Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, March 21, 2005 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520.
The following officials were present:
1. CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:05 p.m. Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. APPROVAL OF VOUCHERS:
Trustee Kane made a motion to approve the vouchers as follows, subject to review by the Audit Committee. The motion was seconded by Trustee Wiegman and approved unanimously.
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
a) A letter from Julie Sinistore, Teatown Lake Reservation, requesting the use of the parking lot every Saturday from June 25th to November 19th for distribution of vegetables to Teatown shareholders. Trustee Schmidt made a motion to approve the request, seconded by Trustee Wiegman, approved unanimously.
b) A letter from the Community Blood Program Committee announcing the 70th annual Blood Drive on Sunday, May 1st at the CET Elementary School from 9 am to 3 pm.
CITIZEN PARTICIPATION-Agenda Items
a. On motion of TRUSTEE Wiegman, seconded by TRUSTEE Kane, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:
WHEREAS, the Village of Croton on Hudson will be taking ownership of the new 2-way road and bicycle path that connects Croton Point Avenue with the Discovery Cove/Half Moon Bay Complex; and
WHEREAS, this road has been constructed in conjunction with Westchester County, WCI/Spectrum Communities, LLC, and Metro North; and
WHEREAS, Metro North has supplied an easement and Westchester County will be transferring the title of the road to the Village in the form of an intermunicipal agreement; and
WHEREAS, the road is located in two Critical Environmental Areas as designated by Westchester County in 1989; Croton Point Park and the Hudson River Shoreline; and
WHEREAS, on January 31, 2005 the Village Board authorized the circulation of the Coastal Assessment Form and Full Environmental Assessment Form to the involved agencies – the County Board of Legislators and the Village of Croton on Hudson Waterfront Advisory Committee and to all interested agencies – the Village of Croton on Hudson Planning Board, the County Planning Department, the County Parks Department, the County Department of Public Works, and Metro North; and declared its intent to become lead agency; and
WHEREAS, the Waterfront Advisory Committee, in a memo to the Trustees dated March 2, 2005, has determined that the proposal for the opening of the access road and bicycle/walkway is consistent with the Village’s Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP), and
WHEREAS, no agencies have come forth to serve as lead agency,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees declares itself lead agency for this action,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Village Board, after reviewing the criteria for determining significance as identified by the State Environmental Quality Review law, has determined that the identified adverse environmental impacts will not be significant,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees hereby adopts the negative declaration with respect to this action.
b. On motion of TRUSTEE Schmidt, seconded by TRUSTEE Grant, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:
WHEREAS, the Croton Arboretum and Sanctuary, Inc. is applying to the Hudson River Valley Greenway for a grant under the 2005 Greenway Conservancy for the Hudson River Valley Annual Grant Program for a project entitled “Handicapped Accessible Boardwalk trail” to be located in the Village of Croton-on-Hudson NY; and
WHEREAS, the grant application required the Croton Arboretum and Sanctuary, Inc. to obtain the endorsement of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson does hereby approve and endorse the application for a grant under the 2005 Greenway Conservancy for the Hudson River Valley Annual grant program, for a project known as “Handicapped Accessible Boardwalk Trail” and located in this community.
