WORKSHOP 11-8-07 MINUTES
Report of the Workshop of the Brant Town Board which was held on Thursday November 8th, 2007 at 7:30 PM, 1294 Brant North Collins Rd, Brant, New York at the Brant Town Hall.
Supervisor Leonard Pero
Councilman Jeffrey W. Gier
Councilwoman Roseann Turner
Councilman John J. Chiavetta
Thea A. Ells, Town Clerk
John Grennell, Town Attorney
Also attended by: Dick Gryksa, Lee Brunelli, Charles Arrigo, Linda Crouse, Alice Escott, Dave Gierlinger, Christine Gierlinger, James George, and Vincent Fullone.
Pledge to the Flag: Meeting called to order by Supervisor Pero.
Clerk verified that this workshop which is on the annual list of meeting; and was posted at the Town Hall, Brant Post Office, Farnham Post Office, Town Crier and Town web site.
Board members audited the Town Vouchers. Jeff Gier questioned why the Town is paying for unemployment insurance for employees who hold appointed positions. Mr. Gryksa was unable to answer this and the voucher was set aside for later review.
Supervisor Pero reviewed the following items with the board members:
Westfield Disposal: Supervisor Pero discussed the meeting that was held between Westfield Disposal and the Village of Farnham. He stated the increase in cost will be approx 8% due to increased fuel costs, etc. Supervisor said that based on the fact that the price is competitive with BFI etc an extension will be made on the contract for one year at the next Town Board meeting.
Solar Liberty. John Grennell spoke about the Solar Liberty grant. He spoke with NYSERTA and was informed that there will be absolutely NO cost to the Town. He also spoke with Len Burkowicz of Orchard Park and was told that they had entered into the same deal with Solar Liberty and it was a no cost project. Also, Solar Liberty is required to perform a quality installation in order to pass the test NYSERTA will place on the system in order for them to receive the grant from NYSERTA for the system. Supervisor Pero mentioned that the project costs approx $174,000 and the NYSERTA grant pays for about $130,000 and Solar Liberty is donating about $40,000 in labor for the project.
Time Warner Renewal contract. Supervisor Pero asked the Town attorney if he received the Time Warner contract to which he replied yes, and he was reviewing it. Erie County Snow Removal Contract. John Grennell informed the Board that he received the snow removal contract and suggested that the Highway Superintendant also review it. Supervisor Pero stated that the snow removal contract came out to be approx a 5% increase and that the Superintendant is aware of it.
Miscellaneous: Supervisor Pero stated that he wanted permission to obtain a plaque to present Gina DeMaria for her years of service to the Town. Supervisor Pero mentioned the passing of Mike Walters, our disaster coordinator. Pero also mentioned the speaker series that would be held at the community bldg. from 10 am to noon every second Saturday of the month. He also mentioned that there will be a statement/memo to all Town departments notifying of new regulations within the Town that would not allow one department to handle in any way the finances of another dept, based on the recommendations of the Town Accountant.
PUBLIC HEARING 2008 BUDGET (8:00 PM) Town Clerk Thea A Ells read the following Public Hearing Notice that was posted in the required locations within the Town of Brant and in the Legal Newspaper for the Town of Brant.
?Notice is hereby given that the Preliminary Budget of the Town of Brant
for the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2008 has been completed and filed in the office of the Town Clerk at Brant, New York, where it is available for inspection by any interested person during regular business hours. Further notice is hereby given that the Town Board of the Town of Brant will meet and review the Preliminary Budget and hold a PUBLIC HEARING thereon at the Brant Town Hall at 8:00 PM on THURSDAY THE 8TH DAY OF NOVEMBER 2007 and at such hearing any person may be heard in favor or against any items therein contained.
Further notice is given pursuant to Section 108 of the Town Law the proposed salaries of the following Town Offices are hereby specified as follows:
Supervisor - $ 15,000.00
Councilman (4) x each $ 4,350.00
Town Clerk/Tax Collector- $ 25,200.00
Superintendent of Highways $ 22,260.00.?
