PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE

Monday, February 8, 2021 - 10:00 AM

 

 

Clerkís note Ė This meeting was held virtually.

 

Steve McNally, Chairperson

Ike Tyler, Vice-Chairperson

 

Chairman McNally called this Human Services Meeting to order at 10:46 am with the following Supervisors virtually in attendance: Clayton Barber, Robin DeLoria, Archie Depo, Stephanie DeZalia, Shaun Gillilland (in person), Joseph Giordano, Charlie Harrington, Roy Holzer, Kenneth Hughes, Steve McNally, Jim Monty, Noel Merrihew, Jay Rand, Jeffrey Subra, Ike Tyler, Joe Pete Wilson and Davina Winemiller.

 

Department Heads present: Dan Palmer (in person) Patty Bashaw, Brandon Boutelle, Judy Garrison, Sue Montgomery-Corey, David Reynolds, Heather Sheehan and Kristy Sprague.

 

Also virtually present:Sun News, Tim Rowland, Wayne Taylor and Max Thwaits

 

 

McNALLY:Good morning.I will call the Public Safety Committee meeting to order.Veteranís office, Noel Merrihew?

 

MERRIHEW:Good morning Mr. Chairman.Veteranís office has no report this month.Thank you.

 

McNALLY:Board of Elections Ė Allison McGahay, Sue Montgomery-Corey.

 

MONTGOMERY-COREY:Good morning.Iím not sure if Allison is with us this morning?I donít see here but I wanted to let you know a couple of things.We are continuing to work on our annual report.Itís been drafted.Itís been submitted to Allison for her review and hopefully we will have to you all shortly.

We are also continuing to work on our plans for the upcoming election season.If you look at our website, our Facebook page we have links to the petition calendar for the political calendar for the year of the petition, our signature list and the list of offices that are happening this year so the deadline and the beginning date for circulating designating petitions is March 2.We are also again planning for the year.At this point I donít have a lot else to add.

 

McNALLY:Alright, does anybody have anything for Sue?Yes, Sue I have a question for you.What are we doing when it comes to early voting poll sites?Are we working on something?Weíre required to take the one site in Lake Placid, thatís a long way from a lot of us.

 

MONTGOMERY-COREY: It is a long way from a lot of you.Thanks for asking.I apologize for my hoarseness this morning we are obligated under state election law to have one site in the highest population municipality in the county with is the Town of North Elba so weíre working on identifying a site up there.We are allowed under election law to have additional sites, and I know that thatís been a subject of discussion with the Board of Elections.It is my opinion that we need a second site because as I look at the round trip travel for each of the towns we have several towns for whom a round trip to vote early in Lake Placid or North Elba would be in excess of two hours and I think one of the obligations we have the polling places according to election laws that it should be located so that voters in the county have adequate and equitable access taking into consideration population density, travel time to the polling place, proximity to other early voting sites, public transportation routes, commuter traffic pattern and other factors the Board of Elections deems appropriate.Thereís definitely a cost involved.Iím trying to get a handle on what the costs for one early voting site in Lewis this past year were.I do know the staffing costs for that in terms of our election inspectors.So we had for the primary, we had for staffing costs at Lewis $3024.00 and our general was $4,611.00.We also pay mileage for our inspectors but that is tied together and itís hard to get a number for the early voting sites because itís buried in the whole cost of the election so we are working on that.

May 1st is the deadline for designating our early voting site and whether we go one this year or what to do the second one I think either way we are going to need to designate that by May 1.Are there any questions?

 

TYLER:Yes, I have one.I received a resolution from the Westport Democratic Chair to present to my board to promote a second site.Do you know anything about this resolution?

 

MONTGOMERY-COREY: I know that the Essex County Democratic Committee did approve a resolution requesting that there be a second site and so a second, simpler resolution was drafted to be able to be something that was more appropriate maybe for a town to look at to make that kind of request.

 

TYLER: I really canít give this to my board unless we know the costs of a second site, where it would be, any of this stuff I mean, just a blanket to approve a second site without knowing any of the costs I think wouldnít be the right thing to do.

 

MONTGOMERY-COREY:No and I totally understand having sat in your seat at one point.I know how important dealing with the financial implications are but itís also important that voters in your county have access to, all voters have access to the same options for voting.

