Village of Pomona

Trustee News Website


STATEMENT

FACTS ABOUT THE TWO “MEETINGS” OF JANUARY 25, 2021 AND THE TRUSTEE POSITION ISSUE

In order to dispel some confusion and misinformation regarding the events leading up to the two- meeting links of January 25, 2021, the following is what transpired. I am writing this as one Trustee on the Board and it is based on the information I have as well as the Resolutions adopted by the Village Board.
The Board of Trustees has been arranging the Zoom links, using Zoom Webinars through the Village Board’s attorneys, Feerick Nugent MacCartney, PLLC (Brian D. Nugent). There has been no objection from the Mayor and the Mayor has, in fact, continuously participated in
meetings at these Zoom Webinar links, conducting Village business without any question. The meeting link distributed by the Village Board for January 25, 2021 was via the same process that Pomona residents had become used to over many months and was the same Zoom account on
which all recent Village Board meetings had been held.


Mayor’s Decision to Declare Trustee Lasker’s Position Vacant and Appoint Brett Yagel Seven Weeks Prior to the Village Election. On January 19, 2021, Mayor Banks, without any prior notice or communication to the Village Board members, sent an email to Trustee Lasker, declaring that Trustee Lasker, who had been elected by the residents on September 15, 2020, was no longer a Trustee and that the Mayor had appointed Brett Yagel to fulfill the remainder of Lasker’s term. This notice came 7 weeks prior to the March 16, 2021 election when the Trustee position at issue is to be filled by an election.
The Mayor based his actions on the fact that Mendy Lasker filed his oath of office on October 27, 2020, more than 30 days after the Village election.
Among other issues that require a court determination, Trustee Lasker contends that the Village Clerk never provided him the required notice under Election Law 15-128, which required the Clerk to notify a newly elected official that he/she must file an oath to qualify. In addition, there
were NYS executive orders in place that extended filing deadlines for legal notices and process due to the pandemic. There is simply no case law that exists that currently determines the issues under these circumstances. While it is true that NYCOM (not a legally binding authority) is of
the opinion that the oath filing requirements were not extended by the executive orders, NYCOM had not reviewed the issue concerning notice under Election Law 15-128, nor is there any definitive court decision on that issue. Mr. Yagel contends that Trustee Lasker failed to file his oath within 30 days and none of Mr. Lasker’s issues matter. So, as a result of the Mayor’s decision to declare Trustee Lasker’s position vacant and the
Mayor’s purported appointment of Brett Yagel 7 weeks prior to the Village election, the Village government and its residents were unnecessarily led into chaos and turmoil.
The Village Board had already set up and published its link to the usual Village Board meeting on a Zoom webinar. However, on January 22, 2021, the Friday before the Village Board meeting, the Mayor (in an apparent attempt to attain control of the Zoom features), set up and distributed a new Zoom link on a different account that had not been used for Village Board meetings. The zoom link was also not a Zoom webinar, but a regular Zoom meeting where participants can mute and unmute themselves.


The Applicable Law

Under the Village Law, the determination as to locations of meetings is under the jurisdiction of the Village Board. The Mayor presides at the meetings but he does not determine where the Board will meet. (See various legal citations below). In fact, the Board has the power under
Village Law to have police compel the Mayor to participate, but the Board members had hoped the Mayor would appear on the Zoom meeting where he knew full well that the majority of the Board would be conducting Village business. To avoid confusion, the Board of Trustees did not
want to change the Zoom location that was first published and notified, The Clerk and the Mayor were notified that the majority of the Board was going to meet at the usual Zoom link and that would remain the official meeting link. If the Mayor does not attend a meeting, the Board
of Trustees may have a Trustee preside. (See legal citations below).

