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Monthly Archives: January 2022

Carl Stuendel writes:

For the last 13 years I’ve maintained and operated this blog/website.  It’s been my pleasure to make available to all of you readers news about the doings of our elected officials via the minutes of our town council meetings.  I’ve done this not only with the gratitude of the board, but also with their payment of the website’s annual fees.  (Approximately $20.00/year up until 2019.  From 2019 on it has cost ~$70.00/year — it costs extra money to keep ads from appearing.)  I have never asked the Town for money to cover my time, nor has the Town ever paid me.

I’m sorry to inform you that at the December 14, 2021 Town of Tompkins Council Meeting, the board unanimously passed a resolution (Resolution #114-2021) to discontinue the use of its “official” website.   

You ask WHY?  New York state has passed legislation demanding that towns with official websites must have certain types of content available at the website.  Of course, the state did not fund this mandate and the Town Clerk and Town Board did not feel our town had the resources to deliver this content on the time table the state required. 

[ See:  1)  https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2021/A1108   

2) https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-hochul-signs-two-pieces-legislation-boosting-transparency-state-and-local-government

3) https://www.nystca.com/home/news/legislation-update-nystca-legislation-chair-patty-kalba ]

There have been:

71,236 views in 13 years; an average of 5480 views/year, 457 views/month.

21,465 visitors in the past 10 years; an average of 2,146 visitors/year, 179 visitors/month.

With this viewership,  I believe we’re doing a disservice to our community by making these minutes available only to those who can come to the Town Hall in Trout Creek to read a printed set of the minutes.

I’m not an attorney, but a possible solution to this would be to recognize this “unofficial” website as a news outlet that provides the approved minutes of the town board as news items.  townoftompkins.org is a domain name registered to me.  The Town of Tompkins can certainly discontinue its funding of this personal website/news-site, and, regardless of this, would remain dedicated to matters that effect the residents of the Town of Tompkins.

Another possibility is that there will be so much blow-back from voters and public officials over this state legislation that it will be revamped and the town will once again affirm this website to be its official site without fear of fines from NY State for non-compliance.

Thank you for your attention and understanding, Carl

The regular monthly meeting of the Town of Tompkins Town Board was called to order at 7:00 pm in the Town meeting room, Trout Creek, NY. With Peggy Backus leading in the Flag salute.

Present:
William Layton – Supervisor – Supervisor
Brian Albanese – Councilperson
Howard Buttel – Councilperson
Peggy Backus – Councilperson
Tim LaTourette – Councilperson

Others:
Michelle Phoenix – Town Clerk
Ron VanValkenburg – Highway Superintendent
Nancy Roberts – Bookkeeper
Mallory Sprague – Resident

Floor Time/Guests: None

RESOLUTION # 95 APPROVALS OF MINUTES – October’s Regular Meeting
A motion was made by LaTourette, seconded by Backus, approving the minutes of the Regular meeting held on October 12, 2021.
Vote: In favor – Layton, Buttel, LaTourette, Backus; Abstain – Albanese

RESOLUTION # 96 ABSTRACT OF CLAIMS
On motion by Backus, seconded by Layton, it was moved to approve the Abstract of Claims for November 4, 2021 as follows:
General Fund: $4,762.74
Highway Fund: $19,375.46
All in favor – Motion carried.

Monthly Financial Reports:
RESOLUTION # 97 TOWN CLERKS MONTHLY REPORT
On motion by Albanese, seconded by Backus it was moved to receive, and place on file the Town Clerks, monthly report for the month of October 2021.
All in favor – Motion Carried

RESOLUTION # 98 SUPERVISOR MONTHLY FINANCIAL REPORT
On motion by Albanese, seconded by Backus, it was moved to approve and place on file the supervisor’s monthly financial reports as of October 31, 2021 dated 11/4/2021/2021.
All in favor – Motion Carried

RESOLUTION # 99 SEWER DISTRICT ABSTRACT OF CLAIMS
On motion by Albanese, seconded by Backus to approve the sewer districts Abstract of Claims for November 4, 2021 as follows: $5784.24
All in favor – Motion carried.

RESOLUTION #100 SEWER DISTRICT FINANCIAL
On motion by LaTourette seconded by Layton it was moved to approve and place on file the sewer districts monthly financial reports for October 2021 dated 11/4/2021.
All in favor – Motion carried.

OLD BUSINESS:
Reviewed the 2022 preliminary budget.
RESOLUTION #101 – APPROVAL OF THE 2022 BUDGET
On motion by Albanese, seconded by Buttel it was moved to approved the 2022 preliminary budget and to make it the 2022 Final Budget.
All in favor – Motion Carried

NEW BUSINESS: None

REPORTS:
Sewer District workers report – None
Assessor – None
Planning Board – None
Dog control Officer – None

Highway Superintendent  –  

  1. Hauled grit, cold patched, hauled gravel, worked on equipment, prepping equipment for winter months,
  2. With the rain events we have had we had minor to no damage
  3. Dana Wagner has worked on the grizzly
  4. Some equipment is in need of repair
  5. The 2006 repaired, had an oil leak
  6. The 2007 had a hole in exhaust and has been fixed
  7. 2020 has gone to allegiance for warranty work
  8. 2013 has been back but upon hauling it had lost power and using a lot of antifreeze. Had a repairman come out and look at it and he stated it will need to go back for repairs again and possibly some repairs will be covered by warranty
  9. End of Chamberlin brook and Walton Mountain had gravel placed in the turn around spot.
  10. Ordered Galvanized pipes from Chemung supply, they are very costly.


Supervisor –

  1. Called Dale McCall, Frank Morgan and Greg Kole about roof repairs – Received no replies from any of them.
  2. Floor Fool provided a quote on stripping and waxing the Town hall and Highway garage floors of $1500.00
  3. Contacted Young/Sommers on fees changed to Town for the Fire Tower legal services and was told by Kevin that the amount is too high and he will adjust the invoice.
  4. No luck on surrounding Town building inspectors taking over Tompkins building inspector. The position will be advertised and board members will ask around if anyone is interested in the position. 

Other:
Backus asked what the grant money is going to be used for. The board discussed options.

Backus asked why the Highway trucks no longer have the Town of Tompkins Logo’s on the door. VanValkenburg stated there is no longer a need for them seeing how the plates have town of Tompkins on it and the highway crew does not like the looks of them on the trucks.

RESOLUTION #102 – DOORS OF ALL HIGHWAY TRUCKS BE LABELED
On motion by Backus, seconded by Albanese to it was moved that all Town of Tompkins Highway trucks have a minimum 8×10 Town of Tompkins logos placed back on both doors of all highway trucks.
Vote: Ayes – Albanese, Backus, Layton; Nay’s – LaTourette, Buttel.
Motion Carried

Correspondence: None

Meeting adjourned at 8:26pm

Next meeting to be held on December 14, 2021 at 7PM
________________________________
Date: November 4, 2021
Michelle Phoenix 
Town of Tompkins Town Clerk