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January 2016 May 2016 September 2016
February 2016 June 2016 October 2016
March 2016 July 2016 November 2016
April 2016 August 2016 December 2016

The District 3 Report from Legislators Herrington, Walsh & Tesman
January 2016
 

As legislative representatives of District 3, including the towns of Brunswick, Pittstown and Schaghticoke, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the January 12, 2016 legislative meeting.

We have worked to keep spending reasonable and responsible in county government. We are proud to report that in 2015, the Legislature saved approximately $200,000. The savings is thanks to efficiencies in legislative offices, including a reduction in personnel costs and benefits, fewer supply purchases, and use of new technology and other methods.

The cost for operating legislative offices is comparable to the early 1990s. A comprehensive rebid of the county’s insurance policy also recently led to a significant savings, which brought insurance costs below what was paid by the county in the early 1990s.

The Legislature also voted January 12 on authorizing appropriations included in the 2016 county budget. The 2016 budget is the fifth consecutive budget to remain under the state tax cap, while protecting needed services and the county’s strong financial position.

The Legislature also designated The Record and The Times Union as official newspapers for 2016. We also adopted a resolution supporting a series of reforms authored by the New York State Association of Counties that would reduce mandates on county government and help save taxpayer money and protect needed services.

The Legislature approved resolutions for various repairs and staff training at the Van Rensselaer Manor county nursing home. Legislators also pooled personal funds during the holidays to purchase a new stove for use by residents at the Manor. We also supported an effort to collect food, toys, treats and towels for animals housed at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, a project started by former legislative staffer Linda Golden.

A schedule of meetings for 2016 is listed on the legislative website. The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, February 9, 2016. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at   www.rensselaercounty.org.

 

The District 3 Report from Legislators Herrington, Walsh & Tesman
February 2016

As legislative representatives of District 3, including the towns of Brunswick, Pittstown and Schaghticoke, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the February 9, 2016 legislative meeting.

Creation of new jobs and opportunity remains a major priority for our county in 2016. Rensselaer County received some good news with the announcement Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is planning a major expansion near the company campus in East Greenbush. This comes three years after the Legislature supported creation of nearly 300 new jobs at Regeneron with an expansion of sewer service.

The expansion of sewers to Regeneron demonstrates how investment in infrastructure can help create new jobs and opportunity. Unfortunately, there has been a lack of investment in local infrastructure by the state and federal governments. At the February 9 meeting, we also passed a resolution urging an increased investment in road, bridge, water and sewer improvements by the state and local governments.

The Legislature approved resolutions for the purchase of materials and services for the repair and maintenance of county roads. We are happy to see progress continuing on replacing the County Route 111 bridge in Johnsonville. The relatively warm winter weather has allowed the important project to progress.

The Legislature also recognized National Agriculture Week. The county is also continuing efforts to protect farmland and open space, with nearly 4000 acres preserved by the county under the program.

This year marks the 225th anniversary of the founding of Rensselaer County. The Legislature adopted a resolution recognizing the anniversary at the meeting, with events and observances to be announced.

The Legislature also coordinated a donation to the Mohawk and Hudson Humane Society animal shelter of nearly $600 from the collection of redeemable cans and bottles at the County Office Building and a memorial gift.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org.

The District 3 Report from Legislators Herrington, Walsh & Tesman
March 2016

As legislative representatives of District 3, including the towns of Brunswick, Pittstown and Schaghticoke, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the March 8, 2016 legislative meeting.

The March meeting includes the annual State of the County address by the County Executive. County Executive Kathleen Jimino discussed the county’s success in staying under the state tax cap each of the past five years, a series of positive financial reviews and a recent upgrade in the county’s bond rating.

The Legislature has been able to do our part by reducing costs in legislative offices, and assigning those savings to a Tax Stabilization Fund to help maintain needed services and ensure tax stability. The Legislature also oversaw a comprehensive re-bid of the county insurance coverage, bringing costs below what was spent in the early 1990s. At the March 8 legislative meeting, the Legislature approved the transfer of $93,000 in savings in 2015 to the Tax Stabilization Fund.

At the March 8 meeting, the Legislature approved a resolution approving a collaborative solar initiative that will enable the county, and eleven municipalities and organizations to save an estimated $22.5 million over the coming 25 years. The project with Monolith Solar will help reduce power costs while utilizing clean sources of energy.

The Legislature also approved snowmobile trail grant agreements at the March 8 meeting. We also approved a resolution supporting a State Senate bill to provide free fishing and hunting licenses for members of volunteer fire and ambulance companies.

