PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE
Monday, May 9, 2022 - 9:30 AM
Steve McNally, Chairperson
Ike Tyler, Vice-Chairperson
Chairman McNally called this Public Safety Meeting to order at 9:30 am with the following Supervisors in attendance: Stephanie DeZalia, Shaun Gillilland, Charlie Harrington, Roy Holzer, Kenneth Hughes, Steve McNally, Noel Merrihew, Tom Scozzafava, Matt Stanley, Ike Tyler Joe Pete Wilson, Davina Winemiller, Margaret Wood and Mark Wright.† Clayton Barber, Robin DeLoria, Derek Doty and Jim Monty were excused.
Department Heads present: †Brandon Boutelle, Dan Palmer, Judy Garrison, Sue Montgomery-Corey, Allison McGahay, David Reynolds, Heather Sheehan, Daniel Woods and Max Thwaits.†† Kristy Sprague was absent.
Also present:† Miriam Hadden, Shona Doyle and Jennifer Fifield.
News Media:† Tim Rowland Ė SUN
McNALLY:† Alright, letís stand for the pledge please.† Good morning, welcome to the Public Safety Committee.† Veteranís Office Ė Noel Merrihew.
MERRIHEW:† No report this morning just a reminder, Memorial Day there will be a ceremony at the county cemetery.
McNALLY:† Great, thank you.† County Sealer, Dan Woods.
WOODS:† Good morning everyone.† If you flip to the second page, youíll see my report for April.† I donít have anything further to add to that, if you have any questions I would be glad to answer.
McNALLY:† Anything for Dan?† Alright, great, thank you.
WOODS:† Thank you very much.
McNALLY:† Board of Elections Ė Sue Montgomery-Corey.
MONTGOMERY-COREY:† Good morning and Allison is joining us.† Good to see you.† Good morning everyone.† The first thing we want to deal with is the easiest subject and thatís the summer hours for the Board of Elections.† We were hoping to do a resolution for ours, May 16 Ė September 16, 8:00 to 4:00 and if you could help us with that weíd really appreciate it.
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING ESSEX COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS TO CHANGE THE HOURS TO BE OPEN FROM 8:00 A.M. TO 4:00 P.M. BEGINNING MAY 16, 2022 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 16, 2022.† Holzer, Tyler
McNALLY:† Questions, concerns?† All in favor, opposed Ė carried.
MONTGOMERY-COREY:† Okay, do you want to take it over or do you want me to keep going?†
McGAHAY:† What topic do you want to cover next?
MONTGOMERY-COREY: I want to do a heads up about the grant that we will be getting, we donít have any information as far as timing or amounts but we will be getting a grant from the State for applications and ballots to pre-pay postage for absentee ballots.† I just want to give you a heads up thatís coming. We donít need an action from you right now but just heads up and then we also wanted to let you know that we will be needing to do a mailing to voters impacted by the potential second primary that you may have heard.† Things are very challenging in the election world right now.† We have a June 28th primary that has been on the calendar and that, at this point is a local primary, we have no local primaries so thatís clear for us but there are probably statewide primaries that will have to take place on that day and then we anticipate an August 23rd primary that will likely include Congressional candidates and the State Senate candidates.† Weíre waiting on information on that from the courts and the State board of Elections and then on November 8th we have the general election so one of the many unknowns of this whole redistricting court challenge thing and one of the cases that was filed was concerning Assembly races and Assembly lines.† We donít know where that is headed but we do anticipate that it may impact the Assembly races but also anything that is tied to the Assembly district lines like State committee seats or county committee seats.
McGAHAY:† Judicial bill.
MONTGOMERY-COREY:† Judicial delegates as well although most likely the Judicial calendar will stay the same as far as the caucus I would assume.
McGAHAY:† Well, if they had an August 23rd primary then they wouldnít be able to do the August 8th convention.
MONTGOMERY-COREY: Oh, okay.
