Except for Mayoral musings of random "dog poop" bag police checks, "executions" and "rapes", last night's (11/16/09) Saugerties Village Board meeting was boilerplate. Oh wait, I forgot the bit about PBA demanding a SEQR.
The pledge of allegiance was followed with the standard mix of self-congratulations, quips and odd explanations of why the Village is in such financial straits. Analogies were abundant, with the mayor grasping for the right picture to illustrate his fiscal position. Like the one about "falling dominoes", which excused repeated bank loans (to make payroll) and the Village's burgeoning $6,000,000.00 debt. According to Mayor Yerick, it was all the Federal government's fault. He ended with, "We (the Village) don't have many products to sell" as the apparent reason why his government has had trouble (for the past several years) paying its workers.
Though all hope was not lost when trustee LeBlanc and Murphy announced that the board was going to vote "tonight" on the board's intention to seek Lead agency status for a SEQR (The New York State Environmental Quality Review Act) which the PBA is requesting. You may be asking yourself, what is "SEQR" and when did the Police Benevolent Association become environmentalists?. Well, the supposed answer to this perplexing question lies deep within the creative mind of the PBA's legal counsel. After the Saugerties Police Consolidation study was presented in August, the Saugerties Village PBA threatened to sue if the Village proceeded with a public referendum. Now it appears that Village attorney Alex Betke agrees that [giving us a chance to vote] on a Town and Village police merger can not proceed without a NYDEC environmental impact assessment review.
But all was put into proper perspective, when the mayor explained that "we've been working on consolidation for the past fourteen (14) years". I couldn't help but think to myself how comically sad the Village's state of affairs has become and that we [tax payers] are forever being held hostage by a self-perpetuating local government machine. 14 years after the first attempt to consolidate and after a $35,000.00 study, Saugerties Village [New Vision Party] trustees still can't get the will to implement the only reasonable solution to our deepening debt; consolidation of services!