THIRD DAY OF ANNUAL SESSION
November 25, 2019
Roll Call – Quorum Present
Supervisors: Argotsinger, Blackmon, Bradt, Breh, Callery, Fagan, Greene, Groff, Handy, Howard, Kinowski, Lauria, Perry, Potter, Rice, Selmser, Young
TOTAL: Present: 17 Absent: 3 (Supervisors Born, Waldron, Wilson)
In the absence of Chairman Wilson, Vice-Chairman Greene called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Vice-Chairman Greene asked if there was anyone from the public who wished to address the Board. No one from the public came forward.
UPDATES FROM STANDING COMMITTEES
REPORTS OF SPECIAL COMMITTEES
Soil and Water Conservation District Board: Supervisor Greene advised that National Grid has finally responded and they will be working on the overhead electrical lines at Tryon Technology Park the second week in December. Inter-County Legislative Committee: Supervisor Perry advised that the Inter-County Committee met on November 21 in Saratoga County and the group took a tour of the Public Safety Building being constructed. Chairman Wilson also attended the meeting. Supervisor Perry further advised that it was an “amazing tour”.
No. 445 (Resolution Endorsing a One-Year Moratorium on New Bail and Discovery Reform Laws): Mr. Stead, Administrative Officer, advised that he recently attended a Town Hall Meeting on new Discovery Laws and Bail Reform, that was held at FMCC with Sheriff Giardino, and other officials from area police agencies, judges, and Montgomery County officials.
Mr. Stead further advised that he provided a handout on each Supervisor’s desk summarizing the Discovery Laws and Bail Reform impacts. Mr. Stead explained that there is legislation currently being worked on to delay the implementation of the new Discovery Laws and Bail Reform.
Supervisor Rice advised that she initially had some reservations about the Resolution being proposed after reading the title, but because the last “Whereas” on the proposed Resolution states “Senate Bill S.6853, enacting a one-year moratorium on said bail reforms and discovery reforms, is one viable option to ensure that mistakes are not made in implementing necessary reform”, she is satisfied.
Supervisor Young agreed with Supervisor Rice and advised that the Resolutions includes some of his concerns. He further advised that Judge Sise, who attended the forum, explained that other states have already enacted discovery reforms.
No. 446 (Resolution Creating an Account Clerk/Typist Position in the Emergency Management Office (2020): Supervisor Lauria advised that Mr. Souza, Mr. Santa Maria and Ms. Beth Whitman-Putman do a lot of work and emergency management services is running very smoothly. He further advised that this position is greatly needed.
Supervisor Callery asked about a letter that was put in his mailbox from Industrial Development Agency Executive Director James Mraz regarding property across from Tryon Technology Park in the Town of Perth that is up for sale. He asked that County Attorney Brott look into the fact that the property is in a “Business Technology Zone”. Does that mean residential housing is not allowed? County Attorney Brott said that he would have to look into it.
Supervisor Fagan advised that there is water there but no operating sewer service. He further advised that his town has been working with Sean Geraghty, Senior Planner, from the Planning Department related to the zoning for these areas.
Vice-Chairman Greene called for a recess at 1:22 p.m.
Vice-Chairman Greene called the meeting back to order at 1:29 p.m.
Vice-Chairman Greene opened the Public Hearing to receive comments regarding the Tentative Budget for the County of Fulton for Fiscal Year Beginning January 1, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. No one present came forward to speak on the matter.
Vice-Chairman Greene then commented that the Public Hearing on the Tentative Budget for the County of Fulton for Fiscal Year Beginning January 1, 2020 would remain open for a portion of the meeting.
Because all pending Resolutions were dependent on the Public Hearing, Vice-Chairman Greene called for a second recess to the meeting at 1:32 p.m.
Vice-Chairman Greene called the meeting back to order at 1:40 p.m.
Vice-Chairman Greene again asked if there were any public speakers who wished to comment on the Tentative Budget for the County of Fulton for Fiscal Year Beginning January 1, 2020. Seeing none, Vice-Chairman Greene closed the Public Hearing at 1:40 p.m.
Resolutions on the Regular Agenda continued to be deliberated upon.
No. 462 (Resolution Adopting the 2020 Fulton County Budget): Supervisor Fagan advised that he could not support a tax increase, particularly because of the amount of fund balance estimated. The Board has worked diligently along with staff and the County has made investments with positives in building infrastructure, economic development and making communities safer. He continued that the majority of taxpayers do not see an increase in their incomes, so they should be able to keep their money to use.
