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January 2017

May 2017

September 2017

February 2017

June 2017

October 2017

March 2017

July 2017

November 2017

April 2017

August 2017

December 2017


The District 5 Report from Legislators Brownell and Goodermote

January
2017

 

As legislative representatives of District 5, including the towns of Hoosick, Petersburgh, Grafton, Berlin and Stephentown, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the January 10, 2017 legislative meeting.

The meeting was the first of the year and follows approval a few weeks before by legislators of the 2017 county budget. The 2017 county budget is the sixth consecutive budget to stay under the state tax cap, while protecting needed services and the county’s strong fiscal standing and bond ratings. We will continue to work to protect taxpayers and needed services during the coming months, along with working to grow our county and create new jobs.

The Legislature also approved resolutions for the maintenance of trucks, including snow plows, and purchase of materials for snow removal during the coming weeks.

Legislators also approved a resolution honoring Congressman Chris Gibson for his service to our country during his six years in the House of Representatives. Chris will now be a member of the Williams College faculty, and has been succeeded in Congress by John Faso.

Work was underway during January on installing a ramp in the legislative chambers. The ramp will make the chambers more accessible to all residents. The ramp comes after improvements to the lighting of the legislative chambers. The improvements and changes were all done at a reasonable cost.

Legislators approved resolutions for the maintenance of trucks, including snow plows, and purchase of materials for snow removal. Thanks to snow plow crews on the state, county and local levels for working long hours during recent storms.

During the holiday season, we collected food, toys, treats and blankets for animals housed at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society animal shelter. The collection is done annually at the legislative offices. The Legislature also donated funds from collection of recyclable bottles at the County Office Building to the Shelter.

On January 20, Stan participated in a ceremony for the promotion and hiring of officers at the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Department. Those hired included Tyler Greene of Petersburgh, who was hired as corrections officer.

The schedule for meetings of the County Legislature in 2017 has been set, with legislators meeting February 14, March 14, April 11, May 9, June 13, July 11, August 8, September 13, October 10, November 14, and December 12. Meetings start at 5:30 p.m. with public presentations, and consideration of the agenda at 6 p.m.

Each month, legislators and other elected officials join with veterans for the Honor a Deceased Veteran ceremony. To nominate a veteran for recognition at this ceremony, please call 270-2760.

Our best wishes for a happy, safe and prosperous New Year. The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, February 14, 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.

 

The District 5 Report from Legislators Brownell and Goodermote
February 2017

As legislative representatives of District 5, including the towns of Hoosick, Petersburgh, Grafton, Berlin and Stephentown, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the February 14, 2017 legislative meeting. 

The county road system is one of the more important services provided to our residents. At the February 14 meeting, we approved resolutions to set in motion one of the biggest county road repair and improvement projects in years. The resolutions total $3 million in funding for the improvement work, and will help significantly improve a number of important roads in our district.  

The Legislature helped support the road improvement work by contributing $200,000 in legislative savings. This occurred during passage of the 2017 county budget which was the sixth consecutive budget under the state tax cap. The work is slated to begin when the weather turns warmer. We will keep residents informed on the progress of this important project. 

As legislators, we are proud to have voted for six consecutive budgets under the state tax cap. We have also supported policies that have improved the county’s fiscal position. 

Broadband internet service is a regular and important part of many businesses and residences. Unfortunately, broadband service is still lacking in many areas of eastern Rensselaer County. We supported a resolution that seeks state funding for extension of broadband into this area under the state’s New NY Broadband Program. Expansion of this important service would be significant to those who live and work in the area, and improve the business climate and quality of life. 

The Rensselaer County Legislature recognized Luke Hoag, a nine-year-old from Hoosick Falls who helped raise $88,000 for the Make a Wish Foundation in partnership with Macy's, at the February 14 meeting. Luke was recognized as the January 2017 Young Outstanding Leader of the Month by the Legislature. Following the presentation, Luke joined Stan to help chair the meeting. Congratulations to Luke on his outstanding work and thanks to his family for joining us for the presentation. 

