Philmont board wants cop but doesn’t find one

PHILMONT–The Philmont Police Department was brought up several times at the August 11 meeting of the Village Board, but no police officers were there to listen.

Mayor Clarence Speed noted several times that no members of the Police Department attended the meeting to present their report. “Someone has to be here at our meeting. That’s going to be mandatory.” Later, Mayor Speed added, “That makes me mad.”

Trustee Douglass Cropper noted that there had recently been two potentially criminal incidents after 11 p.m. “I think what I’m getting at,” said Mr. Cropper, “is can the police officers work at night more? We do have a curfew law and I would like our police to be out at night enforcing that. The police need to get out [of their cars] and walk more.”

Mayor Speed added, “Bring a baseball bat or something. The old way we used to do it. You can hold them down until the police get there. That’s no problem.”

Mayor Speed then told a story to make the point that parents should be more involved with disciplining their children. (At least one of the late night incidents involved teenagers.) “I started [the police force] back in the ‘70s. I went down to the park and there was a girl doing what me and my wife do in our bedroom with a whole bunch of guys. I brought her home, and you know what her father said? How dare you wake me up in the middle of the night telling me my daughter is doing something wrong.”

A complaint was also made about people exceeding the one-hour parking limit on Main Street. Mayor Speed said that the issue had already been discussed with police and he had requested that officers walk the street rather than driving by in patrol cars in order to keep better track of cars that were parked too long.

“So if I eat at Gabe’s, I have to eat in an hour?” asked Trustee Larry Ostrander. “Because the way I eat, I’m just getting started.”

Mayor Speed responded by saying, “It’s more for the people are there all day and all night. But if you become a problem…”

In other business at the meeting:

•The Board discussed proposed Local Law #2, which states that “a Village justice shall be a Village resident.” Three members of the audience voiced support for the law before it was unanimously adopted by the board.

•During the public comment section of the meeting, members of the Philmont Rod and Gun Club requested that the Board approve permits allowing members of the club who were not Philmont residents access to Forest Lake for fishing. Each permit would allow two people, a boat, and a truck access to the lake.

“I don’t see any problem with it as long as you’re willing to police it,” said Mayor Speed. The members of the Rod and Gun Club assured the board that they will notify law enforcement if they see anybody fishing without a permit and added that they often pick up trash at the lake left behind by others.

At the request of board member Cropper, only four permits will be issued to the club. The board passed a motion approving the request.

•Certified water turn-off notices for unpaid April water bills have been sent out. There are 35 properties on the list. Water will be turned off on September 10. “We’ve received a lot of positive feedback on the calendars and reminders that go out with the bills,” said Village Clerk and Treasurer Kimberly Simmons.

•The board agreed to sponsor four recruits to attend the Law Enforcement Academy.

•The Community Center will be getting central air conditioning.

•There will be a barbecue August 24 at the town park. It will cost $10 per person or $5 for veterans. The mayor invited people to donate $5 so that a veteran could eat for free. He said, “We’re trying to give the veterans a free barbecue to say Thanks.”

•Mayor Speed reported that he answered “a couple of complaints about swearing noises.”

•Mr. Cropper reported that the village website is often out of date. “I worked with—I don’t know whether to say worked with or worked on—the webmaster,” said Mr. Cropper.

•The library yard sale raised $1,300, and the summer reading program continues to draw great crowds.

•There will be a party for the new library pavilion Sunday, September 21. “Right mayor?” asked Library Director Karen Garafalo. “You said it had to be a Sunday so you could cook the chicken.”

•The playground continues to be plagued by bees.


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