LIFEGUARDS NEEDED!

The Village of Stamford is accepting applications for Lifeguards for the summer of 2017. Applicants must be 15 years or older and have lifeguard certification. (Note: You can apply for a position now; your training doesn’t need to be completed until June 1st.) Anyone having a WSI certification will receive a pay differential. Any interested persons may contact the Village Clerk at (607) 652-6671 Ext. *#, print the pool staff application off of our website or stop by the Village Hall for an application. Applications will only be taken until April 12, 2017.

Classes Available:

Delhi college: March 13th-May 5th
Monday and Wednesdays from 6:00pm-9:00pm. 270$
607 746 4263

Catskill Rec Center(Arkville NY):
1-845-586-6250
300$

1.April 17th-21st 9:00am-5:00pm
2.May 4th-June 29th (Thursday’s only) 4:00pm-8:00pm
3.June 26th-30th 9:00-5:00pm

There is also an American Red Cross Lifeguarding course at the Oneonta Family YMCA Monday and Wednesday nights 6:00pm -9:30pm staring March 20. Call (607) 432-0010 for more details.


PROPOSED CHICKEN LAW

Village of Stamford
Local Law No. 1 of 2017

A Local Law Regulating the Keeping of Chickens

Be it enacted by the Village of Stamford Board of Trustees as follows:

§ 1. Legislative Intent, Authority and Findings

The Village of Stamford Board of Trustees (“Village Board”) hereby finds that the keeping of chickens can play a role in ensuring a source of local food and a sustainable environment, but that the improper maintenance of chickens in residential neighborhoods can cause nuisances to nearby residential properties, and create conditions which are unsanitary and unsafe. Therefore, it is the intent of the Village Board, pursuant to Article IX of the New York State Construction, Article 18 of the General Municipal Law, and Sections 10 and 20 of the Municipal Home Rule Law of New York State, to permit and regulate the keeping of chickens within the Village of Stamford (“Village”).

§ 2. Definitions

“Chicken” shall mean domestic hens. Roosters and other types of domestic fowl are intentionally excluded from this definition and are not intended to be permitted or addressed by this local law.

“Coop” shall mean a structure that is designed to house hens, which is enclosed on all sides by a roof, doors, and walls with or without windows. A mobile or portable structure that meets this definition shall be considered a coop for purposes of this local law.

“Hen” shall mean a female chicken.

“Run” shall mean an outdoor are that is enclosed on all sides, including the top, by fencing that is attached to or surrounding a chicken coop. A run shall have a doorway or hatch that allows hens to access the space.

§ 3. Permit Required

A. No person may breed, raise, harbor, or maintain hens in the Village without a permit issued by the Code Enforcement Officer. A building permit shall be required for the construction of a coop or run for the keeping of hens to ensure compliance with these provisions. A Certificate of Conformance from the Code Enforcement Officer shall be issued following construction and prior to a hen being bred, raised, harbored or maintained in a coop or run.

A. The Code Enforcement Officer may deny a permit to an applicant that cannot meeting the setback requirements or any other requirement of this local law. The Code Enforcement Officer may also deny a permit to anyone who has been or is convicted of animal cruelty violations, or is delinquent in the payment of any outstanding taxes or assessed fees.

§ 4. Regulations for the Keeping of Hens

A. General Limitations.

1. A coop and run shall only be permitted on unimproved parcels and parcels improved by a single-family residential structure.

2. There shall be no more than one coop and run on a zoned lot.

3. The maximum number of hens shall be six (6) per property.

4. Roosters are prohibited within the Village

5. Hens are permitted for personal use only. For profit sale of hens or eggs on the residential property is prohibited.

B. Enclosures required.

1. Hens shall be contained or kept in a fully enclosed coop and run. Hens may be permitted to exercise in a rear, fenced in yard with supervision provided the fence is a minimum of 5 feet high. Hens must be kept in the coop and run at all times if the coop and run are not located in a fenced yard. No hen shall be permitted to run at large.

2. Feed must be stored in an enclosed, rodent proof container at all times.

C. Minimum Standards for Condition of Coop and Run

1. The coop and run shall be located in the rear of the residential structure. A coop and run shall be permitted in the rear yard only and shall not be permitted in a side or front yard.

