Increasing accessibility of public information about government of Monticello, seat of Sullivan County, garden of the Catskills.

Hear Village Board Meetings By Streaming Audio

Audio recordings of recent meetings of the Board of Trustees are freely available here at no cost to the taxpayers.

Regular meetings of the Board of Trustees are held on first and third Mondays at 7:00 p.m., in the upstairs Meeting Room at Village Hall, 2 Pleasant Street, Monticello, New York.

Rules of Procedure of the Village of Monticello Board of Trustees.

If the voices sounds choppy or broken up, or if it does not play online, try downloading the file to your hard drive and then open it.

Special Meeting of Trustees, 24 June 2014

wavaudio recording Adoption of budget for Fiscal Year 2014-2015, within the 2% cap, levy of 2.8%. Bare Bones Budget, 2014-2015, with Treasurer's memorandum prepared with assistance of the NYS Comptroller's Office.

Regular Meeting of Trustees, 17 June 2014

wavaudio recording Among other business at this meeting, former "putative Village Manager" Alan Thompson spoke during public comment, threatening to sue the Village of Monticello over a NYS Supreme Court decsion and Order declaring his supposed promise of employment null and void as a result of violations of New York State law. Apparently perfectly willing to violate his fiduciary duty to the taxpayers of Monticello, Mayor Gordon Jenkins publically announced willingness to help this Rockland County politician and resident (who already had his day in Court here and lost months ago) continue his effort to suck municipal funds from our local public coffers.

Regular Meeting of Trustees, 20 May 2014

At the advice of the Village Attorney, by vote of the Board of Trustees, code enforcement officer James Snowden's contract was declared null and void in part because it was written and signed unlawfully, without the Board of Trustees ever being allowed to review the document or vote a resolution authorizing the Mayor to sign it, in a naked attempt to prevent recently elected Trustees from exercising their lawful powers granted by the voters of Monticello to govern. Last meeting's order by the Board of Trustees that the Building Department be relocated back to Village Hall will be carried out shortly.

Also at this meeting, the board appointed Walter Fedun, Jr. of Monticello as Deputy Village Manager at a salary of $55,000 per year, to assist interim Village Manager Ray Nargizian who is serving without pay until a permanent Manager is hired by the board. A contract with Mr. Fedun was discussed, but has not yet been written. Once it has been constructed and reviewed by all members of the board and is approved by another vote, the current plan of the Board of Trustees is to enter into mutually agreeable terms with him to assure stability for him and for the Village of Monticello for the next three years.

wavaudio recording before executive session

wavaudio recording after executive session

Regular Meeting of Trustees, 6 May 2014

wavaudio recording begins shortly after the meeting started (missed the Pledge of Allegiance and report by the Superintendent of Schools on the proposed budget).

Includes:

  • Public hearing, with impassioned speech by District Attorney Jim Farrell and PBA President John Riegler, followed by a vote to dissolve the illegal now defunct "Police Commission";
  • Vote to move the Building Department back to Village Hall, freeing up space in the Stroebele Center for youth activities;
  • Discussion of clean-up of the toxic debris pile on Pleasant Street commonly referred to in the community as "Mount Jenkins";
  • Internal CPA audit report for 2012-2013, citing missing records, inadequate cash flow, and deficient fund balances. (Full report will be posted later on carmenrue.com);
  • Scheduling work sessions for May 15 and 20 to set qualifications to be required in ads for a new Village Manager, and establishing a salary for a newly appointed Deputy Manager to assist our current Manager Ray Nargizian who is serving the Village without pay.

Regular Meeting of Trustees, 16 April 2014

wavaudio recording

A public hearing to dissolve the Police Commission was scheduled to be held on May 6th at 7:00 PM. Chaired by a convicted criminal, the two-member Police Commission has been non-operational since it was overturned in court almost a year ago. After the May 6th hearing, the board will vote on whether or not to repeal the local law which created the commission, which has cost the Village many thousands of dollars in consultant and attorney fees since 2011.

Litterpluck will be held on April 26th, starting at 9:00 AM, to coincide with the county-wide event. The lawsuit that Jenkins has been waging against Mobilemedic EMS was settled for $15,000. The mayor shouted that he and his attorney had tried to get $89,000 from the company, and he was furious at being outvoted.

Regarding the "Mount Jenkins" toxic waste pile, Jenkins said tonight that there was NO asbestos in the court house, declaring in public that he would RESIGN if anyone could prove that he knew ahead of time there was asbestos there. Trustee Rue promised to bring the engineer's reports, addressed to him, to the next meeting. He then admitted there was asbestos, but not much. The Village Attorney recommended clearing plans for debris removal from Mount Jenkins with the NYS Department of Labor before taking action.

