The Public Hearing to Consider a 5-Month Moratorium on Camping Applications was held January 18th, 2012at the Lindley Town Hall, 637 US 15, PO Box 62Lindley, New York 14858.
Official Minutes held at Town Clerk’s Office

Town Board Members Present:
Gerry Simcoe – Town Supervisor
Pat Clark – Boardmember
Linda Salyerds – Boardmember

Absent:
Lloyd DeMun, II - Boardmember

Attached:
Attendance sheet
Agenda

Meeting was called to order by Gerry Simcoe at 7:00pm.
• Pledge to the flag completed.

Public Hearing Opened by Gerry Simcoe:
Residents sought clarification about the goal of a 5-month moratorium/hold on accepting Camping, Campers and Campground applications. Mary Lentzen indicated that in the zoning list of Conditional Use Permits, all issues related to Camping require a permit, however there are no stipulations indicated and need better defining. The 5-month moratorium would provide the Planning Board time to work on this and present their recommendations to the Town PO
Board. After that time, a Public Hearing would be held to see if the public would like to pass a Local Law to amend the Zoning Laws regarding Camping, Campers, and Campgrounds.

Gerry Simcoe made the motion to pass a 5-month moratorium on accepting new Camping, Campers, and Campground applications. Seconded by Pat Clark. Roll – all present agreed.
Motion Carried

Old Business and Announcements:
Gerry announced that the Teamsters agreed to the proposed $10.94 per hour for 90 days amendment to the Highway Contract. This takes effect 1/1/2012.

The Recognition Ceremony had a very good attendance in spite of the weather.

Regarding a Special Election to fill the vacant Town Board seat – the Town Board would have to pass a Local Law allowing a Special Election. Vicki at the Board of Elections indicated the cost would be well over $1000 and the cost for Inspectors alone would run about $400 for a half day. Vicki was unable to estimate a time table for when paperwork would need to be at the Board of Elections, and when the Election could be held. Gerry opened for discussion.

Dale A. Salisbury spoke in support of Fran Tempel, citing her commitment to the community and the Pantry of Angels. Dale commented that the Board should be looking at the candidate best suited to the job.

Jim Lundgren spoke in support of David Ballard and cited David’s experience in the School district and Union. Jim indicated he’d is in favor of a Special Election.

Mary Lentzen asked if people were aware that the vacant position was only for one year. Ken McKillip indicated the vacancy was for one year. Ken stated that it was a Republican seat and it was protocol to fill it with a Republican. Gerry reminded Ken that this was not true, had been discussed last week and wouldn’t be discussed further. Additional discussion about best candidate for the position and what an election would cost.

Mary Lentzen commented that a Special Election would be held to decide who should be appointed for the rest of 2012. Then an election would be held in November 2012 to fill the position for the remaining term for 2013, and then another election would be held in November 2013 for a new four year term.

Discussion about letting the seat stay open until the next regular election. Gerry indicated the problem with that is that the Town Board is a 5-person Board so that there are tie-breaking votes.

Further discussion about best candidate, cost of special election. Kathy Biggio read a letter in support of Fran, indicating her concern that the Board has gotten a bad start and has created a feeling of bad-blood. She requested the Board members explain why they voted a certain way last week. She expressed concern if the Board became dead-locked on future issues such as drilling. Kathy Biggio expressed concern with phone calls from the Steuben County Republican Chair, who seemed to be strong-arming citizens to vote a certain way.

Additional discussion in support of a Special Election, in support of David Ballard, and in support of Fran Tempel. 2 additional letters were read, one in support of David, one in support of Fran.

Mary Lentzen commented that there are two positions open in the Town – one on the Zoning Board of Appeals and one on the Planning Board. Contact Steve Ritter regarding Zoning Board of Appeals, and contact her for the Planning Board.

Sandy Lundgren asked if Republicans were supposed to supply letters in support of David Ballard. Gerry Simcoe indicated this wasn’t a planned thing.

Gerry made a motion to appoint Fran Tempel. Pat Clark and Linda Salyerds voted no.

Fran Tempel read a brief letter – Included here by request and because of its brief length:

January 18, 2012
Mr. Gerry Simcoe
Lindley Town Board
Lindley, NY 14858

This letter is meant to address the current condition regarding the empty seat on the town board.

First of all, I want to thank all the individuals (mostly Republicans by the way) who supported me in my desire to be appointed to this one-year position. Their belief in me and appreciation for my experience and previous service to the town of Lindley was profoundly moving for me personally.

