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State of New York

County of Fulton

Town of Caroga

Minutes of a Caroga Town Board work session held Tuesday February 4, 2020 at the municipal building located at 1840 State Highway #10 at 7:00 pm with the following persons in attendance by roll call:

Supervisor Scott Horton - Here

Council Member John Glenn - Here

Council Member James Long - Here

Council Member Richard Sturgess - Here

Council Member Donald Travis - Here

There were 16 members of the public in attendance.

Supervisor Horton thanked everyone for coming. Since this is a work session there will be no privileges from the floor. Next week Wednesday will be the regular monthly meeting if anyone wants to address the board. He noted it has been a busy 4 weeks and they have embarked upon programs. He believes with a few modifications we can go farther faster. He is asking the board this evening to look at these modifications. There is a contract to renegotiate with Nathan Littauer; maybe two major building projects coming up in town; a franchise agreement; finalizing the lighting program, started last year, has to be finalized; and putting together a capital plan. We need to plan to for the future. We have to have a transition plan according to the ADA, and policies and procedures needs to be dusted off. Three board members went to the training for newly elected officials. Twenty-two years ago Mr. Horton attended and it was all about programs and how to get things done. Now, everyone of the programs started out with liability. Trainings have to be conducted. The bike trail has to be done. We still want to work on economic development and some sort of limited sewer (system). We have a couple of lawsuits, and a salt shed we have to deal with. The Newkirk Dam also has to be addressed. Supervisor Horton wants to bring this town into the 21 century.

Supervisor Horton stated the first resolution was to appoint Kim Satterlee Highway Secretary at a rate of $2,208.00. There will be an executive session. He stated it was in the budget. That was the annual rate. The board was given her resume. She works for the County Hwy Department.

RESOLUTION #2020-015 to appoint Kim Satterlee as Highway Secretary was offered by Supervisor Horton at a work session held on Tuesday February 4, 2020 at 7 pm at Town hall.

Council Member Long seconded the motion.

No discussion: Council Member Sturgess asked if compensation would be discussed in executive session.

Council Member Long seconded the modification.

Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes: Horton, Glenn, Long, Sturgess, Travis

A motion was made by Supervisor Horton to send Planning Members and clerk to training at a work session held on Tuesday February 4, 2020 at 7 pm at Town hall.

WHEREAS, Mike Voght, Rick Gilmour, and Linda Gilbert desire to attend the training sponsored by Saratoga Planning & Zoning Conference on Wednesday February 5, 2020 with a cost of $70.00 each and travel expenses.

Council Member Long seconded the motion with an amendment to add Kim Hart a Planning Board Member in good standing who also registered and wants to attend.

Supervisor Horton asked for a second – hearing none. Council Member Long stated you could have a lawsuit on your hands. Ms. Hart stated she has attended before.

Discussion: Supervisor Horton stated there would be other trainings this year.

Council Member Long offered the following resolution.

RESOLUTION 2020-016 to send Mike Voght, Rick Gilmour, Linda Gilbert and Kim Hart was offered by Council Member Long at a work session held on Tuesday February 4, 2020 at 7 pm at Town hall.

WHEREAS, Mike Voght, Rick Gilmour, Linda Gilbert and Kim Hart desire to attend the training sponsored by Saratoga Planning & Zoning Conference on Wednesday February 5, 2020 with a cost of $70.00 each and travel expenses.

Seconded by Council Member Sturgess

Discussion: Council Member Travis stated Kim Hart was not even a town resident. Council Member Long contended she is a resident she votes here, her tax return is here. Council Member Glenn asked what the training was about. Supervisor Horton stated it is his contention that Ms. Hart may not be qualified to be on the board she lives on Peck Lake. He believes the appointment was done in error. He did not believe she was a resident. Council Member Long believed she could demonstrate same. The disagreement continued. Ms. Hart asked if other board members are being questioned about residency. An upcoming agenda item will discuss residency. Supervisor Horton stated if she qualifies he is more than happy to have her be a member. He is not being discriminatory. There are other board appointments coming up and the Supervisor wants to make sure everyone appointed goes by the rules. The Supervisor did not want to spend $70.00….Council Member Long stated you will spend a lot more in litigation….

