Tag: Town Supervisor Updates

Supervisor’s Statement 1.16.2020

Supervisor’s Statement 1.16.2020 Town Board Meeting

Besides Grant paperwork, contracts and budgets, I’ve been finalizing the Sewer feasibility Study RFP, the commensurate Survey , and the shared service for fuel purchase.

Wednesday Alice and I attended the Cybersecurity Summit at Marist College at the behest of County Executive Molinaro, in order to learn how vulnerable we are at the local government level. Key points which I want to emphasize to everyone who works here, and to the public at large who run businesses:

Cyber attack is the new larceny. The most common attacks are ransomeware sent as a virus to computers through the opening of innocent-looking emails, seemingly sent by someone you know, and game-playing on the web. Any computer that goes onto the web is vulnerable.

Just because a computer is not networked into the main workplace server does not mean it is safe: it is networked into the wifi system, which is vulnerable, and also the wiring contains what is known as SWITCHES which are vulnerable connections. Switches can be hacked. WIFI can be hacked. Emails that have been hacked can convey viruses to your computer. This is called spearfishing.

Your computer then becomes a conveyor of viruses itself. Yahoo, Hotmail and AOL are particularly vulnerable to hacking. State-connected systems—our tax collector, Town Clerk and Justice system—are not safe from this.

All employees of the Town of Pine Plains MUST be on our official DOT-GOV email account. This is for insurance purposes, and protects you, the employee, from having to pay for any hack that occurs on your computer. Please stop using your personal accounts, or email addresses not on our system. And remember, any account you do use for work purposes can be FOILED.

The new criminals have software that enables them to imitate people you know—your grandson, your best friend–with very precise and familiar language as well as the same email addresses you think only belong to the person. Vendors in particular are being hacked. It has become very sophisticated.

Even worse, an industry has risen around both ransomware—which is the seizing of information like bank accounts, with a ransom set by the criminal to the owner—and the insurance companies trying to protect us from it. The FBI Agent who spoke to us stressed that we not allow our insurance companies to pay the ransom, as that has created a steady income stream for the criminals. Hacking has increased because of this.

If a municipality or a business gets hacked, the destruction is at the infrastructure level. Our police/justice system/bookkeeping would go out until it is rebuilt. In addition, money could be pulled out of our accounts without us being aware of it.

As an example of what we are up against, Dana Smith, head of Emergency Management for the County, cited the fact that the County is what they call “poked” over 100,000 times per DAY by hackers. Per day.

Size does not matter: towns such as Colliersville, NY and Rockville Center have been hacked with money taken from their accounts, personal information taken and software kidnapped. Many small towns do not have access to their records 24/7, because Town Clerks don’t work at that level, so there is no way for us to monitor what is going on.

In addition, if we are hacked, by law we have to report the situation to everyone who is affected by it. This means all consumers, tax payers, etc.

How to prevent it:

  • Do NOT open Word document attachments or videos unless you are certain they are from someone you know.
  • Get on the town email system.
  • Strengthen passwords—use 2-part authentication if possible
  • Backup files offline
  • Shut off blue tooth on phones and laptops when moving them—hackers can get through via blue tooth

What to do if it happens:

  • Dial 844-OCT-CIRT and report it immediately; they will then report to the FBI, the State Troopers.
  • Call the FBI and State Troopers anyway
  • Report attack to ww.ip3.gov

Final word on this: There are no international borders in cyberspace. Numerous countries are hacking into the United States every second. Much of the information stolen is information you may not be aware is being taken. The most targeted technologies are:

  • Agriculture
  • Business
  • Personal Information
  • Health Insurance
  • Government
  • Electrical grid

Hackers have what is called “machine learning”. This means that they will attempt many times to hack into your system, not just once and give up. Their software is sophisticated and hits anyone. It learns on its own and comes back in different ways to hit a system. No one who uses a computer and the web for work is safe.

 

Dear Pine Plains 3.1.19

Dear Pine Plains,

 

Tomorrow is the All You Can Eat Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser for our own Bill “Homer” Hall, who is handling a serious illness. It’s at the Firehouse at 7 Lake Road from 5-8pm Adults are $15 and Kids under 10 are $5, and if you can’t be there, they will accept checks written to the Pine Plains Hose Company with FOR BILL HALL written in the memo. You can mail those in too, to PO Box 668, Pine Plains, NY 12567. Bill and his wife Rhea are terrific people and need our help.