That being said, I had hoped that the decision would be based on that experience and service but I am sadden to find that political partisanship has now created an impasse. I also had hoped that we could operate in an environment unlike the one in Wash. D.C. that so many of us abhor. But that was not to be.

The Republican committee chairman suggested the town conduct a special election in order to decide the outcome. I find this suggestion to be not only fiscally irresponsible but also a burden upon our citizens asking them to come out and vote one more time for a position that will expire at the end of this year. The board has many issues that need to be acted upon now and the time needed to set up this election and garner the results might be detrimental in the decision making process.

And so, for the good of the town of Lindley, I withdraw my request for appointment and hope the board will appoint David Ballard immediately so we can get on with the business at hand.

Thank you,
Fran Tempel

Several people commended Fran for her decision. Ken McKillip asked that David Ballard be sworn in. Gerry Simcoe made a motion to appoint David Ballard, seconded by Pat Clark. Roll – all present agreed. Gerry Simcoe stated that he believed he was getting his arm twisted but because next month he would be absent and there needed to be three board members present to pay the monthly bills, he was voting for David.

Dave Ballard was sworn in by Megan Thistle, Lindley Town Clerk.

Gerry Simcoe made the motion to appoint Jim Lundgren as Custodian. Seconded by Pat Clark. Roll – all present agreed.

Gerry read a letter from NYS DEC regarding reporting sick or dead deer. Public is warned to not handle or eat these deer and contact DEC.

Fran Woodring asked if Dave Ballard could take a seat at the Board table. Gerry indicated usually a person is given a week but could if he’d like to.

Gerry Simcoe announced that Dee Hill brought a law to the Town’s attention last week regarding Towns posting information regarding next meetings. Megan will be posting agendas on blog and on the bulletin board outside as needed.

The Steuben County office of Risk Manager sent information regarding cell and 2-way radio use by drivers. They must pull over now. Megan provided a copy for Marc Stocum, Highway Superintendent.

Audits:
The Finance Directors December 2011 records were audited.

Pat Clark made the motion to adjourn the meeting. Linda Salyerds seconded. Roll, all agreed. Meeting adjourned at 10:15pm

Respectfully submitted,
Megan Thistle
Lindley Town Clerk

1 comment:

Kathy Biggio said...

I tried to have this published in the Star Gazette, but they so far have refused, so I am posting it here-

"Recently our Town Board members voted to fill a vacant seat on our Legislative Board. Two individuals were recommended – each good, hardworking and knowledgeable people.

One has always shown active interest in our town governance, attending nearly every meeting, taking part in public discussions, filling vacancies on various town boards when needed, and volunteering to represent our town on committees impacting our school and county tax bills. The words of support she received (most, if not all, from folks in a different political party) were based on practical, personal experiences from working with her and confidence that her knowledge of town issues would be a real asset.

The other, while active within our community, had not been a regular participant in town meetings or shown an active interest in the day-to-day governance of the town prior to the meeting. A heated debate took place.

To complicate the issue, undue political pressure to “toe the party line” was put on some of our town officials, creating the appearance that crony politics rather than common sense may have caused a deadlocked vote. Many people left the meeting angry and frustrated by the sense that outsiders were attempting to interfere in our local political process.

Another meeting and another round of heated discussions took place. Many attendees felt a special election was in order so that the public, rather than the Board could decide, despite the additional cost of a special election and the potential that we would have a deadlocked Board for several months.

Fran Tempel, the first candidate mentioned, unwilling to allow divisiveness and waste of taxpayer dollars that would have resulted from a special election, withdrew her candidacy for the position. Her actions demonstrated what many already knew - that her commitment to the well being of our town was at the forefront of her decision.

We applaud Fran’s unselfish actions on behalf of our town, her unwavering commitment to the people of Lindley and her active participation on behalf of us all. We have no doubt she will continue to be a positive force for our town.

We all have a responsibility to stay informed and engaged in the matters that affect us – regardless of political party – to pay regular attention to the issues affecting our communities and to scrutinize future candidates by their own actions, not some generalized notion.

Our town has worked hard the past several years striving for greater transparency, trying to avoid vindictive politics and insuring that our tax dollars are used most efficiently and effectively. Our Town Board has worked hard to develop themselves into a more informed and proactive governing body, and insure solid financial footing for our town, at a time when many other municipalities are struggling. We need real commitment and vigilance to insure we move forward with common purpose and common sense."