Paul Brown: What did they know and when did they know it?

paul-brown-SQTown of New Paltz Supervisor Susan Zimet has asserted on numerous occasions that ‘there is no plan’ for a sewer plant to be built on two parcels of land adjacent to New Paltz High School, one parcel owned by town councilman Kevin Barry and the second by a Limited Liability Company, of which Tim Copeland is an owner and which uses Barry’s law office for its mailing address. However, a review of invoices for engineering services submitted by David Clouser & Associates in 2014 belies her assertions, as it does the repeated claim by deputy supervisor Jeff Logan that “there are no site plans” for the sewer project. The review also calls into question Barry’s veracity in replying to Supervisor Zimet’s question regarding ownership of the parcels.

How do Zimet, Logan and Barry justify their claims in light of the following?

  1. The sum of $423.40 billed to the town on invoice #102908, dated April 24, 2014, as payment for the following activities: “Create map for meeting regarding wastewater treatment plant at Copeland property” and “Plot map for sewer investigation meeting. Meet with Jeff Logan, Supervisor Zimet, Chris Marx and Terry Copeland to review potential sewage treatment plant site.” This invoice was paid by Town of New Paltz check #17596. Voucher #14-01241 authorizing the payment was signed by Susan Zimet.
  2. The sum of $294.40 billed to the town on invoice #102943, dated May 30, 2014, as payment for the following activity: “Copeland Sewage Treatment. Prepare information, research environmental data for NYSDEC (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation).” Paid by Town of New Paltz check #17774, voucher #14-01543 signed by Zimet.

Town law requires that payment of invoices be approved by a majority of the Town Board. Board members are provided with monthly vouchers and their accompanying invoices prior to a vote on whether or not to approve payment.


When Zimet was asked by councilman Dan Torres at the December 18, 2014 meeting who owned the property adjacent to the high school, with a quizzical expression on her face, Zimet shrugged her shoulders indicating she had no idea. She then turned to Barry and asked, “Kevin, do you own that property?”, to which Barry replied, “I have no idea if Dave (Clouser) is looking at one or the other.” Logan then chimed in denying the existence of a site plan. As evidenced by the map created by Clouser, for which service he billed the town on his paid invoice #102908, Clouser was looking at both parcels. Regarding Logan’s insistence that no site plan existed, this same map constitutes at the very least a preliminary site plan, and was to be used at the “sewer investigation meeting” attended, among others, by Terry Copeland and Logan.

So it seems abundantly clear what they knew and when they knew it. It also seems that a majority of our Town Board members are either not paying close attention to the content of the vouchers they are approving or are not telling the truth when they claim to be ignorant of facts contained in the invoices. Supervisor Zimet wrote to me a while back in what she promised will be her last communication with me, “The truth will prevail…” That’s actually all her constituents ever wanted and nothing less than we deserve.


Credit where credit is due

Kudos to the New Paltz town highway department and village department of public works for helping us all get safely through two of the heaviest snowfalls in recent history, and just a week apart. Town highway superintendent Chris Marx and village DPW superintendent Bleu Terwilliger and their teams worked throughout the two Sunday nights and Mondays, first to keep the roads open for emergency service vehicles and later to allow us all to get back to those of our activities requiring travel.

There are 60 miles of roads to be plowed in our town and another eleven miles in the village. Both superintendents and their crews are mindful that over 140 ‘lane miles’ make up these roads and often need to be plowed several times during a snow storm. In case you’re wondering, the village has used over 300 tons of sand and salt so far this winter, and the town has gone through nearly 2,400 tons of material. Both superintendents once again provided our community with the best example of intermunicipal cooperation by sharing the town’s ‘salt shed’ and coordinating their plowing activities. Each of the recent storms required at least four plowings of those 140 ‘lane miles’, each run taking between three and four hours. Many thanks to all involved.


A musical antidote to the winter doldrums

Whether your musical taste runs to waltz, tango, reggae, Latin, popular, world or swing, you will get to hear it all and more this coming Sunday, February 22 at 2 p.m. at the Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church located across the street from the college at 90 Route 32 South.

This is thanks to the Bernstein Bard Trio, which expands to a quartet when playing with percussionist Brian Melick, as they will be at this performance. The trio features brothers Mark Bernstein on guitar and vocals, Steve Bernstein on mandolin and vocals, and Robert Bard on upright bass and vocals. For an opportunity to chat with the musicians, there will be a brief reception with refreshments following the performance.

For more information, go to or call the church at (845) 255-0051.

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