Motion by Trustee Rue to move the Building Department back to its rightful and safe place at Village Hall, leaving the Stroebele Center for its traditional use by Monticello seniors and youth; motion TABLED by Trustees Solomon and Weyer who said they preferred to proceed slowly.

Reorganizational Meeting of Trustees, 7 April 2014

wavaudio recording swearings-in of Village Justice Josephine Finn by Supreme Court Justice Stephan Schick, and of Trustees Douglas Solomon and Jill Weyer by Judge Finn, followed by debate and a vote over amending the meeting's agenda. See Final Amended Agenda.

wavaudio recording following 15-minute recess to allow the Mayor to study the amended agenda and consult with the outgoing attorney, followed by Mayor's and Manager's appointments, reorganizational meeting concluded.


Regular Meeting of Trustees, 1 April 2014

wavaudio recording of phony reorganizational annual appointments

Emergency Meeting, Monday, 24 March 2014

wavaudio recording of "emergency meeting" of Trustees (AGENDA and RESOLUTION), called for the purpose of voting to authorize the Nyack law firm of Feerick Lynch MacCartney (who since 2011 has been under contract as "special counsel" to represent the entire Board of Trustees as described in their Request for Qualification of Legal Services) to appear in Supreme Court in opposition to elected (since 2008) Trustee Carmen Rue and Trustees-Elect Doug Solomon and Jill Weyer in an Article 78 Petition opposing the unlawful hiring of a Rockland County associate real estate broker named Allen Thompson as Monticello's putative Village Manager under terms which, if permitted to stand, would allow the recently defeated Trustees enforce a substantial economic penalty against taxpayers and future Board of Trustees for carrying out the said board's rights and fiduciary duty to hire a Village Manager and for that Manager to serve "at the pleasure of such board".

Emergency Meeting, Wednesday, 19 March 2014

wavaudio recording of unlawfully convened meeting held for a purpose other than stated in the Notice and Agenda thereof.

Actions taken at this meeting are null and void, in part (for one thing, but not limited to this cause) because the Notice of the meeting entitled “Emergency Meeting Agenda” failed to comply with the requirements of the NYS Open Meetings Law. The sole purpose of the meeting, according to the Notice, other than calling the meeting to order, roll call, accepting the agenda (on which I voted “No”) was one item of business – “4. Executive session – Personnel Matter”.

Aside from the fact that “Personnel Matter” for the announced executive session is not a sufficient explanation to warrant an exemption from the requirements of the Open Meetings Law, there was absolutely no notice given to the public or to all members of the Board of Trustees that there was any actually a plan to deliberate on amendment of a Local Law. Such business, and any votes subsequently arising from said deliberation, are therefore void.

Given that the sole purpose of this deception was to obstruct the administration of Trustees who were lawfully elected yesterday by the vast majority of Monticello voters who cast ballots, I consider this matter to be an egregious violation of the Open Meetings Law, the consequences of which will be addressed in the near future by the newly elected Board of Trustees.

Regular Meeting, 11, 12, and 14 March 2014

wavaudio recording of March 11, 2014 regular meeting, described here: "Protecting Cronies a Centerpiece of Jenkins Administration - Last Minute Rush to Hand-Pick New Manager, and Give Contract to Double-Dipping, Unqualified Pal Before Election". At the conclusion the meeting recessed, to reconvene the following day to interview a Village Manager applicant, and then again on the 14th.

Motion made by Trustee Rue to congratulate Village Justice Josephine Finn (who happened to be present in the audience) on her appointment to the NYS Board of Regents. Seconded by Trustee Bennett. For partisan and personal reasons, Mayor Jenkins disrespectfully refused to allow the motion be voted upon.

wavaudio recording of March 12, 2014 discussion before executive session.

wavaudio recording of March 12, 2014 discussion after executive session. Recessed.

Emergency Meeting, Tuesday, 20 February 2014

wavaudio recording Meeting called at the request of the Code Enforcement Officer, seeking permission to file a petition in Supreme Court to condemn a residence at 24 Bennett street. The request was approved by a vote of 3 to 2 members of the Board of Trustees (Trustee Bennett abstained, Trustee Rue voted No), despite the lack of an engineer's report and the Village did not have an engineer at the meeting to support the request. The owner of the building contends that the Code Enforcement Officer has refused to issue him a building permit, and blocked Planning Board consideration, of the improvements he is seeking to make to his property. Agenda and Resolution

Regular Meeting, Tuesday, 18 February 2014

wavaudio recording Another very short meeting (20 minutes). Three of the five board members voted to reject all bids on clean-up of Mount Jenkins (the asbestos-laced debris of the former Village court house) and look for alternatives, as well as rejecting a proposal by Trustees Bennett and Massey to send the code enforcer to asbestos-abatement school so the clean-up job could be given to him; and also voted to advertise to fill the post of Village Manager, which Mayor Jenkins admitted he can not handle (though they did not specify where to advertise, how much money to spend, or qualifications).