 

This past week, I met with Dutchess Tourism, who asked me to bring together a passle of businesspeople for a meeting with them. We met at Brett and Josh’s Gallery and Goods, in the old Grange… I wanted to impress them with the beauty of that place as well as the energy and enthusiasm of Pine Plains’ businessfolk, and frankly, we succeeded handily. With lots of new ideas coming from this meeting, we at Town Hall will be adding some things to our website for visitors. Maps to our great trails and bike routes, a driving map for a Beverage Route, a Farm Store Route, etc. Ideas always welcome. One takeaway from this meeting was the fact that, if we are to attract visitors to Pine Plains, businesses have to step up their social media engagement as well as their capacity to deal with tourists. Working farms are a huge attraction in Dutchess County, but how many farmers can actually drop everything and give tours? If we can get together on this, perhaps we can come up with a solution. After all, We Are Pine Plains. That’s what we do.

 

Marti Steed has graciously offered to help us sell the Old Library building for no commission. This week, she showed the building 3 times, so interest is growing. Fingers crossed that we attract a new business and new folks who love who and what we are.

 

We also met with Hudson River Housing to begin talking about building affordable housing in Pine Plains. This is an awesome not-for-profit which also offers workshops on home maintenance, on buying homes, and on being landlords. Rental space is dear in Pine Plains, and the landlord class might inspire more people to rent to others, so look for them to come in the near future to hold these classes.

 

Central Hudson put up our LED lighting in record time! The workers were so excited by the project that they got it done in 4 days. (I think they just liked eating at our restaurants!) This will result in big savings for the town and people report liking the more focused light. The stars are still visible in Pine Plains.

 

And finally, we are hiring a planner! BFJ Planning will be helping us with our Comprehensive Plan Review in the coming months. You can look them up online at www.bfjplanning.com The Town Board is very excited.

 

The ice has been too soft to skate on, and the sidewalks too icy to walk on!

 

Stay upright, Pine Plains!

 

Darrah Cloud

State of the Town 2019

Established a TOWN EMAIL delivered most Fridays of the year; now have over 100 members on the list; all welcome to sign up on our new WEBSITE which we got up and running as well.

Passed Cold War Veterans Real Property Tax Law Exemption

Lease with Library

Began setting up the first of 3 forums with the Durst Organization with the result that they are re-designing the entire project as a passive solar healthy lifestyle resort/development. Project Manager Lisa Baker has been coming to town ever since, meeting with people at various locations to discuss their ideas. This will continue.  We are in touch with her on a weekly basis.

Became a Climate Smart Community. As part of this, we installed an EV Charging Station behind the bank as a way to draw people with elector cars—who are often healthy lifestyle folks—to visit our town. Because it takes a few hours to charge the cars, they stay and eat and shop. Drew attended Climate Smart Code Enforcement, and we approved LED lighting for the rest of our lights which will be a savings of about $6000/year in utility costs.

Passed our Trails Report which paves the way for zoning creation of trails

Passed a Deferred Compensation Plan for town employees and a short-term disability insurance program.

Saw the County repair our bridge on Route 83 and the State repair the west side of 199.

Bought tasers with a grant for PD and created Taser Policy; hired Michael Belliveau to the Town Police; and hired Kerry Yamashita as special prosecutor for our court. Her work has cleaned up the process for us and we are really lucky to have her. 

Water Dept dealt with numerous leaks and bad meters and saved town a lot of money. 

Wilson Endurance took over the Triathlon; very well run and they hope for a bigger turnout this year. Events like this are a part of our economic development.

PPMH is also a part of our economic development. Contrary to what some people believe, this is a 501c3 enterprise, not a profit-making organization, but a charitable one. It is a real gift to Pine Plains and something everyone can be a part of and contribute to either monetarily or with work. It will bring concert-goers and art lovers to town as well as music and art. 

Once again our Summer Camp was awesome, and the added middle school program was very successful. We re-paved the basketball court and added Pickleball to its capacity. We bought and installed an ice rink at the ball fields which is already very popular.  

We are trying to buy the Ruth Pulver House on the north side of the municipal parking lot, and await very slow response on this.

We made a deal with American Tower to lease our cell tower for the next 40 years. Helped add Dutchess Views Farm to the Land Conservancy and still have not sold the Old Library. We did shut it down this winter in order to save approximately $2400 in utility costs.

We created additional Town Board Workshop meetings every month, which have tackled highway department issues, solar law, etc.

We started a Town Clean-up Day to which Lenny Liberta donated the dumpsters. This was very successful and we plan to do it every year from now on. The brush pile was finally chipped up and townsfolk invited to take what they want for their gardens. 

A family of beavers was apprehended cutting the ropes at the beach. Due to the high cost of incarceration it was determined that they be transported to higher ground. 

New town signs were built and installed by Anthony Silvia for cost as an expression of his love for Pine Plains.