2. A coop shall be designed and built so that it provides ventilation and shade for hens, and protection from precipitation, cold weather, predators, wild birds and rodents.

i. Openings in windows or doors are to be covered/secured with wire mesh or screens to deter predators

ii. Access doors are required and are to be placed to provide for ease of cleaning.

iii. The enclose run must be attached to, or surround, the coop. The sides of the run must be made of wire mesh or screening to discourage predators.

iv. The run must be enclosed on all sides including the top or roof plane.

D. Area and Setback Requirements

1. A coop shall provide a minimum of four (4) square feet per hen. A run shall have a minimum of eight (8) square feet per hen.

2. A coop and run shall be at least five (10) feet from the property line and at least twenty (20) feet from a neighboring dwelling. This setback can be waived upon submission of written permission from the owner of the neighboring dwelling.

3. A coop and run shall only be permitted on parcels with a minimum lot size of 1/2 acre.

E. Sanitation and Nuisance Prevention

1. The coop or run shall be kept clean, dry and in sanitary condition at all times. Animal waste, uneaten or discarded food, and feathers are to be removed regularly with a minimum frequency of once per week.

2. Odor from hens, animal waste and related substances shall not create a nuisance for occupants of nearby buildings or properties.

3. Animal waste musts be collected, stored and disposed of regularly with a minimum frequency of once per week. Notwithstanding the foregoing, animal waste may be composted.

§5. Grandfathering

Any chicken coop and/or run existing prior to the effective date of this local law shall be grandfathered and permitted to remain in place with the 1/2 acre minimum lot size requirement set forth in Section 4(D)(3) waived, provided the following conditions are satisfied:

A. Only hens shall be permitted to be kept;

B. An inspection by the Code Enforcement Officer finds that the coop and/or run conforms with, or can be brought into conformance with the requirements of this local law within thirty (30) days of inspection; and

C. All other requirements of this local law are met.

§6. Violations

A. Any person found to be keeping hens without a Certificate of Conformance shall have thirty (30) days from the date of notification by the Code Enforcement Officer to come into compliance.

B. Any person found to be in violation of the standards set forth in this ordinance shall have seven (7) days from date of notification by the Code Enforcement Officer to achieve compliance. The Certificate of Conformance shall be revoked.

C. The Code Enforcement Officer shall have the discretion to immediately and permanently revoke a Certificate of Compliance if a person is found guilty of violating this local law.

D. Revocation of Certificate of Conformance shall signify the coop as a public nuisance and the coop will be removed from the property at the owner’s expense.
§7. Severability

The invalidity of any word, section, clause, paragraph, sentence, part, or provision of this local law shall not affect the validity of any other part of this local law which can be given effect without such invalid part or parts.

§ 8. Effective Date

This local law shall take effect upon filing with the Secretary of State.


VILLAGE CLERK WANTED (Filled 03/16/17)

Stamford Village Clerk: Full Time, salary based on experience, certifications and education, must be organized, multi-tasking, be able to attend night meetings, requires standardized clerical duties, knowledge of computers & internet,  able to take direct orders, interpersonal skills, work well under pressure, and self-motivated.  To apply, please print an application off our website or apply in person at the Village Hall.


TREE LIGHTING IN VETERAN’S PARK

Please join SVIA and TP’s Cafe as we host a tree lighting in Veteran’s Park with Santa this Sunday, December 4th from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm. Santa will be in the Park gazebo starting at 3:00 pm. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served.

Children are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item. For each food item, the child will receive a raffle ticket which will be entered into a drawing. If that child’s ticket is chosen, he or she will be able to light the tree at 4:30 pm.

This event is free and all food items will be donated to local food banks.


Water Law Changes (Public Hearing 12/20/16 6:45PM)

Local Law Number 6 of 2016

Amending the Village of Stamford Water Law 

Be it enacted by the Village of Stamford as follows:

  • 1 – Amendment to Confirm Fee For Re-Establishing Water Service.

