REGULAR BOARD MEETING

September 5, 2006



Noel Merrihew, Chairman

Cathy Moses, Vice-Chairman



           Chairman Merrihew called this Regular Board Meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. with a salute to the flag. Upon roll-call, the following Supervisors were found in attendance: Robert Ashline, George Canon, Daniel Connell, Robert Dedrick, Robert Dobie, Randy Douglas, William Ferebee, Dale French, Ronald Jackson, Michael McSweeney, Noel Merrihew, Joyce Morency, Gerald Morrow and Thomas Scozzafava. (Jeanne Ashworth, Anthony Glebus, Cathy Moses and Shirley Seney had been previously excused).


           Department Heads present were: Fred Buck, Cliff Donaldson, Ed Hatch, Dan Manning, Dan Palmer, Debbie Palmer and Lew Sanders.


           Also present were: Ronald Vitiello, Chief Patrol Agent-US Border Patrol and Pete Dunbar- Champlain Border Patrol.


           News Media present were: Whitney Jackson-Denton Publications and Lohr McKinstry-Press Republican.




MERRIHEW: Good morning. We will call this meeting to order, please join me in the salute to the flag. Thank you very much.

This morning we have the honor of having a program presented to us by Mr. Ronald Vitiello who is the Chief Patrol Agent of the US Border Patrol and he wanted to speak today on national security in Essex County that would also include consideration for the I-87 check point. With him today is Mr. Pete Dunbar who runs the Champlain border crossing. Good morning gentlemen and I will turn this platform over to you. Thank you very much for being here today.


VITIELLO: Thank you sir. It is my pleasure to represent employees of the Swanton sector border patrol and the hardworking men and women that are out there 24 by 7 working the lines in our effort to control, operational control of the border. My office is in Swanton, Vermont and the Chief Patrol Agent. The border patrol is the primary federal law enforcement agency between the ports of entry so when you are coming across the border our partners in customs and border protection, the customs and border protection officers are the folks that screen you as you come in from Canada at the actual border crossings. The employees that work at Swanton sector, Pete Dunbar is an example of that, he is the patrol agent in charge of the Champlain border patrol station, and his folks are out at the line in between the ports of entry so in the case of Champlain that is the ground and the brush in between the ports of entry and the lake itself. Our mission in operational control of the border is to patrol that ground in between the ports of entry. The people that we apprehend on a daily basis and I will give you some information about what kind of activity we see in the Swanton sector, but the folks that we apprehend are those that are trying to sneak in to the United States from Canada.

The goal of the national strategy is operational control of our border, it is a monumental task in this sector. It is 295 miles of border. The Swanton sector runs from the Maine, New Hampshire border all the way to about Alex Bay so we have four stations in New York that you can see there - Burke, Champlain, Massena and Ogdensburg. Alex Bay all the way to the Maine, New Hampshire border. Beecher Falls is the furthest east and in the main area is what we call Holten sector, that is 295 miles of border, just a little over 200 miles of that is a water boundary with the seaway and a couple of the lakes that are in the sectors area.

When you talk about what the strategic importance and why operational control is important in this sector - the flow of illegal aliens into the Unites States is usually based on population, most folks that are coming in are looking to better themselves within the United States. There is obviously a threat for terrorists and terrorists weapons, that is the number one mission of CVP both at the ports and where we work in between the ports so we are focused on preventing the entry of terrorists and terrorists weapons in between the ports of entry. What drives that illegal activity and illegal border crossing is population and it is people that are trying to reunite, there are people who are trying to do good and bad things as they come into the United States and the dark circles and the dark shading in that map show you where the population centers are along the northern border and you can see where Swanton is identified there between Buffalo and Holten sectors, you can see the population density that is represented in Montreal and Ottawa and then obviously as you go along the eastern seaboard in the United States, this is where people would transit to the local or the large population centers in the United States on the eastern seaboard.

This is where we work, known by both country’s as the slash. A sixty foot easement between us and Canada, it is patrolled 24 by 7, all weather, holidays, nights, weekends and our folks are out there patrolling this kind of terrain. It is very desolate, I only have a little over 165 border patrol agents that work 24 by 7 so we are stretched pretty thin. We do have a great implementation plan for the national strategy to increase resources both on the personnel side - more agents, technology to help us guard this border electronically by other means and then where unguarded crossings are, where it makes sense to have barriers that prevent people from driving right into the United States from Canada, so that is the type of environment that we are in here, an example of the kind of roads that come right across into Canada. People are on their honor to report to the port of entry and our brothers at CVP but it doesn’t always happen that way so in places like this we use electronic means and our own patrol activity. We have an air wing in Plattsburgh that some of you may be aware of, quite a few assets there that help us patrol that border but that is the environment that we work in.

Operational challenges, we have the roads that we showed in the prior slide and then you also have the lake and the water boundary, the St. Regis. There is a picture of some of the adversary’s there, there are folks that smuggle and often do across the waterways upstate and it is not always a pleasant environment to work but again, working with the State Police, working with the US Coast Guard and our partners in Canada - that is part of the area that we patrol as well.

This is what the activity looks like. Activities levels, deportable aliens. These are people that were found by our officers, the men and woman in green, in between the ports of entry. This year so far 1249 people found in the country illegally after crossing the border or found by our agents in some other locations, you can see the activity over the years. Last year about 1900, the high was just before 9/11 and then in 2004 with 2700 apprehensions throughout the fiscal year, that runs October to September 31, so far this year we are on par, about where we were last year, maybe a little less activity.

Obviously the terrorist threat doesn’t come from everybody crossing the border. The threat that we have seen manifested throughout the world comes from a certain region of the world and we classify people from that part of the world as special interest country’s, special interest aliens, that is the activity level since 2001. So far this year 47 people from middle eastern and country’s that have been found by our own State Department, by the UN and by the Justice Department and certainly the Department of Homeland Security to have a terrorist nexus, there are 47 of those folks we have encountered so far in this sector this year and you can see the activity levels from 2001. A significant amount of marijuana seizures in the sector, so far this year 1628 pounds found by our agents in between the ports of entry, these are people who are smuggling either across the seaway or over land, hockey bags is the preferred transportation method. Currency seizures, this is a tidbit you can all take back with you, this Swanton sector leads the nation in the border patrol for bulk cash, currency seizures in between the ports of entry, a fair amount of activity and also a good way for us to asset share with the State Police and the locals and the County Sheriff’s that we operate with both at the border and near it.

This is a demonstration of some of the intelligence and some of the capacity that our agents have out there in the area of human trafficking, alien smuggling - our partnerships. This is like a graphic of folks who have been apprehended in the sector, the head of the organization, the human trafficker, someone they work with in Canada and then people who facilitate illegal entry, the drivers in the second tier there and then the folks that were apprehended and being tied back to this smuggling group. Human trafficking, alien smuggling, these are the types of capacities and the intelligence that we gather and trade with both the state, local and federal agency’s in the area as well as our partners in Canada. Here is a further demonstration of that, these are some folks that were linked to special interest aliens, this particular group are people from Romania who were operating smuggling both in Montreal and in the upstate New York area. Then knowing what I know, Pete and I have combined probably 40 some years of border security and border patrol work and what we know about alien smuggling and human trafficking - it is not a lot different on the southern border than it is on the northern border. The same kinds of things, what drives it is the infrastructure and the population as we saw in the slide and then people’s ability to come into the United States easily and then find a route of egress away from the border so this last group of Romanian smugglers that we saw in the previous slide was tied to a group that was also operating in deep south Texas. Now the difference between northern New York, northern Vermont, New Hampshire is the volume, the volume of activity. There is not quite the volume coming across that border illegally but we also don’t have the resources so it is very important for us to share information both within the border patrol and all the federal agency’s and with the state, locals and the State Police that are out there with us.

Personnel technology and infrastructure, that is the benchmark for the growth and the planning and that is what we focus on for our future planning. That is a sample of some of the things that are out there on patrol. Obviously you have transportation vehicles, platforms like ATV’s, aircraft - helicopters and fixed wings, and then we are out on the water in just about anything we can use as a platform. Technology is supplemented but you have to get an agent on the ground to put the gravel to somebody when they come across the border illegally so we access the border in any way that we can including on foot which isn’t shown there.

The technology is also very important - cameras and sensors and then technology to help identify when we do have somebody in custody. Are they wanted somewhere worldwide? You have an array of technology that helps our activity on the border so that we are not just out there kind of looking around but we are set to go based on some alarm either seen by a camera or infrared sensor and then mapped software to do links analysis and when we have somebody in custody the technology that helps us identify if they are wanted somewhere.

