There are many positions that still need to be filled: the local School Board meetings for Niskayuna, Scotia-Glenville, and Rotterdam Mohonasen. The Schenectady School Board needs an alternate as does the Schenectady County Legislature (meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7pm, 6th fl. of the County Office Bldg.). The various school boards meet once or twice a month at various school locations so it is best to check their websites or to call the district offices for meeting information.
Observer Corps is a great way to monitor local politics for transparency and accountability, and gives you a chance to see the results of your efforts. The group plans to get together again after the holiday season to discuss their thoughts. Call Cynthia Weissend at 518-928-2383 for more details and to volunteer.
Two items were brought up during the Privilege of the Floor portion of the November 17, 2017 meeting of the Schenectady County legislature which seems to be an ongoing problem and which the legislature did not comment on.
1. Schenectady Landlords Influencing Change - A group of landlords protested laws dating back to the 1990's that legally holds landlords responsible for storage of tenant abandoned items after eviction for six months at their own cost. The land lords are often stuck with the storage and disposal costs. as these costs frequently are too high for the tenants to reclaim their items.
2. Baptist Nursing Home Staffing - An aide from the Baptist nursing Home urged the Legislature to help the residents of the home by doing something to improve wages for the staff. Wages are not sufficient to attract competent long term staff. Staff frequently changes and staffing often is below state requirements. The quality of care and conditions that the nursing home residents live in puts them in jeopardy.
Schenectady City Council- Flora Ramonowski
City Council Actions:
The following organization meetings are observed:
Information about municipal bodies is found in the League of Women Voters' Who's Who and in the case of the school boards on the school district websites. If you would like to officially be a League Observer, contact Betsy Chase at 518-399-9070 or email DavSmlltrt@aol.com. .
Observer Corps members have contacted the Niskayuna Town Board, the Glenville Town Board, the Schenectady City Council, the Duanesburg Town Board, Rotterdam Town Board and Metroplex to assess compliance with the laws.
Schenectady City Council and County Legislature - Kay Ackerman reports that Leesa Perazzo (City Council President) said that Ray Gillen (Metroplex Chair) has been invited to the City Council City and County Development Committee meeting in late February or March after his report to the Legislature. Dates can be confirmed with the City Clerk and with the Clerk to the County.
Niskayuna Town Board - Johanna Petersen reports that Joe Landry (Town Supervisor) gets updates from Ray Gillen regularly. Paul Webster ( Niskayuna representative to Metroplex) gives regular reports to the board as well. Metroplex is presently funding 20% of a grant to reconfigure the parking lot and side walk in front of the Niskayuna Co-op.
Glenville Town Board - Betsy Chase reports that Chris Koetzle (Town Superviser) has spoken with Ray Gillen to schedule a presentation to the town board sometime in March or April. The presentation date will be announced on the Town web site. The Glenville representative to Metroplex is Bob Dietrick (CFO of First National Bank of Scotia). It does not appear that Glenville has been previously getting the required Metroplex presentations.
Duanesburg Town Board - Betsy Chase has spoken with Roger Tidball (DuanesburgTown Supervisor). He is going to ask Todd Edwards (Duanesburg and Princetown representative to Metroplex) to schedule a report from Metroplex. Metroplex just approved more than $150,000 for the Duanesburg sewer project. We are waiting for additional feedback. It does not appear that they have previously been receiving the required presentations.
Rotterdam Town Board - Ray Gillen told Betsy Chase that he is scheduled to give his report to the Rotterdam Town Board on March 22nd.
Metroplex - Johanna Petersen spoke with Sharon Jordan (Metroplex Board Member) who mentioned that Ray Gillen gives an annual report to the County Legislature, usually in late February or March. The public is invited. Metroplex feels this is sufficient since the report is on the website.
Submitted by Betsy Chase, Observer Corps Coordinator
Mayor Gary McCarthy thanked the Capital Region Economic Development Council for selecting the city of Schenectady for funding to create jobs and continue the city's redevelopment.
The Schenectady Community "Needs Assessment Survey" was released.
Mayor Gary McCarthy joined Rivers Casino and Clancy Real Estate in announcing housing opportunities for Casino employees as part of the Walk-to-Work initiative.
Members of the city council announced the "Breathing Lights" project which illuminated numerous empty homes in the Capital Region. By raising awareness about the issue, and putting people back in these homes, it could help stabilize the communities plagued by blighted properties.
Richard Homenick, chair of the Civilian Police Review Board, presented the quarterly CPRB report before the city council committee. Dick Shave (member of LWV) was nominated to the CPRB committee to replace Flora Ramonowski, who stepped down from the position.
Submitted by Flora Ramonowski
In February of 2016, the Rotterdam Town Board issued a resolution requesting permission to create the Hamburg Street Sewer District. A bond of $4,167,000 has been issued over a 30 year period for this project. The initial cost for each homeowner will be $1,738 with a yearly cost of $1,204 per homeowner.
Doug Cole, Director of Wastewater Systems for John M. McDonald Engineering, spoke at the March 23rd Rotterdam Town Board meeting about the needs of the wastewater treatment plant. The treatment plant is located on Campbell Avenue, near the Viaport Rotterdam Mall, and is in need of many urgent repairs. Too many repairs have been neglected over the years. Another bond will have to be submitted to address these issues. Supervisor Steven Tommasone stated, "We have to take care of what we have, if we want further development of our town".
Eunice Chouffi, LWV observer