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State of New York
County of Fulton
Town of Caroga
Minutes of a Caroga Town Board emergency meeting held Monday August 5, 2019 at the municipal building located at 1840 State Highway #10 beginning at 9:03 am with the following persons in attendance by roll call:
Supervisor James K. Selmser - Here
Council Member John Glenn - Here
Council Member Jeremy Manning - Here
Council Member James Long - Here
Council Member Kent Kirch – Here
There were 20 members of the public in attendance. Following the salute to the flag Supervisor Selmser stated at the last meeting on last Wednesday the board talked about the need to revisit the one item and schedule/do a resolution on a date in September. The board found out the next morning via an e-mail from the Fulton County Board of Elections (BOE) that the resolution needed to be to the BOE by the end of business today to have the referendum on the general election.
Council Member Long stated this has been necessitated by changes in New York State Election Law. Council Member Long reached out to the NYS Director of Operations at the Board of Elections back in June and he warned that things were complicated because NYS Election Law had changed. The date of the primaries has changed. The procedure for voting in general elections has changed. Starting in November you can vote early, not just absentee, but 10 days early. A lot of law has changed and some of that law is in conflict with New York town law so we are trying to figure out how to satisfy both New York Town law and NYS Election Law at the same time. He stated it is creating a little bit of a challenge.
Supervisor Selmser stated you had asked for a reply back, which you never really got, to verify this information to give the town guidance unfortunately that didn't happen. Therefore we've made decisions based on the laws as they had been previously. Based on that requirement that's why we're here today since the prior resolution that had been adopted back at the June meeting was canceled. We need to make another resolution to replace that to give to the Board of Elections for the proper wording to have that be on the ballot.
Council Member Kirch clarified that we are under a deadline today for the wording that will appear on the ballot in November. “Correct,” Supervisor Selmser replied. The intent is not to change the wording at all from what it had been before just to simply since we canceled it we need to redo that.
Council Member Kirch stated if we did that today with a resolution then there would still be the need for dissolving the differences between the state and the town laws.
Supervisor Selmser stated our attorney has been on vacation. We have reached out to him for clarification and we have not received it yet. Hopefully he will give us some guidance on that. We may have to adopt another resolution so the town law would be correct based on our actions.
Council Member Kirch had one last question, do we happen to know if we submit this today if there is a time frame in which we could withdraw that language if for some reason we wanted to in the next 30 days. Council Member Long did not think we had the answer to that question.
Supervisor Selmser will try to find that out when he hand livers this today. He believes there must be a stop date but we will get clarification.
Councilmember Glenn wanted to be clear at our meeting last Wednesday we in fact repealed that resolution that set the ... Supervisor Selmser stated the initial resolution, yes. Council Member Glenn stated he was in possession of an email from Association of Town’s attorney and on page 3 this young lady has proposed three different possible options. He reads from the email “this poses a potential compliance problem for your town in that you will be required to file the proposition language with the County Board of Elections prior to the time frame provided for under the Town Law §91-94. I don’t know the best solution to the issue but there are few options to explore; 1) The town could discuss with the town attorney and the County Board of Elections weather the town is authorized to provide the proposition language to the County Board of Elections prior to the adoption of the resolution. 2) The town could discuss with the town attorney weather a court order could be pursued directing the County Board of Election to accept proposition language after the three-month window and place the proposition on the ballot for the general /biennial election this November. 3) Place the proposition on the ballot at a special election held by the town as originally planned. I would also suggest asking the town attorney and or County Board of Elections if they have other options to consider.” Council Member Glenn just wanted to make sure this was on the record.
Council Member Long stated we are doing the first two of those we are not doing the special election at this point. There are clear disadvantages of holding special election we've learned. So we're essentially doing two. We are getting what we'd like to do. If the board is an agreement is to get this language on record as being submitted to the full County Board of Elections. If we have to do it a second or third time fine, but we will have at least done it today and met that 90 day requirement . That is in the election law.
Council Member Manning stated the best we can do is to make a good faith effort to comply with what other statutory requirement, the 90 days is very clear we have to give them that. There's some ambiguity about the 75 day window and what that might mean. Right now the best we can do is stick with the 90 days give them that language so they have it so we haven’t missed that deadline and then just move forward from there and try to do... we're getting different opinions from the state for the Board of Elections and we have to keep complying as we go along. I think this is the first step in that.
Council Member Glenn asked if anyone had reached out to the Board of Elections for their recommendations. Council Member Manning replied they're the ones that sent us the email about the 90 days. Supervisor Selmser stated they sent us communications before this was the last response from them. Previous to that there were other responses that we've had from them more recently giving us some direction on that. Supervisor Selmser stated he was copied in on that as was the town clerk. She has been in discussion with them.
Council Member Manning stated we've talked about scheduling the date of the meeting to put this to referendum within 75 days or 60 days before the November ballot. The Board of Elections reached out to us last week and said they have to have the actual language for that 90 days before. That's why we're here today to get this in to give them the language for the referendum on the ballot. But that's going to happen before the 75 to 60 day window so this is their direction to do this today.
Council Member Glenn read from the email from Stephanie Rebis of the Board of Elections “Caroga town board members the deadline for submitting proposals propositions or referendums to appear on the general election ballot is three months before the general election. This means that any town or city wishing to place a proposal, proposition, or referendum to the 2019 general election ballot must be submitted to the Board of Elections by Monday August 5th. Please reach out to our office if you have any questions.”
