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Monticello seeks candidates for Human Rights Commission

By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO — January 7, 2011 — Sullivan County’s largest village is resurrecting its Human Rights Commission.
At Tuesday’s regular meeting, the Monticello Village Board unanimously agreed to reconstitute the commission.
Mayor Gordon Jenkins and Trustee Carmen Rue – who both served on a prior incarnation of the commission – told the Democrat it’s needed to address issues pertaining to landlords, tenants and police, among others.
A public hearing preceded Tuesday’s vote, with only one resident, Barbara Burton, making a comment, saying trustees should accompany her to a meeting of the Sullivan County Human Rights Commission, which also convenes in Monticello.
Rue and Jenkins believe village residents will feel more comfortable dealing with a commission consisting of fellow village residents.
Now they’re looking for interested commission members, preferably a diverse group, said Rue.
Those willing to serve can contact any trustee or the village at 794-6130. The board will confirm those members at a future meeting, after it has determined the number of seats on the commission (likely between five and nine).
“We’re going to get a committee set up probably in a couple months,” said Jenkins.
Sharing costs
Two ideas to share expenses with the Town of Thompson cropped up at Tuesday’s meeting.
Deputy Mayor TC Hutchins asked the board to put on a future agenda a discussion about having the township chip in on the expenses of the Ted Stroebele Recreation Center.
Village Manager John Barbarite said the annual energy bill tops $28,000 for a facility that is used by both village and town residents.
“It’s not that I think they wouldn’t pay,” explained Hutchins. “I think it’s just an oversight.”
“I think the county should be involved also,” added Trustee Victor Marinello, referencing Barbarite’s remark that several county outreach efforts utilize the center too.
Deputy Village Manager John LiGreci recommended any such communication with the town and county be put in resolution form, but Trustee James Matthews asked Barbarite and LiGreci to first hold informal discussions with the two municipalities.
The other shared-expense idea came from resident David Gilman, who wondered if the village shouldn’t consider merging its court system with the town, as is being mulled in Liberty.
“I’m looking to do anything to save money here,” agreed Mayor Jenkins.
But Rue felt Monticello’s court is far busier than Liberty’s, and she urged instead for the board to study merging sanitation services.

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