Christine Gierlinger questioned the stated issuance of 5% raises across the board for all town employees but wanted to know why various positions, when calculated, arrived at higher than 5% increases. Supervisor Pero explained the 5% across the board was ?talked about during the preliminary budget? and that tonight?s meeting was to discuss this issue more.
Lee Brunelli commented that raises should only be given to laborers and employees, not elected officials. He added that when officials are elected, they know what the pay is beforehand and any future raises should be voted on by the whole board and should be for the next official to win that position, not the current official.
Jeff Gier questioned the percentage of increases. Lenny discussed the various changes in the budget:
Town Board services: $4350.00 (increased 5.1%)
Contractuals: $2000.00 for new member training in NYC.
Town Justice Services: $9,000 ea (Pero stated that other Towns pay more)
Court Clerks: $17,850 (if increase of 5.1% or $10.90)or $17,528 (increase of 3% or $10.58/hr) Roseann asked if Pero?s intention was to simply increase the court clerk?s budget to accommodate whatever increase would be given them at the Organizational meeting. An exact amount has not decided on.
Pero went on to say that the goal of the budget is to support the increases of the future wages that will be set during the Organizational meeting in January. Pero verified with the rest of the board that their goal was to increase the majority of employee?s wages by 3% and to get others in line with what the same positions pay in other towns.
A1220.1 Supervisor: $15,000/yr (increase of 7.1%)
Councilman Chiavetta spoke and stated that Pero?s salary should be raised to $24,000/yr. His said that Pero is doing more for the town than was required of him by the position. Roseann objected based on the earlier remarks by Lee Brunelli. The board consulted with the attorney to see if this type of raise based on experience and hourly input could be done. John Grennell replied that such a raise would have to be across the board to all members and cannot be base on one person?s experience.
Dick Gryksa spoke up and mentioned how other towns give performance appraisals and issue raises based on the performance of an employee. He said that 3% doesn?t keep up with the cost of inflation with gas prices, etc. He suggested raises based on performance. Roseann replied that she disagreed with cost of living increases because these part time jobs are not most employee?s livelihood and therefore should not be figured as a means to pay for ones living.
Lee Brunelli spoke: He said the taxpayers elect the best person to do the job, regardless of the pay. Therefore, when a person runs for office, they know exactly what it pays. They should do the best job they can to save the Town money. If you can?t do that, don?t run for office.
Roseann reiterated that you can?t compare to other officials in other towns. Ie., the Supervisor of N Collins is paid $34,000/yr but has no secretary.
A1220.11 Supervisor?s Secretary: from $16,830.00 to $21,653
Pero explained his secretary will be working an additional day per week which take hours from 24/wk to 30/wk.
A1220.4 Supervisor?s Contractual: Increase $3500.00 to $4000.00
Pero explained that he was going to start to reimburse himself for mileage for Town Business.
A1320.41 Audit/Independent Actg: Reduced from the preliminary from $15,000 to $14,500.00
A1340.1 Budget ? Per Svce: Increased 50% from $970 to $1,500
A1355.1 Assessor: Reduced from $14,450.00 (preliminary) to $13,000.00
A1355.11 Assessor?s Clerk: From $11,000 to $10,500
Pero explained that the assessor?s office was over budgeted on hours and the budgeted hours had not been used, therefore, to account for the 832 hours the clerk actually worked, the budgeted amount will be reduced. However, the Clerk?s raise will be reflected in her hourly rate. Going from $11.25/hr to 11.60/hr.
