further Resolved, that Ray Rice, Supervisor of the Town of Esopus, be empowered to execute all memorandums, agreements, closing documents, authorizations, vouchers or other documents required by the State of New York to complete payment of the Town’s claim, and

Be it Further Resolved, that the Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement of Adjustment signed by the Town Supervisor on April 21, 2005 hereby are ratified by the Board.

Resolution carried,

_____________________________
Town Clerk
Town of Esopus

I, Diane L. McCord, Town Clerk, do hereby certify that the above resolution was passed by the board of the town of Esopus and that this is a true and exact copy thereof.

There was a question about the actual cost to be paid by the State and this amount is $2,.616,810.00.

5.  Resolution Reserving 15% of Port Ewen Sewage Capacity for Existing Build-able Lots

There has been a concern that some of the development in the town could use up some of the excess sewer capacity we have and this would preclude someone who has been paying taxes in the town for a long period of time from being able to connect to our sewer system.

Whereas, the Town of Esopus (Port Ewen Sewer District) entered into an Inter-Municipal Sewer Agreement with the City of Kingston dated July 2, 1975.

Whereas, by terms of said agreement, Esopus (Port Ewen Sewer District) agreed to pay the city of Kingston its proportionate share of upgrading of the Kingston Sewage Treatment Plant based on Port Ewen Sewer District’s sewage flow.

Whereas, this Inter-Municipal agreement was amended on May 21, 1997 to increase the Town of Esopus (Port Ewen Sewer District’s) interest in the Kingston Sewage Treatment Plant to 646,000 gallons per day based on a 6.2 million gallon capacity of the treatment plant.

Whereas, the Port Ewen Water/Sewer Superintendent has proposed the creation of a sewer reserve (in gallons) for existing properties within the boundaries of the Port Ewen Sewer District.

Whereas, said reserve in gallons shall be 15% (96,900 gallons per day) of the current allowed flow of $646,000 gallons per day.

Therefore, Be it Resolved, by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus to establish this sewer reserve of 15% (96,900 gallons per day).

Resolution offered by Supervisor Ray Rice and seconded by Councilman Michael Lange

The Board was polled:

Supervisor Ray Rice   Aye
Councilman Gloria VanVliet  Aye
Councilman Wayne Freer   Aye
Councilman Michael Lange  Aye
Councilman Ernie Germano  Aye
 
Resolution adopted.

Councilman Freer: The Port Ewen Water/Sewer Board believed this Resolution was necessary with the upcoming developments.  There are parcels of land that can be developed within the district.  We wanted to make sure people who paid taxes all these years were insured the ability to hook into the sewer.

6.  Resolution Authorizing the Hiring of a Summer Recreation Program Director

Be it Resolved, by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus, in the County of Ulster, as follows:

Whereas, the Town Board wishes to develop a summer recreation program which is more consistent with other summer programs in this area.

Whereas, the Town Board has advertised for, and interviewed, candidates for the position of Summer Recreation Program Director,

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Town Board, after interviewing a number of qualified candidates, hereby appoints Julie Habernig to the position of Summer Recreation Program Director.

Resolution offered by Supervisor Ray Rice
Resolution seconded by Councilman Ernie Germano

Supervisor Ray Rice  Aye
Councilman Gloria VanVliet Aye
Councilman Wayne Freer  Aye
Councilman Michael Lange Aye
Councilman Ernie Germano Aye
Resolution duly adopted.
 
 Councilman Freer: Julie Habernig should now have the capability to go forward and start selecting and hiring people to work in the Park Program and she should be the one doing the interviewing.  The Board Members agreed.  She will come to the Town Board for final approval before hiring.  Councilman Germano will meet with Julie and give her all the information from the Ulster County Health Dept.  Supervisor Rice agreed but once you have achieved that point you are the liaison.....an observer....not an active participant.  Julie Habernig will run the program.

