27, 2007 - 6 PM Meeting
Chairman Brown opened the Public Hearing, to consider the Local Law No. 1 for the Year 2007: A Local Law To Impose A Mortgage Recording Tax at 6:07 PM. The Clerk read the Legal Notice as published in the Cortland Standard. Chairman Brown asked three times if there was anyone present wishing to speak in favor of the proposed Local Law. No one indicated they wished to speak in favor of the Local Law. Chairman Brown asked three times if there was anyone present wishing to speak against the proposed Local Law. No one responded that they wished to speak against the proposed Local Law. Chairman Brown closed the Public Hearing at 6:12 PM.
Meeting was called to order at 6:12 PM by Chairman Brown, followed by the Salute to the Flag.
The Clerk took Roll Call with all members recorded as present.
The minutes of August 23, 2007 Legislative Meeting and September 20, 2007 Special Meeting were unanimously approved.
OF THE FLOOR
Chairman Brown recognized Ms. Kathie Wilcox, 62 Church Street, Cortland, New York who spoke to Agenda No. 1. She encouraged that the public be informed of the properties proposed for their input. She reminded legislators that purchase options are costly and asked that they be fiscally responsible negotiating options. She said she does not believe it is appropriate to negotiate options prior to public input.
PROCLAMATIONS & RECOGNITIONS
Clerk read a Proclamation declaring October as the kick off month for year
round programs highlighting the abilities and contributions of Americans with
disabilities. Robin Sandwick, from the Careers Working Center accepted the
proclamation and thanked legislators for their support of the JM Murray,
Access to Independence and the Career Center programs. She said she hoped that
all legislators will attend their upcoming luncheon that honors businesses and
recipients of the programs.
RECEIVE AND FILE REPORTS OF STANDING, SPECIAL AND ADHOC COMMITTEES
On the motion of Ms. Price second by Ms. Breed, and all voting aye, the 2006 Annual Report of the Sheriff Department and Letter from Russell Ruthig submitted by Mr. VanDee was received and filed.
On the motion of Ms. Price second by Mr. Cornell, Decision and Order from Supreme Court of State of New York Local Lodge #1512 Loyal Order of Moose vs. The County of Cortland County and Decision and Order from Supreme Court of State of New York Local Lodge #1512 Loyal Order of Moose vs. The County of Cortland County was received and filed. Chairman Brown asked for discussion. Mr. Daniels made a motion to suspend the rules to bring a resolution to the floor, second by Mr. Hartnett and all members voting aye by roll call vote.
On the motion of Ms. Brown, second by Mr. Hartnett a resolution Authorizing the Purchase of Property and Settlement of Claims was introduced. Mr. VanDonsel explained that he has contacted both attorneys for the amount needed to settle. He stated that the Wood case has not had the judicial intervention that the Moose case has. The proposal is to honor the contracts made in December of the Moose at $250,000 and the Wood property at $300,000. Due to January’s action and the time it took to get to this point, they are seeking additional damages. The Moose calculated their damages on the City taxes to be paid ($1,600); cost and disbursements of $840 under Civil Practice Rules and CPR damages at 9% estimating a reasonable time for closing (Feb. to Oct.) totaling $15,000. They are crediting the down payment so the total for the Moose amounts to $272,848.55. The Wood property is asking in addition to the purchase price the attorney’s fees of $3,680. With the tax adjustment on the date we would close, less earnest money paid down consistent with the Moose calculation the total is $303,680.
Chairman Brown noted that the purchase price will come from tobacco monies and the damages will come from our liabilities and awards account set aside for these purposes. There is approximately $360,000 in that account. She emphasized that the monies will not come from the contingency account or the general fund. Adopted by all members voting aye, except Ms. Breed, Mr. VanDee, Mr. Willcox and Mr. Williams voting nay, the proposed resolution became: Resolution No. 271-07 Authorizing the Purchase of Property and Settlement of Claims.