The Village Board’s View

Since, as a result of the Mayor’s decision, the Village Board now has two persons claiming a right to the same Village Trustee position, the Village Board has determined that it will not condone or compel a change in the composition of the Village Board, absent a court order determining the rightful holder of the Trustee position. The Village Board and its counsel have communicated this to the Mayor and Mr. Yagel. In addition, in the afternoon of January 25, 2021, NYCOM’s general counsel Wade Beltramo wrote to Attorney to the Village Board, Brian D. Nugent, stating specifically that: “I advised both the Mayor and Mr. Yagel that the only way to resolve the dispute is by going to court.”
The Village Board does not think that it is in the best interest of the Village, its residents, or the continuity of government to have the Mayor unilaterally declare a Trustee’s position vacant 7 weeks prior to the election, knowing full well that it would cause confusion and conflict.
Further, since Mr. Yagel and Mr. Lasker both contend that they are the rightful holder of the Trustee position, the Board has determined, by Resolution, that it will not take any action regarding the Trustee position unless and until an order is issued from a court determining the pending issues. The Board believes that the status quo is in the best interest of the Village of Pomona and its residents and the only feasible way to move forward until the court order or the
March 16, 2021 election, whichever comes first. The Village Board adopted a Resolution to that effect on January 25, 2021. In addition, the Village Board confirmed that the Board of Trustees will determine the meeting link and until further notice, the official link will be posted on this site at www.pomnavillage.info so residents are aware of the link where the majority of trustees will be meeting. Only three or more board members can constitute a proper and valid meeting and the law is clear on this, so the Mayor’s “meeting” of January 25, 2021 was not an official
meeting as it lacked a quorum and I understand that he acknowledged that during the “meeting” and only conducted a public input session with no Village business occurring.

It is unfortunate that this latest chaotic episode was thrust upon the residents and caused confusion and uncertainty at a time when certainty is needed. I can assure you that with respect to the meeting links, the Village Board did not change anything and posted the valid Zoom Webinar link as it has for many, many meetings which the entire board participated in without question. We will again be reaching out the Mayor to advise him that he should be present at the
validly convened Village Board meeting and it is our hope that he will do the right thing to bring this confusion to an end promptly. I thank you for your continued patience and understanding.

LEGAL CITES

The board of trustees has the power to determine the location of all village offices within the
village hall.  Op.State Compt. 80-90.
The property of a village is under the management and control of the board of trustees and it may delegate that power to other village officials in certain instances, and the board may also authorize the use of village property outside the village, if it is for a public purpose, either by enacting a local law permitting such use or by entering into municipal agreements with other
municipalities.  Op.State Compt. 81-319.
The property of a village is under the management and control of the board of trustees and it may delegate that power to other village officials in certain instances, and the board may also authorize the use of village property outside the village, if it is for a public purpose, either by enacting a local law permitting such use or by entering into municipal agreements with other
municipalities.  Op.State Compt. 81-319.
The agenda or order of business at a board of trustees meeting, being procedural in nature, is controlled by the board of trustees;  and the mayor has no authority to keep an item off the agenda or prevent its discussion at a board of trustees meeting unless the trustees have granted him such authority via their procedural rules.  Op.State Compt. 81-417.
When a village board of trustees consisting of five members has power to act on a matter by
resolution and three affirmative votes are cast for the resolution, it is adopted and it makes no difference whether the mayor casts one of the three affirmative votes or a negative vote or no vote at all.  1981, Op.Atty.Gen. (Inf.) May 28.
The mayor of a village subject to the provisions of this chapter has no power to veto legislative
acts of the board of trustees.  23 Op.State Compt. 379, 1967.


NYS VILLAGE LAW
General powers of the board of trustees. a. In addition to any other powers conferred upon
villages, the board of trustees of a village shall have management of village property and
finances, may take all measures and do all acts, by local law, not inconsistent with the provisions
of the constitution, and not inconsistent with a general law except as authorized by the municipal

home rule law, which shall be deemed expedient or desirable for the good government of the
village, its management and business, the protection of its property, the safety, health, comfort,
and general welfare of its inhabitants, the protection of their property, the preservation of peace
and good order, the suppression of vice, the benefit of trade, and the preservation and protection
of public works.  Village Law § 4-412 (1)
A majority of the board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. NYS Village
Law § 4-412 (2)
The board may determine the rules of its procedure, and may compel the attendance of absent
members by the entry of a resolution in the minutes, directing any peace officer, acting pursuant
to his special duties, or police officer residing within the village to arrest such absent member
and take him before the board of trustees to answer for his neglect. A copy of the resolution,
certified by the clerk of the village, shall be sufficient authority to such officer residing in the
village to arrest such absent member and bring him before the board. NYS Village Law § 4-412

