The goal of this newsletter is to share a bit of local news and shine a spotlight on the interesting things that are happening  in Hillsdale and nearby.

News from Town Hall
Hillsdale Receives Highly Favorable Fiscal Stress Designation

The Office of the State Comptroller uses the Fiscal Stress Monitoring System to examine the financial information that the Town reports annually. This analysis provides an objective assessment of the fiscal challenges facing individual local governments and school districts and identifies situations where corrective action may be needed.

Hillsdale has been notified that a review of our 2018 Annual Update Document (AUD) yielded a highly favorable  fiscal stress
designation . According to our Town Accountant, Nelson Furlano: "Hillsdale's report is excellent. The lower the number, the better and Hillsdale is 3.3 out of 100. This may be one of the best scores in New York State!"

Notice of Public Hearing:
2020 Preliminary Budget
The Hillsdale Town Board will hold a public hearing on the 2020 Preliminary Budget on November 5 at 6 pm at the Hillsdale Town Hall. Following the hearing, the Town Board will consider changes to the Preliminary Budget, prepare a Final 2020 Budget and conduct a Final Budget public hearing at 6:45 pm on November 12, immediately prior to the November Town Board meeting. The Final 2020 Budget will be considered for approval at the November 12 Town Board meeting.

Notice of Public Hearing:
Local Law #2

Notice is hereby given that there has been presented to the Hillsdale Town Board proposed Local Law No. 2 of the year 2019.

Said Local Law, if enacted, will clarify the definition of short term rentals in zoning code.  Therefore, the Hillsdale Town Board will hold a Public Hearing on said proposed Local Law on November 12 at 6:00 p.m. at the Hillsdale Town Hall at which time all interested persons will be heard.

Part-Time Court Clerk Opening

The Town of Hillsdale is still interviewing candidates for a part-time Court Clerk to manage a two-judge Town Justice Court that hears Civil, Criminal, Vehicle and Traffic cases. The Court Clerk works under the supervision of the Town Justices, interacts with the general public and related entities, and is responsible for preparing the Court calendar, and assisting defendants, litigants, and attorneys with questions and requests. Flexible work hours are possible but the Clerk must be available on the first and third Wednesday evenings of the month for court night.

Minimum Qualifications: Graduation from high school and two (2) years of clerical experience in a court system or related organization. Send a letter of interest and resume ASAP to Kathi Doolan, Town Clerk, at this email:  [email protected].

Openings on Zoning and Planning Boards

The Hillsdale Town Board is accepting applications through November 30 for the following volunteer positions:

Member, Planning Board (7-year term)
The Planning Board meets monthly on the second Monday at 7:30 pm in the Hillsdale Town Hall.

Interested applicants are invited to submit their resumes to the Hillsdale Town Clerk, PO Box 305, Hillsdale, NY  12529, or by email to [email protected].

Member, Zoning Board (5-year term)
The Zoning Board meets monthly on the first Tuesday of the month at 7:30 pm in the Hillsdale Town Hall. 

Interested applicants are invited to submit their resumes to the Hillsdale Town Clerk, PO Box 305, Hillsdale, NY  12529, or by email to  [email protected].

Town Board Meeting

The Town Board meets the second Tuesday of the month at 7 pm. The next meeting is Tuesday, November 12. All meetings of the Town Board and its committees are open to the public. 

Submission of any requests for inclusion on a town board agenda must be received by the  Town Clerk no later than the close of business on the Wednesday immediately preceding the meeting.
Meeting Minutes

A Special Note from the Supervisor

I announced a few weeks ago that my husband, Bill, has accepted an incredible new job in Los Angeles. Though we're looking forward to the adventure ahead of us, I want to restate here that I am both proud and happy to continue to serve as Supervisor for as long as it makes sense for me to do so.

Of course, I will keep you posted as our plans develop. What's most important to me is that Hillsdale starts the new year strong and transitions to new leadership smoothly when the time comes.

W hat happens when a Supervisor resigns is detailed in New York State Law:
  • The Deputy Supervisor briefly assumes office and has the authority to pay bills.
  • The Deputy Supervisor will work with the Town Board to appoint an Interim Supervisor.
  • The community can and should inform the Board's decision.
  • Once appointed, the Interim Supervisor will hold office until December 31, 2020.
  • The Interim Supervisor can be a member of the current Town Board, a previous Town Board member, or any member of the community. 
  • If the Town Board appoints a current Board member, that individual must resign his or her seat.
  • The community will have the opportunity to elect a new Supervisor in November 2020.
  • The newly elected Supervisor serves for three years until December 31, 2023.
In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. My cell is 646-373-5002. My email is [email protected].

Photo above:   Town Assessor Pamela Cook was one of many service providers fielding questions and providing assistance at the Workshop for Seniors and Caregivers last month. See article below.

Photos below: This undated photograph of Hillsdale's Cornet Band hangs in Town Hall. It was taken outside the Presbyterian Church on Cold Water Street. The Church burned in 1927 and was replaced by the brick Masonic Temple.

Safe at Home Workshop Attracts a Crowd
More than 100 individuals attended a Workshop on Saturday, October 19 at the Hillsdale Firehouse. On hand with information and literature were more than 15 service providers that help seniors address the challenges facing them as they age.

