Jan 22, 2014 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
The Cazenovia Town Board — all members dressed in business casual attire in accordance with the new dress code — last week made its organizational appointments for the coming year and took action on a number of town issues, including the creation of a Gothic Cottage Advisory Committee.
The Jan. 13 meeting was the first regular board meeting of 2014 and the first assembly of the newly constituted board after the November elections. Former Councilor Bill Zupan assumed his new role as town supervisor; Councilor Kristi Andersen started a new term of office after being reelected last year, while Thomas Driscoll was appointed to fill Zupan’s vacant board seat. Councilor Pat Race, also beginning a new term on the board after reelection last year, was absent for health reasons.
“I’m still getting my feet on the ground. I hope everybody bears with me,” Zupan said during the meeting.
While the board had a full agenda on Jan. 13, one of its main actions was to approve the annual organizational appointments for the town government. The appointments were nearly identical to those made in 2013, and some of the major appointments made were: Tim Hunt as town highway superintendent, John Langey as town attorney, Roger Cook as zoning and codes enforcement officer, Elizabeth Merrill as bookkeeper and Barbara Howland as secretary to the town supervisor and water districts collector.
The town board meeting schedule will remain at 7:30 p.m. the second Monday of each month, except during October and November, which are the first Monday of the month due to state budgetary requirements; board work sessions will continue to be held the Wednesday preceding the monthly meeting day.
One of the few changes made was the appointment of Susan Wightman as first deputy town clerk, planning and zoning clerk, planning board secretary and ZBA secretary. The board also changed the amount of mileage reimbursement for town employees from 48.5 center per mile to be “in accord with the current federal standard of reimbursement,” which is approximately 56 cents per mile.
Town board member committee assignments were similar to 2013. Race, who was also appointed deputy supervisor by Zupan, will be liaison to the highway department, south cemetery and water districts; Andersen will be liaison to planning and zoning, CACDA, shared services, Cazenovia Advisory Conservation Commission and the future of the town office; Councilor Liz Moran will be liaison to future of the town office and lake watershed; Driscoll will be liaison to lake watershed, senior recreation and joint youth recreation, state police, parks, New Woodstock Fire Department and high impact industrial use zoning.
Appointed chairs of the town’s municipal boards were Michael Palmer for planning board, Chris Fischer for ZBA and Damian Vanetti for CACC. Two new municipal board members were appointed as well, including Robert Ridler to a five-year term on the Board of Assessment Review and Tara Hartley to a two-year term on the CACC.
In addition to unanimously approving the annual appointments, the board also held a public hearing on, and then approved, the first new local law of 2014 to authorize municipal purchasing based on best value. The law allows the town to purchase goods and services not based on lowest price alone, but also based on other factors as well including lowest cost of maintenance, durability, higher quality and longer product life, Hunt said.
The board also unanimously adopted a new town procurement policy, which, among other things, allows the town to choose not to put items out for public bidding if the items cost under a certain dollar amount. The policy also allows the town to “piggyback” purchases through bids solicited from other towns or villages, Langey said.
One of the major issues facing the town board in 2014 will be the future of the town office — whether to completely renovate and update the Gothic Cottage, partially improve it or possibly even move the town office to a new location. Moran has been in charge of this process since last year, and announced the formation of a Gothic Cottage Citizens Advisory Committee.
The committee members will be Tim Hunt, Mary Pringle Symonds, Mathew Webber, Karen Reynolds and Brian Pincelli. They will sit-in and participate in all town board and project architect’s meetings on the town office issue and advise the town board on how to proceed, although the town board makes the final decisions, Zupan said.
“This gives all stakeholders a voice in the process,” he said.
Also at the meeting, the board:
—Unanimously agreed to contract with Allied Biological Inc. to have the company prepare a pesticide application permit to New York state at a cost of not more than $1,125 for the potential treatment of Cazenovia Lake during 2014. The board also unanimously approved declaring the town the lead agency in any potential chemical treatment in 2014 for the purposes of the State Environmental Quality Review Act regulations, as well as going to bid for a lake weed harvester for use on Cazenovia Lake during 2014.
—Heard from Anne Saltman of the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board about the town approving a sustainability/climate action plan. The town previously completed a greenhouse gas emissions inventory of the town, and the sustainability plan would allow the town to establish goals and objectives for energy use reductions throughout the town. The board agreed to move forward with the project and named Hunt the point person for the town.
—Heard from Langey that he has written a noise ordinance for the town but wanted to have the town’s technical experts review the ordinance language before he submitted the law to the board for discussion and approval. The review would cost approximately $1,500, Langey said. The board unanimously approved.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.