July 9, 2020 Regular Meeting

The Regular Meeting for the Town Board of the Town of Brighton, Franklin County, NY, was held Thursday, July 9, 2020, following the 6:15pm audit of the Tax Collector’s Financial Reports at the Brighton Town Hall, 12 County Road 31, Paul Smiths, NY, with the following:

CALL TO ORDER:

Meeting was Called to Order by Supervisor Peter Shrope at 6:54pm

ROLL CALL OF OFFICERS
PRESENT: Supervisor Peter Shrope
Council Members: Amber McKernan, Steve Tucker, and Matthew Szeliga
ABSENT: Councilmember Lydia Wright
OTHERS PRESENT: Elaine Sater-Town Clerk, Andy Crary-Superintendent of Highways, Paul Blaine-Code Enforcement Officer and one resident
GUESTS: None

NOTICE OF MEETING:

Notice of this meeting was posted on the Town Clerk’s Sign Board and in the local post offices on July 3 and published in the July 7 edition of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.

The North Country including Franklin County is currently in Phase 4 of the Reopening of New York State due to the corona virus called COVID-19. People are still asked to wear masks to cover their nose and mouth when within 6 feet of other people. A limited number of people are allowed inside the Town buildings.

REPORTS

  1. Highway – Superintendent of Highways Andy Crary
    1. Mowing and weed whacking the Park, Cemeteries, Town Hall, and Town Garage 3 times
    2. Went to Plattsburgh for pallet of cold patch
    3. Road raked the dirt roads 3 times
    4. Chipping and cutting of overgrown trees on White Pine Road
    5. Put the mower on the tractor
    6. Took a load of scrap metal to scrap yard, gave $133.20 to Supervisor Peter Shrope
    7. Had radio installed in new F350 pickup truck
    8. Took 2013 Truck to Plattsburgh for inspection, drums and wheel sensor replacement
    9. Took 2015 Truck to Plattsburgh for inspection, it is still there
    10. Getting ready to pave Hobart Road about July 16, 2020, need a resolution to spend funds
    11. Had a sign moved that was in the Town’s right-of-way on Vosburgh Road
    12. Cleaned shop
    13. Replaced the water cooler in the Town Hall
    14. Cleaned the culvert on Slush Pond Road from beaver activity
    15. Added gravel and millings to the holes at the State Route 86 end of Church Road

RESOLUTION # 29-2020

PAVING HOBART ROAD WITH NOEL J BRUNELL & SONS, INC.

Motion made by Supervisor Peter Shrope, second by Amber McKernan,

RESOLVED that the Town Board authorizes the Superintendent of Highways to pave .7 mile of the Hobart Road with a 1 ½ inch top and to hire Noel J Burnell and Sons, Inc. of Plattsburgh, to do the paving. Total project to include materials and labor Not to Exceed $53,000.

ROLL CALL VOTE: Aye 4 (McKernan, Shrope, Szeliga, Tucker), Nay 0, Absent 1 (Wright)

RESOLUTION #29-2020 declared duly adopted.

  1. Town Clerk – Elaine Sater:
    1. Total Revenue to Supervisor as of June 30, 2020 was $140.00 from 10 Certified Copies Death Certificate, 5 dog licenses, 3 renewed and 2 new (Tags #237 and 238)
    2. June 18 – Received a Resolution, dated July 8, 2020, from the Village of Saranac Lake authorizing a contract for Shared Highway Services for 5 years.
    3. July 3 – Posted notice of change in time of Regular Board Meeting for July
    4. July 7 – Published notice of change in time of July Regular Board Meeting in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.
    5. TOWN PARK REQUEST: None
    6. RECORDS MANAGEMENT: Indexing Minutes Vol 10 (1977-1978).
  1. Historian – Elaine Sater: No Report
  1. Tax Collector – Holly Huber: Nothing to report

Audit of Tax Collector’s Financial Records was completed on July 9.

RESOLUTION # 30-2020

AUDIT OF TAX COLLECTOR’S FINANCIAL RECORDS FOR 2020

Motion made by Amber McKernan, second by Supervisor Peter Shrope,

RESOLVED that the Town Board accepts the audit of the Tax Collector’s Financial Record for 2020 completed by Amber McKernan with the comment records are in order.

ROLL CALL VOTE: Aye 4 (McKernan, Shrope, Szeliga, Tucker), Nay 0, Absent 1 (Wright)

RESOLUTION #30-2020 declared duly adopted.