Partnerships with local and state law enforcement agency, there is a demonstration and a picture of what it looks like out there on the highway with us working with the State Police and then again on the lake with the coast guard, we co-crew with them to force multiply for us to have enough assets and to be out there, we use their crews to help supplement our crews and that way we have a better coverage and respond to the activities out there.

Our liaison with both the state, local and federal in the US and in Canada is very important. We have integrated border enforcement teams which is IBET, that is nationally directed from both country’s and then there is a local element to that. Pete regularly meets with folks in Canada to plan operations, to trade information and to discuss intelligence that may be coming out with regard to current trends and activity but also to help look for, find and locate targets of people who are involved in human or drug smuggling.

That is basically our operation in a nutshell. Again, 295 miles of border. The Maine, New Hampshire border all the way to Alex Bay, 160 some people out there. Technology going all the way.

I want to talk just briefly about the department’s initiative on the secure border initiative. One of the important things that have come to this area with regards to this sector is an increase in the level of personnel, technology and infrastructure called the Secure Border Initiative. Our planning and all the operations that we conduct are based on the national strategy, the implementation of the national strategy and this SBI program, we will bring more technology to this border, it will help us cue better, we will force multiply our ability to respond to activity at the border and with regards to that implementation it is going to require more personnel. Our plans that exist now will double the sector in the next three years, the Secretary has already signed off on basically an implementation plan that includes us going over 300 personnel within the sector so just a plug for our recruiters out there, the border patrol in the next three years is going to hire 6000 new border patrol agents to help secure the borders in the United States and that will include a doubling of the sector here. Now that is the good news, those plans are in place and we are constantly looking and revising our plans both locally and nationally so if you have anybody who is interested in a career with the border patrol and I will throw that plug out there, 6000 employees in the next three years, that is a lot of opportunity for anybody that is qualified and their first assignment is on the southern border. Pete can tell you that we did our first three years, minimum, on the southern border and most folks do about two or three years these days but in the next coming years, within the next three years, we will double the size so there is quite a bit of opportunity both for anybody that is in this community and looking for a career in law enforcement and folks nationally.

I appreciate the time. I would like to hear questions from you. Pete, as I said is our agent in charge on the ground. When we do this operation on the northway, I know there is a lot of interest in that and I would like to hear your questions.

The take back for you is that we are focused on the borders in between the ports of entry, that is our number one mission to prevent the entry of terrorist and terrorist weapons at that border, that is where all our resources are focused. The I-87, the northway and what we do out there is important to gauge how effective that operation is and it is targeted not to inconvenience anybody, it is targeted not to become a problem out there, it is targeted for the folks that sneak in and get by our primary line of defense. It becomes very important like I said, 22 years I came into this job when I was quite young and recognize that for us to have an effective border enforcement posture we have to be able to gauge activity within the routes of egress as well so I-87 and all the highways in the sector are important to us. I know you have questions about that but if you have questions about other things that happen both on the lake or on the seaway I will take those as well if we have time.


MERRIHEW: Absolutely. We will turn on the lights here and will open it up for questions at this time.


MORROW: I support all the efforts that you are doing and I do support the I-87 traffic stop also. Two questions because I think this is something very good that you are doing and it is needed for the United States and for all the people. Is it going to be a permanent stop?


VITIELLO: The plans that are in place right now allow for us to keep doing what we are doing now. We are going to do a pulse operation when intelligence dictates that we need to do that, if there is a threat that we are aware of in Canada and it is on its way into the United States, then we are going to stand up. A permanent stop requires a significant investment and for us to do that right would incur a considerable construction project and so the plans that exist right now at this sector do not allow for us - I do not have the resources for it. Also, with regards to the Secretary’s initiative, the Secure Border Initiative, the government is going to hire what they call an integrator, they are going to come down here and they are going to look at the systems that are available for us to secure this border, what kind of personnel, what kind of technology and infrastructure and then they will be tasked to look at the flow with regards to what is coming in this border and how I-87 affects that and then a determination will be made. Now we have looked at it. We have looked at what the scope of a construction project would be and for us to do I-87 in a 24 by 7 permanent sense, we have to make that investment because the last thing we want to do is inconvenience the legitimate traveling public. We have plans to stand up in regards to intelligence threat and we have plans throughout the years cycle to be out there and gauge our effectiveness at the border. Right now there is no permanent plan that exists.


MORROW: Good, I am glad to hear that because I have been down through there many times and I do take it very seriously, the accidents that have happened there and everything. With all the warning devices that they have and the rumble strips and all, I can tell you right now, it is human error on the people going through there and not the border patrol, not the Sheriff’s department or the State Police or anybody else. I have never been inconvenienced down through there more than five seconds, it is no problem for me. I really think that if it was permanent, I do not think it would be as successful as one that is going to pop up because they know where these things are, you get use to going down through there a week at a time and nothing there and then all of a sudden bang, it is there. I think it would be more successful as a temporary one.


VITIELLO: There are some strategic things that can be had on a pulse operation like we do, we do see an immediate impact when we stand up and bang it is there. With regards to the safety, it is as safe as humanly possible, we have all the requirements that the state has to make sure that people are aware of our presence out there so safety is the number one concern. We are not going to stand it up if it is going to be unsafe but a continued investment would increase its capacity and let us do that safer and reduce the delay time that it might incur. Again, we have no permanent plans now, we have looked at it, we did an engineering study and we looked at sort of availability and sight design and those type of things but those are not in the works as we speak.


MORROW: I think you are doing a very good job and you have my wholehearted support.


VITIELLO: Thank you very much.


MERRIHEW: Thank you Jerry. Further questions from the Supervisors?


JACKSON: I was down there at the bus accident and there is no question that Jerry is right, it is human error. Unfortunately it is humans and I think any time you are stopping people on a major highway you are increasing the risk of an accident. While I agree that you don’t need a permanent manned 24/7 station, if there was a way, perhaps the old rest area there up by Lincoln Pond where you can actually get people off the road. If they have to physically turn off and if they are going asleep they are driving through a bunch of barriers as opposed to a bunch of cars, I think that is the only thing that could increase safety. You have done everything possible with the rumble strips but in spite of those, people are still driving down the road in a fog, are not aware of what happens and if they are stopped on the road there are a chance that people are going to plow into them and if you had some way with a temporary thing of getting them off the road in some area where you could have four or five lanes if you wanted and not just two lanes and speed the process up, I just think that would increase safety, getting them off the northway. I don’t think 24/7 would benefit you, I think your spot checking is good but if you are going to have a permanent spot check I just think it would be better if there was some way to do it off the northway instead of stopping them right on the road.


VITIELLO: Thank you, I appreciate that. When the engineers were out here that was part of what customs and border protection did, they hired an engineering firm to come out and look to see if there was a more viable site and in fact all the permanent sites that exist with regards to the border patrol, on the southern border, do have egress from the actual main highway so you are not stopping cars like in this case on the thruway so that is something that would be part of a future plan and we are looking at ways to improve the situation that is out there now so that when we do need the pulse operation that it is safer and that is a way to make it safe and again, safety is our number one concern. We do not want to inconvenience the public or make it dangerous to be on the highway. The state tells us there is about 12,000 cars in a 24 hour period in both directions, so about half of that, so if you think that you have to do a five to thirty second interview with folks and it is closer to the five second scale, a couple more lanes would make a big difference.


MERRIHEW: Thank you.


DEDRICK: I was very happy to hear you are going to have a Secure Border Initiative with 6000 new employees and we have the press here and maybe you could mention qualifications, people who might get involved in this line of work which I think is a great line of work. What are the qualifications and do you need to be bi-lingual? Spanish or French in taking the test?


VITIELLO: It certainly helps but the border patrol academy as it stands now, the minimum entry requirement is that you have to be over 18, you have to be a US citizen, high school graduate and you have to possess a valid drivers license - that is the minimum requirement. Now the profile of people who are coming in these days have a bit more education than that, the average is an Associates or better. We are taking in a lot of military folks and in fact people that are coming out of the military in the next two years actually can come in and for the regular law enforcement retirement you have to come in before your 37th birthday but if you are in the military currently and you are getting out in the next couple of years you will be able to stretch that to 40. So the minimum requirements are US citizen, valid drivers license and highschool diploma and then again the folks that are coming in usually have a desire to be in the law enforcement study’s and people are coming in with an Associates degree or in some cases higher but the minimum requirements are those and again 6000 people nationally, that is quite a commitment for recruiting and it does us all good to see that and in 20 years we have never seen this kind of investment in the border patrol, we are very happy to be a part of it. Assignments are all on the southern border, all the people that work with Pete and I in the northern border have done a couple of years anyway on the southern border, places like Arizona, Texas, Mexico and California and then they bid and compete for jobs to come up on the northern border so all the employees you can say that their work up here is in a volunteer sense and then over the years with this kind of growth, the transaction from learning the job is going to happen quicker, you spend a couple of years down there and then they will be working for us up here. The Spanish requirement is a pass/fail requirement at the academy so you don’t have to have it coming in. The Spanish course is very detailed, it is about a two year college course that is compressed for adult learning at the academy which is about 18 weeks.