  1. If the mayor and deputy mayor are both absent or unable to perform the duties of the
    office, the trustees shall appoint one of their number to act as deputy mayor during the absence
    or inability of the mayor and deputy mayor appointed by him. NYS Village Law § 4-400
    VILLAGE CLERK – shall, subject to direction and control of the Mayor:
    b. act as clerk of the board of trustees and of each board of village officers and shall keep a
    record of their proceedings; Village Law § 4-402
    . . .
    i. shall also perform such other duties not inconsistent with his office as shall be
    determined by resolution of the board of trustees. Village Law § 4-402

Since the clerk is clerk of the board of trustees, it is his duty to keep a record of the proceedings
of that body.  People ex rel. Mershon v. Shaw (2 Dept. 1898) 34 A.D. 61, 54 N.Y.S. 218.
The village clerk must be present as required for the performance of his duties and his office
should be kept open during such hours as are reasonable and necessary for the transaction of
village business, unless the trustees have prescribed otherwise.  24 Op.State Compt. 730, 1968.


VILLAGE OF POMONA

Board of Trustees MeetingJanuary 25, 2021

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Jan 25, 2021 08:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Please click the link below to join the webinar:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89712009644?pwd=ZjFlTUR0OG5qLzFWY2dYVTFiTC9RUT09
Passcode: 10970
Telephone: +1 929-205-6099  
Webinar ID: 897 1200 9644
Passcode: 10970


Board of Trustees virtual meeting on Monday Oct 26, 2020 at 8PM Via Zoom. Link to Meeting below.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83124629436?pwd=NEY5Y3FRNVpRb1ZCU3cxbVhsSU40Zz09
Passcode: 10970

Or Telephone:
1 929 205 6099
Webinar ID: 831 2462 9436
Passcode: 10970


Board of Trustees virtual meeting on Thursday Oct 15, 2020 at 8PM Via Zoom. Link to Meeting below.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83124629436?pwd=NEY5Y3FRNVpRb1ZCU3cxbVhsSU40Zz09
Passcode: 10970

Or Telephone:
1 929 205 6099
Webinar ID: 831 2462 9436
Passcode: 10970


Board of Trustees virtual meeting on Tuesday, Sep 29, 2020 at 8PM Via Zoom. Link to Meeting below.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83124629436?pwd=NEY5Y3FRNVpRb1ZCU3cxbVhsSU40Zz09

To join via Telephone: Dial 929 205 6099 
Webinar ID: 831 2462 9436 Passcode: 10970


To all Village of Pomona residents

I have worked with Trustee Mendy Lasker for the past year and a half, and I can say with heartfelt sincerity that Mendy cares for all residents of the Village. During this period, he has worked diligently to find ways to save residents as much money as possible. He has also done his best to ensure that Pomona residents get the best services. He is continuously looking at ways to reduce costs to residents and to improve services.

Unfortunately, Pomona has a long history of heated politics as well as legal issues that the current administration inherited. Notwithstanding this, I can say that Mendy has supported initiatives in getting a number of lawsuits resolved and deterring potential lawsuits from occurring.

I pledge my support to Mendy Lasker and hope that the Pomona residents can show their appreciation and also pledge their support in this upcoming Special election on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 with your vote.

Trustee Carol McFarlane


PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Village Board of the Village of Pomona will conduct an emergency Village Board Meeting on August 31, 2020, commencing at 12:30 PM to consider any matters that may be brought. There is no physical meeting location in order to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the Village residents, but for the purposes of compliance with the applicable law, the Meeting will be conducted via video / tele-conferencing and the Board Members as well as members of the public may participate in the Meeting by videoconferencing, access to which is shared by the weblink provided below.

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83646095468?pwd=SEVUdlQrVjI2WXJLbExTSysxK0JNUT09

Passcode: 10970

Or Telephone: US: +1 929 205 6099  

Webinar ID: 836 4609 5468 Passcode: 10970

MEETING CALLED UPON THE REQUEST OF TRUSTEE CAROL MCFARLANE AND TRUSTEE ILAN FUCHS.

The Meeting is being held in accordance with the New York State Public Officers Law and Executive Order 202.1 (“EO 202.1”) issued on March 12, 2020, and subsequent Executive Orders by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, which suspended Article 7 of the Public Officers Law, to the extent necessary to permit any public body to meet and take such actions authorized by the law without permitting in public in-person access to meetings and authorizing such meetings to be held remotely by conference call or similar service, provided that the public has the ability to view or listen to such proceedings.

