The Rensselaer County Legislature went to work on January 2nd with our organizational meeting. Mike Stammel was chosen to be the new Chairman of the Legislature and Kelly Hoffman was picked to be the Vice-Chair. Our own Ken Herrington stayed on as Majority Leader and Bob Loveridge was tapped to serve as Vice- Chair of Finance. Our newest Legislator from District 3, Dan Casale, was sworn in and chosen to chair the Education committee and to serve on the Health, and Aging committees as well.
Todd Tesman started his second term as a Legislator and was chosen to lead the Judiciary & Public Safety Committee and to serve on the Veterans & Youth and Social Services Committees as well. Todd was also chosen to serve as a member of the Rensselaer County Soil and Water Conservation Board
Majority Leader Herrington was chosen to lead the Agriculture and Public Works Committees and will serve on the Rules& Legislative Operations Committee as well.
Our first regular meeting of the year was held on January 9th. While much of the agenda was general housekeeping legislation for the New Year, there were some notable resolutions. We accepted grant funding from the NYS Drinking Water Enhancement Program that will assess and indentify drinking water quality on our County. We also allocated additional funding for Capital Projects that included work on County owned bridges and culverts.
Legislator Tesman was proud to attend the Johnsonville Volunteer Fire banquet on January 20th to thank them for their service on behalf of all the legislators.
We are excited to be serving you as your representatives in County government and are looking forward to many positive changes coming in the next few months. We remain ready to listen to your concerns; please don’t hesitate to call our office at (518) 270-2880.
Our next meeting is on February 13th at 6pm in the Legislative Chambers at 1600 7th Ave in Troy.
We made it through February so Spring must be coming soon, right? Well we didn’t wait for Spring to take action at our February 13th meeting of the Legislature. We took several steps to improve our County government and provide better services. We approved the purchase of a new van to provide safe transportation for our senior citizens. The Rensselaer County Department of Aging provides a critical service to so many senior citizens, so it is important to us that their vehicles are modern and safe. We also supported the creation of new committees to examine the county purchasing policies and to review parking and accessibility issues at the County Office building. Each day hundreds of people visit the county office building, so we want them to be able park easily and get in and out safely when they conduct their conduct their business. We also supported the County Executive’s initiative to create the position of an Opioid Recovery Coordinator because we realize that the scourge of addiction is growing and affecting more families every day.
We truly enjoy representing the residents of our district and we especially enjoy seeing all of you at the many community events. It provides us a great opportunity to see and hear from you directly, and listen to your concerns.
In February, Legislator Tesman and Casale attended the annual “Friends of 112th St Dinner” in Lansingburgh. This event brings together friends and families that have grown up in the 112th St. area in Lansingburgh. The dinner raises money for many charitable agencies in Rensselaer County.
During our monthly Honor a Deceased Veteran program, we honored Thomas P. Ryan, a WWII veteran who survived a kamikaze attack while serving on the USS Lindsey.
If you know of a deceased veteran that you would like to honor, or any issue you would like to bring to our attention, please call our office at (518) 270-2880. You can also find us at www. RensselaerCounty.org. The next meeting of the Legislature is March 13th at 6pm.
The March meeting of the Legislature began with the State of the County Address. County Executive McLaughlin delivered an energetic and optimistic speech that stressed that our County’s best days are ahead of us, and we agree with him. Well now that Spring is finally here, our better days are ahead of us too.
To help with your spring cleaning efforts, the Legislature is proud to announce our annual Electronics Recycling Day. It will be held on April 21st from 9:30 am until 2 pm at the Rensselaer County Office building, so mark your calendars. There is a list of those items that will be accepted at this event. The flyer is available will on our website www.RensselaerCounty.org or our Facebook page, “Rensselaer County Legislature”.
During the monthly meeting we passed several measures to purchase equipment and materials to begin infrastructure improvements in the County and to prepare for the road paving and striping season. Most notably, we authorized the replacement of the bridge on Plank Rd. over the Deep Kill in Pittstown and the replacement of a large culvert on Tamarac Rd.
We remain committed to tackling the Opioid epidemic before it spreads further so we adopted a local law declaring the Opioid Epidemic a public nuisance, and established a cost recovery procedure to recoup the costs incurred in providing services related to fighting the epidemic.
We authorized the Sheriff to use grant funding to purchase a video driving simulator that will be used by the Stop DWI program to educate high school kids and adults about the impacts of driving while under the influence. This will come in handy soon because prom and graduation season are just around the corner.
We also passed a resolution supporting the Sheriff’s efforts to use federal resources to determine if anyone remanded to the county jail is wanted by the Department of Homeland Security for violating immigration law. This passed along party lines with all Troy legislators in opposition.
As always, we can be reached at (518) 270-2880, we look forward to hearing from you.
Spring is in full swing and it is time address the damage that winter has done to our roads. We have been in contact with the County Highway Department and they have scheduled repairs to several county roads in District 3 and beyond.
In Pittstown, portions of Pittstown-Johnsonville Rd and Reservoir Rd are on the list. New Turnpike Rd in Schaghticoke will get drainage improvements and Fogarty Rd from Wetzel to Cooksboro will be paved and repaired. In Brunswick, Moonlawn Rd and Town Office Rd will also see paving activity. We will keep residents advised as other roads are added.
Rensselaer County is proud to be the home of Hudson Valley Community College.
The County Legislature is a sponsor of this ever-growing, gem of a learning
institution, and we are thrilled to see even more expansion. In April, the
Legislature approved the contracts that will allow the construction of the Gene
F. Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills.
In other business, we adopted a resolution urging NYS DEC to take a look at the operating permit of the Dunn Landfill in Rensselaer, on the East Greenbush border. We want to make sure that there are no violations that will further affect our community.
Our conservative spending of the legislative budget resulted in additional savings in 2017. We transferred over $108,000 into the Tax Stabilization Fund.
Finally, we held our Annual Electronics Recycling Day on April 21st. We collected over three large truckloads of electronics that will now be kept out of landfills.
As always, we can be reached at (518) 270-2885