January 6, 2003
Town Board Minutes

Oswego Town Council Community Center

Supervisor: Victoria M. Mullen
Town Board Members: Tim DeSacia, Margaret Mahaney,
Richard Pratt, Greg Herrmann
The organizational meeting of the Oswego Town Board was held January 6, 2003 at the Southwest Community Center. Supervisor Mullen opened the meeting at 7:00 PM with the Pledge of Allegiance. A moment of silence was held for past employee Frank Novak. Roll call was taken with the following members present:
Supervisor
Councilor
Councilor
Councilor
Councilor
Attorney to the Board
Victoria Mullen
Tim DeSacia
Greg Herrmann
Margaret Mahaney
Richard Pratt
Stephen C. Greene
Town Clerk's Report: An addition to abstract 13, general fund for $374.81 for tax bill postage the new general fund total was $12,266.66. Taxes collected to date $59,161.14. Annual Report of town clerk fees collected $34,442.75.

Supervisor's Report: At the end of the year I sat down and asked myself if we had accomplished a positive change in the Town of Oswego·. I think we have. One example was the obvious need for a new highway garage. The need and the means to accomplish the goal had been there for years. The only missing element to getting this project off the ground was leadership. I think that is what our Town Board now offers the people of the Town of Oswego. The Town Board knew the feelings of the people and this is evidenced by the more than 70 percent vote in favor of the referendum to build this highway garage. I feel that is one of our biggest accomplishments is that we have developed into a group that works together, communicates, argues, listens to the people and comes up with solution to problems. Our communication does not end with disagreement.

This Town Board has faced many long-standing unsolved problems, bringing closure to some, and continuing to work on others. This board settled the Carson road matter, that dated back to 1997, the settlement was a hard pill to swallow, however being free of further legal costs to fight a losing battle is a plus for the town.

The Town Board had to face the Ontario Heights rate increased imposed on the residents by the Oswego City Common Council back in 2001. Although the city would not budge on the rate, they did negotiate with the town for an extension on the old rates through 2002, and did not impose any fines or penalties for bills that were not paid. This was a substantial savings to the residents of Ontario Heights. Another accomplishment was the correction of Ontario Heights sewer bills from 2000 and 2001, and brining up to date all related bookkeeping for the sewer district.

I am very happy about our budget this year; while other towns around us have raised taxes we have a budget with no increase in town or highway tax, without using any of our surplus to balance the budget. We are very proud that we were able to accomplish this while adding a capital expenditure line, for our new highway garage. When this expense is paid we will be using that line to continue to upgrade our buildings and equipment, this builds into our budget long term capital planning. We were able to do this because we have put into effect true spending cuts this year. Not always popular, but necessary.

Another positive change for our town and to taxpayers is the consolidation of our 8 water districts; we have eliminated hydrant fees to the taxpayer and those savings should continue for several years.

For years Onondaga County Water Authority had used space in our town hall, and garage. We were able to negotiate with OCWA for rent for this space. We negotiated for retroactive payments and a truck to add to our inventory, this will allow us to update to a more useful truck for the cemetery crew. This agreement added approximately 18 thousand dollars of revenue to the town and continues at $500.00 per month.

I have been able to secure two grants, totaling 100 thousand dollars, for much needed projects in the town. $50 thousand dollars go to sewer rehabilitation for Sleepy Hollow, and $50 thousand dollars for the new highway garage. For these we are thankful to State Senator Jim Wright and Assemblyman Bob Oaks.

We have made the operation of town hall more efficient and cost effective. It is now also a more pleasant place to work. As many of you know the offices at town hall have been painted with free labor courtesy of a weekend work program though the Oswego County Correctional Facility. Our Assessors now use the old supervisor's office, which offers privacy to the residents who have business with the assessors. Our Town Clerks office has expanded, giving her more room by rearranging office personnel. The Supervisors bookkeeper has worked very hard to bring the books up to date. She has made current; all the reports that were due to the county, the state, and federal government. Retirement records and county employee records have been brought up to date.

When I ran for supervisor I said , one of the most important changes that needed to be made was the preparation of timely and accurate financial reports. I am happy to say that these reports have been submitted each month, supplying much needed information to the Town Board members so that they can make informed decisions. Our town's bills are paid on time, which puts us in a very good light. My bookkeeper Mrs. Moon deserves much credit for her good work. In the supervisors office we are doing more and spending less. My bookkeeper has a much lower salary than in previous years. I continue to be a hands on supervisor. During my office hours, I do much of the clerical work myself, which saves the taxpayers money. I treat the position of Supervisor as a job, not an entitlement.

