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April 2008 Newsletter

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Schenectady County Legislature Unveils Plan for Improved EnergyConservation and Efficiency
Energy Press Conference

Schenectady County Legislature Chairwoman Susan E. Savage and several members of the County Legislature unveiled a package of green energy initiatives aimed at making Schenectady County a leader in energy conservation and efficiency standards.

“As energy costs continue to rise, achieving energy conservation and efficiency is a goal everyone should strive for,” said Susan E. Savage, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature. “By introducing this legislation, we hope to provide leadership in this arena while reducing the County’s energy costs and protecting the environment for future generations by dramatically reducing emissions in Schenectady County.”

Under the proposal, the County will work to promote efficiency in the following categories:

1. County purchasing of Energy Star products.

Energy Star is a voluntary labeling program for manufacturers designed to help consumers identify energy-efficient products to reduce energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Energy Star program is managed jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy. Schenectady County will give preference to Energy Star products when making purchases for county facilities where applicable. By using these products, the County will be able to significantly lower energy costs.

2. Adoption of LEED Certification Standards
for County Buildings
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria. LEED is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Schenectady County will require that any new county facilities will be designed in accordance LEED standards.

3. Transportation Audit of County Fleet

Schenectady County will partner with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to perform a transportation fleet audit for Schenectady County. The audit will evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the county fleet with a goal of improving the energy and environmental performance of the existing county fleet looking at ways to reduce carbon emissions and petroleum usage. Under the NYSERDA run program, the cost of performing the audit would be split evenly between the county and NYSERDA. Similar studies have been performed for other counties around New York.

4. Promote Residential Home Energy Audits
Schenectady County will partner with NYSERDA, through existing outreach programs, to present a public relations campaign to educate Schenectady County residents about ways they can improve energy efficiency within their homes and about financial assistance that is available through NYSERDA to defray the cost of making improvements. Schenectady County will place a link to the NYSERDA website prominently on the county homepage and will display information about NYSERDA’s residential programs at county facilities. The County Departments of Senior and Long –Term Care and the Department of Social Services will disseminate information regarding NYSERDA’s programs pertaining to low-income families to clients who may benefit from such programs.

5. Endorsement of New York State’s 15 by 15 Proposal
Schenectady County will pass a resolution in support of New York State’s 15 by 15 proposal, which seeks to reduce emissions in the State by 15% by the year 2015. A copy of the resolution will be sent to the Governor and members of the State Legislature and Schenectady County will pledge to work to with the state achieve this goal by continually seeking ways to reduce carbon emissions within Schenectady County.

6. Recycling
Among the proposals will be a directive for the County Manager to establish an improved recycling policy throughout the County’s facilities. Recycling is one of the biggest individual contributions that can be made to the environment. It preserves natural resources, saves energy, conserves landfill space, lessens water pollution as well as reduces usage, and lowers the production of the emissions of gasses that cause global warming.

7. County
Employee Energy Conservation
The County Legislature will also pass a resolution directing the County Manager to issue a memo to County employees asking them to be mindful of energy consumption by turning off lights and computer equipment at the end of the day or when not in use for extended periods of time.

NYSERDA President and CEO, Paul D. Tonko said, “I applaud Schenectady County for their leadership toward a more energy-efficient and sustainable future. I look forward to our partnership and providing NYSERDA’s expertise and programs which will help support the County in achieving their goals to save energy, reduce the County’s carbon footprint, lower costs and build a sustainable green community. These forward looking initiatives will bring long lasting benefits to those who live and work in Schenectady County and invest in a strong societal commitment to future generations.”

“We must be in the mindset of conserving and reusing as much as possible” said Schenectady County Legislator Michael Petta, Chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee. “The world is at a tipping point and it is crucial for everyone to do their part. I feel that Schenectady County is very much on its way to contributing to the path of a greener tomorrow.”

