What's going on in Germantown?

Notes on the Germantown Town Board Meeting of November 24, 2014

The Town Board Meeting of November 24th, 2014 was called to order by Supervisor Joel Craig at 7 PM. All members were there, Andrea Dunn, Don Westmore, Mike Mortenson, and Matthew Phelan. The Town Clerk, ,Joyce Vale was there, and also Tal Rappelyea, the Town Attorney.

The Minutes of the previous Meeting and the approval of the Audited Bills were approved unanimously. There were no written communications to the Board from the Town Clerk.

The agenda was changed to allow comments from the two adversaries, Frank Mammone and the owner of the property next to him on Rt 9G, over the condition of Mammone’s neighbor’s yard. Mammone claims the yard is full of junk and his efforts to get the Town’s help in getting it cleaned up have come to naught over the past 6 month of trying. Although the Town Attorney and the Code Enforcement Officer have made it clear to the owner that he should clean up his yard there has been no enforcement effort.

The Town apparently has no clear ability to move against the owner unless it can be shown that there is a health hazard. There is no ordinance against junky yards. Mr. Mammone is thinking to get a lawyer to help him find a way. The property owner, according to the Attorney, declared that he was engaged in a legal yard sale and that all the items he had collected had a value and that he could not be pushed to clear it all out. It was very frustrating to Mr. Mammone to find that the Town’s hands were tied in this matter. A member of the audience, Mr. Tom Barberri, said there were several properties in the Town that should be of concern to the Board and the Code Enforcement Officer because of the junk in their yards.


MAINTENANCE: Anthony Cidras reports that he has replaced the roof on the snack bar and has ripped out the [falling down] shack on the ball fields. He has obtained the estimate for the repairs to the downspout at the Parsonage. He has removed the ash-beetle-infested tree.

HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT: Mike Mortenson reports that they have finished all painting and preparations for the winter, They have cut down dead trees on Viewmont, cut brush on Lasher Avenue. They have already cleared the first snow of the year.

SEWER DEPARTMENT; Joel reports that he has met with Mr.Fingar regarding the sewer problem that has been on-going. Mr. Fingar will repair the pipeline from his house to his property line, and the Town will make the repairs from his property line to the main line. Inspection seems to show some cracks in the pipe near the building.

POLICE DEPARTMENT: Roger Rekow reports that there were 102.75 hours of patrol service in the month of October. Activity includes 5 traffic tickets, 11 warnings, 1 fireworks complaint, 1 sex offender compliant, 1 burglary, 1 Aggravated Unlicensed

Operation of a vehicle, and 2 EMS assists. Patrol visits were made to: Cheviot:11, Anchorage:13, School property: 12, Palatine Park: 13, Dales Bridge: 8.

HISTORY DEPARTMENT: Don Westmore reports that they had a well-attended (30 or more!) presentation about the archeology of the Parsonage. Dr. Linder. The next Saturday they have an open house scheduled with Dr. Linder discussing the latest exploration and the restoration about the restored well. The Parsonage roof needs extensive repair but only patching can be done now.


The Economic Development Advisory Committee was very pleased with the Reception held last Friday evening. The Parsonage was given $1,000 from the 12526.BIZ organization at their reception the past Friday night. The event was well attended.

The Arts and Tourism Committee will hold a Holiday Gift Fair at the ArtSpace location, opening Saturday, Nov 29th and weekends through December 15th .

 Parks & Recreation: Andrea Dunn reports the event will be held at 5 pm on December 13th. There will be tree lighting, Caroling, crafts for Children and SANTA. THEY COULD USE SOME HELP WITH THE EVENT; Volunteers?

OLD BUSINESS; Joel asks for a motion to go ahead with engaging the consultant who will do an analysis of the Police Department for no charge except mileage. This had been discussed 2 meetings ago and a general feeling had evolved to go ahead. They did a few parliamentary moves and ultimately the motion was passed unanimously. The study will begin in January.


Cheryl Jean presented the plan to set up a series of 3 events centered on Jazz performances to be held at the Central House in the Spring. This was developed with the cooperation of Planet Arts, A Grammy-Award winning non-profit organization and ArtSpace. The first concert, featuring Joe Locke’s trio, will be held on Saturday, April 23rd at Central House. In addition, the world famous Jazz photographer Chuck Stewart will allow us to display his portraits in Central House in connection with the concert.

There will be an admission price to cover the expenses, but the artists will be paid by an arts grant from NY State.

The Town Board enthusiastically endorsed the plan.

Other new business that will come before the Board will be an application for a liquor License for the new restaurant that will open in the spring.

Important Dates:

Holiday Tree Lighting and Stroll, in the hamlet at 5 PM : Andrea Dunn asked again for more volunteers!

Town Board Workshop Meeting on December 15th at 7 PM

Town Board Meeting Dec. 22nd, 7 PM

Meeting Open to the Public.

The only speaker was me who said she sympathized the Boards frustration with the issue of messy properties. I said they should just be glad they didn’t have a noise ordinance. [That’s another area where there is no solution between angry neighbors.]

To the best of my ability, additions and corrections welcomed.

Kay Abraham, 537-5404


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