A1410.1 Town Clerk Per Svce: Increase 3% from $24,000 to $24,720
A1410.11 Deputy Town Clerks: Increase 1% from $15,000(2007) to $15,150
A1420.1 Law: Raised 3%(From $14,225 to $14,652)
A1420.4 Law Contractual: Down $500 from $1,500
A1440.4 Engineering: Down $500 from $2500 to $2000
A1460.1 Records Mgmt: Up 3.7% from $1350 to $1400
A1480.4 Professional Svcs: Up 100% from $7500.00 to $15000.00
Pero explained that the Grant writer had previously been at $14,808/yr but was reduced to $7,500 in 2007. The original amount w/an increase will be reinstated.
A1620.1 Tn Hall Bldg Custodian: Up 5% from $8.50/hr to $9.00/hr
A1620.11 Super Bldg/Grnds: up 5% from $4000
A1620.4 Bldgs (Tn Hall Contr) up from $20,000 to $22,000
A1630.1 Bldgs (Comm/Rec-(Per Svce): Up 5% from $8.50/hr to $9.00/hr
A1630.4 Com/Rec Bldg Contr: $10,500 (Possibility of $11,000)
A1670.4 Central Print/Mail: Increase from $5000 to $6000 (B/C of Newsletter)
A1680.2 Central Data/ Technology: Increase from $0 to $2,000 (due to technology)
Discussion regarding the reason for the $2,000 increase. To maintain computers in the Town Hall and to upgrade the Town?s backup options.
A1680.4 Central Data/Payroll: Increase from $1200. To $1300.00/Yr
A1630.2 Comm/Rec Bldg EQ: Want to purchase floor buffer equipment.
A3120.11 Police Chief/Per Svce: $15,600 PLUS
A3120.41 Police Secretarial Svces: Increase from $1,000 to $2,000/yr
A3120.11 Patrol/Guards-P/S: Increase from $40,000 to $60,000
Pero explained that taking into account all the hours, this amount would translate to $14.75/hr. And Officer Hock will be at $17,784 with his K9. Felschow is Salary, Hock is hourly. Therefore, if Hock doesn?t work, he doesn?t get paid. The reason for the $3.25/hr wage difference for Officer Hock and the other Patrolman is his expertise with the K9.
Christine Gierlinger questioned Pero about his requirement to Re-canvas the Chief of Police position this spring. Pero answered that Felschow would have to take the test. Gierlinger replied that Felschow would have to place in the top 3% to retain his position. Pero stated that he was unaware of this requirement to re-canvas for the position. She questioned if there would be an increase to the Chief salary and Pero, along with the board responded, no. The amount would stay where it is.
A1320.12 Court Bailiff: Decreased from $3,000 to $2800 (Same pay as Patrolman)
A3120.2 Police Equipment: $26,000 (New Police Car)
A3120.4 Police Contractual: $18,000 Pero explained that this $18,000 is for Traffic Control and the Stop DWI Program at $3,000 each. He added that he had just received word from the State that we would be receiving a grant of $2100 towards the Stop DWI program.
Christine Gierlinger asked what the Traffic Control was for. Pero responded that it was for Drugs and DWI, two programs. Gierlinger asked again for clarification of what the Traffic Control was. Pero responded that it was drugs, a program with the State for stopping vehicles on Route 5 and 20.
A3510.4 Control of Dogs: Increase 3%
A3510.4 Control of Dogs (Contractual) Decreased to $500 as it is never used.
A5010.1 Hwy Supt: Increase 3%
A5010.11 Hwy Admin Clk: Increase 3%
A5132.4 Garage Contractual $10,500 down from 2007 $13,000
A5410.2 Sidewalks: Increased to $11,000 (Brant Angola road unfinished)
A7020.1 Recreation Admin P/S: Increased to $30,025. From $27,000
A7110.1 Parks ? Per Svce: $500.00 ? Parks Commissioner
A7110.2 Parks ? Eq/Co: $22,000 (to finish Tennis/basketball court)
A7110.4 Parks Contractual: $28,000 (Extra cost DM&K)
A7180.2 Pool-Eq/Co: Down from $8,000 to $7,000 (1 less lifeguard)
A7180.4 Pool ? Contractual: Down from $8,000 to $7,000 (Sand filters $2500 but need a cushion for unexpected pool costs)
A7310.4 Youth Svces-P/S: Down from $6000 to $5000
Christine Gierlinger requested an explanation of what the Youth Services were. Pero explained that it was a program where the Police go into the schools and teach about drugs, etc and he explained that the program has been in existence since the previous administration and that the Town was going to continue with it. Gierlinger asked if the pay was going to go to David Hock. Pero replied that it would be up to Chief Felschow. The Officer has to be qualified.
