Town Board Meeting Minutes
NOVEMBER 13, 2006 TOWN BOARD MINUTES
The Supervisor opened this meeting at 6:50 pm. The Town Clerk established a
quorum was present with Councilmember’s Dod Crane, Paul Niedercorn, Linda
Souers and Supervisor Block present. Ellen Silverstein was absent.
Applications to fill the vacancy on the town planning board will be accepted
until Friday, December 1. Interested residents should contact Town Clerk
Barb Cunningham at 876-3409 for applications or email Town Supervisor Steve
Block at firstname.lastname@example.org- for an electronic application.
The Rhinebeck Board of Assessment Review is seeking 3 new members for the
Assessment Review process which begins and ends annually during the month
of May. For more details and an application please contact Town Clerk Barb
Cunningham at 876-3409 or email Town Board liaison, Dod Crane, at
The conference on improving how our schools, village and town work together
will be held at Rhinebeck High School on Saturday, November 18, from 9-3, with
lunch generously donated by Bob Miglino, owner of the new Italian Market, “
Leonardo’s,” thus making the $5 registration fee unnecessary. Everyone
whose pre-registration included the fee will have their money returned.
Residents who are planning to attend should please submit their registration
forms either electronically, by regular mail, or in person to town hall.
The Town Winter Parking Ordinance kicks in on November 15th and lasts until
April 1st. No car will be allowed to park on a town road between midnight
and 6 AM.
The Thomas Thompson Trust has awarded Rhinebeck a grant of $4,465
to support the November 18th conference on inter-municipal cooperation.
The town board will hold only one regular meeting during the month of
December on Monday, the 11th at 6:45PM.
The town is seeking candidates to fill the part-time position of Recreation
Director. Call Town Clerk Barb Cunningham for details and application forms.
Morris Associates, Engineers for the Town, report that the soil analysis
conducted on the land fill behind the town pool has been concluded and that for
each of the 63 items of inquiry, the result was either no detection at all or
within acceptable limits or thresholds as established by state or federal
1. Dod motioned and Linda seconded to adopt the 2007 Rhinebeck Town
Budget. Steve summarized this year’s budget process. With our Budget and
Finance Committee this process has been very thorough. Growth and spending
will be just over 1% whereas cost of living is 3 ½%. Our Rec Program has
improved by giving support to an after school program and we are elevating 2
people to full time status. The Fund balance will be almost $2 million.
Paul Niedercorn feels that the increase in the supervisor salary with benefits
should be in an election year. He recussed himself to set in the audience.
Dod pointed out it is important for the public to realize that discussion needs to
start now to give the board members time to hear from the public on the issue of
full time versus part time for the supervisor position. Last week’s public hearing
had some very heated comments and the issue will be resolved. We are in a
different era now and new pressures exist for town supervisors. The issues are
more complex than in the past and development is coming up the valley. He
hopes that the dialogue will be constructive and in a civilized and fair manner.
We are all still neighbors and should work together. With the information
presented, the board will consider all input and make future decisions.
Linda Souers stated that the Red Hook town board members and supervisor all
get health benefits and double what our board members make. She is sorry this
one particular item has dominated the budget discussion. Joe Ely doesn’t think
her information is correct, their board makes around $6,500 and ours is currently
Ronald McDonald is concerned about the soccer field being eliminated and Linda
said that is not true. He feels that there is a difference between the job Mr. Block
was elected to as supervisor and what he now wants it to become. This
shouldn’t happen in a small town. Should be part of an election year proposal.
Dod asked him what his criteria would be for making this position full time and
Mr. McDonald asked what the supervisor was actually doing now. Dod then
asked him if he believed in pay for performance and he replied yes and then a
discussion about the corporate world philosophy on pay was carried out.
Karen Simmons asked Steve if he would be available full time and Steve replied
he is usually here 40 to 50 hours each week. She doesn’t understand why
personnel issues were not discussed in a public format. Warren pointed out that
actual salaries are not set by the adoption of the budget, only the funds are being
appropriated at this point. The salaries are set at the organizational meeting in
January of each year.
Joe Ely feels there is an ethical problem here. This is not a political issue, I have
taken republicans to task also, and it is an accountability issue. How is a citizen
suppose to voice their concerns, questions need to be answered. The tentative
budget did not mention a salary change for the supervisor. A raise cannot be
given to an elected individual; it must be to the elected position. No extraordinary
happenings have occurred in 2006. Why is there a 172% increase? Zoning,
comprehensive plan and planning board members get no compensation for all
their time. Joe then questioned Counsel Replansky as to whether this is a legal
hearing with the supervisor presiding over a meeting which involves his salary
and Warren said absolutely that an 11/30/82 opinion from the State Comptroller
states the Town Supervisor is not precluded from voting on the supervisor’s
salary. There is no stature in the law about the supervisor recussing himself from
the vote. The fact that previous supervisors have considered this part time was
their decision. Warren then asked Joe to send him actual opinions and he will
review. Joe feels this a temporary salary for 2007 only since the supervisor has
alluded to this in his emails.
