Town re­jects re­quest to start re­view with­out con­sul­tant

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­line.com

Town Board mem­bers are not will­ing to ap­point a com­mit­tee to be­gin the com­pre­hen­sive plan re­vi­sion process un­til an ex­ist­ing panel makes a rec­om­men­da­tion on which con­sult­ing firm to use.

The dis­cus­sion arose dur­ing a meet­ing Tues­day, when Coun­cil­man Jay Wenk asked for fel­low board mem­bers to en­dorse his se­lec­tions for a re­view com­mit­tee.

“We had an or­ga­ni­za­tional meet­ing (on Mon­day)... and the Town Board needs to say ‘go ahead and do this’ with­out com­mit­ting to ac­cept­ing the work,” he said.

Wenk de­clined to iden­tify the mem­bers of his pro­posed com­mit­tee.

Board mem­bers in Septem­ber opened pro­pos­als for con­sult­ing ser­vices sub­mit­ted by Bar­ton and Logu­idice at $79,000; Be­han Plan­ning and De­sign at $65,285; BFJ Plan­ning at $90,090; and Fer­randino and As­so­ciates at $125,000.

Com­mit­tee mem­bers ap­pointed dur­ing the Septem­ber ses­sion in­cluded John

LaValle, Jill Fisher, Mike Stock, Barry Price, Paul Van­wagenon, Kirk Ritchey and Sasha Gill­man. They were given the op­tion of rec­om­mend­ing that the com­pre­hen­sive plan be up­dated with use of lo­cal con­sul­tants, which was a sug­ges­tion by Wenk.

“The seven peo­ple who are on (the com­mit­tee) have re­fused to con­sider that part of the res­o­lu­tion that we sent to them ask­ing for the pos­si­bil­ity of a in-town, home­grown ... ver­sion of an

up­date comp plan,” Wenk said. “They made that de­ci­sion with­out any in­put, with­out any ques­tions.”

Coun­cil­woman Laura Ricci said the ex­ist­ing com­mit­tee did con­sider the op­tion of ob­tain­ing lo­cal ex­per­tise and de­cided to con­sider only those con­sul­tants that re­sponded to the town call for qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

“We’re not bound to fol­low the rec­om­men­da­tions but I would like to know their rec­om­men­da­tions,” she said. “I would like to

know of the four com­pa­nies which one or ... two that they’re rec­om­mend­ing.”

Coun­cil­man Bill McKenna said ap­point­ment of a new com­mit­tee should wait un­til a con­sul­tant is rec­om­mended.

“Out of re­spect to the seven peo­ple on the com­mit­tee to re­view the (re­quest for qual­i­fi­ca­tions), I’d like to wait for their rec­om­men­da­tions, hope­fully which will come in the next week or two,” he said.

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