REGULAR BOARD

Monday, March 1, 2021 - 10:00 AM

 

 

Clerk’s note – This meeting was held virtually.

 

 

Shaun Gillilland, Chairperson

James Monty, Vice-Chairperson

 

Chairman Gillilland called this Regular Board Meeting to order at 10:00 am with the following Supervisors virtually in attendance: Clayton Barber, Robin DeLoria, Archie Depo, Stephanie DeZalia, Shaun Gillilland (in person), Joseph Giordano, Roy Holzer, Kenneth Hughes, Steve McNally, Jim Monty, Noel Merrihew, Jay Rand, Tom Scozzafava, Jeffrey Subra, Ike Tyler, Joe Pete Wilson and Davina Winemiller.  Charlie Harrington was absent. Jay Rand was excused.

 

Department Heads present: Dan Palmer (in person) Laura Carson, Jim Dougan, Judy Garrison, Dan Manning (in person), Heather Sheehan, Sue Montgomery-Corey, David Reynolds and Michael Mascarenas. 

 

Also virtually present:  Senator Daniel Stec, Sun News - Tim Rowland, Dan Tedford, Max Thwaits and Margaret Bartley.

 

 

GILLILLAND:  The time is now 10 a.m. and I will call this regular board meeting to order.  Please stand for the pledge.  Thank you.  Can I have the roll call please Judy.  Thank you.  We do have a guest this morning.  Senator Stec is joining us to give us kind of an update on what’s going on in Albany which that’s a lot so he doesn’t have a lot of time down there but he’s going to give us a quick update and if we have time maybe some questions but I will turn the floor over to Senator Stec.   Thank you Dan.

 

SENATOR STEC:  Thanks Chairman.  Good morning everyone.  I really wish that we could all be in person but I know you guys have been meeting remotely for the last several months.  At least county government is up and running and you guys are doing a great job.

 I just wanted to check in a little bit. I apologize, I can’t stay long I’ve got another zoom at 10:15 so now I’m getting scheduled this week in 15 minute increments.  Somebody in my office didn’t get the memo, they are driving me nuts and I’m sure they are driving you nuts too.  I hope you’re all well, your families, and your co-workers and everyone in your towns in the county you know I’m really impressed with all of our departments of public work in the North country or public health rather for everything that they’ve done this has been a long almost year for all of them so my hat’s off to your department as well.

You know, it’s been a really, really strange year in Albany so far I don’t have to tell you.  You guys have been following the news I’m sure.  You know certainly it started to look like we were going to have some positive Federal aid coming in that’s going to help the State of New York out and help our budget process out we’re waiting to see what the details are on that.  Obviously I think there’s a lot of people that would feel more at ease if it was going directly to local government, into our schools as opposed to going to Albany first.  Of course, even if it bypasses Albany and goes directly to you there’s other way that Albany can get their fingers into your pockets as well so there’s always you know that game that gets played.  You’ve seen it last year with eighteen municipalities and you guys ended up paying for that cut out of your own sales tax.  So you know there’s certainly always a risk of Albany meddling in your operation but that’s you know, as strange as it is to say the budget is well, it’s going to be the most challenging budget certainly I’ve ever seen in Albany and probably in a generation.  It isn’t the biggest or most talked about problem that we’ve got right now in Albany as well you know the idea of the Emergency Powers and whether or not the Governor should keep them goes back, predates all this current stuff with what’s going on with the nursing home scandal and the allegations of sexual harassment that came up last week.  You know the emergency nature of our crisis was largely behind us and you know the idea that we needed a strong executive to be making our decisions, that hasn’t been necessary in months now everything that we’re doing now can largely be done legislatively.  This legislatures meeting, we’re meeting remotely, we’re meeting in person we have a normal schedule down there.  I mean as far as days that we’re in operation but a lot of it is via zoom but we’ve been making it work so we’re certainly capable of doing our jobs and you know, just the whole argument of the Constitutional requirement of a balance of power, checks and balances, co-equal branch of Government, keeping an eye on one another that’s what I signed up for all the times that I’ve ever taken an oath to protect and defend our Constitution but unfortunately you know, we’ve had the nursing home issue with the under reported death numbers and the cover up and the admission of the cover up and the Department of Justice investigation that’s been started then the threats to one of my, at least one of my legislative colleagues in the Assembly from the Governor and now these two sexual harassment allegations, we’ve got a mess on our hands in Albany.  We’re trying to do the right thing but at the end of the day what matters most is we need to be able to govern and if something is too large of a distraction or it takes away from somebody’s credibility to do their job effectively anymore then that’s a problem to New York State.  So unfortunately that is going to be something that is going to command attention by the legislature this week.  I’m not sure whether all of my colleagues are.  I know where my colleagues on my side of the aisle stand on this but I just feel badly, you know this is certainly what I relish in. I don’t take any pleasure or enjoyment in it.  You know we’re here to serve the public.  We need an efficient and functioning government and if something becomes too large of a distraction where you can’t govern any more than we need to be looking to make a change.   So we’ll see what happens.  I apologize, I don’t mean to be overly political but I don’t know how I would address the county board of Supervisors today and not mention what’s been going on in the last two weeks in Albany and specifically the last 48 hours.