DEDRICK: Is there a test schedule in the near future?


VITIELLO: If you look at the CDP.gov careers for the border patrol - that is your best sense of what is happening within this area and we could probably get back with your staff and direct information for tests in this area.


MERRIHEW: That would be appreciated to forward them here to the county and then we can make sure they are passed out to the towns.


VITIELLO: I would be happy to do that.


MERRIHEW: Further questions from the Supervisors? Being none - we really appreciate you taking the time here today. Thank you.


VITIELLO: Thank you.


MERRIHEW: We will take a five minute recess.



           AT THIS POINT IN THE MEETING WE RECESSED AT 10:26 A.M. AND

           RECONVENED THE REGULAR BOARD MEETING AT 10:30 A.M.



MERRIHEW: I will call this meeting back to order. There are no other people on the agenda so we will move right to resolutions.



RESOLUTION #246 - OF APPRECIATION TO JIM LLOYD FOR HIS MANY YEARS OF SERVICE TO ESSEX COUNTY.

This was offered by Mr. Morrow, seconded unanimously and adopted.


RESOLUTION #247 - AUTHORIZING THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS TO HIRE/PAY TOWN CLERKS AS ELECTION COORDINATORS FOR THE 2006 PRIMARY AND GENERAL ELECTION.

This was offered by Mr. Connell, seconded by Mr. French and Mr. Dedrick and adopted, as amended, upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            1846 votes

NOES:             186 votes (Douglas)

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


MERRIHEW: Discussion?


DOUGLAS: Just a question and I know it has come up in the last few days - are we paying them $50.00 per district or are we paying them $50.00 per town. Some clarification on that is what I am asking for?


MERRIHEW: I do see what you are asking because the one that I had Friday did specify that it was per district and conferring with the County Attorney he does indicate that that is per district. I only have one district but if I had a town clerk that had three districts within Elizabethtown then she would be entitled to $150.00.


MANNING: Lew, do you want to speak to this at all or no? I didn’t see Mr. Hatch back there too.


PALMER: He has to be offered the courtesy of the floor first.


MERRIHEW: Courtesy of the floor offered by Mr. Scozzafava, seconded by Mr. French. All in favor. Good morning.


SANDERS: Good morning. Your question Bobby?


DEDRICK: Randy had the question.


SANDERS: Okay, Randy -


DOUGLAS: My question was, are we going to be paying $50.00 per district in each town or $50.00 per town?


SANDERS: It is going to be $50.00 per district. In other words, if there are three districts in a Supervisor’s town, that is $150.00 which includes the primary and general election.


MERRIHEW: Do you know off hand how many districts we have in Essex County?


SANDERS: I believe we have 44.


ASHLINE: You just confused me Lew. Willsboro has two districts, that is $100.00 and they have to do both elections?


SANDERS: That is correct.


ASHLINE: $100.00 each?


SANDERS: No, $100.00 for both elections.


MORROW: That is not the way the resolution reads.


SANDERS: That is what Ed and I agreed to.


MANNING: Right, that was agreed to later so we need to amend this resolution to be $50.00 per district for both the primary and general elections.


SANDERS: That is correct.


MERRIHEW: It has been brought to my attention before we offer the amendment that the budgeted funds are in place.


SANDERS: We have them in our budget.


MERRIHEW: For the consideration of the amendment to be offered.


SANDERS: That is correct.


MANNING: It is how much Lew that is in the budget?


MERRIHEW: About $4400 or so?


SANDERS: Whatever that number is.


MERRIHEW: We reflect about $4400.


HATCH: It is $1800 for two districts.


MERRIHEW: If Mr. Hatch could come to the podium please and courtesy of the floor is offered by Mr. French, seconded by Mr. Douglas. All in favor -

Our calculation just by assuming all districts times two for the primary and general seem to reflect the value of about $4400?


HATCH: If you did it that way, that is correct. Lew and I agreed to do it one time, $50.00 per district for the primary and general election.


SANDERS: We are doing both of them together. You don’t understand what we are saying?


MERRIHEW: I am beginning to but that would then reflect what we really are requesting for an amendment then is $50.00 for the two elections, per district and not $50.00 per election.


SANDERS: That is correct.


MERRIHEW: Are there any other questions right now?


DOUGLAS: Just a comment - as you are aware I sent everybody a copy of one of my Republican inspectors that resigned recently - the issue that I have here, we are going to pay the town clerks to do the same job that they always did, more money and the inspectors in my town are going to be making less money than they made before. My inspectors have a real problem with this and I don’t know about this. I am just worried about the whole thing in general, I thought we were going $50.00 per township, I don’t know if I can agree with $50.00 per district - I am sorry.


MERRIHEW: Again for clarification, my understanding is the Commissioner’s would compensate the towns and then the towns would compensate their clerk’s individually - is that accurate?


HATCH: May I address the question?


MERRIHEW: That is what I am trying to clarify.


HATCH: Alright, we are asking for $50.00 per district for the total so if you have 44 districts times $50.00 that is what it should work out to. Now, the consolidated act is an act where we took over, the county took control, we took all responsibility over. The fees for the election inspectors was set by budget and we all agreed upon them. There is no question that maybe some of those should be changed and that is something that we have to look in the future but this is how we came up. Now with the town clerks, if you go to the consolidated act law they have a guideline and they are responsible to get the materials to the election site, that is their responsibility. Over the years they have been involved in a lot more activities and that is when they were under the jurisdiction of the town. Now we have a problem at the sites getting people to come to work, the town clerk’s have assisted there, they have helped us get inspectors. Now for example this morning we have had two inspectors call in and cancelled, they can’t make primary day. Secondly, to give you an example of what could happen, the town clerk picks up their satchel and they show up at 5:30 in the morning at the poll site, they lay their satchel on the counter and say here, I have your satchel. Sitting there is one Democrat and one Republican and that is all the town clerk is responsible for under the act. Now what we are asking the town clerk to do is to help us at the site being a poll coordinator. He or she could say that I am not going to do anything, I am going home or she can say go ahead and start getting your election going, get it ready and let’s get going - I will go out and get you two inspectors. Those are the types of things that people don’t see and this is what we are asking them. During the day if an inspector gets sick and goes home, they are there to help us. Toward the end of the day they decide to impound all the voting machines, this year you have three major races - you have an Attorney General, a Governor and 8 years ago we ended up 30 days tied up, you have the Comptroller’s race and you have a Congressional race that is in the lower district with Sweeney. So, these are important areas that I think we must be covered. As I explained in the meeting, we are under the consolidated act, we have done about 50% of it, there are some things that we still don’t know how they are going to work but my plea to you is don’t let the polling sites create us any trouble. We know what we do, we know how it works and they stay on top of it. I think that what we are asking for is very simple.

We budgeted $21,000 in the custodian account with the town clerks and using the town custodians we will still be around $10,000. I can see some lights going on now saying how come you budgeted $21,000? When we started they were talking about having a primary with lever machines and having electronic machines for the general election so this is what or where we have been. This year we will do our poll books out of the state poll system so there are a lot of unknowns that we are not sure of.

One year I can tell you in Lew’s town, three of the machines were set up wrong. Well Lew and them are down there trying to get new machines in and we had people that were not showing up in other spots so I am just saying I think you are penny wise and dollar foolish if you don’t let us use it. Next year it will be different but right this year I think we aught to stay where we are and that is my belief.


MERRIHEW: Okay, I appreciate your insight there.


DOUGLAS: I just want to follow up, then next year we are going to go to coordinators. Are the coordinators going to be paid the same in every town or are they going to get paid per district? How do we budget when we go into budget this year? That is one question?


SANDERS: We feel the coordinators will be paid all the same in every town.


MERRIHEW: And that will be handled through the county, the town won’t even be responsible?


SANDERS: The county will be responsible.


DOUGLAS: To continue, the issue that my inspectors have and I realize we were one of the top or higher paying ones in the county but I have inspectors with years and years of experience, ten years and twenty years and they were making $125/day primary day and $175.00 general election day. With the new rate of pay with the county that was passed in June is $100.00 now on primary day and $160.00 election day - county rate. So they are losing money. We are giving the town clerk more money to do this position so I have had resignations because of this. Then I go back and send a letter to my inspectors and say this is the new HAVA law but now we are going to pass another agreement to spend money to pay the polling sites who historically have been paid for polling sites, we don’t pay for ours in town, the fire department lets us use it and the other is in the town hall. Some how, to keep my inspectors I wish we would have did something different. They are unhappy, making less money and it is a slap in their face they are feeling. We did pass a town resolution to make up the difference between the two which would have been a very small amount of dollars for the inspectors but we found out through the Comptroller’s office and through Mr. Manning’s advise that it illegal to do so.


