Village of Chittenango, New York
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Village Board Meeting

September 25, 2018

 

Present: Mark Pulver, Wayne Horning, Elizabeth Bough Martin, Mickey Kopp, Colleen Baldwin, Mr. Gregory, Counsel Bell, Mrs. Kendall, Mr. Gloska, Mr. Eisenhut, Matt Eisenhut, Principal Renee Burgess from Bolivar School, Mrs. Biviano, Mrs. Doss

 

The Mayor called the meeting to order at 7 p.m.

 

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

 

Book Kiosk at Kirschenheiter Park

Principal Burgess and Mrs. Biviano appeared before the Board this evening to discuss a grant that the School had obtained through Madison County Literacy Coalition in the amount of $2,750 for two book kiosks and $750 for books.  They are proposing that one of these kiosks (which have not been designed or built yet) be placed at Kirschenheiter Park.  They would initially purchase books for the two kiosks (second location not yet determined) out of the $750 and then obtain books from various others sources; including libraries in the area.  They also have books at the school that could be used.  They would like students at the School to be involved with the design of the kiosk and they are looking for volunteers (perhaps an Eagle Scout project) to build the structures. They are thinking that the structure would be wood framing with a plexiglass door; perhaps something like the old telephone booth style.   They chose Kirschenheiter as it is a location that children can walk to easily.  They would like to complete the project within the year.  The Board asked about a maintenance plan; that is being worked on.  The Board expressed that it was a great idea and thanked Principal Burgess and Mrs. Biviano for explaining the project.

 

Matt Eisenhut – Eagle Scout Project

Matt Eisenhut who is working on his Eagle Scout Project from Boy Scout Troop 33 appeared before the Board to explain a directional/informational kiosk that he is planning to build with the help of Troop members and professionals and placed near CLCBM near the feeder Canal. The signage would be similar in color to the signage at Phase I of the Trail system.  The signs would have information as follows; 1.  CLCBM 2. Trail 3. Local businesses/attractions.  They would be panels that the information could be changed as needed.  There would be small roofs over the three signs.  Trustee Bough Martin explained that $5,000 has been committed from the Village for this project.  Matt stated he will work with the Code Officer and also finish working on the exact dimensions of the signage.  Trustee Horning asked if trees were to be planted as shown in the plan Matt presented.  Donna Lynch will work on what actual trees will be planted.  Matt stated his timetable is to begin working with Nelson Smith on drilling holes for posts and then construction would begin two or so weeks after that.  He has teachers working with him and professional contractors and roofers.  The Board thanked him for his work on this project. 

 

Minutes

The Board members reviewed the minutes from August 28, 2018.  Upon the motion made by Trustee Bough Martin, seconded by Trustee Kopp, minutes of August 28, 2018 approved as written.  All members present voting in favor.

 

Reports

Village Administrator - Mr. Gregory reported that the new Codes car has been received.  It is currently being outfitted with the Police equipment and should be ready in a week or so.  The sidewalks on Race Street should be completed this week depending on the weather.  Copies of the Procurement Policy and checklist are on the table for the Board to review.  There is a question on the 10,000-limit vs 20,000 purchase limit; as to which one is correct and in conformance to the State Law.  The Board discussed this at length.  Trustee Bough Martin suggested that we check with NYCOM.  Upon the motion made by Trustee Baldwin, seconded by Trustee Kopp the Board will change the limit from $10,000 to $20,000, the Administrator will check with NYCOM to see if the 20,000 is the correct amount, if there is a change, the Board will amend the amount at that time.  The change needs to be made on the first and second page of the Procurement Policy.  All members voting in favor.

Discussion on tower – will be done in Executive Session.

Parking at Kirschenheiter Park has become an issue.  Mr. Gregory stated he has talked with Nelson Smith and the Mayor in regard to the issue.  Right now, two cars could fit on the Hearthstone side of the Park.  Nelson Smith has suggested that the fence be moved inward and nine parking spaces including one handicapped space could be created.  The suggestion was also to place a sign advising that cars should back into the parking spaces.  The parking spaces would be graveled for now and there would be a break in the fence line to allow access for handicapped.  The Board discussed the placement of a porta potty, the Board discussed best location for placement and it appears it be right near where the Miller’s live on Hearthstone.  If a porta potty is placed, the Board discussed building a three-sided enclosure.  The clappers from the bells at the top of the new playground structure have been removed. 

