FIRST REGULAR SESSION Johnstown, NY January 11, 2021
Roll Call – Quorum Present
Supervisors: Argotsinger, Blackmon, Born, Bowman, Bradt, Breh, Callery, Fagan, Goderie, Greene, Groff, Horton, Kinowski, Lauria, Perry, Potter, VanDenburgh, Wilson, Young
TOTAL: Present: 19 Absent: 1 (Supervisor Howard)
Chairman Callery called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Chairman Callery stated that normally he would ask if there were any public speakers but cannot today because no one can come into the Chambers due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Chairman Callery welcomed and introduced Congresswoman Elise Stefanik to the meeting.
Congresswoman Stefanik stated that she wanted to start off by condemning the violent acts at the U.S. Capitol Building. She stated that she was in the House Chamber, on the House floor, during the attack. She stated that the individuals involved should fully be prosecuted. She stated that us, citizens of America, need to work through this divided time in our country and toil together with everyone, even those “across the aisle”. She transitioned to discuss her priorities. She advised the Board of Supervisors of what was included in the recently passed COVID-19 bill. She expressed that it is important for Fulton County to know what was included. She stated that Rural Broadband is a top priority this year for her and it must be a partnership with all levels of local governments. She stated that the areas included in the Broadband funding in and near Fulton County are Northville, Dolgeville, Stratford, and other areas. She stated she is making sure funds flow so that the areas in Fulton County that need Broadband service can end up receiving it. She expressed that she loves working with Fulton County and is welcome to questions.
Supervisor Lauria stated that what American’s have seen from this president is a disgrace and stated that Donald Trump has not led this country. Congresswoman Stefanik stated that the violent acts and loss of life that happened at the U.S. Capitol is tragic and unamerican.
Supervisor Horton stated that he is happy to hear that you, Ms. Stefanik were joining us at today’s meeting. He stated that noticed that broadband support does not include the northern part of the Town of Caroga. He also stated that the Town of Caroga share a border with Hamilton County and that area does need to be serviced and expressed that he would like her to see if that area can be included. She stated that she will be in contact with Mr. Horton after the meeting to discuss with him further.
Supervisor Young stated that most importantly, Fulton County like other municipalities, has a Board of Elections Office and the discredited evidence of voter fraud is ridiculous. He expressed that he hopes that our County Elections Commissioners never get treated unfairly. Congresswoman Stefanik stated that she focuses on the constitutional issues and advised that election laws cannot be re-written.
Supervisor Groff stated it has been a pleasure working with you, Ms. Stefanik and thank you for everything you have done for our region. He stated, “you have done a great job!”
Chairman Callery thanked Congresswoman Stefanik for attending today’s meeting.
Chairman Callery advised that he has started signing contracts for 2021. He also stated that Assembly Bill A.416 purportedly would amend the Public Health law in relation to removal of cases, contacts and carriers of communicable diseases, who purportedly, are dangerous to the public health. Mr. Callery stated that he wrote a letter to Senator James Tedisco and Assemblyman Robert Smullen regarding concerns about the bill. Mr. Callery advised that he received a notice back and it stated that the Office’s will advise the Board of Supervisors that they will be objecting this bill if he returns to the floor.
Mr. Stead stated that Chairman Callery would like to do a series of “block voting” on certain Resolutions for today’s meeting to limit the amount of roll call votes needed. He explained how block voting would occur based on today’s agenda.
Mr. Stead advised that without a video of each participating member of the Board, there is no way to identify a vote or lack of a vote. He apologized for all of the roll call votes that will be necessary to have during the meeting.
Resolutions on the Agenda were then deliberated upon.
No. 8 (Resolution Appointing and/or Reappointing Members and Alternate Representatives to the Great Sacandaga Lake Advisory Council for 2021): Mr. Stead advised that the member for the Town of Mayfield had to be edited and should now read Melissa Mazzarelli.
No. 15 (Resolution Appointing, Reappointing and/or Confirming Members to the Fulton County Ethics Board): Mr. Stead advised that he was notified over the weekend that Michael F. Gendron of Gloversville, NY would no longer be a resident of Fulton County and would like to be removed from this Board. Mr. Stead also reminded the Board that he was going to be the one appointed at Chairperson of the Ethics Board for 2021. Mr. Stead asked Count Attorney Brott if he recommended anyone else to serve as Chairman. Attorney Brott stated not at this time. Mr. Stead stated that Michael F. Gendron needs to be removed from term January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2021 and removed as Chairman of the Ethics Board. He stated that an appointment of Chairman will be made at a later date once Attorney Brott has a recommendation.