Joyce Lapenn, chair of the Safe at Home Committee, said that the goals of the workshop were met. The focus was on letting seniors and caregivers know what's available in our community to help them remain safely at home. There was a wonderful sense of community and enthusiasm throughout the morning.

Michele Kraham, Assistant Administrator of the Columbia County Office for the Aging, staffed the table and said the workshop "was a breath of fresh air, where I felt like what I was doing would really impact the lives of seniors in a positive way."

Peter Cipkowski, Supervisor of the Town of Hillsdale welcomed the participants and acknowledged that most seniors want to age at home. This workshop provided many opportunities for seniors and caregivers to talk with each other and to engage in dialogue with the service providers.

Kate West, a Case Manager with the Columbia Office for the Aging explained the complexities of Medicare coverage and Claire Parde, Executive Director of the Healthcare Consortium, talked about long term care and the importance of planning. Both speakers welcomed a lively Q & A.

Over 20 local businesses generously provided door prizes and a light lunch was served.
The Workshop was supported in part by a grant from the Fund for Columbia County of the Berkshire Taconic Foundation.

Coffee Social for Seniors
On the heels of its successful workshop, the Safe at Home Committee is hosting a Coffee Social Hour for seniors at Crossroads Food Shop in Hillsdale on November 12 from 10:00 am to 11:30 pm. This is an opportunity to chat and connect with other seniors and enjoy coffee and pastries. The Committee expects that this will be a monthly program, and everyone is invited to join in. A donation of $2.00 is requested.
A Thanksgiving Story
The following cautionary tale was published in the November 24, 1881 issue of the Hillsdale Harbinger. It has been faitfully reproduced by the Hillsdale Historians.

"The Badgerleys coming here to spend Thanksgiving?" said Mrs. Nettingley. "Not if I know it."

Mrs. Nettingley was a close-fisted and calculating matron, who lived in a handsome house in a stylish neighborhood in New York and was one of those who, as her maid-of-all-work expressed it, "would skin a flea to save the hide and tallow." Mrs. Nettingley liked to make a show, but she had a deep-rooted aversion to spending money. And entertaining company on Thanksgiving day was one of the things that could not be accomplished without the latter concomitant.

Read more on the blog.
Sneak Peak: Forested Land
The forested land in Hillsdale is one of our Town's most definable and desirable characteristics. It also serves as an important habitat for animal species like large mammals, reptiles, raptors, and song birds. Less known but equally important is the role it plays for downstream groundwater and streams. Forests help moderate rain water runoff and erosion  while filtering and adding valuable nutrients as water passes through leaf matter and soils. Maintaining all our intact forested landscape is so important to all of us.

Download the map.

Out of Alignment Report on Hudson Valley
A new report suggests that the Hudson Valley could soon face an economic crisis, with stagnant population and low-paying jobs coupled with rapidly rising costs. The  study was issued by the nonprofit think tank Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress.

The findings paint an especially gloomy picture of the region's public school districts, which could lose more than 25 percent of their students by 2028.

The report, Out of Alignment, analyzes data for the seven counties that make up the mid-Hudson region.  The  44-page report  was funded by Central Hudson, which asked the organization to answer two questions: (1) What does the recovery from the Great Recession [December 2007 to June 2009] look like?, and (2) What can we expect in the next 10 years?

If there's a prevailing theme to the report, it's that earnings and the cost of living are traveling on different tracks, leading to what Pattern calls "a misalignment between the economy and its demographics."

Columbia County: NYS Lowest Unemployment
Despite the outlook reported by Out of Alignment, recent data from the New York State Department of Labor indicates that Columbia County's employment statistics are outperforming the rest of the state.
Columbia County had the lowest unemployment rate of any county in September (2.8%), and had 1.4% more jobs than this time last year, which outpaced the state's 1.3% growth rate. Greene County matched the state's 1.3% job growth rate and posted a 3.7% unemployment rate, which is slightly better than the statewide 3.9% rate. The Albany-Troy-Schenectady metro area also tied for the lowest unemployment rate of any metro area in the state at 3.4%.
To view the released from NYS, see the links below:

Time to Vote 2019
This year, for the first time, New York State voters are able to cast their vote at a polling place, in person, prior to Election Day. Many votes have already been cast.
The nearest early polling place is Copake Town Hall at 230 Mountain View Road. Hours:
  • Friday, November 1: 9 am -5 pm
  • Saturday, November 2: 9 am - 2 pm
  • Sunday, November 3: 9 am - 2 pm
If you can't vote early, registered Hillsdale voters may cast their vote at the Hillsdale Firehouse on Tuesday, November 5 from 6 am to 9 pm.
An Extra Three Weeks to Support Local Farmers
The Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market has extended its season until Saturday, November 16. Support local farmers and enjoy the beautiful Roe Jan Park. Hours of operation: 9 am to 1 pm. See you there!

Upcoming Roe Jan Library Events
There's always a lot going on at the Roe Jan Library.  Download a PDF of upcoming library events . Be sure to check out the library website for the most up-to-date information.

Thanks for reading our newsletter.  If you want to promote your upcoming event on the Hillsdale calendar, share an old photo, or write an article or two, I'd love to hear from you!
Peter Cipkowski, Town Supervisor and Town Crier