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State of New York

County of Fulton

Town of Caroga

Minutes of a Caroga Town Board meeting held Wednesday December 16, 2020 at the municipal building located at 1840 State Highway #10 at 10:00 am with the following persons in attendance by roll call. The flag salute followed.

Supervisor Scott Horton - Here

Council Member John Glenn – Arrived at 10:10 am

Council Member James Long - Here

Council Member Richard Sturgess - Here

Council Member Donald Travis - Here

Supervisor Horton, Council Members Glenn, Sturgess, were in the meeting room Council Members Long and Travis accessed the meeting remotely. There were 4 members of the public in attendance via Zoom. Tor Shekerjian – Confidential Secretary to the Supervisor facilitated the ZOOM meeting.

Supervisor Horton noted Council Member Glenn was on his way. The Supervisor for the sake of saving time resolution for budget transfers was discussed first. Council Member Long stated he received a draft agenda but not the list of transfers.

RESOLUTION #2020-161 to make the following transfers as necessary to maintain a balanced budge was offered by Supervisor Horton at a meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday December 16, 2020 at 10:00 am at Town hall.

FROM: A1990.4 Contingency $300.00

TO: A5182.4 Street lighting $300.00

FROM: A1990.4 Contingency $550.00

TO: A9050.8 Unemployment $550.00

FROM: A1990.4 Contingency $200.00

TO: A8020.4 Planning C/E $200.00

FROM: A1990.4 Contingency $500.00

TO: A1420.4 Attorney $500.00

FROM: A7180.1Special Facilities P/S $5,000.00

TO: A7180.4 Special Facilities C/E $5,000.00

FROM: A1990.4 Contingency $11,000.00

TO: A8160.4 Refuse and Garbage $11,000.00

FROM: A3650.4 Demolition of Buildings $14,000.00

TO: A1620.42 Golf Course C/E $14,000.00

The Attorney transfer was due to Morey Road. The Special Facilities is the golf course and these transfers are necessary due to the cleanup of the fire. Supervisor Horton noted to date the town has spent about $48,000.00. He listed the expenses to date on disposal, equipment rental, labor from the highway department and fill to keep the area safe. The town received an upfront payment of $50,000.00 from NYMIR. So this has not created any cash flow issues for the town.

The Clerk asked if the $50,000.00 was put in the budget under revenues and shouldn’t it be documented. Supervisor Horton explained that when the code or court funds come in he does not do a budget changes. He stated the money is earmarked. The expenses and revenues will be labeled in the software.

Seconded by Council Member Sturgess

Discussion: Council Member Sturgess asked if NYMIR cut a check for $50,000.00 why isn’t there an account to pull these expenses out of to balance the budget. Shouldn’t the money come from the account that the $50,000.00 was put into. The bookkeeper is doing this. The Supervisor thought this fit the Comptrollers criteria. Council Member Sturgess stated we are going to have to make another resolution to put this money we took out of these accounts back. The Supervisor will ask the bookkeeper. Supervisor Horton noted the fund balance will increase. The expenses are being tracked. Council Member Glenn thought it was a good idea to keep the money separate. The bookkeeper will be asked to explain the best way to document this, Council Member Glenn asked how do we get additional advanced funds from NYMIR is it monthly? This is being worked out right now with the insurance company. Once the vendors cash the checks that were paid out – those receipts will be submitted to the insurance company. That proves our claim then we will get more money from them. By the end of the week the town should have the appraised value of the building that burned down. We will also need the re-building requirements from code. That will go to NYMIR for a claim. There will be a depreciated value reimbursement to the town. Council Member Sturgess did not want make transfers all the time. It should be separated from the day to day operating costs. A copy of the transfers was emailed to Council Member Long.

Adopted by a roll call vote as follows:

Supervisor Scott Horton - Yes

Council Member John Glenn - Yes

Council Member James Long - Aye

Council Member Richard Sturgess - Yes

Council Member Donald Travis – Yes

The next resolution is for the leasing of golf carts. This is the same information from the December 9th meeting. There were three bidders.