 

TYLER:Some people have been given the wrong information, that it didnít cost the county any money to have a site and the State will reimburse them to have a second site also thatís what the Democratic Chair told me and I said, thatí not true.

 

MONTGOMER-COREY:No, itís not true.No.

 

TYLER:Well, some people are getting false information out there.

 

MONTGOMERY-COREY:Yeah, well I will get back in touch with that person but you know, there are costs involved, thereís no doubt about it.The point is whether all voters should have equal access or reasonable access to the early voting option which they wonít have and this has been an issue from the beginning.You know, and it was great I loved the site we had in Lewis, it was useful and helpful in many ways but as a voter from Minerva or voters from Ticonderoga for us, itís almost or to go to Lake Placid is almost three hours back and forth that presumes really good weather and good roads so I think itís something to consider and I hope that we will consider it down the road if we canít do it this year I hope that we look at it as something thatís important because all voters you know, if somebodyís living in Crown Point they shouldnít have to drive three hours to early vote.

 

HOLZER:Steve, I have a question. Sue has any attempt been made to the state to get a waiver to keep it in Lewis and the second question is what about the no excuse absentee voting legislation thatís going to be coming up which would solve a lot of this early voting because people could go right into the Board of Elections and cast their ballot?

 

MONTGOMERY-COREY:Well, they have the ability now by going in and voting absentee they can but the early voting is a separate a lot of people want to vote on the machine and they and thatís what early voting gives them.I think the no excuses absentee voting is a good thing and itís moving forward and hopefully weíll be in place and that will be an option for a lot of people but there are lot of people we found this time were not comfortable voting by absentee.

 

McNALLY:Alright, anybody else for Sue?

 

HARRINGTON: I have a question in regards to early voting and that is, is there any ability to have mobile sites and if there was certainly it could be well advertised as to when those sites would be open and those sites could be scheduled for each town.Certainly it would be much easier for the populace to have early voting that way.

 

MONTGOMERY-COREY:You can break up, as I understand, and you can break up the period and have people vote in one part of the county at one point and then another part of the county at another point.Thatís an option but I think itís the idea of having access to it for all of the voters this is really important.

 

HARRINGTON: Well, if you can do that why isnít it broken up?Why arenít we scheduling and having it broken up?

 

MONTGOMERY-COREY:Because the Board of Elections hasnít made that decision at this point, we are obligated to have one site and that would require us to agree to have more than one site so if we are going to have one site it has to be in the Town of North Elba and the question that was asked earlier about whether weíve looked at getting a waiver, there is a bill thatís going to be considered in the Assembly election committee tomorrow that will move the poll site in Washington County from the highest population to the next town over because the transportation routes are available there.I think in order to get a waiver we would have to have that change in the law, probably.

 

McNALLY:Anybody else have anything for Sue?

 

PALMER:Steve, just so itís clear, that thereís really two issue here oneís financial and frankly, if you guys want to have a second site weíll find the money out of the contingent account to pay for it but the second issue is that both Commissioners have to agree irrespective of what the board wants in order for a second site to be possible both Democrat and Republican Commissioners would have to agree that they want to run a second site.If they do that then the board can entertain the resolution to go ahead and fund the second site because thatís your role in terms of the Board of Elections, you fund the Board of Elections.So, if the Commissioners come back to us and say, look we would like to have a second site I can recommend where are you going to get the money from and in most cases, that makes sense at this point to take it out of the contingent account.

 

McNALLY:Alright, sounds good.So youíll get back to us Sue?

 

MONTGOMERY-COREY:Yeah, Dan is absolutely right about that and I just wanted to be sure to go on the record that I think a second site is important and whether the two commissioners end up agreeing, I hope eventually we will, but I want to make sure that you all know that thatís important to me and hopefully down the road we can get something going to make it happen so that all voters and this is really you know, when you look at voter registration for the towns, Ticonderoga which is the second largest population town in the county, is one of those towns where itís almost three hours back and forth in good weather to go to Lake Placid to vote and they are more Republican than Democrat and so for me, itís not about that itís about access, equal access.So I appreciate you listening to me and we hope to continue the conversation.

 

McNALLY:Alright, thank you. Anybody else?