With that said, county government moves forward and again, you guys are focusing and have been doing a great job without any distractions coming your way from Albany.  We’re going to do everything we can in the budget to do right by CHIPS and certainly do right to protect your eighteen municipalities.  You know my door is always open to any of you.  You can call me.  You can zoom me.  I’m willing to meet in person but you know don’t be shy.  Like Tom Scozzafava I wish he’d be a little less shy.  I was with Tom last week and we toured his location of where the Energy Storage Project would go in Moriah and I was intrigued by that. 

I see Joe Pete’s smiling face and I know that Joe Pete is getting ready for a wonderful hiking season you know full of crowded trail heads and dangerous roadways but I appreciate Joe Pete’s work in particular on those issues with DEC. 

I think this is the first time I’ve had a chance to address you guys this year so I want to tell you my committee assignments hopefully you all now but I’m the ranking member of the child and family’s committee which is a new committee to me but I’m also the ranking member on the Environmental Conservation Committee which is a committee that I was the ranker on in the assembly all eight years I was there.  So you know, I’m particularly happy with that because I feel DEC is my personal wheelhouse my patronage, my father being retired Ranger and certainly my passion as you all know I love to hike again Joe Pete Wilson’s town is my favorite town in the world to hike in followed closely by North Elba although Moriah makes a strong case with the Moriah Challenge so I just want to thank you all for you work, your staff’s work.  I got a lot of respect for the work that Linda Beers and her people have been doing there.

The vaccine roll out, you know, I think largely the main issue with the vaccine is the availability.  You know, I mean I’ve got my criticisms we all do as to the wisdom of the decisions that the Governor made putting more into the State created pods as opposed to an existing and proven model that you have in your public health department but the biggest impediment simply is that the volume hasn’t been there.  It looks like the volume is starting to pick up.  I’m happy with the changes that the State made in their website so that we can track where the individual counties are.  You are getting them.  You know, all the counties are.  You’re not getting them as fast as certainly any of us would like but I thought that was an important change to that website again, because of fairness you’ve got something that’s very limited and people are having climbing over each other trying to get it and they’re having a hard time immediately people are going to be suspicious and if it’s not transparent they’re going to be especially suspicious, is this being doled out fairly?  Are we getting our fair share or not?  And assuming you can believe the website numbers and you know, I expect that the website numbers are accurate on the vaccines are starting to flow but you know granted there’s nothing you can do other than to continue to advocate for more for yourself.  You should know that your Assembly member and your Senator are also in that conversation just about daily basis making sure that we’re doing everything we kind to take care of your vaccination supply.  With that, if there’s any questions?  I certainly can some.  I see Ike, Supervisor Tyler.

 

TYLER:  Have you guys had any conversations about the vaccines and when the 65 will change and maybe go expand it a little bit?