We were also saddened to see the passing of longtime Hoosick Falls Mayor Don Bogardus on February 12. Don was a fixture in the village, operating a popular barbershop, along with leading the community as mayor. Don was also supportive of other community organizations and left a legacy of service and contribution to Hoosick Falls. Our condolences to his many friends and family. 

Work was also completed on a project to improve access to the legislative chambers, with installation of a new ramp. The ramp follows installation of new lighting in the legislative chambers, with the work done at a modest cost. The improvements were made at the director of Stan, and have received numerous compliments from legislators and members of the public. 

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, March 14, 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.

 

 

The District 5 Report from Legislators Brownell and Wysocki
March 2017

As legislative representatives of District 5, including the towns of Hoosick, Petersburgh, Grafton, Berlin and Stephentown, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the March 16, 2017 legislative meeting.  

The meeting was rescheduled from March 14, when a major snowstorm hit the area. Thanks to snow plow operators, emergency services personnel and others who responded to the storm, which was one of the biggest in recent years. 

March was a month of change in the Legislature and in District 5, as Lester decided to retire as legislator due to ongoing health issues. Lester served for two terms and was a great advocate for residents in eastern Rensselaer County. During his service, Rensselaer County adopted six consecutive budgets under the state tax cap, protected needed services for seniors, veterans and youths, and supported a number of important job creation projects. 

We appreciate Lester’s service as legislator and previous service as Hoosick Town Justice and wish him all the best on the coming years. 

We fortunate to have a capable and dedicated person to serve in Lester’s place. Legislators unanimously selected Jeff Wysocki to serve as legislator from District 5, joining Stan. Jeff is a farmer with deep roots in the community, including his service on the Hoosick Town Board. We appreciate Jeff’s willingness to serve and wish him well on his duties ahead. 

The Legislature has have worked hard to protect taxpayers, recently adopting the sixth consecutive county budget under the state tax cap. We are proud that at the March meeting, we approved a new insurance contract that will save county taxpayers over $800,000 in coming years. The Legislature is responsible for administering the insurance contract, and we are equally proud that county insurance costs are less than what they were in the early 1990s. 

Rensselaer County has saved over 6,000 acres of farmland and open space thanks to the Agriculture and Farmland Protection plan launched in part by Ken Herrington. We passed a resolution seeking continued state support for the effort, which has helped protect many acres of farmland and open space in eastern Rensselaer County. 

Legislators also approved purchase of materials and equipment for an upcoming effort to improve or repair county roads during 2017. The Legislature was able to boost those efforts by contributing $200,000 in legislative savings for the road improvement effort. 

County Executive Kathleen Jimino delivered her annual State of the County address, and noted recent economic development successes in the county. She also discussed the pressures placed on the county budget from unfunded state and federal mandates. Kathy credited legislators with using $200,000 in funds from legislative savings to expand county road repair and improvement efforts in 2017. 

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, April 11, 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.

 

The District 5 Report from Legislators Brownell and Wysocki
April 2017

As legislative representatives of District 5, including the towns of Hoosick, Petersburgh, Grafton, Berlin and Stephentown, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the April 11, 2017 legislative meeting.

Rensselaer County has led the way in protecting taxpayers, recently adopting the sixth consecutive budget under the state tax cap. The Legislature has done our part, including operating under budget. In 2016, the Legislature was under budget by $166,000. We were proud to pass a resolution moving the $166,000 to the Taxpayer Stabilization Fund, which has been used to reduce taxes and protect needed services in recent years.

The Legislature was also able to contribute $200,000 in legislative savings in 2016 to boost road repair and improvement efforts in 2017. At the April meeting, we approved another resolution related to upcoming road work in 2017. We look forward to the upcoming road work, which represents the biggest road improvement effort in the county in over a decade. After some recent difficult winters and years of heavy use, there are a number of roads that can use the attention.

We were also proud to welcome the family of John Beaudoin, who served as county Department of Social Services Commissioner during four decades. We were joined by members of John’s family, including his daughter Theresa, who now serves as DSS Commissioner. John leaves behind a legacy of compassion and service to so many in our county and our region.