  1. Town Justice – Nik Santagate:

Disposed of 17 cases and gave Supervisor a check in the amount of $1,592.00 for June

  1. Code Enforcement Officer – Paul Blaine:

Issued six (6) building permits (BPs) for June (BP#s 20-020 through 025)

  1. Assessor – Roseanne Gallagher: Nothing to Report
  1. Supervisor Peter Shrope:
  2. Charter Communications: Rates are going up for Spectrum TV on or after August 5, 2020.
  3. Town of Franklin: Sent a thank you letter dated June 16, 2020, Re: Appreciation for accommodating their need of a space to keep a snow plow truck after their highway garage burned down in January.
  4. Furnaces at Town Hall and Garage: Hyde-Stone will test the gaskets and glycol when they are in the area again.
  5. Park Hours Changed: Sign has been posted at Park showing change in open hours
  6. Camp Gabriels: Distributed information from Peter Bauer, Protect the Adirondacks, who wrote an article in the “Adirondack Almanac” concerning Camp Gabriels and the process the State Government has to go through to change the State Constitution to change the designation of State owned property from “Forever Wild”.
  7. NYMIR Inspection: An inspection of the Town’s buildings (Garage, Town Hall, and Park Field House) was conducted on June 30 for liability insurance purposes.
  8. The Financial Report as of June 30, 2020 was provided to the Board. Revenue for June was as follows: $1,592 from the Town Justice, $140 from the Town Clerk and $133.20 from scrap metal.
  9. NYCLASS interest was as follows: General $32.45 for a total of $111,095.64 and Highway $12.35 for a total of $42,338.61.

ACCEPTANCE/AMENDMENT OF MINUTES – Regular Meeting June 11, 2020

Motion made by Amber McKernan, second by Matthew Szeliga, to accept the Minutes of June 11, 2020, as written. Aye 4 (McKernan, Shrope, Szeliga, Tucker), Nay 0, Absent 1 (Wright)

BUSINESS

  1. Discrimination and Harassment Policy – Supervisor Peter Shrope: Distributed a copy of the new policy. Need to appoint a “Compliance Officer”.

RESOLUTION # 31-2020

HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION POLICY

Motion made by Supervisor Peter Shrope, second by Matthew Szeliga,

RESOLVED that the Town Board adopts the following amended Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Supervisor Peter Shrope be appointed as Compliance Officer in accordance with Section 11 of this policy.

TOWN OF BRIGHTON

FRANKLIN COUNTY

NEW YORK

POLICY AGAINST DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT

SECTION 1: PURPOSE

  1. Scope of Policy
  2. Policy Objectives

SECTION 2: DEFINITIONS

SECTION 3: POLICY

SECTION 4: POLICY ENFORCEMENT

  1. Complaint Procedure for Employees
  2. Notification Procedure
  3. Making a Complaint
  4. Supervisory Responsibilities
  5. Time for Reporting a Complaint
  6. Confidentiality and Privacy
  7. Acknowledgment of Complaint

SECTION 5: INVESTIGATION PROCEDURES

  1. Timing of Investigations
  2. Method of Investigation
  3. Notification to Complaining Party and the Accused Party
  4. Remedial Measures

SECTION 6: PROHIBITION AGAINST RETALIATION AND ABUSE OF THE POLICY

SECTION 7: APPEALS

SECTION 8: RECORD KEEPING

SECTION 9: LEGAL PROTECTIONS AND EXTERNAL REMEDIES

SECTION 10: QUESTIONS

SECTION 11: COMPLIANCE OFFICERS

SECTION 12: EFFECTIVE DATE AND POLICY DISSEMINATION

SECTION 1: PURPOSE

The TOWN OF BRIGHTON believes in the dignity of the individual and recognizes the rights of all people to equal employment opportunities in the workplace. In this regard, the TOWN OF BRIGHTON (hereinafter “Municipality”), is committed to a policy of protecting and safeguarding the rights and opportunities of all people to seek, obtain and hold employment without subjugation to harassment or discrimination in the workplace. It is the Municipality’s policy to provide an employment environment free from harassment and discrimination based on race, color, gender, religion, religious creed, sex, familial or marital status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, genetic information/predisposition or carrier status, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, self-identified or perceived sex, gender expression, gender identity and the status of being transgender, pregnancy (including childbirth and related medical conditions, and including medical conditions related to lactation) citizenship, domestic violence victim’s status or any other characteristics protected by applicable federal, state or local law.