We passed resolutions to create Saturday hours for the Town Clerk—2nd and 4th from 10-12—come see Judy or she’ll be lonely—and to repair the beach septic system. 

We passed an updates sexual harassment policy and a new Investment Policy and invested our Fund Balance at a rate of over 2%, which could garner as much as $20,000 year revenue for the town. Bought a new Tractor for the Highways Dept. Invited a CAPE drug addiction counselor to town with the help of Gregg Pulver for funding.

Businesses have been sponsoring banners at the recreation fields.

Thanks to the following people for all their dedication to Pine Plains: outgoing Christi Acker, Nancy Proper, Bob Cordella, Kathy Rigano and Peter Salerno and incoming Ibis Guzman, Tricia Devine, Lori Patricola, Sandy Koch and Lynda Wisdo. Jim Mara will step down as chair of our assessors to be replaced by Rich Diaz. Our gratitude to both men.

Thank you go to Anthony Silvia for our beautiful new town signs;

to George McGhee for re-painting our historic signs; 

to Lenny Liberta for all his help with Town Clean-up Day; Vinnie Parliman and Mike Coons for their help that day as well, and everyone who brought their junk to the dumpsters; 

to Dennis Williams for maintaining our town clock after the death of Greg McEldowney; 

and to our fire department for their dedication to our citizens in need, our highway department ditto, our police department, all our volunteers and board members for your energy and wisdom: you keep Pine Plains running well and happily and make it the wonderful place that it is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highlights of the June 21 TB Meeting

POP-UP ARTISAN MARKET: June 30TH 11-5PM at the Old Library on Main Street. Music in the Gazebo and talented craftspeople.

COMP PLAN: We have received a Greenway Grant to review our Comprehensive Plan and update it! We will be convening meetings with all the stakeholders and departments in town to create a brief survey to be sent out to the community. Stay tuned!

DURST: The Durst Corporation will be returning to town September 17th for a meeting with the Town and Planning Boards.

OLD LIBRARY: The Old Library is officially FOR SALE. Pick up a form to make a bid at Town Hall. As this is an RFP, the bids are very specific in their requirements. Invest in Pine Plains and a great old building in a key location downtown.

MORE RESOLUTIONS: We passed our Taser Policy and our extended agreement with American Tower for our cell tower.

SOLAR LAW: If you are interested in being a part of the committee to review and revise a Solar Law for Pine Plains, please write supervisor@pineplains-ny.gov

BOB COUSE TOWN CLEAN-UP DAY: September 8th, 2018 7:30am to 3pm Residents Only! Monitors will be on hand. Tires will be accepted for around $3/per tire, up to pick-up truck size; appliances will be accepted for a $15 fee if they contain Freon; latex paints need to be dried (poured onto kitty litter); no hazardous waste or electronics. Specifics will be posted closer to the date! Get rid of all those tires in your yard!

BEACH: It’s open every day with lifeguards! We continue to work on it, and have the septic field repair out for bids.

GRANT WRITERS: If you’d like to help the town seek money for repairs, dreams,  and improvements, please write or visit Supervisor Cloud!

AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE: We are looking for a Few Good Folks to be on the Committee–they will play an integral role also in our Solar Law. Contact Town Hall.

Enjoy the summer! Bike the Lakes! Hike the mountains! Bring dinner down to the beach and meet your neighbors!

 

Highlights of the 5.17.18 Town Board Meeting!

This month it was announced that Governor Cuomo would allot extra money for roads, and he included 2.6 miles of Route 199 coming into Pine Plains via the help of Legislator Didi Barrett. We are the only town in Dutchess County to receive this extra money.

We began work on a solar law, are tweaking our Taser Law, finished our new Trails Zoning law and put that into the books. We are also confirming an Investment Policy so that we can wisely and safely put our reserves to work more. September 8th will be Bob Couse Town Clean-up Day, so named for the person who suggested it at a meeting. We are working on what we can offer to people for free and for a nominal fee, but Lenny Liberta will be donating the dumpsters and driver. The Town will only have to pay for tipping fees. We are grateful to both men for their help. At the very least. we plan to offer a tire recycler for a small fee (probably around $3/tire) and eyeglass donation boxes provided by the Lions Club.

The Old Library is For Sale by RFP. Anyone interested can contact the Supervisor’s office at 518-398-8600.

Our Town Emergency Plan is being worked on by Rich Prentice, who will be meeting with all the parties involved: schools, Fire Department, Police and Highway, to get their feedback and participation in the cooperative plan.