McGAHAY:† So everything would change.† That wasnít a new lawsuit that was brought, it was a motion to intervene just clarifying so we donít know where that is going. I know there is oral argument on that tomorrow and weíll find out more but if there is the August 23rd primary then that adds of course another nine days of early voting as well and we do need to discuss that as a group because while the beach house, you know we had that legislation that was passed that said that the municipality with the highest population has to be the place that has the early voting site that for us is the Village of Lake Placid and the Mayor and the Village Clerk have been absolutely fantastic about letting us use that space for early voting.† Itís secure, itís assessable, it meets all of our needs but weíve never asked them to use that location in August before.† June has always been great because the beach isnít open yet, the kids are still in school so you donít have the crowds, August is going to be an entirely different scenario with visitors, people assessing the beach, itís already limited to one-way traffic only because of all the roadwork we have going on and while it has been discussed with the Village Clerk and they are totally agreeable to allowing us to be there, we might just have some issues with how to get voters into the building with all the traffic issues so weíll look at it together.
McNALLY:† Do we anticipate having a second site?
McGAHAY:† Well, we donít know, we havenít talked about that part either you know last year when we did the North Hudson site, thank you so much, thank you for that we asked you to approve that on a one-year basis so that we could try it out and see how it went and a lot of the reasons for using North Hudson was because we had so many primaries for local offices down in the southern end of the county so we really needed that so weíll have to talk about that as well.† Thankfully I donít know if public safety is going to be available to us as well this year but that was always a great site also but itís going to be a challenging year but we donít know exactly what to ask you for yet because we donít know what we are up against moving forward.
MONTGOMERY-COREY:† Yup and I think a couple other things, one thing that Iíve been very concerned about as you know weíve had an ongoing inspector shortage as does everybody in the State and I think having a second primary, in August during prime vacation time is going to make that challenge even bigger so weíll be having to work on that, figuring out was to be more outreach so that we can hopefully attract some more inspectors so itís a very challenging time for the Board of Elections as they are always challenging this is more so, so we appreciate your support in all of this and I donít have anything more.
WINEMILLER:† Does the voting have to take place in a municipally owned building?
McGAHAY:† No, absolutely not and just I wanted to also point out that there have been counties that got waivers, were able to get waivers allowing them to not comply with that rule that you have to have your early voting site in the municipality with the highest population Washington County did that, help me with the other county that did that.
MONTGOMERY-COREY: Iím not remembering but what I do remember is that the waivers that were granted, were granted through legislative action so if this county wanted to seek a waiver it would likely need to go to through the State Legislature and as we all know, the State Legislature ends its session in mid to late June so the timing of that is not wonderful for asking for a waiver but it could potentially be done.
WINEMILLER:† I would like to suggest the possibility of using the Lake Placid Elementary School as a voting location.
McGAHAY:† Iím sure that that would probably be shot down for June and for Novemberís elections because the kids are still in school but for August thatís absolutely a possibility yes, sure.† Schools are great as long as school isnít in session because we take up their whole space.† When we tried to use schools for early voting you know we need our machines secure which means, if weíre in the gym, no thereís no practices in the gym for nine days straight, no one goes into the gym for nine days straight and thatís just not feasible for a school district.
SCOZZAFAVA:† If we were granted a waiver, where would you suggest if we donít need to do North Hudson?
McGAHAY:† It would be a waiver to not have to do it in the Village of Lake Placid just somewhere else.
SCOZZAFAVA:† Somewhere else being in North Elba?
MONTGOMERY-COREY:† No the waiver wouldnít necessary be for that but we would have to discuss it and we have not discussed that possibility.
SCOZZAFAVA:† I think we should do a resolution making that request regardless if it goes through or not, at least make the request.
McGAHAY: Well I donít know if youíve been through Lake Placid?† I live in Lake Placid.
SCOZZAFAVA: Yes, itís all tore up.
McGAHAY:† Itís all tore up.† I mean the end goal is wonderful.† It looks better and better all the time itís just going to be tough on voters.
SCOZZAFAVA:† So I think, itís May, we may have time if we get Dan Stec Ė
McNALLY:† Are you moving that Tommy?
SCOZZAFAVA: Iím not on the committee.
HOLZER: I have a question as well.