The Rensselaer County Legislature is teaming up with Pro-Tek to sponsor a spring Electronics Recycling event on Saturday, April 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the parking lot of the County Office Building, 1600 7th Avenue, downtown Troy. The event is open to county residents.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, April 12, 2016. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org

 

The District 3 Report from Legislators Herrington, Walsh & Tesman
April 2016

As legislative representatives of District 3, including the towns of Brunswick, Pittstown and Schaghticoke, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the April 12, 2016 legislative meeting.

Along with the meeting, thanks to the many residents who came out for the Electronics Recycling event sponsored by the Legislature on April 23. Many residents, including a number from District 3, safely disposed on unwanted electronics, appliances, computers and other items during the collection.

The Legislature has made it a priority to improve infrastructure to maintain needed quality of life services and boost job creation efforts. We approved a resolution supporting a request for grant funding by the county sewer district to continue to make improvements at the district. Work continues to improve pump stations in the district and other upgrades that have won praise from federal, state and regional leaders.

We also welcomed Jason Wheeler, a resident of District 3 and employee of the county Sewer District, for being named the 2016 New York Water Environment Association Operator of the Year award.

The Legislature also approved resolutions for the repair and improvement of county roads, including roads in District 3. We are working to ensure adequate funding is provided to maintain our county roads.

At the April 6 open forum, we honored Christy Jermone for her work at the Hudson Valley Community College registrar’s office to ensure returning veterans receive the help and educational access they need.

The Legislature also provided funding support for the Hoosic Valley Athletic Association. HVAA has been providing youth sports opportunities to youths from Schaghticoke and Pittstown for over four decades, having been founded by Al Lewis. We also welcomed the opening of the new EmUrgent Care facility by Albany Medical Center on Route 7.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org

 

The District 3 Report from Legislators Herrington, Walsh & Tesman
May 2016
 

As legislative representatives of District 3, including the towns of Brunswick, Pittstown and Schaghticoke, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the May 10, 2016 legislative meeting.

Along with the meeting, we are pleased to report Rensselaer County received another in a series of positive independent audits. The 2015 audit follows five consecutive budgets that have remained under the state tax cap, and an upgrade in the bond rating. The 2015 audit shows Rensselaer County remains a solid investment choice for new business and homeowners, and that county finances are being managed in an effective and efficient manner.

At the May 10 meeting, legislators approved distribution of revenues for mortgages filed in the county. Under the resolution, Brunswick will receive $185,061, Pittstown $37,682, Schaghticoke $74,465, Village of Schaghticoke $3,175, and the Village of Valley Falls $1,248.

Legislators also voted to accept grants for public safety services and for maintenance of county roads, and purchase of backup equipment for the county emergency communications system.

 We congratulate those who earned diplomas during the 62nd commencement exercises at Hudson Valley Community College on May 14, and extend best wishes to the graduates, parents, family and friends. There was also a groundbreaking at the college’s new outdoor athletic center on May 10.

We welcomed news of four new farmland protection projects receiving state funding in May. The farmland protection effort was started by Majority Leader Ken Herrington, and approximately 5000 acres have been protected.

The popular Rensselaer County Officials and Services Directory is a handy guide to the people, places and things that make our county such a great place to live and work. The 2016 version of the Directory is now available, and can be obtained by calling the legislative offices at 270-2880 or email at renscoleg@rensco.com.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, June 14, 2016. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org.

 

The District 3 Report from Legislators Herrington, Walsh & Tesman
June 2016

As legislative representatives of District 3, including the towns of Brunswick, Pittstown and Schaghticoke, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the June 14, 2016 legislative meeting.

We were proud to welcome Isabella Sweitzer of Schaghticoke as May's Young Outstanding Leader. Isabella raised $190 for donation to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, and showed great compassion and leadership skills.

Legislators also approved resolutions for repair of county roads, and work for sewer system upgrades. During the June 8 open public forum, legislators received an update by state Department of Transportation Region 1 Director Sam Zhou on efforts to improve state roads. The state plans on improving sections of state Routes 150, 151, 2, 351, 355, 915, and 7 during 2017 and 2018. We appreciate the update by state DOT.

We also approved a resolution joining efforts by other counties to seek reimbursement for state-ordered raises in the court system.

Congratulations to all the graduates of the Class of 2016, and their family and friends. We wish you success in your future endeavors. We also learned of the decision of Hudson Valley Community College President Dr. Drew Matonak to retire in two years. We recognize Dr. Matonak’s efforts, and the standing of HVCC as one of the top two-year colleges in the country.

We also authorized improved lighting in the legislative chambers. The new lighting replaces an outdated and potentially unsafe system, and will be more efficient and less expensive.

The popular Rensselaer County Officials and Services Directory is a handy guide to the people, places and things that make our county such a great place to live and work. The 2016 version of the Directory is now available, and can be obtained by calling the legislative offices at 270-2880 or email at renscoleg@rensco.com.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, July 12, 2016. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org.