Section 1 (“General Rules”), Subsection B of Local Law No. 1 of 1995 (as amended by subsequent local laws) is hereby amended as follows:

(B)       Discontinuance of service for non-payment. All bills are due and payable, net cash, within 30 days after rendition. In case any water bill or charges provided for in and by these rules shall not have been paid within 60 days following the rendering of the bill, the Village may discontinue water service to the customer, and service will not be reinstated until the water charges are fully paid. Additionally, the resident will be charged a fee of $50.00 for suspension and recommencing of water service ($25.00 for each). Moreover, an extra $50.00 fee will be charged for reestablishing a service connection after 4:30 PM. These fees must be paid prior to restoring services.

  • 2 – Sever-ability.

If any provisions of this local law is held to be unconstitutional or otherwise invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining provisions of the local law shall remain in effect.

  • 3- Effective Date.

This local law shall take effect upon filing with the Secretary of State.


PASSED: Animal Control Law (Revised 10/4/16)

Local Law Number 4 of 2016
Amending Local Law 1 of 2006 Dog Control Law to be renamed Animal Control Law

Be it enacted by the Village of Stamford as follows:

Section 1 – Purpose

This local law shall be know and cited as “The Animal Control Law” and sets forth certain regulations to govern the control animals within the Village and the protection of persons, property and domestic animals from attack and damage.

The Village of Stamford Board of Trustees finds that the control of animals of all kinds within the village limits is necessary to keep a nuisance free, healthy and safe environment for the village residents and all who visit the area.

Section 2 – Authority

This Local Law is enacted pursuant to the provisions of Section 124 of Article 7 of the NYS Agriculture and Markets Law.  The enforcement of these laws shall fall on the responsibility of the Animal Control Officer appointed by the Village of Stamford Board of Trustees.

Section 3 – All Dog Breeds

It shall be unlawful for an owner of any dog to allow or permit such dog to:

  • Run at large unless the dog is accompanied by its owner or a responsible person and under the full control of such owner or person. For the purpose of this Local law, any service dog/dogs and other dog/dogs in training accompanied by handlers shall be considered accompanied by its/their owner.
  • Be permitted in any of the streets or public places of the Village of Stamford unless it is effectively restrained by a chain or leash not exceeding six (6) feet in length and is attended by a person of adequate strength to control its actions.
  • A female dog, when in heat, should not be off the owners premises, unrestrained by a leash.
  • Attack any person peaceably conducting himself in any place where such a person may lawfully be, or attack, chase or worry or kill any domestic animal, or any cat or dog, while such animal is in any place where it may lawfully be.
  • Engage in habitual and loud howling, barking, crying, or whining or conduct as to unreasonably and habitually disturb the comfort or repose of any person other than the owner of such dog.
  • Cause damage to property of any person other than the owner of such dog.
  • Habitually chase, run alongside of or bark at motor vehicles, motorcycles or bicycles while upon private property without the consent or approval of the owner of said property.
  • Chase, jump upon or otherwise harass any person in such a manner as to reasonably cause intimidation or fear or to put person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm while off of the owner’s premises.
  • Defecate on any sidewalk, street, park, public area or private property of another person or on property owned by the Village of Stamford. When walking your dog, you are responsible to remove all feces from any property that is not personally owned by the dog owner.
  • Proper outdoor shelters along with fresh water and food for all dogs must fall under the New York Agriculture and Markets Law Section 353-b.

All dogs, 6 months and older, must be licensed with the correct corresponding Town (Stamford or Harpersfield) Clerk in accordance with New York State Agriculture and Markets Law.

Any dog found running loose through the village will be seized.  An attempt to notify the owner will be made at the address shown on the most recent Village tax roll. . The owner will have from 8AM to 6PM to claim the dog, at which time the Animal Control Officer will take the dog to the Heart of the Catskills or other similarly licensed facility. Any dog owner who is located during this search will be required to provide proof of ownership, dog licensing, and shot records upon request.  The owner may also be subject to the enforcement action in accordance with this local law if the Animal Control Officer determines a violation has occurred.

Section 4 –Feral Cats

A feral cat is a cat that has been born into wildness or has not had human interaction for a significant period of time and is self-sufficient. Under New York Agriculture and Markets Law Section 353-a it is a crime to knowingly harm feral cats. However, any person who feeds or gives care to a stray or feral cat(s), becomes the legal owner of said cat(s) under the law and is therefore responsible to spay or neuter the cat(s).