  1. Scope of Policy This Policy applies to all Municipality employees and all personnel in a contractual or other business relationship with the Municipality including, for example, applicants, temporary or leased employees, interns (whether paid or unpaid), volunteers, visitors, independent contractors, contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants or other persons providing services pursuant to a contract in the workplace, including employees of independent contractors, contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants or others providing services pursuant to a contract in the workplace. In the remainder of this Policy, the term “employees” refers to this collective group. This Policy applies with equal force on Municipality property as it does at Municipality-sponsored events, programs, and activities that take place off Municipality premises.
  1. Policy Objectives By adopting and publishing this Policy, it is the intention of the Municipality’s governing body to:

(1) Notify employees about the types of conduct that constitute harassment and discrimination prohibited by this Policy;

(2) Inform employees about the complaint procedures established by the Municipality that enable any employee who believes (s)he is the victim of harassment or discrimination to submit a complaint which will be investigated by the Municipality;

(3) Clearly advise all supervisory staff, managers, and employees that harassment and discrimination is strictly prohibited and no such person possesses the authority to harass or discriminate; and

(4) Notify all employees that the Municipality has appointed Compliance Officers who are specifically designated to receive complaints and ensure compliance with this Policy.

NOTE: The names and office location of each Compliance Officer designated to receive and investigate complaints are listed below in Section 11 of this Policy. Any change in the designated Compliance Officers shall be distributed in writing to all current employees and shall be posted.

SECTION 2: DEFINITIONS

“Prohibited Discrimination of Employees”

Prohibited discrimination of employees can take the form of any adverse employment action against an employee, by either a Municipality employee or official or a third party engaged in activities sponsored by the Municipality which is based upon the employee’s protected characteristic. Prohibited discrimination of employees also includes harassment based on a protected characteristic even where there is no tangible impact upon the employee’s employment opportunities and/or employment benefits. The phrase “prohibited discrimination” as used in this Policy includes all forms of prohibited discrimination and harassment based on a protected characteristic, including “Sexual Harassment” as defined below.

“Harassment”

Harassment is strictly prohibited and includes, but is not limited to, conduct that is unwelcome and has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person’s work performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment. Such harassment of employees is prohibited by this Policy if it is based on a protected characteristic or directed at an individual because of a protected characteristic. In this regard, individuals subject to this Policy should be mindful that conduct or behavior that is acceptable, amusing or inoffensive to some individuals may be viewed as unwelcome, abusive or offensive to others.

“Sexual Harassment”

Sexual harassment is strictly prohibited. It is a form of sex discrimination and is unlawful under federal, state, and (where applicable) local law. Sexual harassment includes harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, self-identified or perceived sex, gender expression, gender identity and the status of being transgender.

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome conduct which is either of a sexual nature, or which is directed at an individual because of that individual’s sex when:

(1) Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment;

(2) Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual (e.g., promotion, transfer, demotion, termination); or

(3) Such gender-based conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment, even if the reporting individual is not the intended target of the sexual harassment.

The foregoing includes offensive comments, jokes, innuendoes or other statements of a sexual or gender-based nature as well as favoritism between a supervisor and subordinate based on an intimate/sexual relationship or desire for the same.

Who can be the target of harassment?

Harassment can occur between any individuals, regardless of their sex, gender or other protected status. New York Law protects employees, paid or unpaid interns, and non-employees, including independent contractors, and those employed by companies contracting to provide services in the workplace. Harassers can be a superior, a subordinate, a coworker or anyone in the workplace including an independent contractor, contract worker, vendor, client, customer or visitor.

Where can harassment occur?

Unlawful harassment is not limited to the physical workplace itself. It can occur while employees are traveling for business or at employer sponsored events or parties. Calls, texts, emails, and social media usage by employees can constitute unlawful workplace harassment, even if they occur away from the workplace premises, on personal devices or during non-work hours.

“Prohibited Behavior and Examples of Harassment, including Sexual Harassment”

Specific forms of behavior the Municipality considers harassment or sexual harassment are set forth below. Every conceivable example cannot be delineated herein, and thus the descriptions below should not be interpreted in any way as being all-inclusive.