McNALLY:† Would you like to move that resolution?
HOLZER:† After my question.† So for your poll watchers, where are they primarily coming from for your early voting locations from last year, where did they come from?† Elizabethtown?
MONTGOMERY-COREY:† They came from all over but they were among our more experienced inspectors thereís a difference between poll watchers and inspectors.
HOLZER:† Right, okay.† I meant inspectors.
MONTGOMERY-COREY:† I figured you did.
HOLZER:† Iíll move that to request the waiver.
RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE ESSEX COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS A WAIVER TO THE RULE OF HAVING AN EARLY VOTING SITE IN THE MUNICIPALITY WITH THE LARGEST POPULATION.† Holzer, Tyler
McNALLY: Questions, concerns?† All in favor, opposed Ė carried.
McGAHAY:† Supervisor Holzer you have your marijuana referendum on the ballot this fall, you had asked me if the Board of Elections has everything that they need to place your ballot proposal in November ballot and we have everything that we need from the Town of Wilmington, right?† We have the ballot proposal, the abstract.† Other towns that have a marijuana referendum on your ballot this year?† North Elba.† Town of Jay Ė do we have everything that we need from the Town of Jay, yes?† Great.† North Elba, I already know that we have everything for that.† Okay, great thank you.
SCOZZAFAVA:† Tomorrow Port Henry Fire District #3, is putting on the ballot a $4.5 million bond issue which legally they are way over the border of limitation limit.† I was surprised to hear that the Board of Elections, they run these elections on their own?† The fire districts?
McGAHAY:† The fire districts, yeah, we donít run fire districts, we donít run school board elections, we donít run Village elections, we donítí run fire district elections.† Under the election law it specifically says, right in the beginning like in Chapter 1, it lists out that county boards shall be established and here are the elections that they are to run.
SCOZZAFAVA:† So thereís no checks and balances to this if somebody wanted to Ė
McGAHAY:† Iím not saying thereís no checks and balances.† I mean those are paper elections so you know, Iím sure that you have a group of people, Iím expecting that there are a group of people that reviewed the ballots together.
SCOZZAFAVA: Iím just taken aback with how this process works and then I found out that the residences are getting calls from all kinds of landlords and business owners that canít vote, even though they will be assuming the burden, the people that live in the apartments can go vote.† The Lee House being a prime example that would increase their tax bill by thousands of dollars and yet, the owners have no say in the matter.† I guess we need to discuss that.
McGAHAY:† Yeah, when thereís a commercial property who the residence is, is a question that comes up.
McNALLY:† Itís not getting fixed here so.
SCOZZAFAVA: Itís insane.
McNALLY:† Just another point, Lake Placid is 75 miles from Minerva for that voting, if we donít move it and with the cost of fuel, thatís a hardship to drive that far.
SCOZZAFAVA:† We have one in North Hudson, correct?
McNALLY:† We did last time; it doesnít mean we are this time.
MONTGOMERY-COREY:† We did searches on the amount of time it would take somebody to drive from the southern part of the county up to North Elba and itís, up and back itís almost three hours.
McNALLY:† Right and also, do we have an estimated cost what the second primary is going to cost us, to run the second primary?
MONTGOMERY-COREY:† No not at this point.
McGAHAY:† Well, we used to have, remember until a couple of years ago we always had two primaries, every other year Congress was in June and your State and Local were in September and then we had the general election in the fall and some years we had a fourth when you had the Presidential primary in February as well so we can tell you what our most expensive elections have been in the past, we have that historical data.
MONTGOMERY-COREY:† But current costs, we havenít cost it out in current costs.
McGAHAY:† Right, including early voting.† We never had one of those years.
McNALLY:† Alright, anybody else?† Anything else?† Alright, thank you very much.† Emergency Services Ė Max Thwaits.
THWAITS:† Good morning.† I would like to start with the first resolution, authorizing the Essex County Emergency Services to apply for and accept the fiscal year 2020 Hazmat Targeted grant for the HazMat Consortium, this grant is for the seven counties of this area.
