Government
Town wows think tank with website improvement pledge

Town wows think tank with website improvement pledge

Supervisor Greg Helsmoortel said the town and village website will have more information soon to address an “F” grade issued by the Empire Center for Public Policy, the Albany-based think tank which took the town to task for not including information on budgets and FOIL requests, among other things. Helsmoortel described problems as “minor issues”...
Modest increase in village budget

Modest increase in village budget

The draft 2015-16 village budget calls for $21,000 in additional spending and would raise the tax rate by four cents per $1,000. The budget, introduced at the March 16 Village Board meeting, includes $2,286,029 in spending from the general fund. The tax rate would increase from $6.32 to $6.36 per $1,000 assessed value. A public...
Turnout 2 percent for uncontested Saugerties village election

Turnout 2 percent for uncontested Saugerties village election

When only 49 of a registered 2,188 voters come out to cast a ballot, the results are usually a foregone conclusion. This is especially true when no one challenges the incumbents. So it was with this year’s mayoral and trustees election in the village of Saugerties, held Wednesday, March 18. The only real suspense was whether...
Village energy efficiency project nearly done

Village energy efficiency project nearly done

The village’s $1.5 million energy efficiency project should be completed no later than the beginning of April, say village officials. Last month’s letters to 200 customers who hadn’t yet installed water meters, urging them to make an appointment or face loss of service, seem to have done the trick; there are only 70 left to...
Village trustee speaks out against town/village merger

Village trustee speaks out against town/village merger

If village of Saugerties trustee Don Hackett gets his way, there will be no merging of the village Department of Public Works and the town Highway Department. In response to concerns about merger talk expressed by village resident Bill Schirmer (uncle of the town councilman of that name), Hackett had this to say: “The only...
Remaking the power grid

Remaking the power grid

The last couple of years have seen some changes for electricity consumers in the Hudson Valley — changes not necessarily kind to their pocketbooks. First there was the takeover of Central Hudson by Fortis, a Canadian-based holding company, which took away local control of gas and electric for the first time in over a century....
Supervisor rebuts transparency criticism

Supervisor rebuts transparency criticism

Supervisor Greg Helsmoortel said the Town Board did nothing wrong when, at its Jan. 21 meeting, it took action on items not listed on the publicly released agenda, but said the board will make changes in the interest of transparency. At that meeting, the board considered several items not listed on the agenda distributed to...
Incumbents unopposed in village election

Incumbents unopposed in village election

Feb. 10 was the deadline for petitions for the March 18 election. Four candidates filed, all incumbent members of the New Vision Party. They are (clockwise from top-left): Mayor William Murphy; trustees: Patrick Landewe, Jeannine Mayer, Brian Martin. All seats carry two-year terms.
Village gets tough on water meter holdouts

Village gets tough on water meter holdouts

The village Water Department sent around 200 letters to residents and business owners asking that they make appointments to have new water meters installed or risk having their water service shut off. Of 1,475 total, 1,225 have been installed by the contractor, Vanguard, since November. The village had hoped to have installations complete last week....
Village residents face fines for snowy sidewalks

Village residents face fines for snowy sidewalks

Village property owners with snow-covered sidewalks may be hit with fines this week. Eyal Saad, village code enforcement officer, has been writing down the addresses of homes, businesses and apartments who haven’t yet cleared off their sidewalks. He said he plans to knock on the door of each this week. “I’ll give them a copy...
Editorial: Village must consider consolidation

Editorial: Village must consider consolidation

At the stroke of midnight, Jan. 1, 2011, a 155-year-old Saugerties institution ceased to be. Its dissolution was the subject of years of debate and numerous studies. It finally happened because the Great Recession made its continued existence untenable. There were many who feared its absence would lead to a decrease in service and a...
Helsmoortel: Nothing secret about Town Board agenda

Helsmoortel: Nothing secret about Town Board agenda

Last week there was a letter to the editor from Gaetana Ciarlante criticizing the town board and myself for agenda items. She accused us of violating article 103e of the New York State Open Meetings Law. We have checked with the New York State Association of Towns Legal Department and New York State Department of...
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