Yates town supervisor again declines pay for 2017, prepares for busy year

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 January 2017 at 1:40 pm
Jim Simon

Jim Simon

YATES – Town Supervisor Jim Simon is again declining any pay for his role in leading the Yates town government.

Simon took office on Jan. 1, 2016 after being elected in a write-in campaign against incumbent John Belson. Simon declined the $8,000 salary for the position in 2016 and is also refusing any pay this year. Simon also said no to $1,500 for his work as budget officer.

Simon, who works as dean of the GCC campus centers in Albion and Medina, sees a busy year in 2017.

The town expects to open construction bids in the spring for an extension of the town-wide water district. The project for Ward and Goodwin roads covers the last stretch of Yates without public waterlines.

The project will serve 12 residences east of the Village of Lyndonville. Ward and Goodwin are between Alps and Platten roads, and west of the Ashwood hamlet.

Simon said the project could cost $500,000 in “a worst-case scenario.” Yates has $100,000 set aside in a water district reserve. The town plans to borrow the remaining costs in a low-interest loan.

Simon was elected in November 2015 on a platform against the large wind turbines proposed by Apex Clean Energy. Apex continues to work on the application.

Simon has been picked to serve on the Renewables on the Ground Roundtable, which next meets in Albany on Jan. 27. That group includes representatives from government, energy companies, agriculture, environmental groups and other business leaders. The group was formed to make recommendations to the state which has set a goal of getting 50 percent of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030. Meeting that goal would likely require a rapid build-out of solar and wind power across New York.

Simon said he brings a voice that “home rule” should be preserved, that communities should have a say in their own land use.

“Shouldn’t a community decide for itself how to build a sustainable future?” Simon said on Thursday, following the Town Board’s annual organizational meeting.

Simon also has been picked to serve as chairman of the Western Orleans Comprehensive Plan Committee. That group includes representatives from the towns of Shelby, Ridgeway and Yates, as well as the villages of Lyndonville and Medina.

The group will next be meeting at 7 p.m. on Jan. 18 at the Shelby Town Hall. It is planning to send a survey to about 6,000 residents in western Orleans soon to get their opinions on land use, opportunities and concerns for the community.

The local governments will work to update zoning laws and maps for the community to guide desired development. The western Orleans comprehensive plan was last updated in 2001.

The Town Board approved several appointments during Thursday’s organizational meeting, including:

Webster, Schubel & Meier of Medina for legal services at $7,500 for the year; Dan Wolfe as fire and building code officer, and also as zoning enforcement officer; Patricia Laszewski as assessor; Lynne Johnson as town bookkeeper and water bookkeeper;

Dawn Metty as Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board clerk; Gary Daum as ZBA chairman; Don Melfi and Jim Taylor as ZBA members; Roger Wolfe as water district superintendent and cemetery superintendent; Wes Bradley as youth agency representative; Michelle Harling as registrar of vital statistics; Dawn Metty as deputy registrar;

John Donald as dog control officer; John Riggi as deputy town supervisor; Dawn Metty as town historian and deputy town clerk; David Hydock as deputy highway superintendent; Susanne Sanderson as court clerk; Eric Harling as court bailiff;

M & T Bank and the Bank of Castile as official depositories for the town;

The Daily News of Batavia as official newspaper to publish the town’s legal notices, and Lake Country Pennysaver in Albion and Orleans Hub in Albion to carry additional advertising.

The Town Board also set the following as salaries and wages for 2016:

Highway superintendent at $64,180; Town clerk, $43,286; Supervisor bookkeeper at $14,700; Water superintendent at $13,658; Town justice at $8,500 for the year; Cemetery superintendent, $5,330; Town Board members, four at $3,259.75 each; Water bookkeeper at $3,100; Deputy highway superintendent, $2,550; Historian, $600; and Town supervisor at $0.

The hourly rates include: Highway motor equipment operator, $24.00; Code enforcement and zoning officer, $21.96; Court clerk, $15.19; and deputy clerk, $11.75.

The mileage reimbursement for town officers and employees using their personal vehicles was set at 53.5 cents per mile.

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