Accordingly, NO IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE IS PERMITTED FOR THE MEETING. Public comment will be permitted.

Date: August 27, 2020


PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Village Board of the Village of Pomona will conduct an emergency Village Board Meeting on August 21, 2020, commencing at 10:00 AM to consider any matters that may be brought. There is no physical meeting location in order to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the Village residents, but for the purposes of compliance with the applicable law, the Meeting will be conducted via video / tele-conferencing and the Board Members as well as members of the public may participate in the Meeting by videoconferencing, access to which is shared by the weblink provided below.
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Join Zoom Meeting

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/77738626178?pwd=UXdNVXk1RHd0R2NyS2hkL3Btakw2QT09

Meeting ID: 777 3862 6178
Passcode: 10970

The Meeting is being held in accordance with the New York State Public Officers Law and
Executive Order 202.1 (“EO 202.1”) issued on March 12, 2020, and subsequent Executive
Orders by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, which suspended Article 7 of the Public
Officers Law, to the extent necessary to permit any public body to meet and take such actions
authorized by the law without permitting in public in-person access to meetings and authorizing
such meetings to be held remotely by conference call or similar service, provided that the public
has the ability to view or listen to such proceeding.
Accordingly, NO IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE IS PERMITTED FOR THE MEETING. Public
comment will be permitted.
MEETING CALLED UPON THE REQUEST OF TRUSTEE CAROL MCFARLANE.

Date: August 20, 2020


Board of Trustees virtual meeting on Monday, Aug 17, 2020 at 8PM Via Zoom. Link to Meeting below.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83646095468?pwd=SEVUdlQrVjI2WXJLbExTSysxK0JNUT09

To join via Telephone: Dial +1 929 205 6099  
Webinar ID: 836 4609 5468 Passcode: 10970


Board of Trustees virtual meeting on Monday, Aug 10, 2020 at 8PM Via Zoom. Link to Meeting below.

https://zoom.us/j/96143172528?pwd=RDdUeDR2b2NQRmtoV1B6dkxERkd5dz09#success

To join via Telephone: Dial 6465588656
Webinar ID: 961 4317 2528 Passcode: 10970


BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING MONDAY, June 8, 2020 8:00PM

Webex Meeting number: 126 048 5272 pass: 10970

Join by phone: 408 418 9388 access code: 1260485272

Meeting Audio Recording


BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING TUESDAY, May 26, 2020 8:00PM

Webex Meeting number: 126 788 0791 pass: 10970

Join by phone: 408 418 9388 access code: 1267880791

Meeting Audio Recording


Sighting of Bears and Coyotes in the Village.

Due to an increasing number of calls and emails with concerns about local wild life (specifically bears), I am attaching some information sheets from the N.Y. State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC). The link for their website is www.dec.ny.gov. There is a Search tab on the far right where you can type in your topic; bears, coyotes, snakes, etc.

Please note the Ramapo Police Department and the NYSDEC limit what action can be taken with respect to bears. Unless there is unusual or aggressive behavior, not much can be done. Remember, the main thing bears are looking for is food. Bring your garbage cans in. Spraying the outside of garbage cans with bleach or ammonia will deter them. If you have bird feeders, this will attract them as well. Generally the bears will not bother you and will run away if you make a loud noise. Be cautious if there are cubs with a mother. In these instances if a mother bear feels her cubs are threatened she may become more aggressive. If you can put your garbage out early on the day of collection, it will help limit your garbage being ravaged.

Coyotes present a danger for small pets and small children. Do not leave your children or pets unattended.


BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING Monday, May 11, 2020 8:00PM
Webex Meeting number: 627 374 838 Password: 10970

Join by phone 408-418-9388 Access code: 627 374 838

Meeting Audio Recording


Village of Pomona adopted budget 2020/21

The budget for 2020/21 was approved and adopted 4-1 at the last board meeting on Thursday April 30, 2020 (audio link for the Meeting Audio Recording) Attached is a copy of the resolution and budget schedule 1 which was approved.