 

SENATOR STEC: No, I haven’t heard that.  He went to 65 and I noticed Friday he announced that counties could start to vaccinate you know, 65 and older.  I mean, one of the problems we’ve had is that when he lowered it to 65 with the comorbidities that like more than half the population of New York is now in theory eligible to get vaccinated but they just don’t have the supply.  So is he waiting until there’s more supply to lower the age or to include more people?  I don’t know if that’s the rational if you know he’s waiting to do that or not.  I know there’s a push to say, hey, just start vaccinating anyone that wants it now.  I don’t think there’s a shortage of people wanting it so if everyone wants it then I think you know, it’s probably wise to say then let’s make sure it’s getting to your essential workers and your most vulnerable first.  If all of a sudden we’ve got vaccine sitting around and not enough people in line for them then by all means I think they should loosen it up and open it to more people but again, I think this is mostly a function of and I think it’s going to change with the J&J because J&J said when they get their approval that they had millions that were ready to ship so I suspect in the next couple of weeks you’re going to start to see an uptick now is that an uptick from 0 to 100 doses to the county or is it an uptick you know where all of a sudden you’re getting one thousand doses to the county?  I’m hoping for the latter but you know, short answer Ike, I do not know.

 

TYLER:  Thanks Dan.

 

SENATOR STEC: Anybody else?

 

GILLILLAND:  Any other questions?  Dan one thing you did mention was essential workers.  I brought this up through the control room a number of times through the HUB, the vaccine HUB.  We have public works workers, we have town clerks, we have tax collectors, one thing I’m really worried about is wastewater treatment operators because Covid goes into wastewater and those guys are down there cleaning filters and stuff.  These are people putting themselves on the line every single day and they’re not being included as being essential workers for 1B so any help you can push on those would be really appreciated.

 

SENATOR STEC:  Will do.  In particular, two areas of county employees or public employees that reached out and are absolutely should be included are your public works people you know, your highway departments and you know anyone that’s working in water and wastewater.  I mean we have, that’s critical infrastructure that we have to maintain.  Again, I think it largely continues to go back to supply not that I want to make excuses but I do believe that it’s a supply issue that we’re just continuing to feel.  You’ve got to remember six months ago, there were people in the country that were saying we wouldn’t have a vaccine by the end of the year and we do so I mean, I’m hoping that what was going to be a lot like the ventilator issue and the PPE issue and the unemployment insurance issue, we had this big bubble that came through.  We were overwhelmed, we can be critical of that but the bottom line is that it was an unprecedented situation we’re kind of learning as we go, building the airplane as we fly it so to speak and after a lot of anguish you know, a few weeks later the issue got behind us.  Whether again, whether it was the ventilators or the PPE, I’m hoping that you know a few weeks from now we’re looking back and we’re saying wow, that was awful but at least now there’s vaccines. You know and really, none of that is a State function it’s a manufacturing issue. 

 

GILLILLAND:  Any further questions for the Senator?  Alright.

 

SENATOR STEC:  Thanks everybody.  You guys be safe, hope to see you all in person soon.  Take care, God Bless you.

 

GILLILLAND:  We’ll now move to resolutions.

 

RESOLUTION #34 – AUTHORIZING THE WRITE-OFF OF BAD DEBTS IN THE MENTAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Scozzafava, seconded by Mr. Giordano and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:             2239 votes

NOES:                  0 votes

ABSENT:         682 votes     (Harrington, Rand)

 

RESOLUTION #35 – AUTHORIZING THE CHAIRMAN OR COUNTY MANAGER TO ENTER INTO A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN ESSEX COUNTY MENTAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND THE WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE, IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,200.00, FOR THE PURPOSES OF SUICIDE PREVENTION TRAINING.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Scozzafava, seconded by Mr. DeLoria and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:             2239 votes

NOES:                  0 votes

ABSENT:         682 votes     (Harrington, Rand)

 

RESOLUTION #36 – AUTHORIZING BUDGET AMENDMENTS FOR VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Scozzafava, seconded by Mr. Barber and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:             2239 votes

NOES:                  0 votes

ABSENT:         682 votes     (Harrington, Rand)

 

RESOLUTION #37 – AUTHORIZING ESSEX COUNTY MENTAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH VANESSA FUNFSINN, LMFT FOR THE PROVISION OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Monty, seconded by Mr. Hughes and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:             2239 votes

NOES:                  0 votes

ABSENT:         682 votes     (Harrington, Rand)

 

RESOLUTION #38 – AUTHORIZING APPOINTMENTS TO BOARDS, COMMITTEES AND/OR COUNCILS.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Giordano, seconded by Mr. Depo and adopted.