“On January 1st, this Legislature pledged to our constituents to make the environment a priority,” said Vice Chair Judith Dagostino. “We are joining a growing movement of concerned citizens who care about the effects that fossil fuels are having on our days to day lives. This Legislature is seeking to take proactive steps towards conservation and efficiency so that we have something sacred to leave to behind to our children and grandchildren.”

“Schenectady County’s initiatives represent the best of both worlds -- they will help fight climate change and save taxpayers' money through greater energy efficiency," said Marcia Bystryn, Executive Director of the New York League of Conservation Voters. "We applaud the Legislature for its commitment to combat global warming on the local level and we look forward to making this bold plan a reality."

Schenectady County Legislature Passes a Resolution Urging Tobacco Retail Merchants in Schenectady County Reduce, Rearrange or Eliminate Tobacco Advertising in Retail Stores

cigaretteThe Schenectady County Legislature passed a resolution last month encouraging tobacco retailers to reduce, re-arrange or eliminate tobacco advertising in their stores. Introduced by Dr. Brain Gordon, a Democrat who represents the Town of Niskayuna and a member of the County Health Committee, the resolution encourages tobacco retailers to eliminate tobacco advertising from areas in their stores which are most likely to be seen by children, such as wall space below five feet, near candy displays and on counter tops.

Smoking tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States and the Surgeon General has concluded that tobacco advertising contributes to youth smoking rates dramatically. In New York State alone, the tobacco industry spends $516 million annually to protect its products, a and tobacco advertising in retail stores has a powerful influence on teenagers, who are significantly more likely to smoke due to advertising than they are due to peer pressure.

The Capital District Tobacco-Free Coalition 2007 Community Tobacco Issues survey showed that 69% of Schenectady County residents have noticed cigarette or tobacco products being advertised or promoted on shop windows or inside shop windows where tobacco is sold, and that a majority of Schenectady County residents do not want tobacco advertising allowed on the exterior of stores within 1,000 feet of schools, playgrounds or daycare facilities. The reality is that every day, another 4,000 American children start to smoke and another 2,000 become regular, daily smokers.

“The overwhelming majority of smokers start using tobacco when they are teenagers. This resolution will focus attention on how tobacco advertising influences our youth to start smoking” said Dr. Gordon. “We want to get tobacco advertising out of our children’s view.”

The Schenectady County Legislature Recognizes the achievements of Malinda Myers for being the 2008 Recipient of the Schenectady YWCA Unsung Hero AwardMyers, Melinda photos 03-11-08 003

Malinda Myers arrived in Schenectady County in 1943 and has been an active force for good of the community ever since. She was employed by the City of Schenectady in their Law Department for 35 years. Malinda was the co-founder and later president of the Schenectady NAACP and served on a New York State policy committee on the environment and the State Parks Recreation Advisory Commission under Governor Nelson Rockefeller. Mrs. Myers served as Chair of the feasibility committee that recommended Schenectady County establish its Community College and she served as a trustee of the College. Malinda Myers is and was active in various community organizations including secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Schenectady County Public Library, the League of Women Voters, NAACP, SICM, and Emanuel Baptist Church. Malinda has been the recipient of many other awards: the Mayor’s Patroon Award, Schenectady Human Rights Commission Award, One Hundred Women of Excellence Award, Susan B. Anthony Award and the YWCA Women of Achievement Award.

“The Schenectady County Legislature is proud to honor the great accomplishments of Malinda and acknowledges the honor bestowed upon her by the YWCA,” said Susan E. Savage, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature. “This award is so admirably and deservedly received.”

stop fraud waste and abuse

County Officials Implement Fraud, Waste and Abuse Prevention Policy

The Schenectady County Legislature recently established a fraud, waste, and abuse prevention policy, which provides a framework for internal controls and defines management and employee responsibilities in preventing, detecting and reporting fraud, waste and abuse.