Supervisor Horton asked if Council Member Long was threatening to sue him. “No’” was the response. The Supervisor asked if he was advising them to sue the town. “No, of course not,” was the response. Discussion continues with a point being about not having a certificate of occupancy on the property on Canada Lake that is under construction. Council Member Glenn asked for the discussion to be tabled until coming up with a delineation of what defines a town resident.

All in favor of the motion: 1 Aye Long, 4 Opposed Horton, Glenn, Sturgess, Travis motion failed

RESOLUTION #2020-017 to send Mike Voght, Rick Gilmour, and Linda Gilbert to training was offered by Supervisor Horton at a work session held on Tuesday February 4, 2020 at 7 pm at Town hall.

WHEREAS, Mike Voght, Rick Gilmour, and Linda Gilbert desire to attend the training sponsored by Saratoga Planning & Zoning Conference on Wednesday February 5, 2020 with a cost of $70.00 each and travel expenses now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the three people listed above are approved to attend the training and the costs associated be approved.

Seconded by Council Member Glenn

Adopted by a vote of 4 Ayes: Horton, Glenn, Sturgess, Travis, 1 Opposed: Long

RESOLUTION #2020-018 to approve Dunn & Dunn to continue as the Attorney for the Town to complete the Morey Road Project was offered by Supervisor Horton at a work session held on Tuesday February 4, 2020 at 7 pm at Town hall.

WHEREAS, the Supervisor explained this is a single project that is carried over, and the expense to switch over to another attorney would be cost prohibitive to bring Attorney Ferlazzo up to speed, and

WHEREAS, the court date was moved up from March to February 11th, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, to have Attorneys Dunn & Dunn continue to serve as the attorneys on the Morey Road Project.

Seconded by Council Member Long

Discussion: Council Member Glenn stated the other board had approved Dunn & Dunn to continue and finish up the Morey Road project. He was not clear why it has come up again. He was concerned that this was going to go on and on. How long will they represent the town? Council Member Sturgess wondered how long are we going cover this expense to the town. Supervisor Horton stated everybody has been served with a check. The appraisal was done of the properties. The compensation to the owners is a total of $5,000.00. We are appealing to the judge to rule on the Feb. 11th the action that could be taken at that time. Some of the property owners could say that is not enough. The judge could rule that the town can take the property by eminent domain. The property would be the towns after the 11th of February. Council Member Sturgess asked how much further do we go if it is not over by the 11th. If everyone cashes the check then it is done and over with. The clerk reads the retainer agreement from the contract which is specifically for this case. Town of Caroga vs Charles F. Johnson in the eminent domain proceedings the scope of the representation refers to paragraph 2A “Shall provide only such additional professional services, advice and or legal representation as shall be required in said litigation and/or as requested by Client.” The board is in control. It was noted that they had to be serviced a certain number of days prior to the court date. The clerk has an email as to when the checks were served. Council Member Glenn would like that information. Any future estimated costs on this case will be given to the board by the Supervisor.

Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes: Horton, Glenn, Long, Sturgess, Travis

Supervisor Horton believes a recreational community should have a Parks and Recreational Commission. This is stated in the Comprehensive Plan as our guide. It is not in stone but more of a road map. Supervisor Horton noted the impact tourism has on the town budget. He hopes that great things will be done in the town center. The Supervisor wants to maximize the usage of the golf course. He wants to get the bike path done. He wants a driving force to be a Parks, Lakes, Recreation, and Tourism Commission. He wants to help the businesses in the community. There would be summer and winter programs. He is asking the board to consider this. There is money in the budget for advertising. Gene Centi is willing to be the chairman of a five member board. He has four people interested in serving. Mr. Centi would have a one year term and the others 2, 3, 4, & 5 and then if things run OK, Mr. Centi could be appointed for a new 5 year term. The supervisor would like to get 3-4 events in by the end of the year. It will not cost the town anything. Council Member Sturgess is concerned about the winter time and wondered if Mr. Centi would be here then.