Section 5 – Wild Animals

No person shall own, have, keep or maintain any wild, exotic, or non-domestic animal or reptile, within the Village, except wild animals allowed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation or other State or Federal permitting body, and in accordance with applicable State or Federal regulations and permit conditions, shall be allowed subject to the provisions of this chapter. Any permit required by the State for the keeping of any wild animal must be obtained by the owner and shown to any Animal Control Officer upon demand.

Any complaints or reports involving wild animals within the Village should be directed to a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Certified Trapper.  See Village Clerk for list of Certified Trappers in our area.

For purposes of this section, the definitions of “wild,” “exotic” or “non-domestic” animals or reptiles shall be those employed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in Article 11 of the Environmental Conservation Law.

Section 6 – Dead Animal Removal

The Animal Control Officer shall not be responsible for the removal of dead animals found on local and state highways.  If a dead animal is found or observed on State Highway 23 (which includes Main St and Harper St.) and State Highway 10 (which includes Hobart Road and Lake St.), the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) should be contacted and shall be responsible for removal. If a dead animal is found of observed on a Village road, the Village’s Highway Department should be contacted and shall be responsible for removal.

Section 7 – Animals Exposed to Rabies

Any owner or person having charge or being in the possession of any such animal within the Village of Stamford known to have been bitten by an animal exposed to rabies or any wild animal, shall immediately confine such animal so bitten securely, and notify the animal control officer and New York State Public Health.

Section 8 – Penalties

Any person convicted of a violation of this local law shall be liable to a penalty of fifty dollars ($50.00) for the first violation, one hundred dollars ($100.00) for the second violation within five (5) years, and one hundred and fifty dollars ($150.00) for the third violation within five (5) years and for any subsequent violations within a five (5) year period, the fine shall increase by fifty dollars ($50.00) for each violation.  These violations will be upheld with in a local court of law.

Section 9 – Complaints about the Conduct of Animals

Complaint by an Individual: Any person claiming a violation of this law may make a signed, written complaint to the Village of Stamford Animal Control Officer. Such complaint shall specify the objectionable conduct of the animal, the date thereof, damage caused, description of the animal, the name and address of the owner or the person harboring such animal, and pictures if available.

Upon receipt of the written, signed complaint, the Animal Control Officer will investigate the complaint, and if the complaint is found to be credible, the animal control officer will notify the owner of the complaint and investigation results by registered letter.  This will be a warning prior to the first violation.  Failure to accept the letter does not void the notification.

If the problem is not rectified, the animal control officer will issue a violation notice with a ticket for appearance in front of the local justice court.

Complaint by a Public Officer: If the Animal Control Officer or State Officer or any other Village Officer has reported a violation of this law, a violation notice with a ticket for appearance in front of the local justice court will be issued without warning notice. The Animal Control Officer or Code Enforcement Officer as designated by the Village Board may enforce the provisions of this law and the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law.

Section 10 – Liability

No employee of the Village of Stamford shall render himself personally liable for any damage that may accrue to a person’s property as a result of any act required in the discharge of his duties under this Article.

Section 11 – Sever-ability

This local law shall supersede all prior local laws, rules and regulations relative to the control of dogs or other animals within the Village of Stamford, and they shall be, upon effective date of this law, null and void.

Section 12 – Effective Date

This Local Law shall go into effect as soon as it is filed with the Secretary of State.


Public Hearing October 18, 2016 at 6:45PM

Notice is hereby given that a Public Hearing will be held by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Stamford on October 18, 2016 at 6:45 p.m. at the Village Hall, 84 Main Street, Stamford, New York, 12167 to hear all persons interested regarding the proposed changes to the Animal Control Law and for Local Law 5 of 2016 the Lawn and Tree Maintenance Law. These documents are available for inspection at the Village Hall or on the Village Website.


PASSED: Lawn and Tree Maintenance Law

VILLAGE OF STAMFORD
LOCAL LAW NO. 5 OF 2016

BE IT ENACTED by the Village Board of the Village of Stamford as follows:

SECTION 1.              TITLE.

This local law shall be known as the “Village of Stamford Lawn and Tree Maintenance Law”.

SECTION 2.  AUTHORITY; FINDINGS; PURPOSE; AND INTENT

This Local Law is enacted pursuant to §10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law to provide for the health, safety, appearance and general welfare of the public, the residents of the Village of Stamford and the owners of real property located  within the Village of Stamford.