“Schenectady County recognizes the importance of protecting its taxpayer-funded programs and services from fraudulent, wasteful and unethical activities,” said Susan E. Savage, Chairwoman of the Schenectady County Legislature. “Therefore, it is incumbent upon the County Legislature and the County Manager to establish a Fraud, Waste and Abuse Prevention Policy and to clearly communicate this policy to employees, vendors, clients and taxpayers.”

According to the policy, some examples of fraud include: theft of funds, falsifying expenses or invoices, misuse of property or equipment, falsifying records, theft or removal of property, willful destruction or damage of property, neglecting or subverting job responsibilities, abuse of employee time, knowingly providing false information on job applications, and knowingly providing false information on bids or requests for funding.

“Our goal is to create a positive work environment which fosters loyalty, provides recognition, promotional opportunities, collaborative decision-making, and clear-communication channels,” Savage said. “County Officials must set a tone of honesty and ethics in their departments and a Code of Conduct will be developed and communicated to all employees. Annual performance reviews of management staff will specifically address ethics and fraud prevention goals – this is our obligation to the taxpayers.”

To report suspected fraud, waste or abuse, contact the County Managers office at 518.388.4355 or go to

Parking Numbers Show Increased Activity in Downtown Schenectady
Schenectadyparking1Recently, Metroplex released information on the use of its seven surface parking lots and parking garage in 2007. The results showed a major increase in the number of people working, shopping and enjoying the performing arts in downtown Schenectady.

“As the revitalization of downtown continues, we are seeing an across the board increase in use of our parking lots and garage,” said Metroplex Chair Ray Gillen.

In 2007, there was a 40% increase in daytime visitor parking with 128,859 parkers during business hours compared with 92,164 in 2006. Metroplex does not track evening visits as parking is free after 5 pm except in two lots directly behind Proctors. Visitors to Proctors or Bowtie Movieland can park free of charge anytime in the Broadway Parking Garage. Daytime free parking the surface lots is limited to two hours.

The parking data also shows that visitors to downtown are staying longer. Twenty-one percent of customers stayed longer than 2 hours, which represents and 84% increase over 2006 (27,332 vs. 14,892). Monthly parking permits for people working downtown have increased to 1,147 up from 350 in 2004.Schenectadyparking2

Metroplex assumed control of the downtown parking garage and surface lots in 2004 from the City of Schenectady. Improvements have been made to the parking lots including reconstruction, landscaping and restriping. The parking garage has also received substantial upgrades including new lighting and security cameras as part of a network of wireless cameras being installed downtown.

For more information, see

Census Data Shows Continued Growth in Schenectady

While the population of many upstate counties in New York State continues to shrink, Schenectady County is bucking the trend. According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data, Schenectady County is the second fastest growing county in the Capital District. The County has grown from 150,213 residents to 150,818 residents, an increase of 605 - from July 1, 2006 to July 1, 2007.

Thirty three New York State counties have experienced population decline since the 2000 census. Of those, 32 are upstate, and over the past four years, the population in Schenectady County increased by 3,869 or 2.63%.

“For the past four years, the County Legislature has focused our efforts on economic development and job creation,” said Susan E. Savage, Chairwoman of the Schenectady County Legislature. “We have worked to create more than 3.000 new jobs and that means attracting workers and families to Schenectady County. For years people left the County because they lacked employment opportunities. We’ve changed that.”

Given the trend and the continued success of the County’s economic development effort, Savage is confident the growth will continue.

“This is solid, sustainable growth that comes after years of population decline and economic stagnation. We have enacted many strong economic development strategies and created thousands of jobs within the County” said Savage. “Through smart, strategic planning and execution of these ideas, we will continue the dramatic turnaround of Schenectady County that we started four years ago.”

Child and Adolescent Mobile Crisis Team

Schenectady County is excited to be a part of a unique mobile crisis team that serves three counties in the Capital District. Funded through the collaborative efforts of local governments and two state agencies – it is a new approach to meeting community need.

