6pm, Masonic Hall, Centre Road, Town of Clinton
JUNE 18, 2018
Minutes from June 2018 Town of Clinton Democratic Party Monthly Meeting
Get Out the Vote/Petitioning (Judy)
Judy informed us that several new neighbors have contacted her to help canvass during the coming month for the September primaries and Novembert elections. She welcomed Risa Cross, Ray Rivard, Barbara Burns, and Joyce Morse.
If you know of any people who are interested let Judy know
Petitions must be signed to get nominees on September and fall ballots. People around the table were asked to sign if they wanted to and hadn’t already.
The goal of petitioning door to door between now and September is to help our neighbors know about the primaries, the candidates, our meetings, and that we need their help to get out the vote in October/November
Volunteer Sheet (Bronwyn)
Bronwyn passed around a volunteer sign up sheet. Immediate needs are around organizing a fall social event and hosting a postcard writing party.
Town Board Update (Mike)
Mike mentioned that he, Elliot, and Carol, are meeting with somebody to possibly update and manage the town website. Any requests that are needed should be sent to Mike before June 22.
The guidelines on what is allowable and not on Town properties (Town parks and Town Hall) will be discussed again at the July Board meeting. The existing regulations have been reworded – edited and condensed, to make it less restrictive. The plan is to get it on the agenda for July 10th town board meeting. Mike believes there should be a second public hearing because the edits have been so substantively revised. Mike said that if people want a public hearing they will need to come to the July meeting to encourage the Board to do that. Or to write to the Town Board to encourage them to do that.
County Legislature Update (Joel)
Dutchess County air quality received a D grade. Joel us hosting a meeting on the subject next Thursday 6pm Rhinebeck Town Hall
Got 6 hybrid vehicles passed this week
We discussed whether or not the Committee should be endorsing candidates. It was earlier decided we would not. The reasons not to endorse were to not alienate any voters before they made up their minds and voted. The reasons to endorse were to help raise awareness of candidates that we believed could win. It was agreed that more discussion was needed.
A comment was made that now that the budget is being developed for 2019, we should speak up at the next Town Meeting to request attention be paid to the condition of the Town Hall Campus, where exteriors of buildings badly need painting and repairs.
NOTES from July 10, 2018 TOWN BOARD MEETING.
by Bronwyn Bevan, Secretary Town of Clinton Democrats
~10 people in attendance
6:25pm SPECIAL HEARING
Pledge of Allegiance.
A public hearing on increasing veterans’ tax exemption. Michael noted that 184 of 2100 parcels in Clinton will be impacted. People with over 350K value houses would pay $11/year more. Veterans would get relief of about $53/year. Will be effective in 2019. Floor was opened for comments. Nobody rose to speak. A motion to adjourn the public hearing was carried.
6:30 REGULAR TOWN MEETING
Pledge of Allegiance.
Minutes from June Town Board meeting were carried.
A woman asked about the proposed changes to the regulations regarding what is allowable or not on Town owned properties such as Town Hall and Town Parks. She urged them to vote no. A second speaker stood up. She said that she couldn’t find a copy of the proposed changes to the existing rules on the website. On that basis she was concerned that citizens hadn’t had a chance to look it over and comment. The clerk clarified that the bill wasn’t yet up for a vote. Today’s meeting would determine whether or not it would come up for a vote, in which case it would be shared, and then voted on at a future meeting. A third person stood up and opposed the law. He noted that people put up commercial signs on the town roads to support their businesses (such as Christmas tree farms) – will the new law ban these? Is it over-reaching? There was no comment from the Board as to whether or not any of these issues were addressed and how.
Supervisor’s comments (Oberly)
2019 budget process is starting now. Schedule of activities will be posted early August. Workshops will start in October.
At a recent County supervisors and mayors meeting on July 3, discussion about sharing highway equipment and workers. More info will be shared as it is developed.
Planning Board Report (Werner)
The June 19 meeting was cancelled due to lack of quorum. July 3 meeting agenda had lot line adjustments approved on Kansas Road and Slate Quarry Road
Zoning Board Report
No meeting in June
Conservation Advisory Committee Report (Whitton)
June 13 meeting – concerns about a dam on Allen Road. They are taking on a benchmarking program. CAC will finalize a zoning law. Barbara Mantell will host a bird walk Saturday July 14 at 9am. There is a tick
Recreation Committee Report (Cunningham)
No meeting, but one week was of July 9 was cancelled due to lack of enrollment. But July 16-August 17 are on schedule, with enough kids enrolled. A new Middle School camp meets July 9 – August 6 at the park. A basketball camp is also starting up, July 23-27.
The pavilion is booked 95%, used every weekend this summer. All of the certifications have been satisfied.
Oberly noted that the application and brochure listed different enrollment fee rates. He additionally asked about the revenue and expense for the basketball camp. The information will be presented next week.
Building Inspector Report (Cunningham)
12 permits, 8 title searches, 178 miles logged this period. Total construction estimated at $1.8M.
Zoning Administrator Report (Werner)
12 permits for solar panels, pools, and renovations. Two properties are being cited for violations. Several other issues came up that are currently being investigated.
Highway Report (Cunningham)
Repairs made on several roads. Brush and dirt patching and roadside mowing underway. Oberly asked for a cash flow analysis of several big expenses coming in.
Scenic and Historic Roads (Werner)
Nothing new for June.
