New Town of Plattekill Supervisor Jennifer Salemo was all smiles after presiding over her first Town Board meeting on Jan. 5.
Four days after she was sworn in on New Year’s Day along with new board member Wilfrido Castillo Jr. and returning members Dean DePew Sr. and Darryl Matthews, Salemo welcomed a small turnout for the town’s annual reorganization meeting at the Town Hall.
Salemo, DePew and Matthews took turns reading off various appointments to town positions and committees before approving 26 resolutions that included salaries for all town officers and employees.
Following the meeting, Salemo and several board members talked about the town’s future under its new leadership. Salemo replaced former Supervisor Joseph Croce, who chose not to run for re-election after leading the Town of Plattekill from 2013 through 2021.
“It was very exciting actually,” said Salemo, who didn’t seem to mind that her official nameplate wasn’t ready for the first meeting. “I have a great board behind me. I’m comfortable with these guys. It was a reorganization meeting so there were a lot of appointments. I’m excited now with what’s next.”
Salemo said she expects representatives of the Innovation Homes subdivision to appear before the board at its next meeting on Jan. 19.
“They’re moving right along,” Salemo said of the proposed housing development, which she said was nearing approval.
Salemo said she didn’t expect any action on the long-delayed towing ordinance until February.
Following many questions and objections to the proposed towing law by former Supervisor Judy Mayle at a Dec. 15 public hearing, the board decided to postpone voting on the law. Mayle’s comments were forwarded to Town Attorney Paul Kellar for his review.
Matthews said he was looking forward to working with Salemo and the rest of the board that also included Larry Farrelly.
“Joe (Croce) was great and I Ioved working with him,” Matthew said. “And now we’re going to go with her ideas and how she likes to do things. I love the idea of any type of board because when you have so many people on it you have diversity. I like the idea of having a different way of thinking and a different way of approaching something. I think you maximize the people you have and the talents they have and you make sure you do what you do best and let everybody do what they do best.”
Castillo was appointed to the board last month to fill the vacancy of former board member Michael Putnam, who resigned in October. Castillo’s appointment will run through 2022.
Castillo served on the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals for 17 years, including 11 years as chairman.
Castillo hopes his knowledge about zoning will help the board when it faces decisions regarding subdivisions and other zoning issues.
“I’m more familiar with the laws and I think I can guide it a little better and tell the other board members how I feel about it,” he said.
The development of Thomas Felten Park is something that Castillo is anxious to work on. He would like to have the basketball court that is located near Town Hall moved over to the park.
“And maybe for the little kids we could have a little basketball court so they can learn how to enjoy it (basketball) with their fathers and mothers,” he said.
Among the appointments approved by the board, DePew was named Deputy Supervisor.
Larry Lindenauer was named the new ZBA chairman. He replaced Castillo, who resigned when he was appointed to the Town Board.
Cindy Hilbert was reappointed as the Planning Board Chairperson.
The Southern Ulster Times was designated as the Town of Plattekill’s official newspaper.
The board voted 5-0 to approve a resolution that will exempt property owners who are “Senior Citizens or Persons with Disabilities and Limited Incomes” from filing renewal applications for the 2022 Assessment Roll.
This action comes in response to an executive order from Gov. Kathy Hochul that permits the governing bodies of local assessing units to take the action to protect the health of vulnerable individuals due to COVID-19 concerns.
However, if a property owner would benefit from filing renewal applications, the assessor could require the filing of renewal applications.