Council Member Long found it interesting the Supervisor is interested in having a seasonal person on a board and yet fighting about training. He thought it was a lot more government. He noted the majority of the park is state owned land and there is no jurisdiction over the lakes. Having five people oversee The Glen Harris Park seems like overkill. The bike path is a three year grant and we have no expertise to oversee that once it is finalized but AFTA will voluntarily maintain it. Why do we need more government?

Council Member Sturgess asked if he was OK with the golf course making $5,000.00 a year. It is a trend following a demographic shift Council Member Long stated. A driving range may be an idea. Council Member Sturgess noted the need to have events happening up there. Council Member Long stated the fire department doesn’t need the town’s help with the polar plunge or kayak poker run. Council Member Sturgess wondered if he didn’t want any tourism in this town. We just got a letter today about you harassing people about parking on a town road to go ice fishing.

Council Member Glenn thought this was a critical part of what the Planning Board is recommending for a road map to the future. He was in favor of the commission. There is no down side. The Supervisor is taking the recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan. Council Member Long continues to talk and was gaveled down. Supervisor Horton stated we are not here to squabble. The board is going to be deliberate what it does. Your opinions are important but Council Member Long has made his point stating it is too much government. Council Member Travis stated that on the parks and recreation he thought there would be a team to go around and take care of cutting the grass at town hall and at the cemeteries. The Supervisor noted it will be broad.

Supervisor Horton said all in favor. Council Members Glenn, Sturgess, Travis respond Aye. Supervisor Horton said opposed - Council Member Long responded Aye.

Council Member Long asked who seconded that – the clerk reviews notes….. Council Member Glenn stated he did. The clerk did not see the resolution. The Supervisor stated he made the resolution.

A resolution to modify the town budget was tabled by the Supervisor.

RESOLUTION #2020-019 to create the position of building safety inspector and assistant code enforcement official was offered by Supervisor Horton at a work session held on Tuesday February 4, 2020 at 7 pm at Town hall.

Seconded by Council Member Long

Discussion: Council Member Glenn explained that this comes about because the Code Enforcement Office is getting busier and busier. Mr. Duesler is trying to modify things. He has asked for a Building Safety Inspector (BSI) to help shoulder the load. They would do inspections and report back to him. The office would be open 5 days a week.

Council Member Sturgess noted it was his understanding that Jennifer would be able to issue a permit. The Supervisors responded that she could under the direction of the CEO now for certain permits. She takes all of the information now. It is busy in the summer. We are up to 235 permits a year – 3 million in construction last year. Contractors and citizens need service 5 days a week. The Supervisor noted that 2 people communicate better than 3 people communicate.

Council Member Sturgess noted people come up on a Thursday or Friday to get permits for the weekend and no one is there.

Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes: Horton, Glenn, Long, Sturgess, Travis

RESOLUTION #2020-020 to appoint Jennifer Blowers to the position of (BSI) Building Safety Inspector Official was offered by Supervisor Horton at a work session held on Tuesday February 4, 2020 at 7 pm at Town hall.

WHEREAS, the board previously made a resolution to create the position of Building Safety Inspector and assistant code enforcement official, and

WHEREAS, compensation will be discussed in executive session, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that Jennifer Blowers shall be appointed as BSI Building Safety Inspector Official.

Seconded by Council Member Long

Discussion: the Clerk asked the board what the hours would be. The Supervisor replied they are still working on that. Preliminary discussion is that she would be working Wednesday, Thursday’s and Fridays in the summer time 20 hours. It is based on need so hours may be saved in the winter time. The board would like 40 hours of coverage a week, staying within budget. Salary is X amount until after training. The Supervisor noted the salary would be done in executive.

Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes: Horton, Glenn, Long, Sturgess, Travis

Supervisor Horton stated earlier there is a lot of work to be done. History has been that the Supervisor had a confidential secretary. We have a situation now where the bookkeeper who also served as secretary has cut back her hours due to a second job she took. There are between 6 – 9 hours of work per week doing payroll, paying bills, and making sure the books are up to date. Council Member Long asked what her hours were now. Council Member Travis replied 2 hours a day three days a week. That is 6 hours. Council Member Sturgess stated she is getting $108.00 an hour. The Supervisor stated this would be discussed in executive session.

The Supervisor has to come in between 8 & 10 am on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to see the bookkeeper. He is asking for a confidential secretary on a temporary basis.

RESOLUTION #2020-021 to appoint a Confidential Secretary to the Supervisor position was offered by Supervisor Horton at a work session held on Tuesday February 4, 2020 at 7 pm at Town hall. The motion was seconded by Council Member Glenn

Discussion: none

Adopted by a vote of 4 Ayes: Horton, Glenn, Sturgess, Travis, 1 Nay: Long

Supervisor Horton has known Tor Shekerjian for 10 years. He asked if he would consider the position of confidential secretary. He has worked in the code office and is a town resident. He did some research on a microphone system on his own time and has been helpful during the transition.

RESOLUTION #2020-022 to appoint Tor Shekerjian as Confidential Secretary to the Supervisor was offered by Supervisor Horton at a work session held on Tuesday February 4, 2020 at 7 pm at Town hall.

WHEREAS, the position of Confidential Secretary was previously made, and

WHEREAS, the position would be temporary for a maximum of 500 hours this year or six (6) months whichever comes first with the hourly rate to be discussed in executive session.

Seconded by Council Member Glenn

Discussion: Council Member Long noted the previous supervisor called upon his Deputy Supervisor to help out. Council Member Sturgess asked if the previous supervisor called upon his deputy then why is there paperwork sitting around in piles on the window sill from 2016, 2017, 2018. Council Member Travis has a list. One was a lawsuit. Supervisor Horton noted Council Member Travis has been in his office every single day helping out. Council Member Travis spoke to Lita Hillier who stated she served as Bookkeeper, Secretary, & Budget Officer all the way back to Bruce Busch. Council Member Glen noted the paperwork was not accumulated in the last 4 weeks. He was in favor of the resolution.

The motion was seconded by Council Member Glenn

Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes: Horton, Glenn, Long, Sturgess, Travis

Supervisor Horton next discussed purchasing a microphone system with loud speaker and a recording system. He also mentioned having a dais. The more people in the room the harder it is to project. Tor looked at two systems and gave two quotes to the board to review. Council Member Long agreed that the recording system needs to be updated. He was not sure wireless was the way to go. Council Member Sturgess thought a system could be purchased for less money. Council Member Long has some experience with audio in his own business. He recommended a hard wired solution. Supervisor Horton stated the quote is for hardwired with a wireless microphone for the audience. The system in the meeting room belongs to the Nick Stoner Seniors.

Tor Shekerjian gave an overview of his findings and assessment of one type of system over the other.

The quotes are from Sweetwater of 5501 US Hwy 30W Fort Wayne IN 46818 (800) 222-4700 for $2,231.30 and PRO Acoustics PO Box 1185 Salado TX 76571 (888) 256-4112 for $4,810.42.

Supervisor Horton concluded the discussion. Some more research was needed it was decided.

Supervisor Horton next discussed a resolution to establish requirements for proof of residency for board appointments in the town. He is suggesting a 1040, a driver’s license with street address, a utility bill, tax bill/rent agreement, and passport. Council Member Long stated a regular driver’s license could have a PO Box. If you get an enhanced license then the street address is on it. The Supervisor is trying to come up with criteria. Council Member Long noted voter registration was not mentioned which is what the state uses for so many municipal functions. The Supervisor noted you do not have to be a resident to vote….Mr. Purcell an election inspector noted you have to declare your residency to be able to vote. Supervisor Horton noted the voting rolls are horrible and wants them to be cleaned up. When going door to door he found 5 people at one residence none of them related to each other. He went to a place that was boarded up. Thus he is suspect of voter registration as a form of identification. At the county Supervisor Horton had to produce his marriage certificate, driver’s license, passport, tax bill, and 1040 as proof of residency. He wants a policy and procedures that would apply to appointments.

