February 28, 2013
Supervisors and Mayors of Watershed Towns and Villages
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:
The time is approaching for the biennial election of members of the Coalition of Watershed Towns’ Executive Committee. This letter starts the process by soliciting nominations for the election. This year the Coalition is entering into a period of transition. Dennis Lucas, Sr., who has served for many years as the Chairman of the Coalition’s Executive Committee will be stepping down as he chose not to seek re-election as the Town of Hunter Supervisor. Dennis has served with great distinction, dedicating many hours to serving the needs of the watershed communities. His leadership and institutional knowledge will be greatly missed. This year also marked the passing of Executive Committee Member Henry Rank from the Town of Olive. Henry’s contributions and service to the Coalition have been missed. As a result, regardless of the outcome of this year’s election, the Coalition is facing some changes.
Over the past several years the Coalition has been active in negotiating changes to various aspects of New York City’s watershed protection program, including the 2010 Water Supply Permit which, among other accomplishments, fine-tuned the criteria by which New York City could buy land in the Catskills, established a pilot Riparian Buffer Program and improved the program by which disputes on the taxation of City-owned land are resolved. Currently the Coalition is helping to develop a Flood Hazard Mitigation Program which is intended to coordinate and maximize federal, state, city and local resources to mitigate the impacts from major flood events like Tropical Storm Irene while protecting our local communities.
Looking forward, the Coalition will continue in those efforts, will always be vigilant in protecting the interests of the watershed communities and help resolve disputes with New York City when they arise over watershed protection efforts. The Coalition will also look at opportunities to be proactive on initiatives that can benefit our communities and will work with local agencies in developing those initiatives. Besides the Flood Hazard Mitigation Program, such initiatives have included promoting changes in regulations that have facilitated recreational use of the City’s land and reservoirs.
Since its formation in 1991, the Coalition has drawn its strength from the high quality of its Executive Committee members who have represented the diversity that reflects the variety of the watershed municipalities. Executive Committee members bring their own expertise and understanding of their constituents’ views to help frame the Coalition’s policies and have enabled the Coalition’s success and its respect as the representative body for all of the West of Hudson Watershed. As you consider nominations for the Executive Committee please keep that history in mind and consider the expertise of prospective nominees and the commitment of time that could be required. The Coalition meets monthly in Margaretville, on the third Monday of every month, and there is an occasional need for additional meetings of the Executive Committee and meetings with watershed stakeholders to negotiate new programs.
Enclosed please find a Nomination Form for the Executive Committee. All seats are for two-year terms. Delaware County will elect three members. Greene and Ulster Counties will each elect two members and Schoharie and Sullivan will each elect one member. Each Executive Committee seat will have one corresponding alternate seat up for election.
In accordance with the Coalition’s Municipal Cooperation Agreement, each member of the Coalition can nominate persons for the election to the Executive Committee. Nominees must be publicly elected officials and must reside within a Town or Village which is a member of the Coalition. The enclosed Nomination Form is specific for your County. Please nominate candidates for the regular and alternate seats.
Nomination forms must be received by Monday, April 1, 2013. Forms may be sent by mail or fax, but must be received by the end of business on April 1, 2013. Nomination forms shall be sent to the offices of the Coalition’s attorneys at the following address:
Five Palisades Drive
Albany, New York 12205
Attn: Jeffrey S. Baker
Ph. (518) 438-9907 ext. 227
Fax (518) 438-9914
This is not a ballot. If you do not wish to nominate someone or know that the person has or will be nominated by another member, you do not need to return this form. All eligible persons, who are nominated will appear on the ballot. It is anticipated that the ballots will be mailed on or about April 15, 2013 and will be due June 3, 2013.
Thank you for your courtesy and cooperation. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Coalition Administrative Assistant, Michelle Yost, at the above number or myself at 518-438-9907 ext. 227.
Very truly yours,
Jeffrey S. Baker
Counsel to the Coalition of Watershed Towns