Linda asked if we are just voting on appropriations or actual salaries and Warren
again explained that the actual salaries are adopted in January at organizational
Motion to pass adopted budget of $4,088,031 with $2,285,250 being raised by
tax carried 3-0 with Paul recussing himself.
1a. Donna VanVoorhis then gave the supervisor $710 which all town employees
contributed to for the burial of Gene Trombini in the Rhinebeck Cemetery.
Hopefully this will end Gene Trombini’s funeral expenses controversary. Shelly,
Kim, Mil and Nancy were also at the presentation. This is a jester from all his
friends at the town. We miss him so much.
2. Steve opened new bids on the LPG-fueled fork lift for the transfer station.
Thompson/Johnson $22,802, Nissan Lift of NY $20,587, PNT Forklift
Corporation $25,669 and Tri Lift Inc. $24,942. Linda motioned and Dod
seconded to award bid to lowest bidder pending review by Nancy and Warren.
All were in favor.
3. Paul motioned and Dod seconded to approve transfer of $32,500 from
Highway Department line item 03-04-5112-200 Road Improvements to 03-04-
5132-200 Machinery Equipment to facilitate purchase of:
* Dodge 1500 Quad Cab, 4x4 short box pickup (new)
NYS Bid price PC0922: $19,500
* Highlander Tarco 3-yard sander (replacement) 8’, stainless steel
construction, with 2 motor hydraulic drives Quoted price: $5,495.00
* Highlander HL-HY2-10, 6-yard sander (replacement) 10’, painted steel,
hydraulic drive, with light bar Quoted price $6,890.00
Linda questioned if these had already been bid out. Kathy replied these are state
bids and 2 items are replacing old units and both are under $10,000. We have
called for other quotes, these are from local vendors. Motion passed 4-0.
4. On motion by Paul and second by Dod a reinstatement of policy to enable
highway department employees to choose between direct payment or
compensatory time when receiving compensation for working over-time, not to
exceed 80 hours annually for each employee and to be used only in the same
year, as requested by the union and recommended by the Highway
Superintendent was passed 4-0. Steve explained that this is actually in the
collective bargaining compensatory statement and the highway crew has asked
that it be re-instated. In accordance with Article XIX, paragraph H of the
Collective Bargaining Agreement between Local Union #445, International
Brotherhood of Teamster, AFL-CIO, representing its members on the Town of
Rhinebeck Highway Department crew, and the Town of Rhinebeck, the following
applies to compensatory time:
The Town may reimburse the employee through comp time rather than
Comp time will be granted at the overtime rate
An employee requesting compensation via comp time must indicate so on
the time sheet submitted for the eligible hours. No retroactive requests will be
All requests to utilize comp time must receive the approval of the highway
superintendent and are at the superintendent’s discretion.
Comp time may not be used on any day that snow is forecast or on which
there is an emergency or disaster.
Comp time hours will be capped at 80 hours of comp time accrued
annually, with no rollover to the next year. The year shall be the calendar year.
5. Paul motioned and Linda seconded to appoint Karri Wolfe and Michelle
Cassarino to serve as members of the Rhinebeck Recreation Committee through
12/31/08, effective immediately. All were in favor, 4-0.
6. On motion by Paul and second by Linda Brittney Flandreau and Richardson
(Ricky) Reilly as assistant basketball coaches for the 2006-07 Town Basketball
program at $7.00 per hour were unanimously approved.
7. Paul moved and Dod seconded to appoint Joan Quaderer and Marsha DeBlasi
to serve as members of the Rhinebeck Committee on the Aging through
8. Linda motioned and Dod seconded to appoint Katie Herb as Winter
Gymnastic Instructor, at $50 per day not to exceed $500. Carried 4-0.
9.Linda motioned and Dod seconded to discuss at the November 27th meeting
the possibility of authorizing the Supervisor to sign a contract with Walter A.
McDermott Telephone Auditing Services to review Town of Rhinebeck
telephone charges for the past six years to determine and recover any
overcharges that may have occurred, with the company retaining 50% of any
such overcharges and at no cost to the town if no such overcharges are
discovered. Paul asked if coverage goes forward and Steve said yes. He also
wondered if counsel has seen contract and Warren hasn’t. Steve said they have
looked at past bills and we will then send them current and future bills. Kathy
Kinsella asked what some examples of overcharges are; she thinks it sounds like
a glorified collection agency. Dod said there are vendors at the Association of
Town Conference that offer this service.
