Last May, I looked at the attendance records for the Village Board. After receiving no response from any Trustees, I wrote a letter to the New Paltz Times asking some of the greatest offenders to please inform us of the explanation for their lax participation. It wasn't a surprise that there was no response.
Since then, I'm afraid that things have gotten even worse. I used the same rough methodology used in that entry to compile attendance records for all meetings in 2008 and 2009 (minutes are not yet available for 2010). The awful attendance records are especially disturbing, as combining the attendance results of two specific Trustees still fails to yield even ONE full time Trustee.
100% Attendance Record - Of course, I have to give credit to Terry Dungan, who has attended 100% of meetings (regular, special and joint) in 2008 and 2009. The Mayor had 75 meetings total between 2008 and 2009, and was present for the entire meeting every time. But showing up is just a minimum requirement; if Dungan plans to seek reelection, he still has a long way to go before he's in the good graces of most of NP.
95% Attendance Record - Trustee Patrick O'Donnell has been present for an ENTIRE* meeting (including joint, special and regular) 95% of the time. Trustee O'Donnell had 22 meetings total, with 1 absence (regular meeting) and 0 lates or instances of leaving early.
87% Attendance Record - Former Trustee Pete Healey was present for an ENTIRE meeting (including joint, special and regular) 87% of the time. Trustee Healey had 38 eligible meetings between 2008 and 2009, with 4 absences, 0 lates and 1 instance of leaving early. In 2008, he missed 3 special meetings. In 2009, he was absent from 1 regular meeting and late to 1 regular meeting.
83% Attendance Record - Former Trustee Michael Zierler was present for an ENTIRE meeting (including joint, special and regular) 83% of the time. Trustee Zierler had 54 eligible meetings in 2008 and 2009, with 4 absences, 4 lates and 1 instance of leaving early. In 2008, he was absent from 1 regular meeting, left early from 4 regular meetings and arrived late to 1 regular meeting.
(This is where things start to get a little bit nasty. Committee, Board and Commission members are held to a 75% attendance policy in Section 31-5 of the Village Code. No such standard has been established for VB members and, frankly, it shouldn't be necessary, but apparently is.)
77% Attendance Record - Trustee Brian Kimbiz aka Brian Kazmin has been present for an ENTIRE meeting (including joint, special and regular) 77% of the time. In 2009, he had 22 eligible meetings, with 1 absence, 1 late and 1 instance of leaving early from a regular meeting and 1 absence and 1 late to special meetings. Not quite at the 75% threshold, but pretty damn close. Luckily, his presence isn't generally missed, except for the comedic relief provided on the rare occasion that he opens his mouth. Ya know, like, in defense of people who wanna paint their front door all crazy-like.
61% Attendance Record - Trustee Jean Gallucci has been present for an ENTIRE meeting (including joint, special and regular) 61% of the time. Between 2008 and 2009, she had 75 eligible meetings. For regular meetings, she has been absent from 8, late to 10 and left 4 regular meetings early. For special meetings, she has been absent 5 times and late 1 time. She has also left early from 1 joint meeting. I don't expect that Trustee Gallucci will run for a second term; her alliance with Dungan was clearly an effort to help bolster her running mate's numbers in his successful attempt to unseat Jason West. However, she is still holding office and regardless of her future ambitions, I believe it is her responsibility to fulfill the obligations that she signed up for. If she cannot, it is only right that she resign and provide an opportunity for VoNP residents to have someone appointed to actually represent them.
31% Attendance Record - Trustee Shari Osborn has been present for an ENTIRE meeting (including joint, special and regular) 31% of the time. 31%. It's not a typo. Between 2008 and 2009, she had 75 eligible meetings. I'm going to do this as a list, because it's so hard to wrap my head around it.
Regular Meetings - 8 Absences, 20 Lates, 14 Left Early
Special Meetings - 7 Absences, 2 Lates, 1 Left Early
That's a total of 15 Absences, 22 Lates and 15 instances of leaving early. I LIKE Trustee Osborn. I really, really do. But WTF is she doing in her position as Trustee?!? This record is absolutely shocking and I am appalled that someone would seek elective office, allow voters to invest their faith in the commitment of their chosen representative and then proceed to be fully present for only 23 of 75 meetings.
It's no wonder that the VoNP is in such sorry shape. I will continue to welcome any explanation from these Trustees as to their horrific participation but until it's provided, can only judge based on the numbers.
*ENTIRE meetings mean showing up before or as the meeting is called to order and staying until the meeting is adjourned. Multiple instances of leaving and returning during a single meeting are only counted as one. In order to be considered a present, a Trustee must be able to vote at the meeting. Thus, "calling in" to a meeting does not count.