On April 2 the Village of Saugerties Mayor notified four members (4) of the village's Historic Review Board that all 5 members [staggered 3 year terms] were being replaced and that a "clean sweep" was in order and that the mayor took this action because of [repeated] alleged grievances against the board members.
Three (3) members [David Minch (chair), Rosemarie Brackett and Smith were notified by mail of their dismissal during the week April 6. On Monday April 6, the regular Village Board meeting took place, with the agenda to name the replacements. During the public comment period several citizens, including David Minch spoke about their dismay over the mayor's unilateral and hasty decision. It was brought out that this action was taken immediately after a local developer stated that his project was on hold partly due to the resistance he was experiencing from some citizens.
The mayor was reminded that according to village law, he did not have the right to dismiss the members and that his actions violated the village law. "It's not unprecedented" the mayor contented and that he has replaced boards at least twice of the last 10 years in his "regime". During the April 6th meeting and subsequent meetings, Mayor Yerick defended his action citing his right to replace Historic Review Board members due to the fact that he had up to 20 grievances with the board members, though he refused to reveal the grievances. He explained that his decision culminated with the board's recent recommendation that Tom Struzzieri [local developer] had "stormed" into the mayor's office several times, cursing and complaining of the board's recommendations regarding several of his projects, including The Partition Street Project. The mayor continued to state that"Village Law is only as a guide" and that businesses [like Tom Struzzieri's] sometimes trumped those laws.
Numerous times over the past several weeks, mayor Yerick stated that when a developer who is bringing "many, many million dollars project" into the Village that "common sense" took precedence over laws.