TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
2019 BUDGET HEARING
TUESDAY 11/13/18, 6:30 PM
FRANK STOW, SUPERVISOR PRESENT
DICK SENA, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
DUNCAN MCNEILL, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
LOUISE ORTMAN, COUNCILWOMAN ABSENT
STEVE SENSKE, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
OTHERS PRESENT: Rob Yates, Dave Stapleton, Attorney; Robin Miller, Bookkeeper; Howard Peacock, Justice; Brad Lawson, Zoning C.E.O.; Clayt & Helen Emick; Nancy Thomas, Town Clerk
Mr. Stow opened the hearing at 6:30 PM. He said in 2018 the town tax rate was $2.83/$1,000 and in 2019 it will be $2.91/$1,000. He said the amount to raised by tax is $787,638.00; Special District Tax Totals are $38,793.00; Ashville Fire District is $296,288.00. The total tax levy including Special Districts and Fire District is $1,122,719.00 (see attached Budget Summary page). Mr. Stow reviewed the budget in its entirety for those present. He said the rate increase for 2019 is $.08/$1,000 and stated that he felt as much revenue as possible should be included in the Capital Fund for the new building in hopes of not having to exceed the tax cap for 2020.
Mr. Sena asked why the Supervisor salary had been changed from the $8,000 that was agreed on to $9,000 in the legal notice.
Mr. Stow said one of the reasons was because the Supervisor will have to oversee the construction of the new building.
Mr. Sena said in the legals in the P.J. the average Supervisors salary is $5,800.00. He said Mrs. Carlson warranted the $9,000.00 because of her years of experience. He said the salary for the Highway Superintendent was increased from the legal advertised amount of $58,140 to $62,000.00. He said the average Superintendent salary is $50,953.00. He said with an increase of $5,500 in 2018 and an increase of $5,000 in 2019, that is unprecedented. He said he didn’t know why it was changed after it had been negotiated for so long at $58,140.00.
Mr. Senske said he had agreed reluctantly to the Superintendent salary after receiving an email with comments from Mr. Stow and Mrs. Ortman on the matter. He said he found it difficult to accept the Supervisor increase and felt it should have been discussed between all the board members.
Mr. Yates said he would be willing to accept $8,000 for the Supervisor salary.
There was further discussion of overtime and how it relates to the overall pay of an M.E.O. and a Supervisor and it was noted that it is common for many positions that pay overtime to allow the worker to exceed their supervisor’s income (i.e. police chiefs/officers; principals/school teachers; etc.).
Mr. Sena said Mr. Strickland does a very good job, but based on our town size, the increase is very large. He said this was disappointing after the many hours spent in budget negotiations.
Mrs. Emick said she had never received a 10% raise in all the years she worked and in todays economy, the board is not performing their fiduciary duty to the taxpayer if they permit that.
There was further discussion of inequities in the budget. There was discussion of the amount of rent that is paid for the Mitchell property ($120.00/mo.) and it was asked if that was an appropriate amount.
Mr. Sena said the sale of the Mitchell property has been discussed and will be revisited in the new year.
Mr. Stow said if it is sold, a new well and new septic will be required. He said the water has E-coli.
Mrs. Emick said the bottom line is the town should not be in the rental business.
Mr. Stow asked if there were any further comments on the budget.
- MOTION # 144 OF 2018
- SENA MOTIONED TO ADJOURN THE PUBLIC HEARING ON THE 2019 BUDGET AT 7:00 PM. MR. MCNEILL SECONDED. YES (4): SENA, MCNEILL, SENSKE, STOW. NO (0).
THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
TOWN BOARD MEETING
TUESDAY 11/13/18, 7:00 PM
FRANK STOW, SUPERVISOR PRESENT
DICK SENA, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
DUNCAN MCNEILL, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
LOUISE ORTMAN, COUNCILWOMAN ABSENT
STEVE SENSKE, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
OTHERS PRESENT: Rob Yates; Dave Stapleton, Attorney; Erin Brickley, CLWMA; Pierre Chagnon, Legislator; Robin Miller, Bookkeeper; Howard Peacock, Justice; Brad Lawson, Zoning C.E.O.; Clayt & Helen Emick; Dan Strickland, Highway Sup’t.; Dan Thomas; Nancy Thomas, Town Clerk
- MINUTES: 10/9/18
- MOTION # 145 OF 2018
- SENA MOTIONED TO ADOPT THE MINUTES OF THE 10/9/2018 TOWN BOARD MEETING AS PRESENTED BY THE TOWN CLERK. MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (4): SENA, MCNEILL, SENSKE, STOW. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- PUBLIC COMMENT:
- ERIN BRICKLEY, CHAUTAUQUA LAKE & WATERSHED MANAGEMENT ALLIANCE
Ms. Brickley gave a brief presentation which outlined:
- CLWMA Member Services
- Current Local Match Fund Tools
- Highlights of Alliance-Partnered Projects and Strategy in Lake and Watershed
- Total Anticipated Budgets = $3.5 Million
Mr. Sena asked if any projects were proposed for North Harmony in 2019.
Ms. Brickley said they haven’t developed any direct projects, but they have some streambank stabilization work in the town. She said they have been working with the CWC on their land on Ball Creek.
She said there is a pending Grant project for herbicide treatment that the town applied for.
- HELEN EMICK – WINDSTREAM INTERNET SERVICE
Mrs. Emick said Mr. Stow had sent her an email about a Windstream meeting. She asked if he had attended the meeting.
Mr. Stow said no. He said there is a new type of switch that they are supposed to be installing that will be able to determine the type of communication (phone/internet) being used and will hopefully speed up and expand services.
