Story by Jennifer O’Connor
Incumbent Village Justice Jeanine Garritano Wadeson was sworn-in to office during the Village of Warwick’s Annual Reorganization meeting on Mon., Apr. 3.
“You have been a wonderful servant to our community and we are very pleased you were reelected,” said Mayor Michael Newhard.
Wadeson told the Board that she is honored to be serving the Village again as Justice for a four year term.
After the swearing-in ceremony, Village Clerk Jo-Ann Rome read the list of appointments for the official year. A significant change this year is that the Board will be working with an attorney from the law firm of Drake Loeb instead of Michael Meth, who had been the Board’s legal counsel for over 15 years.
“Michael Meth has been a great confidant and friend. We worked with him for a long time. We appreciate his wisdom and expertise along the way,” said Newhard.
Also newly appointed to the Village is Robert Scheuermann, Jr. as the Shade Tree Commissioner. Scheuermann owns a landscaping business and graduated from SUNY Delhi with a degree in horticulture.
Mayor Newhard said that Scheuermann has a great understanding and awareness of tree culture. He added that Scheuermann grew up knowing Roger Metzger who recently retired as the commissioner after 45 years.
“It seemed like a wonderful and an appropriate way to hand the baton over to someone who grew up with our Shade Tree Commissioner,” said Mayor Newhard.
Two other new appointees to the Village are Linda Smith as the grant writer and Katherine Petrillo Klein as the Poet Laureate. The artist in residence, Linda Mensch and Glenn Carter, are the same as last year. The Board decided to make this a two year position due to the amount of work involved.
Village Clerk to Retire
While reading the list of appointments the term “holdover” was read every time after saying Jo-Ann Rome’s name. Rome is the Village Clerk who also serves as the office liaison, risk management, and records management officer for the Village.
Mayor Newhard informed residents that the term “holdover” was used because “much to our dismay” Rome will be retiring in October. Rome has worked for the Village for 15 years, serving over 10 years as the Clerk. Newhard thanked Rome for all she has done for the Village.
Flushing Fire Hydrants
The Department of Public Works Supervisor announced that the Village will be flushing fire hydrants starting Mon., Apr. 10 every evening from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. until all the fire hydrants have been completed. While the hydrants are flushed the water may be discolored but will clear up and not be harmful. Residents and businesses may also experience some pressure problems.
Trustee George McManus said that there are more people home in the evening than during the day because they work and asked Moser if this can be done during the day. Moser responded that this would cause problems with restaurants and businesses.
Trustee Eileen Patterson said it makes sense to have the hydrant flushing done in residential areas during the day and commercial areas at night.
The Village will continue with the fire hydrant flushing as scheduled in April but will revisit the time of day this should take place before they do their next hydrant flushing.
Discussion on Request for Reduction of Building Permit Fee for Christ Church
The Board then discussed a letter they received from Fr. Jim Erwin of Christ Church, located at 50 South St., requesting a reduction in their building permit fee for the renovation and expansion of the Parish House. The letter states that the estimated cost of additional conditioned square footage using the Village formula would result in a fee of $2,575.
“Relative to the building permit issue, it’s not just money we just collect for the sake of collecting money. It’s to support the Building Inspector’s numerous visits that he is going to have to make to inspect all aspects of the construction so that he can issue a Certificate of Occupancy,” said Trustee Barry Cheney. “I want to state for the record that this is the reason for those charges.”
Trustee Eileen Patterson said, “I just feel that it’s a church, and there’s limited funds for a church, than there are more so for a business. It’s not to improve their income, but to improve the services they can provide to the community. And that makes me feel that’s a justifiable reason to at least reduce it.”
Cheney responded, “I wouldn’t want to do that without contacting NYCOM (New York Conference of Mayors) or our attorneys.”
Patterson said she would reach out to NYCOM and the attorneys.
Two Public Hearings Scheduled
The Board scheduled a public hearing for Mon., Apr. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Village Hall to solicit input to be considered for funding under the Orange County Community Development Plan.
