VALATIE–The Kinderhook Town Board was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation and a commemorative coin by the local American Legion Post at their meeting on March 4.
Tom Burrall, the commander of the American Legion Post 47, told the board that this year is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the American Legion and also the 100th anniversary of the Valatie post. “One hundred years and we’re still going” he said. This year, the post will celebrate its centennial during Memorial Day observances in Valatie.
The certificate awarded to the town reads in part, “We present this certificate in grateful appreciation to the Town of Kinderhook to honor your continuous and steadfast support of veterans and the American Legion.”
Mr. Burrall presented the certificate and the coin, of which he said only 500 were made, to Town Supervisor Pat Grattan.
This will be Mr. Grattan’s last term as town supervisor after 10 years on the job. He confirmed after the meeting that he would not run again this November. He told The Columbia Paper that he was a great believer in self imposed term limits. He said he’d served 10 years, winning five elections for supervisor, “and I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly.”
He started on the Town Board in 1985 and has also served on the town Planning Board and was mayor of the Village of Valatie, as well as village attorney for many years. Mr. Grattan also served as the chairman of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors.
Also on the ballot in November will be two seats on the Town Board, town justice and the position of town clerk. The seats held by Councilmen Phil Bickerton and Tim Ooms are up for election. Town Judge David Dellehunt’s term is up.
Also at the meeting, the board heard from Michael O’Hara, a member of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, about the Carbon Dividend Act. Mr. O’Hara presented information about a proposal in Congress that would put a fee on oil, coal and natural gas producers that would slowly increase. The wording of the act says, “such a fee would be straightforward and make effective use of free-market mechanisms to promote the transition to greater energy conservation and renewable sources of energy.”
He said that all citizens would receive a “dividend” from the fee.
“This involves the entire economy,” he told the board.
Mr. O’Hara said that over the next 10 years this proposal would reduce fossil fuel use by 40% and create more jobs.
“All that is happening at the federal level,” Mr. O’Hara said of the bill. He added that at the town level, the Climate Lobby is asking the board to support the bill.
Mr. Grattan asked Councilman Bickerton, who currently chairs the town’s Smart Climate Committee, to take the information back to his committee for review and come back to the Town Board with a recommendation.
The Smart Climate Committee meets again on March 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building.
Also at the March 4 meeting:
• The KISS program–a free document shredding program sponsored by the County Clerk’s Office –will be back at the Glynn Building from March 18 to 28. Seniors can bring their documents to be placed in the locked bins and later shredded
• Cathy Knott, the clerk for the town’s assessor, said that she wanted to let the board know that due to media coverage about seniors needing to sign-up again for their STAR property tax exemption, the office had gotten calls. She wanted to reassure the board that the assessor’s office had “taken care of everything” in the fall and that the office had mailed out over 470 exemptions, including 12 more exemptions for veterans
• Mr. Grattan announced that the town will be conducting a reassessment of properties in 2020 but that the county’s Real Property Tax Office would be going around looking at vacant properties in the town to make sure they are still vacant.
The next Town Board meeting will be Monday, April 1 at 7 p.m. in the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email