Mr. Strickland said Windstream has been burying fiberoptic cable all over the place (Eggleston Hill, Stebbins) and they are trenching it right down the middle of the dirt roads.
The following correspondence has been received by the Supervisor and is available for review:
- NYMIR – WEBINAR ON NYS SEXUAL HARASSMENT LEGISLATION 11/28/18 AT 2:00 PM
- 4TH ANNUAL NYS LOCAL GOVERNMENT INNOVATION CONFERENCE – 11/16/18 Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY
- NYS DEPT. OF PUBLIC SERVICE – Educational Materials to help control heating costs
- ASSESSOR – AUGUST & SEPTEMBER TRANSFERS
- CHAUTAUQUA CO. FINANCE – SALES TAX RECEIVED $175,580.41 (last year $162,907.18 up $12,673.23)
- CHAUTAUQUA LAKE PARTNERSHIP (CLP) – Letter to Senator Young; Assemblyman Goodell and County Executive Borrello re fish kill at Celeron and weed condition of lake
Mr. Stow said the package is available for anyone who wants to review it.
- OLD BUSINESS
- NORTH HARMONY EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK – ESTABLISH COMMITTEE
Mr. Stow said he would like to establish a committee to meet this month to review and make appropriate modifications. He asked to appoint Nancy Thomas, Robin Miller, and the Board members. He invited Mr. Yates and Mr. Stapleton to attend. Mr. Stow said he would like to have any revisions ready to adopt at the December Board meeting.
Mr. Sena asked if there would be any written recommendations prior to the meeting so that the board has something to work with.
Mr. Stow said he would try to get out an agenda next week.
Mr. McNeill said if you try to use the Revisions in red at the end of each handbook, it is very confusing and there are personnel items for office staff that need to be addressed.
Employee Handbook Meeting scheduled for Monday, 11/26/18 at 6:00 PM
- NYSERDA CLEAN ENERGY COMMUNITIES – HIGH IMPACT ACTIONS
Mrs. Thomas said she had provided packages to the board on these actions in regard to grant funding through NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities. She said in order to be eligible for the grant funding the town must fulfill 4 of 10 High Impact Actions. She said the town has already agreed and is implementing one of these actions by switching all street lights to LED and requested that they adopt the following two resolutions which along with Mr. Lawsons attendance at Energy Code Enforcement Training would satisfy all 4 Action Items. She said that although grant funding for the first round has been exhausted, she has been informed that a second round will be opening sometime in the new year and she would like to be ready to take advantage of that. The goal is funding for solar for the new town/court building.
- Adopt Resolution Establishing Energy Benchmarking Requirements for Certain Municipal Buildings
- RESOLUTION / MOTION # 146 OF 2019
- SENA MOTIONED TO ADOPT THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING ENERGY BENCHMARKING REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTAIN MUNICIPAL BUILDINGS OF THE TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY. MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (4): SENA, MCNEILL, SENSKE, STOW. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
RESOLUTION NO. 146 -2018
ESTABLISHING ENERGY BENCHMARKING REQUIREMENTS FOR
CERTAIN MUNICIPAL BUILDINGS
WHEREAS, buildings are the single largest user of energy in the State of New York. The poorest performing buildings typically use several times the energy of the highest performing buildings—for the exact same building use; and
WHEREAS, collecting, reporting, and sharing building energy data on a regular basis allows municipal officials and the public to understand the energy performance of municipal buildings relative to similar buildings nationwide, and equipped with this information the Town of North Harmony is able to make smarter, more cost-effective operational and capital investment decisions, reward efficiency, and drive widespread, continuous improvement; and
WHEREAS, the Town of North Harmony Town Board desires to use Building Energy Benchmarking – a process of measuring a building’s energy use, tracking that use over time, and comparing performance to similar buildings – to promote the public health, safety, and welfare by making available good, actionable information on municipal building energy use to help identify opportunities to cut costs and reduce pollution in the Town of North Harmony; and
WHEREAS, the Town of North Harmony Town Board desires to establish procedure or guideline for Town staff to conduct such Building Energy Benchmarking; and
NOW THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED AND DETERMINED, that the following specific policies and procedures are hereby adopted;
Building Energy Benchmarking POLICY/procedures
- 1. DEFINITIONS
(A) “Benchmarking Information” shall mean information generated by Portfolio Manager, as herein defined including descriptive information about the physical building and its operational characteristics.
(B) “Building Energy Benchmarking” shall mean the process of measuring a building’s Energy use, tracking that use over time, and comparing performance to similar buildings.
(C) “Commissioner” shall mean the head of the Department.
(4) “Covered Municipal Building” shall mean a building or facility that is owned or occupied by the Town of North Harmony that is 1,000 square feet or larger in size.
(5) “Department” shall mean the Town Clerks Office.
(6) “Energy” shall mean electricity, natural gas, steam, hot or chilled water, fuel oil, or other product for use in a building, or renewable on-site electricity generation, for purposes of providing heating, cooling, lighting, water heating, or for powering or fueling other end-uses in the building and related facilities, as reflected in Utility bills or other documentation of actual Energy use.
(7) “Energy Performance Score” shall mean the numeric rating generated by Portfolio Manager that compares the Energy usage of the building to that of similar buildings.
(8) “Energy Use Intensity (EUI)” shall mean the kBTUs (1,000 British Thermal Units) used per square foot of gross floor area.
(9) “Gross Floor Area” shall mean the total number of enclosed square feet measured between the exterior surfaces of the fixed walls within any structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or occupancy.
(11) “Portfolio Manager” shall mean ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, the internet-based tool developed and maintained by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to track and assess the relative Energy performance of buildings nationwide, or successor.