The Community Garden is underway at Town Hall. Volunteers needed! Sandy Towers is leading the way with assistance from Suzanne Ouellette and Dave Humeston. Come help and reap the benefits of growing good fresh food you can harvest and eat, or give to those who can’t. The group can always be found in the garden on Saturdays!

Supervisor Cloud has applied for a Greenway Grant to review and revise our Comprehensive Plan. If we receive it, townspeople will be invited to participate in numerous forums to think more about the future here and who we are as a Town and what we want to see. Our original document is beautiful and enduring. We will update what has already been accomplished and look at it with an eye towards zoning for economic development.

The Carvel Development Project continues to be addressed via meetings with their liaison, and with potential planners to advise us, and meetings the Dursts are conducting with the Winnakee Land Trust, the Dutchess Land Conservancy and Scenic Hudson.

We are astounded by the wealth of wonderful people who help Pine Plains remain the beautiful place it is without fanfare or reward. We are looking for ways to honor them for their service.

Highlights from Town Meeting 4.19.18

We had a long, productive meeting on April 19th, 2018. Highlights include the hiring of Kerri Yamashita as a Special Prosecutor for our court, the passing of a decision to provide Disability benefits to employees contingent on further study as regards the category of employee for this (years of service, for instance, or full versus part-time), the hiring of Kyle Gillis as Beach Director, and the Highway Departments plans for fixing roads this summer. We passed an Arbor Day Resolution and welcomed Mark Wilson to town as new head of our Triathlon (June 30th! AND to include a children’s race and later start times!) Mark runs Triathlons for a living and feels confident he can bring more and more people to ours as he builds our reputation as a beautiful place to race. Bob Couse suggested a Town Cleanup Day. We will be looking into how to do this. The Town Board is currently interviewing Planners for help in going forward on the Carvel Development Project. We hope to meet with Durst representative, Yale professor Alex Felson, this coming Monday in a series of meetings all day.

We are also selling the Old Library. If you are interested in this lovely-but-in-need-of-renovation old building on prime Pine Plains real estate, please send an email of interest to supervisor@pineplains-ny.gov as we are preparing an RFP for the sale. I neglected to mention at the meeting that Sandy Towers is starting to work on the Community Garden once again out here at Town Hall. She really would love to have some help this year, and can be reached at 845-514-5550. The food harvested here is taken to our own Food Pantry once a month, but Sandy is open to new ideas for the distribution, since once things begin to grow there is A LOT of food available to families. Students are welcome to come help and bring food home. April Stark, a teacher at Seymour Smith, has brought her students to help plant, and Town Justice Dave Humeston is a regular volunteer. Join them! Call Sandy to give her your ideas! Many of you may not know that the Town has a vibrant Seniors Program, with trips and events provided free and for a nominal fee. This past Friday, we all went down to the Westchester Musical Theatre, had lunch and saw a fabulous production of Sister Act. Kathy Rigano, Town Secretary, and Ray Christiansen are to be commended for booking these excellent adventures and taking care of everyone who goes. Even the bus ride was wonderful—it was a chance for friends to catch up with each other, to meet new people, and to see the countryside from higher up than a carwindow. As per usual, I sighed with relief as we crossed into Dutchess County, grateful to be living in such a beautiful place.

Town Supervisor Update

Intro to your new Town Supervisor! 

Darrah Cloud holds a BA from Goddard College and MFAs from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. She has been a business owner in Stanfordville and Pine Plains since 1997, and helped revive the Pine Plains Business Association.  She is a Professor of Creative Writing at Goddard College and has taught at Vassar, Fordham, Wesleyan, and SUNY Albany as well. Cloud states: “When I was five my mother took me to my first play: it was the musical, Oliver! I never recovered. While other kids were memorizing Jimmy Hendrix riffs and Janis Ian lyrics, I was memorizing The Boyfriend, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Oklahoma. But if you know me, you know that I look nothing like a chorus girl, let alone a Broadway star. Plus I couldn’t sing. But that didn’t stop me: I became a playwright. What has this got to do with being Town Supervisor of Pine Plains? Everything. A lifetime of creating plotlines, tracking continuity, handling vivid characters and facing enormous obstacles with a too-small sword and a tiny platoon of underfunded crazy, valiant, and brave techies, prepared me well for taking office. It turns out that the diverse, creative, collaborative world of the theater is the perfect training ground for public service. (Take note, kids in the chorus of the Will Rogers Follies!) Our door is open down at Town Hall for those with energy to help the town attract new businesses and people who work hard, love mountains and lakes, want to send their kids to great schools, want to get involved in their community rather than sit at home… and love theater! Stop by. Attend a Town Board meeting. Get to know the people you elected to help keep the town running. Play a part in Pine Plains!”