Sorry for the confusion as finally a blast from Village Hall was sent out for tonights meeting so we are sharing it with the residents and the meeting will be with the Zoom option:

https://t.co/1NwBTgjSoR?amp=1
Meeting ID: 363 577 2577
Password: 10970


Information UPDATE about the Thursday 4/30/2020 Board Meeting

The go to webinar to adopt the 2020/2021 budget will be on Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 8:00pm. To join the webinar go to www.bit.ly/3fa9uVp

Per the Village Clerk the internet connection was not working properly today that being said the Webinar link may have issues for tonight’s meeting, in the event there are connection issues with the webinar meeting we have setup an alternative Zoom meeting with the link attached below
https://zoom.us/j/3635772577?pwd=OTd5TjJyd01xVlNOUG1peGt2SCsxQT09
Meeting ID: 363 577 2577
Password: 10970

All residents are encouraged to join this meeting (see link above).

As of this moment the Budget reflecting the changes by board resolution 4-1 from Monday 4/20/2020 Public hearing was not provided to the trustees.

To our knowledge the budget has not yet been provided to the residents via email blast.

Trustee update about the budget 2020/21

The trustees listened to the residents concerns about having to cope with the impact on their lives in the financial downturn due to COVID19 and made a resolution during the last public hearing of the budget that no salaries will be raised in this years budget. The trustee made a motion to reverse the proposed increases to the salaries which Mayor Banks increased in his tentative budget by 70% for at least one of the salaries.

Trustees also included in the motion a reduction to their compensation of 10% for the next year. The 10% cut will be returned to the village budget. The Trustees encouraged all officials and employees to do the same.

The village clerk spoke up and agreed to a 5% cut to her salary.

In addition, the Village Board attorney recently agreed to do something similar. After being asked by the Treasurer, he agreed to a 5% cut retroactively for all he is owed from August 2019 through Jan 2020 if Mayor Banks will finally release the checks already approved by Friday April 24 2020. This would have been a nice savings for the residents. However, Mayor Banks has not indicated yet he will make any payment which is sad for Pomona residents since in the end he will get paid after the judge sees the article 78 the trustees filed against the mayor for trying to deprive them from legal  counsel, and it will be at a much higher cost.

We also are still waiting for the updated budget and the past 2 months of treasurer report which we asked the mayor and the treasurer multiple times to provide us but so far we have been unsuccessful.

Therefore, we can not review and understand it before the upcoming board meeting on Monday evening 8pm when we will need to vote on it.


AS PER BOARD RESOLUTION VILLAGE HALL SHALL BE CLOSED FOR A WEEK FROM TODAY AND DISINFECTED

Audio of the Emergency Village Board meeting

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Board of Trustees emergency Meeting will be held by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Pomona on Wednesday , March 18, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. at Pomona Village Hall 100 Ladentown Road, Pomona, NY 10970.


Village Election Postponed Until September 15, 2020. In an effort to keep New Yorkers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued an executive order delaying village elections statewide


March 11, 2020 Board of Trustees workshop meeting – 8:00 pm at Village Hall


Highlights of Monday Night Feb 10, 2020 workshop meeting.

The Board updated the residents regarding roads that were “paved” last summer. Many residents continue to agree with the majority of the Board’s position that the job was poorly executed. The Board is trying to get a specialist to determine what can be done to fix the problem.

The Board questioned if the 2 new approved roads were put on the schedule for paving (Tulip and Chestnut). Hopefully they will be paved this spring season without delay.

The Board is proud to present the Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Local Law Public Hearing at the upcoming board meeting on February 24, 2020. We hope all of our residents will support the Village of Pomona going GREEN!

The Board approved the bid for a new park playground at the Van Den Hende park. The board discussed the contract for equipment and when the village engineer believes the work can start. The board hopes to see all kids of the village of Pomona enjoy the new playground addition this summer.


The Board discussed the possibility of a Budget Committee, and agreed with the Mayor that he should first present a tentative budget, and then the Board will review and discuss if changes are needed to benefit all Village residents.

The Board questioned if we can get more funding for our historical building at the Cultural Center in order to fix the issues on the lower level. The Board is working with the Mayor and hope they can get out the survey regarding recreational activities and the activities at the Cultural Center.

Looking forward to an Amazing Summer!!