New housing standards floated
New Paltz Deputy Mayor Alex Wojcik would like to see it become harder to replace tenants who are following the rules. There’s a housing crisis in the county and rents are climbing fast. Wojcik says that it’s a common practice to replace tenants as a way to increase rents more quickly and is proposing a village law that prevents leases from not being renewed unless there’s good cause. Not only would tenants breaking rules qualify as “good cause,” it would also be acceptable not to renew a lease in order to put a family member in an apartment. This “right to renew” is aimed at “avoiding displacement,” Wojcik explained, but it’s not rent control. The landlord would still be able to charge whatever they wish to charge.
Another clause in the law Wojcik is proposing would outright forbid evictions from any property not on the village rental registry in the first place. Being listed in the registry requires the payment of a fee, as well as the building being deemed acceptable by one of the building inspectors.
Trustees are still hammering out the language for this proposal, which will have to stand the scrutiny of a public hearing before it can be passed into law.
Calling 911 in case of overdoses doesn’t get the caller arrested
At the July 14 meeting of New Paltz trustees, Michele Zipp reminded members of the public about the “good samaritan” law that makes it feel safer to get help for someone who has illegally taken an overdose of an opioid drug. Police responding to such a call — police respond to all 911 calls — will not arrest someone present for simply possessing the drugs, although they would confiscate any contraband. The law is designed to make the prospect of getting help feel less scary and encourage people to make that call.
Honoring a diamond anniversary
The month Arthur and Lola Weiss were married was the same one that the Italian monarchy fell, and Jordan became an independent nation. Harry S. Truman signed the National School Lunch Act into law, establishing free and reduced-cost lunches and the first mobile telephone network was fired up. The first air mail letter was delivered to President Truman from Schenectady. The Nuremberg trials continued in Europe, as did the civil war in China and fighting in Palestine.
Lola and Arthur Weiss began their married life in the wake of a world war and at the beginning of a baby boom. They have witnessed technological progress on an unprecedented scale, even as the human population has more than tripled. Village of New Paltz trustees passed a resolution honoring this couple’s long commitment to one another at the July 14 board meeting, recognizing that as of June 11, 2021 these village residents have been married for 75 years.
More skate supporters heard
Village of New Paltz trustees received comments in favor of the proposed skate garden in Hasbrouck Park during their July 14 meeting, including one from a senior citizen who wrote about the importance of physical activity for young people. Comments about this or any other issue can be made during board meetings — either in person or virtually — or submitted in writing via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Trustees are given every single written comment to read, whether or not they are read aloud during meetings.
Another meeting attendee, Terry Dolan, asked if trustees had considered the impacts to insurance costs; the former city manager had discovered some decades ago that adding a skating facility in a New Jersey municipality would have been quite costly. Mayor Tim Rogers confirmed that there have been multiple conversations with the underwriters of village insurance, and that in this location and at this time the additional insurance would be in the hundreds of dollars, and that board members were “encouraged not to worry about” insurance costs being a deal-breaker for this project.
Tree champion needed
There’s an opening on the Village of New Paltz’s Shade Tree Commission, the volunteer group overseeing the local law that’s designed to keep trees along public roads. Anyone interested in applying should first reach out to the current commissioners with an email to email@example.com. Ultimately, members of this commission are appointed by the elected trustees of the village.
Bringing people back to meet in person for Village of New Paltz business has posed some challenges. For one, it appears that the chair lift to the second floor of the village hall has finally given up the ghost, and the idea of spending a lot of money to repair or replace it is seen as a non-starter because significant renovations of this building complex are expected once the new village firehouse and town justice center are completed. To ensure accessibility for all, trustees are meeting in the current firehouse on Plattekill Avenue for the time being.
As a consequence of moving downstairs, the setup to get meetings broadcast live over Channel 23 can’t be used at all. According to village officials, those who follow along on local access television will have to wait for a recorded version to be aired. Anyone who prefers to watch meetings live will have to settle for the village’s YouTube channel, which was separated from the “New Paltz public access” channel at some point for reasons that have not been discussed publicly.