 

RESOLUTION #39 – AUTHORIZING ESSEX COUNTY OFFICE FOR THE AGING TO APPLY FOR A SPECIAL & URGENT NEEDS GRANT IN THE AMOUNT OF $10,000.00 FOR 2021.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Monty, seconded by Mr. DeLoria and adopted.

 

RESOLUTION #40 – AUTHORIZING A CHANGE IN THE MANAGEMENT CONFIDENTIAL SALARIES IN THE ESSEX COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE TO INCREASE THE SALARY OF AN ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND DECREASE THE SALARY OF AN ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Hughes, seconded by Mr. Giordano and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:             2239 votes

NOES:                  0 votes

ABSENT:         682 votes     (Harrington, Rand)

 

RESOLUTION #41 – AUTHORIZING CONTRACT AMENDMENTS/CHANGE ORDERS IN VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Monty, seconded by Mr. Scozzafava and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:             2239 votes

NOES:                  0 votes

ABSENT:         682 votes     (Harrington, Rand)

 

RESOLUTION #42 – AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASING AGENT TO AWARD BIDS, ISSUE CONTRACTS OR PURCHASE ORDERS.

This resolution was moved by Mr. DeLoria, seconded by Mr. Scozzafava and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:             2239 votes

NOES:                  0 votes

ABSENT:         682 votes     (Harrington, Rand)

 

RESOLUTION #43 – AUTHORIZING THE ESSEX COUNTY EMERGENCY SERVICES DEPARTMENT TO APPLY FOR A PUBLIC SAFETY ANSWERING POINTS (PSAP) 2021 GRANT.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Tyler, seconded by Mr. Subra and adopted.

 

RESOLUTION #44 – ACCEPTING, ADOPTING AND PLACING ON FILE POLICIES, PLANS, PROCEDURES AND ANNUAL REPORTS.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Monty, seconded by Mr. Holzer and adopted.

 

RESOLUTION #45 – AUTHORIZING THE ESSEX COUNTY PURCHASING AGENT TO GO TO BID FOR VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS.

This resolution was moved by Mr. DeLoria, seconded by Mr. Scozzafava and adopted.

 

RESOLUTION #46 – AUTHORIZING THE TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT TO ACCEPT ADDITIONAL FEDERAL TRANSIT CAPITAL PROJECT FUNDING IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,016,930.00, UNDER CONTRACT C004120.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Tyler, seconded by Mr. Depo and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:             2239 votes

NOES:                  0 votes

ABSENT:         682 votes     (Harrington, Rand)

 

RESOLUTION #47 – AUTHORIZING THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS TO APPLY FOR AND ACCEPT A 2020 NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE GRANT WITH UP TO 50% REIMBURSEMENT OF COSTS OF HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Monty, seconded by Mr. Holzer and adopted.

 

RESOLUTION #48 – AUTHORIZING THE IMPLEMENTATION, AND FUNDING IN THE FIRST INSTANCE 100% OF THE FEDERAL-AID AND STATE “MARCHISELLI” PROGRAM-AID ELIGIBLE COSTS, OF A TRANSPORTATION FEDERAL-AID PROJECT, AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFORE.

This resolution was moved by Mr. DeLoria, seconded by Mr. Monty and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:             2239 votes

NOES:                  0 votes

ABSENT:         682 votes     (Harrington, Rand)

 

RESOLUTION #49 – AUTHORIZING THE PROVISIONAL APPOINTMENT, SUBJECT TO CIVIL SERVICE TESTING, OF DANIEL J. WOODS AS ESSEX COUNTY WEIGHTS AND MEASURES DIRECTOR AND OCCUPANCY ENFORCEMENT OFFICER.