Library (Whitton)—no meeting in July
Altice for Cable Vision (Whitton)—no report
Zoning Revision (Michael)—will post report on the website. The zoning was changed to synch with the comprehensive plan of the town. Need several public hearings. Oberly noted that in the past it has taken 10-15 meetings. Michael said we should start in August. Oberly asked how public comments will be recorded. Michael said he will record comments. Oberly asked to post things that didn’t change (which Werner noted was about half of the document). Michael said they will share red lined version so people can see clearly what has been changed. There were some administrative changes, such as re-alphabetizing where sections went which won’t show up as red-lined changes. Oberly asks how people who don’t have a computer will see the document. The document is 1000 pages long. Clerk suggests that the Town make 10 copies. Others suggest that use the library computer. Oberly asks for Michael to come back with a plan.
Proposed Transmission Lines (Oberly) – NY State ISA is advancing a $1B project with North American Transmission Consortium. The line that runs along center road. The consortium is supposed to be selected in July.
Taking over the cemeteries. The town is required by state law to take over cemeteries if they are going out of business. There are 3: Hollow Road, Pleasant Plains, and Schultzville Union. Have heard from all 3 cemeteries, and had formal request for the town to take them over. Oberly will sit down with the parties involved. It has to go to Albany for
Veterans Exemption. Town of Clinton tax exemption for veterans (see above) is roughly half of what the county allows and other towns provide. The motion is proposed to meet the county rate. It is seconded and carried.
Safety Committee. Cunningham noted the July meeting hasn't happened yet. She reviewed chemical storage and accidents with the Highway Supervisor. The town seems to be in good shape.
Local Law on Prohibited Activities in Town Parks and Town Property. Werner noted that a law introduced in May has been substantially revised. He noted that there has been comment in April, May, and again this evening in July. He introduced a resolution to approve a public hearing on the revision of the law. Proposed public hearing on August 14 at 6pm. Cunningham questions why a second public hearing is useful. She believes that they have seen where the public stands already. Werner points out that the law is substantially different from the first one, and therefore may deserve a new public hearing. Michael notes that what hasn’t changed is the ability to monitor it. Oberly says there are other concerns about the bill. Werner says he submitted a draft of the law 6 weeks ago. He got no response that was substantive. He followed up 3 weeks ago, and no substantive response. He asks why this is coming up now. The Board votes not to hold a public hearing, which effectively kills the plan to update the regulations.
Energy Benchmarking Resolution (Whitton). All municipal buildings over 1000 square feet we look at the energy use. Motion to approve a resolution to establish benchmarks. Cuningham says it looks like the CAC has all of the power to make decisions, and the Town Board has no authority. Michael concurs. Whitton makes changes. Motion is carried.
Town Website (Whitton). There is a motion to approve BTC a website consultant to spend up to $2600 to redesign and manage the website through the end of the calendar year. Michael asks where the money comes from. Oberly says from contingency. Michael asks whether a monthly manager is necessary. Whitton says that one person updating the website, so there is a lack of consistency. This means that there is different ways to find the information. Michael thinks that the template can provide consistency. Whitton says that the town can set up a system where people can ask for the reports that they want. He also notes that it frees up time from overburdened staff so that they can do other work and the website will be brought up to speed. Motion is carried.
NYS Salt Solution. Proposal by state to create charitable funds to get around the tax cap in the new tax law. Limits land, school, and state taxes to 10K write off. CA,NJ, and CT are also pursuing this idea. Dutchess County Is not making any changes until IRS rules on it. School district is also waiting for IRS interpretation. Oberly says that they will need to consider this in August, whether or not the IRS has ruled.
Consent Judgment Resolution is introduced. The town has agreed to settle with a property owner who had sued for over alleged tax overpayments.
Training for Colleen McGarry, court clerk to attend annual training. Motion carried.
State Grants. Grant request submitted to Didi Barrett to replace the roof on the highway garage (~25K), and 93K for more solar panels. Total 120K. Barrett requested more options. Town requested two additional grants. 81K for new front door and ramp. $107K for a new town generator. This brought the total request to 311K. Clinton did not receive any of the grants. They need to choose which projects to propose for up to $125K. Oberly proposes highway and generator, with the town picking up some of the difference. Michael says solar panels will save us money, should choose that over generator which is used rarely. Whitton says that Barrett’s office said there is no rush. He also said if we are going to change the proposal they need talk with the library. Oberly proposes garage and generator with the grant and says the town can pay for solar panels with fund balance. Approved 4-1.
Resolution to install 62 more solar panels using the general fund balance. Will not affect town property taxes. Approved 4-1.
Good Energy Workshop. Community Choice A have the right to aggregate their power needs with other towns to get better rates. The program in NY is administered by a company called Good Energy. They assess power rates of the participating towns, then negotiate a better rate for the town. Residents can opt out. They are working with Poughkeepsie, and Clinton could possibly connect with them. There are two possible dates for the initial workshop on July 24 or July 25 at 7pm Town Hall. The workshop is informational to determine whether or not the town wants to do it.
Misc. Two new volunteers for summer camps. Motion carried. Budget expenditures are approved. Supervisors report is approved. Funds are moved. Sherriff’s office wants to do an active shooter workshop. The Board decides September.
Chair of the Library Board reports. 2100 attended 219 events. Lunch sessions have averaged 50 employees. Subjects of history of blues music to WWII women. Concerts and dance events have had high participation.
Camp Director. There are three weeks of camps. July 16-28 K-8; August 6 K-5; August 13-17 K-8. Cost for a week 9-4 $75 for Town residents. $225 for non Town residents. Deadline for applications is July 13.
Citizen notes that the library needs painting and a handicapped ramp.
Joel Tyner, county legislature. Notes that there is a broadband initiative. July 26 forum at Rhinebeck to establish municipal broadband, or to provide more choice. The Dutchess County Legislature killed a program to provide energy programs to low income families. Also reports a $600 increase in Dutchess County Community College.
Citizen says that she thinks the law needs amendment—a lot of arcane and petty rules, such as only water allowed in the Town Hall without agreement.