  • Verbal: Abusive verbal language including jokes, comments, teasing or threats related to an employee’s protected characteristic, sexual activity and/or body parts whether or not said in that person’s presence including, but not limited to: sexual innuendos; slurs; suggestive, derogatory, or insulting comments or sounds; whistling; jokes; propositions; threats; comments on a person’s appearance that make the person feel uncomfortable because of his or her protected characteristic; sex stereotyping, continuing to ask someone for dates or to meet after work after the person has made it clear that he or she does not want to go; comments about an employee’s anatomy or protected characteristic that are unwelcome, unreasonably interfere with an employee’s work performance, or create an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment; and unwelcome advances or demands based on someone’s protected characteristic.
  • Nonverbal: Abusive written language showing or displaying pornographic or sexually explicit objects or pictures; graphic commentaries based on a protected characteristic; derogatory cartoons or caricatures; luring or obscene gestures in the workplace; staring at a person’s body in a sexually suggestive manner; gestures or motions based on a protected characteristic; sending material through the Municipality e-mail system or other electronic communication devices (e.g. voice mail) or using the Municipality’s mail, computers or cell phones to view material that is demeaning or derogatory based on one’s protected characteristic.
  • Physical: Unwelcome physical conduct, including but not limited to: hitting, pushing, shoving, slapping, petting, pinching, grabbing, holding, hugging, kissing, tickling, massaging, displaying private body parts, coerced sexual intercourse, rape or assault or attempts to commit these assaults, persistent brushing up against a person’s body, unnecessary touching and flashing or other unwelcome physical conduct.
  • Other: Hostile actions taken against an individual because of an individual’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and the status of being transgender or because of any other protected characteristic, such as: interfering with, destroying or damaging a person’s workstation, tools, or equipment, or otherwise interfering with the individual’s ability to perform the job; sabotaging an individual’s work; bullying, yelling, or name-calling.

Any employee who feels discriminated against or harassed should report so that any violation of this Policy can be corrected promptly. Any harassing conduct, even if a single incident, can be addressed under this Policy.

SECTION 3: POLICY

The Municipality prohibits harassment and discrimination based on any characteristic protected by applicable law and will not tolerate any form of unlawful discrimination or harassment. The Municipality will take all steps necessary to prevent and stop the occurrence of unlawful discrimination and/or harassment, including sexual harassment, in the workplace.

All employees, including but not limited to, Municipality officials and supervisory personnel, are responsible for ensuring a work environment free from prohibited harassment and discrimination. All employees will be held responsible and accountable for avoiding or eliminating inappropriate conduct that may give rise to a claim of harassment or discrimination. Employees are encouraged to report violations to a supervisor, manager, or one of the Compliance Officers listed in Section 11 of this Policy in accordance with the Complaint Procedure set forth in this Policy. Officials, managers and supervisors must take immediate and appropriate corrective action when suspected instances of prohibited harassment and/or discrimination come to their attention to assure compliance with this Policy as well as report the suspected misconduct to the Municipality’s designated Compliance Officers. Furthermore, if any employee believes that any member of management has violated this policy or has not properly responded to and/or handled a report or concerns of discrimination or harassment, the employee should immediately contact one of the Municipality’s designated Compliance Officers.

Each employee is assured pursuant to Section 6 of this Policy, that retaliation against an individual who makes a complaint or report under this Policy is absolutely prohibited and constitutes, in and of itself, a violation of this Policy. Employees who engage in retaliation against any employee for making a good faith complaint of harassment or discrimination, for opposing in good faith any practices forbidden by applicable anti-discrimination laws or for filing a good faith complaint with, or otherwise participating in any manner in an internal workplace investigation or an external investigation, proceeding or hearing conducted by any federal or state agency charged with enforcing employment discrimination laws shall be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment. Any employee who believes he/she has been retaliated against in violation of this policy should report violations to one of the Compliance Officers listed in Section 11 of this Policy in accordance with the Complaint Procedure set forth in this Policy.

Any questions regarding the scope or application of this Policy should be directed to one of the Compliance Officers listed in Section 11 of this Policy.