Regular Meeting, Tuesday, 4 February 2014

wavaudio recording Shortest regular meeting of the Board of Trustees during my six years on the board, less than 10 minutes. (This meeting was held a couple of hours after conviction by jury of Mayor Gordon Jenkins for the crime of Obstructing Governmental Administration.)

Regular Meeting, Tuesday, 21 January 2014

wavaudio recording - Before executive session: Board of Trustees votes 3 to 2 (Trustee Rue voting "No", Trustee Bennett "Abstain") to tear down the building that housed the Village of Monticello Justice Court, which was unlawfully demolished in October 2013, under contracts signed by the Mayor and Acting Manager without board authorization and with no competitive bids. The job was performed in an allegedly criminal manner, under the supervision of the Mayor and Code Enforcement Officer. At this meeting, for the first time Mayor Jenkins admits, contrary to public claims he has made in the past, that the Board of Trustees in fact never voted to demolish the building. He explains that illegal executive sessions held "downstairs" were the basis of his authority to sign the contracts he signed for this job.

wavaudio recording After executive session: A closed-door conference was supposed held for "personnel reason", but Trustee Rue and Trustee Bennett left and returned to the public meeting because of verbal abuse by the Mayor and Trustee Massey. The meeting then adjourned.

Friday, 10 January 2014, Emergency Meeting

wavaudio recording emergency meeting regarding wastewater project

Four members of the Board of Trustees quickly voted, with surprisingly little discussion (suggesting that it was already decided before the meeting), to apply to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a $6.5 million loan, ignoring the recommendation of the attorney to recoup the $15 million project; and ignoring the fact that on December 23, 2013 the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation already refused to provide a loan to the Village in the same amount, stating, "Please remember as the Village moves forward, part of EFC's role as a lender is to establish and monitor the ability of applicants and recipients to repay financing provided."

See Largest Ever USDA Rural Development Investment in NY will Repair System that 2008 Engineering Report Deemed "Near Failure" (which we place the Village in danger of losing by continuing to delay by continuing to apply for additional loans rather than starting work with the $15 million we already have available).

Tuesday, 17 December 2013, Regular Meeting

Many thanks to Isaac Green Diebboll of Community Film Watch for video-taping this public meeting, preserving a digital record of what appear to be a series of improper or unlawful actions by the three board members who attended.

See my commentary on the actions taken at this meeting at Gordon Jenkins & Co. Hand Out Jobs And Raises To Friends And Cronies While The Village Of Monticello Speeds Toward Insolvency.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013, Regular Meeting

wavaudio recording regular meeting

wavaudio recording joint meeting with Town of Thompson on E. Broadway annexation

Tuesday, 19 November 2013, Regular Meeting

wavaudio recording; with no mention of the elephant in the living room; either of the Mayor's recent arrest for Driving While Intoxicated (see ABC News video below), or the toxic waste-pile next door to Village Hall where the Mayor and his girlfriend say they want to want to put a $1,000,000 youth center (which I predict will be used as a parking lot after this March's election, since the Village is actually broke).

It was a relatively low-key meeting, with a few dozen people in attendance, who seemed about evenly split between supporting the Mayor and others (see photo below).

The Elephant In The Living Room...

Tuesday, 6 November 2013, Special Meeting

wavaudio recording; special meeting on waste-water project proposal

Tuesday, 15 October 2013, Regular Meeting

Short, quiet meeting, with Mayor Jenkins and Trustee Massey refusing to discuss the asbestos-laced debris heap that was once the Village of Monticello Justice Court, which festers adjacent to Village Hall, citing "pending litigation". The meeting was well attended by concerned residents, but apparently acting on attorney's advice, Jenkins and Massey were strangely silent.

Jenkins ordered the court house demolished on October 3rd to boost the election of his girlfriend, Rochelle Massey, whom he recently appointed to a seat on the Board of Trustees. Massey and Jenkins have begun pushing for a $1,000,000 newly constructed center on the site, which Jenkins was against just a few months ago. The center, originally proposed by former Trustee T.C. Hutchins, was opposed Jenkins at the time due to cost factors. In a recent flip-flop, with Massey looking for votes to hold onto her appointed post on the board, and strengthen Jenkins' grip on power, it an urgent priority for him to knock down the building - so important that he was willing to do it without board approval and without presenting proposals or competitive bids for board approval, allowing a contractor to illegally dump the toxic waste on privately owned property just 500 feet from a Town of Thompson well which provides drinking water to the Cold Spring Water District.

wavaudio recording

Tuesday, 9 October 2013, Emergency Meeting

Following the unauthorized demolition on October 2nd of the former Village of Monticello Justice Court, and illegal dumping of its a portion of its asbestos-laden remains a few hundred feet from the primary drinking wells of the Cold Spring Water District in the Town of Thompson (as confirmed at this meeting by the village engineer), four members of the Board of Trustees convened a meeting (with 90 minutes advance notice) to discuss how to clean up the mess without violating more environmental laws.