 

Codes -The Board reviewed the August 2018 report.

 

NG Street Light Audit

Mayor Pulver reported that National Grid had done an audit of the Village accounts with them and it was determined there were three accounts that were incorrect so there is a refund due to the Village of $1998.63.  There is also a one-year agreement which is a General Release that the Village has signed in the past.  The Board spoke about signing the release form and would it impact anything that the Village is working on in regard to National Grid facilities.  Counsel Bell will check on this.  The Board will table any action on these two items until the next meeting.

 

720 Oneida Street

The Board discussed the property at 720 Oneida Street that the County had placed up for auction on September 15.  The vacant property is immediately adjacent to the DPW garage facility and could prove valuable to possible future expansion for the DPW.  The Village Clerk asked the County to take it off the auction list as the Village had interest in the property per the Mayor and Board.  The County has provided a purchase offer for the Village to execute for this parcel.  Upon the motion made by Trustee Horning, seconded by Trustee Baldwin, the Mayor is authorized to execute any and all documents for the property acquisition of 720 Oneida Street for a cost not to exceed $10,000.  All members present voting in favor.

 

Requests for Sewer Adjustments

Chappini 105 Richmond Circle - requesting 9,000-gallon reduction

Daviau 811 Leta Street – requesting 10,000-gallon reduction

Dardaris 1009 Margot Ave – requesting 11,000-gallon reduction

Compoli 415 North Street – requesting 11,000-gallon reduction

The Board discussed the four requests for sewer reduction.  Paperwork has been provided for the requests and there is data on water usage that supports the higher water usage.  The requests are for swimming pool fills, so the water did not go through the sewer system.  Upon the motion made by Trustee Baldwin, seconded by Trustee Horning, the four requests for sewer reduction approved in the amounts outlined above.  All members present voting in favor. 

 Mitchell – 201 Diane Circle request was received for sewer adjustment from Attorney Robert Benson.  The request stated that an outside faucet in bad repair had been leaking.  The Board reviewed the information submitted with the request.  Upon the motion made by Trustee Baldwin, seconded by Trustee Bough Martin, the Board denies the request for 201 Diane Circle for a sewer adjustment as enough proof was not provided to justify a reduction and the property should have been monitored more closely to discover the leak sooner.  All members present voting in favor.  Residents to be contacted in regard to their requests.

 

Onondaga Mayor’s Association Dinner Meeting

Upon the motion made by Trustee Horning, seconded by Trustee Bough Martin, the Board authorizes pre-payment for any Board member wishing to attend the October 2018 Dinner/Meeting for the Mayor’s Association.  All members present voting in favor.

 

Community Thanksgiving Service

The Mayor received a letter from Pastor Dan Maxfield of the 1st Baptist Church inviting the Village DPW to be honored at the Community Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, November 18 at St. Patrick’s Church, 1341 Murray Drive for their many contributions to the community from road plowing in the winter to repairs, wonderful projects, trash and recycling collection and for keeping the Village looking great and functioning well.  The Community wants to thanks these individuals for all they do.  Pastor Maxfield encouraged the Village to have as many of the DPW crew members attend this service as possible to thank them.

 

 

OIN

The Mayor reported that he had met with a representative of the Nation in regard to two issues the SAVON station in the Village and what the plans were for its re-development.  He would like the Village and State to have some input on the traffic pattern for the property.  The representative stated nothing was on the horizon at this time.  The second item was the ditch located on the property adjacent to the Yellow Brick Road casino.  This ditch needs to be maintained as there is water over the pipe in the ditch area.  This impacts the drainage on TomTom Street.  The Nation did agree to clean the storm system every couple of months.   