SECTION 4: POLICY ENFORCEMENT

  1. Complaint Procedure for Employees
  2. Notification Procedure
    Prompt reporting of complaints or concerns is encouraged so that timely and constructive action can be taken before relationships become strained. Reporting of all perceived incidents of prohibited discrimination and/or harassment is encouraged and essential, regardless of the offender’s identity or position. An employee or other individual who feels aggrieved because of harassment or discrimination shall contact his or her supervisor or a Compliance Officer listed in Section 11 of this Policy, or another administrator. Likewise, anyone who witnesses or becomes aware of instances of harassment or discrimination should report such behavior to his or her supervisor or a Compliance Officer listed in Section 11 of this Policy, or another administrator.
  3. Making a Complaint
    Complaints are accepted orally and in writing. All employees are encouraged to use the Municipality’s “Complaint of Alleged Discrimination” form. A copy of this form is attached to this Policy. Additional complaint forms can be obtained from a Compliance Officer, with no questions asked, or from the Municipality’s website. Because an accurate record of the allegedly objectionable behavior is necessary to resolve a complaint of prohibited discrimination or harassment, the Municipality encourages employees to place complaints in writing, even if originally made orally. If an employee has any questions or difficulty filling out the complaint form, she/he can obtain assistance from any one of the Compliance Officers or the supervisor to which he/she complained. All complaints should include: the name of the complaining party, the name of the alleged offender(s), date(s) of the incident(s), description of the incident(s), names of witnesses to the incident(s) and the signature of the complaining party.

Once the complaining party has completed and dated a complaint, with or without the assistance of one of the Municipality’s Compliance Officers or a supervisor, the written complaint, or oral complaint as the case may be, should be promptly forwarded to one of the Municipality’s Compliance Officers.

Complainants are expected to cooperate with the Municipality’s investigation procedures by providing all relevant information relating to the complaint, as are other supervisory and non-supervisory employees having relevant or related knowledge or information.

  1. Supervisory Responsibilities

All supervisors and managers who receive a complaint or information about suspected harassment or discrimination, observe what may be harassing behavior or for any reason to suspect that harassment is occurring, are required to report such suspected harassment or discrimination to one of the Municipality’s Compliance Officers.

In addition to being subject to discipline if they engaged in harassing conduct themselves, supervisors and managers will be subject to discipline for failing to report suspected harassment or otherwise knowingly allowing harassment to continue.

Supervisors and managers will also be subjected to discipline for engaging in any retaliation.

  1. Time for Reporting a Complaint
    Prompt reporting of all complaints is strongly encouraged. All employees should be aware that appropriate resolution of complaints and effective remedial action oftentimes is possible only when complaints are promptly filed.
  2. Confidentiality and Privacy
    The Municipality shall keep complaints as confidential as is consistent with a thorough investigation, applicable collective bargaining agreements, and other laws and regulations regarding employees. To the extent complaints made under this Policy implicate criminal conduct, the Municipality may be required by law to contact and cooperate with the appropriate law enforcement authorities.
  3. Acknowledgement of Complaint
    Upon receipt of an oral or written complaint, the Compliance Officer should endeavor to contact promptly the complainant to confirm that the complaint has been received. If the complainant does not receive such confirmation promptly, she/he is encouraged to contact a Compliance Officer or his/her supervisor or the supervisor to whom the complaint was made to ensure its receipt. The purpose of this acknowledgment procedure is to ensure that all complaints are received by authorized individuals, carefully processed and promptly investigated.

SECTION 5: INVESTIGATION PROCEDURES

  1. Timing of Investigations

The Municipality will promptly investigate all allegations of discrimination and harassment prohibited by this Policy. The Municipality will also attempt to complete investigations under this Policy promptly. The length of the investigation will depend upon the complexity and particular circumstances of each complaint.

  1. Method of Investigation

Investigations will provide all parties due process, and reach reasonable conclusions based on the evidence collected. Investigations will be conducted by Municipality Compliance Officers, Municipality’s legal counsel, and/or other impartial persons designated by the Municipality. The primary purposes of all investigations under this Policy will be to determine:

  • Did the conduct complained of occur?;
  • Did the conduct complained of violate this Policy?; and
  • What remedial measures or preventative steps, if any, shall be taken?

Investigations will necessarily vary from case to case and may typically include the following: fact-finding interviews, including of the accuser and the accused; document request, review and preservation, depositions, observations, or other reasonable methods. Municipality investigators should pursue reasonable steps to investigate each complaint in a thorough and comprehensive manner. Any notes, memoranda, or other records created by Municipality employees or agents conducting an investigation under this Policy shall be deemed confidential and privileged to the extent allowed by law.