c. On motion of TRUSTEE Wiegman, seconded by TRUSTEE Kane, the following resolution was adopted as amended by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York with unanimous approval:
Village Visual Identity Program
Whereas, impetus for the creation of a new visual identity for the Village dates back several years; and
Whereas, the Village determined that the Indian head symbol used on its stationery for two decades no longer reproduced well and the Village is faced with the rapid expansion of digital communications using an unofficial variety of icons of different shapes, sizes, colors and themes; and
Whereas, when the economy of a single visual identity that is scalable and digitally transmittable became readily apparent the Village Board charged the Advisory Board on the Visual Environment (VEB) with a review of the symbols, icons and logotypes in use by all the village departments; and
Whereas, the VEB found a surprising long list of different symbols in use, and recommended to the Village a comprehensive logo redesign process as the most cost effective and aesthetically coherent solution; and
Whereas, in 2003 the Village prepared a Request for Proposals for the design of a new visual identity that generated nine well prepared proposals, many of which came from design professionals with a local connection; and
Whereas, the Village charged the VEB with the task of selecting a graphic designer and conducting the design process for a new visual identity; and
Whereas, the VEB thoroughly screened and interviewed applicants and reached a recommendation in May 2004 for the hiring of Elton Robinson Graphic Design; and
Whereas, the Village conducted a “Logo Awareness Campaign” in the summer of 2004 to solicit direct input from residents via the Village’s website on the extant array of symbols in use; and
Whereas, the VEB and graphic designer conducted extensive additional research with numerous individuals knowledgeable about local history and the likely future uses for any identity; and
Whereas, in December 2004 the VEB and graphic designer presented three identity options to key Village staff and the Village Board, and that meeting produced both a consensus for one of the designs and numerous suggestions for further tailoring of that design; and
Whereas, the Village charged the VEB with completion of the final revisions of the new visual identity; and
Whereas, the VEB and graphic designer presented the final, revised and completed visual identity at a Village Board meeting in February 2005 and the Village also presented this new visual identity to the public as an insert in the March 2005 issue of the Village Newsletter; and
Whereas, the Village will implement the new visual identity over time, based on the usage guidelines and templates prepared and delivered by the graphic designer and on the opportunities to replenish or replace those items that do not yet use the new visual identity;
Now therefore be it resolved, that the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson hereby adopts and implements the new visual identity and its use as described in the new Visual Identity Program as attached.
CITIZEN PARTICIPATION – NON-AGENDA ITEMS:
Ann Gallelli, 20 Briggs Lane, stated that tonight is a milestone evening for Bob, Georgiana and Croton; Trustee Grant is a model for what is hoped for from all trustees; the time she spent on issues, research, site visits, discussion, tough questions asked, willingness to take difficult stances when necessary, she was always watching out for all Croton’s residents; thanks for all your years of service. Ms. Gallelli thanked Mayor Elliott; his list of achievements is very lengthy; he was the moving force behind acquisition of the parking lot, the acquisition of Croton Landing and the new road which was opened in January. Ms. Gallelli added that when the LWRP was developed, there were 10 recommendations for the Village to try to achieve in the future; almost all have been accomplished; the acquisition of the former Seprieo property and totally new full access to the waterfront have happened because Bob Elliott put it all together. Ms. Gallelli added that most important, he made us understand a small village like Croton can obtain big things; she thanked both Trustee Grant and Mayor Elliott for their devoted service to the residents of Croton.
Ann Harbeson, 5 Valley Trail, stated that there has never been a trustee who has loved Croton more than Georgiana Grant and thanked her for her dedication and years of service. Ms. Harbeson stated also that Mayor Elliott has always given all the credit to those around him and a lot of people are not fully aware of what he has done for Croton. Ms. Harbeson added that much of what is loved by this special village is a direct result of his leadership; good luck and thank you.
John Harbeson, 5 Valley Trail, congratulated Trustee Schmidt and Tom Brennan on their election. Mr. Harbeson thanked Bob Elliott and Georgiana Grant for all they brought to the Village during their long years of service; he commended their vision and thanked both for their dedication and single minded energy and for appointing to various village boards and committees, dedicated and skilled people without regard to partisanship; with their help and inspiration they have accomplished a great deal. He wished both well.
Chief Bill Vlad, Croton Fire Dept., thanked Bob Elliott and Georgiana Grant for their time and dedication to the fire department; both always stood by their side. He also congratulated the new mayor and trustee and said he is looking forward to working with all members of the Board.
Roger Solymosy, Old Post Rd. N, stated that Trustee Grant is a tremendous asset to the Village and a good friend to everyone; he thanked her for her time and effort. Mr. Solymosy added that Bob Elliott identified the vision of what they wanted the Village to be and how to make that vision a reality. He cited the new road along the waterfront and that it would be a fitting tribute to Mayor Elliott to have that road named “Elliott Way” as a metaphor of all the good things that have come because of Mayor Elliott’s leadership. He thanked both.
