Local Government

Local Government 01.21.21

Defreestville Fire Department 2020 Recap and First Update of 2021

DEFREESTVILLE – Last year brought many changes to our world. A global health pandemic, precipitated a change in the economy, and this directly affected many people in a number of different ways. Through it all, the Defreestville Fire Department modified operations and tactics to meet this health emergency and continue providing top notch public safety services.

In December, we were called a total of 29 times to respond, including one structure fire. That brought our annual total for calls of any type to 445. That final tally includes 15 structure fire calls and 15 other fire type calls (vehicle, grass/brush, and outside rubbish).

Having adapted to this “new normal”, we encourage the public to continue following best practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19. This includes following all social distancing recommendations to contain the spread; wearing masks whenever and where ever practical to reduce exposures; and vigorous hand washing and sanitizing. The more we can all do together, the sooner we will all end this pandemic together.

A new tool to combat this virus are vaccines approved for distribution and use. New York State offers a new online tool for residents to see if they may be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. If you are, it will show you where you can go to get the vaccine. Please visit www.capitalregionvax.org to learn more. You can also call the NYS Department of Health Coronavirus Hotline at (888) 364-3065 with questions about this or any other coronavirus related topic.

Not everything that’s new is related to the pandemic, though. This year the DFD, along with the members of Wynantskill FD, should be in receipt of our two new trucks. Those trucks will be designated 9-7 and 42-7, respectively. You can follow their progress by “Liking” our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/defreestvillefd, where you can also find information on how to join and more!

From all of us at DFD, best wishes to you for a healthy and happy 2021!

Town of North Greenbush to Hold Police Reform Meeting

NORTH GREENBUSH – February 4, 2021 at 6:00 PM – On June 12th, 2020, Governor Cuomo tasked all law enforcement agencies in the state to embark on a process to examine procedures and reform them to better meet the needs of their respective community. The emphasis of this is to be placed on social issues and fairness in the application of law. In order to establish the needs of the community best, we are seeking members of the public to participate in a virtual meeting on Thursday, February 4th, 2021 at 6:00 PM, to voice general concerns that have been observed from the North Greenbush Police Department. Unfortunately, this will need to be limited to 10 members of the public to ensure order on the virtual meeting however it will also be livestreamed via the Town website, Townofng.com, for public viewing.

North Greenbush residents are encouraged to send an email to Reform@nullNorthGreenbushPolice.Org which includes a name, address, best phone number to contact, and a short explanation on why they would like to be on the panel. This will help in the selection process. Those selected will be notified by phone no later than January 27th.

Residents who would like to express a concern rather than being on the panel are also encouraged to submit those concerns to that email address and they will be considered. Complaints about an individual officer or incident should use the existing avenues to make that complaint rather than this email address.

The deadline for submissions is 5:00 PM on January 22nd, 2021. We look forward to hearing from, and virtually meeting, as many of our neighbors as possible.

North Greenbush Report by Councilwoman Mary Frances Sabo

NORTH GREENBUSH – Happy New Year! 2021 has begun with disturbing events at the nation’s capital and the continued devastation of the COVID pandemic. Hope is on the horizon, however, as two approved vaccines begin to be distributed. The North Greenbush town board held its organizational meeting on January 14. This year for the first time, the town will have an Open Space committee that I will chair. The four committee members are a diverse group that include an environmental scientist, a conservationist, a hunter, and a LAKE Association leader. The committee will work to preserve and enhance the town’s natural and historic resources.

The Climate Smart Committee will also continue its work towards making North Greenbush a greener, more sustainable community. Town staff and I have met with a staff member from the Capital District Regional Planning Commission, a regional planning and resource center, to map out sustainable initiatives for the town. The Climate Smart Committee will work to pursue state funding towards the purchase of an electric vehicle and installation of a charging station, and improving energy efficiency in town hall.

