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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 19, 2012

Berne salutes those who have served, welcomes new town board members

BERNE — When the town held its re-organizational meeting last Wednesday, it swore into office two new town board members, one of whom is the first Republican to join the board in over two decades. This was followed by the board’s regular monthly meeting.

GOP candidate Bonnie Conklin and Democrat Karen Schimmer were elected this fall to replace retiring councilmen Peter Vance and James Hamilton. Vance is currently serving as supervisor while the town looks for a replacement for George Gebe, who retired this fall for reasons relating to his family, just shy of being halfway through his first four-year term. The board has scheduled a meeting to appoint a new supervisor for Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 7:30 at Town Hall. Candidates to be interviewed before then include former Supervisor Kevin Crosier; Planning Board Chairman Gerard Chartier; and planning board member Timothy Lippert.

Hamilton, having lost his wife last year, and wanting to spend more time with his family, decided to retire at the end of his second four-year term, which expired on Dec. 31.

At the re-organizational meeting, Gebe and Hamilton were each presented, by Town Clerk Patricia Favreau, with certificates honoring their service to the town.

Resolutions were read aloud by the Favreau, in appreciation of their work to preserve and enhance the character of their town, and the quality of life for town residents.

Hamilton was thanked for “his diligence and leadership in founding and directing, for many years, the very successful annual Fox Creek 5K Race, and as the town board’s liaison to the town conservation board and the town senior citizens, as well as the town’s youth council, and the board’s representative on the comprehensive plan review committee.”

Hamilton, Favreau said, served the town with “a quiet firmness, deep integrity, unquestionable honesty, and tireless dedication to the Berne community, and particularly to the town’s youth.”

Audience members applauded Hamilton as he took his seat among them, and Favreau asked Gebe to come to the front of the room. She thanked him for his leadership in updating the town’s emergency management practices, particularly relating to his handling of the snowstorm in early 2010, which dropped five feet of snow in five days, and of the flooding this summer caused by Tropical Storm Irene.

Gebe said of emergency calls during the snowstorm, “We had 21 calls during that snowstorm; we normally have 25 for the month.”

He applauded the work of the highway department, particularly Highway Superintendent Kenneth Weaver, during his time as supervisor.

Favreau also thanked Gebe for leading the town in purchasing St. Bernadette’s Church, which recently closed, and will soon be converted into the new Berne Public Library.

“I appreciate Peter for jumping in,” Gebe said of Vance, “and the rest of the board.”

Boards, committees, and appointments

Elected and appointed officials are as follows. Appointments last through the end of 2012, unless otherwise noted:

Deputy Supervisor: Joseph Golden;

Marriage Officer, Registrar, and Deputy Tax Collector: Patricia M. Favreau;

Attorney to the Town: William J. Conboy II;

Zoning Administrator and Code Enforcement: Officer Joseph Whipple;

Dog Control Officer: Cheryl-Tefts Baitsholts;

Dog Enumerator: Jeffrey Alexander;

Chairman of Assessors: Brian Crawford;

Deputy Town Clerk and Deputy Registrar: Anita Clayton;

Second Deputy Tax Collector: Frances O’Malley;

Bookkeeper: Andrea Borst;

Court Clerk and Highway Clerk: Patricia Boice;

Secretary to Planning Board & Zoning Board of Appeals: Anita Clayton;

Historian: Ralph Miller; and

Custodian: Kathy Stempel.

Town Board: Peter Vance (acting supervisor, term ends Dec. 31, 2013), Joseph Golden (deputy supervisor, Dec. 31, 2013), Wayne Emory (Dec. 31, 2013), James Hamilton (Dec. 31, 2011), and Peter Vance (Dec. 31, 2011);

Planning Board: Gerard Chartier (chairman, term expires Dec. 31, 2015); Katherine Hill Brown (term expires Dec. 31, 2016); Tim Lippert (term expires Dec. 31, 2012); Alan Rockmore (term expires Dec. 31, 2013); and Michael Vincent (term expires Dec. 31, 2014);

Zoning Board of Appeals: James Fallon (chairman, term expires Dec. 31, 2012); Terry Adams (term expires Dec. 31, 2016); John Carsten (term expires Dec. 31, 2013); Ronald Jordan (term expires Dec. 31, 2014); and George Christian (term expires Dec. 31, 2015);

Board of Assessment Review: Emily Wright (chairwoman, term expires Dec. 31, 2016); Philip Stevens (term expires Dec. 31, 2012); Debra Flagler-Williams (term expires Dec. 31, 2013); Robert Conklin (term expires Dec. 31, 2014); and Wilma Warner (term expires Dec. 31, 2015);

Conservation Board: Randy Grippen (chairman, term expires Dec. 31, 2013) Kathy Moore (term expires Dec. 31, 2013); Jon Kusler (term expires Dec. 31, 2013); Tom Conklin (term expires Dec. 31, 2012); and Nancy Engel (term expires Dec. 31, 2012);

Youth Council: Kathleen Stempel (term expires Dec. 31, 2013); Stephanie Scram (term expires Dec. 31, 2013); Susan Larrabee (term expires Dec. 31, 2012); and there are two vacancies on the Youth Council, both of which expire in 2012; and

Library Board: Mary Kinnard (term expires Dec. 31, 2016); Joyce Besha (term expires Dec. 31, 2012); Marion Burkhardt (term expires Dec. 31, 2012); Joel Willsey (term expires Dec. 31, 2013); Joan Mullen (term expires Dec. 31, 2013); Nancy Lendrum (term expires Dec. 31, 2014); and Marsha Descartes (term expires Dec. 31, 2015).

— By Zach Simeone

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