Board of Trustees Works Together To Reduce 2011-2012 Budget, Now Nearing 0% Increase

Several members of the Board of Trustees worked very hard to lower the Manager's proposed 25% increase in taxes to something more in the range of a 1% to 0% increase – or even better.

The Mayor, Deputy Mayor, and I have met every day from last Monday through yesterday, together with Trustee Matthews on a few occasions. We have a final meeting scheduled with the Treasurer tomorrow when we will try to bring the final budget down to a desired level.

I want to thank the Treasurer, Heather Berg; and also Village Clerk Janine Gandy for working with us to head off Barbarite's proposed massive tax increase.

Throughout the budget-revision process, the Village Manager absented himself entirely and offered no input whatever – not so much as an e-mail, memo, or a suggestion, all the while continuing to collect a full paycheck. Trustee Marinello, who also missed every one of this year's budget work sessions to date, indicated he might join the rest of the Board of Trustees for the final work session tomorrow.

Audio recordings of the budget work sessions can be heard here.

Update From NYS DOT To Monticello Taxpayers Regarding Spring Plans For Broadway

Click the image below to download an Acrobat file of a letter dated March 3, 2011 updating Monticello taxpayers on plans for resuming Broadway renovation.

Breathing New Life Into Monticello's Broadway Businesses and Homes


CLICK THE ABOVE FOR A HIGH-RES UNCROPPED PHOTO. (COURTESY MONTICELLO FIRE DEPARTMENT.)

Monticello residents, taxpayers, and business owners all want to see Broadway busy with traffic and commerce again, as it was years ago.

An option that the Board of Trustees has promoted for a decade or more has been the "artist loft", which allows business owners to live on the second floor of structures which are otherwise zoned for commercial use only. This good idea has worked well, but it has not gone far enough.

For years I have advocated changing the zoning to allow upstairs residency on Broadway again, as it existed years ago, as a way to improve the neighbourhood.

I am currently exploring a concept for re-populating Broadway with residents who will operate stores and other businesses on the street level.

Some have proposed allowing residentail use of second floor apartments, but restricted to building or business owners and their families. Definining who is "connected" to a building or business owner could be hard, or result in a law so narrow as to be ineffective.

We can not pursue a public policy designed to keep out "substandard tenants" (to quote the infamous words of our present Village Manager, John Barbarite)[1] or prohibit Section 8 residents, or we risk running afoul of the Fair Housing Act. We want to elevate the economic condition of Broadway by creating conditions that will benefit entrepeneurs and landlords of any race, nationality, or status.

I favor refining and clarifying the present law to provide financial incentives for residents of second-floor residents to establish and maintain businesses in street-level store fronts. The purpose would be to entice business people to live and work on Broadway.

A variation of the "artist loft" law, the idea I am proposing here is that upstairs residents who operate successful businesses downstairs be afforded such incentives as low-interest small business loans, grants, or other financial aid, but tied to the assurance that the upstairs tenant must operate a commercial business on the street level below. Only the operators of businesses on the street level and their dependents would be allowed to reside on the second floor.

Financial incentives would attract those committed enough to Monticello that they are willing to live and open a business on Broadway.

This proposal would attract financially stable residents to live on newly renovated second floors, while creating and operating new businesses on the street underneath their homes.

I am looking for support and improvements to this idea as I consult with fellow members of the Board of Trustees, and County, State, and other government officials and business and property owners for the good of Monticello.

Suggestions from Monticello business people, the Chamber of Commerce, and Sullivan Reniasance, are welcomed by Village elected officials like myself with and creative ideas for our "new" Monticello.

Hinchey, USDA Rural Development Announce Major Federal Investment to Upgrade Aging Wastewater System, Boost Economic Revitalion

Largest Ever USDA Rural Development Investment in NY will Repair System that 2008 Engineering Report Deemed "Near Failure"

Monticello, NY --Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) today was joined by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Agency New York State Director Jill Harvey, Monticello Mayor Gordon Jenkins, Trustees Carmen Rue, Victor Marinello, and T.C. Hutchins, as well as other local and county officials to announce a major federal investment for the repair of the wastewater collection and treatment systems in the Village of Monticello.

Youth Football League Of The New Monticello : Introducing "The Monticello Jaguars"

The following is republished from The Sullivan County Democrat, Friday, 27 August 2010:


Village of Monticello Mayor Gordon Jenkins, who is standing at far right in the back row, joined the players and coaches from the SCORS Monticello Jaguars youth football teams for a photo during last Friday night’s practice.

SCORS football, cheerleading program off to a great start in Monticello

By Rob Potter

MONTICELLO — There is a new youth football and cheerleading program in the Village of Monticello.

On Aug. 9, dozens of boys and girls began practices for SCORS, which stands for Sullivan County Organized Recreation and Sports. The football team, for kids ages 6 to 12, is known as the Monticello Jaguars. The cheerleading team includes girls between the ages of 6 and 13.

