Johnsburg Planning Board sees changing of the guard

Johnsburg Town Hall

Johnsburg Town Hall Photo by Andy Flynn.

— The Johnsburg Town Board unanimously appointed Cork Nester on Tuesday, Feb. 5 to succeed Dottie Osterhout as town Planning Board chairman after Osterhout stepped down from the board after a tenure that spanned more than 22 years.

Nester, who was first appointed to the Planning Board in May 2011, received a verbal endorsement from fellow Planning Board member Curt Richards, who described Nester as one of the most knowledgeable members of the board and someone who would be a good chairman. The Board appointed Roger Smith to serve as deputy chairman of the Planning Board.

In other business, the Town Board agreed to hire retired Warren County sheriff’s officer David Cavanagh to provide court security at the Town Court at the request of recently appointed town justice Vincent Schiavone. Cavanagh will work about four hours per month at a rate of $15 per hour.

The decision was not unanimous. Councilman Peter Olesheski questioned the need for court security. After hearing that there haven’t been any incidents at the court and that there’s never been court security at the town court that convenes at Wevertown Community Center, Olesheski voiced opposition to the plan. Olesheski conceded that the amount of money in question, about $720 annually, wasn’t substantial. But ultimately, he said he couldn’t vote in favor of the hire.

“We haven’t had any problems,” Olesheski observed. “I won’t support it. It’s not a necessity.”

But Councilwoman Kate Nightingale countered that perhaps it wasn’t wise to wait until there was a problem to add court security. After a brief discussion about whether other candidates should be sought for the 4-hour-per-month position, Supervisor Ron Vanselow called the motion and the hiring of Cavanagh was approved 4-1.

Near the beginning of the meeting, Town Historian Jo Ann Smith presented each board member with a commemorative pin and booklet marking Warren County’s Bicentennial. The county, officially organized in 1813, is 200 years old this year.

The Johnsburg Town Board’s next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 19 at Scout Hall in the hamlet of Sodom.

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