(12) “Utility” shall mean an entity that distributes and sells Energy to Covered Municipal Buildings.
(13) “Weather Normalized Site EUI” shall mean the amount of Energy that would have been used by a property under 30-year average temperatures, accounting for the difference between average temperatures and yearly fluctuations.
- 2. APPLICABILITY
(1) This policy is applicable to all Covered Municipal Buildings as defined in Section 2 of this policy.
(2) The Commissioner may exempt a particular Covered Municipal Building from the benchmarking requirement if the Commissioner determines that it has characteristics that make benchmarking impractical.
- 3. BENCHMARKING REQUIRED FOR COVERED MUNICIPAL BUILDINGS
(1) No later than May 1, 2017, and no later than May 1 every year thereafter, the Commissioner or his or her designee from the Department shall enter into Portfolio Manager the total Energy consumed by each Covered Municipal Building, along with all other descriptive information required by Portfolio Manager for the previous calendar year.
(2) For new Covered Municipal Buildings that have not accumulated 12 months of Energy use data by the first applicable date following occupancy for inputting Energy use into Portfolio Manager, the Commissioner or his or her designee from the Department shall begin inputting data in the following year.
- 4. DISCLOSURE AND PUBLICATION OF BENCHMARKING INFORMATION
(1) The Department shall make available to the public on the internet Benchmarking Information for the previous calendar year:
(a) no later than September 1, 2017 and by September 1 of each year thereafter for Covered Municipal Buildings; and
(2) The Department shall make available to the public on the internet and update at least annually, the following Benchmarking Information:
(a) Summary statistics on Energy consumption for Covered Municipal Buildings derived from aggregation of Benchmarking Information; and
(b) For each Covered Municipal Building individually:
(i) The status of compliance with the requirements of this Policy; and
(ii) The building address, primary use type, and gross floor area; and
(iii) Annual summary statistics, including site EUI, Weather Normalized Source EUI, annual GHG emissions, and an Energy Performance Score where available; and
(iv) A comparison of the annual summary statistics (as required by Section 5(2)(b)(iii) of this Policy) across calendar years for all years since annual reporting under this Policy has been required for said building.
- 5. MAINTENANCE OF RECORDS
The Department shall maintain records as necessary for carrying out the purposes of this Policy, including but not limited to Energy bills and other documents received from tenants and/or Utilities. Such records shall be preserved by the Department for a period of three (3) years.
- 6. ENFORCEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION
(1) The Commissioner or his or her designee from the Department shall be the Chief Enforcement Officer of this Policy.
(2) The Chief Enforcement Officer of this Policy may promulgate regulations necessary for the administration of the requirements of this Policy.
(3) Within thirty days after each anniversary date of the effective date of this Policy, the Chief Enforcement Officer shall submit a report to the Town Board including but not limited to summary statistics on Energy consumption for Covered Municipal Buildings derived from aggregation of Benchmarking Information, a list of all Covered Municipal Buildings identifying each Covered Municipal Building that the Commissioner determined to be exempt from the benchmarking requirement and the reason for the exemption, and the status of compliance with the requirements of this Policy.
- 7. EFFECTIVE DATE
This policy shall be effective immediately upon passage.
- 8. SEVERABILITY
The invalidity or unenforceability of any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause, provision, or phrase of the aforementioned sections, as declared by the valid judgment of any court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional, shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause, provision, or phrase, which shall remain in full force and effect.
The vote on the foregoing resolution was as follows:
Richard Sena, Councilman YES
Duncan McNeill, Councilman YES
Louise Ortman, Councilwoman ABSENT
Steve Senske, Councilman YES
Frank Stow, Jr., Supervisor YES
This resolution was adopted.
I certify that this Resolution was adopted by the Town of North Harmony Town Board on this __13th___ day of ___November_____, 2018
Nancy M. Thomas, Town Clerk
Adopt NYS Unified Solar Permit
- RESOLUTION / MOTION # 147 OF 2018
- SENA MOTIONED TO ADOPT THE NEW YORK STATE UNIFIED SOLAR PERMIT RESOLUTION AS FOLLOWS. MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (4): SENA, MCNEILL, SENSKE, STOW. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Town of North Harmony
Resolution _147_ – 2018
ADOPTION OF THE NEW YORK STATE
UNIFIED SOLAR PERMIT
WHEREAS, The Town of North Harmony Board of Trustees (Town Board) duly adopted the “NYS Fire Prevention and Building Construction” code to provide minimum requirements to safeguard the public safety; and
WHEREAS, The Town of North Harmony Code Enforcement Officer, who administers and enforces all provisions of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, the New York State Energy Code, and the Town Code; and
WHEREAS, The Town of North Harmony requires the issuance of a building permit for the construction, enlargement, alteration, repair, removal or demolition of any building or other structure; and
WHEREAS, The New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Cod regulates the design, construction, installation, alteration and repair of equipment and systems using solar systems; and
WHEREAS, The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has developed a New York State Unified Solar Permit that reduces the cost for solar projects by streamlining municipal permitting processes: and
WHEREAS, The Town Board desires to promote the streamlining of the application process for small-scale photovoltaic system installations by adopting the New York State Unified Solar Permit application form and implementing the new procedures,
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Town Board hereby adopts the New York State Unified Solar Permit application form and procedures for the installation of small scale photovoltaic systems; and it is further
RESOLVED, The Town of North Harmony Code Enforcement Officer is hereby directed to use said New York State Unified Solar Permit application for and procedures in the issuance of building permits for the installation of small-scale photovoltaic systems; and it is further
RESOLVED, Any further actions required of the Town/Village to effect the foregoing are hereby authorized and the Town Supervisor/Mayor is hereby authorized to execute and deliver any instruments, documents or the like as required to effect the same.