It has taken a full year to get things in order. We have ended the calendar creep, and are in compliance with the NY State Comptroller's office.

We settled the highway contract. Hoping to increase service and accountability to the people of the Town of Oswego, we chose not to fill the positions of Code Enforcement, and Zoning Enforcement Officers, and instead, contracted with Life Safety Consultants to perform building and code enforcement. This will save the taxpayer thousands of dollars in salaries, social security payments, mileage, phones, training, and all contractual expenses. We felt the need to try something new.

We hired Mr. Ken Reeves as Cemetery Superintendent. The benefits of his guidance and maturity are obvious in that the cemetery has never looked better. His records are well kept. His ideas such as talking to BOCES about refurbishing old equipment and paying only for parts could result in savings at the cemetery and ultimately to the taxpayer. Having the cemetery surveyed has netted the town with 16 more acres than we had previously believed we owned.

We have contracted with a collection agency to collect unpaid ambulance bills and have seen benefits from this already.

We left open the position of Sewer Tender, and contracted with G&G Wastewater Treatment, to oversee Sleepy Hollow. We expect to see an improvement in the operation and maintenance of their system. We have done a great deal of work on the sewer problems at Sleepy Hollow. We have worked with the DEC, and NY State Rural Water, to come up with a plan of action to comply with the SPEDES permit for Sleepy Hollow. . Barton and Logudice Engineering have concluded their study and the results have been sent to the DEC. We have raised the manholes and have ordered the correct sewage pumps. Though the grant of $50 thousand dollars may not cover the entire rehabilitation it will take much of the burden off the residents of Sleepy Hollow.

Over 15 thousand dollars in fines from the NY State Dept of taxation and the IRS were levied against the town for non-reporting of withholding in 2000 and 2001. I am happy to report that after much correspondence we were able to have the fines forgiven, the latest, just the other day, under the NY State Tax Amnesty program. I would like to thank Mr. John Harper of NY State taxation and finance for working with us to get these fines forgiven.

Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over the same way, and expecting different results. We have changed the way the town does business, and are having better results!

Looking to the future, I am convinced the highway facility will be up and running by fall. Sleepy Hollows Sewer problems will be dealt with. Councilor Mahaney will continue working to get our zoning and planning in order, and we will give clear direction to those boards, and adopt a new land use map. We hope this will encourage more development in the Town of Oswego.

I would like to look into selling properties owned by the town; a town should not keep property off the tax rolls. I will also keep working Rural Community Assistance Program, and the Governors Office for Small Cities searching for grant money. In the future we will need to replace our Community Center and Town Hall. There are ways to get things done, without raising taxes, and I will try to find them. I have developed many good contacts and am committed to keeping the Town of Oswego in a positive light, where it belongs!

I want to thank the Town Board members for all their time and effort in a sometimes thankless position, and once again thank our Town Clerk Mrs. Cooper, and our Highway Superintendent Mr. Carter for their dedication to the Town of Oswego and all the help they give my office. Being a hands on supervisor is a double edge sword, I get to see the wonderful things that go on in Town Hall and I also am there when the complaints come in! Keeping on top of things is what the people of the town deserve, I believe we have done that and will continue to do so.

Public Comment: Questions were asked about the new building inspector and what type of identification would they have and what were the consultant fees in the contract with Life Safety Consultants?

Resolution 2003-1 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Board approves the minutes from the December 27, 2002 year end town board meeting. Moved by Supervisor Mullen and seconded by Councilor Pratt. All ayes motion carried.

Resolution 2003-2 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Board approves the bills on abstract 1.
General Fund
Highway Fund
Capital Projects Fund
Franklin/Baylis Lighting
$6167.44
5076.24

23293.08

98.37
Moved by Supervisor Mullen and seconded by Councilor Mahaney. All ayes motion carried.

Resolution 2003-3 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Board approves the appointments in attachment A. It is further resolved that these appointments shall run until December 31, 2003. Moved by Councilor Herrmann and seconded by Councilor Mahaney. All ayes motion carried.

Resolution 2003-4 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Board approves the schedule of salaries of elected and appointed officials and employees in attachment B for the year 2003. Moved by Councilor Pratt and seconded by Councilor DeSacia. All ayes motion carried.

Resolution 2003-5 Be it resolved the Oswego Town board designates the Oswego Palladium Times as the official town newspaper. Moved by Councilor Pratt and seconded by Councilor DeSacia. All ayes motion carried.

Resolution 2003-6 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Board designates JP Morgan Chase Bank as the town depository. Moved by Supervisor Mullen and seconded by Councilor Herrmann. All ayes motion carried.

