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Wallkill Valley TimesPublic safety and condition of town hall questioned

Public safety and condition of town hall questioned

“This board doesn’t represent the interest of the taxpayer,” says Anthony Trapini.

Trapini is fed up with the Montgomery Town Board, specifically with four members – Cindy Voss, Sheryl Melick, Daniel Dempsey and Mark Hoyt – and he didn’t hold back at a recent town hall meeting.

“There’s four people sitting right here who really don’t deserve to sit here,” he said.

He said Voss, Melick, Dempsey and Hoyt have neglected the needs of the employees and taxpayers in town by not being knowledgeable of even the simplest of things.

“Who is the emergency management director in the Town of Montgomery?,” Trapini asked.

No one could answer.

His frustrations echo the complaints of Conrad Flickenschild, who says four members of the town board have been negligent in maintaining the conditions of the town hall and police department.

“I don’t know how the chief of police can stay in the dump he has downstairs,” said Flickenschild. “There’s no one that even cleans the floors. There’s no one that picks up the garbage. Do you have maintenance people?”

Supervisor Rod Winchell said a maintenance worker comes in every day for four hours to clean the entire building. That’s not good enough, said Flickenschild.

“This stuff has to be maintained,” he said. “It has to be repaired. And it has to be done quickly. And unless you get full time maintenance people that are going to come here and maintain the buildings, you all should be arrested because we are paying taxpayer money and receiving nothing in return other than allowing our buildings to fall in total disrepair.”

Flickenschild does not blame Winchell, however. Winchell said he is aware that things need to be changed.

He said the safety and security of his employees is his number one priority. He cites lighting issues with the town hall building, saying it is dark outside when employees leave work. Sometimes they leave as late as 11 p.m. on a weeknight and there is not sufficient lighting illuminating the outside parking lot, which Winchell said can be a safety issue.

“There is a lot of history in buildings of Town hall 110 and connected building 112,” said Winchell. “Dereliction of duty and incompetence comes into mind when I first saw the condition and then doing research on both building and not to exclude our other town owned buildings. Generally nothing has been achieved in building maintenance and upgrades [in] 10 years. Me and my staff’s main concern is correcting the immediate health and safety issues of the buildings. In the last two weeks we had a major operation of cleaning out the debris on the two floors of the breezeway that connects building 110 and 112 and the main buildings. The plan for the court and [police department] is next on the slate, working with our justice, police chief Butch Amthor, and county officials.”

The town board is also getting ready to bid farewell to attorney Andrew Gilchrist, who will be leaving his position on March 31. The board is currently looking for a new law firm to represent the town. They have scheduled a meeting on Thursday, March 15 at 2:30 p.m. to appoint a new attorney.

By Jaspreet Gill

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