Chairman Brown asked if legislators want to have the County Attorney negotiate with the additional three properties that have not been sold. Mr. VanDonsel said he would need additional time to talk with their attorneys to fine tune the numbers presented. He said this does not require a resolution. Mr. Willcox asked how long will this take. Mr. VanDonsel said by the next meeting however if sooner he will request the Chairman to call a Special Meeting. Mr. VanDonsel questioned if this should go through Budget and Finance prior to the full legislature.
On the motion of Ms. Brown, second by Mr. Troy, Agenda No. 1 was introduced. Ms. Tytler offered a friendly amendment to the resolution as the property on Commons Avenue has been sold. The friendly amendment will replace three properties where it states four. She added that because we have different situations with each property, we are asking Mr. Schrader to negotiate to buy or lease these properties. Further, she said we have not decided at the legislative level whether we are buying versus leasing properties. Chairman Brown asked Ms. Tytler if she wanted to identify the properties. Ms. Tytler said that the first property is located on Cleveland Street, the second is MVE Homes with multiple parcels located on Tompkins Street and the third is located on River Street described as a grassy knoll area and owned by Mr. Armedio. Chairman Brown asked if the Power Point presentation given to the Legislature would be available to the public. Ms. Tytler stated that the Committee’s intention is to share this with the public and media. We will do a road show and will share all information with the press directly after this meeting. Mr. VanDonsel made all aware that Ms. Burns will be handling this process due to the fact that Mr. Armedio is his family member and as a result he has recused himself from any actions or discussions involving the negotiation process. Ms. Breed stated that she saw no reason for Mr. Schrader to acquire options now. She said she understood negotiating prices, not options, as prices are not going to change. She said there is no reason to sign options, due to problems in the past, and it is not a logical solution for us. Ms. Tytler expressed concern with the timeframe noting that they already lost the fourth property. She said signing options will make clear what is available to us. Ms. Breed responded that it is spending more tax dollars on things that may never occur. She then asked for the fourth property to be added. Chairman Brown called the question. Adopted by all members voting aye, except Ms. Breed voting nay, Agenda No. 1 became: Resolution No. 272-07 Authorize County Administrator and Assistant County Attorney to Negotiate the purchase or lease of Property for Department of Motor Vehicles.
Mr. Willcox asked if we are considering four properties. Chairman Brown said no it will be three. Mr. Willcox asked why the Committee is opposed to the fourth site. Ms. Tytler explained that the property being referred to is located on Lime Hollow Road and was on the committee’s list originally. That site has recently been released from the hazardous waste list and now has a filtration system in place for contaminates. The environmental concerns along with the high volume of traffic in that area was why it was dropped. Ms. Breed said she believed that MVE Homes has problems also. Ms. Tytler said the committee meetings and minutes were available for all legislators. We shared and documented information as to how and why we have come to our final recommendations. Mr. Willcox said the only reason he raises the question is he has been assured by environmental health that those concerns are minimal and we have lost one site, why not add this one back on.
On motion of Ms.
Brown, second by Ms. Price and all members voting aye
Agenda No. 2 became Resolution No. 273-07
Appoint Legislative Representatives to the Occupancy Tax Allocation Committee.
On motion of Ms. Brown, second by Ms. Price and all members voting aye Agenda No. 3 became Resolution No. 274-07 Appoint Member CNY Regional Market Authority.
On motion of Mr. VanDee, second
by Mr. Spaulding Agenda No. 4 was introduced. Ms. Breed said that she was
opposed to this when it was presented as it puts a damper on development and
the buying of homes which isn’t fair to people purchasing homes. Mr. Willcox
stated that the condition of buying and selling of homes is grave and this is
just one more impediment to add to the problem. Ms. Price asked what is the
estimated revenue. Mr. Schrader answered approximately $450,000 annually.
Adopted by all members voting aye, except Ms. Breed, Mr. Cornell, Mr. Willcox
and Mr. Williams voting nay, Agenda No. 4 became Local Law No. 1 for the
year 2007 A Local Law to Impose a Mortgage Recording Tax.