 

GIORDANO:When I had some conversations earlier I understand thereís some logistics issue to this in terms of you need to have a secure location, it needs to be available for nine days, it has to be able to be open and operating both day and night and then the other was a large hurdle but potentially a large hurdle and given some of what we went through this last year was the need for additional poll workers.So the financial constraints are important.The working from the board of Elections as you know, bringing that back to the board is also important but then also these logistical concerns need to be sort of ironed out and figured out as to where that location would be held and to make sure that itís secure and itís operable and youíve got enough people to operate it I think just a couple other items to keep in the back of your mind.

 

MONTGOMERY-COREY:I appreciate you bringing those up and they are important no doubt about it.

 

McNALLY:Alright, great.Okay, thank you.Letís move onto District Attorney, Kristy Sprague.

 

SPRAGUE:Good morning everyone.I submitted a letter and I think Judy was kind enough to disseminate the email regarding my request.I just needed the resolution approving a budget transfer.The funds are already budgeted, itís just transferring $7,000 from one salary line to another to allow me to basically hire attorneys that are experienced in one position and one thatís more of an entry level position.I do have candidates that have applied and are eligible but I just needed to get the approval in order to offer them the positions.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT CONFIDENTIAL SALARIES IN THE DISTRICT ATTORNEYíS OFFICE, INCREASING AN ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY SALARY FROM $70,201.00 TO $83,000.00 AND DECREASING AN ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY SALARY FROM $70,201.00 TO $63,201.00.Holzer, Rand

 

McNALLY:Questions or concerns.

 

PALMER: Just so the boardís aware, the reason why Kristy needs this resolution is because this is a change to the MC resolution that you passed that identified what each position was being paid within her department.This resolution doesnít change her budget; itís just moving money around in her budget but it does change what those individual positions within that MC resolution was identified as.

 

McNALLY:Alright, wonderful.All in favor, opposed Ė carries.Anything else for Kristy?Thank you.Emergency Services Ė Don Jaquish.

 

THWAITS:Good morning.Don is on another meeting.We do have five resolutions.I believe you have them in front of you.Number one is a contract amendment to the Murray Law Firm, increasing revenue to $25,000.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZNG THE COUNTY CHAIRMAN OR COUNTY MANAGER AUTHORIZE A CONTRACT AMENDMENT WITH THE MURRAY LAW FIRM CONTRACT NO. MISC-10-006, IN THE AMOUNT OF $25,000.00, WITH FUNDS TO COME FROM SCIG-17 AND THE RADIO PROJECT.DeZalia, Depo

 

McNALLY:Questions, concerns?

 

MONTY:Yeah, Steve what is that for?

 

THWAITS:$15,000 of it is for consulting for the Monkton Project and the other the ten is for consulting for every other tower site.

 

McNALLY:Alright, anybody else? All in favor, opposed Ė carried.

 

THWAITS:The second one is to award a mini bid to CSG for the command trailer, this is the phone system.It will give us two phones expandable up to ten, in the command trailer.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASING AGENT TO AWARD A MINI BID TO CSG FOR MOBILE COMMAND CENTER IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,632.73, WITH FUNDS TO COME FROM SHSP18 GRANT.Tyler, Holzer

 

McNALLY:Questions, concerns? All in favor, opposed Ė carried.

 

THWAITS:The third is to accept a mini bid to Bearcom communications for installed radio equipment in the command trailer, for $5,415.84, funds coming from SHSP-18 grant.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASING AGENT TO AWARD A MINI BID TO BEARCOM FOR COMMAND POST RADIO EQUIPMENT, SOFTWARE AND SUPPLIES IN THE AMOUNT OF $5,415.84, WITH FUNDS TO COME FROM SHSP-18 GRANT.Winemiller, Tyler

 

McNALLY:Questions, concerns? All in favor, opposed Ė carried.

 

THWAITS:The fourth is to accept and award a mini bid to Bearcom for radio interface supplies for the amount of $14,724.43, again, funds coming from SHSP-18 grant.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASING AGENT TO AWARD A MINI BID TO BEARCOM FOR RADIO INTERFACE SUPPLIES IN THE AMOUNT OF $14,724.43, WITH FUNDS TO COME FROM SHSP-18 GRANT.Holzer, Tyler

 

McNALLY:Questions, concerns? All in favor, opposed Ė carried.

 

THWAITS:The final one is to apply for and accept 2021 PSAP grant, this pays for approximately half of the dispatcher salaries.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE EMERGENCY SERVICES DEPARTMENT APPLY FOR A 2021 PSAP GRANT.Winemiller, Tyler

 

McNALLY:Questions, concerns? All in favor, opposed Ė carried.Is that Max?