Good News For Children's Recreation, Accompanied By Misconduct And Mismanagement By The Help

Thank you to the throngs of good people who came out last night and supported the Monticello Gymnastics Program. It was a great pleasure to see such a positive and caring message from the community.

Fully Insured Village Youth Programs Cancelled Due To Negligent, Uninformed Management

Link to Kids Sports Programs Dropped In Monticello, The Times Herald-Record, Friday, July 17, 2010

"Attacking our children is below disgusting."

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From Carmen Rue, Village Trustee


MONTICELLO (July 19, 2010): Upon learning Monday morning that the Village has always had and continues to have liability insurance coverage for all sports programs (see below e-mail from insurance carrier), including gymnastics and boxing, Trustee Carmen Rue is calling for the termination of Deputy Village Manager John Ligreci.

Rue stated, "Ligreci is simply reckless. Gymnastics and boxing have been a target of this management since day one and this is nothing more than a ploy to accomplish their goal, at the expense of our children. We have always had insurance, however, Ligreci failed to inquire with the Village's broker of record and instead asked their friend that they are looking to switch to. Either Ligreci is devious in his actions or too incompetent to understand it and either way he should be fired. He speaks of wanting to expand youth programs and we can spend his salary and benefits on those programs instead."

Facebook Group on Monticello Gymnastics Program

Rue added, "Our gymnastics program is a stellar program that has attracted children from across the county for over 3 decades and has produced top gymnasts in the state. This Village should be looking to advertise and expand this program rather than shutting it down. Instead the Mayor and his team want to fire Pete Tweed, a Village institution, and hire yet another one of their friends.

This is political corruption at its worst and I refuse to allow the public to not be aware of it. I will introduce a resolution at the July 20th meeting to terminate John Ligreci and if it is not successful I will continue to do so at every Village Board meeting until he is out of a job. Attacking our children is below disgusting."

The next Village Board meeting is scheduled for July 20th at 7PM at the Village Hall. The public is encouraged to attend and let their voices be heard. Link to the meeting's agenda. Even if you can not attend, you can sign this petition to save the Monticello gymnastics program

See the following documents:



Village Management?

John LeGreci was sent the above information at at his Village e-mail address, as were the Village Manager, Mayor, Trustees, Clerk, Treasurer, and Trustees, in advance of the July 20th regular meeting of the Board of Trustees.

Village Manager John Barbarite told me he relied on LeGreci for information when they announced that Monticello's youth programs were being shut down immediately, this past Friday.

From: John Barbarite [mailto:jbarbarite@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, July 16, 2010 11:40 AM
To: Ray Sheenan
Cc: Carmen Rue; Gordon Jenkins; John LiGreci; Theodore Hutchins; Victor Marinello
Subject: Insurance Problems

In reviewing the Village insurance coverage and that of IBAM we were informed by the insurance agent that the Village has no coverage for anyone participating in sports or athletic programs. That includes village run programs and IBAM. Upon advice of the Village Attorney we are shutting down all programs until we can obtain coverage. This includes IBAM. We will post notices on the doors. Any questions call me at 914-799-1014.

John [Barbarite]

See also Village forced to cancel youth programs due to lack of insurance The Times Herald-Record, July 16, 2010

Related Link: Village Laws On Use Of The Ted Stroebele Neighborhood Facility On Jefferson Street, including requirements for insurance coverage to be provided by organizations not operated by the Village.

Pedro Tweed's well-known gymnastics program, which was closed this past Friday, allegedly because it was uninsured, is operated by the Village, and has been for about 30 years. It is fully insured.

IBAM has provided its own insurance coverage, which the Board of Trustees has found acceptable up to the present time, for as long as it has operated on Village premises.

Sullivan County Sheriff's Office Sends Another Contingent Off To Sheriff's Summer Camp

MONTICELLO - Twenty-seven children from Sullivan County gathered at the Sheriff’s Office in Monticello Sunday to say goodbye to their parents. No, they weren’t in trouble. They were on their way to the New York State Sheriff’s Institute Camp Iroquois on Lake Keuka, near Penn Yan, NY. Each year the Sheriff’s Office sends deserving children from Sullivan County to summer camp in the Finger Lakes. Sheriff Michael Schiff thanked the citizens of the county for making donations that have made the Sheriff's Camp possible.

This year, Deputies Richard Rodrigues, Kyle Muthig and Blake Starner are escorting the children to camp. The Sheriff acknowledged Sergeant Luis Alvarez, Confidential Secretary Marilyn Bastone, and Cook/Manager Dale Frasier for their efforts in putting this summer’s program together. The Sheriff's Camp serves underprivileged children from around the state who could not otherwise afford to go to summer camp.

For more information on the Sheriff's camp, visit sheriffsinstitute.org.

Caption for above photo: Sergeant Brian Harrell (upper left), Deputy Debra Votee, (right), and Sergeant Luis Alvarez (lower right) with children who are on their way to summer camp.


Click "View More" (below) to see a video on the program.

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