 

The District 3 Report from Legislators Herrington, Walsh & Tesman
July 2016

 

As legislative representatives of District 3, including the towns of Brunswick, Pittstown and Schaghticoke, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the July 12, 2016 legislative meeting.

For more than 60 years, Rensselaer County has been proud to sponsor Hudson Valley Community College. Hudson Valley has grown into one of the top two-year colleges in the nation, and has been a positive force in the lives of thousands of county and area residents. We have worked to ensure education is kept affordable and excellent at HVCC.

The July 12 meeting included a public hearing on the proposed 2016-2017 and consideration of the annual budget. Following a presentation by HVCC President Dr. Andrew Matonak, legislators gave unanimous approval to the budget.

The Legislature also voted to use $900,000 received from casino licensing fees for tax stability and road improvements. The funds are assigned to neighboring counties as part of the siting of a casino in Schenectady County.

A resolution for purchase of a handicap accessible wheelchair bus for use in transporting county veterans was approved. Legislators also supported resolutions accepting state funds for upgrade of public safety technology and equipment.

We supported an announcement by State Senator Kathy Marchione of state funding to help fire companies in the county purchase new emergency pagers. Sheriff Pat Russo also announced the county Project Lifesaver program to help provide monitoring devices to families with loved ones dealing with Alzheimer’s or other wandering conditions. To learn more about Project Lifesaver, call 266-1952.

We were happy to see the reopening of the County Route 111 bridge in Johnsonville, which should be good news to pedestrians, motorists and our emergency responders.

 Best wishes to Randy Hall, a District 3 resident, on his retirement as Commissioner of the Department of Social Services.

 The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, August 9, 2016. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org.

The District 3 Report from Legislators Herrington, Walsh & Tesman
August 2016

As legislative representatives of District 3, including the towns of Brunswick, Pittstown and Schaghticoke, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the August 9, 2016 legislative meeting.

Since its founding over a decade ago, at the urging of Majority Leader Ken Herrington, the Rensselaer County Agricultural and Farmland Protection effort has protected over 5000 acres. This includes 1400 in new acreage protected earlier this year.

The August 9 meeting including a public hearing on agricultural districts, which help keep farms in operation and aids in protection of agricultural and farm properties. Agriculture remains the largest industry in the county and we are proud to encourage growth of this industry.

Keeping to the agricultural theme, Ken, Todd and Chairman Stan Brownell were proud to be among the first customers at the new Cornell’s Farm Stand at the intersection of Route 7 and Tamarac Road on August 15. Cornell’s is the latest addition to a great array of stores featuring farm fresh products grown right here in the county.

Legislators confirmed Theresa Beaudoin as Commissioner of the Department of Social Services, succeeding Randy Hall, who retired recently. Legislators also voted to name Legislator Judith Breselor and businessman Wayne Pratt to the Hudson Valley Community College Board of Trustees.

Legislators also supported a resolution seeking consolidation of primaries to reduce costs to taxpayers. In 2016, the state scheduled three primaries along with a general election, which expands costs to the county.

We were happy to learn the Rensselaer County Sewer District was chosen to receive a $2.1 million state grant. The grant supports a project to improve three Sewer District pump stations, which have supported important job creation projects at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and other companies.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Wednesday, September 14, 2016. The meeting is moved to a Wednesday because of Primary Day. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org.

 

The District 3 Report from Legislators Herrington, Walsh & Tesman
September 2016

As legislative representatives of District 3, including the towns of Brunswick, Pittstown and Schaghticoke, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the September 14, 2016 legislative meeting. 

The Legislature adopted the Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan, which makes the county eligible for funding to protect farmland and open space. Since the founding of the county Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan at the urging of Majority Leader Ken Herrington, the county has protected 5,000 acres. Recently, the county received funding for four protection projects in the county, and we look forward to further progress on preservation efforts. 

Legislators supported three resolutions seeking to provide relief to residents of eastern Rensselaer County affected by the PFOA issue. The resolutions introduced by Chair of the Legislature Stan Brownell seek income tax credits for residents, a national PFOA standard, and a dedicated website to inform residents of remediation efforts. 

After a number of years of successful and safe operation, the Saratoga Gun Show may be forced to relocate because of city leadership. We supported a resolution stating support for the gun show to be relocated to our county. We believe there is sufficient support and suitable locations for the gun show, and look forward to further discussion with organizers of the event. Additionally, the gun show has been operated safely and without incident. 

We supported a resolution accepting a $2.1 million state grant to help fund a project to improve three sewer district pump stations. Improvement of these pump stations will maintain important quality of life services and continue to help encourage job creation. Legislators also approved a resolution for engineering services for repair and maintenance of county bridges.

Legislators designated the week of October 2 through 8 as Cornell Cooperative Extension Week and National 4-H. 

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, October 11, 2016. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org.