7.  Resolution Authorizing the Attendance of the Highway Superintendent and Deputy at Ithaca Highway School

Be it Resolved, by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus, in the County of Ulster, as follows:

Whereas, the Local Highway School will be held at Cornell, June 6th through 8th, 2005,

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Highway Superintendent and the Deputy Superintendent be authorized to attend, with the expenses to be paid from the Highway Department Budget.

Resolution offered by Supervisor Ray Rice
Resolution seconded by Councilman Ernie Germano

Supervisor Ray Rice  Aye
Councilman Gloria VanVliet Aye
Councilman Wayne Freer  Aye
Councilman Michael Lange Aye
Councilman Ernie Germano Aye

Resolution duly adopted.

8.  Resolution Authorizing Adjustments to the 2005 Budget

Be it Resolved, by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus, in the County of Ulster, as follows:
Whereas, adjustments to the 2005 budget are required in order to properly reflect changes in certain accounts,
Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Town Board authorizes the transfer of the following amounts from the indicated accounts and Fund Balances to the indicated active accounts.

From:    Amt.   To:
A599 Fund Balance  $1,826.00  A1050.2 Town Hall Construction
A1990.4     2,569.17  A3620.4 Building Dept.
     266.06  A5130.2 Highway Computer
     935.00  A8010.4 Zoning (Shuster)
  1,854.00  A9050.8 D. Lamb Unemployment
SS599         187.64  SS9040.8 Workmen’s Comp.
 
Resolution offered by Supervisor Ray Rice
Resolution seconded by Councilman Gloria VanVliet

Supervisor Ray Rice  Aye
Councilman Gloria VanVliet Aye
Councilman Wayne Freer  Aye
Councilman Michael Lange Aye
Councilman Ernie Germano Aye

Resolution duly adopted.

9.  Resolution Tax Payment Assistance for Deployed Military Personnel

Whereas, New York State Real Property Tax Law Section 925-d authorizes municipal corporations, which includes counties, to defer real property tax collection or the imposition of penalties or interest for a late payment owed by persons who have been deployed by the military or by the spouse or domestic partner of a person deployed by the military, provided they meet certain eligibility requirements as part of a comprehensive “Patriot Plan” designed to offer benefits to New York’s Servicemen and women,

Therefore, the Town Board of the Town of Esopus, resolves to enact the provisions of the Real Property Tax Law, Section 925-d and authorizes the 90-day extension, from the end of deployment of real property tax collection for persons deployed by the military as defined for this purpose as, “A person who has been ordered to active military duty, other than training, for a period beginning with the declaration of war by Congress and ending with a date prescribed by Presidential Proclamation or concurrent resolution by Congress or during any period of combat designated by Presidential Order for hazardous duty”.

Resolution offered by Supervisor Ray Rice
Resolution seconded by Councilman Michael Lange

Supervisor Ray Rice  Aye
Councilman Gloria VanVliet Aye
Councilman Wayne Freer  Aye
Councilman Michael Lange Aye
Councilman Ernie Germano Aye

Resolution duly adopted.

10.  Resolution Authorizing the Increase in Building Department Fees

Be it Resolved, by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus, in the County of Ulster, as follows:

Whereas, fees charged by the Building Department have not been increased in a number of years and therefore do not accurately reflect the cost of providing the inspection services,

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Town Board directs that the following fee schedule be established for the Building Department;

1.  Change 54-10 I from $10/day to $100/day (Blasting Permit)
2.  Change 56-12 A (1) (a) demo up to $1000 from $15 to $25
  (b) demo over $1000 from $15 plus $5 each additional $1000
        to $25 plus $8 for each additional $1000
  (c) repairs, alterations and additions to $25 for the first $1000 and
                                           $8 for each additional $1000
3.  Change 56-12A (2) (a) from $.25/sq. ft. to $ .40 sq. ft.
4.  Remove fee’s from 56-12 A (6) C/O & C/C fees

Resolution offered by Supervisor Ray Rice
Resolution seconded by Councilman Wayne Freer

Supervisor Ray Rice   Aye
Councilman Gloria VanVliet  Aye
Councilman Wayne Freer   Aye
Councilman Michael Lange  Aye
Councilman Ernie Germano  Aye

Resolution duly adopted.