This resolution was moved by Mrs. DeZalia, seconded by Mr. Giordano and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:             2133 votes

NOES:                  0 votes

ABSENT:         788 votes     (Harrington, Rand, Tyler)

 

RESOLUTION #50 – OF CONDOLENCE TO THE FAMILY OF OTIS W. GAY.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Gillilland, seconded unanimously and adopted.

 

RESOLUTION #51 – OF CONDOLENCE TO THE FAMILY OF RYAN M. WORTH.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Monty, seconded unanimously and adopted.

 

RESOLUTION #52 – OF CONDOLENCE TO THE FAMILY OF GREGORY PAUL WICK.

This resolution was moved by Mrs. Winemiller, seconded unanimously and adopted.

 

RESOLUTION #53 – ADOPTING, ACCEPTING AND PLACING ON FILE THE ESSEX COUNTY SHERIFF’S POLICY ENTITLED, “THE REFORM AN REINVENTING OF POLICING”

This resolution was moved by Mr. Subra, seconded by Mr. Monty and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:             2239 votes

NOES:                  0 votes

ABSENT:         682 votes     (Harrington, Rand)

 

GARRISON:  Resolutions from the floor, authorizing Essex County Mental Health Department to enter into a contract with Mountain Lake Services for the purposes providing a licensed psychologist for children and family services to Essex County Mental Health.

 

GILLILLAND:  Do I have twelve to allow it on the floor please?

 

GARRISON:  Yes, we do.

 

RESOLUTION #54 - AUTHORIZING ESSEX COUNTY MENTAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH MOUNTAIN LAKE SERVICES FOR THE PURPOSES PROVIDING A LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIST FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES TO ESSEX COUNTY MENTAL HEALTH.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Monty, seconded by Mr. Tyler and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:             2239 votes

NOES:                  0 votes

ABSENT:         682 votes     (Harrington, Rand)

 

GARRISON:  Resolution authorizing the Essex county Health Department to set up a petty cash fund in the amount of $500.00 for the purposes of supporting families that are placed in isolation or quarantine to supply food/supplies such monies used will be reimbursed by FEMA.

 

GILLILLAND:  Do I have twelve to allow it on the floor please?

 

GARRISON:  Yes, we do.

 

RESOLUTION #55 - AUTHORIZING THE ESSEX COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO SET UP A PETTY CASH FUND IN THE AMOUNT OF $500.00 FOR THE PURPOSES OF SUPPORTING FAMILIES THAT ARE PLACED IN ISOLATION OR QUARANTINE TO SUPPLY FOOD/SUPPLIES SUCH MONIES USED WILL BE REIMBURSED BY FEMA.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Subra, seconded by Mr. Tyler and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:             2239 votes

NOES:                  0 votes

ABSENT:         682 votes     (Harrington, Rand)

 

GILLILLAND:  Discussion?

 

WINEMILLER:  I have a question, Shaun.

 

GILLILLAND:  Yes, Ms. Winemiller.

 

WINEMILLER:  Is $500.00 enough? To help these folks out I mean, considering how quickly FEMA may or may not be reimburse?

 

PALMER:  The $500 is really just a cash flow issue for them.  What’s happening now is the people in isolation will ask for a thing of milk, or a box of cereal or whatever the case may be and employees are having to take it out of their own pocket to buy it and then get reimbursed through the county.  Our reimbursement process with FEMA doesn’t occur on a short-term basis, it’s once we’ve built up enough we put in for reimbursement.  So, yeah, the $500 is sufficient actually Linda said $250, probably would have been enough and I said, let’s just do $500 we will be safe that way.  You’ve got to understand that under a petty cash account it gets reimbursed as soon as they show a receipt so it kind of keeps the funding at $500.

 

WINEMILLER:  Thank you.

 

GILLILLAND:  Further discussion?  Being none, roll call please.

