Power in Numbers: Second Port Common Council Meeting

PORT JERVIS, N.Y. — Of words disyllabic and greater used in repetition at the Monday, Jan. 22, Common Council meeting,  petition was the word on the mouths of many.

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The meeting started off to a great start with a reflection on the last meeting when the first local law of the year was passed.

The wrong local law.

The Trade Shops Law while requiring no remaining work in committee was originally preceded by a Sandwich Boards law. The latter still required committee attention. Therefore, it was a happy mistake remedied with a vote to pass the same first local law.

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This followed quickly with a Public Comment period of five minutes per person. A line had surely formed in the minds of those residents that were speaking. There were many present with something to present, namely petitions.

As many residents and councilpeople had expected, the methadone clinic debate was taken to the podium. However, before sides were presented, Kurt Daniels asked for more information regarding what the Mayor knew about the impending clinic.  From there Denise Conklin Billman presented her case for it and then William Mann and another, against it.

[Article on the subject, forthcoming.]

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After the methadone clinic section of the Public Comment line, Jill Lindner delivered her experience of canvassing the Fourth Ward in support of her idea for a community garden. Her petition garnered 52 signatures and volunteers. After she had finished it was back to business as usual without comments from the Council regarding the community garden plan.

[Here’s the full story behind the petition.]

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Highlights

  1. A “pre-audit” will be underway starting January 23.
  2. The Tri-State Bridge project is almost completely funded, with only another $7-8 million needed to be raised.
  3. County Shared Services update will be this next Common Council meeting.
  4. 15 Second Street, similar to the firehouse had to be demolished and have asbestos removed.
  5. A Resolution for funding of travel costs Incurred by the City Assessor as they commute for education
  6. There was a Longevity Calculation error in the Police Benevolence Association (PBA) contracts.
  7. A Resolution to sell surplus firehouse equipment was passed.
  8. Approved the Waiving of Education Fees to certify a Department of Public Works employee.
  9. Approved the removal of trees along Main Street in accordance with the New York State Department of Transportation Roadways Expansion program.
  10. Christmas Trees will cease to be picked up by Department of Public Works after this week.
  11. Mayor Kelly Decker made quite a few appointments to committees, the full list will be updated in a separate article and linked here, after appointments are approved.cropped-1cd0e-22637633_137440200232384_6089219884250562560_n.jpg
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Port: 2018’s First Common Council Meeting

 PORT JERVIS, N.Y.— Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall at 20 Hammond St, regular Common Council meeting hours began again for the new year.

A familiar face returned: Dominick Santini IV. The Port Jervis Republican who ran in 2017 for the First Ward replaced the city’s resigned predecessor, Sarah Hendry whose comments on leaving can be found here.


“I too would like to welcome my new partner in crime.” 

Regis Foster

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Save-a-Lot and nail salon are both coming
to the strip mall by Burger King and Rite Aid,
by Mar. 31 of this year.

Kelly Decker

After the youth report, a short discussion about dog parks in the city, the “Great American” building’s progress report and the Christkindlmarket discourse between Mayor Kelly Decker and a resident, public comment concluded with a reading of a seven-minute open letter to the city, elected officials, and most of all, the Fourth Ward.

2017 Fourth Ward candidate for Common Council and local activist Jill Lindner read the letter during her time at the podium for public comment. In her piece, she outlined the benefits and importance of a community-owned garden that not only revitalizes the aesthetic of a neighborhood but would educate and feed neighbors, making an area taken off the tax rolls worthwhile in doing so. You can read the full letter here, courtesy of Ms. Lindner and BriennaParsons.com.

What can’t be read in Lindner’s letter, yet she spoke of at the meeting, was that residents of the Fourth Ward who she had spoken to about the idea, were in support of not allowing the Salvation Army to simply purchase the plot and remove it from the tax rolls. Lindner also said that the North Street community garden in the Fourth Ward, that Siegel had suggested later in the meeting was slated for clearing, to make room for the Waterpark Project, and that the garden idea had been receiving a negative spin from the representative since her meeting with Decker and Lisa Randazzo, urging her to consider the Front and Seward cross street corner property which is planned to be demolished.


“Not sure that site would be in the best interest of anybody.”

Stanley Siegel

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Following the outset of the meeting with public comment, minutes were approved and the council jumped right into committee reports. Beginning with Siegel and following to pay the bills ($296,913.29) with the Third Ward’s very own Finance and Insurance Liaison, Kristin Trovei concluding with numerous. resolutions of gov housekeeping.

  1. Designating Officers
  2. Newspapers, Radio & Television — The Times Herald-Record is where official documents will be publicly published.
  3. Banking and Depositories
  4. Standard Workday and Reporting for Retirement Benefits
  5. Dual Signature Requirement for Disbursements
  6. Community Development Agency Shared Service

Full resolution documents or details
should be made available through the city website.

Of notable news, Christmas tree pickup is continuing, parking is still blocked from streets until Apr. 1, as well as the Department of Public Works pickup calendar — should similarly be made available through the city website. Additionally approved during the report by George Belcher, councilman for the Second Ward, were the project resolutions for the bridge over the Neversink River and roadway to the city line. A multi-million-dollar cross-funded project to re-engineer the highly trafficked street.

Regis Foster, a councilman for the First Ward, reported for the Police Committee and rattled off several impressive policing statistics.

Mayor Decker moreover updated the council on an upcoming Deerpark-Port Jervis Annexation meeting. “The old Dick’s Concrete” location is to be annexed by the city. This meeting will certainly be covered by this journalist. 

The State of the City Address
is set to be held
in the Council Chambers,
January 24

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Afterword a section called old business was held, in it, many condolences were expressed to Councilman-at-Large, David Bavoso. His family is in a period of bereavement. Many “well wishes” came from roughly everyone.


Port Jervis is “a community
and there’s always something to rally around.”

David Bavoso

Besides in old business, Fourth Ward Common Council representative Stanley Siegel, regarding the award ceremony for the Patriot Pen, Voice of Democracy contest at the VFW Naval Ship said that it was “really great,” with youth speaking about democracy, “to listen to their vision of America.” Port Jervis not only has been hosting the event since 1970 but the venue is the only one like it in the country confirmed by Decker and Siegel.

Siegel ended his OB segment with a note on local activism. On Saturday, “two dozen” people met to protest for an accessible train station, with Siegel calling on Senator Chuck Schumer directly to no avail. He also had a note an upcoming taxpayer’s group with details coming in the following days, and an update on the warming station which needs volunteers and supplies.


This journalist is also a recognized Voice of Democracy, receiving commemoration for her Patriot Pen January 17, 2010.

Fun Fact About the Author

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