11.  Discussion of the “Help America Vote Act” voting machine situation

Town Clerk Diane McCord: I had asked the Town Board to consider a Resolution a while back about the Help America Vote Act.  The following letter was read into the Minutes:

Last month I asked if you would pass a resolution “Supporting Legislation For Private and Secure Voting”.  This resolution requested NYS to keep the present lever machines and opposed the use of any electronic voting equipment that did not provide a paper trail.  I would like to explain why I believe it is important to adopt this resolution despite the inevitability it will have little effect.

After the Bush/Gore Presidential Election and all of the controversy regarding the chad ballots in Florida, the United States Congress passed in October of 2003 the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) to assist the states in replacing antiquated punch-card ballot voting systems.  The intention was good, however, the consequences of the states purchasing computer-voting systems has serious flaws.  The main flaw is that in many states, including New York State, the voting machines that were n place for the past forty years had no problems.  The only electrical piece of equipment is the lightbulb.  Few breakdowns occur.  A paper copy of the voting results is immediately available to the Election Board and copies are available at 9PM for all the political parties to review.

I question the integrity of the computerized voting machines that are presently available to replace our old machines.  I question the computer software, computer malfunctions that may happen, computer hackers, or any other potential irregularities.  We must demand the machines purchased by New York State are hamper-proof.  Ohio is a prime example of one state where the new computerized machines clearly did not work in the last presidential election, as quoted in the recent article published in Vanity Fair Magazine’s March issue.  The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review also printed an article on April 8 where three counties were banned from using a touch-screen voting system that apparently contributed to a larger-than-usual undercount in the last November Presidential Election.

Another “sales pitch” for purchasing computerized machines is they are not handicapped accessible.  The Town of Esopus has three machines that can be lowered for the handicapped and as a result this is a non-issue.

Another question with regard to HAVA is the cost.  More than $140 million dollars in federal grants has been allocated to replace our present machines.  New York State has been given an extension in order to purchase new voting machines, however, what are we getting ourselves into?  Will we spend all this money and not have a paper-trail that can be documented?  Will we be jumping into the frying pan and not yell....THIS IS WRONG?

How will our Town of Esopus be affected?  If we are forced to have the new machines the election budget for the town will increase dramatically.  If the machines cost $5,000 a piece and we have ten machines it will cost $50,000.  Though this money comes from a grant, whose money is it?  There are 920 towns in New York State plus cities and villages.  Will $140 million be enough?  Did you know it will cost $400 million dollars to implement the new voting machines that have a life span of six years?  Remember our present machines are bought and paid for and they work!

Another expense will be the transportation of the machines, the time to transport them and even if Ulster county stores and transports the machines, who will bear the cost?  Will the taxpayers have to be burdened with the purchase of a thermostatically controlled building to store the computerized machines?

What will happen to the thirty-four election inspectors and the alternates we now have?  How will they be trained and at whose expense?  Do you think our present inspectors will want to be retrained on these machines?  Inspectors work from 5:30 AM until 9:30 PM, a sixteen hour day.  It is not easy to find election inspectors even though their pay scale has improved to $10 per hour.

I believe these are real concerns.  Machine integrity being the most important to secure
each and every vote is counted.  Computerized machines are certainly in our future and I am not against change and improvements.  The vote to purchase new machines must take place before the years end.  I hope a computerized machine with a paper trail is available.  At this time, however, why can’t we voice our opinion and insist a paper trail be available?  The machines we have in existence presently are not broken, there is a safe system in place already.  Let us voice our concerns.  If the system is not broken do we have to fix it just because someone has handed us the money?

Thank you for your consideration.  Diane L. McCord, Town Clerk

Rob Hare: I would like to comment on what Diane has said about the voting machines.  I would like to quote a Republican President, President Reagan “If it is not broken, why fix it? “ He was talking about telephones.  The telephones have become a pain in the neck for all of us and also Diane brought up the question of cost.  One of the big issues is taxes and our taxes will definitely go up with this.  This one of those things....why do we have to have it?  It is clearly a mistake.

