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Leni Santoro | Democrat

AMONG THOSE ATTENDING the first Council of Governments’ meeting at the County Government Center last Friday were, from the left: Wurtsboro Mayor Mickey Maher, Sullivan County District 8 Legislator Ron Hiatt, Town of Fallsburg Supervisor Steve Levine, Village of Liberty Mayor William “Rube” Smith and Town of Liberty Supervisor Frank DeMayo. Partly visible just between Smith and DeMayo is County Legislative Aide Alexis Eggleton.

County Officials Gather As One

By Leni Santoro
MONTICELLO — April 24, 2007 — Cleaning up the county, recycling, picking up the garbage along the roadside, animal control, economic development, environmental impact and safety issues; these are not just a town or a village or a county issue, these are everybody’s issues.
The newly formed Sullivan County Council of Governments is hoping that by getting all levels of government as well as other interested parties to meet on a monthly basis they will better be able to address them in that way.
“Sometimes I feel it’s better to just start talking,” said Legislative Chairman, Chris Cunningham at the Council of Government’s inaugural meeting on Friday. “It’s important that at all levels of government that we get the communication as good as it can possibly be and share ideas on an equal playing field so that we can start to deal with issues in a more comprehensive way.”
The order of business for the first meeting began with an overview of the goals of the council then moved onto the attendees’ concerns regarding their villages, towns and the county as a whole.
Note was taken of the concerns such as garbage, recycling, taxes and the environment and those will make up the agendas for the next succession of meetings. The council hopes to meet once a month at the government center in Monticello.
The next meeting is scheduled for May 18. The meetings are open and the public is invited to attend and air its concerns as well. Because the meeting was not publicly announced, only four county legislators – a non-forum – could attend.
Those attending on Thursday included:
Legislators: Chris Cunningham (District 1), Leni Binder (7). Ron Hiatt (8) and Kathy LaBuda (2).
Supervisors: Harold Russell (Bethel), Steve Barnes (Highland), Frank DeMayo (Liberty), Sal Indelicato (Cochecton), Pat Pomeroy (Rockland), Harold Russell (Bethel) and Gregg Semenetz (Callicoon).
Mayors: Ed Justus (Jeffersonville), Mickey Maher (Wurtsboro) and William “Rube” Smith (Liberty).
In addition, Town of Thompson Councilwoman Moniquka Diaz-Corley and Rockland Deputy Supervisor Pat Casey also attended.

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