 

GARRISON:  Resolution authorizing the Purchasing Agent to award contract to Reale Construction, Inc. in the amount of $1,285,350.00, for the Gulf Brook Restoration Project – Phase III, in the Town of Keene.

 

GILLILLAND:  Do I have twelve to allow it on the floor please?

 

GARRISON:  Yes, we do.

 

RESOLUTION #56 - AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASING AGENT TO AWARD CONTRACT TO REALE CONSTRUCTION, INC. IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,285,350.00, FOR THE GULF BROOK RESTORATION PROJECT – PHASE III, IN THE TOWN OF KEENE.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Wilson, seconded by Mr. Monty and adopted upon a roll-call vote as follows:

AYES:             2239 votes

NOES:                  0 votes

ABSENT:         682 votes     (Harrington, Rand)

 

GARRISON:  Resolution authorizing the 2021 Household Hazardous Waste Day event dates in Essex County.

 

GILLILLAND:  Do I have twelve to allow it on the floor please?

 

GARRISON:  Yes, we do.

 

RESOLUTION #57 - AUTHORIZING THE 2021 HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE DAY EVENT DATES IN ESSEX COUNTY.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Monty, seconded by Mr. Tyler and adopted.

 

GILLILLAND:  Discussion?

 

PALMER:  Just under discussion, Jim and I talked about this, we needed to set the dates for the vendors so they know when it is that we want them.  The locations still need to be determined it is something that we can specifically talk about at the DPW committee but we wanted to lock in the dates with the vendor.

GILLILLAND:  Further discussion?  Being none, roll call please.

Jim, do you have one from the floor? Mr. Monty?

 

MONTY:  Yes, I do.  I think Judy, do you have that now by chance?

 

GARRISON:  I do, it’s a resolution authorizing the forming, Essex County Board of Supervisors to form with the North Country Alliance to achieve access to broadband speed for one hundred percent of all households and businesses.  I did send a copy out to everyone this morning.

 

MONTY:  Are there any questions on this?  This came out of our meeting last week with the Public Service Commission where Dave Wolff, myself met with Debra Labelle and Joseph Yakel from the Public Service commission and Rory Lancman who is the Chief Counsel for rate payer protection for the State, the Public Service Commission actually Jeff and Roger Freidman were also on that call.  Mr. Lancman was very pleased with what we showed him pertaining to Lewis and Schroon Lake and he suggested we form this North Country Alliance of as many counties as we can get obviously in the North Country to share this data, this information how we’re going about it and he said if the more counties we get this would almost guarantee us a seat at the table with the Public Service Commission anytime we have a complaint.  So that’s what we’re looking for with this resolution.  Are there any questions?

 

GILLILLAND:  Do I have twelve to allow it on the floor please?

 

GARRISON:  Yes, we do.

 

RESOLUTION #58 – AUTHORIZING THE FORMATION OF THE NORTH COUNTRY ALLIANCE FOR THE PURPOSES OF ACHIEVING ACCESS TO >/=100 MBPS BROADBAND SPEED FOR ONE HUNDRED PERCENT (100%) OF ALL HOUSEHOLDS AND BUSINESSES IN ESSEX COUNTY.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Monty, seconded by Mr. Subra and adopted.

 

GILLILLAND:  Discussion?

 

MONTY:  I would also like to add to this Shaun, that I would like to invite Mr. Hughes to join us on that alliance.  Ken’s got a vast knowledge in a lot of the areas pertaining to Internet and broadband and anyone else that is interested we welcome you to sit on our committee with us.

 

GILLILLAND:  Thank you.  Mr. Hughes consider yourself drafted.  Any further discussion?  Being none, all in favor, opposed – carried.  Thank you.  Anything else from the floor?

 

SCOZZAFAVA:  Yes, I have a resolution.  Yes, I was saddened to learn this morning of the passing of Louise Wheelock whose husband was a former supervisor of Essex County and was also Chairman of the Board for the county so I’d like to move a resolution of condolence to the family of Louise Wheelock.

 

GILLILLAND:  Do I have twelve to allow it on the floor please?

