TOWN BOARD MEETING
 AUGUST 16, 2001

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Town of Esopus Town Board was held on Thursday, August 16, 2001at 7:30 PM with the following persons in attendance:

Supervisor Ray Rice
Councilman Marshall Courtney
Councilman John Loughlin
Councilman Peter Beisel
Councilman Gloria VanVliet

Recording Secretary: Diane L. McCord, Town Clerk
Daily Freeman Reporter William Kemble
WFOE - Greg Gulbrandsen
Doug Freeman

Announcements:

Supervisor Rice announced there was insect repellant available at the Town Clerk’s office, however, there is no children’s spray available.

Following the tragedy in Sleightsburgh a fund has been set up for the Comer/Flores families.  Funds can be sent to P O Box 700 Port Ewen, New York 12466 and these funds will be divided between the families.

PUBLIC COMMENT: None

1.  RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING HIGHWAY SUPT. ATTENDANCE AT
     NYS HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENTS CONFERENCE

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus, in the County of Ulster, as follows:

WHEREAS, the NYS Highway Superintendents Conference will be held in Callicoon, September 25 thru September 28, 2001,
 
 THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Highway Supt. be authorized to attend, with the expenses to be paid from the highway department budget.

RESOLUTION OFFERED BY COUNCILMAN JOHN LOUGHLIN
RESOLUTION SECONDED BY SUPERVISOR RAY RICE

SUPERVISOR RAY RICE    AYE
COUNCILMAN MARSHALL COURTNEY AYE
COUNCILMAN JOHN LOUGHLIN  AYE
COUNCILMAN PETER BEISEL   AYE
COUNCILMAN GLORIA VANVLIET  AYE

RESOLUTION DULY ADOPTED.

2.   RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING JUSTICE SHANLEY AND JUSTICE        CLERK DEKOSKIE TO ATTEND THE NYS MAGISTRATES        CONFERENCE

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus, in the County of Ulster, as follows:

WHEREAS, the NYS Magistrates Association and the NYS Magistrates Clerks Association Conferences will be held in Syracuse, September 30 thru October 4, 2001,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Justice Shanley and Justice Clerk DeKoskie be authorized to attend, with the expenses to be paid from the Town Court budget.

RESOLUTION OFFERED BY COUNCILMAN PETER BEISEL
RESOLUTION SECONDED BY SUPERVISOR RAY RICE

SUPERVISOR RAY RICE    AYE
COUNCILMAN MARSHALL COURTNEY   AYE
COUNCILMAN JOHN LOUGHLIN  AYE
COUNCILMAN PETER BEISEL   AYE
COUNCILMAN GLORIA VANVLIET  AYE
 
RESOLUTION DULY ADOPTED.

3.  RESOLUTION TO REAPPOINT DANIEL TERPENING AS TOWN
    ASSESSOR

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus, in the County of Ulster, as follows:

WHEREAS, Daniel Terpening’s term as Town Assessor expires September 30, 2001,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Daniel Terpening be appointed Town Assessor for the term of October 1, 2001, to September 30, 2007.

RESOLUTION OFFERED BY SUPERVISOR RAY RICE
RESOLUTION SECONDED BY COUNCILMAN MARSHALL COURTNEY

Councilman VanVliet made the following comments:

1.  In good conscience after gathering information and considering the re-            appointment I cannot vote in favor.
2.  Dan Terpening lacks professionalism in his office as an inspector.
3.  He lacks objectivity.
4.  He has a poor attitude.

Resolution offered by Supervisor Ray Rice

Supervisor Rice made the following statement: “Dan Terpening has served as the sole assessor for the Town of Esopus for the past twelve years.  During this time he has continuously upgraded his professional skills with courses offered by the NYS
Office of Real Property Services.  Dan has an Associates Degree in accounting from Albany Business College and currently is titled the State Certified Assessor advanced.  Dan has guided the town through several revaluations and I believe he has done an excellent job for the taxpayers in the Town of Esopus.  It is my pleasure to offer this resolution.”