The Legislature also approved a resolution related to ongoing improvements at the county sewer district. The county sewer district has been an important resource in creating new jobs, including at Regeneron, along with protecting the quality of the Hudson River. The county sewer district is also the first in the region to be nearing completion on a state-ordered project to improve equipment to protect the river.

Legislators also approved a contract Compass Consultants for work on the new county insurance contract, which is administered by the Legislature according to the county charter. The new contract will save the county over $800,000 thanks a rebid by the Legislature. The county continues to pay less for insurance than the county did in the early 1990s. Thanks go out to Clerk of the Legislature Jessica Charette for helping supervise the rebid.

Led by Tom Walsh, the Legislature unveiled the names of all veterans honored at the monthly Honor a Deceased Veteran ceremonies in 2016 in the Hall of Heroes on April 10. The Hall of Heroes is located on the third floor of the County Office Building and includes information on county residents who earned the Medal of Honor and other notable veterans. The Hall is a fitting memorial to the veterans and their families who have given so much to protect our freedom, and many residents have already seen and visited the memorial.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, May 9, 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

 

The District 5 Report from Legislators Brownell and Wysocki
May and June 2017

 

As legislative representatives of District 5, including the towns of Hoosick, Petersburgh, Grafton, Berlin and Stephentown, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions at the July 11, 2017 legislative meeting and a reminder of some of the actions taken at our May and June meetings.

At our July meeting we continued to do everything in our power to help end the opioid epidemic in our county. There is strong evidence to suggest opioid manufacturers and some prescribing doctors have worked together to create a complex web of false representations regarding the addictive nature of opioids. They then used these false representations to mislead consumers and other doctors into believing that opioids were not addictive and were a viable option for treatment of chronic pain.

With this evidence, we voted to hire a law firm, at no cost to county taxpayers, to commence litigation against these manufacturers and doctors to ensure that County residents are better protected and to seek reimbursement to the County for its expenses resulting from this opioid epidemic.

We adjourned our July meeting in remembrance of former District 5 County Legislator Lester Goodermote who passed away in June after serving on the County Legislature since 2006. He made his mark here with the legislature and with the constituents he so strongly advocated for. He is missed by all of us.

At our May meeting we voted to recognize June 2017 as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) awareness Month in Rensselaer County to educate the community, reduce the stigma associated with PTSD and to help ensure those suffering from PTSD receive the treatment and attention they deserve.

At our May meeting we also passed a resolution commending the Goyer family for their 185 years of combined service to the Grafton Fire Department. They have made helping the residents of Grafton a family tradition and that community is better for it.

At our June meeting we passed a resolution commending The Rebuilding Warriors for their service to the veterans of Rensselaer County. Their organization provides service/companion dogs to Veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and to amputees.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is August 9, 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.

 

The District 5 Report from Legislators Brownell and Wysocki
September 2017

As legislative representatives of District 5, which includes the towns of Hoosick, Petersburgh, Grafton, Berlin and Stephentown, we are happy to provide our constituents a report on actions at the September 13, 2017 legislative meeting.

The Rensselaer County Legislature voted to approve a county-wide shared services plan designed to provide high quality services to county residents while keeping costs to taxpayers as low as possible. Public hearings were held around the county to ensure that this plan would be a benefit to the residents and taxpayers in Rensselaer County.

We also approved an agreement to allow the Rensselaer County Department of Mental Health to receive a $500,000 grant that will allow the Department to provide mental health services to high risk youth in the county. Rensselaer County was one of only three counties in the state to receive this important grant funding.

We voted to recognize October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Rensselaer County.  The awareness campaign focuses on the importance of early detection of breast cancer through annual mammography screenings and clinical exams.

Finally, we passed a resolution honoring Joshua Kenna, a senior at Rensselaer Junior/Senior High School for winning the Capital Repertory Theatre’s Young Playwright Contest. His play, titled “Inside My Head” is about his 19 year old Autistic brother Joe. Congratulations Joshua.

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