The vote on the foregoing resolution was as follows:
Richard Sena, Councilman YES
Duncan McNeill, Councilman YES
Louise Ortman, Councilwoman ABSENT
Steve Senske, Councilman YES
Frank Stow, Jr., Supervisor YES
This resolution was adopted.
I certify that this Resolution was adopted by the Town Board of the Town of North Harmony on this _13th_ day of __November__, 2018
Nancy M. Thomas, Town Clerk
- MEMORIAL BLOCKS AT LIGHTHOUSE PAVILION FOR SALLY AND JOHN CHENEY
- NEW OFFICES/COURT BUILDING
Mr. Stapleton said he has not heard anything from DASNY. He said he would like to let things settle down from elections last week and then he will call to check on the progress of the grant in the next couple of days. He said he would make the phone calls and report to the Supervisor.
- CLWMA – 2019 Comprehensive Chautauqua Lake & Watershed Grant Application – RFA
Herbicides – Notification that grant application received
Mrs. Thomas said she had received notice from the Alliance that they had recommended grant funding for North Harmony Herbicide Application in the amount of $10,000.00. She said Ellery, Busti and Ellicott received the same amount. She said the towns applications had not been ranked very high by the review board, but with 3 business days to submit, she felt we had done well. She said the catch is that the herbicide permit must have DEC approval and be in hand no later than 6/1/19.
- NEW BUSINESS:
- ADAM BRANDI, TED PUGH M.E.O.’S – $1/HR RAISE DUE
- MOTION #148 OF 2018
- MCNEILL MOTIONED TO APPROVE A $1/HR RAISE FOR M.E.O.’S ADAM BRANDI AND TED PUGH ($18/HR; $27/HR OT) EFFECTIVE 11/1/2018. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (4): SENA, MCNEILL, SENSKE, STOW. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- GARY WINGER, PLANNING BOARD – Resignation effective 10/7/18 – HOLD UNTIL JAN., 2019
- BAN RENEWAL – BOCES ROAD PUSH DUE 11/23/18
Principal Pmt.: $10,356.88 (+ $356.88 over estimated int.)
BAN Renewal 11/19 $64,587.30
Principal $10,356.88 + Int. $2,743.12 = $13,100.00 TOTAL PMT.
(Attorney Fees $480.00)
- MOTION #149 OF 2018
- MCNEILL MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE THE SUPERVISOR TO MAKE PAYMENT ON THE BOCES ROAD PUSH BAN BALANCE $74,944.18 ON 11/23/18 AS FOLLOWS: PRINCIPAL $10,356.88; INTEREST $2,743.12. FURTHER THE SUPERVISOR WAS
AUTHORIZED TO SIGN ANY AND ALL DOCUMENTS TO RENEW THE BAN WITH M&T BANK IN THE AMOUNT OF $64,587.30 WITH AN INTEREST RATE OF 4.66% FOR 2019. MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (4): SENA, MCNEILL, SENSKE, STOW. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- ADOPT NYS SEXUAL HARASSMENT PREVENTION POLICY
Mrs. Thomas said she had provided packages to all board members prior to the meeting. She said the state has mandated that every employer in NYS regardless of size, must adopt a Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy and provide annually to all employees a training program that equals or exceeds the States model policy and training program. She said this is effective on 10/9/18. She said the town must also display in all offices a visible poster of Notice of the Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy as well as provide a form to register a complaint for Reporting Sexual Harassment. She said these documents were all included in the packet to the board. She said regarding the training, we have been notified that online training will be allowed as long as it is interactive (allows for trainee questions and answers). She said all employees must have the training by 10/9/2019.
Mr. Chagnon said the County does their training online using a program provided by the state.
There was discussion of how you can ensure that an employee has completed the training if it is online. There were several examples given of how this is done in other cases.
- RESOLUTION/MOTION #150 OF 2018
- SENSKE MOTIONED THAT THE TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY ADOPT THE NEW YORK STATE MODEL SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY AS FOLLOWS AND INCORPORATE IT INTO THE EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. MR. MCNEILL SECONDED. YES (4): SENA, MCNEILL, SENSKE, STOW. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY
The Town of North Harmony is committed to maintaining a workplace free from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a form of workplace discrimination. All employees are required to work in a manner that prevents sexual harassment in the workplace. This Policy is one component of North Harmony’s commitment to a discrimination-free work environment. Sexual harassment is against the law and all employees have a legal right to a workplace free from sexual harassment and employees are urged to report sexual harassment by filing a complaint internally with the Town of North Harmony. Employees can also file a complaint with a government agency or in court under federal, state or local antidiscrimination laws.
- The Town of North Harmony policy applies to all employees, applicants for employment, interns, whether paid or unpaid, contractors and persons conducting business, regardless of immigration status, with the Town of North Harmony. In the remainder of this document, the term “employees” refers to this collective group.
- Sexual harassment will not be tolerated. Any employee or individual covered by this policy who engages in sexual harassment or retaliation will be subject to remedial and/or disciplinary action (e.g., counseling, suspension, termination).
- Retaliation Prohibition: No person covered by this Policy shall be subject to adverse action because the employee reports an incident of sexual harassment, provides information, or otherwise assists in any investigation of a sexual harassment complaint. The Town of North Harmony will not tolerate such retaliation against anyone who, in good faith, reports or provides information about suspected sexual harassment. Any employee of the Town who retaliates against anyone involved in a sexual harassment investigation will be subjected to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. All employees, paid or unpaid interns, or non-employees working in the workplace who believe they have been subject to such retaliation should inform a supervisor, manager, or the Town Supervisor. All employees, paid or unpaid interns or non-employees who believe they have been a target of such retaliation may also seek relief in other available forums, as explained below in the section on Legal Protections.