MERRIHEW: Thank you for your input.


MORENCY: Supposing someone doesn’t show up for work that morning. It is not my town clerk’s job to find a certified inspector is it? It seems like we would call your office and ask who is available, who is certified? They have to be certified to work?


SANDERS: Yes and somebody is going to have to notify us Joyce because we would not have any idea who shows up or doesn’t.


MORENCY: Well the clerk could do that, okay, so nobody is there at 5:30 or 6:00 and she calls your office to say who is available because so and so is sick. It is not up to her to pull somebody off the street? That is important isn’t it?


SANDERS: Absolutely.


HATCH: Could I answer that - yes, first we go to the list and if we can’t go to the list then the Board of Elections authorizes the town clerk to go get somebody off the street.


MORENCY: Right, go to the town list first. Alright.


HATCH: That is one of the pluses, they always know where there is somebody to get and a lot of times the town clerk looks like they are not doing much but they go out and get themselves all set up and are ready to do what they have to do.


MORENCY: The other question is, I was asked the other day and they said it is a law that a certified inspector can not work half a day and then someone else come in, they have to work the full day. Is that true?


SANDERS: There is nothing within the law that says they can work one half day.


MORENCY: Well is there anything that says they can’t be split?


SANDERS: There is nothing in the law that says they can’t split it either.


MORENCY: It is a long day for some of the older ones.


SANDERS: We understand that.


MORENCY: Well the answer is they could?


SANDERS: I am not opposed to it.


MORENCY: Well I am not either but I want to know if it is legal?


SANDERS: It is not covered under the law Joyce.


SCOZZAFAVA: Originally I thought it was going to be $50.00 per town for each town clerk, I didn’t realize it was per district. Personally I have a problem with this and it is nothing against town clerks but we are not asking them to do anything above and beyond what they have been doing for a number of years to begin with. Number two, I think legally because they are elected officials and every elected officials salary has to be advertised and there are certain steps that you have to take before you can change that elected officials salary and in effect we are doing that and so I don’t really believe that the county can reimburse the towns and then the towns pay the town clerk. I think if our attorney looks into that you will find that there is a real problem there because they are elected officials and again there are certain procedures that have to be followed before you can change the amount of money that was originally posted for that years budget in the legal notice - I think that has to be looked into.

I believe that the $50.00, I can live with that per township but $50.00 per district, I know my town clerk, she wasn’t expecting even the $50.00 to begin with let alone $200.00 - we have four districts in the Town of Moriah.


MERRIHEW: In response to that request I would inquire through the County Attorney, have we reviewed the legalities? I knew that we were trying to not cloud it but the consideration of the county reimbursing the towns as one step and then the towns reimbursing the town clerks?


MANNING: No, I haven’t but my guess is that the proper way to do it would be to pay the town clerks directly so that it is not going through the town because Tom is right, you can’t change elected officials pay once they have been budgeted for and posted. I can look into that though and probably it would be better coming to the clerks directly from the county. We probably will have to have some small little contracts so there is some legitimacy in the relationship.


MERRIHEW: Okay, we were just sort of going over the consideration of what this amendment is going to detail.


CONNELL: I would like to see us stay on this amendment and not cloud it with all the other things that we still need to discuss about what is going to happen. I want us to keep the discussion on this particular amendment right now and not what is going to happen next year or the year after, this is a one year thing.


MERRIHEW: That is correct and thank you for that input.


MORROW: Well number one, it is kind of confusing whether this is on this amendment like Mr. Connell wanted but you can change a persons salary whether it is advertised or not. If the town clerk’s salary is advertised as a town clerk just like a Supervisor’s salary is advertised as the Supervisor’s duties but if you add other duties beyond their original duties, if you have them take over a special project you can give them extra money for that, it has been done in the past. I have known of Supervisors that took on water projects, not myself but I have heard about this in the past, they were Clerk of the Works for a water or sewer project and they got extra money beyond their duties as Supervisor, the same as town clerk. If you want the town to do a different duty then as of right now it is not the town clerks duty to do this work.


MANNING: That is sort of an inaccuracy because the law does say it is the town clerks duties to act and do these things.


MORROW: Not any more since HAVA took over.


MANNING: That is the problem, they never changed.


MORROW: That use to be their duties.


MANNING: Well they never actually changed the law, they did change certain sections of the law but they didn’t change the sections of the law having to do with the duties of the town clerk.


MORROW: Then that is totally different than the advise we got at previous meetings when you could pay the town clerk the money. Irregardless of that and to get back to this amendment, if there are and I always thought it was for the primary and the general election together but if you have a town clerk that only has one district isn’t the town clerk that has four, five or six districts going to do more work - they are going to have to travel with those bags and travel to get the numbers and stuff so it should be paid per district.


CANON: Well number one, we are not dealing with the amendment yet -nobody has put that on the floor that I am aware of. I would follow up with Mr. Morrow’s theory and I agree, we are not hiring a town clerk, we are hiring an election coordinator and it just happens to be the town clerk. Now if you have a town clerk that says I don’t want any part of that I suppose you could hire some other non-elected official to do that so there is a separation here of duties, it just so happened to be the town clerk that makes this thing go smoother but it doesn’t have to be.


DONALDSON: And I believe what makes it all, to build on that George is that in the past they worked for the town and now the county has taken over everything, they will be working for the county to be election coordinators so they are going to be paid by us for that service instead of the town because the town is no longer running those elections.


JACKSON: Let’s put some type of an amendment out there and we can amend the amendment because we should have it on the floor if we are going to be talking about it.


MERRIHEW: The original resolution is on the floor.


JACKSON: Right. I will move an amendment that we put after the word general election the sum of $50.00 and cross off the next words for the primary election and $50.00 for the general election, just eliminate that so it reads - the sum of $50.00 to insure - and just for discussion sake let’s insert in there - per district. I am not strong one way or the other whether it is per district or per town but for the initial one let’s insert into where we just crossed out per district because I agree that those that have to go multiple places should be more compensated.


MERRIHEW: Okay, so you would add per district?


JACKSON: Cross off for the primary election and $50.00 for the general election and insert - per district. I also think it should come directly from the county and not through the town. They would be contracting with the county, it is nothing to do with towns anymore so it should be directly from the county.


MERRIHEW: Okay and those funds - just a suggestion - would be coming from budgeted funds?


JACKSON: Yes, budgeted funds.


MERRIHEW: Okay, an amendment being offered, seconded by Mr. French. Discussion on the amendment?


FRENCH: It is not high finance, it is a year transition. The juice isn’t worth the squeeze here, we have spent 20 minutes on this.


CONNELL: Call the question.


MERRIHEW: Mr. Connell calls the question. On the amendment as understood and I think we all have a better handle now as to what we are trying to do. All in favor, opposed-Mr. Douglas. On the resolution as amended - roll-call vote.

Prior to us moving on to the next resolution, could I ask Mr. Sanders and Mr. Hatch to approach to the podium again please?


DONALDSON: Lew and Ed, this is my one question - because under the HAVA law access to he voting sites. Are we positive that all the voting sites meet ADA requirements? That affects this upcoming election, doesn’t it?


SANDERS: It would affect any election.


DONALDSON: Right. So are polling places, they are all ?


SANDERS: To bring you up to speed, we got a letter from the State Board of Elections asking us that same question and as far as Ed and I are concerned they are ADA compliant but we are going to go around and check them all just to make sure because some of them in the last year or two were not up to ADA compliant and like in Ron’s town, they had to spend a bunch of money over in district two and got that up to speed and there was one other place. Anyway, the couple of places that we had they got to be compliant but we are going to go around and check them this week before the election just to make sure they are.


MERRIHEW: That would be good. Thank you very much. Anything further for Lew or Ed?


SCOZZAFAVA: The election is a week away, what if they are not?


MERRIHEW: Thank you very much gentlemen. Moving on to Resolution No. 248.



RESOLUTION #248 - AUTHORIZING MAY MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT FOR BRANDON BOUTELLE IN THE PUBLIC DEFENDER’S OFFICE IN THE AMOUNT OF $63.19.

This was offered by Mr. Ashline, seconded by Mr. Dobie and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


RESOLUTION #249 - EXTENDING THE CONTRACT WITH FOUNTAIN FORESTRY FOR A TWO MONTH PERIOD.

