B y Jaime Thomas
Hartford town employees will see a 1 percent increase in wages in the New Year following an organizational meeting Tuesday night.
With the exception of Joel Carpenter, who covers personnel and serves as budget officer and is getting a larger increase, wages for the rest of the town’s workers will raise only slightly.
During the meeting, which also included regular business, Town Clerk Denise Petteys also updated the Town Board about a new e-payment system for permits, licenses and taxes.
“It’s been a very long, long process,” Petteys said. “We’re not quite done yet, but we’re working on it.” She said the office received a card swipe machine, she would undergo phone training on Thursday and that “hopefully” residents would be able to pay their taxes online once the tool goes live by the end of the week.
When members of the Youth Commission gave their report, Town Supervisor Dana Haff said Mike Gray, director of Washington County Youth Bureau, wants to get funding for alternative activities. Haff said the town provided summer arts and crafts programs in the past for local children, and Gray is working toward getting $500 for a similar program.
Jennifer Nims, a Youth Commission member, said the group has already come up with a list of activities to target children who want to participate in a program other than sports.
During the organizational portion of the meeting, the town passed a number of annual resolutions.
The board named Glens Falls National as its national bank and The Post Star as its official newspaper. Haff reiterated that the town has a code of ethics and a policy on conflicts of interest, and the board signed an agreement with Highway Superintendent Greg Brown that town highway funds would not exceed expenditures of $700,662.
There were few changes as far as appointments. Robert Oreschnick joined the planning board for a seven-year appointment, and in a non-organizational appointment, Russell Wade will take Mike Deyoe’s place on the Board of Assessment Review, because Deyoe is now on the town board.
In a decision that required no votes, Haff appointed Robert Dillon as deputy supervisor, Mike Armstrong once again as historian, Carpenter as supervisor’s clerk and budget officer and Jennifer Livingston and Lori Fleming as parade directors.
Additionally, the board voted to officially dissolve several obsolete committees: the ad-hoc landfill committee, the development steering committee and the cemetery committee.
“I think the smallest government is the best government,” Haff said.
“We don’t need the ad-hoc landfill committee now that the (Washington) county sold Eldridge Lane,” he said, going on to explain the other two. He said he formed the development steering committee in 2010 as an economic development committee but feels the town board can cover those purposes. He also said the board can serve as the “redundant” cemetery committee.
In other matters:
- Haff told the board he finally received back information from the county from background checks for Youth Commission adult participants.
“It took a long time to have this done. We’re the first town to have it done, so we’re sort of the guinea pig,” he said.
- The board added false lien coverage to their NYMIR policy. This is intended to protect public officials from having false liens against them by “sovereign citizens” who recognize only sheriffs as law enforcement.
- Haff thanked the 22 mutual aid companies who helped with a recent fire at the Tyler Farm on Warren Road.
- The board declared Petteys’ DEC licensing equipment and the enforcement officer’s old cellphone as surplus. The cellphone will be donated to a local program that helps victims of abuse.
The next regular meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m.