Complicating liability for clean-up costs, rubble from a Broadway store demolished the same day the court house was taken down, are co-mingled on the site near the municipal wells.

During and after the meeting, attempts were made by the Mayor and his girlfriend, whom he recently appointed as a Trustee (serving temporarily, until the March election), to prevent three working reporters from doing their jobs. Chief Rob Mir physically blocked Mayor Gordon Jenkins from attacking a reporter from the Sullivan County Democrat. It was reported that one board member allegedly made a physical attempt to grab a reporter's camera away to prevent him from photographing the meeting. Deputy Mayor Larissa Bennett was absent.

See media reports for what follow-up action occurs.

wavaudio recording before executive session

wavaudio recording

Tuesday, 1 October 2013, Regular Meeting

wavaudio recording before executive session

wavaudio recording after executive session, including discussion of a complaint filed with the NYS Division of Human Rights by Trustee Carmen Rue against the Mayor and his allies for creating a hostile work environment at Village Hall

Tuesday, August 20, 2013, Regular Meeting

wavaudio recording | Mayor Jenkins reads a statement threatening to file a "discrimination" complaint with the US Department of Justice against Trustee Carmen Rue because of messages posted by persons other than herself allegedly constituting what Mayor Jenkins claimed were derogatory personal comments about the national origin of one of his appointees, perhaps in a Facebook group to which Trustee Rue may subscribe.

Download 'memorandum of mismanagement' as a PDF

Clearly, this foolish claim was a diversionary tactic intended to distract public attention from a statement entitled To the Attention of the Board of Trustees and Taxpayers of the Village of Monticello: Memorandum of Mismanagment about his sabotaging and obstruction of the administration of honest government.

Mayor Jenkins fired back with these feeble bizarre accusations, reportedly typed up on the afternoon of the meeting by the Village Clerk, because he lacked any better response not only to the memo linked at right, but also to the complaints that I had previously filed with the NYS Department of Labor, and that same day with the NYS Division of Human Rights, for his part in knowingly and intentionally creating a hostile work environment at Village Hall, predicated on unlawful discrimination based on ethnicity by himself and his appointees, designed to prevent me from performing my job and aimed at causing me to resign so he can appoint yet another one of his puppet cronies to help cover up the corruption which has nearly bankrupted Monticello.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013, Regular Meeting

wavaudio recording public hearing which was not scheduled by the Board of Trustees, but the date chosen by a consulting attorney (not a board member, in violation of the Open Meetings Law); followed by by the unlawful appointment of an Orange County resident to the office of Treasurer of the Village of Monticello. The Village Clerk failed to send notice of the public hearing in a timely manner (she said in the meeting that she sent it out on Friday, August 2, 2013; not within the seven days required by Village Law § 21-2100), announcing the date arbitrarily chosen by the consulting attorney from Nyack, to the public and media within the required time-frame.

These knowing and intentional errors, by Mayor Gordon Jenkins and Village Clerk Janine Gandy, violated the Open Meetings Law in an egregious manner, placing the Village and the office of Treasurer at legal risk.

A lawfully convened public hearing was required to precede passage of a local law allowing an out-of-county appointment in this instance. That did not occur, since adequate public notice was not given of the meeting; and because the board itself did not set the date, time, and place of the meeting. (The village's "special counsel" lacks the authority to do this.)

Like any local law, such a the measure is not effective until it is filed with the office of the Secretary of State in Albany. Disregarding State law, and violating their oaths of office, three members of the board proceeded to pretend to appoint this lady from Monroe as Treasurer, after being advised repeatedly that they were placing the Village at financial and legal risk by intentionally violating the law.

Monday, July 29, 2013, Special Meeting

wavaudio recording before executive session

Mayor Jenkins appoints his long-time domestic partner, Rochelle Massey, to the Board of Trustees. She abstained on approval of the agenda and minutes, but moved to pay $746,168.35, which was seconded by the Mayor. (This amount includes Dennis Lynch's legal fees for litigation up to December 2012, and several months of retainer fees in 2013.) The Massey/Jenkins motion was approved by James Matthews and Larissa Bennett. Carmen Rue voted NO, due to the recent history of corruption in Village government and ongoing ethical and legal concerns. Rochelle Massey made a motion to hold a public hearing to amend the law to allow appointment of a woman who lives in Monroe, Orange County, as Treasurer, passing over 40 applicants from Sullivan County to continue the "outsourcing" of municipal corporate offices; seconded by Mayor Jenkins, carried again by an identical vote as the above measure. (No date was set for the hearing.)

wavaudio recording after recess

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