This was offered by Mr. French, seconded by Mr. Connell, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


RESOLUTION #250 - AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 232 OF 8/7/06 AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASE OF A LARGE FORMAT COMPUTER PRINTER FOR REAL PROPERTY TAX IN THE AMOUNT OF $10,807.00.

This was offered by Ms. Morency, seconded by Mr. Morrow and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


RESOLUTION #251 - AUTHORIZING THE APPOINTMENT OF BARBARA REED TO THE COMMUNITY SERVICES BOARD FOR A TERM EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 2006 TO DECEMBER 31, 2008.

This was offered by Mr. Jackson, seconded by Mr. Ashline, and adopted.


RESOLUTION #252 - AUTHORIZING A BUDGET AMENDMENT TO INCREASE REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS FOR FAMILIES FIRST BY $13,585.00.

This was offered by Mr. McSweeney, seconded by Mr. French, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


RESOLUTION #253 - AUTHORIZING A BUDGET AMENDMENT TO INCREASE REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION BY $6,006.00.

This was offered by Mr. Dobie, seconded by Mr. Jackson and Mr. Dedrick, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


RESOLUTION #254 - AUTHORIZING A BUDGET AMENDMENT TO INCREASE REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE MENTAL HEALTH CLINIC, BY $7,716.00 DUE TO INCREASED STATE FUNDING.

This was offered by Mr. Dedrick, seconded by Mr. McSweeney and Mr. Ashline, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


RESOLUTION #255 - AUTHORIZING A BUDGET AMENDMENT TO INCREASE REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS BY $14,900.00 FROM A HIICAP SUPPLEMENT.

This was offered by Mr. Jackson, seconded by Mr. Connell and Mr. Ashline, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


MERRIHEW: Discussion?


MORENCY: Is that a new position? I know it is only $11,479 but I notice they do have a break down of how it is going to be spent - full time it says, is that a new person? It has to be I guess, full time? I am just wondering if maybe Dan can tell us if there is some new person and this is another one of those grants and when the money stops is the person gone - the same old question?


PALMER: That is my understanding, yes.


MERRIHEW: That it is a new position.


JACKSON: Paid for by a grant.


MERRIHEW: And when the grant is retired so in turn will this position. Thank you Mr. Jackson and Mr. Palmer. Further questions?


SCOZZAFAVA: What is HIICAP?


MERRIHEW: It is where the funding comes from. Mr. Jackson I am sure has that information.


JACKSON: Patty told us but I can’t remember what the abbreviation is for. I hate abbreviations as everybody knows.


SCOZZAFAVA: It is in the minutes then if we go back and read them?


JACKSON: Yes, Patty told us what it was.


MERRIHEW: Further questions or discussions? Roll-call vote.



RESOLUTION #256 - AUTHORIZING A BUDGET AMENDMENT TO INCREASE REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS BY $1,318.24 FROM A TITLE VII SUPPLEMENT.

This was offered by Mr. Dedrick, seconded by Ms. Morency, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


MERRIHEW: Discussion?


MORENCY: I have a question - as long as I have been here we have had so many titles and abbreviations and many of us don’t remember what they are. I think at least in one place in every resolution the actual wording should be included and then you can abbreviate the rest of the way - I just think we should be doing that.


MERRIHEW: Okay, we appreciate that suggestion and we will see if we can implement that. Further discussion on the resolution? Being none - roll-call vote.



RESOLUTION #257 - AUTHORIZING A BUDGET AMENDMENT TO INCREASE REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS BY $6,829.92 FROM A TITLE IIIE CARRY-OVER AND SUPPLEMENT.

This was offered by Mr. Connell, seconded by Mr. Scozzafava, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


MERRIHEW: Discussion?


SCOZZAFAVA: I have always supported Title IIIE and I will continue to do so.


MERRIHEW: Can you explain to this board what is Title IIIE?


SCOZZAFAVA: To be honest with you I don’t have a clue and I bet you nobody else in this room does.


JACKSON: I think that is a legitimate question at the committee meeting to ask Patty what these different titles are because she certainly does know.


MERRIHEW: Further discussion on the resolution? Being none - roll-call vote.



RESOLUTION #258 - AUTHORIZING REVISION BY HORACE NYE HOME OF BANK SIGNATURE CARDS.

This was offered by Ms. Morency, seconded by Mr. Jackson, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


RESOLUTION #259 - AUTHORIZING AN INCREASE IN VACCINE CHARGES FOR FLU ($20.00) AND PNEUMONIA ($30.00) FOR 2006.

This was offered by Mr. McSweeney, seconded by Mr. Ashline, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


RESOLUTION #260 - AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF RETIREMENT COSTS OF A FORMER WIC EMPLOYEE FROM COUNTY FUNDS.

This was offered by Mr. Jackson, seconded by Mr. Ferebee and Mr. Ashline, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


RESOLUTION #261 - AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT OF $311.06 TO DAN TROMBLEE; $36.94 TO CAROLYN COMEGYS; $40.71 TO HANNAH SMITH; AND $305.88 TO HOLLY VENNER ALL OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT.

This was offered by Mr. Ferebee, seconded by Mr. Jackson and Mr. Dedrick, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


RESOLUTION #262 - AUTHORIZING THE PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO APPLY FOR AND ACCEPT A MINI GRANT FROM THE GREATER ADIRONDACK PERINATAL NETWORK.

This was offered by Mr. Dedrick, seconded by Mr. French, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


RESOLUTION #263 - AUTHORIZING A BUDGET AMENDMENT IN DPW TO INCREASE REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS BY $4,639.10 - SALE OF TIRES TO SERKIL.

This was offered by Mr. Ashline, seconded by Ms. Morency and Mr. Dedrick, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


RESOLUTION #264 - AUTHORIZING COUNTY PURCHASING AGENT TO GO TO BID AND ACCEPT AND/OR REJECT BIDS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS FOR A USED BUCKET TRUCK IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $60,000.00, FROM BUDGETED MONIES.

This was offered by Mr. McSweeney, seconded by Mr. French and Mr. Dobie, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


RESOLUTION #265 - OF CONDOLENCE TO THE FAMILY OF ELEANOR B. PALMER.

This was offered by Mr. McSweeney, seconded unanimously and adopted.


RESOLUTION #266 - AUTHORIZING A TRANSFER OF $38,214.06 FROM THE CONTINGENCY ACCOUNT INTO THE INFORMATION SYSTEMS BUDGET IN VARIOUS LINE ITEMS TO COVER PREVIOUSLY APPROVED PURCHASES.

This was offered by Mr. Canon, seconded by Mr. Ashline, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


RESOLUTION #267 - AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASE OF COMPUTER NETWORK SECURITY AND PC COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT FOR THE NEW JAIL/PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY EITHER UNDER STATE CONTRACT OR THROUGH RFP’S, IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $225,000.00, FROM THE JAIL CAPITAL PROJECT.

This was offered by Ms. Morency, seconded unanimously and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


RESOLUTION #268 - AUTHORIZING THE APPOINTMENT OF MAUREEN SAYLES TO SERVE ON THE ESSEX COUNTY WORKFORCE COUNCIL AS THE EDUCATION REPRESENTATIVE AS THE REPLACEMENT FOR DR. GAIL RICE.

This was offered by Mr. Ashline, seconded by Mr. Jackson, and adopted.


RESOLUTION #269 - RESCINDING RESOLUTION NO. 52 OF 3/6/06, AUTHORIZING THE INSTALLATION OF A 4000 GALLON SELF CONTAINED GAS TANK AT THE JAIL/PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY AND TO PROCEED WITH NEEDED PERMITS.

This was offered by Mr. Canon, seconded by Mr. Scozzafava and Mr. Ferebee, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            1652 votes

NOES:             380 votes (Morrow, Douglas)

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Moses, Seney, Ashworth)


MERRIHEW: Discussion?


MORROW: I supported this last week until I seen the County Attorney’s letter and I called him up and asked him what the prohibited costs were and then when I heard that it was between $100,000 to $150,000 and the first thing I thought of what that CBS show they use to have Fleecing of America. I mean, I pretty near fell over in my chair. We are talking a 2000 or 3000 gallon self-contained fuel tank, how in the world can it cost $100,000 to $150,000? I would like to have a little explanation on that.