Supervisor Rice: Clearly this is an unfunded mandate.  This will cost us 400 million and every six years we will have to go through this.  I am convinced we do not want to go down this path and we should be complaining about this loudly.

Veronica Berry: Veronica Berry agreed with Diane.

Debra Silvestro: It is important that we all voice our opinion on these voting machines and this voting act.  To not speak out is the surest way not to have an effect.  If computerized machines come to this town, I for one, will place an absentee ballot.

Mitzi Terpening: As a registered voter I want to safeguard my vote, we need a paper ballot to provide accountability.

Roscoe Pecora: Accountability is the most important thing out there.

Supervisor Rice: The last machine Assemblyman Cahill was advocating has a paper ballot.  You fill it out with a pencil and it is a scanner.  Old technology, but reliable and has a guaranteed paper trail.

12.  Resolution Authorizing the Payment of Bills Received Since the March Board Meeting
 
Be it Resolved, by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus, County of Ulster as follows:

Whereas, the Town of Esopus has been presented with vouchers for payment
and these vouchers have been examined and approved by the Town Board,

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the following vouchers be approved for payment:

GENERAL FUND  #051219-051289  $30,793.70
HIGHWAY FUND  #052092-052125  $14,164.68
STREET LIGHTING #056004       3,856.96
PORT EWEN SEWER #053036-053050  $ 8, 810.54
PORT EWEN WATER #054087-054117  $21,497.60

TOTAL...............................................................................$  79,123.48

Resolution offered by Supervisor Ray Rice
Resolution seconded by Councilman Michael Lange

Supervisor Ray Rice  Aye
Councilman Gloria VanVliet Aye
Councilman Wayne Freer  Aye
Councilman Michael Lange Aye
Councilman Ernie Germano Aye

Resolution duly adopted.

Public Comment:

Anne Gordon: As was mentioned by one of the Town Board Members, I am Anne Gordon and I am the Chairman of the Town of Esopus Democratic Committee and I would like to apologize to this Board for giving the impression that only Democrats care enough to come to Town Board Meetings and raise grassroots issues.  Believe me if it were in my power, I would have Republicans and Non-Enrolled in equal numbers attend your Town Board Meetings.  I understand how important it is for every resident of the town to know what is going on in the town.  In the future, I can’t promise to bring out the Republicans and Non-Enrolled but I can assure you that the Democrats will be here, as always, watching these proceedings.

Roscoe Pecora: I would to thank Don Kiernan, as a matter of record, for cooperating recently and the City of Kingston Water Dept. for coming over to do the flow test for us on Canal and Sackett St. for they had the equipment and Esopus did not.  That saved us a charge to the Library and I would like to make note of that.  Once again the Library is thankful and we want the Board Members to know that.

Reports of Committees:

The following reports of committees have been received and are on file in the Town Clerk’s Office:

Town Clerk’s Monthly Report - March 2005
Building Dept. Monthly Report dated March 2005
Planning Board Workshop Minutes dated April 5, 2005
Waterfront Advisory Board Minutes - dated March 22, 2005
Planning Board Minutes dated March 24, 2005
Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes dated March 15, 2005
Estimated Sewer Usage Port Ewen Sewer District
Port Ewen Water & Sewer board Minutes dated March 9, 2005
Port Ewen Water and Sewer Board Minutes dated April 12, 2005
Planning Board Workshop Meeting Minutes dated April 12, 2005
Town Board Workshop Minutes dated April 5, 2005
Town Board Workshop Meeting Minutes dated March 7, 2005
Cancellation of Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting for April 19th 2005
 
Correspondence for the month of March are available.

A Motion to adjourn was made by Supervisor Rice and seconded by Councilman Wayne Freer.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Diane L. McCord
Town Clerk, RMC