Monday, September 4, 2017

Gadfly's going dark....

Here's a remembrance:

Friday, June 30, 2017

Slates are set - How will you decide?

The candidates are set for this year's election:

County Executive:

Chris Meyer - R
Steve McLaughlin - R
Andrea Smyth - D

County Legislature:

Leon Fiacco - R
Kelly Hoffman - R
Rob Bayly - R
Tom Grant - R
Susan Kalafut - D
Kathryn Schaefer - D
John Hebert - D
Todd D'Alleva - D

Town Board 

Rick Matters - R
Dan Plumley - R
Hollie Kennedy - D
Zack Kilmer - D

County Judge:

Phil Danaher - R
Jennifer Sober - D

What are the issues that these candidates should address?  How will you decide who to vote for? 

Friday, April 28, 2017

What do you think........?

It's now been three years since our Town Board and some of the "insiders" tried to sneak a casino approval past the residents of East Greenbush. How do you think things have changed in town, both positively and negatively? Do you think the casino will have any impact on this year's election?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Supervisor's Annual Report - Executive Summary

The full report will be up on the Town website this afternoon.

            In our campaign last year we made a promise that the Town Supervisor would issue an Annual Report to the people of the Town as part of our plan for increased transparency.  This report fulfills that promise.

Human Resources
*        Town employees hired exclusively on merit.
*        Created full time position of Human Resources Manager.
*        Made conditional job offers to two police officers.
*        Appointed a full time dispatcher, code enforcement officer and assistant building inspector.
*        Appointed a new Assessor.
*        Assigned two police officers to the Detectives Office.
*        Hired two new employees in the Department of Public Works.
*        Developed comprehensive Workplace Violence Prevention and Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination Policies and trained all Town staff on the new policies.
*        Approved organizational chart and staffing plan for the Department of Public Works.

Information Technology
*        Replaced network servers, purchased 12 computers (6 for Town Hall, 6 for Police Department) and a Point of Sale computer for the Town Clerk.
*        Contracted to redesign and update Town website.
*        Contracted to index and reconsolidate Town Code and add eCode 360 to the website.
*        Implemented structured cabling installation in Town Hall.

 Town Finances
*        Maintained positive fund balances in our General, Highway, Sewer and General Water Funds. 
*        Completed NYS-OSC audit of the Justice Court.
*        Had an independent audit by UHY, LLC of 2015 financial statement.
Began single-purpose audit of 2013 Capital Project by UHY, LLC.
*        2017 budget includes 1.47% tax increase, repayment of interfund borrowing and independent accounting of Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) fees.
*        Received $2,589,000 in grant funding.
*        Reduced reliance on consultants, including a 22% drop in spending on engineering consultants.

 Town Board
*        Changes in public meetings: moved pre-board meetings to evenings, added public comment to pre-board meetings, restored question-and-answer format to board meetings, tightened requirement for Financial Impact Statement in resolutions, tightened rules for late submission of agenda items for board meetings.
*        Raised sewer rates by 69% in General Sewer District, 50% in Hampton Manor Sewer District, and 35% in 3rd Avenue and Couse Sewer Districts. Renegotiated industrial discharge permit with Garelick Farms for a 35% increase in fees.
*        Passed a revised and strengthened Code of Ethics.
*        Successfully negotiated new labor contracts with the three unions that represent Town employees - East Greenbush Police Officers Union, Local 1951, of Security and Law Enforcement Employees, Council 82, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO (term: January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2018); CSEA Local 1000 AFSCME, AFL-CIO, Town of East Greenbush Unit #8257, Rensselaer County Local 842 (term: January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2018); The East Greenbush Emergency Communications Association, Local 3708, Council 82 AFSCME, AFL-CIO (term: January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2019).
*        Worked with Hampton Manor community to improve the quality of drinking water: held two public meetings, surveyed attitudes and preferences, and evaluated the Hudson Avenue water tanks.
*        Demonstrated support for important causes, raised awareness of issues such as breast cancer, domestic violence and childhood cancer, and opposed the Pilgrim Pipeline and Kinder Morgan’s Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline.
*        Implemented an Honor a Veteran program.