Councilman Courtney seconded the resolution and made the following comments:

“One of the most thankless jobs you can have in town is the assessor.  Living in town where taxes are a very sore subject, taxes are high there is no doubt about that, and Dan has to encounter his neighbors on a daily basis and it is a difficult position for him to be in.  We have gone through the turmoil of a couple of revals in my tenure on the Board and there have been times when I have taken issue with some of the valuations he has placed on properties.  Over the long run the proof has certainly been in his favor and his assessments have stood the test of time, the test of the market place and also the test of the courts.  I think he may not be perhaps has diplomatic as people would like in various times....he is in a difficult position and I think he is overall doing an excellent job in a very difficult position.”

Councilman Peter Beisel echoed Councilman Courtney’s statement.  “I would also point out with the litigation over the revals the courts have agreed with him because none of his cases have been overturned nor had there been any mis-evaluated properties.  Maybe his personal skills at times could be a little bit better.  If you challenge Dan he has the tendency to want to fight back but I think he has done an outstanding job.”  “He has put in many hours of his own personal time with the reval”.

Councilman Gloria VanVliet   No
Councilman Marshall Courtney  Aye
Supervisor Ray Rice    Aye
Councilman John Loughlin   Aye
Councilman Peter Beisel   Aye

Resolution duly adopted.

Councilman VanVliet voted no.  She does not questions the reval. “I really feel he does not have respect for the citizens of the Town of Esopus and I really feel we should send him to class to learn some skills because he really is not nice to people when they go to his office to talk with him.    He makes opinions beforehand and he doesn’t change his mind.”

4.  RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF BILLS        RECEIVED SINCE THE JULY TOWN 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  #419-474  $26,438.74
HIGHWAY FUND  #179-218    60,241.26
STREET LIGHTING  #8       3,407.00
PORT EWEN SEWER  #105-115      2,295.88
PORT EWEN WATER #189-210      8,440.65
CAPITAL FUND #455 (GEN.)           323.00

TOTAL.................................................................$101,146.53

RESOLUTION OFFERED BY SUPERVISOR RAY RICE
RESOLUTION SECONDED BY COUNCILMAN PETER BEISEL

SUPERVISOR RAY RICE    AYE
COUNCILMAN MARSHALL COURTNEY AYE
COUNCILMAN JOHN LOUGHLIN  AYE
COUNCILMAN PETER BEISEL   AYE
COUNCILMAN GLORIA VANVLIET  AYE

RESOLUTION DULY ADOPTED.

A MOTION TO APPROVE THE MINUTES SINCE THE JULY TOWN BOARD MEETING WAS MADE BY SUPERVISOR RAY RICE AND SECONDED BY COUNCILMAN JOHN LOUGHLIN.  ALL TOWN BOARD MEMBERS VOTED IN FAVOR.  MOTION CARRIED.

Announcement of the availability of correspondence and reports of committees:

Highway Superintendents’ Reports have been received dated January-July 2001.
Building Inspectors Monthly Report dated July 2001
Year to date summary of Building Dept.
Port Ewen Water & Sewer District Monthly Report dated July 2001
Planning Board Minutes dated July 26, 2001
Town of Esopus Highway Dept. July 2001
Town Clerk Monthly Report dated July 2001
Fire Inspection Report dated July 2001
Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes dated July 17, 2001

Public Comment:

Doug Freeman - Port Ewen: Doug  Freeman believes Esopus should be like our neighbor in Rosendale and let the people pick the assessor so there can be no political influence.

Supervisor Rice - There are two options.  In our case we have a sole assessor appointed for a six year term which means he is removed from the political arena.  When you elect assessors every year they are in the political arena every year.

Doug Freeman answered in order to get reappointed he has to please the Supervisor.  Supervisor Rice said he has to do a good job in order to be reappointed.

