Tuesday, May 5, 2015

AUSTERLITZ DEMS MEET SATURDAY MAY 9

Dear Fellow Democrats,
     

Please join us for a meeting of the Austerlitz Democrats on Saturday, May 9th at 10 am at the Town Hall.


Our agenda will include: Events, Fundraising, and Candidates for the upcoming election. Bring an interested friend or neighbor.  We are looking forward to seeing you this Saturday.

Thank you!
Your Austerlitz Democratic Committee

Thursday, March 5, 2015

HIGHLIGHTS from FEBRUARY BOARD MEETING

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The Austerlitz Democratic Committee is committed to open communication and dialog about the happenings within our wonderful town.  Several of us attended the February 26, 2015 Town Board workshop and regular meeting.  Here are some of the highlights that were discussed:

  • Town Hall property purchased: The new Town Hall property acquisition has closed. No town funds were needed for the purchase. Thank you to the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation for its generous contribution, and seller, Martin Parker, for picking up the closing costs. 
  • State Route 203: Re-paving of Route 203 is expected to begin in the Spring. Also on roads, more than usual amount of sand and salt was used, and more overtime than usual, all due to the extraordinary snowfall. In 2017 the town's bond comes due and additional road work is needed. 
  • Austerlitz Firehouse: Construction of the new firehouse is to commence in Spring. The contractor selected is the brother of the Town Supervisor. Supervisor Rob Lagonia made it clear that the Austerlitz Fire Company is a separate entity from the Town, and he had nothing to do with the contract award. 
  • Town Park Renovation: The town supervisor expects to put the work out for bid next month. The tennis court will be converted to all purpose court, including tennis and basketball, etc. There is also a plan for pavilion with kitchen for community events. Thank you again to the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation. 
  • Congratulations to Connie Mondel: Our own indefatigable Connie, along with Sally Charron of Ghent, were selected Senior Citizens of the Year for Columbia County! 
  • Comprehensive Plan Oversight Committee: The Committee has been working on the Hamlet Study, through a survey about parking, sidewalks, etc. The DOT sent representatives from their landscape and design section offering help almost two years ago. The State Road Repair Group wrote the Town regarding any changes in the interim. The next step is to have an open meeting to give the public a chance to participate before roadwork begins. 
  • Quick additional items: ~Gravel Grinder Cycling event set for Sunday, May 17, 2015. ~Elizabeth Whiteman re-appointed to Board of Assessment Review. ~Town Clerk/Tax Collector and Town Justice Court Audits, by Greg Vogler; these areas came through okay. A State audit of accounts and claims resulted in a good report. 

Next meeting, March 19, 2015. Come on out and see your town government at work. (For complete meeting minutes, see the town's web-site: http://austerlitzny.com/2010-town-board-minutes/ )

Thank you!
Your Austerlitz Democratic Committee

Thursday, January 15, 2015

ELECTIONS MATTER: HIGHLIGHTS from 2014 and LOOKING FORWARD

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Elections do matter.   Many positive things have happened since Rob Lagonia and Greg Vogler won election on the Democratic ticket and joined the Austerlitz town board in January 2014.  More good things are planned in 2015 as well.  This year is an election year with two additional town board seats to be contested.  We will be nominating high quality candidates, and there will be fun and informative campaign events too.  The Austerlitz Democratic Committee will keep you updated throughout this year on the upcoming election and events.