 

THWAITS:Thatís all I have unless thereís any questions?

 

McNALLY:Okay, thank you.Emergency Medical Service Ė Patty Bashaw.

 

BASHAW:Hi.You have our report.If you have any questions Iíll answer them for you.

 

McNALLY:Any questions for Patty?Alright, I guess not. Thank you.Sheriff Ė Dave Reynolds.

 

REYNOLDS:So, as most of you guys are aware in the summer of 2020, Governor Cuomo signed into Executive Order 203 re-inventing policing.So in August of 2020, he put out a resource guide how we should go about this so from there we started to formulate a plan and as all of you know I sent out emails and I had meetings scheduled throughout the county in November and December unfortunately at the time, the ten-person limit on gatherings came out so we werenít able to go throughout the county and have these meetings so weíre kind of at a time crunch now and weíre going to, what Iíve done is Iíve put a panel together District Attorney Sprague is going to be on it, Public Defender Brandon Boutelle, Shaun Gillilland as your Chairman, Nicky Hylton-Patterson from the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, Doug Meyer from Westport Mental Health Association and Alan Jones the Director of ACAP so what weíre going to do is Thursday at the Board of Supervisors Chambers Iím going to with the help of Ken Hughes, do a Goto meeting heís going to set us up so that I can present what the Sheriffís Office is doing currently the panel will be able to give feedback, make suggestions, comments and the public will be able to live stream this.Itís going to be very difficult for them to make comments at that time so weíre going to have follow up meetings, the following week where I will answer all the question from there weíre going to form, weíll provide a plan to the county board of what changes that the Sheriffís office needs to make or maybe weíre fine, and then you guys are going to have to either approve that or disapprove it and by April 1st, we have to submit this to the Division of Budget.Dan Palmer as the Boss there has to submit this to the division of budget or Essex County loses all of their state aid that includes, I believe any county agency that receives State aid.I think we have a good plan.I think we have a good panel thatís going to ask the right questions, and Iím proud of the Sheriffís office I think weíre doing things the right way so I just wanted to let everybody know that on February 11th at 10:00 a.m.†† Iím going to send invites to everybody.Obviously we can still only have a small number of people there so not everybody can come but youíll be able to live stream this and have your input afterwards.Other than that, you guys do have my report.Do you have any questions?

 

McNALLY:Does anybody have anything for Dave?Alright, thank you.Probation Ė Heather Sheehan.

 

SHEEHAN:Good morning everyone.You have my report and Iím here to answer any questions if you have any?

 

McNALLY:Does anybody had anything for Heather?If not, thank you.Public Defender Ė Brandon Boutelle.

 

BOUTELLE:Good morning everyone.Last meeting, I think I misspoke and said that the courts are in process of having live appearances again and that was not the case.The order from the Office of Court Administration is still in effect, weíre still on a pause for in person court appearances.Some courts are using virtual appearances to conference cases and try to keep things moving along.I guess weíre accumulating a bit of a backlog of cases during this pause, but nothing that we canít solve once things get rolling again but other than that, I have nothing further unless thereís any questions.

 

McNALLY:Does anybody have anything for Brandon?Alright, thank you.Anything else to come in front of the Public Safety Committee?

 

HUGHES:Wayne Taylor is speaking but is not being heard.

 

McNALLY:Wayne?Are you muted?

 

HUGHES:No it says his microphone works but I see his mouth moving but Iím not hearing anything.

 

GARRISON:He did submit a resolution to accept and place on file his annual report.

 

McNALLY:Okay, anybody want to move that?

 

RESOLUTION ACCEPTING AND PLACING ON FILE THE 2020 WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ANNUAL REPORT.Tyler, Hughes

 

McNALLY: Questions, concerns?

 

TYLER:Wayne youíre going to have to use sign language buddy.

 

MONTY:Steve, I just want to thank Wayne for that report because it was one of the best reports Iíve seen.It was very inclusive with a lot of information in there and it shows the amount of work Wayne was doing so, thank you Wayne.

 

McNALLY:Alright, all in favor Ė opposed Ė carried.Anything else for the Public Safety Committee?

 

††††††††††† As there was no further discussion to come before this Public Safety Meeting it was adjourned at 11:11 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Judith Garrison, Clerk

Board of Supervisors