KidscrisisteamSchenectady, Albany and Rensselaer Counties have developed a collaborative, intergovernmental initiative to address a serious gap in services and meet the needs of children in crisis. The Child and Adolescent Mobile Crisis Team, which began in November of 2006, responds to child and adolescent behavioral health crises at families’ homes and emergency points of entry as requested by family members. For example, the Team may respond directly to a child’s home, school or hospital emergency room and offer families diversion to respite and other outpatient supports and services. The guiding principle is to maintain the integrity of a family by providing crisis stabilization and avoiding unnecessary hospitalization.

The model is designed to serve children and their families in the least restrictive, most responsive and individualized manner possible. The crisis service puts families’ needs first, and the disability second, so that eligibility criteria is not limited to a particular disability group. It can help to contain, control, and support a family when there is a child in crisis without inflicting further harm.

The crisis team staff counsels families by phone, or when needed, they make home visits. It is administered by a local provider, Parsons Child and Family Center and located at the Capital District Psychiatric Center. The mobile crisis team provides significant savings on top of providing better family assistance.

“Schenectady County is proud to be partnering with Albany and Rensselaer Counties to be able to offer this level of intensive counseling and care for families with a child in need,” said Susan E. Savage, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature. “The collaborative nature of the Crisis Team is truly unprecedented because it is not just a prevention team but a true crisis team.”

The crisis team is available Monday through Friday, 1:30 P.M. to 9:30 P.M and is planning to expand the availability of CAMT to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the future. To access CAMT services in Schenectady County, please contact either Ellis Hospital at 518-243-4000 or Child Guidance Center at Northeast Parent and Child Society at 518-381-8911 for more information.

Schenectady County Household Hazardous Waste Program to Kickoff April 4

Schenectady County's monthly Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Program will kickoff its 5th full year of operation on Friday, April 4th at the County Farm. This year's program is currently scheduled to offer monthly collections from April through November. Additionally, Schenectady County residents can participate in the Regional Earth Day Electronics program which will be held at Taft Furniture in Colonie, April 26. Detailed information on the electronics collection will be available soon.

hazardouswasteCounty officials hope to build on the success of the 2007 program, which experienced a seventeen percent increase in the number of car loads served resulting in three hundred and seventy six drums of hazardous materials being removed from County residents’ homes and safely disposed of - an increase of 15% over 2006. This material consisted of paints, solvents, lawn and garden chemicals, household cleaners, automobile fluids as well as other hazardous chemicals found around the home.
“Many of us have paint, cleaning supplies and lawn chemicals left over from project around the home which we no longer need,” said Susan E. Savage, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature. “This program gives County residents a way to safely dispose of these materials to reduce the risk of children, pets and others being accidentally exposed to them and to ensure that they are dealt with in an environmentally friendly way.”

The schedule for 2008 is as follows: Fri. 4/04, Weds. 6/04 (4pm – 7pm), Sat. 7/12, Sat. 8/9, Fri. 9/5, Sat. 10/4, and Fri 11/7. All times are 8 AM to Noon unless otherwise indicated. Pre-registration is required for all programs by calling 1-800-494-CARE (2273). The registration period for each program will begin immediately following the completion of the previous program. Registrations are limited to one hundred and seventy five people on a first serve basis. The program is available only to Schenectady County residents with a valid County Farm Permit. County residents can purchase a County Farm permit at the Schenectady County Farm at a cost of fifteen dollars for the calendar year (that is, through December). Payment must be in cash and the permitee must show their vehicle registration, as well, at the time of purchase.

Hazardous chemicals brought to the program are handled by a professional hazardous waste management firm. The County has just completed hiring CARE Environmental Corporation out of Landing, New Jersey to operate the program on an annual renewable basis, for the next five years. CARE has operated the program since the fall of 2002. The materials are trucked from the County Farm by permitted hazardous waste hauling trucks to their processing center in Georgia where the materials are sent to other locations to be blended with other fuels and burned to produce energy, destroyed by incineration, recycled, or chemically treated.