Supervisor Fagan made a motion to amend the Resolution to dictate a 2020 Tax Levy of $30,054,244.00 by applying an additional $340,000.00 from fund balance. This would achieve a 10.76 average county tax rate per thousand, seconded by Supervisor Callery.
Vice-Chairman Greene called for debate on the amendment.
Supervisor Rice asked if this would negate what was done in the workshop last week. Mr. Stead explained that it would add to the fund balance that is proposed being used. The vote on the Resolution itself will be the final decision.
Supervisor Groff advised that the County needs to increase taxes a little each year, because there are a lot of projects upcoming and using more fund balance was the wrong way to go. He further advised that there are too many unknowns out there, so using more fund balance is not advised.
Supervisor Lauria advised that it is not a lot of money either way, but it would help senior citizens. A “zero tax increase” should be supported because the County can afford it.
Vice-Chairman Greene advised that he agrees with Mr. Groff that there are several things on the horizon such as criminal reforms and it is unknown where that is going in the future and he thinks it will deplete funding in the future. He further advised that ambulance service in the county also needs to be addressed and this will cost money. The County reserve funds are being depleted and a 1.2 percent tax increase is the way to go.
Supervisor Fagan commented that it was unfortunate that “Governor Cuomo has won on the tax cap issue and it is not okay to raise taxes”. There will always be unknowns in the future. He further commented “Let the people keep their money as long as they can.”
Supervisor Callery advised that it was taxpayers’ money and he feels the same way as Supervisor Fagan.
Vice-Chairman Greene then called for a roll call vote to amend the Resolution with the lower Tax Levy of $30,054,244.00. MOTION DEFEATED 199 in favor, 237 opposed. (Supervisors Argotsinger, Breh, Greene, Groff, Kinowski, Perry and Young were opposed)
It was noted that the Average County Tax Rate for 2020 would be 10.89 per $1,000.00, which is a 13 cent increase from last year.
Mr. Stead advised that the next Board Meeting is going to be held on December 9 at 1:00 p.m. There would be a Finance Committee Meeting held that morning. Meeting notices will be mailed out.
Supervisor Callery reminded the Personnel Committee members that they had a meeting at 3:00 p.m. today.
The Board recessed at 2:00 p.m. until Monday, December 9 at 1:00 p.m.
Jon R. Stead, Administrative Officer/ DATE
Clerk of the Board
RESOLUTION ACCEPTING REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON APPORTIONMENT
RESOLUTION ADOPTING THE 2020 FULTON COUNTY BUDGET
RESOLUTION FIXING 2020 SALARIES FOR THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING CERTAIN TRANSFERS AND BUDGET AMENDMENTS
RESOLUTION ACCEPTING REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON EQUALIZATION
RESOLUTION ACCEPTING REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON FOOTING OF ASSESSMENT ROLLS
RESOLUTION ACCEPTING REPORT ON RETURNED VILLAGE TAXES IN BROADALBIN, MAYFIELD, NORTHVILLE AND DOLGEVILLE
RESOLUTION ACCEPTING REPORT ON TOWN AND CITY ACCOUNTS
RESOLUTION ACCEPTING REPORT ON RETURNED SCHOOL TAXES
RESOLUTION SETTING DATE OF 2020 ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING
RESOLUTION APPROPRIATING MONIES FOR FULTON-MONTGOMERY COMMUNITY COLLEGE
RESOLUTION CREATING A GIS COORDINATOR POSITION IN THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT (2020)
RESOLUTION AWARDING BID FOR UNLEADED GASOLINE FOR THE CENTRAL FUEL DEPOTS LOCATED AT THE COUNTY SERVICES COMPLEX AND SOLID WASTE DEPARTMENT (2020)
RESOLUTION CREATING A LEGAL SECRETARY POSITION IN THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE (2020)
RESOLUTION RENAMING THE FOURTH DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND INCREASING THE BASE SALARIES OF THE FIRST ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEYS (2020)
RESOLUTION CREATING AN ASSISTANT PUBLIC DEFENDER FOR THE PUBLIC DEFENDER’S OFFICE (2020)
RESOLUTION CREATING A LEGAL SECRETARY POSITION IN THE PUBLIC DEFENDER’S OFFICE (2020)
RESOLUTION CREATING AN ACCOUNT CLERK/TYPIST POSITION IN THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE (2020)
RESOLUTION ENDORSING A ONE-YEAR MORATORIUM ON NEW BAIL AND DISCOVERY REFORM LAWS