Nance Shatzkin offered congratulations to the new board members. She stated that she is here tonight to say thank you to Georgiana Grant and Bob Elliott and she speaks for lots and lots of people who know that their contributions have been endless; they gave so much to the community; she is counting on Bob Elliott to give lots of Civics lessons for years to come and thanked both for what they’ve given.
Mayor Elliott congratulated Greg Schmidt, Leo Wiegman and Tom Brennan on their election. He added that Rick Herbek announced this was the largest turnout for an election if Village history; however, the largest voter turnout was in 1961; the top vote-getter in the history of Croton was Bob Elliott Sr. He stated that his point is that everyone needs to make a greater effort to bring more people into the process. Mayor Elliott proposed two resolutions:
WHEREAS: the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, as a matter of public policy, has demonstrated its leadership on energy issues in a variety of ways including becoming the first New York municipality to purchase wind energy and the initiation of the Municipal Wind Buyers Group and
WHEREAS: Local governments and their residents can lead the way to a rational energy policy by encouraging the use of renewable energy and by offering incentives to conserve energy and
WHEREAS: a greater impact on energy consumption can be found in reducing demand through conservation and
WHEREAS: efforts to increase the supply of oil by such efforts as drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve offer no relief from the record high prices of oil and will do nothing to encourage conservation and
WHEREAS: the Village of Croton-on-Hudson desires to encourage the use of public transportation and of high mileage, hybrid and zero emission cars in order to reduce reliance on oil, mitigate congestion and improve the quality of the air we breath by offering free permit parking at the Croton Harmon Railroad Station to its residents who drive vehicles which attain 45 miles per gallon or better and
WHEREAS: Croton wishes to encourage other local governments to join in providing this incentive toward conservation and
WHEREAS: State Legislators are urged to add a gas guzzler tax on vehicle registration to provide a dedicated revenue stream to local governments to compensate them for their loss of revenue for such a program and
WHEREAS: the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has indicated a willingness to support Croton by underwriting the cost of lost permit fees.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is directed to compile a list of eligible vehicles to which free permit parking will be offered and is further authorized to enter into a contract with NYSDOT to fund this initiative.
On motion of Trustee Wiegman, seconded by Trustee Kane, the preceding resolution was adopted
unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York.
Discussion: Trustee Grant asked how does one prove vehicles get 45 mph Mayor Elliott replied that there are EPA statements on what the mileage of vehicles are. Trustee Schmidt asked if the state has any upward limit on this as in the future there can be many cars with that mileage and will they honor those? Mayor Elliott replied that he has recommended that the state have a dedicated stream of funding for this; it gets the conversation going and people start addressing the demand side instead of the supply side. Trustee Schmidt suggested putting a 2 year time limit on this.
WHEREAS: the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, as a matter of public policy, desires to reduce dependency on non-renewable fuel sources, reduce congestion and promote clean air and
WHEREAS: the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) is initiating a program to reduce auto travel on ozone alert days and
WHEREAS: to accomplish this, residents will be encouraged to reduce vehicle usage and use public transportation on such alert days and
WHEREAS: to reduce vehicle usage on ozone alert days, the Village of Croton-on-Hudson’s Croton Harmon Railroad Station parking lot could accommodate vehicles whose operators could then use public transportation (both rail and bus) and
WHEREAS: the NYSDOT is further encouraging car pooling to pubic transportation and
WHEREAS: Croton-on-Hudson’s Croton Harmon Railroad Station parking lot could be used in such a car pooling effort and
WHEREAS: the NYSDOT has contracted with “NURIDES”, an internet based car pooling system which will offer an incentive to those who car pool to public transportation and
WHEREAS: the NYSDOT has expressed a willingness to underwrite any associated expenses or lost revenue to the Village of Croton-on-Hudson for their cooperation in such initiatives.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager be authorized to enter into contracts with the NYSDOT for such programs.
