Grattan passes super’s gavel after 120 meetings

VALATIE–Supervisor Pat Grattan conducted his last monthly Town Board meeting December 16. He said that this was his 120th Town Board meeting as supervisor and that he was not saying goodbye but, “I want to say thanks instead.”

Mr. Grattan was elected in 2009 and chose not to run for reelection this year. He also served as chairman of the County Board of Supervisors until 2016 and was the mayor of the Village of Valatie. Mr. Grattan talked about coming into office during a time of financial “losses,” which had left the town’s reserves in the negative numbers but that with budgeting the board has reversed that.

He thanked the Town Board members past and present, town employees, his mentors and his family. He also thanked all the residents who attended meetings and volunteered for town committees. Read more…

Despite snow, Hudson taps two new administrators

HUDSON–Shawn Briscoe will be dean of students for Hudson Junior High School and Amanda Klopott will be an associate principal for Montgomery C. Smith Elementary School (MCS). The appointments were announced by district Superintendent Maria Suttmeier at at the Board of Education meeting December 17.

Mr. Briscoe graduated from Hudson High School in 2004 and has been a physical education teacher at MCS and the junior high, for 10 years. He is completing a certificate in school administration from SUNY Stony Brook.

Ms. Klopott replaces Lisa Ruud, who is leaving to take an administrative position in the Hoosick Valley School District. Although MCS already has one associate principal, Ian MacCormack, it has had a second associate principal since it expanded to include seven grades (pre-kindergarten through 5th) because of its large number of students. Read more…

Village sidewalk policy makes for slippery slope

CHATHAM–The Village Board tabled a discussion on changing the $75 fine faced by property owners who do not remove snow on their sidewalks. At a meeting Monday, December 9 Mayor John Howe said it was a long-standing issue in the village and that he didn’t want to rescind the current resolution the board passed over five years ago setting a fee billed to property owners if the village’s Department of Public Works clears their sidewalk. He asked that board members do more research before making any changes.

“I don’t agree with this” he said of the fee but he said that if the board rescinds the resolution, the village would “have nothing.”

At the meeting Mayor Howe also commended the village DPW staff for their efforts during the major snowstorm earlier this month. The mayor declared a snow emergency during the storm, which meant, according to the declaration, “there will be no parking from 12:00 p.m. Sunday, December 1, until 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, December 3 on Kinderhook Street; Woodbridge Avenue; Cemetery Hill Road; Library Place; and Locust Street.” Read more…

Slower speeds could cost towns dearly

COPAKE—Municipalities that want the state to put a rush on requests to lower speed limits are going to have to pay thousands of dollars in traffic study costs themselves.

At the Town Board’s December 12 meeting, Copake Supervisor Jeff Nayer told board members about a state Department of Transportation (DOT) letter received by Columbia County Department of Public Works Engineering Division Director Dean Knox.

Mr. Knox made members of the Columbia County Board of Supervisor’s Public Works Committee, of which Mr. Nayer is a member, aware of the letter and a move by the state to have towns pay for something that the state used to handle. Read more…