09-29-2016 Watervliet City Commissioner seeks self-funded festivals; Watervliet offers part-time Cit

TEAM LEADS GYM CROWD IN NATIONAL ANTHEM… When the public address system failed in the Watervliet High School Gym for a volleyball game September 20 the Panther team started singing the National Anthem and was soon joined by the opposing team and the audience. Pictured are WHS Panthers (from the left) Logan Mizwicki, Katie Schultz, Zoe Smith, Kara Liles, Mercede Daugherty, Maggie Lynch, Ma-dalyn Hutchins, Katie Clark, Grace Smith and Ariana Rowe. On the day of this game, reno-vation work in the gym was near completion and all the team banners and the American Flag were not yet back on the walls. As it was, the American Flag was at center court, held by coaches when the PA mal-functioned. After a few mo-ments, the WHS Girls Volley-ball Team began singing the anthem and was soon followed by their opponents, the Sauga-tuck Girls Volleyball Team and then the entire gymnasium. A video of the spontaneous demonstration of team spirit and pride quickly appeared on Facebook and soon went viral. The video was picked up by the TV news feature “Inside Edi-tion” and aired earlier this week. (Photo by Gloria Reeves)

TEAM LEADS GYM CROWD IN NATIONAL ANTHEM… When the public address system failed in the Watervliet High School Gym for a volleyball game September 20 the Panther team started singing the National Anthem and was soon joined by the opposing team and the audience. Pictured are WHS Panthers (from the left) Logan Mizwicki, Katie Schultz, Zoe Smith, Kara Liles, Mercede Daugherty, Maggie Lynch, Madalyn Hutchins, Katie Clark, Grace Smith and Ariana Rowe. On the day of this game, renovation work in the gym was near completion and all the team banners and the American Flag were not yet back on the walls. As it was, the American Flag was at center court, held by coaches when the PA malfunctioned. After a few moments, the WHS Girls Volley-ball Team began singing the anthem and was soon followed by their opponents, the Saugatuck Girls Volleyball Team and then the entire gymnasium. A video of the spontaneous demonstration of team spirit and pride quickly appeared on Facebook and soon went viral. The video was picked up by the TV news feature “Inside Edition” and aired earlier this week. (Photo by Gloria Reeves)


Watervliet City Commissioner seeks self-funded festivals; nearby communities have different ways to support events

By Annette Christie

Watervliet City Commissioner Dan Hummel spoke out as an individual at the last Watervliet City Commission meeting recommending that their local festivals become free from the use of tax dollars.  Hummel commented that he is very much against tax dollars being spent on local festivals, beyond an in-kind sponsorship of public works and police involvement.

Dan Hummel

         Dan Hummel


Hummel also believes that the in-kind donation should be planned for, capped, and budgeted.  He stated, “I am completely against such a business-as-usual approach to taxpayer funding of local festivals.” The volunteer group that he plans to facilitate will be stand alone, having no direct financial ties to the City. Hummel states that this proposed group would foster community partnerships, business cooperation sponsorship, and most importantly, volunteerism.  Hummel spoke of this proposed committee as being staffed by area professionals that share a common desire for general festival excellence and a required passion for volunteerism.  He plans for the group to become a 501c6 or equal certification with their own insurance and legal coverage. “Such a foundation of detailed support and professionalism will greatly reduce the complications of individual festival generation and continuance, while ensuring the effort is fun and successful for organizers alike. This approach will establish an overall favorable reputation of Watervliet festivals in the surrounding areas, will encourage a destination aspect of the Watervliet community, and propagate a new-found propensity for volunteerism throughout,” Hummel said. …

Watervliet offers part-time City  Clerk and Deputy Clerk  full time positions at special meeting

By Kristy Noack

The Watervliet City Commissioners met on Saturday, September 24 for a special meeting. The commission reviewed the status of hiring a city manager and the positions of City Clerk and Deputy Clerk.  On August 9, the commission voted to dissolve a part-time office position at the city which was being filled by Crystal Bartel. The commission also moved to create two part-time temporary office positions in which the employees would work 29 hours a week at $16.50 an hour.  Former Watervliet City Clerk Dena Yow was hired for one position and current City employee Bartel was moved into the second position.  Saturday’s meeting was held with the intent to review those two positions and determine if the jobs should be posted to the public at large.  With questions looming as to whether the positions had to be posted, acting city manager Bill Hodge said, “There is no evidence in the 2007 and 2011 current handbooks dictating a posting must be made.” Hodge said he also reviewed city ordinances and found no evidence of any policy in place requiring the job postings.  After discussion, the commission voted to change the two part-time temporary positions at City Hall into two full-time permanent positions.  A second motion was made to offer the position of City Clerk to Yow and Deputy Clerk to Bartel. The motion passed. Hodge intended to offer the positions to both employees on Monday. The wages for the positions were not set and will be reviewed by Hodge.  The board commended the action saying the continuity the employees would provide, as well as the training they have undergone, would be a benefit to the city and its residents. …