On motion of Mr. VanDee, second by Ms. Price and all members voting aye Agenda No. 5 became Resolution No. 275-07 Amend 2007 Budget Grow Cortland Program.
On motion of Mr. VanDee, second by Mr. Cornell and all members voting aye Agenda No. 6 (corrected version) became Resolution No. 276-07 Resolution of the Legislature of the County of Cortland, Extending Taxes on Sales and Uses of Tangible Personal Property and of Certain Services, and on Occupancy of Hotel Rooms and Amusement Charges, Pursuant to Article 29 of the Tax Laws of the State of New York.
On motion of Mr. VanDee, second by Mr. Clark Agenda No. 7 was introduced. Ms. Breed asked why the term is so long. The Clerk said State Law sets the term. Adopted by all members voting aye, except Ms. Breed voting nay, Agenda No. 7 became Resolution No. 277-07 Appoint Director Real Property Tax Services Office.
On motion of Mr. VanDee, second by Mr. Troy Agenda No. 8 was introduced. Ms. Breed asked what the rational is behind this. Mr. Schrader explained that the next two resolutions are related to this. We presently have an Assistant Real Property Assessor working part time. With the inclusion of the Town of Homer that the County will be responsible for, we need to have an Assessor appointed for that purpose. We are amending the title not only for the Town of Homer but other towns we currently assess (Preble, Cuyler, Scott). By contract, the towns will be naming this individual to act for these towns. Ms. Breed asked if this is the same person already there. Mr. Schrader said yes. He further explained that when this person was hired it was done so she could complete certification and training to become an Assessor. That is now complete and she is qualified. Adopted by all members voting aye, except Ms. Breed voting nay, Agenda No. 8 became Resolution No. 278-07 Abolish/Create Real Property Tax Services Assistant Real Property Assessor (21 hrs/wk) Real Property Assessor (21 hrs/wk).
On motion of Mr. VanDee, second by Mr. Troy and all members voting aye Agenda No. 9 became Resolution No. 279-07 Authorize Agreement Assessment Services (Real Property Tax Services).
On motion of Mr. VanDee, second by Mr. Spaulding and all members voting aye Agenda No. 10 became Resolution No. 280-07 Authorize Agreement Town of Homer (Real Property Tax Services). Mr. Schrader said that the State has been talking consolidation and this is an instance where consolidation is taking place and saving money for both entities. He credited Bill Cinquanti and Supervisor Fred Forbes for bringing this about for the benefit of the taxpayer in the Town and the County.
On motion of Mr. Clark, second by Ms. Price and all members voting aye Agenda No. 11 became Resolution No. 281-07 Authorize Agreement/Accept Funds Health Department/Children With Special Needs Program (CSHCN NYS GRANT).
On motion of Mr. Clark, second by Ms. Price and all members voting aye Agenda No. 12 became Resolution No. 282-07 Authorize Agreement/Accept Funds Health Department/Children With Special Needs Program (EIP NYS GRANT).
On motion of Mr. Clark, second by Mr. Spaulding and all members voting aye Agenda No. 13 became Resolution No. 283-07 Authorize Agreements Health Department-Division of Nursing Insurance and Managed Care Companies.
On motion of Mr. Clark, second by Ms. Price and all members voting aye Agenda No. 14 became Resolution No. 284-07 Authorize Agreements Health Department/Hospice (Program Services).
On motion of Mr. Clark, second by Mr. Cornell and all members voting aye Agenda No. 15 became Resolution No. 285-07 Authorize Agreement Health Department/Hospice (Auditor).
