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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

 

Legislator Mike Stammel Reports to Rensselaer
January 2016

Greetings and best wishes to everyone in the City of Rensselaer. As Rensselaer’s representative to the County Legislature, I am happy to report to you on the actions taken by the Rensselaer County Legislature at our January 12, 2016 legislative meeting.

At the January 12 meeting, legislators approved an appropriations legislation, essentially implementing the annual budget for the county. The 2016 county budget is the fifth budget to stay under the state tax cap, while protecting the county’s strong financial position and needed services, including the Rensselaer senior center.

Along with the budget staying under the tax cap, legislators also ended 2015 with a savings. Thanks to various efficiencies, including fewer personnel, less purchases, lower benefit costs and other initiatives, the Legislature ended with a savings of $194,000. Much of that savings will be assigned to a Taxpayer Protection Fund, which has been used to reduce the amount of tax increases and protect needed services.

The cost for operating the Legislature is now comparable to the cost for operating the Legislature in the early 1990s. The Legislature also recently conducted a comprehensive re-bid of the county insurance contract, and because of that effort, costs for county insurance are now lower than what was paid in the early 1990s.

Sign-up for Rensselaer Little League is on Saturdays at the Rensselaer Boys and Girls Club during the month of February from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Playes, coaches, and volunteers at all levels are needed. For more information, contact Glenn Forman at 366-0321 or email Bengals1960@gmail.com. Rensselaer is also always looking for volunteer fire personnel. Stop in at any firehouse for information on how you can help protect and safeguard our city.

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone in Rensselaer. A schedule of meetings for 2016 has been posted 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.

Legislator Mike Stammel Reports to Rensselaer
February 2016

Greetings and best wishes to everyone in the City of Rensselaer. As Rensselaer’s representative to the County Legislature, I am happy to report to you on the actions taken by the Rensselaer County Legislature at our February 9, 2016 legislative meeting.

I was happy to see 2016 start with some positive news in terms of job creation. In East Greenbush, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is seeking to expand again, possibly creating hundreds of new jobs. In Castleton, the former Hamilton Printing facility is expected to be home for a Connecticut-based super foods manufacturer.

The Regeneron expansion comes three years after an expansion created nearly 300 new jobs. That was brought about thanks to an extension of county sewer service at the direction of the Legislature. The patience of Rensselaer residents during the project is again to be commended, and help make creation of these jobs a reality.

The Legislature also recognized the 225th anniversary of the founding of Rensselaer County. Events and other observances are expected in the coming months.

The Legislature was honored to be joined by the family of Ralph Vartigian, a former legislator and legislative majority leader from District 2 who passed away late last year. Ralph was a great public servant who represented Rensselaer after a career as a popular newscaster with WTEN.

Legislators 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.

I will be reaching out to BASF to ask that they continue work to remediate their former facility near the port, and monitor any potential migration of waste from the property.

Rensselaer is always looking for volunteer fire personnel. Stop in at any firehouse for information on helping protect our city.

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.

 

Legislator Mike Stammel Reports to Rensselaer
March 2016

 

Greetings and best wishes to everyone in the City of Rensselaer. As Rensselaer’s representative to the County Legislature, I am happy to report to you on the actions taken by the Rensselaer County Legislature at our March 8, 2016 legislative meeting.

The March meeting includes the annual State of the County by County Executive Kathleen Jimino. She detailed the county’s efforts to stay under the state tax cap each of the past five years, and a focus on protecting needed services. Those needed services include the Rensselaer Senior Center, which continues to provide outstanding service to our residents. The county has also been able to maintain a strong bond rating and positive audits.

As Rensselaer’s representative, I also introduced a resolution calling for a more comprehensive clean-up of the former BASF site. I am proud that the resolution was passed unanimously. The BASF site was a source of jobs and economic activity for generations and removal of waste at the site will help revitalize the site and add to quality of life in the Fort Crailo neighborhood.

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.