The police department is seeking 10 members of the public to participate in a virtual meeting on Thursday, February 4th, at 6:00 PM, to voice general concerns that have been observed from the North Greenbush Police Department. The meeting will also however be livestreamed via the Town website. North Greenbush residents are encouraged to send an email to Reform@nullNorthGreenbushPolice.Org which includes a name, address, best phone number to contact, and a short explanation on why they would like to be on the panel by January 22.

I continue to be open to your concerns and questions. Always feel free to reach out to me at msabo@nullnorthgreenbush.org.

Respectfully submitted,

Councilwoman Mary Frances Sabo

Poestenkill Town Board, Meeting Minutes – Thursday, December 17, 2020

POESTENKILL – The meeting was held virtually for safety precautions.

Youth Department – activities have begun in preparing for Summer Camp 2021. The new shed was finished behind Town Hall for department storage.

Resolution – Town Board acknowledged the conduct and completion of an audit of the Town Justice Court financial records. Motion was passed unanimously.

Discussion was held on the ambulance district special election. A resolution of the Town Board calling for a special election for property owners to determine if there will be an establishment of an ambulance district. Pursuant to state law, once this resolution is passed, the governing body must hold said election no fewer than 90 days and no more than 105 days. The resolution was moved by Councilman Wohlleber, seconded by Councilman Van Slyke and passed 3-2, with Councilwoman Butler and Councilman Hass voting no.

The election will be held on Tuesday, March 30th at the Sullivan-Jones VFW from noon to 8pm. For more information, please go to poestenkillny.com.

Resolution of the Town Board in grateful recognition of the services of Toby Chadwick, Highway Superintendent, on the occasion of his retiring. Motion made by Councilwoman Butler, seconded by Councilman Hass and passed unanimously.

These minutes to be approved at the next Town Board Meeting on Thursday, January 21st at 7pm.

Submitted by Councilman Eric Wohlleber

Rensselaer County Legislature Urges Governor Cuomo to Release COVID-19 Vaccines to the County

RENSSELAER COUNTY – The Rensselaer County Legislature held its monthly meeting on January 12th. The meeting was held in the chambers, but closed to the public. Several Legislators attended in person while the others joined via Zoom. The meeting was broadcast live on the “Rensselaer County Legislature” Facebook page.

The agenda included several resolutions that renewed yearly contracts and approved purchases of supplies and materials to keep county departments operating efficiently.

One notable resolution urged Governor Cuomo to release COVID-19 vaccines to Rensselaer County so that they could be administered those that need and want it. For years, Rensselaer County has held required mass vaccination drills and has been prepared to take immediate action when needed.

Chairman Michael Stammel said, “We have trained for this day; all we need is a supply of vaccines from New York State. Our residents are eager to be vaccinated, and even though we are ready, we cannot give them something we do not have.”

Rensselaer County established a Point of Distribution (POD) at Hudson Valley Community College and administered a very limited supply of vaccines to health care workers.

“There is a lot of finger pointing about getting the vaccines out to the public, but enough is enough, we need the vaccines, and we need them now. I commend County Executive Steve McLaughlin and Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas for establishing the POD and being prepared to administer the vaccine”, said Chair of the Health Committee Scott Bendett-Averill Park.

New York State has established a POD in Albany, but residents are being forced to wait until March for an appointment.

“I visited the County’s POD at HVCC and it is impressive. I am certain that we will be able to quickly distribute as many doses of the vaccine that we can get. Let’s get this done”, added Chair of Finance Bob Loveridge-East Schodack.

The resolution urging Governor Cuomo to send vaccines to Rensselaer County passed unanimously 19-0.

North Greenbush Update from Supervisor Joe Bott and Deputy Supervisor Kelly Hoffman

NORTH GREENBUSH – We started 2021 with an unprecedented year behind us and the promise of better days ahead. Our first piece of business was holding the town’s organizational meeting, appointing members of the community to various committees and setting course for the upcoming year. Supervisor Bott welcomed our newly elected Councilwoman Jessica Merola to her first board meeting. We know Jessica’s energy and expertise will be an asset to the board for many years to come. Supervisor Bott appointed Kelly Hoffman for a 2nd term as Deputy Town Supervisor. “I am humbled by the confidence our Supervisor has placed in me and by the unanimous vote by our town board”.