10. Amending Rhinebeck’s non-discrimination policy to include prohibition
against employment discrimination on the basis of “gender-identity or expression”
and “sexual orientation,” was tabled until the November 27th meeting on motion
from Paul and second from Dod. The new policy will read
“The Town Of Rhinebeck is an equal opportunity employer. The Town does not
discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender-identity or
expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, marital status or
military status. Discrimination based on any of the above groups is strictly
prohibited. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment,
including but not limited to, hiring, placement, compensation, promotion, transfer,
training, leave of absence and termination.”
11. Paul motioned and Dod seconded to approve the November 11, 2006,
vouchers 1097-1184 for $87,091.87 disbursement list. All were in favor.
12. On motion by Paul and second by Dod the following capital projects check
disbursement list was unanimously approved:
Capital project H78 Cemetery UST removal Morris & Associates ABS #4, V5
check 4690 $331.25
Capital Project H62 Rhineson-Thompson/Mazzarella Park
AB#9, v18 Ck 4691 $1,002.89,
17 ck 4692 $222.80
19, ck 4689 $150.00
Capital project H43 Stone Church Rec
Morris & Assoc AB#7 V9 ck 4688 $1,843.90
13. Paul motioned and Linda seconded to authorize the bookkeeper to make the
following budget transfers, amendments, and any necessary bookkeeping entries.
Personal Services 00 01 1110 100 - $ 500.00
Postage 00 01 1110 448 + $ 500.00
Est Revenue 00 510 + $ 4,465.00
TTT Donation 00 2705
Conference 00 01 1220 446 + $ 4,465.00
Dues/Miles/School 00 01 1220 447 - $ 300.00
Postage 00 01 1220 447 + $ 300.00
Single Audit 00 01 1320 494 - $ 2,000.00
Postage 00 01 1330 448 + $ 2,000.00
Equipment 00 01 1355 200 - $ 400.00
Postage 00 01 1355 448 + $ 400.00
Single Audit 00 01 1320 494 - $ 500.00
Legal Notices 00 01 1410 449 + $ 500.00
Est. Revenues 00 510 + $10,000.00
Mortgage Tax 00 3005
Appropriations 00 960 + $10,000.00
Attorney to the Town 00 01 1420 452
Equipment 00 01 1620 200 - $ 500.00
Supplies 00 01 1620 410 + $ 500.00
Equipment 00 01 1630 200 - $ 300.00
Equipment Repairs 00 01 1630 427 + $ 300.00
Repairs 00 04 5132 440 - $ 500.00
Supplies 00 04 5132 410 + $ 500.00
Personal Services 00 06 7180 101 - $ 600.00
Supplies 00 06 7180 410 + $ 200.00
Telephone 00 06 7180 430 + $ 400.00
Personal Services 00 06 7310 104 - $ 2,655.91
Personal Services 00 06 7310 103 + $ 2,655.91
To transfer the money from the all day to the half day program.
Est. Revenues 00 510 + $ 4,495.00
Radio City Trip 00 2010
Appropriations 00 960 + $ 4,495.00
Radio City Trip 00 06 7310 433
Est. Revenues 00 510 + $ 289.40
Aerobic Instructor 00 2018
Appropriations 00 960 + $ 289.40
Aerobic Instructor 00 06 7620 454
Euipment 00 07 8810 200 - $ 1000.00
Equip/Facility Repairs 00 07 8810 427 + $ 1000.00
Patrol 01 02 3120 420 - $ 4,500.00
Court 01 02 3120 421 + $ 4,000.00
Mileage 01 02 3120 422 + $ 500.00
Conference/School/Dues 01 07 8020 447 - $ 500.00
Legal Notices 01 07 8020 449 + $ 500.00
Supplies 01 07 8160 410 - $ 272.61
Gas 01 07 8160 450 + $ 272.61
Blacktop 03 04 5110 421 - $ 10,000.00
Diesel 03 04 5110 412 + $ 6,000.00
Gas 03 04 5110 450 + $ 4,000.00
Est. Revenues 03 510
Village Sand/Salt 03 2770 + $ 8,333.81
Village Fuel 03 2771 + $ 13,393.43
Rhinecliff Fuel 03 2772 + $ 1078.25
Hillside Fuel 03 2773 + $ 1400.49
Village Sand/Salt 03 04 5148 400 + $ 8,333.81
Village Fuel 03 04 5148 401 + $ 13,393.43
Rhinecliff Fuel 03 04 5148 402 + $ 1078.25
Hillside Fuel 03 04 5148 + $ 1400.49
Motion carried 4-0.
