KINDERHOOK–The Town Board held its organization meeting Monday, January 9, and making several committee appointments, including two former board members, Mike Kipp and Peter Bujanow.
Supervisor Patrick Grattan welcomed the two new Town Board members, Deb Simonsmeier and Tim Ooms, both Republicans, who won their seats in the November election.
The board is seeking a new member for the Zoning Board of Appeals, and Mr. Grattan mentioned the board may be looking for a new waterfront director.
Mr. Bujanow was appointed to head the web page committee. He and Mr. Kipp were appointed to the litigation committee, along with the Town Board and the supervisor. Mr. Grattan said it was to deal with on-going legal issues in the town, and Mr. Kipp and Mr. Bujanow were familiar with the cases. Mr. Kipp will also head the Trail Committee with Ed Hamilton.
Mr. Bujanow, a Democrat, was defeated in his re-election bid in November. Mr. Kipp chose not to seek another term.
Board member Patsy Leader was appointed deputy supervisor.
Committees will include one on Undeveloped Land Oversight chaired by Stanley Koroleski, with members Joe Sweeney and Andrew Scott. The Trail Committee members include Lenny Collins, Jim Costell, Jack Nabozny, Bill Barford, Greg Seaman, Jim Dunham, Diane Argyle, Judy Waterhouse, Jim Tansey and the Friends of the Kinderhook Trails. The Dog Park Committee will be Glenn Smith. The other committees, which include Codes and Financial Oversight, are made of the board members and the supervisor.
Mr. Grattan said there are not increases in salaries and hourly rates in the budget except for Code Enforcement Officer Don Kirsch, who has received a 3% increase to $21.37 an hour.
The board approved paying town attorney Andrew Howard an annual fee of $19,956 and an hourly rate of $180 for litigation. Mr. Howard will also be paid the same amount and hourly fee to advise the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals.
The board decided at the meeting that those who serve on juries in the town will be paid $20 a day.
Board members did plan to approve hiring town engineer Patrick Prendergast at an annual salary of $6,652, but Mr. Grattan said the board now plans to put out a request for bids for that position.
The supervisor’s annual salary was approved at $14,610, and board members will receive about $4,000 a year each. The highway superintendent salary was set at $51,000; the town clerk will make $32,223.
The board approved a mileage reimbursement rate of 55.5 cents per mile for employees.
The meeting was being recorded, and Mr. Grattan said the board would have the video played on a public access channel.
Mr. Grattan, who was recently elected chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, said he planned to have the meetings of that body filmed as well. He also said they would print a “digest” of county finances for the public, and he said that agenda and meeting minutes are posted on the county website.
“I’m just trying to open the doors and the windows a little bit over there,” he said in response to a comment from an audience member at the Town Board meeting about Mr. Grattan reporting on what is going on at the county level at local meetings. He said he would keep town residents informed as he learned more.
After the organization meeting the board went right into the first regular meeting of the New Year, voting to retain Suzanne Muldoon, a CPA, to audit the Town Court for 2011 at a cost not to exceed $2,500.
The board heard that Highway Department workers are still picking up brush and Christmas trees, but the compost area will be closed by January 14.
The next regular board meeting will be Monday, February 13 at 7 p.m. in the town hall in Niverville. The village website is www.kinderhook-ny.gov.