Investigators will typically create a written documentation of the investigation (such as a letter, memo or email), which contains the following:

  • A list of all documents reviewed, along with a detailed summary of relevant documents;
  • A list of names of those interviewed, along with a detailed summary of their statements;
  • A timeline of events;
  • A summary of prior relevant incidents, reported or unreported; and
  • The basis for the decision and final resolution of the complaint, together with any remedial actions.
  1. Notification to Complaining Party and the Accused Party

The results of the investigation shall be communicated in writing to both the person filing the complaint and the accused party.

  1. Remedial Measures

This Policy is intended to prevent all forms of unlawful discrimination and harassment and put an end to any prohibited discrimination that is found to have occurred. While disciplinary action may be appropriate in certain instances, punitive measures are not the exclusive means for responding to prohibited discrimination or harassment. During the pendency of any investigation being conducted pursuant to this Policy, remedial measures may be taken if appropriate and necessary.

Any individual who is found to have engaged in prohibited discrimination or harassment or conduct which may be prohibited by this Policy, may receive education, training, counseling, warnings, discipline, or other measures designed to prevent future violations of this Policy. Disciplinary action may include: warnings, suspension, or discharge from employment or such disciplinary action as may be permitted by applicable collective bargaining agreements and law. Any third party found to have engaged in discrimination or harassment of an employee may be barred from Municipality property.

SECTION 6: PROHIBITION AGAINST RETALIATION AND ABUSE OF THE POLICY

Unlawful retaliation can be any action that could discourage an employee from coming forward to make a complaint or support a discrimination or harassment claim. Adverse action need not be job-related or occur in the workplace to constitute retaliation (e.g., threats of physical violence outside of work hours).

Retaliation is strictly prohibited by this Policy and by law against anyone for making a good faith complaint of harassment or discrimination, for opposing in good faith any practices forbidden by applicable anti-discrimination laws or for filing a good faith complaint with, or otherwise participating in any manner in an internal workplace investigation or an external investigation, proceeding or hearing conducted by any federal or state agency charged with enforcing employment discrimination laws.

Even if the alleged harassment or discrimination does not turn out to rise to the level of a violation of law, the individual is protected from retaliation if he/she had a good faith belief that the practices were unlawful. However, the retaliation provision is not intended to protect persons making intentionally false charges of harassment or discrimination.

Complaints of retaliation should be brought directly to a Compliance Officer. Such complaints will be promptly investigated. If retaliation is found, the person retaliating will be subject to corrective action up to and including termination from employment, or in the case of a non-employee, an appropriate remedy up to and including termination of the business relationship.

SECTION 7: APPEALS

Any complainant or accused party who wishes to appeal the conclusion which the Municipality reached in investigating a complaint filed under this Policy, may do so within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the appealing party’s notification of the investigation outcome. Untimely submissions shall not receive consideration. Such appeal must be made in writing to the Municipality’s governing body. The appealing party shall be entitled to present evidence in writing as to why the conclusion was flawed, improper, or otherwise not supported by the evidence. The Municipality’s consideration and review of any such appeal shall be conducted confidentially in executive session. Following a review of that evidence, as well as the information obtained in the investigation process and conclusions derived there from, the Municipality’s governing body, or its designee, shall render a decision. That decision shall be final. The appealing party shall be notified of the decision in writing.

Nothing set forth in the Appeal Process above shall be construed to in any way confer upon either the complainant(s) or the person(s) accused of violating this Policy any right to appeal the Municipality’s determination as to appropriate disciplinary and/or corrective action to be taken on meritorious complaints. In this regard, the Municipality at all times retains sole discretion to determine the appropriate disciplinary and/or corrective action to be taken with regard to a meritorious complaint.

SECTION 8: RECORD KEEPING

The Municipality shall maintain a written record of all complaints of discrimination and/or harassment for a period of at least three years. The Municipality shall also document the steps taken with regard to investigations, as well as conclusions reached and remedial action taken, if any. The Municipality shall also maintain these documents for, at a minimum, three years.

The Municipality’s records regarding alleged discrimination and harassment shall be maintained separate and apart from personnel records in a secure and confidential location.

SECTION 9: LEGAL PROTECTIONS AND EXTERNAL REMEDIES

Discrimination and harassment based on protected characteristics, including sexual harassment, are not only prohibited by the Municipality but are also prohibited by state, federal, and, where applicable, local law.

Aside from the internal process at the Municipality, employees may also choose to pursue legal remedies with the following governmental entities. While a private attorney is not required to file a complaint with a governmental agency, you may seek the legal advice of an attorney.

In addition to those outlined below, employees in certain industries may have additional legal protections.