The Village Board finds that properties on which the lawns are not adequately maintained tend to diminish or lessen the appearance thereof or detract from the appearance of adjoining properties which may lead to the progressive deterioration of a neighborhood. In addition, the Board finds that properties on which trees and bushes have been allowed to overhang or otherwise adversely affect public streets or rights-of-ways within the Village can pose a hazard or threat to the public and the residents of the Village of Stamford.

SECTION 3.  APPLICABILITY.

This Local Law applies to all lots, plots or parcels of land on which residential, nonresidential or mixed-use buildings are located, regardless of whether they are vacant, unoccupied or abandoned. In addition, this Local Law applies to all trees and bushes owned by any person or entity other than the Village of Stamford.

The provisions of this Local Law shall supplement the Property and Maintenance Code of New York State. When a provision of this Local Law is found to be inconsistent with any provision of any other local law code or regulation of the Village or State, the provision or requirement which is the more restrictive or which   establishes the higher standard shall prevail.

SECTION 4.  DEFINITIONS.

As used in this local law, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

LAWN: Exterior portion of property which includes grass, ground cover, weeds and/or other similar plant growth and vegetation. This term shall not, for purposes of this law, include cultivated flowers and gardens.

OWNER:  The owner of record of a tract, lot, or parcel.

PERSON IN CONTROL: The owner, tenant, occupant, trustee in bankruptcy, referee of foreclosure, real estate broker, managing agent or any other person exercising implied or express control of the premises, to be determined on a case-by-case basis.

SECTION 5 PROPERTY AND LANDSCAPING MAINTENANCE.

The owner, occupant, tenant, operator or person in control, as the case may be, of any property subject to this local law shall maintain his/her lawn trimmed to a height of no greater than ten (10’’) inches.

SECTION 6 TREE MAINTENANCE AND REMOVAL.

  1. The owner, occupant, tenant, operator or person in control, of any tree or bush overhanging or otherwise adversely affecting any public street or right-of-way within the Village shall, at his/her own expense, maintain such tree or bush so that it shall not obstruct the light from any street lamp, create a traffic safety hazard or obstruct or hinder passage on any street or sidewalk.
  1. The owner, occupant, tenant, operator or person in control, shall remove, at his/her own expense, all dead, diseased or dangerous trees or bushes, broken or decayed limbs or branches which constitute a danger to the safety of the public.

SECTION 7 ENFORCEMENT.

