The Rockland County Legislature has voted unanimously to amend significant portions of the local law that governs Rockland County Sewer District No. 1.
The major changes include reducing the size of the Board from 13 to 10 members; docking the pay of those who fail to attend or who have no documented excuse for missing meetings; and tighter reporting requirements regarding the status of the Sewer District’s overall operations.
Additionally, in what is believed to be the first such requirement of a board in Rockland, any Sewer District Commissioner convicted of any felony is automatically and immediately disqualified from the board.
“I believe this is a major step in what we all demand: Oversight and accountability,” Rockland County Legislator Charles Falciglia (R-Suffern) said. “Going forward, there will be more circular reporting now.”
Falciglia worked with Planning & Public Works Committee Chairman Ilan Schoenberger (D-Wesley Hills) and Legislature Chairman Alden H. Wolfe (D-Montebello) to draft the changes and sponsor the resolution.
In a bi-partisan move, Legislators voted 17-0 to amend the Rockland County Code that created the Sewer District and specifies how it must legally function. The changes will begin implementing in coming weeks. The board had come under fire during 2015 for members received stipends while not attending meetings.
Falciglia said other county boards are volunteer or in the County Legislature’s case, subject to many hours of work beyond simply attending board meetings, so the same policy is not germane to those groups.
Falciglia said he did not believe there to be will in the Legislature to impose the same dock of pay against county legislators should they no-show for meetings. He noted the felony restriction is inspired by the fact one recent board member, former Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin, was convicted of a felony, and current district board member Christopher St. Lawrence has been charged with felonies.