WURTSBORO – Bill Lothrop, chairman of the Wurtsboro Fire District’s Board of Commissioners, addressed Mamakating’s town board during their last town board meeting on June …
WURTSBORO – Bill Lothrop, chairman of the Wurtsboro Fire District’s Board of Commissioners, addressed Mamakating’s town board during their last town board meeting on June 21.
He went to the podium during the first public comment period to address the current situation with Town Highway Superintendent Rob Hufcut.
Hufcut was arrested on May 31 and charged with two felony counts of sexual misconduct with a child stemming from allegations from twenty years ago.
Mamakating’s town board had previously released a statement saying that they did not have any information on the case, nor could they take action because Hufcut is an elected official.
Lothrop was told that since his comment was not on the agenda, he had to wait until the second public comment portion.
Lothrop asked, “you don’t think that that’s part of the agenda of this town right now?”
Town Supervisor Mike Robbins explained that Lothrop would be able to make his comment at the end. When Lothrop walked up to the podium during the second public comment, he apologized for speaking out of turn.
Lothrop said that he assumed no one on the board has heard from Hufcut, and said that JoAnn Salomone, the current acting Highway Superintendent, has not been in contact with Hufcut either.
Lothrop stated that Hufcut has “abandoned his elected position and not showed up” for the last three weeks and that is “unacceptable.” Lothrop also stated that Hufcut’s current behavior is not fair to the town.
Lothrop addressed Hufcut directly when he stated that he believed Hufcut was watching the town board meeting remotely: “Huffy, do the right thing. Take a leave of absence and be fair to the town, the taxpayers, and the highway department employees.”
The Democrat reached out to Hufcut for comment, but he could not be reached before deadline.
In addition, at the end of the meeting, the board invited Salomone into executive session for legal counsel, but they did not take any action when they returned.
Besides Lothrop’s plea, the board voted on many other happenings in the town.
To start, the board will hold another short-term rental workshop on July 6, at Town Hall at 6 p.m.
This workshop will be like the last one, in which the board discussed amongst themselves publicly about their ideas, but the public will be allowed to comment at the end of the meeting. Residents will be allowed three-minute comments with a thirty minute maximum for public comment in general.
The board also opened the bid for more repairs on the Dutch Reformed Church in Bloomingburg to repair the steeple, paint, plaster, and more.
The bid will open on July 26 at 2 p.m. Robbins stated that depending on the cost, the board may have to pick and choose repairs.
Additionally, another road in Mamakating has received complaints for speeding cars.
Robbins said that there are many complaints for Mamakating Road to Mountain Road to the Bloomingburg Village line. The board voted to lower the speed limit to 40 mph. Councilman Matt Mordas also stated that he would like to see the passing lane removed to make the road safer. Robbins agreed and said they would include it in the letter to the County, but it is up to the County to approve the speed and road change.
Robbins also announced that the Town Board will have a booth at the Wurtsboro Fair. The fair will take place on Sullivan Street in the village of Wurtsboro on July 9. He encouraged people to attend the fair and visit the booth to ask questions or voice concerns that they may have.
During the second public comment portion, Jack Austin, President of the Rotary Club in Port Jervis, presented a donation of $300 to the Mamakating Environmental Education Center (MEEC) director, Jackie Broder.
Austin explained that Rotary has decided to support environmental effort, and Austin decided to choose the MEEC this year. Austin said he regularly volunteers at the Bashakill and is an environmentalist. Austin and Broder received a large applause from the residents.
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