Volunteerism is the Word At Common Council

At Port Jervis Common Council June 22 meeting, the topic of volunteering and how it can help, even after it’s completed, was discussed several times.

During public comment John D.Carlantonio said, talking about his daughter and her need to find a job, “I don’t live in the district here to have Access 23 TV station. I’m a parent who has sent my kid to college. I spent a lot of money, and she needs hands-on experience.”

Carlantonio’s daughter is getting her degree in broadcast journalism, and the city meetings are being broadcast and recorded by volunteers. He praised the Access 23 service saying, “It is something that’s much needed, and it’s open for internship. Thank you.”

Mayor Kelly Decker said in response, referring to the camera operator, “Mr. Ritchie works very hard at Access 23.” He added his own brother who volunteered, is now the lead cameraman for the Jim Fallon show.
Councilman Stan Siegel added later, “I’d like to address the man who spoke, we’re always happy to help the public. It all started here in one corner. We always encourage high school kids to get involved. One of the former kids is now the Vice President of Channel 13, one has gone to NYC. We encourage it. If there are others out there, scouts looking for merit badges and so on, we always encourage and let everyone touch equipment and explore.”

Another form of volunteerism in Port Jervis is linked to the scouts and Troop 173, who were in attendance and lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Peter Tomasi from Second Ward explained, ”The council has been looking for ways to address public safety issues. Public sidewalks, there’s a need to repair them for the elderly, and the responsibility to fix them is the city’s. I’d like a word [on what] to do with city owned sidewalks. Through the winter some of us concerned residents have been trying to engage public interest. We understand the city can’t throw money at it. We’ve been successful finding hands that are happy to help. Troop 173, that’s here tonight, have partnered with us, taking the lead to partner with your permission to work on city owned streets starting with Skinners Park. It’s not in such bad shape, but I would like to say and ask for you to seriously consider allowing us to do that. We can restore something many of us feel is a cherished part of Port Jervis, we want to preserve it. We look at this in the same way as any other public clean up, it’s a start. People lending others a hand, it may be a start.”

Decker say the city will consider the request.

And volunteerism came up a third time. Siegel reported, “Port Jervis Volunteer Fire Department is seeking volunteers of different backgrounds. Every day EMS responders are there to check on lives and property …it allows you to reach out to someone in need, you can help to ensure there’s always someone there to answer the call. “

In other business, Community Development Agency’s liaison Carl Hendrick reported, “We began accepting applications for Section 8 housing until June 30. It’s a $350,000 housing grant.” Siegel explained the council had been concerned giving out the applications in view of what happened in Monticello, where there were unprecedented lines starting the night before, but there were but no issues.

Council member George Belcher said there will be two public hearings at 4 pm and 7pm Orange County Emergency Services Center Auditorium, 22Wells Farm Road, Goshen, NY 10924 against the proposed Orange and Rockland utility rate increase.

“It affects everybody. Make sure you’re going. We have 100 letters. I will attend, and have a speech prepared. Speak against it. If you can’t go, write or call the Commission let them know how you feel,” he said. Belcher can be contacted at georgeb712@gmail.com or 845.856.1036.

About the Author

Anya Tikka has written for several New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania area publications over the last five years. Born in Finland, she’s lived in London, New Jersey and mainland China and has traveled extensively throughout Europe. Previously, Anya worked in the computer industry in London and managed a small firm in the United States. She currently resides in upstate New York.

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