Supervisor Bott thanked town staff for their dedication to our residents. “I appreciate the work of our employees who helped lead our town through a difficult year. I am looking forward to a year of positivity and hope”. We are currently planning for better days, including bringing back our Summer Concert series and other town traditions.

The town authorized a contract with the North Greenbush Ambulance Association who continue to provide quality care to our residents. The purchase of a replacement BOBCAT was authorized as a vital tool for the removal of snow from town sidewalks, around fire hydrants and water/sewer infrastructure by our utilities and highway colleagues.

We welcome Tanner Schrader who was sworn in as the newest member to the North Greenbush Police Department. As Chair of the Public Safety Committee, Deputy Supervisor Hoffman encouraged residents to join Chief Keevern for our Police Reform panel on February 4, 2021 at 6pm which will be live-streamed at www.townofng.com. If you wish to join the panel, send an email to the Chief at reform@nullnorthgreenbushpolice.org for consideration.

We end by extending our thoughts to those who have lost a loved one to COVID-19. We ask that you continue to follow CDC guidelines, wear your mask, wash your hands and stay safe. Wishing you a blessed new year.

Josh Scholer Presents US Flag to County Legislature

RENSSELAER COUNTY – Thanks to Josh Scholer of the Rensselaer County Highway Department for presenting this beautiful handmade US Flag for display in the Legislative Chambers. Legislators Todd Tesman, Rob Bayly, Ken Herrington, Bob Loveridge, Bruce Patire, and Vice Chair Kelly Hoffman show off Josh’s craftsmanship.

 

 

Poestenkill to Vote on Ambulance District

POESTENKILL – On March 30, 2021, Poestenkill landowners will be encouraged to vote whether an ambulance district should be established in Poestenkill.  Establishing an ambulance district is mandated by the state as the first step in establishing a service and, does not increase property taxes.

Voting will take place at the Sullivan-Jones VFW Hall.  Again, the establishment of an ambulance district will be at no cost to the landowners.  If the establishment of an ambulance district is approved, there will be a second vote at a later date to ratify a contract with an established service.

At this time, Mohawk Ambulance is our primary provider.  HOWEVER, Mohawk is not under contract with Poestenkill and must honor their contracts with these municipalities first, potentially leaving Poestenkill residents waiting for emergency service. Wait times are averaging 17 minutes. One must realize if the average is 17 minutes, there are some people waiting longer.  I have FOILed the 911 reports EMS reports from Rensselaer County 911, which is what I base my discussion on. 

Having contracted ambulance service would also allow for mutual aid for Poestenkill from surrounding towns (which we do not have now since we do not have an ambulance service).  As I have always said, we are fortunate to have our Poestenkill First Responders and would be lost without them.  The First Responders are limited by state regulations as to the degree of care they can offer.  

Expect more articles to follow with more details.

Councilman Harold Van Slyke

Town of Nassau 2021 Tax Collection Information

NASSAU – Taxes will be collected during the month of January. Nassau Town Hall 29 Church St. Nassau, NY 12123. 518-766-2343 x8.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is strongly suggested checks and money orders be mailed in! Any in person payments must have an appointment (no exceptions) and any cash payments must be in the exact amount.

Monday- Friday 12pm-2pm; Saturday 9am-12pm.

Penalties will be assessed on payments made after February 1, 2021 as per the tax bill.

Reminders mailed in March will include a $2.00 penalty fee.

A $20.00 Fee will be imposed on all returned checks.

After March 31, 2021 taxes will no longer be received by the Town of Nassau Tax Collector, but must be paid to Rensselaer County Bureau of Finance, 1600 7th Avenue Troy, NY 12180.

Additional County penalties will be imposed.