On motion of Trustee Schmidt, seconded by Trustee Kane, the preceding resolution was adopted
unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York.
Discussion: Trustee Kane asked how many ozone alert days during the year? Mayor Elliot replied about 20; they will work out how to ascertain if car pooling was done.
Mayor Elliott asked Village Manager Herbek and Dan O’Connor to explain what is going on at waterfront. Mr. Herbek stated that they have hired a contractor to build a birm in the area of Croton Landing; the process will be taking place for another week or so; it is being hydraulically dredged; the intention is to create a multi-type field in this area; in addition to that, on the Beaverkill property, Westchester County is preparing detailed specs for the area which will be cleaned up and put to recreational use. Dan O’Connor added that the dredged material will dry over the summer and the soil will be graded into the element of the field. Mayor Elliott stated that tomorrow the governor is announcing a grant to Croton-on-Hudson for $150,000 to be used toward this project.
Trustee Grant thanked everyone for the kind words; she absolutely cannot agree more about what was said about Bob Elliott; she sent a letter to the Gazette that no mayor and no trustee could be successful without the various department staff; they are a dedicated group of people.
Trustee Grant presented the following resolution naming the new road “Elliott Way”.
WHEREAS: that the new road along the Croton Riverfront is a splendid addition to the Village and is largely the result of the leadership and skills of its Mayor, Robert Elliott
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the new waterfront road be named Elliott Way.
Trustee Kane made a motion to approve the resolution; seconded by Trustee Wiegman, approved unanimously.
8. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Not available; held over to next meeting
Village Manager Herbek reported that the budget was filed today; this was an extremely difficult budget to prepare this year; they worked hard to bring the tax increase down and it came in as 12.39%; he has copies of the budget for each trustee and it will be available in the Village office, the library and on the web site tomorrow. He added that meetings are scheduled for the budget review March 28th, 30th & April 2nd; the Public Hearing is scheduled for April 11th; adoption on April 25th. He expressed thanks from entire Village staff to Mayor Elliott and Trustee Grant; it takes leadership to get things accomplished and thanked them for their leadership, dedication and support.
Treasurer Zambrano added his thanks for the time he has been working with both and he is looking forward to working with the new mayor & board.
Trustee Wiegman reported that there was a terrific performance of Guys & Dolls at the Middle School with stunning performances by the students. He added that the Northern Westchester Photographers have a show at the Unitarian Fellowship for two weekends.
Trustee Kane presented Mayor Elliott with a book, The Island at the Center of the World; and he presented flowers to Trustee Grant.
Trustee Schmidt thanked the public for their support and congratulated Tom Brennan and Leo Wiegman on their election; he is looking forward to working with all; he expressed thanks to Trustee Grant and Mayor Elliott for their hard work; anyone who serves here does not do this for the money, but to make this a better place and they have made it a better place.
Trustee Grant presented and read a proclamation to Mayor Elliott, signed by the Trustees but in heart from the entire Village.
Village Attorney Waldman expressed his admiration and respect for Mayor Elliott and Trustee Grant for their energy and the dedication they have brought in ways great & small; Bob Elliott, especially, for his leadership skills and the vision and sound judgment he has brought to Village.
Mayor Elliott stated that they leave knowing there is a firm foundation to go forward on; this was accomplished thanks to the many boards and people in the Village; he named many here tonight and those not present who have served on boards & committees; this was done with what he considers the best run municipality in the state and it proves that the council/manager form of government is one he believes is the best form of government; he gave thanks to those who work in the Village office, the terrific police department, a marvelous fire department and that it has been a particular honor to serve with Seymour Waldman. Mayor Elliott added that Georgiana Grant, his deputy mayor, truly is the mother of Croton; he presented her with token of thanks from the village staff.
Trustee Grant made a motion to adjourn. Trustee Kane seconded the motion; approved unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
Phyllis A. Bradbury
Phyllis A. Bradbury, Secretary