- Sexual harassment is offensive, is a violation of our policies, is unlawful, and may subject North Harmony to liability for harm to targets of sexual harassment. Harassers may also be individually subject to liability. Employees of every level who engage in sexual harassment, including managers and supervisors who engage in sexual harassment or who allow such behavior to continue, will be penalized for such misconduct.
- The Town of North Harmony will conduct a prompt and thorough investigation that ensures due process for all parties, whenever management receives a complaint about sexual harassment, or otherwise knows of possible sexual harassment occurring. North Harmony will keep the investigation confidential to the extent possible. Effective corrective action will be taken whenever sexual harassment is found to have occurred. All employees, including managers and supervisors are required to cooperate with any internal investigation of sexual harassment
- All employees are encouraged to report any harassment or behaviors that violate this policy. North Harmony will provide all employees a complaint form for employees to report harassment and file complaints.
- Managers and supervisors are required to report any complaint that they receive, or any harassment that they observe or become aware of, to the Town Supervisor.
- This policy applies to all employees, paid or unpaid interns, and non-employees and all must follow and uphold this policy. This policy must be provided to all employees and should be posted prominently in all work locations to the extent practicable (for example, in a main office, not an offsite work location) and be provided to employees upon hiring.
What Is “Sexual Harassment”?
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and is unlawful under federal, state, and (where applicable) local law. Sexual harassment includes harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, self-identified or perceived sex, gender expression, gender identity and the status of being transgender. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome conduct which is either of a sexual nature, or which is directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex when:
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, even if the reporting individual is not the intended target of the sexual harassment;
- Such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment; or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting an individual’s employment.
A sexually harassing hostile work environment includes, but is not limited to, words, signs, jokes, pranks, intimidation or physical violence which are of a sexual nature, or which are directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex. Sexual harassment also consists of any unwanted verbal or physical advances, sexually explicit derogatory statements or sexually discriminatory remarks made by someone which are offensive or objectionable to the recipient, which cause the recipient discomfort or humiliation, which interfere with the recipient’s job performance.
Sexual harassment also occurs when a person in authority tries to trade job benefits for sexual favors. This can include hiring, promotion, continued employment or any other terms, conditions or privileges of employment. This is also called “quid pro quo” harassment.
Any employee who feels harassed should report so that any violation of this policy can be corrected promptly. Any harassing conduct, even a single incident, can be addressed under this policy.
Examples of sexual harassment
The following describes some of the types of acts that may be unlawful sexual harassment and that are strictly prohibited:
- Physical acts of a sexual nature, such as:
- Touching, pinching, patting, kissing, hugging, grabbing, brushing against another employee’s body or poking another employee’s body;
- Rape, sexual battery, molestation or attempts to commit these assaults.
- Unwanted sexual advances or propositions, such as:
- Requests for sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats concerning the target’s job performance evaluation, a promotion or other job benefits or detriments;
- Subtle or obvious pressure for unwelcome sexual activities.
- Sexually oriented gestures, noises, remarks or jokes, or comments about a person’s sexuality or sexual experience, which create a hostile work environment.
- Sex stereotyping occurs when conduct or personality traits are considered inappropriate simply because they may not conform to other people’s ideas or perceptions about how individuals of a particular sex should act or look.
- Sexual or discriminatory displays or publications anywhere in the workplace, such as:
- Displaying pictures, posters, calendars, graffiti, objects, promotional material, reading materials or other materials that are sexually demeaning or pornographic. This includes such sexual displays on workplace computers or cell phones and sharing such displays while in the workplace.
- Hostile actions taken against an individual because of that individual’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and the status of being transgender, such as:
- Interfering with, destroying or damaging a person’s workstation, tools or equipment, or otherwise interfering with the individual’s ability to perform the job;
- Sabotaging an individual’s work;
- Bullying, yelling, name-calling.
Who can be a target of sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment can occur between any individuals, regardless of their sex or gender. New York Law protects employees, paid or unpaid interns, and non-employees, including independent contractors, and those employed by companies contracting to provide services in the workplace. Harassers can be a superior, a subordinate, a coworker or anyone in the workplace including an independent contractor, contract worker, vendor, client, customer or visitor.
Where can sexual harassment occur?
Unlawful sexual harassment is not limited to the physical workplace itself. It can occur while employees are traveling for business or at employer sponsored events or parties. Calls, texts, emails, and social media usage by employees can constitute unlawful workplace harassment, even if they occur away from the workplace premises, on personal devices or during non-work hours.
Unlawful retaliation can be any action that could discourage a worker from coming forward to make or support a sexual harassment claim. Adverse action need not be job-related or occur in the workplace to constitute unlawful retaliation (e.g., threats of physical violence outside of work hours).
Such retaliation is unlawful under federal, state, and (where applicable) local law. The New York State Human Rights Law protects any individual who has engaged in “protected activity.” Protected activity occurs when a person has:
- made a complaint of sexual harassment, either internally or with any anti-discrimination agency;
- testified or assisted in a proceeding involving sexual harassment under the Human Rights Law or other anti-discrimination law;
- opposed sexual harassment by making a verbal or informal complaint to management, or by simply informing a supervisor or manager of harassment;
- reported that another employee has been sexually harassed; or
- encouraged a fellow employee to report harassment.
Even if the alleged harassment does not turn out to rise to the level of a violation of law, the individual is protected from retaliation if the person had a good faith belief that the practices were unlawful. However, the retaliation provision is not intended to protect persons making intentionally false charges of harassment.
