Town Board and Weird Stuff                                    2-13-2018

                  Pretty boring meeting for the most part, all the usual stuff that boards are supposed to do. Budget crap, should employees have cell phones provided by and partially paid-for by the town, WHICH employees should have them and which should not, etc.,etc.

                   A new Assessor's Clerk and Zoning Department Clerk was appointed, someone named Donna Gedeon. Don't shoot me if I mis-spelled the last name, I'm going on what it sounded like as it was not written anywhere in the agenda.  Kevin Feurst was re-appointed as Town Historian and no one has sent in any letters of interest for the job I resigned from, Representative to the Office for the Aging.

                    My all-time favorite reporter, Thaddeus Flint of the Eastwick Press , brought a beautiful lady to the meeting with him tonight, and I asked him who she was. Apparently, our Thad whom I always thought was a bachelor, has a gorgeous wife!. Learn something every day!  Bob Waters was present and looking very well. His lung tumors are shrinking, but he now has spots on his liver, so please keep him in prayer.

                     Colleen has decided that our Town Seal needs to be updated and she presented a color facsimile of the new seal tonight. I like the color version, but overall, I really don't think we need to change it, yet I also am unconcerned if they do. Others were NOT happy with the change idea.  Speaking of change, why does our Supervisor want to move her office to the second floor of the Town Hall? 

                      For reasons known only to herself, Colleen intends to swap offices with the Tax Assessor. Her  choice of course, but I don't think our Seniors and handicapped residents will appreciate it much. It will be a bit odd to have the Supervisor need to come downstairs to meet with people, and where WILL they meet? According to the numerous calls and emails I'm receiving, the meeting room is pretty busy most of the time with things that should not be done in a Town Hall. Personally? I don't give a rat's Behind who does what in there, but a bunch of other residents care, a LOT!

                      I'm glad that folks feel they can come to me about these things and I'm always willing to listen and do what I can, BUT, other than writing this informational blog, I am just a resident. I have no right or power to oversee what Town Hall employees do unless it is illegal or unethical. Some of the things I am hearing DO border on unethical, but I don't believe they are worthy of a comeuppance for anyone.  Are certain people abusing the availability of the Meeting Room? Definitely. Does it affect you or me? Nope, not really.

                       There ARE some weird things going on at our Town Hall that do need addressing though, things that WILL be addressed. That being said, there are even BIGGER, NASTIER things going on politically that should earn a number of people , if nothing else, a swift kick in the ass. There are Traitors among us folks, and who they are would shock you. Let me say at least this; If there is anything you want kept under wraps, be extremely selective about who you talk to.

                         Speaking of being selective, New Lebanon has NO Republican Party Committee and I have been asked to do something about that. So this is my plea to local Republicans who are interested in rebuilding a committee . We need a Chairman as well, and I would do it, but I simply do not have the time with all the traveling and work involved at the state level. There is a LOT of work to be done if we hope to get rid of Adolph Cuomo this year, AND restore our Constitutional Rights in NY. For ME, that is far more important than being the Republican Chair for New Lebanon. I would be happy to serve on the Committee, but not as Chair.

                          Spring is coming, and it will be time for the 2018 Flag Fundraiser very soon. After last year's campaign ended, I had many residents ask me if they could still donate. I told them that I didn't want to hold onto other folks' money for a year, but that I would remind them when we start this year's fundraiser. So in April, we will be again accepting donations to double the number of flags and allow us to put some in West Lebanon , an area of town that is too often ignored. I will notify the "Grow the Valley" people and get the notice in the next newsletter, hang a few flyers in town,etc. 

                           It's also almost time to ramp-up the flower-box effort. In May, we will be looking for Green Thumbs who would like to sponsor a bridge box, an intersection box, donate flowers, or sign-on to be a flower-tender for the summer. There has been SO much, positive feedback to the Shaker Road bridge boxes, and it would be great to have more of them in places where they can be safely mounted. Number One location for an intersection box will be the Rt. 20 and 22 North site in front of the former Hess Station, and the bridge near Godfroy's Repair Shop. We also need a location on 22 South where it enters New Lebanon. So dig out your trowels!

                            Our official box-builder is Bob Schrump, but we welcome anyone else who would like to assist him! 

                              Now, here is something I've been thinking about and discussing with family members.  As you may or may not know, we need to repair the basketball court at the park this year. The hoops and pavement are in terrible shape and it is a venue that is heavily-used by local youth. Some of the estimates to do the work are enough to scare you to death, and having just spent a small fortune on the tennis courts, it's a big hit for the town.  

                              I have been trying to talk to the board members lately about being an "Independent Town". In other words, why do we always "Go with the Flow" and follow the lead of every other small town ? Why do we grab grants that rob of us our freedoms and independence? Why do we need to fall into line with other towns that are pushing environmentally extreme programs and conservation groups that take too much property off the tax rolls and limit sites for homes and business? Do we NEED those stupid charging stations for the ONE percent of the driving population that own electric cars?  Well, we are GETTING them! Do we need to attract MORE traffic and rude tourists with a "Swamp-that-was-never-a-swamp" for people to walk through?  Do we want to allow Drive-Thru eateries to mar the town center, or do we want to amend the Comprehensive Plan to ban them before we get them?

                             The Liberal Groups and Committees who "CLAIM" to want to preserve New Lebanon and make it better aesthetically, are the very same people who are taking so much land for excessive Conservancy programs, pushing tourism, supporting the applications for government grants that come with severe regulations, limiting options for people who grew up here to buy affordable land and homes, and so on and so on, ad nauseum. It needs to stop, NOW.

                             New Lebanon is small enough and still rural enough, that we can be a Pioneer Town and an example to other small, country towns that TRULY want to preserve their history and traditions. WE can be INDEPENDENT and Successful all on our own. Just for starters, consider this: 
                           What if we were to get a quote for the basketball court work from a LOCAL business. Just as an example, let's say we asked Darcy Construction to do the job at a reduced rate, and in exchange, we name the court "The Darcy Court" and allow them to hang a small sign or plaque on the fence that states something like, " Court Sponsored by Darcy Construction".  The town gets the work done at a lower rate, we support a LOCAL business and family, AND Darcys gets free advertising forever! 

                           Yeah, yeah, I KNOW that towns are supposed to follow state protocols and put these things out to bid, but who says we HAVE to do it that way? This is OUR town, and if we ask the government for NOTHING, there is NOTHING they can say about it! America was BUILT this way, and New Lebanon can benefit greatly from doing it that way,too. This is just ONE, small, hypothetical example of what can be done by the town and the people who LIVE in it, and the list goes on forever. If the residents really want New Lebanon to be noticed and to draw young families and small business, why not get noticed for what we can do for ourselves, BY ourselves?

                          Many of us can remember a time that small towns were founded and grown by the labor, generosity, and talent of the residents, with zero government assistance and intervention. When you catch yourself reminiscing about the once lower costs of things and the now-extinct warmth of Community, think about the things we can DO to bring those memories back into our lives and simplify at the same time. It's not too late for New Lebanon to become a ground-breaking example of independence and ingenuity. All we have to do is convince the Town Board!  Easy, right?  LOL!!


              Wednesday, Feb. 14th at the High School is the School Board Meeting with the Veterans' Exemptions back on the table. Come if you can and support the people who FOUGHT for YOU!
  And GUYS, don't forget those flowers or that box of chocolates tomorrow!