*        Saw a sharp reduction in lost commercial value in tax certiorari cases.
*        Improvements to Hampton Manor Park: new playground equipment; Clean the Park Event; replaced the gazebo; sponsored a mural painted by students; controlled the goose population.
*        Successful summer camp with increased attendance for the 3rd straight year.
*        Expanded programs for seniors.
*        Successful Music in the Park and Town Festival programs.
*        Established a process for handling planning applications in a fair and equitable manner.  
*        Increased reliance on in-house staff and the Planning Board as advisors to the Town Board on development issues, increased the quantity of technical meetings on projects and reduced reliance on consultants.
*        Revived the Luther Road sidewalk project.
*        Issued an RFP for engineering services and selected eight firms based on specialty.
*        Formed a GEIS Committee to oversee accounting, policy and project selection.
*        Developed the outline of a Rapid Action Plan for Columbia Turnpike.
*        Facilitated the demolition of the Weathervane building.
*        Replaced the heating system in the Police Department.
*        Replaced the Ridge Road 800 MHZ radio antenna system.
*        Required the Police Chief to seek accreditation under the New York State Law Enforcement Accreditation Program.
*        Removed the underground fuel tank at the Highway Garage.
*        Doubled the paving budget.
*        Entered cooperative agreements with Rensselaer County for snow and ice removal, and East Greenbush Central School District to help pave the Little League/Softball parking lot on Gilligan Road.
*        Declared a local state of emergency after sinkholes developed on Hydor Drive and used trenchless technology to repair the entire storm water system on the street.

Wastewater Treatment Plant
*        Issued $1.6 million in bonds and notes to finance the final phase of the plant upgrade.
*        Reached substantial completion of the upgrade to the plant itself.
*        Bid and awarded a contract to Wm Keller & Sons for $1,237,000 to complete the Outfall Piping phase of the WWTP project.
*        Closed on long-term financing for $15.6 million with the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation.

This report also includes six appendices:

Appendix 1                 Justice Court Audit Response Letter
Appendix 2                 Fund Balance Analysis
Appendix 3                 Cost to the Town of Engineering Consultants in 2015 and 2016
Appendix 4                 Development Projects Under Review
Appendix 5                 Town of East Greenbush Vehicle Inventory
Appendix 6                 2016 Paving List

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Supe's Report

As I come to the end of my first year in office I’ve had a chance to reflect on what we have accomplished and how much is still left to do.  I’m writing an Annual Report to the residents of East Greenbush that should be available at the 2017 Organizational Meeting on January 3rd.  The report will also be available on this website.

When Tina Tierney, Tom Grant and I made the decision to run for office without the support or endorsement of any of the existing political parties, we were told that we were on a fool’s errand, and that no one could win by ignoring the political professionals and speaking directly to the residents about the kind of change we needed. We’ve worked hard to live up to the trust placed in us, and I think we have had a successful first year.  Thanks to Tina, Tom, Deb DiMartino and Mary Ann Matters for their substantial efforts this year.  Board meetings have been civil and productive, the blogs are relatively quiet, and the focus has remained on the important business of the Town.

For my part, I have worked hard and tried to be clear in communicating the reasons for the things we have done.  My job is made easy by the dedication and professionalism of the men and women who work for the Town of East Greenbush.  We have the best police department in the Capital Region.  Our DPW workers brave the elements and face dangerous challenges every day.  They’re the unsung heroes in our delivery of essential services.  The people who work in Town Hall have brought a level of skill to their tasks far beyond anything I could have hoped for when I took office. Special thanks to Lisa O’Brien, my administrative assistant, who deals with staff and the public with a friendly professional demeanor that makes me look better than I deserve.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hannukah.  Thank you for placing your trust in me.  I will continue to work hard every day to represent you in a way that reflects well on this beautiful town of ours.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Good reason for E. G. Ethics Code Amendments

Ken Crowe's TU story about the Rensselaer County Democratic Committee offers a good argument for the proposed Ethics Code amendments.  Here's a link to the story:

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Town Code of Ethics

Here's the link to the final draft for the Code of Ethics.  Have at it....