REGULAR VILLAGE BOARD MEETING
VILLAGE OF FISHKILL
1095 MAIN STREET
December 17, 2013
Mayor opens Public Hearing for Bill M-2013, a proposed local law to extend by 3 months the moratorium on the demolition of and the issuance of demolition permits for structures located within the Village of Fishkill Historic Preservation Overlay Zone
Mayor gives summary of bill and opens for comments.
Theresa Kraft: I thought it was cancelled
Mayor: Not on the moratorium
No further comments
Mayor closes Public hearing for Bill M-2013
Mayor: To note, the public hearing on Bill K Chapter 54 amendment and Bill L chapter 171 amendment have been cancelled while we look at the local laws
Mayor opens the regular Village Board meeting.
Present: Mayor Miccio, Deputy Mayor Phillips, Trustees Newhard, and Ferrara, Clerk Angela Arasim, Absent is Trustee Brozier
Pledge of Allegiance
Mayor entertains motion to accept the minutes of the December 2nd meeting So Move Deputy Mayor Phillips, Seconded Trustee Ferrara, discussion
Mayor: I would encourage the Friends of Jackson House to read the minutes before you make statements about closed door meetings, and get the facts,
All in favor, Aye. Motion carried
Mayor reads abstracts:
Capital Project Firehouse $99,920.68
Trust & Agency $925
Trustee Brozier arrives at 7:05pm
Mayor entertains motion to approve abstracts as read, So Move Trustee Ferrara, Seconded, Trustee Newhard, discussion, none, all in favor, Aye.
Mayor entertains motion to adopt Bill M-2013 as local law 10-2013, this will be the last extension So Move, Deputy Mayor Phillips, Seconded, Trustee Ferrara, discussion, none, all in favor, Aye.
Mayor reads Holiday office closing schedule and entertains motion to approve as read, So Move Trustee Ferrara, Seconded, Deputy Mayor Phillips, discussion, none, All in favor, Aye. Motion carried
Mayor reads activities calendar for 2014 for Village events and entertains motion to approve as read, So Move Deputy Mayor Phillips, Seconded, Trustee Ferrara, discussion, none, All in favor, Aye. Motion carried
Mayor reads list of Village Board meeting dates for 2014 and makes the following changes due to conflicts:
Regular Meeting in January rescheduled to January 27th
Regular Meeting in February rescheduled to February 24th
Workshop meeting in April rescheduled to Tuesday, April 8th
Workshop meeting for July rescheduled to Tuesday, July 8th
Workshop meeting in September Rescheduled to Tuesday September 9th
Regular meeting in December rescheduled to Tuesday, December 16th
Mayor entertains motion to accept meeting dates as read, So Move Trustee Ferrara, Seconded, Trustee Brozier, discussion, none, all in favor, Aye.
Mayor entertains motion to approve mass gathering permit for K-104 Cupcake Festival on May 4th from 1pm to 5pm, So Move, Deputy Mayor Phillips, Seconded, Trustee Newhard, discussion, none, All in favor, Aye. Motion carried
Mayor reads resolution regarding imposing an annual moratorium on street opening permits during winter months, unless there is an emergency
Deputy Mayor Phillips moves to accept resolution as read, Seconded Trustee Ferrara, discussion on changing the wording in the law to have Clerk act upon guidance from Department head and what would be considered an “emergency”
No further discussion, All in favor, Aye. Motion carried
Mayor entertains motion to set a public hearing for Bill N-2013 a proposed local law to amend the temporary sign regulations for January 27th at 7pm, So Move, Trustee Brozier, Seconded, Trustee Ferrara, discussion, Mayor describes what types of signs this refers to, all in favor, Aye.
BLDG INSPECTOR REPORT: Read by Tom Vantine
FIRE: Mayor reads report for November as submitted
JUSTICE: Mayor reads report submitted by Court Clerk; on file.
POLICE: Commissioner Glenn Scofield reads report
WATER AND SEWER: Morrison, water and sewer Superintendent; gives report, on file.
