Chatham Town Board opens year with no dissent on appointments

CHATHAM–The Town Board held its first meeting of the new year Tuesday, January 3, with two newly-elected officials–Councilman Bob Balcom and Town Justice James Borgia-Forster–taking the oath of office as the first order of business.

“It is a pleasure to return to the Chatham Town Board,” Mr. Balcom said after the meeting. “I hope my participation will help our town move ever forward.”

Mr. Balcom previously served one term on the board, from 2005 to 2009.

The town’s court clerks were also sworn in, Sandra LeClair as a full-time clerk and Joan Goold as a part-time clerk.

Town Supervisor Jesse DeGroodt and Councilwoman Jean Rohde were returned to office in the November.

The rest of the agenda Tuesday involved standard board organizational meeting tasks, a yearly exercise to approve the basic procedures for town operation, appointments to various town positions and town employee salaries.

All 37 items on the agenda were passed unanimously with a 4 – 0 vote. In addition to Mr. Balcom, the other members present were returning board members Ms. Rohde and Henry Swartz, Jr., as well as Supervisor DeGroodt. Councilwoman Maria Lull was absent.

Among the items approved were:

*Appointing Wendy Carroll to a seven-year term on the Planning Board, and naming Marilyn Cohen chair and Donna Straton deputy chair of the Planning Board

*Appointing Jeff Lick to seven-year term on the Zoning Board of Appeals, and naming David Everett chair and Mitchell Khosrova deputy chair of the ZBA

*Appointing Shari Franks recreation director

*Naming Tal Rappleyea as town attorney on a contract-basis

*Naming Walter Simonsmeier zoning and code enforcement officer

*Naming Wes Powell animal control officer

*Setting annual and hourly salaries for more than three dozen town positions, from deputy highway supervisor at $50,632 annually to recreation counselors in training at $7.25/hour.

The board also made 10 other appointments that did not need to be approved by a vote of the board, including naming Ms. Rohde deputy supervisor and Mr. Swartz as 2nd deputy supervisor.

The next board meeting is Thursday, January 19 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

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