State Human Rights Law (HRL)

The Human Rights Law (HRL), codified as N.Y. Executive Law, art. 15, § 290 et seq., applies to all employers in New York State with regard to sexual harassment and harassment based on other protected characteristics set forth in this Policy, and protects employees, paid or unpaid interns and non-employees, regardless of immigration status. A complaint alleging violation of the Human Rights Law may be filed either with the Division of Human Rights (DHR) or in New York State Supreme Court.

Complaints with DHR may be filed any time within one year of the harassment. Complaints of sexual harassment that accrue on or after August 12, 2020 may be filed with DHR at any time within three years of the alleged sexual harassment. If an individual did not file at DHR, they can sue directly in state court under the HRL, within three years of the alleged harassment, including sexual harassment. An individual may not file with DHR if they have already filed a HRL complaint in state court.

Complaining internally to the Municipality does not extend your time to file with DHR or in court. The one year or three years is counted from the date of the most recent incident of harassment.

You do not need an attorney to file a complaint with DHR, and there is no cost to file with DHR.

DHR will investigate your complaint and determine whether there is probable cause to believe that sexual or other illegal harassment has occurred. Probable cause cases are forwarded to a public hearing before an administrative law judge. If sexual or other illegal harassment is found after a hearing, DHR has the power to award relief, which varies but may include requiring your employer to take action to stop the harassment, or redress the damage caused, including paying of monetary damages, attorney’s fees (in sex discrimination and sexual harassment cases only) and civil fines.

DHR’s main office contact information is: NYS Division of Human Rights, One Fordham Plaza, Fourth Floor, Bronx, New York 10458. You may call (718) 741-8400 or visit: www.dhr.ny.gov.

Contact DHR at (888) 392-3644 or visit dhr.ny.gov/complaint for more information about filing a complaint. The website has a complaint form that can be downloaded, filled out, notarized and mailed to DHR. The website also contains contact information for DHR’s regional offices across New York State.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal anti-discrimination laws, including Title VII of the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act (codified as 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.). An individual can file a complaint with the EEOC anytime within 300 days from the discrimination or harassment. There is no cost to file a complaint with the EEOC. The EEOC will investigate the complaint, and determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe that discrimination has occurred, at which point the EEOC will issue a Right to Sue letter permitting the individual to file a complaint in federal court.

The EEOC does not hold hearings or award relief, but may take other action including pursuing cases in federal court on behalf of complaining parties. Federal courts may award remedies if discrimination is found to have occurred. In general, employers must have at least 15 employees to come within the jurisdiction of the EEOC.

An employee alleging discrimination at work can file a “Charge of Discrimination.” The EEOC has district, area, and field offices where complaints can be filed. Contact the EEOC by calling 1-800-669-4000 (TTY: 1-800-669-6820), visiting their website at www.eeoc.gov or via email at info@eeoc.gov.

If an individual filed an administrative complaint with DHR, DHR will file the complaint with the EEOC to preserve the right to proceed in federal court.

Local Protections

Many localities enforce laws protecting individuals from sexual harassment and discrimination. An individual should contact the county, city or town in which they live to find out if such a law exists. For example, employees who work in New York City may file complaints of sexual harassment with the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Contact their main office at Law Enforcement Bureau of the NYC Commission on Human Rights, 40 Rector Street, 10th Floor, New York, New York; call 311 or (212) 306-7450; or visit www.nyc.gov/html/cchr/html/home/home.shtml.

Contact the Local Police Department

If the harassment involves unwanted physical touching, coerced physical confinement or coerced sex acts, the conduct may constitute a crime. Contact the local police department.

SECTION 10: QUESTIONS

Any questions by employees of the Municipality about this Policy or potential harassment or discrimination should be brought to the attention of one of the Municipality’s Compliance Officers. The names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the Municipality’s Compliance Officers are listed in Section 11 of this Policy.

SECTION 11: COMPLIANCE OFFICERS

Peter Shrope____________________TOWN HALL_________________________

Name Office Location

518-327-3202________________PO Box 260, Paul Smiths, NY 12970__________

Telephone Number Mail Box Location

SECTION 12: EFFECTIVE DATE AND POLICY DISSEMINATION

The effective date of this Policy shall be July 9, 2020. The Municipality of the TOWN OF BRIGHTON shall ensure that this Policy is adequately disseminated and made available to all employees of the Municipality. This Policy shall be distributed at the beginning of each year and/or as amended.  In addition, copies of this Policy and Complaint Form shall be maintained in the office of each Compliance Officer as well as the Municipality’s Policy Book that is available at the Town Clerk’s Office.