 

Genesee Street Water Mitigation project

The Project is complete per the Mayor.  He reported it is a very large area and he would love to have a drone fly over to get the system photographed.  He would like the residents of the area to know what has been developed to safeguard the residents from storm drainage in the Village.  He thanked Mr. Lanzafame for his considerable donation of land to undertake this project.  The Board discussed what the plans for maintenance of the facility are and wondered if any direction was given to the DPW for such maintenance. The Mayor will check on this.   Trustee Horning stated he would contact Pete from Town Parks & Recreation to see if he would be willing to fly his drone over this area.  The Mayor stated he would like to somehow recognize Mr. Lanzafame for his assistance with and donation for this Project.

 

Walnut Grove Cemetery

Mr. Gregory reported that he had contacted a company in regard to moving one of the tombstones in Walnut Grove which is near the edge of an embankment.  To move this monument three feet, it would cost $12,000.  The Board spoke about perhaps building a retaining wall that would stabilize the area and not move the monument.  Walker Tree Service has also visited the area at the Village’s request and noted there are eight large hickory trees that could fetch approximately $60,000. Walker Tree was going to check on this further with a logger.  The concern is that the Village doesn’t want to change the tree canopy with all the crape myrtle that grows in the cemetery.  The other concern is that they don’t know how loggers would access the area without damaging or destroying the cemetery markers.  The Board agreed that the area needs to be cleaned up somewhat.    Further review and discussion at next meeting.

 

OSC Training

The Mayor advised he had attended Office of State Comptroller training last week.

 

Setting HR Practices for Hiring

The Mayor spoke of hiring practices for the Village and procedures he would like to see set in place.  He presented the following information to the Board.  The Board discussed.  

1. Appointment of Village Employees: Village Law  vests in the Mayor the authority to appoint all department and non-elected officers subject to the approval of the board of trustees; however, the Mayor may delegate the power to appoint certain employees to other village officers/employees.

Following is a suggested form of the resolution by the Board of Trustees to ratify such appointments is as follows:

Be it Resolved, that pursuant to 4-400 of the Village Law of the State of New York, the Board of Trustees hereby approves the Mayor 's appointment Q/[NAME] to the position of [TITLE OF POSITION], effective [DATE] at an [annual salary/hourly rate of

/, subject to any applicable requirements of the Collective Bargaining Agreement by and between the Village and the [UNION] and any applicable Civil Service probationary appointment.

In order to provide for the orderly appointment of Village employees, the Mayor, Village Administrator and Village Clerk will review the current protocol for recommended appointments, if any, or develop such a protocol, to include the use of a form by Department Heads, the Village Clerk and Village Administrator that lists the recommended appointee, job title, civil service-related information (as applicable) and suggested pay rate and other relevant information, in advance of the Mayor's appointment and Board resolution to approve same.

The Village's Employee Handbook states that wages and salary rates are established by the Board of Trustees, except for rates that are set by either the DPW employees' or PBA collective bargaining agreements. See Employee Handbook, Amended July 7, 2016,

8. Further, the Handbook states that the rates for non-negotiated employees are set annually at budget time.

Therefore, any changes to wages, salary rates or benefits during the year must be approved by the Mayor and Board of Trustees.

2. Terminations: Involuntary terminations must be approved by the Mayor. All terminations must be reported to the Village Clerk as soon as possible, and whenever possible, accompanied by a letter of resignation. In order to provide for the orderly termination of Village employees, the Mayor, Village Administrator and Village Clerk will review the current protocol for reporting terminations to include the use of a form for use by Department Heads, the Village Clerk and Village Administrator.

3 Individual Employee Personnel Files: The Village's Employee Handbook presently provides that the confidential personnel file is maintained in the Village Office, and contains "all pertinent information concerning employment, such as evaluation, directives, reprimands, commendations, letters and the like", and provides for a right of inspection by employees in the presence of the Village Clerk, Village Administrator or Department Head, or in the case of a Department Head, the Mayor or Commissioner of the respective Department. See Employee Handbook at p. 6.

 

Further, the Employee Handbook provides that the Records Management Officer/Village Clerk must approve the destruction of Village records, according to such state-mandated schedules/laws. See Employee Handbook at p. 17.