Reporting Sexual Harassment
Preventing sexual harassment is everyone’s responsibility. The Town of North Harmony cannot prevent or remedy sexual harassment unless it knows about it. Any employee, paid or unpaid intern or non-employee who has been subjected to behavior that may constitute sexual harassment is encouraged to report such behavior to a supervisor, manager or to the Town Supervisor. Anyone who witnesses or becomes aware of potential instances of sexual harassment should report such behavior to a supervisor, manager or the Town Supervisor.
Reports of sexual harassment may be made verbally or in writing. A form for submission of a written complaint is attached to this Policy, and all employees are encouraged to use this complaint form. Employees who are reporting sexual harassment on behalf of other employees should use the complaint form and note that it is on another employee’s behalf.
Employees, paid or unpaid interns or non-employees who believe they have been a target of sexual harassment may also seek assistance in other available forums, as explained below in the section on Legal Protections.
All supervisors and managers who receive a complaint or information about suspected sexual harassment, observe what may be sexually harassing behavior or for any reason suspect that sexual harassment is occurring, are required to report such suspected sexual harassment to the Town Supervisor.
In addition to being subject to discipline if they engaged in sexually harassing conduct themselves, supervisors and managers will be subject to discipline for failing to report suspected sexual harassment or otherwise knowingly allowing sexual harassment to continue.
Supervisors and managers will also be subject to discipline for engaging in any retaliation.
Complaint and Investigation of Sexual Harassment
All complaints or information about sexual harassment will be investigated, whether that information was reported in verbal or written form. Investigations will be conducted in a timely manner and will be confidential to the extent possible.
An investigation of any complaint, information or knowledge of suspected sexual harassment will be prompt and thorough, commenced immediately and completed as soon as possible. The investigation will be kept confidential to the extent possible. All persons involved, including complainants, witnesses and alleged harassers will be accorded due process, as outlined below, to protect their rights to a fair and impartial investigation.
Any employee may be required to cooperate as needed in an investigation of suspected sexual harassment. North Harmony will not tolerate retaliation against employees who file complaints, support another’s complaint or participate in an investigation regarding a violation of this policy.
While the process may vary from case to case, investigations should be done in accordance with the following steps:
- Upon receipt of complaint, the Town Supervisor will conduct an immediate review of the allegations, and take any interim actions (e.g., instructing the respondent to refrain from communications with the complainant), as appropriate. If complaint is verbal, encourage the individual to complete the “Complaint Form” in writing. If he or she refuses, prepare a Complaint Form based on the verbal reporting.
- If documents, emails or phone records are relevant to the investigation, take steps to obtain and preserve them.
- Request and review all relevant documents, including all electronic communications.
- Interview all parties involved, including any relevant witnesses;
- Create a written documentation of the investigation (such as a letter, memo or email), which contains the following:
- A list of all documents reviewed, along with a detailed summary of relevant documents;
- A list of names of those interviewed, along with a detailed summary of their statements;
- A timeline of events;
- A summary of prior relevant incidents, reported or unreported; and
- The basis for the decision and final resolution of the complaint, together with any corrective action(s).
- Keep the written documentation and associated documents in a secure and confidential location.
- Promptly notify the individual who reported and the individual(s) about whom the complaint was made of the final determination and implement any corrective actions identified in the written document.
- Inform the individual who reported of the right to file a complaint or charge externally as outlined in the next section.
Legal Protections And External Remedies
Sexual harassment is not only prohibited by the Town of North Harmony but is also prohibited by state, federal, and, where applicable, local law.
Aside from the internal process at the Town of North Harmony, employees may also choose to pursue legal remedies with the following governmental entities. While a private attorney is not required to file a complaint with a governmental agency, you may seek the legal advice of an attorney.
In addition to those outlined below, employees in certain industries may have additional legal protections.
State Human Rights Law (HRL)
The Human Rights Law (HRL), codified as N.Y. Executive Law, art. 15, § 290 et seq., applies to all employers in New York State with regard to sexual harassment, and protects employees, paid or unpaid interns and non-employees, regardless of immigration status. A complaint alleging violation of the Human Rights Law may be filed either with the Division of Human Rights (DHR) or in New York State Supreme Court.
Complaints with DHR may be filed any time within one year of the harassment. If an individual did not file at DHR, they can sue directly in state court under the HRL, within three years of the alleged sexual harassment. An individual may not file with DHR if they have already filed a HRL complaint in state court.
Complaining internally to the Town Supervisor does not extend your time to file with DHR or in court. The one year or three years is counted from date of the most recent incident of harassment.
You do not need an attorney to file a complaint with DHR, and there is no cost to file with DHR.
DHR will investigate your complaint and determine whether there is probable cause to believe that sexual harassment has occurred. Probable cause cases are forwarded to a public hearing before an administrative law judge. If sexual harassment is found after a hearing, DHR has the power to award relief, which varies but may include requiring your employer to take action to stop the harassment, or redress the damage caused, including paying of monetary damages, attorney’s fees and civil fines.
DHR’s main office contact information is: NYS Division of Human Rights, One Fordham Plaza, Fourth Floor, Bronx, New York 10458. You may call (718) 741-8400 or visit: www.dhr.ny.gov.
Contact DHR at (888) 392-3644 or visit dhr.ny.gov/complaint for more information about filing a complaint. The website has a complaint form that can be downloaded, filled out, notarized and mailed to DHR. The website also contains contact information for DHR’s regional offices across New York State.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal anti-discrimination laws, including Title VII of the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act (codified as 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.). An individual can file a complaint with the EEOC anytime within 300 days from the harassment. There is no cost to file a complaint with the EEOC. The EEOC will investigate the complaint and determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe that discrimination has occurred, at which point the EEOC will issue a Right to Sue letter permitting the individual to file a complaint in federal court.