MERRIHEW: There are three points, maybe four that came into play and as we all know here as a board because we have probably discussed this for six or eight months. The deal was to be clean and easy where the State Police would gift to Essex County to accept a 4000 gallon fuel tank and we would put it in a spot that could be utilized by both the State Police and by our County Sheriff’s mobile units. As we progressed in negotiations with the State Police and the Adirondack Park Agency and our engineers, the escalation of costs then was a realization of all three factors. When we originally opened discussions with the State Police we had requested simply that for us to receive this tank on sight that it did have to be certified and recently certified for us to receive that, that was a recommendation by our engineers. Back and forth communications delayed, delayed, delayed until a couple of weeks ago the communication from the State Police indicated that they were not prepared to certify that tank, it was a gift to us so in fact we should have it certified. That was one of the cost considerations and the deterioration of our consideration for this. The site plan was another problem. Where it was originally designed by our engineers that we paid for, it was then realized that for a proper evacuation plan to our jail facility there was a problem where we could empty out our prisoners and our jail staff into an area that wasn’t considered and I hate to use the word toxic but you are just not suppose to let them stand around in front of a fuel tank, that is essentially what they said so that we would have to change our evacuation plans, the footprint up at our site is quite constrained as it is so under recommendation we inquired to our present engineering people if we could have another suitable site and that is when we then got into projections of costs for redesign and engineering for that footprint. The next consideration which is probably the most costly was we went over and met with the Adirondack Park Agency maybe three or four months ago, we had all along believed that the fuel tank consideration to be what is described as a permit modification. At our meeting, Mr. Buck and I met with their representatives at that time and they had determined that no, they would not allow a permit modification, that it would entail another full application for consideration. With all of those new revelations upon us and us being pressed for the time constraint that we have right now trying to get that facility opened, it was determined that it was not in Essex County’s best interest to pursue that.


MORROW: Well if I can respond to those three things - number one, we have had underground tanks in the Town of Chesterfield for our highway department certified and it was not a big cost, there is a company that goes around and does it and it is around $300 to $400, above ground should be cheaper yet. The second one and I heard about that where you had to go through a sally port and stuff, we have a large enough site down there, we are having impound yard fenced off and everything else and there not two gas stations already down there. I heard it was also an environmental issue and I assume that NYSEG has their own tank down there, we are not asking to create something that was never done before down there. We are going to have public water down there too and I would assume that there would be another place down there that would be very suitable on that site, it is a pretty large site. Number three, if that is the case and the APA wants you to do another permit, then just don’t bother with the tank right now, get our Public Safety building open but don’t say no to the tank, take the tank later on if everything goes alright and go with another permit after the fact, after our Public Safety building is open. I am not going to support this today. It just bothers me the $100,000 to $150,000 and all this kind of stuff. I have always said that I think we have a problem with our engineers and I think this just shows it right now.


MERRIHEW: I certainly appreciate your input.


MORROW: I can’t support it.


MERRIHEW: It was that input to me personally that pushed me over the edge and I could not support it in that capacity.


MORROW: I understand.


MERRIHEW: Further discussion or questions?


JACKSON: I have never been convinced that this was really a necessity to begin with. We have our fueling station that our Sheriff’s use now at the highway, it is not all that far out of the way to go there and I don’t think that it is worth investing a lot of money to save a couple mile trip and the State Police is not our responsibility and I don’t think we should be spending money for their convenience. There are two gas stations there they could contract with or whatever they wanted to do in that regard. I just can’t see spending the money and going through the APA process. I agree, if we had good engineers this would have been taken care of a long time ago but we have what we have and I just can’t see spending the money for the convenience of the State Police. I know it would be easier for Henry to have it right there but I don’t know that it is easy enough to justify that much of an expense at this point and with the limited space, I will support this even though initially I support it with reservations having the tank, but I don’t any more.


MERRIHEW: Thank you. In review, absolutely it was a supported resolution at the time with the new conditions and requests we did try and put down a column of positives and a column of negatives and that column totality has changed and hence the recommendation for this resolution today.


MORROW: I agree with Mr. Jackson about the expense, if there is a large expense I wouldn’t support it either but I do not believe in my own mind that that expense is that large for a portable self-contained tank and I do also agree that the Sheriff always drove to Lewis to get gas at the DPW building and so does Emergency Services, I didn’t support this tank to bring it up from the start just because of the State Police, it was for everybody. With the cost of fuel now and you have a site where everybody is going to be, to have a fuel tank there would be the only realistic thing and to drive ten miles round trip to get fuel for your vehicles, at the price of gas, is not realistic as far as I am concerned when you can have it right at your site.


MERRIHEW: Thank you. Further discussions? Comments? Questions? Being none, roll-call vote.


RESOLUTION #270 - AUTHORIZING PAYMENT BY THE COUNTY TO LOCAL ENTITIES PROVIDING USE OF THEIR PREMISES FOR A POLLING PLACE THAT HAS HISTORICALLY BEEN PAID BY THEIR RESPECTIVE TOWNS.

This was offered by Mr. French, seconded by Mr. Scozzafava, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            1587 votes

NOES:             445 votes (Jackson, Dedrick)

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


MERRIHEW: Discussion?


DOUGLAS: Just a question, I know we are not suppose to be talking about next year but what happens next year for people that are changing polling places? Are we going to be budgeting money for places this year because we are going to be changing polling places and I don’t know what they are going to ask for an amount of money, if I should be researching that and is this something we are going to pay for for new facilities?


MERRIHEW: I believe this is for this year and that it can be changed but I have no problem bringing or offering the floor to Mr. Sanders and Mr. Hatch. Can I have a motion.


PALMER: You have already given him the courtesy, you only need to do it once.


MERRIHEW: But it is Mr. Sanders, I should get it twice.


SANDERS: Again, good morning. We do have budgeted funds for this this year and it looks like we are going to do the same next year, we will have budgeted funds for that.


MERRIHEW: Okay, does that answer the question?


DOUGLAS; For any new facilities? Our building is going to be changing from the Jay Fire Department to the new theater building and there are contract issues that we are going to be dealing with.


SANDERS: Just let us know that and we will deal with that Randy.


DOUGLAS: Okay, thank you.


DONALDSON: But the towns next year are not going to be picking the polling sites, you are going to be picking the polling sites and the contract will be directly with the Board of Elections so -


DOUGLAS: I will be in contact with them.


SANDERS: That is all we need to know.


DEDRICK; Earlier Randy I heard that your fire department was not being compensated at all this year and I brought the lease agreement to my fire department who houses all six of their districts and I said the stipend will be the same and they said what stipend? We have never been paid. I said I don’t know why you haven’t been.


SANDERS: Nobody has Bobby until this year.


SCOZZAFAVA: No, that is not so.


SANDERS: That is not true.


DEDRICK: We are creating a double standard right now. We are creating a double standard which is wrong. Either we pay the polling places a stipend or we don’t pay the polling places a stipend, I don’t care about history. I have a place right now that has six districts in it that is not getting any compensation and that is not fair so I really think that it is a double standard and is not fair. I either think that we should have compensation for all of them or no compensation at all.


MERRIHEW: That is a valid point.


FRENCH: No, it is not a valid point.


SCOZZAFAVA: No it is not.


FRENCH; No, it is not. We in the committee discussed this at length and those that historically have been paid we said we would pay. We didn’t want to muddy the waters saying people that haven’t gotten paid will get paid now. My fire district doesn’t get paid, my Methodist Church does get paid. I am not going to the fire department and say there is money available. The church gets paid because we always have paid them and that is what we talked about in committee, that was the intent of this resolution. Historical places and once they move out of that church, if they ever do, the next place will not get paid unless you come up with an agreement with them and start paying. The intent was not to muddy the water, everybody that comes through the door saying we get money now. That is why this resolution says historically, that was the intent through committee.


MERRIHEW: That is correct.


DEDRICK: Are there any fire departments that are being paid right now? Then that is a double standard. I don’t care what you say Dale, that is a double standard.


MERRIHEW: Just for the record, it shows when the question was presented how many fire departments are compensated, there was two hands raised showing there was compensation for fire departments.


DONALDSON: Just remember that these places that have been paid have been paid by you as the towns, they have not been paid by us, by the county. So therefore, we have a primary one week from today and we don’t need a situation where we don’t end up paying these that have historically been paid at this point and being thrown out of those facilities and having to find something else. This is a one year proposition. The Board of Elections will then negotiate or find other polling places, whatever they have to do next year, but we have a primary one week from today and we have to keep that in mind and to have Lew and Ed all of a sudden running around all over the county trying to find election sites is going to be quite a bit of a burden on them as they get ready for the primary.


MORENCY: Well personally I think if you can’t use your town hall for whatever reason, not enough space or not handicapped accessible or whatever and you have to go to a fire department or a church or a community center or whatever, those people usually are not for profits, struggling. You take the fire department, if they are heating their buildings and doing all that they should be reimbursed and churches the same way. Fortunately I have a small town hall but I have space there so it seems to me that we shouldn’t be squabbling over paying someone a couple of hundred bucks on election day to use their facilities if you don’t have the facilities in your town hall to do it.