Yamaha W & B Golf Carts 3391 Route 9 Hudson NY 12534 $93.00 a month an annual cost of $16,740.00

EZGO Five Star 1003 U. S. 9 Queensbury NY 12804, $100 a month an annual cost of $18,000.00

Club Car/Tempo Satch Sales 63 Broadway Menands, NY 12204 $103.40 a month, an annual cost $18,548.70

Supervisor Horton stated the quotes include maintenance. There is no difference between the carts.

Mr. Centi noted all the companies are basically the same. They repair them on site. The big difference other than the price was that Yamaha is offering a free trailer load of 10 carts per year at no charge to the town for any tournament. Council Member Long clarified for any one tournament per year.

Council Member Sturgess asked if we had to rent carts off them or can we use other vendors if we had to. No restrictions was the response from Mr. Centi. Council Member Sturgess asked if there was a cancellation fee in the contract. The paperwork submitted is the contract. Supervisor Horton commented it is like any other lease. Council Member Long stated this is new for the town. He wanted to know what the escape clause was. He understands we have to act before the end of the month. Sometimes the lessor doesn’t meet the service commitments, or is difficult to work with. There can be any number of reasons why one may want to get out of a lease.

Mr. Centi received a call last night, there is a serious back log on carts. He stated there will always be questions down the road and that would be for an attorney to handle.

Council Member Sturgess did not think a commitment for six years was a big deal.

Mr. Centi stated that Yamaha stated in the fifth year of the lease they will ask if we want to renew the contract if we do they will start giving the town new carts in the fifth year.

Supervisor Horton stated this request for proposals was modeled after Cobleskill. They didn’t have a problem signing this with Yamaha. He did not want to delay this and then not be able to open April 1st.

Council Member Glenn did not think we could delay. Cobleskill vetted this and researched this and wanted to go ahead.

The projected rental income was mistyped as the 2020 season and should be 2021.

RESOLUTION #2020-162 to enter into a six-year lease agreement for Golf Carts was offered by Supervisor Horton at a meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday December 16, 2020 at 10:00 am at Town hall.

WHEREAS, the Town is in need of carts for use on the Nick Stoner Municipal Golf Course, and

WHEREAS, the board reviewed three quotes as follows:

Yamaha W & B Golf Carts 3391 Route 9 Hudson NY 12534 $93.00 per cart per month an annual cost of $16,740.00

EZGO Five Star 1003 U. S. 9 Queensbury NY 12804, $100 per cart per month an annual cost of $18,000.00

Club Car/Tempo Satch Sales 63 Broadway Menands, NY 12204 $103.40 per cart per month, an annual cost $18,548.70 and

WHEREAS, this would be a six year lease agreement, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby move to enter into an agreement with W & B Golf Carts of 3391 Route 9 Hudson NY 12534 for thirty (30) Yamaha golf Carts at an annual cost of $16,740.00 per year for 6 years

Seconded by Council Member Sturgess

Adopted by a roll call vote as follows:

Council Member John Glenn - Yes

Council Member James Long - Nay

Council Member Richard Sturgess - Yes

Council Member Donald Travis - Yes

Supervisor Scott Horton – Yes

Supervisor Horton asked Mr. Centi to get the paperwork for him to sign.

Mr. Centi pulled up the contract Cobleskill has for carts and they are paying $10.00 more per cart per year.

Council Member Long stated for the record that he received all of this information from the Supervisor at 4:43 am today. It was time stamped. That is not having the board do its due diligence. That is not acceptable.

Supervisor Horton did not want to argue with him but he did not send it out at that time. The Supervisor noted he had these proposals from the last board meeting. Nothing has changed. It was at Council Member Long’s insistence that this was delayed. The Supervisor wondered if he was trying to be an obstructionist. There are rational discussions and then they go downhill and end up being obstructionist. The Supervisor accused Council Member Long of being an obstructionist. Council Member Long stated that was inappropriate. Supervisor Horton could not explain how the email was sent at that time. He stated this was not worthy of a town board meeting.