Sr. Project Coordinator: Read by Rad Wilson
Discussion on work to be done on Village Hall roof
Trustee Ferrara discusses PA system for meetings at hall
Mayor suggests using extra the bond money
Deputy Mayor Phillips suggests the finance committee meet w/Treasurer to discuss it all
Mayor entertains motion that once the finance committee solidifies the numbers that are left over, have the committee authorize Rad to go to bid using the excess money from renovation, So Move, Trustee Ferrara, Seconded, Trustee Newhard, discussion, none, All in favor, Aye. Motion carried
Rad discusses bid results from the snow plow/shoveling at the firehouse and police department
Mayor asks that the prorated rate, number per inch, be in the agreement and entertains motion to authorize Rad to sign the agreement, So Move, Trustee Ferrara, Seconded, Trustee Newhard, discussion, none, All in favor, Aye. Motion carried
AMBULANCE: report submitted by Trustee Newhard
Mayor: I’m gonna make a few comments, I was hoping that more of the Friends of Jackson House would be here but I see Mrs. Kraft out there writing notes, she’ll be able to take back, because obviously they don’t read our minutes. We have a letter from Mrs. Kraft and Mr. Byster, and I debated for the last couple weeks what to do on this and I occasionally look at the Facebook, or have some sent to me, I read the papers, I was accused last night at the County meeting of not embracing the historic community and I’m really tired of the misstatements, outright lies, misinformation and the impunity that is given to people in social media and we have to sit quietly and not really be able to respond. So I decided to take the last 10 minutes of tonight and use the bully pulpit to set the record straight, and it will be in the minutes so you don’t have to take all the notes. Our minutes are very concise when they need to be, which leads me to the third thing. In your letter “the decision was rushed through on the pretense of an emergency demolition in executive session”. So let me just read the minutes “the Mayor reopens the regular meeting, no votes were taken in executive session”, I “entertain the motion to authorize the attorney” to engage in another issue that we had to discuss in executive session about a lawsuit that we had to deal with. Then we talked to Mr. Stenger and I’ll read my statement because, obviously, nobody cares about facts. As a matter of fact your quote in the paper, when you were told about the engineer’s report is “I don’t’ believe that”.
You’ve been talking for weeks, in the paper, on Facebook, so you’re not going to get a chance to defend yourself, tonight I’m defending this Board. I didn’t’ get a chance, I don’t go on Facebook and tell you guys that you’re all full of crap, I’m doing it tonight, in a public meeting, that’s going to be on the record, that’s an official record. I’m not going to hide behind the social media with people that don’t know what’s going on, so you’re not going to get a chance to respond tonight.
Trustee Ferrara: :Mr. Mayor you stated that you were in the context in the executive and then you said that you talked to Mr. Stenger, he was not in executive session
Mayor: No, no, this was after the “mayor reopens the meeting and no votes were taken in executive session”, and then I addressed Mr. Stenger and I said “Mr. Stenger there is not a lot of happy people on this side, but based on the engineers report and your attorney’s astute crafting of the request using our laws to back us into a corner, I offer the following resolution”. I read the resolution which was put together by an attorney based on the report that we received on, I think it was Friday after Thanksgiving, because this was the Monday after Thanksgiving, maybe Thursday and we got Tom’s report on Friday. This was not put on the agenda because this was not an agenda item until we got the report from our building inspector on Monday morning, the agenda was already printed. So there was no attempt to deceive or hide, we acted when we were supposed act. So we read through the resolution, and I go to your letter, that you signed
“Jackson House, one of the last four remaining buildings along Main Street….dating from the period of the American War for Independence”, I would argue that point…”attention given to recording architectural and archaeological details of its construction. This destruction forever altered the core of the nationally recognized Fishkill Village District.”