Here are some of the changes our newly elected officials brought to energize our town and its government in 2014.  These achievements delivered on key commitments of the Austerlitz Democratic Committee's election platform: 
  • Fiscal soundness and responsibility.  For many years the town budget was balanced by heavily drawing down our savings, without a plan to ensure the town did not run out of money for emergency needs, or to maintain our credit rating or to finance much needed and expensive new road equipment.  That is now changed, and the budget is balanced without further erosion of our savings reserve.
  • The speed limit on Route 203 has been lowered (with special thanks to independent town residents who also took an active role in this change).  Stay tuned for developments this year on much needed paving.
  • A new road grader has been acquired to maintain our dirt roads.  The last grader died suddenly in September and the new one is now on the roads. This is an example of why we need to maintain our savings reserves! 
  • Greater transparency.   Important information is openly discussed at the town board meetings allowing all those who attend (or read the minutes on the town website) to know all of the same facts and considerations the town board has.  Click here for the Austerlitz Town Board Minutes
  • Real progress on the town park was made.  A Community Day was held this past summer to get input on how best to design a renovated town park.  With the active role of our new Supervisor, the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation committed additional money to help make this happen.   
  • Also with the active participation of our Supervisor, and the generosity of the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation, the former church next to the existing town hall has been purchased. It will become the new Austerlitz town hall as soon as repairs can be made and new office spaces are constructed over the next couple of years.  Stay tuned for updates on this exciting resolution of a long standing issue. 
  • Audits.  Each year, the law requires that the town conduct its own audits of the town court, the town clerk, and our tax assessor.  These audits had not been done in years; however, they were reestablished in 2014 and will be conducted each year going forward. 
  • Active participation at the county.   Rob Lagonia is an active participant at the County Board of Supervisors, and our voices are once again now being heard at the county level. 
This year is shaping up to be another busy year.   Here are some of the activities planned for 2015:
  • Identify all of the town's large purchase needs, and to develop a fiscally responsible way to acquire them.  
  • Completion of the new town park.
  • Begin renovation of the new town hall building.
  • Pursue NY State paving of Route 203.
  • Improve the condition of our town roads, and have the proper equipment to maintain them.
  • Maintain fiscal soundness, and overall transparency.
  • Maintain an active role at the County level.
Stay tuned as the year progresses.  Good things are happening!  If you have any ideas or comments to share, please send them to  austerlitzdemocraticcommittee@gmail.com or mail them to PO Box 266, Spencertown, NY, 12165.

So, as you have read, elections do matter, and can produce results.  Importantly, winning elections require funds to have our voices heard.   Please help us now by sending a donation to the Austerlitz Democratic Committee at PO Box 266, Spencertown, NY, 12165.  Contributions to the ADC are not tax deductible.

Thank you!

Your Austerlitz Democratic Committee 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

CHATHAM SCHOOL DISTRICT PUBLIC HEARING

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The Chatham School District will hold a public hearing this Tuesday January 13 at 6:30 pm in the Chatham High School Library.  The subject will be a proposal for additional school tax exemptions for veterans. Your opinions matter, and so please come to express your views. Click here for the link to the CSD's notice which is on their website.

Thank you!

Your Austerlitz Democratic Committee

Sunday, January 4, 2015

AUSTERLITZ DEMOCRATS 2015 ELECTION KICKOFF MEETING

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The Austerlitz Democrats will hold a 2015 kickoff meeting this coming Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 10:00am in the Town Hall.  All Austerlitz Democrats are welcome.  2015 is an election year with two town board seats up.  We won last election and we can win this one too.  Please come join us this Saturday.

Thank you!

Your Austerlitz Democratic Committee

Sunday, August 10, 2014

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN COMMITTEE SURVEY

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The Comprehensive Plan Committee would like to get the opinions of residents on roads, parking, traffic and recreation in the Spencertown Hamlet. The idea is to analyze the situation as residents see it and look to make changes if they can be accommodated.

There is a survey on the town's website that can be answered quickly with 7 questions. It is most helpful if there is a good response in numbers since that weighs more to the Governor or to the state agencies that need to be involved in any suggested changes.

Besides this survey, the town's website has been improved and has a lot of information that is good for residents to know.

Thank you and best regards,
Your Austerlitz Democratic Committee

Below is the notice of the CPC survey as well:

NOTICE   
FROM:  AUSTERLITZ COMPREHENSIVE PLAN COMMITTEE
FOR:          AUSTERLITZ RESIDENTS
ABOUT:     A short, simple, important….

                                SURVEY
     
on  ROADS,  TRAFFIC, PARKING, RECREATION in the Hamlet of Spencertown. 
   
Your comments about the areas listed below will be
helpful in the analysis toward improvements.

     St. Peter’s Church, Spencertown Academy, Country Store, Spencertown Post Office, The Town Hall, Recreation Park

Hard copy: Town Hall
Computer copy at: www.AusterlitzNY.com
                        
On the Town of Austerlitz website scroll down to Spencertown Hamlet Survey.  Fill in those areas meaningful to you and use spaces provided for any further comments.   (Due date:  Sept.15th.) In addition you will find on that website other important information, Letter to Governor Cuomo about dangerous condition of Route 203; Information on proposed power lines on Rigor Hill Rd.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

COMMUNITY EVENT - JUNE 7 in the TOWN PARK

Dear Friends and Neighbors, a message from our town supervisor:

The town has been given a generous donation for the purpose of updating our Town Park.  The Town Board decided to have a community event on June 7th from 12:00 - 1:30.  Hot dogs and beverages will be served.  Please bring your thinking caps as all suggestions are welcome.  The Town Board will compile all suggestions and ideas and move forward in the direction that best fits the needs of our community.  Looking forward to a large turnout.


Please spread the word.

Rob Lagonia
Town Supervisor