A7550.4 Celebrations: Increase from $500 to $1500. (Plaques, etc)
A7620.4 Adult Recreation: Increased from $8,000 to $10,000
A9010.8 NYS Retirement ERS (Contr): Reduced from $13,000 to $10,000
Pero reviewed the balance of insurances the Town pays for its employees. Roseann questioned the Towns payment to NYS retirement fund for its employees. She was told it is the Town?s share of the payment and that the employee was responsible for the balance.
Christine Gierlinger questioned the boards reasoning for the Youth services increase from $4,900 to $6,000. Pero explained that for years the amount has been $5,000 and costs go up. Gierlinger questioned why the Board removed the Youth services last year because they felt it was a way to pay someone more money and that an officer already on duty could do that without extra cost to the town. She stated that ?52 weeks at 5 days a week, doing a school check every day, giving them an hour to do it, which I?d assume it shouldn?t be more than that, at a rate of $14.75/hr, to come up to 3,835.00, you?re budgeting $6,000 for something we didn?t need last year that was taken out of the budget. Pero replied that the board will take her comments into consideration. She questioned the new $500 in Youth Svces Contractual. The board responded that it was for bags and little goodies when they visit the school.
A2401 Interest & Earnings: Up from $500 to $10,000
A2610.2 Drivers school program: Up from 1,000 to $2,000
Town Clerk asked if the Town was going to purchase a new Highway vehicle. Pero explained not this year, that the board is working on replenishing the $29,000 for the backhoe and working to save money for a truck that was requested for 2009.
R. Gryksa informed Pero that about 9-10 yrs ago the Board passed a resolution that made it a requirement for the Town to annually set aside a reserve amount into a Highway Equipment fund. This has not been done. Gryksa stated that there is no reserve because there was never enough money left over to put in the reserve because the Fund Balance was being used essentially to fund the budget. He went on to explain that when the Town purchases the new truck it will have approx $50,000 in the fund and the balance will have to be financed.
R. Gryksa then went on to explain the budget and why a healthy fund balance is crucial to maintaining low property taxes.
Councilman Chiavetta moved for the adoption of Resolution #240 and this was seconded by Councilman Gier. A roll call vote was taken: 4 AYES- 0 NAYS: Chiavetta ?Aye, Gier- Aye, Pero- Aye, and Turner-Aye
ADOPTED: TO CLOSE THE PUBLIC HEARING
Councilwoman Turner moved for the adoption of Resolution #241 and this was seconded by Councilman Gier. A vote was taken: 4 AYES- 0 NAYS: Chiavetta Gier Pero Turner
ADOPTED: TO GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION REGARDING PERSONNEL REASONS @ 9:03 PM
Councilman Gier moved for the adoption of Resolution #242 and this was seconded by Councilwoman Turner. A vote was taken: 4 AYES- 0 NAYS: Chiavetta Gier Pero Turner ADOPTED: TO CLOSE THE EXECUTIVE SESSION @ 10:23 PM
Councilwoman Turner moved for the adoption of Resolution #243 and this was seconded by Councilman Gier. A vote was taken: 4 AYES- 0 NAYS: Chiavetta Gier Pero Turner ADOPTED: TO CLOSE THE WORK SHOP @ 10:24 PM
Thea A Ells
Brant Town Clerk