Watervliet City Commission renews Shared Services with Watervliet Township; turns chronic flooding problem over to County Drain Commission

By Annette Christie

The Watervliet City Commission renewed a contract that was currently in place with Watervliet Charter Township but was not being used.   The city had previously entered into a shared services agreement with the township for it to provide rental inspections, ordinance enforcement, building permits and inspections.  That contractual arrangement was halted under the direction of the previous city manager.  However, at Tuesday’s regular meeting, the city commission put it in place.   Interim City Manager Bill Hodge presented the information and suggested that they make a decision.  The old rate for those services was $2,800; however, the township has now offered the lower rate of $2,000 a month.  “This is the offer on the table.  We’ve talked about this for months and we are done talking about this at the township,” Watervliet Township Supervisor Dan Hutchins told the commission.    The City Commission also took another big step at their Tuesday, September 28 meeting in voting to move forward with a drain project that could help solve a longstanding water problem near Lucinda Lane, Park Street, South Pleasant Street, and Summit Drive.  This involves the South Watervliet Drain, a district that extends from just beyond Lane Automotive to almost Red Arrow Highway.  In July 2015 the city passed a resolution to petition the Drain Commissioner to make the necessary repairs and or replacements as needed understanding that it was possible for assessments to follow.  City Engineer Alan Smaka of Wightman & Associates told the city commission that the Board of Determination was held and it was so deemed necessary to facilitate the drain project. …

AND THE WINNERS ARE… The people have spoken, the court has been crowned, and these royals will always be re-nowned, as the prince, princess, king and queen of Hartford High School’s 2016 Homecom-ing. Pictured are (from the left) Prince Logan Snodgrass, Prin-cess Jessica Cortes, Queen Sa-rah Rice and King Jake Griffith. Congratulations to all including the football team as they were victorious last Friday over the Bangor Vikings.

AND THE WINNERS ARE… The people have spoken, the court has been crowned, and these royals will always be renowned, as the prince, princess, king and queen of Hartford High School’s 2016 Homecom-ing. Pictured are (from the left) Prince Logan Snodgrass, Princess Jessica Cortes, Queen Sarah Rice and King Jake Griffith. Congratulations to all including the football team as they were victorious last Friday over the Bangor Vikings.


Hartford Schools Strategic Plan implementation off to a running start

By Nancy Albright

Every Student Matters, Every Moment Counts: That is the Hartford Public School motto driving the new HPS District Strategic Plan, which is designed to promote student achievement and professional development in a challenging, enjoyable and successful educational environment.  At the September 15 Board of Education meeting, school Superintendent Andy Hubbard announced that all Quarter 1 Strategic Plan goals have been accomplished. The Q1 90-day implementation generated a Chain of Communication protocol, a Google District Events Calendar, a Google Survey, online payments for school lunches and new resource materials for HPS staff.  The Board of Education, principals and school administrators have worked with HPS Student Information Coordinator Kim deBoom and HPS Instructional Technologist Rob Sheffy to create and implement these technological tools to help students, parents, teachers and staff achieve their goals of a successful education.  The Chain of Communication protocol connects students and families to the appropriate HPS staff member to answer questions regarding students or classroom instruction, and concerns about other school matters. A PDF copy of the Chain of Communication is available for download on the HPS website. Also check the HPS Facebook page to view the document; www.facebook.com /HartfordPublicSchools.  The Google District Events Calendar lists all HPS events and allows users to add events to their personal Google calendars. The calendar is a summary of events for the district, including Hartford High School and Middle School, and both Red Arrow Elementary and Woodside. Note that athletics schedules are still located on the main Athletics page. …

DDA addresses illegal dumping in South Parking lot

 Mr. Akinwale reported to council commissioners that the Hartford Downtown Development Authority has proposed adding a new camera to the city’s video surveillance system to monitor the South Parking lot in town. Cases of illegal dumping have resulted in a rodent infestation of the dumpster used by the businesses located in the south section of the lot. Chief of Police Tressa Beltran organized a jail crew to clean out the dumpster and remove the remaining garbage from the lot. …

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