The program is funded by the Schenectady County Legislature, with a fifty percent matching grant from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund and administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The program is administered by the Schenectady County Department of Economic Development and Planning, Commissioner Ray Gillen.

The next collection day will be on Friday, May 9th. For the complete schedule or for further information on the program visit the County Website at, by emailing or by calling the County Department of Economic Development and Planning at 386-2225.

Schenectady County Announces Call for Applications for Vendors for 2008 SummerNight Fesitval
SummerNight 07 (35)The 2008 Schenectady County Summer Night, taking place Friday July 18, 2008, beginning at 4:30pm and ending at 10:00pm, is a FREE event, featuring a variety of family-friendly entertainers and performances presented at various locations (both indoor and outdoor) throughout Downtown Schenectady. The festival will focus on family entertainment, and will include local bands, street performers, comedians, a hypnotist, a professional large-scale sand sculpture, and food and craft vendors. Schenectady County SummerNight is a total family event that is designed to enhance the quality of life for families in Schenectady County and visitors to our community. In its first year, SummerNight 2007 drew nearly ten thousand visitors and residents to downtown Schenectady! We expect even more than that in 2008.

Downtown Schenectady, with the “hub” being the intersection of State and Jay Streets (The Circle), with the other entertainment venues “spoking” out from the “hub”. The celebration will be concentrated on State Street between Broadway and Lafayette Street, and on Jay Street between State and Franklin (the Jay Street Pedestrian Mall).

summernight juggleWe are looking for food, craft and not for profit booths. If you wish to be a vendor at this event, please complete a form and return it (along with your payment ) to the address below. A form may be found at or by contacting the County Special Events Coordinator, Wendy Voelker at 518.388.4355.

Downtown Schenectady, with the “hub” being the intersection of State and Jay Streets (The Circle), with the other entertainment venues “spoking” out from the “hub”. The celebration will be concentrated on State Street between Broadway and Lafayette Street, and on Jay Street between State and Franklin (the Jay Street Pedestrian Mall).We are looking for food, craft and not for profit booths. If you wish to be a vendor at this event, please complete a form and return it (along with your payment ) to the address below. A form may be found at or by contacting the County Special Events Coordinator, Wendy Voelker at 518.388.4355.

Wendy Voelker
Schenectady County Special Events Coordinator
County Office Building, 620 State Street
Schenectady NY 12305
Phone: 388-4355 / Fax: 388-4590

Schenectady County Stop DWI Crackdown on St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Pays Off!
DWISchenectady County’s Stop DWI program, working in close cooperation with six local law enforcement agencies, netted seventeen arrests for driving while intoxicated over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

In addition to the increased patrols, the County enhanced this year’s DWI Awareness Program by distributing pint glasses with a STOP-DWI message to establishments with liquor licenses that participated in a certified training program designed to reduce occurrences of people driving under the influence of alcohol in Schenectady County.

“I think our efforts on this St. Patrick’s Day weekend paid off,” said Susan E. Savage, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature. “We have committed ourselves to reduce the number of drivers on our streets who pose a threat to themselves and others and I think our program accomplishes exactly that.”

“The simple fact is that tragedies can occur when people drive while impaired,” said Savage. “Schenectady County will continue its Stop DWI efforts with the goal of eliminating DWI offenses.”

As part of the enforcement operation, compliance checks of local businesses licensed to sell alcohol were made. Police discovered one business to be selling alcohol to minors.
Last year, the County started a new promotional campaign with the message “If you’re driving impaired in Schenectady County – We Will Be There to Pick You Up” to emphasize the County’s zero tolerance policy toward drinking and driving. Posters featured the insignias of local police departments.

The goal of the program is to increase awareness of the dangers of driving while impaired to consumers, while increasing the number of establishments who receive TIPS training for servers with the overall goal of reducing injuries and death due to impaired driving.