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE EMERGENCY SERVICE DEPARTMENT TO APPLY AND ACCEPT FOR THE FY2020 HAZARDOUS MATERIALS TARGETED GRANT FOR THE HAZMAT CONSORTIUM.† Tyler, Hughes
McNALLY:† Questions or concerns?† All in favor, opposed Ė carried.
THWAITS:† For informational purposes only, our pictometry Eagle View Flight is 98% complete, for those of you interested and have access to it you can log in and select a date as early access and you can view our new pictures and thatís all I have.
McNALLY:† Alright, Emergency Medical Services.
THWAITS:† A resolution of appreciation to the EMS providers in Essex County and recognizing the week of May 15 Ė 21, 2022, as National EMS Week.
RESOLUTION OF APPRECIATION TO THE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICE PROVIDERS IN ESSEX COUNTY AND RECOGNIZING THE WEEK OF MAY 15 Ė 21, 2022, AS NATIONAL EMS WEEK.† Tyler, unanimous
THWAITS:† Also, for informational purposes it is in the State budget for fire departments that currently have a CON can now bill for the EMS services and thatís all I have.
GILLILLAND:† Signed by the Governor or itís in the budget?
THWAITS: Itís in the budget.
McNALLY:† Anybody else?† We only fought for that for thirty years and then, after we fixed problem we get help from our local elected officials on that.† Alright, anything else?† Thank you.† Sheriff Ė Dave Reynolds.
REYNOLDS:† So I donít have a report for you but wanted to fill you in on the last month, itís been pretty busy for us so our responses, the Deputy responses through dispatch has risen from around three to four hundred to almost six-hundred just in the last month and thatís tribute to the five, new people we have on the road so weíre a lot more active, you can see us a lot more out there.† Jail population has increased so we were hovering high forties, low fifties now weíre over seven part of that is because of the Federal inmates have increased which is good for our revenue but also locally weíre seeing more inmates and I think it is bail reform maybe catching up to some things because people are being sentenced.† Everything is increasing, DWIís, domestics, EMS response and so on.
McNALLY:† Anything for Dave?† You all set, thank you.† Probation Ė Heather Sheehan.
SHEEHAN:† Hi everyone.† You have my report and Iím here if you have any questions regarding that?
McNALLY:† Any questions for Heather?†† Too easy, alright thank you.† Public Defender Ė Brandon Boutelle.
BOUTELLE:† Good morning supervisors.† I have no formal report just going off of what the Sheriff said, business is steady. Weíre well employed over at the Public Defenderís office.† Iím sure Miriam is as well, our Conflict Defender.† Iíve like I said, no formal report.† I can answer any questions if there are any questions?
McNALLY:† Anything for Brandon?† Alright, thank you.† Conflict Defender Ė Miriam Hadden.
HADDEN:† Good morning.† I donít have a report this month but if anyone has any questions Iíd be happy to answer them.
McNALLY:† Does anybody have anything?
GILLILLAND:† As far as you being Conflict Defender, have you had to turn any over or have you been able to handle the majority of the conflicts?
HADDEN:† Yeah, I mean itís been steady.†† There was definitely early on sort of a wave of cases that came on pretty fast so we were pretty busy.† A lot of those cases were from the August drug sweep.†† County court cases tend to be a lot more work than the local court cases so even though Iíve had not as many cases in the county court I think Iíve spent a lot more time on those but I do spend a lot of time driving around too so that sort of a large bulk of my time because I handle most of the courts in the county but yeah, things just started to kind of calm down.† There were several sentences that were handed out in the last month in the county court so a lot of those cases were dissolved.† Waiting for the next round and you know weíre trying to sort of catch up on all the administrative stuff that weíve sort of been learning along the way.† So Iím pretty steadily busy.
GILLILLAND: Thank you.
McNALLY:† Okay, anybody else?† Alright thank you very much.† Anything else for the Public Safety Committee?† If not, weíre adjourned.
††††††††††† As there was no further discussion to come before this Public Safety Committee it was adjourned at 9:50 a.m.
Judith Garrison, Clerk
Board of Supervisors