The District 3 Report from Legislators Herrington, Walsh & Tesman
October 2016

As legislative representatives of District 3, including the towns of Brunswick, Pittstown and Schaghticoke, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the October 11, 2016 legislative meeting.

Along with the meeting, legislators also met October 14 for presentation of the proposed 2017 county budget by County Executive Jimino. The budget is the sixth consecutive budget under the state tax cap. Based on our early review, the proposed 2017 budget also protects needed county services, safeguards the county’s strong financial position will help encourage further investment and job creation in our county.

A review of the proposed 2017 budget will be conducted by the Legislature during November, with consideration of the budget scheduled in early December. Please visit the legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org for a schedule of meetings and public hearings on the budget proposal.

At the October meeting, the Legislature also approved purchase of road salt in preparation for the coming winter. Legislators approved resolutions related to maintenance and improvement of county roads. The Legislature also approved a resolution for acceptance of a grant to allow for improvement of the county’s emergency services communications network.The Legislature also approved a resolution for the repair of the ramp and stairs at the County Court House.

The Legislature also became the latest municipality to adopt a resolution supporting the Think Differently initiative. Think Differently was formulated by Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and seeks to integrate families and individuals with autism and other special needs.

We also sponsored a resolution recognizing District 3 resident Brendan Bartow as a Young Outstanding Leader. Brendan has raised $5,000 in recent years for the fight against breast cancer.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Wednesday, November 9, 2016. Meetings are usually held the second Tuesday of each month, but the meeting is moved in November due to Election Day. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org.

 

The District 3 Report from Legislators Herrington, Walsh & Tesman
November 2016

As legislative representatives of District 3, including the towns of Brunswick, Pittstown and Schaghticoke, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the November 9, 2016 legislative meeting.

The Legislature approved the distribution of revenues from the filing of mortgages with the county, including $309,991 for Brunswick, $47,081 for Pittstown, $75,127 for Schaghticoke, $1,621 for the Village of Valley Falls, and $3,542 for the Village of Schaghticoke.

The Legislature also continued agreements between the county and several municipalities for removal of snow and ice at a reduced rate. The agreement has been in place for years and is an example of the many cost-sharing agreements in place between the county and other municipalities to protect taxpayers.

That approach has helped with the 2017 budget proposal, which legislators reviewed during November. The 2017 budget is the sixth consecutive budget under the state tax cap, and protects needed services and the county’s solid financial position. We are continuing review with the County Executive, and will be working to find resources for additional road repair and maintenance in 2017.

Also, at the Nov. 9 meeting, we renewed our call for review of expensive taxpayer-funded Medicaid ambulance transports for less serious medical issues. Legislators also supported a resolution seeking state approval for expanded 3-D mammograms.

Congratulations and thank you to the veterans who received medals during the county Veterans Medal Ceremony on November 6. Our county has resolved to never forget the service and sacrifice of our veterans and their families.

On November 2, legislators also received a presentation from Hudson Valley Community College officials regarding the planned Gene Haas Center for study of advanced manufacturing techniques. Efforts are underway to secure funding for this project, which would expand HVCC’s curriculum and training capabilities.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, November 9, 2016. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org.

 

The District 3 Report from Legislators Herrington, Walsh & Tesman
December 2016

As legislative representatives of District 3, including the towns of Brunswick, Pittstown and Schaghticoke, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the December 13, 2016 legislative meeting.

December is one of the Legislature’s busiest months. In addition to the December 13 meeting, legislators met December 1 to adopt the 2017 county budget. We are proud the budget is the sixth consecutive budget under the tax cap. Rensselaer County is one of a handful of counties with budgets under the tax cap since the cap was implemented.

Along with remaining under the tax cap, the 2017 budget maintains needed services, and protects the county’s solid bond rating and fiscal position. As legislators, we supported using $300,000 in legislative savings to reduce a very modest tax increase, and to increase funding for road repair and improvement.

At the December 13 meeting, we appointed Robert Loveridge as a representative of District 4. Bob served for years as Superintendent of the county correctional facility, and has been active in Kiwanis.

Legislators met December 20 for a brief clean-up meeting to end 2016.

We were very excited to see the county qualify for three more Farmland Protection programs. The program was started over a decade ago by Ken Herrington and has protected a total of 6,000 acres. In 2016, the county received funding to protect seven farms. The three new projects include the Copses Farm in Pittstown and Schaghticoke, Wager Farms in Poestenkill and Brunswick, and Schmidt Farm in Schaghticoke and Pittstown.

We joined other legislators in donating personal funds to purchase a new refrigerator in the resident’s kitchen at the Van Rensselaer Manor. We also donated legislative funds to help the Youth Department purchase toys for Christmas.

Our best wishes for a happy, safe and prosperous New Year. The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, January 10, 2017. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org.