Supervisor's illness slows Shandaken 2014 reorganization

By Jay Braman Jr.
Illness sidelined the newly reelected Supervisor in Shandaken on January 6, making tough going for the remainder of the town board charged with setting up the government for the year 2014.
Each year in January towns must establish a variety of things ranging from what time meetings are held and which bank to use to more critical elements such as appointing people to specific jobs. This is all done at a reorganization meeting like the one held Monday night at town hall.

Esopus flooding to be discussed at Trout Unlimited meeting

The Ashokan-Pepacton Watershed Chapter of Trout Unlimited (APWCTU) will host a presentation on Wednesday, Jan 22. by Scott George and Barry Baldigo of the United States Geological Society examining “The Effects of Flooding on the Upper Reaches of the Esopus Creek.”

Shandaken seeks to fill planning board seat

By Jay Braman Jr.
As a new year draws closer, the Town of Shandaken is trying to get its planning board up to full membership.
The planning board consists of seven volunteer members, each with staggered seven-year terms. The board is responsible for hearing cases regarding special use permits, site plan review, lot line adjustments and subdivisions. It then must make determinations on whether those permits should be granted and what conditions or restrictions should be placed within such permits to protect the town and the quality of life of its residents.

Flood prevention planning taking shape in Shandaken

By Jay Braman Jr.
A couple of ideas for how best to spend $3 million in flood remediation funds are rising to the surface in Shandaken, where a group has been meeting weekly to figure out how to get the best bang for those bucks.
At a recent session to discuss ideas, Town Supervisor Rob Stanley gave specifics to his plan to scour the creek beds in town as a way of preventing flooding.

Judge orders Hanover Farms to be shut down and dismantled

By Jay Braman Jr.
The legal battle over Hanover Farms on Route 28 in the Town of Shandaken has reached an end with a New York State Supreme Court decision that puts the establishment out of business.
Hanover Farms owner Al Higley has been at odds with the Town of Shandaken for over eight years. After being granted approval to build a 100-square-foot-farm stand, Higley gradually expanded the business to over 2,000 square feet despite receiving stop-work orders from the Shandaken’s former code officer, Richard Stokes.
Higley filed a lawsuit against the town and Stokes in 2012.

Former Shandaken Code Officer Stokes will not be reappointed

By Jay Braman Jr.
The former code enforcement officer for Shandaken, recently cleared of charges that he forcibly touched a waitress in a local eatery last year, will not be getting his old job back.
That’s according to Town Supervisor Rob Stanley, who said that former code officer Richard Stokes made a public request for reinstatement last week.
“At this time we have no plans to change anything,” Stanley said. “We will not be rehiring Mr. Stokes.”

Shandaken code officer not guilty in forcible touching case; hopes to be re-instated

By Jay Braman Jr.

Saugerties Town Justice Samuel Lamp has determined that former Shandaken Code Officer Richard Stokes was not guilty of forcible touching following allegations made last fall by employees at a local restaurant.

Now that he has been cleared of those charges, Stokes expects to be reinstated as Code Officer, a position he voluntarily took an unpaid leave of absence from last fall immediately following his September 18 arrest.

“I’m glad the truth came out and my name is in the clear,” Stokes said Monday. “Now I wish I could get my job back.”

Shandaken board hears requests for additions to the budget

By Jay Braman Jr.
Some taxpayers in Shandaken might like the tentative budget plan for next year that keeps taxes down. According to Supervisor/Budget Officer Rob Stanley, if you paid $2,000 in town property tax this year, you will pay $2,012 next year.
Good news for taxpayers yes. But good for town departments?
Some say no.

Last week the town board heard complaints that not enough is being spent to take care of problems.
Leading the way was Phoenicia water commissioner Ric Ricciardella, who warned that another pump was needed for the hamlet’s water system.

Stanley unopposed in Shandaken

By Jay Braman Jr.
There will be no race for town supervisor in Shandaken this year.
At the town’s Democratic Party caucus Monday night at Glenbrook Park, Supervisor Rob Stanley, a Republican, had no challengers in his bid for Democratic support and was therefore handed that endorsement with one resounding “aye” vote by the 30 or more Democrats in attendance.
“Rob, you’re our candidate,” said party chairman Nick Alba.

While that means a non-campaigning free ride to a third two-year term for Stanley, there will be a full-blown race for the two town board seats up for grabs.

Vehicles passing on unmarked roads draw Shandaken resident's complaints

By Jay Braman Jr.
A recent incident on a town road in Shandaken revealed an inconvenient truth about all those nice country lanes that wind through the Catskills. Drivers that illegally pass others can get away with it.
And, according to Woodland Valley resident Barbara Lambacca, they do.

Lambacca came to the Shandaken Town Board Monday night to ask that research be done into ways to hold violators accountable.

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