NEW LEBANON–A comprehensive agenda greeted new and returning board members during the town’s 2020 annual organization meeting at Town Hall Thursday, January 2.
Newly-elected town supervisor Tistrya Houghtling, who replaced interim supervisor Meg Robertson, presided. Of the four other board members, Jesse Newton and Norman Rasmussen are returning; Deborah Gordon and John Trainor are newly elected.
Ms. Houghtling thanked outgoing board members Mark Baumli and Kevin Smith, Sr., for their service and presented them with certificates of appreciation.
Each of the 10 resolutions offered at the meeting was approved by the board, including a resolution naming appointees to 25 positions ranging from accountant to animal control officer to emergency management coordinator. A resolution proposing salaries and wages for both appointed and elected town officers also was approved.
Supervisor Houghtling said she is establishing three new committees to further New Lebanon interests: business and economic development; volunteer; and project management. Mr. Rasmussen was named liaison to project management, with Ms. Houghtling noting that his substantial experience managing municipal projects will help assure New Lebanon’s contractual compliance in the business end of projects
as they move forward. She added that the construction phase of town projects is being capably managed by Mr. Newton.
Mr. Rasmussen will also be the Town Board liaison to the new Volunteer Committee. Ms. Houghtling noted the difficulty of getting area volunteers to pitch in with community functions. She said that efforts will be made to encourage New Lebanon and Darrow high school students to log in some community
service program hours by volunteering in the town.
Naming new board member Deborah Gordon as liaison to the business and Economic Development Committee, Ms. Houghtling said she will draft a letter asking local business owners and residents to serve on the new committee. She said she also plans to invite a board member on the Grow The Valley initiative created a number of years ago to serve.
In addition to the agenda items, attendees at the meeting addressed safety and other issues pertinent to the new town ice skating rink, scheduled to open at the end of this month under the pavilion off Route 22.
Although the town’s insurance policy does not mandate that skaters wear helmets, there was agreement that the new sign being prepared for rink-side should say that helmets are required.
Addressing an issue brought up initially last year—that the town’s Ethics Board took too long to respond to a charge and that the charge should be brought before the Town Board—Supervisor Houghtling said she felt that the issue should remain with the Ethics Board. The Town Board decided it would advertise for a new Ethics Board member, as one of the current members no longer wishes to serve.
The Town Board will also will advertise to fill two recreation commission positions, both of which have recently become vacant.