SCOZZAFAVA: We contract in Moriah with both fire districts, we have for a number of years. Just to expound on what Mrs. Morency is saying, if it is a district I think you have to pay them something anyway because they certainly are heating the building and so on, it is a special district and you can’t just go in there and say we are going to use your building at no cost. Mr. Donaldson is right, you don’t need to muddy the water for this year and I thought the resolution as Mr. French stated, any of those towns that historically were paid for these polling places, that amount of money would be paid this year by the county and then next year we are just going to have to negotiate it, Board of Elections will have to with each polling place.


SANDERS: If any of the towns paid any of these places last year we need to know who they paid and whoever that may be, we would pay them the same amount that the town paid from last year.


MERRIHEW: I believe you have that information from each town.


SANDERS: I think we do, yes.


DONALDSON: Mr. Dedrick, did your town have a lease agreement with the fire department to use it as a polling place and that they would get reimbursed?


DEDRICK: No, we did not. Not that they would be reimbursed. I didn’t realize that there was no reimbursement until the other day when I brought the lease agreement to them and their comment was - are the other fire departments getting a stipend and my answer was yes. Then they said well there is a double standard produced here and there is. I know next year it could well be taken care of but my fear is that the fire department may say next year when Lew approaches them, no, we are not going to do it. Why didn’t we last year get reimbursement or a stipend for having our space available, it did cost us as Joyce said like power, lights and so on. This is Lew next year that has to go to the fire department and not me. I am just saying that for the small amount of money that we are committing to a stipend, to keep these people happy for a possible polling place in the future, it is something that we should be looking at pretty carefully.


MERRIHEW: We certainly can tend to that next year and as Mr. French pointed out, the specificity of the resolution does state institutions or buildings that have historically been paid so when your fire department talks to Mr. Scozzafava’s fire department, your statement is then that no, we as a town have not reimbursed you. It had nothing to do with the county last year or with the county ten years ago, that is an arrangement that each town individually has and it just happens to be different from town to town. Now that we are going to basically be funded by the county, I agree with Mr. French, there is no reason for that situation to change. Further discussion?


JACKSON: I am sitting here kind of sitting back but I have to kind of agree with Bobby, I think perhaps we are being short sighted. I know in Essex we have always paid the Grange $50.00 to cover any expenses which isn’t exorbitant, that is what we are talking about paying our town clerks and I don’t think you can justify more than that but for the few places you are talking about that are not town property to make things easier for next year I think we are being pound foolish and penny wise trying to save $50.00 next year and creating a crisis for next year. I know this all went through committee but I don’t know how many places you are talking about that would be adding to it and I can’t believe it would be too much over a few hundred dollars and for simplicity sake maybe we ought to look at that fairness factor and look to the future and take care of it now?


ASHLINE: The churches and the granges are all not funded by taxpayer money where all the fire departments I believe are funded. Every year at budget time I get a budget from the fire department so I think we should just leave it the way it is and move on.


MERRIHEW: That is an important point. Further comments?


DOUGLAS: Just one more comment, I have no problem with paying the historical places, in history we have paid them in the past and that wasn’t my comment. I am just worried about next year, when my fire department signed a one year agreement and they amended the contract and next year the JEMS theater building, I don’t know what is going to happen and that is where we are trying to get into the door and that is going to be something that they are going to have to negotiate with them then and we will see, I don’t have a problem with paying them.


MERRIHEW: Further discussion? Being none - roll-call vote.



RESOLUTION #271 - ACCEPTING, ADOPTING AND PLACING ON FILE POLICIES, PLANS, PROCEDURES AND ANNUAL REPORTS.

This was offered by Mr. Scozzafava, seconded by Mr. Dobie and adopted.


RESOLUTION #272 - CANCELING INTEREST, PENALTIES AND OTHER CHARGES PURSUANT TO REAL PROPERTY TAX LAW SECTION 1182 IN THE TOWN OF JAY.

This was offered by Mr. Douglas, seconded by Mr. Ashline and Mr. Canon, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


RESOLUTION #273 - AUTHORIZING A REFUND OF PENALTIES, INTEREST AND OTHER CHARGES IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,143.38 ON A 2001 TAX BILL IN THE TOWN OF SCHROON - ROBERT WHITTY, SR.

This was offered by Mr. Dobie, seconded by Mr. Canon, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


RESOLUTION #274 - ADOPTING LOCAL LAW NO. 4 OF 2006 (providing for and implementing the alternative veteran’s exemption provisions of Real Property Tax Law Section 458-a) IMPOSING AN ADDITIONAL MORTGAGE TAX IN ESSEX COUNTY.

This was offered by Mr. Morrow, seconded by Ms. Morency and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


MERRIHEW: Discussion?


SCOZZAFAVA: No, not that resolution - read the body of the resolution, this is for the mortgage tax. We have already done the resolution on the veteran’s exemption.


MERRIHEW: I had that note but it is on my other set of resolutions. The body of this is absolutely correct.


PALMER: It is the wrong title, the body says additional mortgage tax.


MERRIHEW: I did notice that and thank you Mr. Scozzafava for pointing that out.


PALMER: We will change the title to match the body.


MERRIHEW: It will be a resolution adopting the additional one-quarter percent mortgage tax.


PALMER: Right, the title will say providing and implementing the additional mortgage tax.


MERRIHEW: Offered by Mr. Morrow, seconded by Mrs. Morency. Discussion? Being none - roll-call vote.



RESOLUTION #275 - AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 42 OF MARCH 6, 2006, AND AUTHORIZING THE PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR TO HIRE THREE PER DIEM NURSES, TO BE USED AS NEEDED, WITH THEIR SALARIES TO BE PAID OUT OF THE 2006 PUBLIC HEALTH BUDGET.

This was offered by Mr. Jackson, seconded by Mr. McSweeney, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


RESOLUTION #276 - AUTHORIZING APPROVAL OF TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED BY TWO PEOPLE SENT TO NEW YORK CITY AS FIRST RESPONDERS FOR THE 9/11 COMMEMORATION.

This was offered by Mr. Jackson, seconded by Mr. Canon and Mr. Dedrick, and adopted, upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


MERRIHEW: Just to we know, that is travel expenses to be incurred, we do not have a specific amount on those yet. Further discussion? Being none - roll-call vote.



RESOLUTION #277 - CONVEYING PROPERTY LOCATED ON PINNACLE STREET IN THE TOWN OF TICONDEROGA TO THE TOWN OF TICONDEROGA.

This was offered by Mr. Dedrick, seconded by Mr. Dobie and Mr. Jackson, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


RESOLUTION #278 - OF CONDOLENCE TO THE FAMILY OF EDWARD VANDERHOOF.

This was offered by Mr. Scozzafava, seconded unanimously, and adopted.



MERRIHEW: That concludes our resolutions. We will open up the floor to resolutions from the floor.


MORENCY: I would like to move a resolution of condolence to the family of Ron Jackson for the loss of his mother.


MERRIHEW: Do I have 12 Supervisors to allow that on the floor, Madam Clerk?


PALMER: Yes, we do.


RESOLUTION #279 - OF CONDOLENCE TO THE FAMILY OF NORMA CROSS JACKSON.

This was offered by Ms. Morency, seconded unanimously, and adopted.


MERRIHEW: Thank you. Further resolutions from the floor?


MORENCY: A resolution appropriating the sum of $6,000 from the contingent account into the Board of Supervisors mileage account.


MERRIHEW: Do I have 12 Supervisors to allow that on the floor?


PALMER: Yes, we do.


RESOLUTION #280 - APPROPRIATING THE SUM OF $6,000 FROM THE CONTINGENT ACCOUNT INTO THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MILEAGE ACCOUNT.

This was offered by Ms. Morency, seconded by Mr. French and Mr. Jackson, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)


MERRIHEW: Further resolutions from the floor?


DOUGLAS: I have two Mr. Chairman. One is a request from Mr. Palmer and Mr. Manning to go into an agreement with Unum Provident for $9.00 per employee for disability insurance. For the record, that is down from the current charge that we are paying of $10.95.


MERRIHEW: Do I have 12 Supervisors to allow that on the floor?


PALMER: Yes, we do.


RESOLUTION #281 - AUTHORIZING THE PERSONNEL OFFICER TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH UNUM PROVIDENT FOR DISABILITY INSURANCE AT A COST OF $9.00/EMPLOYEE.

This was offered by Mr. Douglas, seconded by Mr. Canon, and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:            2032 votes

NOES:             0 votes

ABSENT:        811 votes (Glebus, Seney, Moses, Ashworth)



DOUGLAS: A request from RSVP, from Patsy, requesting that September 27th be declared RSVP Day.


MERRIHEW: Do I have 12 Supervisors to allow this on the floor?


PALMER: Yes, we do.