At 10:36 am Supervisor Horton made a motion to enter into an executive session to conduct second interviews for the position of Sole Assessor. Seconded by Council Member Glenn

Adopted by a roll call vote as follows:

Council Member James Long - Aye

Council Member Richard Sturgess - Yes

Council Member Donald Travis - Yes

Supervisor Scott Horton - Yes

Council Member John Glenn – Yes

At 11:40 am Council Member Long made the motion to exit from the executive session. The motion was seconded by Council Member Glenn.

All Board members were in favor of the motion.

Supervisor Horton stated the interviews were very informative. Before deciding on a candidate the Supervisor wanted to set an hourly or salary rate of pay.

RESOLUTION #2020-163 to set the wage rate at $26.00 per hour was offered by Supervisor Horton at a meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday December 16, 2020 at 10:00 am at Town hall.

WHEREAS, the town desired to set the rate of pay for the Sole Assessor, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the rate of $26.00 per hour for 16 – 20 hours per week. ©J.Long

Seconded by Council Member Glenn

Discussion: Council Member Long asked what the Code Officer was making per hour. Supervisor Horton replied the former Code Officer was fully trained and up to speed and he was $30.00 per hour. The current Code Officer is $26.00 an hour. He is full time.

Council Member Sturgess noted the heat the board gets from the public for hourly rates when someone is not in the office and making a hundred and some odd dollars an hour. After going through the interview process he was not comfortable with someone sitting at home and telling the board they worked four hours today. He wanted it to be a salaried position, vs putting the trust. We have no way of knowing if they are working from home or not.

Supervisor Horton stated the expectation would be that we would see the individual in the office at least two days a week. Time spent from home calling back property owners that are leaving messages should be minimal and be reimbursed if it is an hourly position. There is interaction with the code officer and assessor.

Council Member Sturgess asked if there was a way to put a cap on the number of hours worked at home. Supervisor Horton thought there was. He noted expectations could be discussed. It was thought having someone in the office twice a week would make a difference.

Supervisor Horton stated on the other side of this if it is salary you don’t have to worry about that. There is no control over the budget. What if we find that this job once they are up to speed only requires 10 hours a week. That may very well happen. The board may have to make modifications.

Council Member Glenn noted it would cost less hourly. He was in favor of an hourly rate.

Supervisor Horton noted the need to put policies in place for next year. It would include who gets health insurance and who doesn’t, and who is eligible to have it if they choose to contribute.

Supervisor Horton asked if the rate was OK. Council Member Sturgess did not think it was out of line for the position. Council Member Travis thought it was fair. Council Member Long asked if the Supervisor discussed this with the applicants, and was there any feedback? This was not discussed with them. He only informed them and didn’t get any negative comments back. The Supervisor hoped the job would be done in a way that would warrant a raise. It was stated that the salary could be changed from what the previous Assessor was paid. Supervisor Horton thought this was an opportunity for the town to do things the right way for the taxpayer.

Council Member Sturgess stated it was tried by salary and the board heard grief. What do we have to lose?

Council member Long stated only the candidate we select if they don’t want an hourly rate.

Council Member Travis thought Mrs. Parker was paid hourly and worked Monday through Friday.

The clerk asked if the board wanted to state the number of hours in the office. This is more contractual the Supervisor stated.

Supervisor Horton then amended the resolution to not include the number of hours a week.

RESOLUTION #2020-164 to set the wage rate at $26.00 per hour was offered by Supervisor Horton at a meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday December 16, 2020 at 10:00 am at Town hall.

WHEREAS, the town desired to set the rate of pay for the Sole Assessor, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the rate of $26.00 per hour.