Resolution 2003-7 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Board Imposes on the Supervisor powers and duties of administration and supervision of town or special improvement district functions to be performed on behalf of the board. Moved by Councilor DeSacia and seconded by Councilor Pratt. All ayes motion carried.

Resolution 2003-8 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Board establishes both a town clerk and supervisor Petty Cash fund of $100.00 each. Moved by Councilor Pratt and seconded by Councilor Mahaney. All ayes motion carried.

Resolution 2003-9 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Board approves the payroll calendar identified as attachment C. Moved by Councilor Herrmann and seconded by Councilor Mahaney. All ayes motion carried.

Resolution 2003-10 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Board approves the holiday calendar identified as attachment D. Moved by Supervisor Mullen and seconded by Councilor Pratt. All ayes motion carried.

Resolution 2003-11 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Board approves the voucher calendar as identified as attachment E. Moved by Supervisor Mullen and seconded by Councilor DeSacia. All ayes motion carried.

Resolution 2003- 12 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Board adopts the Rules of Order found in attachment F. Moved Supervisor Mullen and seconded by Councilor Pratt. All ayes motion carried.

Resolution 2003-13 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Board will hold monthly town board meetings the second Monday of each month at 7:00 PM at the Southwest Community Center. Be it further resolved a monthly board workshop will be held at the Oswego Town Hall on the first Monday of the month at 6:00 PM. Friendly amendment to change the October regular board meeting to October 6th, the first Monday in October. Moved by Supervisor Mullen and seconded by Councilor Pratt. All ayes motion carried.

Resolution 2003-14 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town board authorizes the Supervisor to pay in advance of audit of claims for public utilities services such as gas, electric, water, sewer, fuel oil and telephone service as well as for postage, freight and express charges. Claims for these payments shall be presented at the next regular meeting for audit. Moved by Councilor Mahaney and seconded by Councilor DeSacia. All ayes motion carried.

Resolution 2003- 15 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Board approves the contract for maintenance of the Town Web site, such contract to be executed by the Supervisor and Lisa Stevens for a yearly fee of $500.00 identified as attachment G. Moved by Supervisor Mullen and seconded by Councilor Herrmann. All ayes motion carried.

Resolution 2003-16 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Board directs the Supervisor to sign the contract with Accurate Confidential Testing for DOT alcohol and drug testing program identified in attachment H. Moved by Councilor Pratt and seconded by Councilor DeSacia. All ayes motion carried.

Resolution 2003-17 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Board approves the appointment of the Law office of Stephen Greene Sr. as Attorney to the Board. It is further resolved that this appointment shall run until December 31, 2003. Moved by Supervisor Mullen and seconded by Councilor Herrmann. All ayes motion carried.

Resolution 2003-18 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Board approves the appointment of Kevin Caraccioli as Attorney to the Zoning Board, Be it further resolved that this appointment shall run until December 31, 2003. Moved by Councilor Pratt and seconded by Supervisor Mullen. All ayes motion carried.

Resolution 2003- 19 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Board approves the appointment of Stephen C. Greene Jr. as Attorney to the Planning Board. Be it further resolved that this appointment shall run until December 31, 2003. Moved by Supervisor Mullen and seconded by Councilor Herrmann. All ayes motion carried.

Resolution 2003- 20 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Board appoints Sheila Nelson as assistant Dog Control Officer for the year 2003. This appointment carries no salary. Moved by Councilor Pratt and seconded by Councilor Mahaney. All ayes motion carried.

Resolution 2003- 21 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Board acknowledges the appointment of Mark Wilcox as Deputy Highway Superintendent and Kathy Merritt as Deputy Town Clerk. Moved by Supervisor Mullen and seconded by Councilor Mahaney. All ayes motion carried.

Resolution 2003- 22 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Board adopts the Code of Ethics identified as attachment I. Moved by Supervisor Mullen and seconded by Councilor Pratt. All ayes motion carried.

Councilor Herrmann has concerns with the new highway garage and the parking issues inside the garage for the trucks. The highwaymen feel the building is too small and another door is needed on the end of the building so the trucks can be moved in and out without backing up. The town board will meet with Mr. Arctander on January 16, 2003 at 5:00 PM if he is available.

The next meeting with Councilor Mahaney and the ordinance committee will be held the last Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM at town hall.

Motion by Councilor Mahaney and seconded by Councilor DeSacia to adjourn the regular meeting of the Oswego Town Board at 7:45 PM. All ayes motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Theresa A. Cooper, RMC
Oswego Town Clerk
Back to 2003 Agendas & Minutes
Back to Town Board Web Page
Top of Page