Supervisor Marini called a Regular Meeting of the board to order at 7:30 PM in the Walworth Town Hall.
Meeting minutes dated August 17, 2017 were approved, as presented.
Prior to public comment Supervisor Marini shared that she, along with Councilwoman Hawkins-Mance, met with two residents (Mr. Gene Simes and Ms. Penny Gugino) to hear their questions and concerns. One topic they voiced concerns over was the duration of time residents are allowed in order to address the board during meetings. It was explained that the New York State “Open Meeting Law” calls for meetings must be accessible to the public, however it is the governing body’s choice whether or not to allow public comment and if so, to determine the parameters.
As a result of the meeting, Supervisor Marini shared, that the board will now change its public comment parameters to allowing 3 minutes for comments (as opposed to the previous 2 minute limit), with a maximum of 15 minutes total for all public comment, in order to allow enough time for the business items on the agenda.
Public comment was then received from a resident, Mr. Gene Simes, who addressed the public, asking them to share their concerns and opinions, because the board is willing to listen. He encouraged his fellow residents to “Tell them what you need and what you want.” He also added that residents should also know that they can meet with the board privately to share their thoughts, as well.
A second resident, Ms. Penny Gugino, noted that the special election was about the right to vote, and not about any one employee. With that being said she also noted that, “It is time to leave the emotions behind and make an informed choice in the upcoming election.” She further explained that it is important to choose candidates who will keep the town running as it should. She concluded on a positive note, stating that when something bad happens something good can always come out of it, explaining that was her hope for the town moving forward.
Lastly, a third resident, Mr. Mark Knapp, came before the board to voice his concern regarding the Highway Superintendent position, as the current Superintendent, Mr. Mike Frederes, is retiring. He noted that he was disappointed that the salary will be reduced for the replacement superintendent.
Supervisor Marini explained that this is a customary change which is done when an incoming Town Councilperson or Town Supervisor has been elected, salaries were reduced, noting that with seniority and experience, salaries are raised.
Councilman Pembroke explained, “We have a lot of things to weigh and have to take into consideration. Mike [Frederes] is leaving us as one of the top NYS Highway Superintendents, so ultimately it is based on experience.”
At 7:30 PM, Mr. Jack Leasure came before the board to speak about the Walworth Town Ambulance to give a brief overview of the future merging of the Town of Marion Ambulance and the Town of Walworth Ambulance.
Mr. Leasure detailed that the impetus for the merger is to alleviate the problems currently facing ambulance services while simultaneously driving down costs and will allow for a larger volunteer base to supplement paid employees once the merger is completed.
Once complete, he explained the biggest change will be the ambulance’s new name, which will be “Western Wayne EMS, Inc.”. The primary goal of the merger will be to provide the best pre-hospital care in a timely manner to both municipalities. Overseeing the merger process is a steering committee of a total of 6 members comprised of 3 members from Walworth and 3 members from Marion.
Things that will remain unchanged include mutual aid and Walworth residents will still receive ambulance service without co-pay fees. He also detailed that all assets will be shared and the new service will have 3 ambulance rigs and a fly car in operation. It is anticipated that the merger will take approximately one year to complete all paperwork and officially take effect.
During Committee Reports, Supervisor Marini expanded on the conversation she and Councilwoman Hawkins-Mance had with residents (Ms. Gugino and Mr. Sines). During their meeting, they had asked if the board had contacted a human resources department for intervention before resorting to the special election. Supervisor Marini shared that several years ago the town board did contract with the Mediation Center of Rochester, whom conducted 3 work sessions with town employees and the board. The theme of the training sessions was “Playing Nice in the Sandbox” and went over strategies for employees to get along and work well with others in a professional environment, despite differences. Supervisor Marini then reviewed the attendance of those sessions and shared that 14 employees, the (former) town supervisor and 2 board members attended all 3 sessions and the town clerk attended one.