On motion of Mr. Clark, second by Mr. Troy Agenda No. 16 was introduced. Mr. Clark said this is all part of the ongoing problem of hiring a psychiatrist. We are now losing an individual who is covering and without the oversight of a psychiatrist it has been more difficult to provide services. Ms. Breed asked if there is any reason that we cannot contract with the hospital. Mr. Clark said they aren’t interested and asked Mr. Kilmer to answer further questions. Mr. Kilmer said they have talked to the psychiatrist who oversees hospital emergency services and he is not only not interested in a contract with us, he is trying to get out of the one we have with them now where they cover minimal hours necessary for coverage. Ms. Breed questioned if he has talked to the hospital administration. Mr. Kilmer said yes and without the support of Dr. Ispahan they are unable to move forward. Mr. Willcox asked how long is temporary. Mr. Kilmer said for as long as it takes to recruit a psychiatrist. Ms. Tytler thanked Mr. Kilmer for all his efforts during this difficult staffing shortage. She stated that he has worked hard to find options to the staffing problems so that people in the community are able to receive services. Mr. Willcox asked if Mental Health Services are mandated. Mr. Schrader answered no. Adopted by all members voting aye, except Ms. Breed, Mr. Willcox voting nay, Agenda No. 16 became Resolution No. 286-07 Authorize Agreement Mental Health Department Locum Tenens for Temporary Psychiatry Services.
On motion of Mr. Tagliente, second by Mr. Troy and all members voting aye Agenda No. 17 became Resolution No. 287-07 Authorize Individual T Hangar Lease Agreements Cortland County Airport.
On motion of Mr. Tagliente, second by Mr. Cornell and all members voting aye Agenda No. 18 became Resolution No. 288-07 Authorize Extension of State Snow/Ice Control Agreement Highway Department.
On motion of Mr. Tagliente, second by Ms. Price Agenda No.19 was introduced. Mr. Willcox said is seems ridiculous with all the tires we have in this county that we would want to bring more from somewhere else. Ms. Price agreed with the amount of tires but commended Mr. Tagliente and his committee for their research for a more cost effective effort at the landfill. With all members voting aye Agenda No. 19 became Resolution No. 289-07 Authorize Agreement with NYSOGS GCP-19 Tire Shred Highway Department/Landfill.
On motion of Mr. Tagliente, second by Mr. Armstrong and all members voting aye Agenda No. 20 became Resolution No. 290-07 Amend Budget/Transfer Funds Highway Department/Recycling.
On motion of Ms. Price, second by Mr. Hartnett and all members voting aye Agenda No. 21 became Resolution No. 291-07 Amend Budget Area Agency on Aging (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).
On motion of Ms. Price, second by Mr. VanDee Agenda No.22 was introduced. Ms. Price said the Nutrition Task Force has looked at the menus at the Senior Centers checking for quality, not just the lowest price for food. Mr. VanDee said it a serious issue to insure we know where the food comes from. With all members voting aye Agenda No. 22 became Resolution No. 292-07 Accept Bids/Authorize Purchase Area Agency on Aging/Nutrition Miscellaneous Groceries and Frozen Foods.
On motion of Ms. Price, second by Mr. Troy Agenda No.23 was introduced. Ms. Breed noted that this is such a good thing for the youth in our county and wished we had more programs like it. With all members voting aye Agenda No. 23 became Resolution No. 293-07 Authorize Agreement Employment and Training Department (Operation of Year Round Youth Program).
On motion of Ms. Price, second by Mr. McKee and all members voting aye Agenda No. 24 became Resolution No. 294-07 Accept Grant/Amend Budget Department of E&T Grant Administration Disability Program Navigator.
On motion of Ms. Price, second by Mr. Armstrong and all members voting aye Agenda No. 25 became Resolution No. 295-07 Amend Budget Department of Social Services (Transfer).
On motion of Ms. Price, second by Mr. Troy Agenda No. 26 was introduced. Mr. Willcox asked how much was the juvenile delinquent program last year. Mr. Schrader answered $655,000. With all members voting aye Agenda No. 26 became Resolution No. 296-07 Amend Budget Department of Social Services (Transfer).
On motion of Mr. Daniels, second by Mr. Hartnett and all members voting aye Agenda No. 27 became Resolution No. 297-07 Authorize Agreement Sheriff’s Department/911 Center AAT Communications Systems Corporation.
On motion of Mr. Daniels, second by Mr. Spaulding and all members voting aye Agenda No. 28 became Resolution No. 298-07 Authorize Agreement Sheriff’s Department/911 Center Dialogic Communications Corporation.