Councilman Courtney believes the Assessor has survived a number of political administrations and the last time he was appointed the motion to appoint him was made by Ira Weiner.  The point is he has been around and stood the test of time.  No one has ever said he plays favors as far as politics is concerned.  Doug Freeman, however,  was concerned with appearances.

Supervisor Rice was hoping Ira Weiner would be here this evening but in his absence he would have to address his comments to the video:

“Ira as part of your commentary as Town Republican Chairman you implied that        Elco had received special treatment by the Zoning Board of Appeals when they received a variance for a proposal to occupy the Creamery property on 9W.  You
stated they had not received Site Plan Approval or a Planning Board hearing.  Ira you should be aware that Site Plan Approval is not required for a variance.  Now that Elco has a variance they can create a plan, request a permit and then come before our Planning Board for Site Plan Approval.  These are the normal steps and they have not received any special treatment as you have implied.

Also Ira, I was disappointed that you chose to use the tragedy at Sleightsburgh for your own political purposes.  Your comments about the Water Chestnut Harvester were as usual exaggerated.  You stated that the town paid $45,000 for the harvester when in actuality the harvester was paid for with $23,000 of grant money.  The harvester is used to clear areas around the Town Beach and the boat launch and the fishing area in Sleightsburgh.  It could never be used in the area where the tragedy occurred and for you to imply otherwise is shameful.  Ira, it is obvious you are using your program for partisan political purposes and you should identify yourself as who you are the Town Republican Chairman not just a political commentator.”
 

Doug Freeman - Port Ewen:   Doug Freeman had just been at the Sleightsburgh Park and had the following complaints and recommendations:

1.  The water chestnuts prohibit fishing from the pier.  Supervisor Rice said the
2.  The whole point in having the park is to be able to fish.
3.  If someone fell in the water they would drowned right next to the boat launch.
4.  I saw those people drowned.
5.  Life jackets should be kept at the park for safety purposes.

Comments in response:

1.  Highway Dept. people had the harvesting on their schedule.  Councilman Beisel         stated the people who operate the machine have been very busy doing the                  blacktopping.

2.  Supervisor Rice believed Doug Freeman was using this for the same political             purposes as Ira Weiner.
 
3.  Supervisor Rice said the tragedy had nothing to do with the water chestnut                 harvesting.  The machine cannot be used in the area where the tragedy occurred.

Councilman Loughlin made the following comments:

1.  Councilman Loughlin asked if Doug Freeman were running for Councilman and
     suggested when elected he could make decisions.
2.  Ira Weiner and Greg Gulbrandsen have done the town an injustice by not running
     for office after all their comments and criticism on Focus On Esopus.  When it is
    “time to step up to the plate....where are they?”

Greg Gulbrandsen stated if he ran for office the first thing to be said would be he is using his television program to bring forth his political agenda.  Basically what you would be saying is “I’d be damned if I did and damned if I don’t”.  I ran two years ago and lost and took it like a man.  Greg Gulbrandsen asked Councilman Loughlin
to appear on FOCUS on ESOPUS, however, Councilman Loughlin refused.

Councilman Courtney made the following statements:

1.  When elected Councilman being criticized is part of the territory, however, we
      expect people to be honest about it.
2.  Ira on his program stated I voted for a five million dollar Town Hall.
3.  We have never had a plan for a Town Hall let alone a five million dollar one.
4.  You can criticize me for the position I took but be honest about it.

Greg Gulbrandsen asked if Councilman Courtney would like to come on his program and talk about it?  Councilman Courtney refused.  Supervisor Rice believes the “Silly Season” has begun.

A MOTION TO ADJOURN WAS MADE BY COUNCILMAN PETER BEISEL AND SECONDED BY SUPERVISOR RAY RICE AT 7:55 PM.  ALL TOWN BOARD MEMBERS VOTED IN FAVOR.  MOTION CARRIED.
Respectfully submitted,

 
Diane L. McCord, Town Clerk