Noah Zweifel

Following an inquiry from The Enterprise, New York State’s Committee on Open Government has issued an opinion that the Berne Town Board has been calling for executive sessions under inappropriate pretenses.

A Black Lives Matter rally planned by Berne resident Laurie Searl has drawn strong criticism on Facebook, leaving some would-be attendants worried about a counter-protest that could turn violent, as has happened both locally and across the country.

The New York State Department of Health has set maximum levels for three emerging drinking-water contaminants: perfluorooctanoic acid, perfluorooctane sulfonate, and 1,4-dioxane.

A state audit has revealed that Knox Town Clerk Traci Schanz failed to deposit more than 300 fee collections within the legally required timeframes and made reporting errors that left the town with an unremitted cash balance of more than $3,000, according to a report from the Office of the New York State Comptroller. Schanz said she is grateful for what she learned from the audit and new procedures have been put in place.

Berne-Knox-Westerlo has published its reopening plan on its website. Governor Andrew Cuomo will determine the first week of August whether schools will reopen statewide. 

Berne’s town attorney Javid Afzali informed the town board at its July 22 meeting that the controversial Switzkill Farm property may have been acquired illegally because the 2014 town board did not allow for a permissive referendum following the purchase authorization. Then-supervisor Kevin Crosier tells The Enterprise that no referendum was required.

Michelle Hinchey

Michelle Hinchey, the Democratic candidate for the State Senate’s 46th District, paid for the lawyer of Hébert Joseph, chairman of the Rensselaerville Democratic Party, who submitted a challenge against Democrat Gary Greenberg’s nominating petition, which resulted in Greenberg’s removal from the primary ballot. Hinchey had distanced herself from Joseph’s challenge when asked about it by The Enterprise in March. 

The Berne Town Board voted, with the needed majority of 3, to formalize the town’s planning board, which Councilman Mathew Harris said in May was illegitimate. 

Rensselaerville resident Sarah Gordon is calling on local businesses to take a stand against racism by pledging — on a public, digital spreadsheet — to call out racist behavior that occurs on professional property and to denounce the slogan “all lives matter,” which exists to diminish the anti-racist “Black lives matter” slogan. 

Knox and Berne have each signed an agreement that allows Berne’s dog-control officer, Jody Jansen, to shelter dogs in Knox’s kennel while Berne renovates its own Switzkill Farm kennel. 

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