Some other items of interest for Rensselaer residents: The city is doing a bulk trash pick-up beginning the month of April. Please contact the city DPW for details at beginning at the 462-9616. The Boys & Girls Club Fund is holding a fundraising auction April 23. Contact the Club at 465-2924 for more info. The Rensselaer Little League is holding Player Registration and seeking Volunteers and sponsors. Contact Mr. Foreman at 366-0321 for more info ASAP.

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.

 

Legislator Mike Stammel Reports to Rensselaer
April 2016

Greetings and best wishes to everyone in the City of Rensselaer. As Rensselaer’s representative to the County Legislature, I am happy to report to you on the actions taken by the Rensselaer County Legislature at our April 12, 2016 legislative meeting.

The Legislature has focused on improving infrastructure to maintain needed quality of life services and help job creation efforts. At the April 12 meeting, 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, while also helping create jobs at Regeneron and other businesses.

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

Thank you to the many residents who participated in the April 23 electronics recycling event sponsored by the County Legislature and Pro-Tek. The event was a great opportunity to safely recycle unwanted electronics, appliances and computers. On April 30, volunteers helped clean-up the Papscanee Island Nature Preserve, which is located just a short distance from Rensselaer on Staats Island Road, and offers great opportunities for hiking and views of the Hudson Rivers.

Congratulations to the 2016 inductees in the Rensselaer High School Hall of Fame. The inductees include Walter Dlugolecki, Rick McCabe, Bobbi Grube, and Ron Rucker.

I enjoyed participating in a training program at the Amtrak station to prepare first responders, including members of the Rensselaer Fire Department, on a response to the rail yard or situation involving a train.

Best wishes to the players, coaches, family and fans of the Rensselaer Little League, and best wishes on the 2016 season.

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.

 

Legislator Mike Stammel Reports to Rensselaer
May 2016

Greetings and best wishes to everyone in the City of Rensselaer. As Rensselaer’s representative to the County Legislature, I am happy to report to you on the actions taken by the Rensselaer County Legislature at our May 10, 2016 legislative meeting.

At the May 10 meeting, legislators approved distribution of revenues for mortgages filed in the county. Under the resolution, Rensselaer will receive $41,634.

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.

Congratulations go out to those who earned diplomas during the 62nd commencement exercises at Hudson Valley Community College on May 14. Best wishes to the graduates, parents, family and friends, particularly those from Rensselaer who received diplomas. There was also a groundbreaking at the college’s new outdoor athletic center on May 10.

Along with the meeting, the independent audit for 2015 was presented, and the audit found the county to be efficiently and effectively managed. The audit is the latest in a series of positive independent audits, five consecutive county budgets that have remained under the state tax cap, and a recent upgrade in the county’s bond rating.  The audit, when coupled with the recent positive news, show our county is a good place for new growth and investment.

On May 19, I joined many community members for the RADAR (Rensselaer Area Drug Awareness Reality coalition) walk and forum to provide opportunities for education and treatment.

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.

 

Legislator Mike Stammel Reports to Rensselaer
June 2016

Greetings and best wishes to everyone in the City of Rensselaer. As Rensselaer’s representative to the County Legislature, I am happy to report to you on the actions taken by the Rensselaer County Legislature at our June 14, 2016 legislative meeting.

At the June 12 meeting, legislators approved resolutions for repair of county roads, and work for sewer system upgrades. We are pleased improvements have been completed to the Wynantskill sewer pump station to help safeguard quality of life. The improvements at the Wynantskill pump station are similar to the improvements recently completed at the two pump stations in Rensselaer.

 During the June 8 open public forum, legislators also 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.

 Congratulations graduates of the Class of 2016, and their family and friends, particularly those from Rensselaer. 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 HVCC’s stand as one of the top two-year colleges in the country.

 Visitors to the legislative chambers will notice a brighter appearance, thanks to improved lighting. The new lighting replaces an out of date 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.