They also scheduled a public hearing for Mon., May 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Village Hall to consider a zone change for 41 South St. from Limited Office Overlay to Central Business.
Earth Day Fair in Stanley-Deming Park
The Board granted permission to Sustainable Warwick to use Stanley-Deming Park for an Earth Day Fair on Sat., Apr. 22 from 12 noon to 4 p.m.
National Day of Prayer to be Observed on the Railroad Green
Permission was also granted to the Grace Community Church to hold a service in observance of National Day of Prayer at the Railroad Green. They will be “praying for the next 150 years for Warwick” in recognition of the Village’s Sesquicentennial on Mon., May 1 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Warwick Community Center to Hang Banner
The Board passed a motion allowing permission to the Warwick Valley Community Center Prevention Coalition to hang a banner on West St. from Mon., Jun. 19 through Tues., Jun. 27.
Other Appointments for the Official Year
During the meeting the following appointments were also made: Attorney to the Village Planning Board is Robert Dickover; Attorney to the Zoning Board of Appeals is Robert Fink; Deputy Clerk/Treasurer is Barbara Ranieri; Village Treasurer/CFO is Cathy Richards for a two year term; the Public Works Supervisor and DPW Liaison is Michael Moser; and Working Leader is James Quackenbush; Emergency Management is Michael Moser and Mayor Michael Newhard; and the 911 Coordinator is Maureen Evans.
The Accountant is Michael Vernieri; Assessor is Richard Hubner, the Village Health Official is Dr. Anthony Martini; Recreation Director is Ron Introini; Summer Concerts is William Iurato; 150th Anniversary Celebration is Mayor Michael Newhard and Trustee William Lindberg; and the Village newspaper is the Warwick Valley Dispatch.
The Deputy Mayor is Trustee Barry Cheney who is also liaison to the following – the Planning and Zoning Boards, the Town of Warwick, Public Works Daily Operations, Engineering and Infrastructure, Green Building Practices/Alternative Energy Options, the Citizens Awareness Panel/Jones Chemical and the Orange County Planning.
Trustee William Lindberg is liaison to Parks and Recreation, Weekender Bus and Transportation issues, Traffic and Parking, the Warwick Fire Department, the Safety Committee, Crosswalk and Pedestrian Issues, and Employee Training – Workplace Violence/Sexual Harassment.
Trustee Eileen Patterson is liaison to the Merchants, Chamber of Commerce, Tourism, issues of Public Health, Senior Citizens, Public Interface and Outreach, Government Efficiency, St. Anthony Community Hospital and Bon Secour, and the Orange County Department of Health.
Trustee George McManus is liaison to the Albert Wisner Public Library, Warwick Valley Schools, the Police, Ethics, Cablevision, Alteva (WVT), issues of Emergency and Homeland Security, WYDO and the Warwick Valley Community Center and the Warwick Historical Society.
The Architectural Review Board members are Michael Bertolini, chairman for a two year term, and for a three year term are Ralph Lucarelli and Robert Skallerup; Planning Board is William Olsen for a five year term and Raey Webster for a one year term as an alternate; Zoning Board of Appeals is Jonathan Burley and John Prego – both to a three year term; Registrar of Vital Statistics is Melissa Stevens and Carolyn Purta; the Alternate to the Village Justice is Peter Barlet; Computer Consultant is Kevin Brand; Computer Programmer is Edmunds & Associate, BAS; Website Maintenance is Mark Damia; Citizens Awareness Panel/Jones Chemical is Barry Cheney, Michael Moser and Joseph Lawler; and the Safety Officers are Michael Moser, Boris Rudzinski and William Lindberg.
Labor Relations is Ron Longo of Keane & Beane; Bond Counsel is Norton Rose Fulbright; Village Engineer is Lehman & Getz; Water System and Facilities Engineer is Barton & Loguidice; the Engineer Responsible for Reservoir Resources and Dam Safety is Tectonic Engineering; and the Official Banks are the Greater Hudson and Sterling Bank.
Next Meeting Set for Apr. 17
The next Board meeting will be held on Mon., Apr. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Village Hall, located at 77 Main St., Warwick.