No. 16 (Resolution Appointing Members to the Alternatives to Incarceration Advisory Board for 2021): Mr. Stead stated that the County Court Judge must be removed for 2021.
No. 20 (Resolution Appointing Members to the Fulton County Local Emergency Planning Committee for 2021):Supervisor Born stated that she wanted to be a member of this Committee. Mr. Callery noted that Marie Born was to be added in one of the “Vacant” spots listed on the Resolution.
No 25 (Resolution Appointing Republican Board of Elections Commissioner): Mr. Stead stated that Lee Hollenbeck has been appointed as the Republican Board of Elections Commissioner by the Republican Committee. He asked that Lee Hollenbeck be inserted in the first two blanks of the proposed resolution and advised that he is from Broadalbin, NY.
No 26 (Resolution Appointing Democrat Board of Elections Commissioner): Mr. Stead stated that G. Jeremiah Ryan has been appointed as the Democrat Board of Elections Commissioner by the Democrat Committee. He asked that G. Jeremiah Ryan be inserted in the first two blanks of the proposed resolution and advised that he is from Gloversville, NY.
Mr. Stead stated that that completes the Resolutions on today’s agenda. He advised that the Board will start back-up with Committees at the end of the month. He stated that he and the Chairman will be weighing options on whether to hold Zoom teleconference or in-person meetings.
Chairman Callery asked if there was any Old Business or New Business.
Mr. Stead stated that there was a major power problem in the Department of Social Services building first thing this morning. He advised that the power was out, and computers were down. He stated that there was a failure in a motor in one of the heating systems. He advised that the decision was made to release employees at 10:00 a.m. and noted that they will be returning to work on 12 January.
Mr. Stead advised that the county has been on an alternation plan for the past few weeks. By using this plan, it has avoided approximately three to four shutdowns in county departments. Mr. Stead stated that the Personnel Director has recommended extending it two (2) more weeks, through January 29th.
Mr. Stead stated that it has been a very busy week because Governor Cuomo announced that “Phase 1B” would be combined with “Phase 1A”. Mr. Stead stated that Governor Cuomo is working together with the NYS Department of Health and a network of pharmacy providers, primary care clinics, etc. which will allow additional vaccination centers. Mr. Stead stated that most of all the vaccines that vaccination locations in Fulton County received last week have been dosed out to those under “Phase 1A”. He advised that there are still people waiting for the next shipment of vaccines. He stated that the Task Force is hoping more will come in by the end of the week. Mr. Stead stated that Governor Cuomo expects it to be many weeks before anyone can make an appointment to get the vaccine. He also stated that it is almost at the end of “Phase 1A” now. He advised that “Phase 1B” includes other essential workers, police, firefighters, EMT, teachers, education workers and folks 75 years and older and “Phase 1C” will include the general public.
Mr. Stead asked for any questions from the Board members.
Ms. Born added that Nathan Littauer Hospital (NLH) has been doing a wonderful job administering vaccines to those in “Phase 1A”. She stated by next week they should start “Phase 1B”. Mr. Stead stated that NLH has “spun around” and have been doing a good job. He stated that the problem with all of our vaccination locations is that everyone is hesitant to set up appointments without knowing how many doses they will receive.
Mr. Fagan stated that the delay in curbside recycling will be extended due to the continuation of the County Workforce Alternation Plan. Supervisor Young thanked Supervisor Fagan for the update. Mr. Young stated that he has received a few calls regarding the curbside pick-up of recyclables having to be extended due to the extension of the Workforce Alternation Plan. Chairman Callery stated that the Solid Waste Department is attempting to start the Thursday before January 29. Supervisor Fagan stated his understanding is that it will be delayed until the Alternation Plan is over with. Chairman Callery stated that there is a drop off point in the City of Johnstown for recyclables behind the City barn on Crescendoe Road.
Ms. Born stated that the drop off point in the City of Gloversville went smoothly this morning and seems to be working well.
Upon a motion by Supervisor Fagan, seconded by Supervisor Greene and unanimously carried, the Committee adjourned at 2:14 p.m.
Jon R. Stead, Administrative Officer/ DATE.
Clerk of the Board