Tracey Rex Reports to the People of Schodack
SCHODACK – I believe staying in touch with constituents is an important part of serving in elective office. This report, published every month since I took office in 2016, is an example of my commitment to keeping Schodack residents informed about town government news and community events.
At our annual organization meeting on January 14, the Town Board approved several appointments to key leadership positions in town government. I congratulate all of the appointees and thank them for their dedication and commitment to the important mission of public service.
Last June, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 203 which requires local police agencies to develop a plan that reinvents and modernizes police strategies and programs based on community input. To date, our Police Chief and members of the Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Advisory Committee appointed by the Town Board are working on a draft plan that will be posted for public review in the near future.
To help meet the goals and objectives outlined in Executive Order 203, a survey is now available online (www.schodack.org) to collect input and feedback on public safety and law enforcement in the Town of Schodack. I encourage everyone in our community to take this survey so that your feedback can be included in the study. The survey is completely anonymous, and individual responses will never be shared with law enforcement or government officials. Per the Governor’s Executive Order, every locality must adopt a plan for reform by April 1, 2021 to be eligible for future state funding.
Do you know someone who is looking to serve our community in a meaningful way? The Castleton Public Library’s Board of Trustees is currently seeking trustees to fill two vacancies on the Board. The Board is responsible for guiding funds, policies and strategic planning for the library. For more information, send an email to: email@example.com.
Tracey Rex, Member of Schodack Town Board
To Town of Poestenkill Taxpayers:
POESTENKILL – The Town Board of Poestenkill has received many questions about the upcoming referendum on the creation of an ambulance district.
New York State’s Town Law provides for the creation of an Ambulance District as an “improvement district,” which can impose a tax on realty in order to provide such ambulance services.
The Map, Plan and Report (MPR) setting forth the purpose and parameters of the proposed district was filed with the Town Clerk’s Office August 13, 2020, where it is still available for public viewing.
The Poestenkill Town Board passed a resolution September 17, 2020 creating the district subject to a referendum to be held at a special town election. If the proposal does not pass at the special election, it becomes moot and the district will not be created. If it does, the mechanics of how the district will operates will then be addressed.
At the November Town Board meeting, the Town Board tabled a resolution to set a date for the referendum due to COVID. The resolution was brought back in December, and passed, scheduling the referendum/special election Tuesday, March 30, 2021 from noon until 8 p.m. at the Sullivan VFW Post.
Town Law clearly restricts voting on the resolution to holders of real property in the proposed district since they will be directly affected with any new tax. Property owners can vote if they appear on the last assessment roll. Early voting and voting by absentee ballot are not allowed for a local special election.
The right to vote on the resolution is personal to owners, and so joint owners, such as a husband and wife, each get a vote. A partnership, LLC or corporation owning realty gets only one vote to be exercised by a designee, and anyone who owns multiple parcels gets only one vote.
I hope this letter answers all the legal questions that concern Town residents.
John T. Casey, Poestenkill Town Attorney
Poestenkill to Vote on Ambulance District
POESTENKILL – This is a reminder to Poestenkill property owners that on March 30, 2021 a special election will be held at the Sullivan-Jones VFW Post to decide whether or not an ambulance district should be established. This is the first step (mandated by the state) to establish an ambulance service. The establishment of an ambulance district does not increase property taxes. If the voters approve of establishing an ambulance district, there will be a second vote at a later date deciding whether to ratify a contract with an established ambulance service. Prior to the second vote, the cost of emergency services will be made available allowing taxpayers to make an informed decision.
The advantages of having a contract with an ambulance service would provide our residents with a more consistent and timely service. This would also ensure that Poestenkill receives mutual aid from surrounding areas.
I want to reiterate that contracting with an ambulance service does not exclude or diminish the service that our town’s First Responders provide. First Responders are limited to the emergency care they can provide by state regulations and the availability of volunteers. This is not a problem unique to Poestenkill. This dilemma exists throughout the state, particularly in small rural areas.
My opinion is that we should work together to provide the best emergency service and care possible to our residents. Please circle March 30, 2021, on your calendar as a reminder to vote!
Harold Van Slyke
Poestenkill Town Councilman
Sand Lake FYI
SAND LAKE – Happy January to all Sand Lakers! We are watching our COVID numbers decline, and we are hoping that this trend continues. If we consistently have 1 or 2 cases a day over the next couple of weeks, we will begin to further open up Town Hall. In the meantime, please continue to wear a mask, stay home when you can, and maintain social distancing.
We have been getting calls at Town Hall about the COVID vaccine. The Town has no influence and is not involved in making vaccination appointments. We know this is frustrating for many of you, but towns are not part of the distribution at all.
I am receiving a steady stream of applications for the Military Banners Program. We have not yet decided a cut-off date for this year, but it will probably be around April 1. If you are interested in sponsoring a banner for you or a loved one, applications and instructions are on the town website. We will be putting up the banners in time for Memorial Day this year. Please contact me at Town Hall if you have any questions.
One of our residents reached out to me and suggested that I let people know something important that we may not be thinking about. If you have someone in your household using oxygen, it may be wise to post that information in a few windows in your house. If there is a fire emergency, it will be very useful for our firefighters to know that.
On a personal note, I have decided not to run for re-election as Supervisor. I have enjoyed my tenure and I am honored that you have allowed me this fabulous experience. It’s time to travel and enjoy more time with my family and grandchildren. I will remain active in local organizations. Thank you for your support!
Nancy Perry, Supervisor