14. Stone church fields improvement project. Linda and Gary Bassett met with
Mark Graminski at the field today. The site for a new soccer field is quite wet and
very questionable. There are also DEC wetlands close by. Mark proposed to get
a topographical survey of the entire parcel. Steve feels the board might need to
rethink this quick fix. Trying to have a field for the next soccer season is a priority
since Thompson/Mazzarella Park is not in the near future. Gary would like to see
the actual survey before making any decisions. Numerous possibilities might still
be available. Paul wondered about doing all Town lands except the landfill and
Gary feels that may be cost prohibitive and take too much time. Steve suggested
getting 2 proposals for cost estimates for just the field and all parcels.
15. Linda motioned and Paul seconded to set 6:50 PM workshop meeting on
November 27 for a public hearing on the proposed Rhinebeck law to administer
and enforce the new NY State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
Warren stated the law is available for review in the Town Clerk’s Office. This
needs to be passed before the new regulation come in January 1, 2007. All were
16. Resolution of support for the 2004 Estuary Grant:
The Rhinebeck Town Board does hereby authorize the Town Supervisor to file
an application for funds from the Hudson River Estuary Program in accordance
with the provisions of the Hudson River Estuary Management Act (ECL-0306) of
the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in an amount not to exceed
$53,800, and upon approval of said request to enter into and execute a project
agreement with the Hudson River Estuary program for such financial assistance
to the Town of Rhinebeck for dock improvements at the Landing in Rhinecliff.
The above resolution was offered by Paul Niedercorn and seconded by Dod
Crane to adopt the above-stated resolution, and the Town Board members voted
Supervisor Steve Block aye
Councilman Dod Crane aye
Councilman Paul Niedercorn aye
Councilwoman Ellen Silverstein absent
Councilwoman Linda Souers aye
The motion was carried by a 4-0 vote of the own Board on November 13, 2006.
Be it resolved that Steve Block as Supervisor of the Town of Rhinebeck is hereby
authorized and directed to sign a contract for funds from the Hudson River
Estuary Program in accordance with the provisions of the Hudson River Estuary
Management Act. This project will fund the building of the Rhinebeck Town
Landing boat ramp in Rhinecliff.
Motion by Dod Crane Seconded by Paul Niedercorn
Councilman Crane aye
Councilman Niedercorn aye
Councilwoman Souers aye
Councilwoman Silverstein absent
Supervisor Block aye
Certified this 13th day of November, 2006 by Town Clerk Barbara Cunningham
17. Considering holiday schedule for all town employees.
Linda stated the day after July 4th was already given as an extra day. Paul
doesn’t see the necessity of another holiday. Dod says an additional day can be
given to town hall for 13 or the day after Christmas can be deducted for 12 days.
Dod motioned and Linda seconded to give an additional holiday the day following
Thanksgiving for all non highway employees but revert to the original 12 holidays
in 2007. Passed 3-1 with Paul voting against.
18. Considering whether to develop a local law prohibiting false fire alarms
and requiring all building owners with automatic alarm systems to regularly
monitor and maintain the accuracy of such equipment. Steve said that false
alarms are becoming numerous due to malfunctions in fire alarm systems.
Warren will research; general code is sending him information. He suggested
checking with Pleasant Valley concerning enforcement issues. Dod will also
check with Brewster in Putnam County and he also wondered if there were
boundaries on what a Town can permit?
19. Considering whether to purchase a software package to integrate all land
use planning, development and oversight. Dod explained that the goal is to
consolidate and see all information on a parcel on one screen. It is now paper in
several offices – planning, zoning, assessors, and building. This will eliminate
missing information and will give everyone accessibility to the data. Data entry,
building permits, CO’s, will be difficult for prior years but going forward should be
easy. When the package is purchased we need to make sure funds are
available to enter the data from our paper records with temporary help. We need
a plan before purchasing the package. Linda would like to see 2 different
software packages. Paul thinks web based would be nice. Dod said that won’t
interact with the assessor’s office software and most municipalities like their own
control. Paul feels if it is web based a lot of money is saved and maintenance is
eliminated and it is managed by experts. Dod will meet with building, planning,
zoning and assessor to see current capabilities with our employees. Linda thinks
all information should be by grid number. Dod said Excel can produce a package
with minimal information. Paul wondered if the village should be included.
Dod reported that Fox Hollow is moving along and thanked Kathy and her crew
for their work.
Linda reported that Art Pritchard authored a grant for potential funding at the park
and unfortunately we were denied.
At 9:30 pm on motion by Paul and second by Dod this meeting was unanimously