On motion of Mr. Cornell, second by Mr. Ross Agenda No. 29 was introduced.
Ms. Breed said that election inspectors want to know why they haven’t been paid since August. If someone could resolve this it would be appreciated. Mr. Schrader said you just did by the setting the fee. With all members voting aye Agenda No. 29 became Resolution No. 299-07 Establish fees for Election Workers Cortland County Board of Elections.
On motion of Mr. Cornell, second by Mr. Armstrong and all members voting aye Agenda No. 30 became Resolution No. 300-07 Create Information Processing Clerk County Historian.
Mr. Williams asked where we are at with several issues, i.e. Eminent Domain, Stewart Place and various lawsuits. Mr. VanDonsel said he hasn’t been involved with Stewart Place so cannot comment on that however questions can be addressed to Mr. Knickerbocker. Regarding the Eminent Domain proceeding we have received the proposal agreement from Christopher Bollinger. Mr. Williams asked if we will see that in the next month. Mr. VanDonsel said hopefully, as it came in after the last legislative session. Mr. Schrader said it has been approved by Budget and Finance so it needs to be executed and sent back. He said that Mr. Bollinger indicated it would take about two weeks to do the appraisal. Mr. Williams asked if it would come back here and the approval to hire Mr. Bollinger come here also. Mr. Schrader said it will return here and you have already given your permission by filing the eminent domain proceeding and this is a necessary expense in order to accomplish the filing. Mr. VanDonsel said he will make available to all legislators the agreement and Mr. Bollinger’s credentials by the end of the week. Mr. VanDonsel continued regarding the multiple law suits with the Conflict Attorney. One has been filed by the Public Defender and one by Judge Ames, who has retained Mr. Hoffman to represent him. Mr. Hoffman has filed a counter claim against Mr. Dayton. A show cause was originally scheduled for October 1st however that may be adjourned and we have not received a new date. He said that he and Mr. Schrader have been working the past two weeks to compile information in answer on behalf of the County. In the interim we have been served by three attorneys challenging the local law. We are within our 20 day period to move to dismiss or file and preserve defense. He said he needed more time for research but will issue a memo prior to our response. Mr. Schrader said that the three attorneys have conflicted themselves by taking assigned counsel. Mr. Schrader added that he has received from Judge Campbell an order to pay Mardis Kelsen for an assigned counsel case back in 2005. He said that Ms. Kelsen submitted a voucher two years after the date of service that we rejected. He asked permission that the County Attorney appeal that decision. Mr. VanDonsel agreed it to be the way to address the timeliness of the voucher. Mr. Williams asked when her case was resolved in court. Mr. Schrader answered on July 12, 2005. Ms. Price asked if there was any explanation for the delayed billing. Mr. Schrader answered no. Mr. Willcox asked for the amount of the voucher. Mr. Schrader answered $603.75. Mr. Willcox said and you want to appeal this. Mr. VanDonsel said there is no cost to the County appeal. On motion of Mr. VanDee, second by Mr. Troy and all members voting aye the legislature authorized the County Attorney to appeal the claim.
Chairman Brown said she sent a memo regarding pending legislation (Senate bill 1820) and asked for legislators’ response. Mr. Ross stated this does not affect local deliveries. Mr. Schrader said that was not his understanding. Ms. Price said after reading it she supports Supervisor Forbes response that the legislation not be enacted. Mr. Ross said the legislation is meant to stop the flow of garbage trucks and related accidents that have occurred in Cortland County. Ms. Price made a motion, second by Ms. Breed with all members voting aye except Mr. Dafoe and Mr. Ross voting nay, to support Mr. Forbes response opposing the legislation
Mr. Troy commended the hard work of Ms. Tytler and the Ad Hoc Committee. All agreed.
Mr. Cornell announced that the CCTVS meeting will be in Room 304 directly after this meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 7:00 PM.
Minutes prepared by Susan Morgan, Clerk