Mayor: I stated many times that there was an archaeological dig, the architecture has been documented, our Village Historian was out taking pictures has many pictures, there’s many pictures around the Village of that house through the years that document how it looked, so that’s just an outright lie. “We understand the decision was rushed through on the pretense of an emergency demolition”. I you had, if anybody, had made an effort to come in and get the engineer’s report, and nobody has yet. The engineer’s report is here, it was here for public viewing and nobody came in to look at it, but you can go on Facebook and go to the paper and say that you don’t believe that the building was in that bad of shape. Our engineer’s report, and Tom has it if you want a quote from it said, basically he doesn’t know how it was standing now and it would never last the first snow storm. There is a chimney on the side that’s on the 52 side, if the wall blew out the chimney was going out on the road. There is evidence of people in that building, drug paraphernalia, and imagine the other things. If somebody died in that building, I’d be responsible because, one we were told by our engineer that that building was not safe it became a liability to the Village of Fishkill, Village taxpayers I might add, not City of Beacon taxpayers, Village of Fishkill taxpayers that would have been on the hook for a multi million dollars. God forbid there was a fire and our fire chief or one of his men had to go in there and the floor collapsed, and we lost a fireman. That’s why we acted when we did, because we were put in a position of having to decide should we put this off, and we discussed it trust me we discussed our options and our lawyer made the opinion that any delay would increase our liability if anything happened. We did discuss to wait until this meeting, that was our first response “let’s wait until the public hearing and let the public involve”. Based on their engineering report, our attorney and our building inspector, that was not the prudent decision to make. So we had to make a decision and we made it, and you know what I had a phone call with a lengthy message on my phone from somebody that lives over in that area…..accusing us of ….saying that we got paid off and “hope you can live with your conscience of taking that house down” and you know what? Yes I slept very well that next night knowing that nobody was gonna get hurt from an abandoned house. I talked to a gentleman in the bagel shop that said “you know when I was a kid we had a house like that we used to play in, one day it fell down and one of our buddies was in it and got killed”. That’s not going to be on my conscience, that was on somebody’s conscience, but not mine. That house was an unsafe house, Tom wouldn’t even go up the stairs.
So back to your letter, it was not “rushed through” with rushed through based on facts and that’s how we do things; it was an emergency it was absolutely an emergency and it was done at an open meeting.
Again, and I know most of this is Mr. Byster’s talk about SEQRA because he thinks he’s a SEQRA expert, and he actually knows very little about it. So we did nothing behind closed doors. We had a letter, he talked about “the Jackson House within the Village District which is listed on the National Register” . Two things on that, we already had a letter from the State Parks and Recreation saying there was no historical value left in that house. There is also, and Tom has the information with him tonight, that says once a house….how is that worded? “
Tom Vantine: “Once a house is altered in any way it’s taken off the National Register”. “Frequently asked questions on the National Register of Historic Places: The question is can I still modify, remodel, or renovate my historic property after its listed on the register? The answer is yes unless your home …..is receiving Federal tax credit, etc.
Listing on the National Registry does not restrict your right to modify your home. Severe alterations’ which in this case would apply, however, will result in the removal from the National Registry”
Mayor: So the house was not eligible to be listed based on that and, you know, you guys keep saying it was on the National Register; it was in a historic district that allowed houses to be eligible if they met the qualifications. Most of Broad Street, most of Main Street down there is part of that. That house was never registered, it was never asked to be registered, and it would have never have qualified for registration. I found it amusing Mr. Byster, and I wish he was here to hear this but I’m sure that he’ll get the message, made a statement in the paper about the demolition, and I think it was in his letter to the editor “how sad it was to see the elevator dangling”; historic house, historic preservation and he’s talking about the elevator? Doesn’t that give you the idea that.....have you ever been in the house?
Theresa Kraft: Yes
Mayor: How long ago?
Theresa Kraft: Oh a long time ago
Mayor: Yea, it was gutted then. The medical group gutted it and put in an elevator, took down the stairway, took down all the mantels, there was nothing left in that house, there was no archaeological historical value left in that house. The medical group is the culprit here, they let that house go, they had storage in that basement for 5 or 6 years before they sold it to the property owner. They’re the ones that should be attacked, not this Village that did what we had to do to preserve….First of all, we preserved it for as long as we could and we ignored 4? Engineers’ reports?