In order to ensure compliance with these centralized personnel file requirements and records management, we require that all relevant employment information, as detailed above, be included in one central Personnel file for each employee located in the Village Clerk's Office. Such information should not be maintained in "unofficial" internal files.

 

Quarterly Audit of Treasurer’s Records

Trustee Baldwin and Trustee Horning reviewed the quarterly audit of the Treasurer’s records dated September 12, 2018.  Everything was in order and their findings revealed no inconsistencies with the cash and receipt records.   They also audited time cards and found those to be in order as well.

 

Madison County Website

Mr. Gregory reported that he and Mrs. Thayer will be meeting with the County representatives in regard to the County website.  He is waiting to hear back from the County as to when we can meet with their IT person.  The group will also speak to the County about the email issue.  Trustee Baldwin stated she would like to be included in the discussions when a date is set up to meet.

 

Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy

The Board spoke of the updating of the Sexual Harassment Prevention policy that needs to be adopted by the Village by October 9, 2018.  A copy of the draft policy was given to the Board to review and comment.  The Board spoke of the time for reporting, anonymity and how the process would work.  There is not a time frame set forth in the regulations for reporting.    The Board discussed implementation of the policy.  Upon the motion made by Trustee Bough Martin, seconded by Trustee Horning, the following Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy adopted by the Village Board this date.  All members present voting in favor.

 

 Village of Chittenango Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy

  1. Statement of Policy

 

  1. Sexual Harassment Prohibited: It is the policy of the Village of Chittenango (The Village) to promote a safe, productive environment for employees and visitors.  As with discrimination involving other protected characteristics, The Village prohibits sex discrimination, including sexual harassment of its employees and guests, including contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants or other persons providing services pursuant to a contract in the workplace.  The Village has zero-tolerance for any form of sexual harassment and requires all of its employees to work in a manner that prevents sexual harassment in the workplace.  The Village recognizes that sexual harassment is prohibited by federal and state law and considers sexual harassment by an employee to be a form of employee misconduct.  It is further the policy of the Village that employees who engage in sexual harassment, or who are a manager or supervisory employee who knowingly allows harassment to occur, shall be subject to potential disciplinary action.

 

  1. Sexual Harassment Defined: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. 

 

Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following:

 

a.      The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex.

b.      The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee.

c.      The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct.

d.      Sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim.

e.      The harasser's conduct must be unwelcome.

 

  1. Forms of Sexual Harassment:  Specific conduct that may constitute prohibited sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to:

 

  1. Any sexual advance or request for sexual favors that is unwelcome.
  2. Verbal comments of a sexual nature related to a person’s gender, including sexual innuendoes, slurs, comments or sounds of a sexual nature that are suggestive, derogatory or insulting, whistling, sexually-themed jokes or stories and sexual propositions or threats.
  3. Sexually-oriented comments about a person’s body or appearance that are unwelcome and/or unreasonably interfere with an employee’s work performance or create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
  4. Displaying or distributing written, recorded or electronically-transmitted material that is sexually suggestive, including, but not limited to: pornographic or sexually explicit images or objects, graphic commentaries or obscene gestures that unreasonably interferes with an employee’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
  5. Physical contact of any kind, which is unwelcome, including, but not limited to: touching, grabbing, hugging, fondling, jostling, petting, pinching, coerced sexual intercourse or sexual relations, assault or intentional brushing up against another person’s body.

 

  1. Reporting and Investigation of Sexual Harassment

 

  1. Reporting Sexual Harassment:Any covered individuals who believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment and would like to either obtain guidance about how to file a complaint or report such incidents should contact the employee’s immediate supervisor, the Mayor or Village Administrator.  A person who reports possible sexual harassment shall be advised of the right to file a written report and provided with a copy of the Village’s policy and reporting form, a copy of which is incorporated as part of this policy. 

 

  1. Investigation of Reported Sexual Harassment:Upon receiving a report of possible sexual harassment, whether communicated verbally or through the written complaint form referenced in this policy, the Village Administrator shall log the report, provide the reporter with written acknowledgement of the report, and conduct a fact-finding inquiry designed to determine within a reasonable degree of probability what happened. Such fact-finding investigations shall be conducted in such a manner as to protect the confidentiality of the reporter to the fullest extent possible. 