Letter from Receiver of Taxes- Town of Schodack

SCHODACK – 2021 Property Tax collection begins January 1st 2021.

Unfortunately the Covid-19 Pandemic continues to change how we do our day to day routines. For everyone’s health, there will be NO IN-PERSON collections for this tax season. All payments should be by check payable to Rec. of Taxes/Shawn Masters and mailed to PO Box 436 East Schodack, NY 12063 or they can be placed in the secure green drop box near the Town Hall entranceway.

For those who choose, payments may also be made through the Town website, www.schodack.org. Go to Departments, Receiver of Taxes, Tax Bills and then click view bills on ”this site” and follow prompts. There are additional charges if you choose to pay online.

2021 Collection periods will be: 1/1/21 – 2/1/21 no penalty, 2/2/21 – 3/1/21 1% penalty, and 3/2/21 – 3/31/21 2% penalty. A second notice for payment will be mailed on 3/5/21 and a mandatory fee of $2.00 will be added to total due amount.

Only exact full payments due, as listed on the bill, are able to be excepted. Please make sure the dollar amounts in the numerical and written sections on the check are the same and the correct amount due and check is signed. Please put current phone number on your check so we can contact you if there are any issues so late fees can be avoided.

Only when the complete bill is returned with your payment, the receipt on bottom of the bill will be stamped and returned to you.

Tax Bills from 2005- 2021 can also be viewed and printed from the town website for your convenience.

For any concerns, you can always contact me at 518-477-7935.

Sincerely, Shawn Masters

Nassau Democratic Committee Seeking Candidates for Town and County Offices

NASSAU – The Nassau Democratic Committee is currently accepting resumes from residents interested in running for the following town offices in 2021: Town Supervisor (two-year term), Town Council Member (two seats to be filled, each with a four-year term), Town Justice (four-year term), Tax Collector (two-year term), and Superintendent of Highways (two-year term). Interested candidates are invited to inquire and/or submit a resume and letter of qualifications by February 3, 2021 to: Pat Piniazek, Chair; Nassau Democratic Committee; via email: patpen1018@nullgmail.com.

The Nassau Democratic Committee also encourages Rensselaer County residents who are interested in running for County Executive, County Clerk, or 1 of 3 seats on the Rensselaer County Legislature (representing District 4: Towns of Nassau, Sand Lake, and Schodack) to submit a resume and letter of qualifications by February 3, 2021 to: Michael J. Monescalchi, Chair; Rensselaer County Democratic Committee; P.O. Box 846; Troy, NY 12181 or via email: renscodemschair@nullgmail.com.

Brunswick Democratic Committee Seeking Candidates for Town and County Offices

BRUNSWICK – The Brunswick Democratic Committee is currently accepting resumes from residents interested in running for the following town office in 2021: Town Council Member (two seats to be filled, each with a 4-year term). Interested candidates are invited to inquire and/or submit a resumé and letter of qualifications by Feb. 3, 2021 to: Jennifer Mann, Chair; Brunswick Democratic Committee; P.O. Box 91; Cropseyville, NY 12052 or via email: BrunswickDems@nullgmail.com.

The Brunswick Democratic Committee also encourages Rensselaer County residents who are interested in running for County Executive, County Clerk, or 1 of 3 seats on the Rensselaer County Legislature (representing District 3: Towns of Brunswick, Pittstown, and Schaghticoke) to submit a resumé and letter of qualifications by Feb. 3, 2021 to: Michael J. Monescalchi, Chair; Rensselaer County Democratic Committee; P.O. Box 846; Troy, NY 12181 or via email: renscodemschair@nullgmail.com.

East Greenbush Democratic Committee Seeking Candidates for Town and County Offices

EAST GREENBUSH – The East Greenbush Democratic Committee is currently accepting resumes from residents interested in running for the following town offices in 2021: Town Council (two seats to be filled, each with a four-year term). Interested candidates are invited to inquire and/or submit a resume and letter of qualifications by February 3, 2021 to: Judith Condo, Chair; East Greenbush Democratic Committee; P.O. Box 434; East Greenbush, NY 12061 or via email: jcondo604@nullgmail.com.

