By ANYA TIKKA
CITY OF PORT JERVIS, NY — At the year’s first Port Jervis Common Council meeting, Mayor Kelly Decker and other council members welcomed four new members, saying they brought with them new energy enabling the city to move forward with projects.
The four new council members are Sarah Hendry and Regis Bell for first ward, and Kristin Trovei and Gina Fitzpatrick for the third ward.
The mayor also introduced 2016 new committee chairs.
Bob Ritchie will chair the Police Committee, and George Belcher the Department of Public Works. He’ll also continue as Tourism Committee chair. Frank Bell continues to chair the Finance Committee.
Stan Siegel will take over Fire and Emergency Management, and continue to chair the Housing Authority and Senior Advisory Committees.
David Bavoso will now chair the Code and Legislative Committee.
Among the new members, Regis Foster will chair Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Gina Fitzpatrick will chair the Recreation Committee. Kristin Trovei will chair Community Development with Bob Ritchie.
Decker also explained that many city boards, including the Industrial Development Agency (IDA), Community Development Agency (CDA), ADA, and the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway have openings, and invited interested persons to apply.
The racecar track in the city came under scrutiny when John Fernandez, who managed it last year, asked to be allowed to open it again—but this time with a new approach, including many different activities.
“I don’t live in-area, but have a house in Matamoras. We’re here trying to see if we can possibly continue the track, but this time, with a more open approach to use for the kids in the area. [We] hope to have Stanley Siegel to oversee it.” He’d enlisted the help of a seasoned ex-New York City police officer Norman Coard, who has experience in starting and developing youth programs since retiring.
Coard had approached Siegel, who reported he was happy to oversee the project, but with the requirement that rules were strictly followed.
Decker was open to the idea, but wanted to see a detailed plan, which Fernandez promised to bring for the next meeting.
Belcher announced a new garbage-disposal program that only allows city residents to use the transfer station once they have proved their residency.
“Transfer station regulation wants to limit the disposal of debris to Port Jervis residents only. There will be a pay-pass system to Port Jervis residents only, verified by government-issued ID,” he explained.