 

GARRISON:  Yes, we do.

 

RESOLUTION #59 – OF CONDOLENCE TO THE FAMILY OF LOUISE WHEELOCK.

This resolution was moved by Mr. Scozzafava, seconded unanimously and adopted.

SCOZZAFAVA:  Thank you.

 

GILLILLAND:  Any further business to come before the board, from the board?  Okay.  Mr. Scozzafava had asked us to take a look at basically us going back into in person meetings and we’ve had some discussions about that because everybody knows this is going to be a public health decision on our part.  It’s also a leadership position within the county because once we go back in we’re going to lead the way I guess.   The good news is that I got from the State which I’ve shared with the board, this week the entities within the county will get a thousand vaccinations so things are moving forward and moving up.  But I don’t want to move forward yet, I wanted everyone to feel safe, everybody on this board feels comfortable you know mixing with each other.  I do think that there is a tremendous amount of good that happens when we do meet in person.  We have a better way to discuss policy and you know do the business that we were hired to do.  So I think it is important.  I think Mr. Scozzafava agrees with me.  I’m going to suggest right now, first of all can I see a show of hands of everybody who is either scheduled for or have had at least one vaccine.

 

MERRIHEW:  I have also.

 

GILLILLAND:  So, we’ve got about five or so right now.  I do know that we have a certain number, I think it’s five among us who, elderly gentlemen who can go ahead and get them so I would recommend that they go ahead and they do that.  And then, as you heard pushing very hard for essential workers, municipal types which each and every one of you would be since we’re out there every day facing the public and you know, I believe, really should be vaccinated.  So if we can move forward with that and everything keeps rolling in a straight direction I would propose that we start to meet in person and it’s open for discussion, ways and means in April.  Anybody’s thoughts on that?

 

MONTY:  Fine.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:  Yes.

 

GILLILLAND:  We will plan toward that and we’ll just look for some sort of stop signs if it doesn’t work.  In the meantime, everybody go ahead and get vaccinated if you can as they are opening up all these areas and things.  I also shared with you that the Plattsburgh site is hobbling its capacity.  I think very soon we’re all going to be chasing people to get their vaccines and I would also encourage everybody to look out for shut ins within each of our towns, shut ins and those who live way back, you know off the grid I think you know we have some of those in the county as well. 

 

SCOZZAFAVA: I just want to give a huge thanks to Office for the Aging because I can tell you and I’m sure in every community they have done an outstanding job in touching base with seniors and lining up the vaccinations and so on.  I mean, they have gone way above and beyond and they do a great job and they have been excellent through all of this and I want to personally thank them for all they do.

 

GILLILLAND:  Thank you Mr. Scozzafava.

 

DELORIA:  Shaun, in your control room have you had discussion on the Johnson and Johnson single shot vaccine coming out?

 

GILLILLAND: I won’t meet with them until tomorrow, it will probably be the first discussion as we figure out what’s going on with it.

 

DELORIA: Okay because I think that roll out is going to help everybody.

 

GILLILLAND:  Yes.  I also want to mention that I did meet via zoom with the Mental Health Department.  I went to talk to Terri Morse trying to find out what was going on in her department and things because frankly, I really didn’t have an idea and I think in the last year with Covid and stuff that the Mental Health has been fighting the hard battle with increases in mental health issues and has been kind of unheralded but I was very, very impressed with the professionalism, dedication of those people and even in this world of Covid, and the isolation the increased mental health and emotional health crisis that they’ve been dealing with our mental health department has actually cut down the number of substance abuse overdoses.  I believe the number she gave me was 27% in Essex County which goes against the trend throughout the state and throughout the county so if you have a chance I would highly recommend that you get with Terri Morse and talked to those people that are in each of our towns working, in the schools and things and they are, the Office for the Aging, Public Health Department and our Mental Health Department are truly doing the Yeoman’s work out there.

Anything else to come before this board?  Being none, we are adjourned.

 

            As there was no further discussion to come before this regular board meeting, it was adjourned at 10:47 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Judith Garrison, Clerk

Board of Supervisors