 

  1. The fact-finding investigation should be commenced promptly after the report is made and pursued with sufficient diligence to reach a conclusion without undue delay.
  2. An independent third party may be designated to conduct the investigation.
  3. The investigation should determine, with as much detail as possible, the sequence in which events occurred, the identity of each person involved and their respective roles, and the exact words and/or conduct of each person involved in the reported events.  To the extent possible, fact-finding interviews should be conducted by one person.
  4. The investigation shall include an opportunity for any person alleged in such a report to have violated this policy to respond to each statement or action constituting an alleged violation.
  5. Investigative interviews shall be scheduled and conducted in compliance with applicable provisions of New York law and collective bargaining agreements.
  6. Each person interviewed in connection with such an investigation shall be advised that they are protected by the non-retaliation provision of this policy.

 

  1. Resolution of Investigation: Upon completion of the investigation, the Village Administrator shall:

a.      Promptly prepare a written fact-finding report describing:

  1. The investigation, including a summary of each interview performed and any documents or other evidence reviewed
  2. Any conclusions drawn regarding disputed facts
  3. A conclusion as to whether or not prohibited sexual harassment has occurred
  4. A recommendation regarding any corrective action if sexual harassment is found to have occurred

 

  1. If the fact-finding report determines that sexual harassment did not occur, the reporter and any person who was alleged by the reporter to have engaged in sexual harassment shall be advised of the determination verbally and in writing.  The reporter may request that the report be reviewed.

 

  1. If the fact-finding report determines that sexual harassment did occur, the reporter shall be advised of the determination orally and in writing and, consistent with applicable policies or law concerning the confidentiality of employee personnel records, be advised that corrective action shall be taken to deter similar conduct in the future.  Any person(s) found in the report to have committed sexual harassment shall be advised verbally and in writing of the determination and the right to have such determination reviewed, advised verbally of the recommended corrective action and, to the extent required by applicable law or collective bargaining agreement, the steps that The Village intends to pursue to implement such corrective action.  

 

 

  1. Review of a fact-finding report shall be conducted by the Mayor, who shall perform such review promptly and advise the person requesting such review of any action taken resulting from the review.

 

  1. Upon issuance of a final fact-finding report, the reporter shall be advised that sexual harassment is prohibited under federal and state nondiscrimination laws and regulations, and of the right to pursue redress of a report of sexual harassment, whether or not the fact-finding report determined that sexual harassment occurred, through the filing of a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the New York State Division of Human Rights, as well any other applicable local laws.

 

  1. Retaliation Prohibited

 

  1. No person covered by this policy shall be subjected to retaliation of any kind, including adverse employment actions such as discharge, discipline, or other discrimination as a result of reporting sexual harassment or assisting or participating in the investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment.

 

  1. Intimidation, coercion, threats, reprisal or discrimination against any person who in good faith reports possible sexual harassment, or any person who cooperates, aids or assists with an investigation of such a report, is strictly prohibited.

 

  1. Retaliation against a person who makes a good faith report of sexual harassment, or any person who cooperates, aids or assists with an investigation of such a report is unlawful and a form of employee misconduct that may be subject to disciplinary action.

 

  1. Supervisory Responsibility: Department heads and supervisory personnel are responsible for promoting a workplace that is free from unsolicited, unwelcome and/or intimidating conduct of a sexual nature.  Supervisory employees must take immediate and appropriate corrective action upon becoming aware of such conduct involving any employee of The Village or any contractor, consultant, vendor or other person providing services to or receiving services from the Village

 

  1. Availability of Administrative and Judicial Review and Employee Rights:

 

  1. Persons who believe they have been the object of sexual harassment may, in

addition to the procedures set forth in this policy, pursue claims of sexual harassment through state or federal entities such as:

 

  1. The New York State Division of Human Rights (“DHR”): The New York State Human Rights Law, codified as Executive Law Article 15, sections 290 et seq., applies to employers in New York State with regard to sexual harassment and protects employees, paid or unpaid interns and non-employees.  A complaint alleging a violation of the Human Rights Law may be filed with the DHR or in an appropriate federal or state court.