 

 

Legislator Mike Stammel Reports to Rensselaer
July 2016

Greetings and best wishes to everyone in the City of Rensselaer. As Rensselaer’s representative to the County Legislature, I am happy to report to you on the actions taken by the Rensselaer County Legislature at our July 12, 2016 legislative meeting.

Along with the meeting, I have heard from many residents concerned over the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline, which is proposed to be routed near a historic neighborhood on two locations. Residents have worries regarding the potential health, safety, economic, environmental and quality of life impacts from the pipeline. Along with these concerns are the reality that the pipeline would have little positive financial benefit for our city and residents and businesses would have no access to the power being transported.

 I intend to introduce a resolution to oppose the pipeline at the August meeting of the Legislature and will keep residents informed of our efforts.

At the July 12 meeting, legislators unanimously approved the proposed 2016-2017 Hudson Valley Community College budget. The approval followed a presentation by HVCC President Dr. Drew Matonak. HVCC has been sponsored by Rensselaer County since the college was founded more than 60 years ago, and is now recognized as one of the nation’s top two-year colleges. The budget next year will keep HVCC excellent and affordable.

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

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.

The Rensselaer Pop Warner is gearing up for the 2016 season. To learn more, or to provide support, visit the Rensselaer Pop Warner Facebook.

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.

 

Legislator Mike Stammel Reports to Rensselaer
August 2016

 

Greetings and best wishes to everyone in the City of Rensselaer. As Rensselaer’s representative to the County Legislature, I am happy to report to you on the actions taken by the Rensselaer County Legislature at our August 9, 2016 legislative meeting.

I sponsored a resolution stating opposition to the proposed Pilgrim pipeline, which is proposed to be routed through areas of Rensselaer. Our resolution accompanies a resolution passed by the Rensselaer Common Council stating opposition to the Pilgrim project. The project has the potential to create health, safety and quality of life issues, while creating little in the way of benefits for the city. It is my hope these drawbacks are recognized by those at the state and federal level reviewing this project.

We received some good news in August with the announcement of a $2.1 million state grant to aid improvement projects at the county sewer district. The improvement project includes improvement of three pump stations to improve efficiency and operation of the district.

Legislators also voted to confirm Theresa Beaudoin as new Commissioner of the Department of Social Services. Theresa is a longtime employee of the DSS, and is the daughter of John Beaudoin, who was commissioner for years. I am confident in Theresa’s experience and ability to serve in the new role.

The Legislature also voted to appoint Legislator Judith Breselor and businessman Wayne Pratt to the Hudson Valley Community College Board of Trustees. Wayne and his family own and operate Walter S. Pratt & Sons in Rensselaer, and have been longtime supporters of youth and community projects in the city.

We also adopted a resolution declaring September as a month of remembrance for those lost in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

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.

 

Legislator Mike Stammel Reports to Rensselaer
September 2016

 

Greetings and best wishes to everyone in the City of Rensselaer. As Rensselaer’s representative to the County Legislature, I am happy to report to you on the actions taken by the Rensselaer County Legislature at our September 14, 2016 legislative meeting. 

At the meeting, I was proud to sponsor a resolution thanking Richard VanVorst for more than two decades of service as Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Rensselaer County. Rick made an invaluable contribution to the Club, helping provide a fun and safe place for many youths in the area. His leadership was recognized by many organizations, and his contributions will long live on at the Club. 

As a longtime supporter and member of the Board of Directors at the Club, I look forward to working with new Executive Director Jessica Rowell to continue the Club’s mission.

Legislators 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 help encourage job creation as seen at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and other locations. 

I also supported a resolution recognizing the Devil Cats 10U Gold Team for advancing to the national level of competition and regional competition.

The Rensselaer Police Department and the Rensselaer Area Drug Awareness Reality Coalition will be sponsoring a Drug Giveback Day on October 22 at the North End Fire House on Francis Place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is a great way to safely dispose of unused or expired medication. For more information, visit RADAR’s Facebook page. At the September 14 meeting, I sponsored a resolution urging state lawmakers to adopt legislation providing a continuity of care plan for those battling heroin or opioid addiction.