RESOLUTION #282 - PROCLAIMING SEPTEMBER 27, 2006 AS RSVP DAY.

This was offered by Mr. Douglas, seconded unanimously, and adopted.



MERRIHEW: Further resolutions from the floor?


SCOZZAFAVA: I guess for the County Attorney, are we to introduce this local law that was placed on our desks today or is this going through committee - for the Empire Zone?


MANNING: I would like to have it introduced today and that would set a public hearing and also that in the body of any resolution that we address any SEQRA concerns at the public hearing.


SCOZZAFAVA: I would so move.


MERRIHEW: Do I have 12 Supervisors to allow this on the floor?


PALMER: Yes, you do.


RESOLUTION #293 - INTRODUCING PROPOSED LOCAL LAW NO. 5 OF 2006, A LOCAL LAW REPEALING LOCAL LAW #4 OF 2005 AND AUTHORIZING THE EMPIRE ZONE TO MAKE APPLICATION FOR REDESIGNATION OF CERTAIN AREAS WITHIN ESSEX COUNTY AS AN EMPIRE ZONE.

This was offered by Mr. Scozzafava, seconded by Mr. Dedrick and Mr. Dobie, and adopted.


MERRIHEW: Discussion?


MANNING: Just as a point of edification as to what this is, we enacted this local law in 2005 which basically set forth the various pieces of property located in each of the towns involved as part of the Empire Zone. The state has come back and Barbara Brassard came to me Friday, they no longer want the designations to be by tax map number but want them to be by GIS number, that is the only thing that is being amended in this law so we are going to attach instead of tax map numbers it will be GIS numbers. The law will be passed and then we will proceed. That is the only reason that we are doing this and that is also the reason that it is coming to you from the floor on a board day.


MERRIHEW: Thank you very much. Further discussion on the resolution?


JACKSON: One clarification I didn’t think of earlier, like Moriah that pays for the election polling place, it would be the fire district that should get the check and not the department since they own the building. Just a point of clarification.


MERRIHEW: About the old resolution. Pertaining to the resolution on the floor - further discussion?


SCOZZAFAVA: You had me confused there Ron, I was wondering what that had to do with Empire Zones.


MERRIHEW: On the resolution on the floor, being no further discussion - all in favor, opposed, carried.


MANNING: Can we set the date?


PALMER: We will set it for Ways and Means day which will be September 25th at 9:45 a.m.


MERRIHEW: Thank you. Further resolutions?


DOUGLAS: I just want to offer the courtesy of the floor to Dan Palmer, he has something he would like to bring to our attention.


MERRIHEW: Courtesy of the floor offered by Mr. Douglas, seconded by Mr. French. All in favor -


PALMER: Just quick, in reference to how you pay election workers and the reason I know this is because of the certified payroll. There are two ways to pay election workers and election workers refers to anyone who works on elections, whether it be a town clerk, custodian or election inspectors. You either pay them on your payroll as some towns do and they go through the certified payroll process or you can choose to pay them on 1099's and so in terms of paying these town clerks you could certainly do that as a straight 1099 to those town clerks.


MERRIHEW: Thank you very much Dan.


CANON: You are not legally obligated to provide a 1099 unless they go over $600.00, right?


PALMER: Right.


CANON: So if you paid them on a voucher -


PALMER: The way it works out is like half of the towns are paying on a voucher for your election workers and half are paying on payroll but you can and the county can do the same thing because the law does provide that election workers can be paid that way.


MERRIHEW: Thank you Dan. Other resolutions from the floor? Being none, I would like to take this opportunity to offer a resolution to appoint Mr. Robert Ashline as a Veteran’s Director of Essex County. that would be undertook at no compensation and his responsibilities would be basically budgetary and administration considerations on that. I appreciate Mr. Ashline and Mr. Connell both offering their services in this capacity to assure our veteran’s a smooth transition during the period that we have now. If I could get a unanimous second on that.


RESOLUTION #248 - APPOINTING ROBERT ASHLINE AS ESSEX COUNTY VETERAN’S DIRECTOR.

This was offered by Mr. Merrihew, seconded unanimously, and adopted.


MERRIHEW: Thank you very much. I would like to make one comment just in consideration to the veteran’s situation. Just for an address for a Letter to the Editor in the Valley News, I felt as Chairman of this Board of Supervisors that it was important for us to relay to the veteran’s of Essex County that this board is and will be very active in assuring their benefits for this point, in the past and in the future. This board, it is unfair to represent this board as not being committed to our veteran’s and I think that that is displayed by earlier this year we did present resolution to increase veteran’s exemptions on property taxes. We were instrumental in acquiring the County veteran’s cemetery. We were successful in negotiating with the Dept. Of Veteran’s Affairs to assure the veteran’s of Essex County that they will have a certified trained counselors available here as they always have within this county complex to serve our veteran’s. I just wanted to put that out there to assure our veteran’s that in no way is this board, that has been this active since I have been a member here to continue in that capacity.

I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the Division of Veteran’s Affairs for their commitment to Essex County because that is too a very good source. We are one of the few counties in the State to have a veteran’s clinic right across the parking lot over at the Elizabethtown Community Hospital. Their assurances to this board to continue on with certified counseling as they have in the past and assuring this board that they will commit to us whatever time is necessary to properly administer the number of claims that come through Essex County. I just feel that we had to put that out there and I will open this up to comments.


CONNELL: I would just like to, being a veteran, I would like to echo your beginning comments that we are committed to providing the benefits to veteran’s and the services to veteran’s. If we find this is not going to work we can always change it but we really aren’t changing anything from what it has been in the past and I would just like to echo that we are committed to serving veteran’s, being a veteran and I am in full support of the procedures that we are moving forward with.


MERRIHEW: Thank you Mr. Connell. Other comments?


SCOZZAFAVA: In reading the Letter to the Editor that was sent by James Lloyd, I really believe that you as Chairman need to respond to this letter because there are inaccuracy’s in there, there are half truths and the claim is that most members of the Board of Supervisors don’t realize how complicated veteran’s claims are. I take that very personal because believe me, as probably everyone in this room, I have gone out and helped our veteran’s on many, many occasions and you know, just to cut to the chase here - Mr. Lloyd was looking to retire and he wanted to come back here part time at $30,000 a year so let’s call a spade a spade here and he didn’t get that part time position and that is what is going on here.


MERRIHEW: Thank you Mr. Scozzafava. Really, in response to that letter, just the phrase that we did not seek his counsel prior to making our decisions is inherently untrue. I remember at committee meetings that he did participate in, whether or not we chose the direction that he advocated, that is another point altogether but in fact he was brought into this circle, this body in the recommendations of where we were to go after his retirement.


CANON: I just want to commend you Mr. Chairman - whether it was $100,000 or $50,000 or $60,000 there was an additional expense and we were headed down that road and you certainly grabbed ahold of that situation and rectified it and provided the same level of service to our veteran’s they have always had at the same cost they have always had and I commend you for that.


MERRIHEW: Thank you very much.


MCSWEENEY: I would like to comment and I agree totally with what George said, the information that we got was from the Director himself that was taking us down the wrong road.


MERRIHEW: That is correct.


MCSWEENEY: So that is where the $100,000 came from and thanks to you it was corrected, not by the Director.


MERRIHEW: Thank you. I just needed to publicly assure our veteran’s that we are okay.


DOUGLAS: Mr. Merrihew, I echo that, you went above and beyond to make sure that our veteran’s are being taken care of. As individuals we provide you information and you ran with it, you went above and beyond the job of Chairman. I would like to know when the last day is that Jim Lloyd is actually going to be in that door because I think he is misleading members of our communities down the wrong path when our constituents are coming in that office and he is leading them down the path that you are not being well represented, your benefits are going to be taken away from you and they that is not happening because of the misrepresentation by Mr. Lloyd and I have a problem with that.


MERRIHEW: Thank you Mr. Douglas.


DEDRICK: Some of us are in the dark. I would like to see a copy of this letter because I have a feeling some veteran’s may be calling my office. Is it in here - thank you.


MERRIHEW: Mr. Ashline, our new Director of Veteran’s Services.


ASHLINE: I just want to take the opportunity to thank Noel for the nomination and thank the board for the appointment. I am not a thank you is where we should be at at this point, there is no compensation for the position, but thank you anyway.


MERRIHEW: Thank you again. Now I shall open up the floor to other pertinent business to come before this body today? Being none, may I have a motion to adjourn - moved by Mr. Douglas, unanimous second on that. We stand adjourned.



           AS THERE WAS NO FURTHER BUSINESS TO COME BEFORE THIS

           REGULAR BOARD MEETING, WE ADJOURNED AT 11:50 A.M.




Respectfully submitted,



Deborah Palmer, Clerk

Board of Supervisors