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Changing of the guard at Town Board

NORTH EAST — The Town Board met for a regular business meeting for the last time under the leadership of former town Supervisor Dave Sherman on Thursday, Dec. 8 (it held subsequent special meetings after that date). As of Jan. 1, John Merwin took over as town supervisor. During the Dec. 8 business meeting, the board took care of various municipal matters.

From the assessor’s office

One such issue was the appointment of town resident Richard Kave to the town’s Board of Assessment Review (BAR). Kave had been filling a vacancy on the board; he received high praise from Assessor Katherine Johnson in support for appointment to the permanent position.

“He worked out very well,” she said. “He had commercial background and knew the town really well — it was a very smooth transition. He filled a term, the last year of a five-year term, so he’s up for reappointment now. He’s happy to continue. He enjoyed his experience and we’re happy to have him.”

Sherman agreed the town would be wise to keep Kave on hand.

“He’s a nice guy,” Sherman said. “Very personable.”

“Anybody willing to do it is good to [keep on hand],” added Councilman Carl Stahovec.

Councilman Dave McGhee made a motion to appoint Kave to the BAR; the vote was supported unanimously. The term will expire in 2016.

On another note, Johnson informed the board that the Office of Real Property Services (ORPS) is tightening its belt — laying off employees and closing down district offices, including the one that services the town of North East.

“They’re shipping [our office] to Westchester,” she said, adding ORPS is trying to save money just like other agencies throughout the state. “I just wanted to let you know. So we’re kind of backed up. By this time we usually have numbers of how we’re trending.”

Planning, zoning and building

Building Inspector Ken McLaughlin was on hand to give the board a report on his department, which he said has been busy as of late.

“I won’t say it’s been bustling, but it’s been pretty active,” he said, adding there have been a few code enforcement matters subject to litigation the department has been dealing with.

According to Sherman, some of that litigation relates to Hanover Hill Farm, a site the town is “very concerned” about following a fire in the spring that caused a lot of damage. Other matters, according to McLaughlin, include some rather large projects that are in the works presently, some of which he said are before the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).

As far as other related business, Town Clerk Nancy Davis-Vialpando read a report stating there have been six building permits issued last month, four certificates of occupancy, four municipal searches and six inspections.

Davis-Vialpando also read a correspondence from town resident Stephen Valyou stating he would be interested in filling a vacancy on the ZBA.

Valyou stated he’s “been a resident all my life, except when I was in the Army.”

Although the Town Board expressed its appreciation of Valyou’s willingness to volunteer on the ZBA, it noted that the recent vacancies on the zoning board have since been filled.

“I sent a copy [of Valyou’s letter] on to [town Supervisor] John Merwin and the new Town Board,” said Sherman. “But there’s no vacancy at this time.”

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