Council Member Long noted this is not in the form of a resolution yet and suggested using voter registration as one of the options. Some people are here and winter in Florida. There may be reasons why….he stated it is a felony….. severe penalties for making a declaration for voting purposes. Supervisor Horton suggested having two or three required criteria. Council Member Sturgess said 3 out of 5.

A resolution to establish requirements for proof of residency in the town for any appointed board position was offered by Council Member Glenn the board discussed certain documents required to establish proof of residency to serve on various board positions, and

WHEREAS, 1040, a driver’s license with a street address, and utility bill or tax bill. Council Member Long questioned the commas. Mr. Purcell questioned the use of a utility bill which may not have the physical location. Council Member Long noted his wife does not have a utility bill in her name. Another problem is validating some street addresses as being in Caroga. Council Member Long suggested getting counsel on this. The post mistress was asked for her expert input in the discussion. The matter needs more information before being passed. The clerk added if a utility bill was a problem why not just submit a piece of correspondence with the physical address on it. The matter was tabled so that additional criteria could be brought to the next meeting.

RESOLUTION #2020-023 to hire professional services from Canada Lake Computers to monitor and provide security updates to 5 computers at the monthly rate of $25.50 per computer. Other services will be bill at the published rate. If there are more than 3 hours in a month a discounted rate of 20% is given was offered by Supervisor Horton at a work session held on Tuesday February 4, 2020 at 7 pm at Town hall.

Seconded by Council Member Glenn

Discussion: Council Member Long stated the issues he sees are $25.00 a month, $300 a year, in two years…. Council Member Sturgess states times five. Council Member Long stated on state contract the town can get computers for $600.00. Supervisor Horton stated we are not looking at hardware but professional services. Council Member Long noted the state contract for computers is far less than that. He stated that all of these computers update their security automatically. You don’t have a choice. They will do an update right in the middle of doing work. He is saying this may not be the best way to go simply because these computers do their own security updates. Supervisor Horton replied “to a point.” The Supervisor noted the genesis of this is a letter he received from the governor’s office. It was forwarded to Council Member Long. This is to keep the town as secure as possible with all the threats that are currently going on. It is real unfortunately. It is not something we had to deal with 20 years ago, we need to have at our disposal a contact with somebody to come in and service us when there are computer issues. Council Member Sturgess asked if this could be done every other month instead of every month. Supervisor Horton asked what would happen if you broke down in the month you didn’t have service who would you go to? It is a service contract. We have some other security issues he is going to look into. Council Member Long asked what they were. The website was the reply.

Supervisor Horton stated if there is a problem they can log in and fix…. Council Member Long stated that is the biggest security hole of any computer. That is the first thing you turn off if you want good security. You do not want remote access on any computer. Even being set up for that is a security hole. Council Member Long would not recommend that. It is better to have someone onsite for security reasons.

The clerk asked if any other vendors in Fulton County were called to compare rates, Supervisor Horton replied no because he has had experience with Brian and he is a town resident. He does an excellent job. He noted when it comes to professional services you don’t have to comparison shop. Council Member Sturgess stated if someone from Johnstown can save us $100 he would go with Canada Lake Computer. Council Member Glenn stated Mr. Macintosh is willing to come up and discuss this with the board. He suggested having him come to the next meeting.