Tom Vantine: 3
Mayor: Ours was 4. We finally brought in our own engineer who actually said the house was in worse shape than their engineer said it was. Again, it goes back to liability. There is a lot of talk about what we should have done and what we should have made the land owner do, and I argued this point with Mr. Byster, so in anticipation in my pocket, the Constitution, I carry this and as I said tonight my constitution and my bible in my bag wherever I go…..”4th Amendment, the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath,,” The police commissioner can tell you he can’t walk into a house without probable cause, I don’t know why anybody thinks that the Village or the building inspector has more power than the police or any other government agency, 4th Amendment.
One the things that, 20 some odd years ago, when I started working/serving this Village with Greg and Greg’s father they taught me, the Constitution is the thing that guides everything we do. We don’t have the right to go in and look at somebody’s house, I have no more right to go into that Jackson house and do an inspection than Tom has to come into my house or the Minister’s house without due cause, an application or an invitation; we had neither.
You guys had a memorial service on private property. Technically, you were on private property
Theresa Kraft: We were on the sidewalk
Mayor: You were on private property; there were flowers in the middle of the lot. You could have been arrested; you had no permission to go on private property. You need to learn to respect people’s property.
And the last thing, and I wish Legislator McAvery would be here because she brought this up last night, at a County meeting, and made this statement about “lack of historic…” She said that we “did not embrace the historic community” again, I would call your attention to the fact that there was an archaeological dig that was done through with SEQRA process that was done by the Planning Board back in probably the 90’s or 80’s..from 86 to 89 I was on the Planning Board, that was when they were going in for the medical group’s expansion and that’s when they started; that archeological dig took through the 90’s. The property owners, the current owners, paid for the final report where they have 46 or 48 boxes
Tom Vantine: 45
Mayor: …45 boxes of archaeological artifacts that were on that property, in and around that property, done through the SHIPO requirement. I would address the Village “not embracing the historic community”. 4 years 5 years ago we started the comprehensive plan review. We were specifically targeting that area of the Village, we had Willa Skinner, the Coates’, and a few other people in that area sit down with the developer, he went to their houses, he brought pictures, he brought us renderings of what those people would like to have seen that house look like. We encouraged that cooperation and commitment by the developer, I don’t know how much more we could have embraced the historic community. We’ve worked with you, we’ve been 9 months of trying to save that house with a moratorium, we’ve tried. We always knew, the first day he came in here with an engineer’s report, that that house, as it sat, was not salvageable. It was not, and our engineer confirmed that. We’ve done it 2 other times, 6 Broad Street, and across the street, they’re beautiful; we get alot of comments and compliments on the two buildings that we had done our way. The one building that the historic community got involved in is now gone without the real expectation of a replication because we lost our leverage; and we lost our leverage because we delayed a process because we embraced the historic community and we didn’t follow what we should have done.
So, I’m not going to discuss this anymore because, as far as this Board is concerned, whatever happens on that property is now in the Planning Board purview. They don’t come to us anymore; that was our last chance. So you can come any night that you want, we’re not going to talk about the Jackson House, Jackson Crossing, or historic preservation, except to pass this law when we do it. We’re done, I wish you would stop your comments on, and your false, misleading comments, and I look at you as the leader of the Friends of Jackson House to put an end to the misinformation that you have perpetrated out there, without one shred of fact. Not one person on your group came in to get the minutes of the meeting to find out what happened, to get the engineers’ report, there’s four engineer’s reports have you read any of them.
Theresa Kraft: No
Mayor: No, but you can say in the paper, in or out of context “I don’t believe it”
The other misunderstanding and, again, miscommunication because nobody cares or wants to find out the truth, Jackson Crossing is the name of the company as they have an application for a different property in the Village, but its not that property. So there is no application for the corner of Jackson and Main Street from Jackson Crossing. Jackson Crossing’s application is on Jackson Street behind the M&T Bank. Then again, why confuse anybody with facts, their minds were made up a long time ago.
Mayor: With that I would ask for a motion to adjourn
So Move, Deputy Mayor Phillips, seconded, Trustee Newhard, discussion, none, all in favor, Aye. 8:08 pm
Angela Arasim, RMC, CMC