The EEOC does not hold hearings or award relief but may take other action including pursuing cases in federal court on behalf of complaining parties. Federal courts may award remedies if discrimination is found to have occurred. In general, private employers must have at least 15 employees to come within the jurisdiction of the EEOC.
An employee alleging discrimination at work can file a “Charge of Discrimination.” The EEOC has district, area, and field offices where complaints can be filed. Contact the EEOC by calling 1-800-669-4000 (TTY: 1-800-669-6820), visiting their website at www.eeoc.gov or via email at email@example.com.
If an individual filed an administrative complaint with DHR, DHR will file the complaint with the EEOC to preserve the right to proceed in federal court.
Many localities enforce laws protecting individuals from sexual harassment and discrimination. An individual should contact the county, city or town in which they live to find out if such a law exists. For example, employees who work in New York City may file complaints of sexual harassment with the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Contact their main office at Law Enforcement Bureau of the NYC Commission on Human Rights, 40 Rector Street, 10th Floor, New York, New York; call 311 or (212) 306-7450; or visit www.nyc.gov/html/cchr/html/home/home.shtml.
Contact the Local Police Department
If the harassment involves unwanted physical touching, coerced physical confinement or coerced sex acts, the conduct may constitute a crime. Contact the local police department.
BOARD OF ASSESSMENT REVIEW – Craig Gleason term expired 9/30/18 (resigned) –
APPOINT NANCY GLEASON TO BAR EFFECTIVE 10/1/18 – 9/30/23
- MOTION # 151 OF 2018
- MCNEILL MOTIONED TO APPOINT NANCY GLEASON TO THE BOARD OF ASSESSMENT REVIEW EFFECTIVE 10/1/2018 – 9/30/2023. MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (4): SENA, MCNEILL, SENSKE, STOW. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- NATIONAL GRID – NOTIFICATION OF COMPLETION OF STREET LIGHT AUDIT RESULTS
Mrs. Thomas said she had received notice of the audit completion and results as well as a billing inventory, Form SL2, and Schedule SL2, for both of the towns lighting districts. She said based on the lists that she received from the Grid when we were counting lights for the LED conversion, the numbers of lights do not match one of the districts (acct. #79109 shows 43 lights and conversion list shows 31).
She said they are requesting a signed acceptance of the audit results as well as a general release included in the letter which will form the basis of the towns inventory for billing purposes going forward. She said she would ask the board for a conditional motion on that until an agreement on the actual number of lights can be determined.
- MOTION # 152 OF 2018
- SENA MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE THE SUPERVISOR TO SIGN NATIONAL GRID STREET LIGHT AUDIT RESULTS AND THE GENERAL RELEASE FORM WITH THE FOLLOWING CONDITION: 1) RESOLUTION OF THE ACCURATE COUNT ON ACCT. 79109; AUDIT RESULTS SHOW 43 LIGHTS AND THE LED CONVERSION LIST SHOWS 31 LIGHTS. MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (4): SENA, MCNEILL, SENSKE, STOW. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- EMPLOYEE HEALTH INSURANCE – NEW BROKER NORTHWEST (KRYSTAL HULTBERG)
Mrs. Thomas said she had contacted Ms. Hultberg about 2019 health insurance options for the town. She said Ms. Hultberg had provided us with our current rates and the 2019 rates for the same plan and two additional options (Blue Cross Blue Shield and Univera). These rates were provided to the board prior to the meeting. She said our current Independent Health rates are going up substantially in 2019. She said Ms. Hultberg has already met with the office employees and plans to meet with the Highway employees on Friday 11/16/18, to present the options. Mrs. Thomas said the board needs to make its decision by 12/1/18 in order to take advantage of the open enrollment period.
There was lengthy discussion of the premiums, employee contributions and deductibles/HRA amounts.
Mr. Stow said a decision could be made by the board at the Employee Handbook meeting on 11/26/18.
ADOPT 2019 BUDGET
- MOTION # 153 OF 2018
- MCNEILL MOTIONED TO ADOPT THE 2019 BUDGET AS PRESENTED. MR. STOW SECONDED.
Mr. Senske said he had an issue with the Supervisor salary which was not discussed with the board prior to the present budget and felt it should go back down to the $8,000. He said he agreed to the Highway Superintendent increase based on discussion.
Mr. Stow said he felt that the Supervisor salary of $9,000 was needed as he will have extra duties and responsibilities related to the new building construction.
There was discussion that the town decided not to hire a clerk of the works for the project. The Supervisor was named in the contract as the contact person.
Mr. Sena said both Mr. Lawson and he have construction experience and will be keeping a close eye on the project.
Mr. Yates said the $1,000 did not matter to him and the town could remove it if it is a problem.
Mr. Senske said his concern was not the amount but the way it was handled.
A ROLL CALL VOTE WAS TAKEN. MCNEILL, YES; SENSKE, YES; STOW, YES; SENA, NO. THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
PIERRE CHAGNON, LEGISLATOR
Mr. Chagnon said he gave the following speech after unanimous adoption of amendments to the 2019 County Tentative Budget at the October Legislature meeting:
I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the hard work, creativity, and perseverance that went into the 2019 Budget. County Executive George Borrello presented us with an excellent Tentative Budget. Focusing on the theory of a bushel of pennies, the Tentative Budget was structurally balanced, with no use of undesignated reserves, and no change to the 2018 tax rate. Through the excellent support and cooperation of the Department Heads, Budget Director, and Finance staff the Legislature has been able to improve on that excellent Tentative Budget and reduce the Tax Rate. In particular, I want to recognize the dedication and creativity of the Department of Health and Human Services.
