Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Tuesday, January 3, 2006 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520.
The following officials were present:
Village Manager Herbek
Village Attorney Stecich
1. CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor Schmidt called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m.
Mayor Schmidt announced that present tonight are members of Troop 28 as a requirement for their Citizenship in the community merit badge. Two scouts lead the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. APPROVAL OF VOUCHERS:
Trustee Steinberg made a motion to approve the vouchers as follows, subject to review by the Audit Committee. The motion was seconded by Trustee Brennan and approved unanimously.
Trust & Agency
PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER LOCAL LAW #5 OF 2005, providing for a run-off election in the event of a tie vote. Village Manager Herbek read the full text of the proposed law. Mayor Schmidt opened the public hearing. No audience participation was forthcoming. Trustee Brennan asked what would happen in the event of a tie with three or four people and is the language in the law clear. Village Attorney Stecich replied that it depends on how many people are running, but felt the language covered this eventuality. Trustee Steinberg stated that Trustee Kane had asked what the cost would be for a run-off election. Village Manager Herbek replied about $3,000 or $4,000 dollars. Trustee Wiegman referred to the wording that says the order of
candidates name on the ballot should be determined “by a drawing”, but everywhere else it says “by a lot” and asked if would be clear if the wording “by a drawing” is left in. Village Manager Herbek replied that this follows the procedure used to determine the independent lines whereby the names are pulled out of a hat. Trustee Steinberg added that even on the local level, it is important to have clear cut winners of elections that do not lead to games of chance and this is important legislation.
Trustee Brennan made a motion to approve the following Local Law. Trustee Wiegman seconded the motion; approved unanimously.
Village of Croton-on-Hudson
Local Law No. 1 of the year 2006
A local law adding Chapter 19 to provide for a run-off election in the event of a tie vote
Be it enacted by the Board of Trustees of the
Village of Croton-on-Hudson as follows:
Section. 19-1. Definitions
All terms not defined herein shall have the meaning as set forth in the New York State Election Law.
Section 19-2. Plurality Vote Required
Except as otherwise provided by law, to be elected to a local public office, a candidate must receive more votes than any other candidate for the office.
Section 19-3. Tie Vote
a. In an election requiring a plurality vote, in the event that more eligible candidates than the number remaining to be elected receive for the same office or offices an equal number of votes, a run-off election to fill the office shall be held.
b. Such run-off election shall be held on the first Tuesday at least ten (10) days after the final certification of the tie result, provided, however, that the only persons who shall be eligible for the run-off election shall be those persons who received such equal number of votes.
c. The order of the candidates’ names on the ballot shall be determined by a drawing conducted by the Village Clerk, in the presence of all those persons who received such equal number of votes or a representative of such persons.
d. A run-off election may be waived and the selection of the public officer made by lot if each person who has received equal number of votes files with the Village Clerk, no later than two days after final certification of such tie results, a written notice of consent that the selection be made by lot.
e. If a run-off election is waived, the Village Clerk, no later than two (2) days after receiving written notice of consent that such selection be made by lot, shall certify such facts in writing, and, within three (3) days summon the candidates to the Office of the Village Clerk, and shall by lot, determine which of them shall be elected.
Section 19-4. This local law shall take effect January 13, 2006.
4. Village Attorney Stecich gave an update on the oral arguments on the restraining order that would keep NIR from establishing a waste transfer station at the Croton Point property; their position is that they do not need a special permit; the Village’s position is that they do. The oral argument scheduled for today has been adjourned until January 30th when Judge Nicolai will preside.
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
A letter from Anne Bishop, Teatown Lake Reservation, requesting permission to use the Croton Boat Launch at Croton-Harmon train station on Sunday, Feb 12, 2006 for their 2nd Annual Eagle Fest. There was no opposition from the Board and Village Manager Herbek will make the arrangements subject to the usual caveats.
A letter from Daniel O’Connor, requesting the Board to grant a 6 month extension on a building permit for a building at 11 Observatory Drive. Trustee Wiegman made a motion to approve the request, seconded by Trustee Brennan, approved unanimously.
A letter from the Recreation Advisory Committee suggesting the closing of the Croton Skateboard Park and giving several reasons why they have come to this recommendation. Mayor Schmidt stated that this will be discussed further at a work session.
A letter from Lois Bronz, Westchester County Board of Legislators, requesting that the Village adopt a resolution extending the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exception and Disabled Rent Increase Exemption. Her letter indicated that an informational press conference will be held on January 12th at 10 am at the County office building in White Plains. Village Manager Herbek suggested no action be taken tonight, but someone should attend the press conference, and then put this on the agenda of an upcoming work session.
A letter from Robert Gazzette, Batten Road, regarding drainage issues. Village Manager Herbek stated that they have the intention of including this in next year’s budget.