  1. Enforcement Official: The Zoning Enforcement Officer is hereby designated to administer and to enforce this local law.
  1. Compliance Orders:
  • The Zoning Enforcement Officer is authorized to order, in writing, the remedying of any condition or activity found to exist in, on or about any premises in violation of this Local Law. Upon finding that any such condition or activity exists, the Zoning Enforcement Officer shall issue a compliance order
  • The Zoning Enforcement Officer shall cause the compliance order, or a copy thereof, to be served by at least one of the following methods
  • Personal service upon the owner, tenant, occupant, managing agent or person in control of the property or premises;
  • Mailing by registered or certified mail to the owner, tenant, occupant, managing agent or person in control of the property or premises; or
  • Posting a copy of the compliance order upon the front portion of the property or upon the main structure or bush or tree and mailing a copy of such notice by certified or registered mail to the owner of the property at the address shown on the current assessment records of the Village.
  • The compliance order shall:
  • Be in writing;
  • Be dated and signed by the officer;
  • Specify the condition or activity that violates this local With respect to alleged violations of Section 6 above, said notice shall identify the tree or bush and public street or right-of-way that is being adversely affected and provide a basis for the Villages determination that the tree or bush constitutes a hazard to life or property within the Village;
  • Specify the provision or provisions of this local law which is/are violated by the specified condition or activity.
  • Specify that such violation must be corrected or abated within fourteen (14) days of the date of service; and
  • State the appropriate consequence for failure to correct or abate the condition or activity within the specified period of time.
  • The date of service of a compliance order issued pursuant to this section shall be the date of personal service or ten days following the date of mailing, whichever is applicable.
  1. Compliance; Correct ion or Removal by Village.
  • Any owner, tenant, occupant, managing agent or person in control of any property or premises which has been determined to be in violation of the requirements of this Local Law shall cure, abate, correct or remove such violation, when ordered to do so by the Zoning Enforcement Officer, within fourteen (14) days of the service of written notice as provided in Section 7(B) above.
  • In the event that the property owner, tenant, occupant, managing agent or person in control of any such premises shall fail to comply with the compliance order, as set forth in Section 7(B)(1) the Zoning Enforcement Officer shall make an inspection of the property and report his or her findings to the Village Board.
  • The Village Board, after review of the report may take any, or all of the following action(s):
  • Provide authorization to the Zoning Enforcement Officer and/or the Attorney to the Village to institute appropriate legal action in a court of competent seek civil and/or criminal remedies for the violation(s);
  • Take all necessary steps to correct or remove the violation, either by Village of Stamford employees, or by the Village’s designee or agent, including a private contractor to mow or trim the lawn or mow the ground cover, which violate the provisions of this local law.
  • The person in control of the property shall be responsible to reimburse the Village of Stamford for costs and expenses incurred in abatement of the In the event of failure to reimburse the Village for such costs, the following shall apply:
  • The Village may seek recovery of such costs by action venued in a court of appropriate jurisdiction.
  • Alternatively, and at the sole discretion of the Village, a default in reimbursement of costs incurred by the Village may be remedied by charging such sums against the real property which is the subject of the violation, by adding that charge to, and making it a part of the next annual real property tax assessment for the Village. Such charges shall be levied and collected at the same time and in the same manner as Village assessed taxes and shall be paid to the Village, to be applied in reimbursing the fund from which the costs were defrayed for the corrective or abatement action. Prior to charging such assessments, the owner(s) of the real property shall be provided written notice to their last known address of record by certified mail, return receipt requested, of an opportunity to be heard and object before the Village Board to the proposed real property assessment, at a date and time to be designated in the notice, which shall be no less than thirty (30) days after its mailing.
  • The removal or correction of any violation by the Village or its agents shall not operate to excuse such person in control from property maintaining the property or premises as required by this Local Law in the future.

SECTION 8.  SEVER-ABILITY

If any provision of this local law is held invalid for any reason by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions of this Local Law.

SECTION 9.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This Local Law shall become effective immediately upon its filing in the Office of the New York State Department of State.


HYDRANT FLUSHING

The Village Crew will be flushing hydrants on Thursday (9/22) and Friday (9/23) during the night! Thank you!


Get Involved in Your Community

It’s Your Community, It’s Your Regulations, and It’s Your Chance to get involved!

It is not uncommon for local Planning Boards to experience occasional turnover and municipalities are often on the lookout for new volunteers to sit on local review boards such as Planning Boards (PB’s) and Zoning Boards of Appeals (ZBA’s)

Town/Village Planning Boards review applications for a wide range of projects and there is an added benefit to have a similar diversity of experiences and professions on the local review Boards.   Many Boards are fortunate to have a number of individuals who have either retired or have flexible work hours but individuals of all ages and backgrounds can contribute valuable knowledge and input during Planning Board reviews.  Maintaining a diversity of age and occupation also allows for a variety of backgrounds and experiences in each members field of expertise.

Even if the Board is at full-membership, often a town/village will maintain a list of possibly interested individuals to contact if an opening occurs.    Additionally, Planning Board members may feel reluctant to decline another consecutive term if they feel that their absence would create a long-term absence from the Board.

Even the best of intentions don’t always work out.  It is absolutely crucial that board members fulfill their commitment to the town/village by regularly attending each monthly meeting.  Even the most diverse Planning Board is helpless unless a “quorum” or a majority of the Board’s total membership can be maintained.  Without a quorum, the Board cannot conduct business, which can delay applicants until the next month’s meeting.

The Village Planning Board is currently vacant and seeking 5 community members who are interested in serving.  As long as you are 18 years of age and live within the Village of Stamford, you are eligible to serve on the Planning Board.  One meeting a month as required and training will be provided!

Fresh faces are always welcome; we encourage anyone to come to the meetings that may have an interest in getting involved.  Meetings are open to the public, and the best way to get an idea of what goes on at a meeting is to attend.  Contact your local municipal clerk for additional information regarding opportunities in your community.