In the past five years we have eliminated the budget structural deficits, have drawn the County back from the brink of our reserves being fully depleted, and have reduced the County tax rate an absolutely unprecedented five years in a row. Total Appropriations in the 2019 Budget are 3.8% less than they were in the 2014 Budget. The Tax Levy in the 2019 Budget is 1.1% less than it was in the 2014 Budget. And the Tax Rate in the 2019 Budget is 8.4% less than it was in the 2014 Budget.
This has been accomplished through hard work, difficult decisions, and skillful implementations. These actions have allowed us to cut county spending, increase funding for our roads and bridges, and add new programs. All this while maintaining a prudent fund balance for the next several years that is compliant with the stipulations of our financial policy
We should be justifiably proud of these accomplishments. I am proud of the dedicated employees who work for the county who have made these accomplishments possible. I am proud of the leadership provided by the County Executive and his staff. And I am proud to be a colleague of the dedicated and hard-working men and women who serve on this Legislature.
KEVIN OKERLUND, ASSESSOR
Mr. Stow reviewed the written report from Mr. Okerlund. Changes to the STAR program this year will mean that all Enhanced STAR and Sr. Low Income Exemption applicants will need to fill out a form authorizing NYS to verify their income. This means they will no longer have to reapply each year as the state will verify their eligibility.
DAN STRICKLAND, HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT
Mr. Strickland said he had previously given the town copies of the agreements for the brine that was signed by Mr. Pickett in 1988. He said the agreement for the brine tanks at the shop is with Resource Energy and that includes all the equipment (pump, tanks). He said the agreement says the town can use 100,000 cubic ft. of gas per year in exchange for the brine storage use. He said we are not getting anywhere near the amount of brine we used to, and he is concerned that the DEC has not renewed the towns Beneficial Use Determination (BUD) permit to spread the brine. He said the DEC is now requiring that the town renew its permit every year and that a brine sample must pass their chemical testing processing. He said the towns brine hauler that brings the brine from Resource’s wells had a difficult time getting a sample to pass. He said now the towns are also going to have samples taken from their tanks which must pass the testing. He said Senator Young has been working to get this extended and the town can work off its current BUD permit until May 2019 (current permit is about 6 years old). Mr. Strickland said his concern is that we may not be able to continue to use brine and if that happens, what happens to our gas subsidy. He said Resource also has a new owner and he has not met him.
Mr. Stow asked that Mr. Strickland make sure that Mr. Stapleton gets copies of those agreements.
HOWARD PEACOCK, JUSTICE
Mr. Peacock read the following report into the record:
COURT REPORT FOR MONTH OF OCTOBER 2018
November 13, 2018 Board Meeting
$42,256.40 in fines, fees, and surcharges was collected by the Court and given to Town of North Harmony CFO for the court cases reported to the NYS Comptroller for October 2018. We opened 225 new cases and closed 271 cases.
BRAD LAWSON, ZONING C.E.O. (Copy of Report in Minute Book)
Mr. Lawson reviewed his report for those present. He said the trial held today regarding the helicopter was adjourned and more information is expected in that case. He said he had received another complaint about property in Loomis Bay.
NANCY THOMAS, TOWN CLERK (Copy of Report in Minute Book)
Mrs. Thomas said Southern Tier West (STW) is sponsoring a Records Management Grant in February 2019. She said she would like to have the town participate in the scanning project for minutes, vital statistics, payroll records, etc. She said STW will be sending a letter of intent for the town to complete sometime in the new year.
- MOTION # 154 OF 2018
- SENA MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE TOWN CLERKS REPORT AS PRESENTED. MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (4): SENA, MCNEILL, SENSKE, STOW. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
FRANK STOW, SUPERVISOR (Copy of Report in Minute Book)
- MOTION # 155 OF 2018
- SENA MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE SUPERVISORS REPORT AS SUBMITTED. MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (4): SENA, MCNEILL, SENSKE, STOW. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Mr. Sena said he has purchased the rope for the park at the Ferry and will install it in the spring
Mr. Stow asked about vandalism at Butts Park.
Mr. Sena said Mr. Stow had asked him to lock the gate at the park and he could not close the gate all the way because it was bent. He said he took the lock home and did some work on it and when he returned the next day someone had opened it and driven around and rutted it up.
Mr. Strickland said he plans to put some gravel in there and he will remove the cut trees later as they were covered with poison ivy.
Mr. Stow said we had a very nice aerial photo of the park taken and things are looking good.
Mr. Thomas said meetings have been going well for the committee. He said the next meeting will be the 1st Monday in January 2019. He said they continue to work on the book and Pam Brown’s help has been invaluable.
- MOTION # 156 OF 2018
- MCNEILL MOTIONED TO APPROVE THE GENERAL FUND VOUCHERS AS AUDITED AND REVIEWED EARLIER IN THE AMOUNT OF $26,324.20. MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (4): SENA, MCNEILL, SENSKE, STOW. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 157 OF 2018
- MCNEILL MOTIONED TO APPROVE THE HIGHWAY FUND VOUCHERS AS AUDITED AND REVIEWED EARLIER IN THE AMOUNT OF $21,163.79. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (4): SENA, MCNEILL, SENSKE, STOW. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
MOTION # 158 OF 2018
ON A MOTION MADE BY MR. SENA, SECONDED BY MR. MCNEILL, AND NONE BEING OPPOSED, THE MEETING WAS ADJOURNED AT 8:35 PM.