CITIZEN PARTICIPATION-Agenda Items
Robert Gazzette, 44 Batten Road, stated that he has been in contact with Dan O’Connor who has seen the water problems when they occurred; he is looking for funding for the recommendations made by Dvirka and Bartilucci. Village Manager Herbek replied that there has been a lot of staff discussion and they have come to the conclusion that this should be publicly bid and done by a contractor; the Village does not have the staff or the funds to do the work and it needs to be added to the capital funding. Mr. Gazzette stated that this is also what Dan O’Connor told him; he wanted to bring it to the Board’s attention and he will attend the public hearing on the budget.
a) On motion of Trustee Steinberg, seconded by Trustee Wiegman, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:
WHEREAS, the Village has hired Frederick P. Clarke Associates and Wormser Kiely Galef & Jacobs to help with the revisions of the Village’s environmental laws; and
WHEREAS, the Village Attorney has also recommended a new chapter that would allow for the Board of Trustees, Planning Board, and Zoning Board of Appeals to retain professional consultants to assist them with their review of applications and to require that the applicant reimburse the Village for such costs; and
WHEREAS, a new chapter of the Village code, Chapter 178 – Professional Fees, has been drafted; and
WHEREAS, the Village Board has discussed these amendments in two work sessions; and
WHEREAS, although Chapter 178 has been completed the amendments to the other environmental laws require some additional revisions,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees hereby calls for a Public Hearing at 8pm in the meeting room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building on January 17, 2005 to consider Local Law Introductory No. 1 of 2006, adding Chapter 178 of the Village Code, Professional Fees.
Discussion: Trustee Wiegman stated that the environmental specialists are in favor of this and recommended it. Village Attorney Stecich stated that other boards may need to hire a specialist and could be hired under this law without passing further legislation. She added that this law will also apply to pending applications.
b) On motion of Trustee Wiegman, seconded by Trustee Steinberg, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:
WHEREAS, the Village received a permit from Westchester County authorizing the Village to maintain and manage the new ball fields at Croton Point Park for the 2005 fall season; and
WHEREAS, it was agreed that the school district would pay half of the Village’s expenses for maintaining these fields,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Mayor is authorized to sign the agreement with the school district for the utilization of the fields at Croton Point Park
Discussion: Trustee Wiegman stated that it is good that the school board took the step to put this in writing and those fields are important. Trustee Steinberg asked if there has been any conversation with the County about the starting date of the proposed IMA. Village Manager Herbek replied that they need to hear back from the County Recreation Dept.; all of the costs that will be part of this agreement must be taken into consideration; also under discussion is the water charge; all needs to be worked out with Westchester County.
7. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION – NON-AGENDA ITEMS:
There was a request to further explain to the scouts how the Village management is appointed and works. All present on the dais gave a brief synopsis of their responsibilities.
Bob Wintermeir, 43 Radnor Ave., thanked Village Attorney Stecich for two wins in 2005, Allied and the federal case against NIR, but he is disappointed that NIR was given a permit by Westchester County; some decisions need to be made to negotiate with NIR or fight them to the bitter end; it is his opinion that this is not a company to deal with. He added that he hopes the Board will continue to fight and would like Judge Nicolai removed from the Village’s case. He added that he is concerned about seeing money coming in on the blog from C&D firms located in Brooklyn, NJ and California and can’t see why these entities are taking ads out on the Croton blog. Village Attorney Stecich clarified that she did not work on the Allied case and also there is nothing they can do about Judge Nicolai
conducting the hearing as he is the only judge in the environmental part; when a case is assigned to a judge, later cases are assigned to the same judge.
8. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Trustee Brennan made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on December 19, 2005 as corrected. Trustee Wiegman seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimous approval.
Trustee Steinberg made a motion to approve the minutes of the Special Meeting held on December 19, 2005. Trustee Brennan seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimous approval.
Village Manager Herbek reported that all residents should have received the updated calendar of the holiday schedule for garbage collection and recycling. He also reported that upcoming youth programs have been put on the web site; it is important for residents to sign onto the web site and enroll in the program to get updated information.
Treasurer Zambrano reminded residents that water bills are due by January 15th; call the office if there are any questions.
Trustee Wiegman reported that oil and gas prices are going up and there are a number of cost-saving seminars going on – tomorrow night in Mohegan Lake, Jan 7th in Putnam Valley HS, and next Wednesday evening at Marist College.
Trustee Steinberg reported that. there are five different youth recreation programs which are posted on the Village’s web site. He also reported that he and Trustee Kane met with the school board to discuss the agenda of the upcoming joint meeting of the two boards, perhaps later this month; they are waiting for the school board to get back with a date. Trustee Steinberg wished everyone a wonderful 2006.
Trustee Brennan reported that the monthly community center meeting will be held on January 11th at 7:30 in the Municipal Building. He asked residents to show support of all the HS basketball teams.
Mayor Schmidt offered a speedy recovery to Trustee Kane. He added that he and Village Manager Herbek attended the swearing in of the new officers of the Croton Fire Dept and look forward to working with them.
Trustee Steinberg made a motion to adjourn. Trustee Brennan seconded the motion; approved unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 9 p.m.
Phyllis A. Bradbury
Phyllis A. Bradbury, Secretary