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.

 

Legislator Mike Stammel Reports to Rensselaer
October 2016

Greetings and best wishes to everyone in the City of Rensselaer. As Rensselaer’s representative to the County Legislature, I am happy to report to you on the actions taken by the Rensselaer County Legislature at our October 11, 2016 legislative meeting.

Along with the meeting, the County Executive introduced the proposed 2017 budget on October 14. The budget is the sixth consecutive budget to stay under the state tax cap, and also will help maintain the policies that have earned the county a series of independent audits and an upgrade in the county bond rating. We believe the budget will help attract investment and job growth such as at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in East Greenbush.

The budget also includes adequate funding for needed county services and for the continued operation of the Rensselaer Area Senior Center during 2017. During my visits to the senior center, I have continued to be impressed by the hard work of the staff and the number of seniors who visit the center.

The Legislature will begin conducting a review of the proposed 2017 budget 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.

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. The initiative is supported by the New York State Association of Counties and provides a framework for better integration.

The Legislature approved a resolution to reconstruct the ramp and stairs at the County Court House, with a separate resolution approved to construct a ramp in the legislative chambers. Both projects will ensure ADA compliance.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Wednesday, 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.

 

 

Legislator Mike Stammel Reports to Rensselaer
November 2016

 

Greetings and best wishes to everyone in the City of Rensselaer. As Rensselaer’s representative to the County Legislature, I am happy to report to you on the actions taken by the Rensselaer County Legislature at our November 9, 2016 legislative meeting. 

At the meeting, legislators approved the distribution of revenues from the collection of mortgages filed with the county between April and September. The resolution provides for $73,265 to Rensselaer. 

For years, Rick VanVorst provided steady and valuable leadership as executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Rensselaer County. His work helped provide a safe, fun and educational place for youths in Rensselaer and surrounding areas, and he was a positive force on many lives. Ricky retired from his job at the Club and I was proud to welcome him to the November 9 meeting to thank him for his service. 

Along with the meeting, legislators held a series of meetings in November on the proposed 2017 county budget. The budget is the sixth budget under the state tax cap, while protecting needed services and the solid bond ratings and reviews earned by the county. The 2017 budget will also continue to provide for the operation of the Rensselaer Area Senior Center during the coming year, which is a priority to me, given how many seniors rely on the center. 

I was saddened to learn of the passing of John Beaudoin, who served as Department of Social Services Commissioner over a four-decade period. John was a friend to many in Rensselaer who provided assistance to residents for a number of years, and he will be missed. 

Best wishes to the Rensselaer Rams Pop Warner Football Cheerleaders who advanced to national competition, and congratulations to the cheerleaders, family, coaches and fans for a great season so far. 

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, December 13, 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.

 

Legislator Mike Stammel Reports to Rensselaer
December 2016

Greetings and best wishes to everyone in the City of Rensselaer. As Rensselaer’s representative to the County Legislature, I am happy to report to you on the actions taken by the Rensselaer County Legislature at our December 13, 2016 legislative meeting.

Along with the December 13 meeting, legislators also met on December 1 to consider adoption of the proposed 2017 county budget. I am proud to report the budget was adopted unanimously, and is the sixth consecutive budget to stay under the state tax cap. Rensselaer County is in a select group of counties that has stayed under the state tax cap each year the cap has been in place.

The budget also protects needed services, including the operation of the Rensselaer Area Senior Center. I continue to hear good things from residents about the operation of the center. The budget will also protect the county’s solid bond rating and positive financial reviews and grades.

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

At the December 13 meeting, legislators also voted unanimously to appoint Robert Loveridge as a new legislator to represent District 4. I know Bob well from his service as superintendent of the county correctional facility. Bob is also active in Kiwanis.

We also heard from Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon and members of RADAR (Rensselaer Area Drug Awareness Reality) in support of our continuity of care resolution. The resolution seeks state support for more treatment of those battling opiate addiction.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, December 13, 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.