Complaints filed with DHR may be filed within one (1) year of the date of alleged harassment.  Upon receiving a complaint, DHR will investigate and determine whether probable cause exists that discrimination has occurred.  If probable cause is found, DHR refers the matter to a public hearing before an administrative law judge.  If discrimination is found after a hearing, DHR has the power to award various forms of relief, including directives to an employer to stop harassment and monetary damages.

If an individual does not file a complaint with DHR, they can still pursue a claim directly in an appropriate court within three (3) years of alleged discrimination.  An internal complaint made under this policy does not extend the time in which to file a complaint with DHR or in court.  A complaining party does not need an attorney, and there is no cost to the complainant to file a complaint with DHR.

More information about filing a complaint with DHR may be obtained through the DHR website at www.dhr.ny.gov or by calling (888) 392-3644.

  1. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”): The EEOC enforces federal antidiscrimination laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, codified at 42 U.S.C. section 2000e et seq.  An individual may file a complaint with the EEOC any time within 300 days of harassment.  There is no cost to file a complaint with the EEOC.  The EEOC will investigate the complaint and determine if there is reasonable cause to believe that discrimination has occurred, at which point it may issue a Right to Sue letter permitting the individual to file a complaint in an appropriate court.

 

The EEOC does not hold hearings or award relief directly to a complaining individual but may take other action including pursuing cases in federal court on behalf of a complaining party.  Federal courts may award remedies if discrimination is found to have occurred.

 

Any employee who believes he or she has experienced sexual harassment or any other form of unlawful discrimination at work can file a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC.  More information may be obtained through the EEOC’s website www.eeoc.gov or by calling 1-800-669-6820

 

  1. Nothing in this policy should be construed as in any way limiting, diminishing or otherwise affecting the rights of employees to use any applicable Dispute Resolution Procedure or to affect any due process rights available under applicable law or regulation.

 

National Grid

The Mayor has continued to work on soliciting quotes from engineers for possible conversion of lighting fixture process currently being discussed.  He has obtained quotes from Wendell Engineers for $65, -75,000, C&S Engineers $55,000 and he is awaiting information from B&L Engineers. 

He also commented that he would like to get a working group going of 4 or 5 residents, include engineers, Board members to make some final determinations on doing as much as the Village can do to be better able to manage and maintain facilities.  The time is ticking with National Grid and the Village needs to be informed and make informed decisions.  The Board suggested putting out a general inquiry, perhaps through the Village’s Facebook page and website.  The Board agreed that creating an advisory committee is a good idea to gather information.  No resolution is necessary.

 

Capital Resolutions

Nothing to report this evening.

 

Chittenango DG, LLC

More information next month.

 

Abstracts

General Abstract #4 $117,179.70 vouchers 202-264 Upon the motion made by Trustee Horning, seconded by Trustee Bough Martin, General Abstract #4 approved for payment as outlined above.  All members present voting in favor.

Seer Abstract #4 $41,092 vouchers 50-64.  Upon the motion made by Trustee Horning, seconded by Trustee Baldwin, Sewer Abstract #4 approved for payment as outlined above.  All members present voting in favor.

 

Next meeting

October 23, 2018 at 7 p.m.

 

Executive Session

An executive session called for seeking legal counsel on employment and negotiation of contract.  There may be action taken after the session.  Upon the motion made by Trustee Kopp, seconded by Trustee Horning, Executive Session called as outlined above.  All members present voting in favor.

 

Upon the motion made by Trustee Bough Martin, seconded by Trustee Baldwin, the Executive Session was closed at 10:21 p.m. with no action taking place during the session.  All members present voting in favor.

 

Upon the motion made by Trustee Baldwin, seconded by Trustee Bough Martin, meeting adjourned at 10:22 p.m.  All members present voting in favor.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Jill A. Doss

Village Clerk-Treasurer

 ©2018 Village of Chittenango, New York