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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, August 13, 2009

Stevens appointed to Westerlo Planning Board

By Zach Simeone

WESTERLO — Edward “Ned” Stevens, a Westerlo resident who has been vocal at town board meetings, was sworn in last week to his new position on the town’s planning board.

The planning board has been charged by the town board with developing Westerlo’s first comprehensive land-use plan. The town board had dissolved an earlier planning board, following complaints from developers that the review process was too cumbersome.

The planning board has been in flux since last year, when former chairman, Leonard Laub, was removed from the board because of disagreements over civil service papers, and current town Councilman Jack Milner left soon after. Andrew Brick served as planning board chairman until the opportunity to serve as town judge presented itself, and planning board member Tony Sherman stepped in as the new chairman.

At the Aug. 4 meeting, one resident asked each town board member to reveal his choice for the new planning board member.

Supervisor Richard Rapp said that he had voted for Michael Sikule, husband of Berne-Knox-Westerlo Board of Education member Maureen Sikule.

“I’ve known Mike a long time,” Rapp told The Enterprise this week. “He works for the New York State Throughway [Authority], and I just thought he would do a good job.”

Councilman Jack Milner said he felt that Pamela Sweeney, a farmer in Westerlo, was the right choice for the planning board.

Councilmen Edward Rash, R. Gregory Zeh, and Robert Snyder voted for Stevens.

“Well, he was one of the first to apply for it originally,” Rash said this week. “He shows up at both planning board and town board meetings, and, when he contributes something, it’s not just a complaint, and he’s willing to listen.”

Also, because Stevens is from Dormansville, and the other members are either from the hamlet of Westerlo or South Westerlo, he will add a third dimension to the planning board, said Rash.

“We’ve got a good selection of people now from the area, and from different ages, and different walks of life,” Rash said. “He lives on a heavily trafficked road — one that will probably be affected by zoning, and he’s in the far eastern end of town in Dormansville, and we don’t have too much representation from there. All these little things add up.”

Snyder agreed with Rash’s sentiment.

“The other people were good, but if they really want to get in, they’ve got to come to more meetings and know what’s going on with the planning board meetings and stuff,” Snyder said this week.

Zeh also said at the meeting that Stevens’s presence at meetings made him an attractive candidate.

Stevens did not return calls from The Enterprise.

Other business

In other business at its Aug. 4 meeting, the town board:

— Approved the long-discussed proposal for shared bus services with Rensselaerville. [For full coverage of the shared-services agreement between Westerlo and Rensselaerville, go to www.altamontenterprise.com, under archives for June 18, 2009];

— Scheduled the next water district workshop for Aug. 27 at 7:30 p.m.;

— Decided against sharing the town’s garbage truck with Rensselaerville; and

— Agreed to apply for grant money from the Department of Homeland Security to cover the cost of security cameras for the various water-district facilities, including the pump house, the filtration plant, and the meter station.

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