Upon the effective date of this Policy, the provisions of this Policy shall supersede and replace the following prior Municipality policies and regulations regarding employee discrimination and harassment: Policy Against Harassment and Discrimination, May 12, 2016 (Resolution #47-2016) and Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy January 10, 2019 (Resolution #07-2019).

ROLL CALL VOTE: Aye 4 (McKernan, Shrope, Szeliga, Tucker), Nay 0, Absent 1 (Wright)

RESOLUTION #31-2020 declared duly adopted.

  1. Mountain View Cemetery – Steve Tucker: Two monuments in the cemetery need to be reset and the Veterans’ Memorial Stone in front of the Town Hall could use a cleaning. A quote was given by Pine Haven Cemetery Services, a Town of Brighton resident.

RESOLUTION #32

RESET TWO MONUMENTS IN MT VIEW CEMETERY AND CLEAN VETERANS’ MONUMENT AT TOWN HALL

Motion made by Mathew Szeliga, second by Supervisor Peter Shrope,

RESOLVED that the Town Board accept the quotes from Pine Haven Cemetery Services in Paul Smiths for the following services:

  1. Reset two monuments in the Mountain View Cemetery by replacing the foundations and reinstalling the monuments for the amount of $1,600
  2. Cleaning the Veterans’ Monument in front of the Town Hall for the mount of $350.00.

ROLL CALL VOTE: Aye 4 (McKernan, Shrope, Szeliga, Tucker), Nay 0, Absent 1 (Wright)

RESOLUTION #32-2020 declared duly adopted.

  1. Community Solar Project – Supervisor Peter Shrope: Received information on a Community Solar Project in Saranac Lake asking if the Town would like to participate. Reviewing the electric bills and will bring more information to next month’s meeting
  1. Water Pump at Town Hall – Supervisor Peter Shrope: The water pump is worn out, it and the holding tank needs to be replaced in the Town Hall. Received a quote from Martin’s Mechanical in Paul Smiths for the work.

RESOLUTION #33

REPLACE WATER PUMP AND HOLDING TANK IN TOWN HALL
Motion made by Supervisor Peter Shrope, second by Amber McKernan,

RESOLVED that the Town Board accepts the quote from Martin’s Mechanical in Paul Smiths to replace the worn out water pump and holding tank in the Town Hall not to Exceed $2,000.

ROLL CALL VOTE: Aye 4 (McKernan, Shrope, Szeliga, Tucker), Nay 0, Absent 1 (Wright)

RESOLUTION #33-2020 declared duly adopted.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

  1. Parks & Recreation – Supervisor Peter Shrope, Amber McKernan:
    1. Highway Department has been mowing the Park and leaving the flowers
    2. Paul Smith’s College is mowing their fields
  1. Website – Supervisor Peter Shrope, Amber McKernan: New site not available yet

 

CITIZENS COMMENTS: None

AUDIT OF VOUCHERS:

RESOLUTION #34-2020

PAYMENT OF AUDITED VOUCHERS AS LISTED ON THE ABSTRACTS

Motion made by Amber McKernan, second by Matthew Szeliga,

RESOLVED that the Supervisor be authorized to pay the audited vouchers as listed on the abstracts as follows:
PREPAID FUNDS: Abstract #7 for Voucher #s 7A thru 7C for 2020 General Funds in the amount of $454.55 and STREET LIGHTING 2020 FUND Voucher #7C in the amount of $53.48
GENERAL FUND: Abstract #7 for Voucher #110 through #127 for 2020 funds in the amount of $4,122.82
HIGHWAY FUND: Abstract #7 for Voucher #71 through #76 for 2020 funds in the amount of $3,289.51

ROLL CALL VOTE: Aye 4 (McKernan, Shrope, Szeliga, Tucker), Nay 0, Absent 1 (Wright)

RESOLUTION #34-2020 declared duly adopted.

ADJOURNMENT Motion to Adjourn at 7:55pm made by Amber McKernan, second by Supervisor Peter Shrope, Aye 4 (McKernan, Shrope, Szeliga, Tucker), Nay 0, Absent 1 (Wright)

Respectfully Submitted,
Elaine W. Sater, RMC
Brighton Town Clerk