At 8:24 Supervisor Horton moved to go into executive session “this is a little different folks we are actually going to tell you why we are going into executive session. Then when we make the decision we will come out and tell you what we decided.” Council Member Long noted they were not going to make the decision in executive session they would come out and make a decision. Things get more complicated when you say make a decision in executive. The clerk asked for what purpose. Supervisor Horton stated “to discuss compensation levels for the Town Clerk, Deputy Town Clerk, Town Bookkeeper, Sole Town Assessor, BSI Assistant /CEO, and Confidential Secretary to the Supervisor.”

The clerk then read from the Freedom of Information booklet as reasons to go into an executive session, “To discuss the medical, financial, credit or employment history of a particular person or corporation, or matters leading to the appointment, employment, promotion, demotion, discipline, suspension, dismissal or removal of a particular person or corporation.” Council Member Long asked if salary was among those. He did not think this would be covered by executive session. He did not hear the word compensation. Lawsuits also… Supervisor Horton stated employment performance as it relates to compensation usually they are linked.

The clerk noted previous boards have not used the correct terminology to go into these sessions. The supervisor did not know how a board could discuss and keep confidentially of individuals performance. Council Member Long stated pay was discussed in open session. The supervisor agreed it was done at the organizational meeting. Council Member Long did not believe the board could go into executive session to do this.

At 8:32 pm Supervisor Horton made a motion to go into an executive session to discuss compensation of various employees. Four board members were in favor of the motion: Horton, Glenn, Sturgess, Travis, with one opposed: Long.

At 9:34 pm Council Member Long made a motion to exit from the executive session. Council Member Glenn seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.

The Supervisor thought the Town Clerk position should have longevity that goes along with it. Motion was made to have longevity compensation for the Town Clerk if enacted would be retroactive to the current town clerk as part of our compensation policy we are putting together. There are three increments 5 years each consecutively - $1000.00 after the first 5 years, $1,000.00 additional on top of the base salary after ten years and $1,000.00 after 15 years.

Seconded by Council Member Sturgess

Discussion: the clerk stated this is the first she has heard of this - it has never been discussed so this is a very nice gesture. Council Member Sturgess noted the board appreciates what it is the clerk does for the town. The clerk has helped him out quite a bit since he has been in office. A concern of his is the transition of when the clerk stops doing this position. The clerk stated she is going to be here a while. The clerk announced that she plans to run again and will be around for the next 6 years or so.

Because of the time the Supervisor noted he has to do budget modification. It is policy but the resolutions can all be made with salaries next week. The supervisor just wanted to tell the public what was discussed. We will adjourn without making any decisions. We will have public comments. This matter was tabled.

In executive session the board talked about raising the Deputy Town Clerk salary to $15.00 per hour. A resolution would be made next Wednesday on that.

The Bookkeeper was tabled. The board did not talk about that.

The Sole Town Assessor has a contract the Supervisor stated. “We don’t have any way that we can change that.” The clerk stated there was no contract she is appointed for six years. There is no contract that stated they will work X number of hours for X amount of pay. The assumption was that she was contracted at a salary for that many years. Council Member Long noted the resolution appointing her is a contract.

The board discussed the BSI Assistant CEO contemplating a wage starting at $15.00 per hour. The person does not have the certification. The training should be complete the end of March so at that time it would go to $20.00 per hour.

Confidential Secretary the board proposed $18.00 per hour with a cap of 500 hours.

The Highway Secretary – since there is money in the budget a resolution was proposed.

RESOLUTION #2020-024 to pay Highway Secretary $2,208.00 was offered by Council Member Long at a work session held on Tuesday February 4, 2020 at 7 pm at Town hall.

WHEREAS, this is a salary not as an hourly rate, and

WHEREAS, this is to be effective today.

Seconded by Council Member Sturgess

Discussion: It is $40.00 a week to take care of all of his finances over there Council Member Sturgess stated. It is not unreasonable.

Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes, Horton, Glenn, Long, Sturgess, Travis

At 9:45 pm Council Member Long made a motion to adjourn. The motion was seconded by Council Member Travis.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Gilbert, RMC, CMC

Caroga Town Clerk