Property Rights Foundation of America®

1. Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages
(Latest update 2001)

George H. Canon, President
Box 405
Newcomb, NY 12852
(518) 582-3211

Jean Olsen, Executive Director
P. O. Box 66
Adirondack, NY 12808
(518) 494-7622
Fax: (518) 494-7811
E-mail: aatv@netheaven.com

Web site: www.aatvny.org

Key Personnel

Key Personnel (2003):
George Cannon, President
Jean Olsen, Exec. Director

Membership

Membership restricted to officials of the towns and villages located within the Adirondack Blue Line

Finances

AATV is supported by annual dues paid by the member towns, in the amount of one-half the amount of dues charged by the New York State Association of Towns. Villages pay a flat $150.00 annually. Towns with less than 50 percent of their area within the Adirondack Park can pay a flat $100.00 instead; this policy is to encourage towns on the fringe of the Park to join the association.

Coalition Involvements

Local towns and villages
County Boards of Supervisors
Inter-county Legislative Committee of the Adirondacks
New York State Association of Towns

Organization Description and Goals, and a Brief History

On December 12, 1992, delegates to "the first Adirondack Congress in Newcomb voted unanimously to form an Adirondack Association of Towns that would represent disgruntled local governments in dealings with the state of New York," reported a first-page article the next day in the Glens Falls Post-Star.

"About 70 towns and villages were represented at the historic meeting," according to the Post-Star, "which was the first time that local governments from every corner of the Adirondack Park were invited to come together and speak with one voice."

The names of the individuals who served on the ad hoc committee of founders and steering committee in 1992 of the Adirondack Congress and Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages are familiar to all in the Adirondacks: Dean Lefebvre (Altamont), Fred Monroe (Town of Chester), Jean Raymond (Edinburgh), Maynard Baker (Warrensburg), Andrew Halloran (Minerva), and George Cannon (Newcomb

At the time, newspapers reported that the nine primary purposes of the new association, which was to adopt by-laws in January 1993, were unanimously passed by 69 towns and villages:

In 1993, Dean LeFebvre became the chairman of the AATV.

In March 1993, the Commissioner of the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Thomas Jorling, spent part of a meeting with the AATV to argue in favor of conservation easements to preserve the timber industry and way of life of the Adirondacks. He met opposition from Minerva Supervisor Andrew Halloran and others, who considered the easements to be a form of land acquisition.

One area where the AATV became active early in 1993 was the situation of the expiration of the terms of four of the commissioners who lived within the park. The AATV set about proposing replacement commissioners for those with expired terms. The Post-Star reported that the local officials felt that Gov. Cuomo's appointments were biased toward environmental concerns and illegally blocked development. By late spring 1993, they had selected regional nominees to the APA to present to Gov. Cuomo.

They also set out early to meet with environmental organizations to find common ground.

In addition, they began publishing a newsletter, "AATV News - A Publication of the Adirondack Association of Towns & Villages." A topic in the February 1994 newsletter was the AATV's call for the Adirondack Park Agency to submit an annual report as required by the Executive Law. The report had not been submitted since the one covering the year 1987, which the APA director, Robert Glennon, said was excused because of the work load and the need to meet the needs of the people and businesses they regulate.

Jean Olsen was elected executive director in 1994 and remains in this post today.

In 1995, the AATV began publishing their legislative program in a booklet. The first resolution was one calling for an amendment to the Executive Law to provide for APA commissioners to be appointed from each of five regions of the Adirondack Park. This key proposal of AATV has not succeeded.

The second resolution was that full payment should be made by the Towns for exempted properties under Sections 480 and 480A of the Real Property Tax Law governing lands in forest production. This proposal has risen to prominence on a few occasions, but never been enacted, because the environmentalists try to tie its passage to measures that would be harmful to local Adirondack interests.

Two of the other three resolutions also remain in the minds of Adirondack leaders, but have never worked their way through the legislature either: "Guarantee of Tax Payments of NYS Forest Preserve Lands" and "Support for a Policy of Access to the Forest Preserve for the Disabled and Mobility Impaired." However, several years later, the Galusha group did achieve a court victory with a settlement supervised by the U.S. District Court on the right of disabled access. (link) The fourth resolution, seeking funding for local planning assistance, has found some success, but some of the planning assistance has been tied to the Adirondack Park Agency.

The AATV began publishing "Voice of the Adirondacks - The official publication of the Adirondack Association of Towns & Villages," calling for fairness in the Adirondacks. In February 1997, they reported that they had met with the governor and lobbied for additional resolutions that they had passed during December 1996, including the one requesting New York State funding for the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board. This goal of this resolution was ultimately successful.

The AATV continues to meet regularly, coordinate with the county legislatures and towns and villages, as well as with the Inter-county Legislative committee of the Adirondacks. In addition, President George Cannon and Executive Director Jean Olsen monitor the APA meetings each month.

Board of Directors

Officers are elected from the Directors, who are elected both as Regional Directors and At Large.

Regional Directors:
Region A - Henry Ford, Supervisor of Colton
Region B - Jeanne Ashworth, Supervisor Wilmington
Region C - Fred Monroe, Supervisor Town of Chester
Region D - Brian Tower, Supervisor of Wells
Region E - Robert Moore, Supervisor of Webb

At Large Directors:
Tom Mason, Supervisor of Hadley
Bill Farber, Supervisor of Moorehouse
Jerry Quintel, Supervisor of Warrensburg
Jean Raymond, Supervisor of Edinburgh
Bill Thomas, Supervisor of Johnsburg

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