Held at Quigley’s Restaurant
573 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY 12061
Members Attending (16): Andy Leyhane, Murray Forth, Phil Kellerman, Jim Leyhane, Bill Dowd, Shannon Romanowski, Debbie Rodriguez, Becky Raymond, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Ray Hannan, Kevin Leyhane, Dean Calamaras, Ron Annis, Dick Drumm, Mike Bennett.
Guests (2): Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin, aide Rich Crist.
SPEAKER: Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin discussed the state of the county, and took questions from attendees.
Among advances he mentioned: a $2 million payroll saving by not filling unessential positions for as long as possible; a saving of about $500,000 by changing companies handling insurance for county retirees without reducing benefits; an improvement in the county’s bond rating from A1 to AA3 which helps improve the viability of bond sales; an approximately $750,000 saving in changing purchasing practices to require more bids, and adding GPS devices to county vehicles to better track activities. He also said he hopes to use some savings to increase the budget for county highway repaving programs, saying “The roads right in front of you are what you see every day and have an impact.”
Among further improvements, McLaughlin wants to continue working with the business community to improve the county’s main commercial corridors — such as Columbia Turnpike and the in-development Amazon distribution center project — to produce revenue needed in a time of ever-increasing costs and unfunded state mandates while maintaining the overall rural character of the county that attracts residents.
NOTES: The YMCAs in the region are working with the CAP COM Federal Credit Union to help local food pantries restock because of excessive demand caused by Code Blue weather conditions and the partial federal government shutdown. SRC members can get information on the club website about what is needed. … Jim Leyhane reported that he, Terry Brewer, and Mike Bennett have made advances in planning our 3rd annual Community Appreciation Dinner. The event will be held on Tuesday, March 5, at Moscatiello’s Family Italian Restaurant in North Greenbush. Tickets will be $35 per person, and sponsorships $100. The deadline for reserving sponsorships is February 15 (see any of the three committee members if you wish to make an individual, family, or business sponsorship). …
The drawings for our second “Cafe Capriccio Wine Dinner +” raffle resulted in member Becky Raymond winning the dinner for 12, non-member Peter Lehmann winning the locally-made artisan quilt, and member Roberto Martinez winning the Capital Rep theater tickets. Financial results of the effort to support SRC community service efforts will be reported next week by Treasurer Murray Forth. … Members were reminded to bring their scissors to next week’s meeting when we will create no-sew blankets for clients at the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center under the tutelage of the local Blue Star Mothers organization. Invite a friend!