SPECIAL MEETING OF THE TOWN BOARD
OF THE TOWN OF WHITESTOWN, HELD ON
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 11, 2003 7:00 PM
AT THE COMMUNITY CENTER IN SAID TOWN
TOWN BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:
Matthew J. Shannon, Supervisor
Brian Brooks, Councilman
Daniel, Sullivan Councilman
In attendance @ 8:04PM Charles R. Gibbs, II, Councilman
OTHER TOWN OFFICIAL PRESENT:
Joanne Zegarelli, Town Clerk
Donald Wolanin, Police Chief
The Supervisor called the meeting to order at 7:04PM, roll call of Board Members, a moment of silence and Pledge Allegiance to the Flag.
The Supervisor stated that the purpose of this meeting was to address the issue of a neighborhood watch program. The Town would not govern this program, however it does have the full endorsement of the Town Board. Basically, the residents are the police and the patrol of their neighborhood. Supervisor Shannon asked Chief Wolanin to explain how the program works.
The Chief thanked all the residents for coming and proceed to give details of what the neighborhood watch program is and how it works. Chief Wolanin stated that the police are there to help get this going, however, the citizens would manage it. He stated that the neighborhood watch is a crime prevention program, which enlists active participation of citizens in cooperation with law enforcement to reduce crimes in their community. This involves the neighbors to get to know each other and work together in mutual assistance. Basically, watch the neighborhood for suspicious vehicles and people; know your neighbors and their routines. The placement of signs noting a Neighborhood Watch Area is a deterrent to criminals. The most effective way to start this program is with the cooperation of 2/3 of the neighborhood participating. There are many different programs that could be implemented depending on that areas needs. The Chief gave examples of the different programs.
Councilman Sullivan stated that they should first find out what the residents are expecting to achieve and what the Town could offer to assist them. For example; signs for the neighborhood or the community center building for meeting, etc.
Chief Wolanin stated that the Neighborhood Watch program could have a chairperson and/or a block captain who would take charge of the program in their neighborhood.
Questions and discussion followed.
Councilman Brooks suggested getting the names of the people who would like to serve as committee people or chairs and then continue with a program that would be practical for them.
The Supervisor stated that this is an extension of the police department and that the citizens would be the eyes and ears for the police. Discussion between the citizens and the Police Chief continues regarding the status of the current investigation concerning the fires in the Glen Haven area. One resident wanted to know what motive was behind the fires. The Chief stated they do not know the motive for these crimes. Discussion followed.
Councilman Sullivan suggested that the Town could help by printing maps of their development and breaking it up into zones and designating captains to each zoned area. Another meeting would then be held with each zoned area along with itís captain and then perhaps a person to chair the entire program. Councilman Sullivan stated he was not sure everyone is in agreement with a neighborhood watch. He felt that people were looking for information and security and they are wondering how someone could commit a crime.
Councilman Sullivan stated that it is his personal opinion that they do not need a neighborhood watch, they need personal and community awareness. Discussion was had on how to keep the people interested.
A suggestion was had regarding security light, motion detectors and decals for windows.
Councilman Brooks suggested forming an association for their neighborhood, like Dunham Manor has. He would happy to assist in forming this association and gave a description of how it works.
The Supervisor suggested to the people to sleep on their options and whatever they decide, the Town Board will endorse it. He stated that he invited Eric Celia, from New York State Department of Transportation to discuss the Judd Road extension. The construction would have an effect on their neighborhood.
Eric Celia addressed the Board. He placed a map of the project to assist with his description. He stated his position with the project is construction supervisor and project engineer on site. He would be overseeing the project with duties such as troubleshooting etc. He stated that on June 19th the State would be opening the bids for this project. They will not know how they are going to proceed until they open the bids. He pointed out on the map where the extension would be. There might be an option of evening construction due to the fact of traffic congestion. He stated that sometimes a short impact of high intensity construction is more effective that a long drawn out construction phase. Discussion of the construction continued which included possible procedures, cost and time.
Supervisor Shannon thanked Eric Celia for his time.
There being no further business to come before the Board, upon the motion of Councilman Sullivan, seconded by Councilman Brooks, the meeting adjourned at 8:14PM.
All voted aye.