Seconded by Council Member Long

Adopted by a roll call vote as follows:

Council Member Richard Sturgess - Yes

Council Member Donald Travis - Yes

Supervisor Scott Horton - Yes

Council Member John Glenn - Yes

Council Member James Long - Aye

Supervisor Horton stated the board interviewed two excellent candidates. There were four candidates. All were very good. It was an excellent process. He thanked the board members for all their help. They gave it a lot of thought and consideration. The two candidates are Burt Wilson a resident of the town. He had a successful career in the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office and obtained the rank of Lieutenant. He is fair and reasonable and great with the public and can be trusted. The second candidate is Leigh Anne Loucks she is the current assessor for St. Johnsville and Palatine. She was the former assessor for the town of Stratford. She has her certification and is interested in taking on another township. We are the neighboring town to where she lives.

Council Member Long stated both have great integrity, and excellent interpersonal skills. He has worked with Burt Wilson on the Planning Board. His knowledge of Leigh Anne Loucks is limited to what others have said and with the interaction through the interviews. Without question Leigh Anne Loucks has an enormous amount of experience and excellent interpersonal skills when interacting with the board. She comes highly recommended by MaryBeth [sic, Mary Beth] Salamone the Real Property Tax Director of Fulton County. He thinks we need someone to hit the ground running. He stated it is possible to hire someone who does not have certification but it is important, in our situation, to have someone to hit the ground running. He thought paying by the hour will save considerable money. She knows the software and the county procedures. She can do the job.

Council Member Travis agreed with Council Member Long.

Council Member Glenn stated the interview process was fair. There were four outstanding candidates, we whittled it down to two. It was a difficult decision to make. Both were outstanding. Burt Wilson is committed to our community. Leigh Anne Loucks she has experience, she has the training, and she has the certification. His concern was can she give the town the time when she is the assessor in two other towns. He asked her that question and she stated it would be no problem what so ever. That sold it for him. He highly recommends Leigh Anne Loucks.

Council Member Sturgess stated to flip a coin is an understatement on this. There were two excellent, excellent interviews. He knows we would get a lot out of Burt Wilson. He would get the training, be able to do and make happen and give the town 110% like he said he would. On the other hand Leigh Anne is extremely qualified. He agreed with Council Member Long’s statement on hit the ground running. We don’t need a 12 month pause for someone to have potentially have that learning curve. If Burt Wilson had the certifications needed that would change his opinion. He thought he would go with Leigh Anne on this one.

Hearing the thoughts of the board members Supervisor Horton makes the following resolution.

RESOLUTION #2020-165 to offer the job of Sole Assessor to Leigh Anne Loucks was offered by Supervisor Horton at a meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday December 16, 2020 at 10:00 am at Town hall.

WHEREAS, the Caroga Town Board accepted the resignation of Sole Assessor Victoria Hayner, and

WHEREAS, the Board has conducted interviews on two occasions the first with four candidates and the second with two candidates, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby more to offer the job of Sole Assessor to Leigh Anne Loucks to fill out the remaining term of Vicky Hayner until September 30, 2025.

Seconded by Council Member Long

Adopted by a roll call vote as follows:

Council Member Donald Travis - Yes

Council Member John Glenn - Yes

Council Member James Long - Aye

Council Member Richard Sturgess - Yes

Supervisor Scott Horton – Yes

Supervisor Horton explained he was willing to take the heat and voted last in case there was a tie.

The clerk stated that the snowmobile club has decided not to use the pavilion on February 6th 2021.

There has been a request to use the pavilion on June 14th for a wedding.

The clerk had one other point – essentially there are two part time maintenance people because the resolution made was only to have someone come in when Bob was not available. But there has been extra work being done around town hall. Supervisor Horton stated the board would address that at some other time.

At 12:04 pm Council Member Long made a motion to close the meeting, seconded by council Member Glenn. All board members were in favor of the motion.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Gilbert, RMC, CMC

Town Clerk

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