Pursuant to that Council Member Long asked if he should offer a resolution, which is our revised resolution.
Supervisor Selmser stated you've taken some wordage from our attorney previously and made some adjustments to that yes, we need to adopt that. Council Member Long states - this is a resolution essentially what we have offered previously with some dates changed.
TOWN OF CAROGA
FULTON COUNTY, NEW YORK
Resolution Number 79 of 2019
Resolution to adopt the language and/or ballot question for and to establish date, time and place of referendum vote for approval of the Town of Caroga’s sale of the Sherman’s Amusement Park Property to The Caroga Arts Collective, Inc.
Resolution sponsored by Council Member Long, and
Seconded by Council Member Manning.
WHEREAS, after due deliberation the Town of Caroga Town Board desires to adopt certain language to be placed on the referendum ballot by the Fulton County Board of Elections for the upcoming referendum vote to be held at the Fulton County Board of Elections Town of Caroga General Election on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, concerning the resolution of the Town Board of the Town of Caroga to sell the Sherman’s Amusement Park Property to The Caroga Arts Collective, Inc.; and,
NOW THEREFORE, be it resolved by the Town Board of the Town of Caroga that the language and/or ballot question to be placed on the November 5, 2019 General Election ballot by the Fulton County Board of Elections for the upcoming referendum vote concerning the sale of the Sherman’s Amusement Park Property to The Caroga Arts Collective, Inc., shall be as follows:
"Do you approve of the Town of Caroga’s sale of the Sherman’s Amusement Park Property to The Caroga Arts Collective, Inc., upon the terms and conditions specified in their Property Sale Contract dated June 14, 2019?”
Be it further resolved by the Town Board of the Town of Caroga that the Town of Caroga shall permit the Fulton County Board of Elections to add any additional script, information or language on the face of the ballot to explain, clarify or otherwise assist qualified voters in casting a vote for or against the ballot question.
Be it further resolved by the Town Board of the Town of Caroga that the referendum vote shall take place at Fulton County Board of Elections Town of Caroga General Election to be held at the Town of Caroga Municipal Building, located at 1840 State Highway 10, Caroga Lake, NY 12032, on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, with the polls opening at 6 a.m. and closing at 9:00 p.m.
Be it further resolved by the Town Board of the Town of Caroga that as soon as hereafter practicable the Town Clerk of the Town of Caroga shall publish/post legal notice of the date, time and place at which said referendum vote shall take place and shall include in said legal notice the specific ballot question to be voted upon.
Dated, August 5th, 2019
Discussion: Council Member Kirch wanted to confirm so when Supervisor Selmser takes this down to the BOE that he will confirm the timeline we have if we want to withdraw this. If the right people are there you will talk with them further about how we work through this conflict between the laws. Supervisor Selmser responded that he may even call them ahead of time just to verify some. The clerk asked if any board member had sent the communication from AOT to the BOE. The clerk stated she sent it to them this morning at about 8:30 am. No board members had forwarded the email to them. She noted they do have this information.
Council Member Glenn stated there was some confusion as to the timing of the polls being open. He reads that in the proposed resolution that it will be from 6 am to 9 pm. Council Member Long stated that is the time of a normal general election poll. Supervisor Selmser stated before it was a special election.
Roll Call Vote:
Supervisor Selmser - Aye
Council Member Glenn - Aye
Council Member Manning - Aye
Council Member Long - Aye
Council Member Kirch - Aye
Supervisor Selmser noted the only other thing he has since the board is together – there is a contract for EAP St. Mary’s Healthcare and they never sent us a contract for this years’ service. He and the clerk have been in discussion with them. A copy of the contract was received last week. It is a general – no change in the prior contract. The rate is $15.00 per full time employees. The contract covers presently 12 employees.
RESOLUTION #2019-80 to enter into a contract with St. Mary’s Employee Assistance Program for the year 2019 was offered by Supervisor Selmser at an emergency meeting held on Monday August 5th 2019 at 9 am at town hall.
WHEREAS, it was brought to the town’s attention that the annual contract with St. Mary’s Healthcare 427 Guy Park Avenue Amsterdam NY 12010 for the Employee Assistance Program had not been signed for the year 2019, now therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the Town Board of the Town of Caroga does hereby move to authorize Supervisor Selmser to sign the contract for the year 2019 for 12 full time employees at a cost of $15.00 each with the fee of $180.00 due St. Mary’s.
Seconded by Council Member Long
Council Member Kirch asked what are we authorizing them to do. Hire people? It was explained that this is for the employees an employee’s assistance program (a program designed to assist employees in identifying and resolving personal concerns)
Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes: Selmser, Glenn, Manning, Long, Kirch
Supervisor Selmser asked if there was any other business to conduct. Council Member Long asked “do we want to talk about the reso…. No, no, no.” Supervisor Selmser replied “no.”
Council Member Glenn asked about a janitor. The clerk replied there are two more days before applications need to be in. She has 3 or 4. Council Member Long asked if we should schedule yet another meeting. No was the reply.
At 9:19 am Council Member Long made a motion to adjourn. Council Member Kirch seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.
A member of the public asked if the board would answer any questions. No was the response. The board members stated the public could talk to them individually after the meeting.
Linda M. Gilbert, RMC, CMC
Caroga Town Clerk