Lastly, Supervisor Marini commented on the town’s 2018 premium for Wayne County Workers Self-Insurance Plan in the amount of $144,743.00. She explained that, due to the 3 claims in 2017, (2 in the Town Clerk’s office and one in the Justice Court Office) the costs of coverage are being driven up. She did explain that she is seeking additional quotes in hopes of finding lower rates.
Councilwoman Markowski shared that the library is currently interviewing candidates for the [now vacated] librarian position. Additionally she noted that Jared LaMarche has completed his Eagle Scout project in West Walworth Cemetery, where he did cleaning up, painting and a placed new bench in the cemetery for visitors to rest on.
Discussion ensued regarding the pre-planning during the fall months of 2018 for the 2018 Farmland Preservation Grant Applications. Supervisor Marini shared that Farmland.org is requiring towns to be more actively involved in the paperwork and she will participate in a telephone conference on September 12th to learn more about the changes.
Additionally the board discussed the expectations and maintenance needs of John’s Park. (A dedicated open space area in the Parkview Green subdivision-West Walworth Rd. and Gananda Parkway). Town of Walworth Building Inspector, Mr. Phil Williamson, looked into the matter after several residents have complained about the mowing of the park. He explained that, over the years, some residents have made requests for their property boundaries to not be mowed, and have since moved on. Additional obstacles are discarded Christmas trees, rocks, sports equipment and old trailers which are being stored along the property, making mowing not possible. He also shared that the town receives .031546%, which nets approximately $500.00 for the town, while the annual, once weekly, mowing contract costs a total of $1,200.00. Mr. Williamson suggested the town board ought to consider drafting an official town policy, and fencing ought to also be confirmed as being within resident’s property lines to also avoid any insurance liability.
Approved business was as follows:
• Resolution #151-17: Approval to award the Pump Station Generator for 3280 Walworth-Ontario Road and 3345 Walworth-Palmyra Road to Colacino Industries in the amount of $137,199.11
• Resolution #152-17: Adoption of the Walworth Town Hall Facilities Use Policy
• Resolution #153-17: Adoption of the Request for Use of the Walworth Town Hall Facilities
• Resolution #154-17: Authorization for Supervisor Marini to sign a contract with DPM Partners for an overhead door replacement as well as the replacement of necessary electrical components for the New York State Police Garage in an amount not to exceed $2,250.00
• Resolution #155-17: Authorization for Supervisor Marini to sign the Crown Castle Lease Agreement Extension for a term of an additional 25 years
• Resolution #156-17: Authorization of Eagle Scout Project Expenditures for Town of Walworth Cemeteries in an amount not to exceed $150.00 per each project
• Approval of a motion to accept a letter from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, received August 21, 2017 reporting the Final State Equalization Rate for the Town of Walworth in the amount of 100.00
• Approval of a motion to accept and file a letter from Wayne County, dated August 15, 2017, regarding the Town of Walworth’s 2018 premium for the Wayne County Workers Compensation Self-Insurance Plan in the amount of $144,743.00
Upcoming dates for “Sit With the Supervisor” meetings were shared as follows: Saturday, September 23, 2017 from 9:00 – 10:00 AM in the Lincoln Fire Hall at 519 Plank Road, Saturday, October 10, 2017 from 9:00 – 10:00 AM in the Walworth Fire Hall at 2178 Church Street, and Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 9:00 – 10:00 AM in the West Walworth Fire Hall at 3870 West Walworth Road. Councilman Ruth encouraged residents to attend in order to have a “place to talk, ask questions, and for Supervisor Marini to hear concerns”.
Immediately following the meeting, the board held a Budget Work Session with Department Heads of the Library, the Parks & Recreation Department, the Receiver of Taxes and the Highway Department.
No other business came before the board and the public meeting was then adjourned the meeting at 8:35 PM.
The next regular town board meeting will be held on Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 7:00 PM in the Walworth Town Hall Meeting Room.
By Becky Block