Craig takes gavel as Germantown reorganizes

GERMANTOWN—In a brief reorganization meeting Monday, the Town Board made only one immediately noticeable change. As of this month, the board’s regular meeting is on the fourth Monday of the month, not the third.

This change will keep the meeting from bumping into most Monday holidays, said Supervisor Joel Craig (R), and will allow more time for paying bills.

In addition, the board set four workshop meetings, one each quarter, which are open to the public. The first is March 17.

Looking to future changes, the board agreed to disband all citizen advisory committees, including History Advisory, Parks Commission, Economic Development, Sidewalk, Pubic Safety and Communications. At the January 27 regular Town Board meeting, committees will be reconstituted as necessary, said Mr. Craig.

“We value the time and the interest of volunteers,” he said. “We just felt it was time to reset the committees and get them aligned with town board goals.”

Mr. Craig, a former councilman cross-endorsed for supervisor last fall, represents Germantown on the Columbia County Board of Supervisors. Tuesday he said that on the county level, he is “getting my feet wet, getting to know the other supervisors. I’m very impressed with them; there are some good people.”

Mr. Craig was assigned to serve on the county Public Works Committee, he said. When board Chairman Patrick Grattan (R-Kinderhook) asked him what other committee he would be interested in, Mr. Craig chose Economic Development.

Professionally, Mr. Craig has worked for the Dutchess County Office of Central and Information Systems for 26 years, since 1994 as project leader. Columbia County no longer has a specific committee devoted to information technology, he said, but he has met Richard Juliano, chief technology officer for the county, and looks forward to talking with him further about the county’s website and information technology.

“He seems progressive,” Mr. Craig said of Mr. Juliano, “and trying to work within his means.”

As for representing Germantown, Mr. Craig said he wants “to make sure we get noticed. We’re up against much larger towns, but we have a lot to offer. We’re a southern gateway to the county.”

In other organizational business, the town board approved the following:

Deputy supervisor, Councilman Donald Westmore; police commissioners are Craig, John Rustici, Roger Rekow; Mr. Craig is also budget officer

Town Board committees: government, Craig, Westmore; public works and highway, Westmore, Michael Mortenson; public safety, Mortenson, Andrea Dunn; parks and recreation, Dunn, Matthew Phelan; budget and finance, Phelan, Craig

The firm of Sickler, Torchia, Allen & Churchill to handle town bookkeeping and accounting services

Anthony Cidras, dog control officer; Pine Plains Veterinary Associates as official dog shelter. In an emergency, Mr. Cidras can take an injured animal to closer shelter

Ethics Committee: Roger Proper, chairman; Faythe Smith, Jeremy Smith, Donna Diehl, Joan Snyder

Paid town police force: Officer-in-Charge Brian DuBois, Sergeant Benjamin Doty, Officers David Pulcher, Ryan Scalera, Joshua DuBois, William Jennings

Town historian, Susan Raab.

Tal Rappleyea to represent the town on all legal matters.

Engineering firm of Greenman-Pedersen, Inc., to represent the town on day-to-day engineering matters and projects as specified by the town board. GPI will continue to represent the town on the sidewalk project and the dam project

Steven Savoris chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals; Charles Abraham reappointed to the ZBA through 2018

Stephen Reynolds chairman of the Planning Board and Margaret Della Cioppa reappointed to the board through 2020

John Fieser temporarily as code enforcement officer, while the title of that position is streamlined from building inspector/CEO

2014 annual salaries as stated in the 2014 budget: supervisor $7,200; deputy supervisor $2,200; justice $6,000 each of two; councilman $2,600; town clerk $6,600; assessor $17,900; highway superintendent $52,754; historian $1,000; budget officer $1,200; code enforcement officer $10,000; Assessment Review Board members $150 each, assessment board chairman $300.

As it has for the last several months, the board went into executive session to discuss potential disciplinary action regarding an employee.

The meeting was attended by the full board, including new members Andrea Dunn and Matthew Phelan, and about a dozen residents. Newly elected Town Clerk Joyce Vale took the minutes.

The next board meeting is Monday, January 27 at 7 p.m. in Town Hall, 50 Palatine Park Road.

 

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