The East Greenbush Democratic Committee also encourages Rensselaer County residents who are interested in running for County Executive, County Clerk, or 1 of 4 seats on the Rensselaer County Legislature (representing District 2: Towns of East Greenbush, North Greenbush, and Poestenkill) to submit a resume and letter of qualifications by February 3, 2021 to: Michael J. Monescalchi, Chair; Rensselaer County Democratic Committee; P.O. Box 846; Troy, NY 12181 or via email: renscodemschair@nullgmail.com.

North Greenbush Democratic Committee Seeking Candidates for Town and County Offices

NORTH GREENBUSH – The North Greenbush Democratic Committee is currently accepting resumes from residents interested in running for the following town offices in 2021: Town Supervisor (two-year term), Town Council (four-year term) and Town Justice (four-year term). Interested candidates are invited to inquire and/or submit a resume and letter of qualifications by February 3, 2021 to: Joshua A. Sabo, Chair; North Greenbush Democratic Committee; 40 Buckbee Rd., Troy, NY 12180 or via email: northgreenbushdemocrats@nullgmail.com.

The North Greenbush Democratic Committee also encourages Rensselaer County residents who are interested in running for County Executive, County Clerk, or 1 of 4 seats on the Rensselaer County Legislature (representing District 2: Towns of East Greenbush, North Greenbush, and Poestenkill) to submit a resume and letter of qualifications by February 3, 2021 to: Michael J. Monescalchi, Chair; Rensselaer County Democratic Committee; P.O. Box 846; Troy, NY 12181 or via email: renscodemschair@nullgmail.com.

Poestenkill Democratic Committee Seeking Candidates for Town and County Offices

POESTENKILL – The Poestenkill Democratic Committee is currently accepting resumes from residents interested in running for the following town offices in 2021: Town Supervisor (two-year term), Town Council Member (two seats to be filled, each with a four-year term), Town Clerk (two-year term), and Superintendent of Highways (two-year term).

Interested candidates are invited to inquire and/or submit a resume and letter of qualifications by February 3, 2021 to Bob Crowley, Chair, Poestenkill Democratic Committee, P.O. Box 21, Poestenkill, NY 12140, or via email: pkdems@nullgmail.com.

The Poestenkill Democratic Committee also encourages Rensselaer County residents who are interested in running for County Executive, County Clerk, or 1 of 4 seats on the Rensselaer County Legislature (representing District 2: Towns of East Greenbush, North Greenbush, and Poestenkill) to submit a resume and letter of qualifications by February 3, 2021 to: Michael J. Monescalchi, Chair; Rensselaer County Democratic Committee; P.O. Box 846; Troy, NY 12181 or via email: renscodemschair@nullgmail.com.

Schodack Democratic Committee Seeking Candidates for Town and County Offices

SCHODACK – The Schodack Democratic Committee is currently accepting resumes from residents interested in running for the following town offices in 2021: Town Supervisor (two-year term) and Town Council Member (two seats to be filled, each with a 4-year term). Interested candidates are invited to inquire and/or submit a resume and letter of qualifications by February 3, 2021 to Laura M. Jordan, Chair of the Schodack Democratic Committee via e-mail: ljordan@nullpowers-santola.com or by regular mail: Laura M. Jordan, 100 Great Oaks Blvd, Suite 123, Albany, New York 12033.

The Schodack Democratic Committee also encourages Rensselaer County residents who are interested in running for County Executive, County Clerk or Rensselaer County Legislature (three seats to be filled representing District 4: Towns of Schodack, Sand Lake and Nassau) to submit their resume and letter of qualifications by February 3, 2021 to Michael J. Monescalchi, Chair of the Rensselaer County Democratic Committee at P.O. Box 846, Troy, New York, 12181 or via email: renscodemschair@nullgmail.com.

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