A total of 2,500 glasses are ready for distribution under the new program. The cost of the program is being underwritten by Schenectady County Stop-DWI which is supported entirely by fines imposed on people convicted of driving while impaired.

In addition, local Police Benevolent Associations are supporting this effort with contributions. There is no cost to County taxpayers for the glasses.

Schenectady County businesses interested in more information about the TIPS training may contact Denise Cashmere, Schenectady County STOP-DWI Coordinator at 386-2225.

In addition to enforcement efforts, the Stop DWI Program also works to educate establishments that sell alcohol as well as students and members of the general public about the risks posed by impaired drivers.

Schenectady County Legislature Chairwoman Susan Savage Announces $343,444 in Cost Savings Negotiations with Pharmacy Benefit Manager
Schenectady County Legislature Chairwoman Susan E. Savage announced that the County will save $343,444 in 2008 as a result of negotiations with the County’s Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) Express Scripts, which is responsible for negotiating drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.

“In our ongoing effort to save taxpayer dollars, we are taking decisive action to reduce the cost of the health-care benefits we provide our employees,” said Chairwoman Savage. “Through negotiations with Express Scripts, we are reducing our U.S. drug costs by 8.5%, or $343,444, in 2008.”

The 8.5% cost-savings are achieved in two specific areas – price reductions and rebates. The County was able to negotiate price-cuts of $249,779 while increasing rebates from $81,564 to $175,714 - an increase of $93,665.

Philip Fields, Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee stated: “Prior to 2004, Schenectady County did not receive rebates on its drug buy. Prior to 2004, the County did not negotiate with a PBM on the price it would pay for drugs. This is a new way of doing business – a better way of doing business. In conjunction with our Schenectady Meds Program, our employee drug costs in 2008 will be lower than they were in 2004. By moving away from the old way of doing business and seeking creative solutions, we are saving taxpayers nearly $2 million each year.”

Schenectady County, Junior League of Schenectady, and Local Businesses Team up to Fight Childhood Obesity
Kids Schen 01 April 06Schenectady County has teamed up with the Junior League of Schenectady, a well-know area restaurant, and other local area businesses fight childhood obesity through the national Junior League’s innovative Kids in the Kitchen program. This effort is designed to create an impact in our communities around an issue of growing importance: childhood obesity and poor nutrition.

On Monday, March 31st, in an effort to celebrate National Nutrition Month and National Boys & Girls Clubs Week, the Schenectady’s Kids in the Kitchen Program was will be held at the Mont Pleasant Boys & Girls Club in Schenectady.

The Junior League of Schenectady has worked with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady to create a program that will have four components. The effort will focus on:

Learning how to prepare healthy foods within a fixed budget with a chef from Glen Sanders Mansion;
Enjoyable exercise programs with the Union College Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams;
Fun nutrition education through a nutrition trivia contest; and
Hip Hop Abs – a fun, fast paced fitness program that can be done by anyone, anywhere.
Since the early 1970’s, the number of overweight children ages 12-19 in the United States has doubled, and the number of overweight children ages 6-11 has tripled. Today, this issue is considered by many the number one risk to children’s health.

"As a sustaining member of the Junior League and a founding member of this project, I am proud that Schenectady County has taken a leadership role in helping the kids of the Schenectady Boys and Girls Clubs combat childhood obesity. Kids in the Kitchen has helped make healthy lifestyles more appealing for families of all walks of life" said Susan E. Savage, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature.

Schenectady County has been a sponsor of the program since 1995.

For more information about the Kids in the Kids Program, see their website at

Schenectady County Legislature passes a Resolution to enact Stricter Watershed Penalties
800px-Great_Flats_BoardwalkAt a recent meeting of the Schenectady County Legislature, members voted to pass a resolution that would encourage the New York State Legislature to approve legislation that would increase the penalties for violation of regulations pertaining to contamination of public water supplies.

This is a critical message to send to lawmakers in Albany. Particularly since the Great Flats Aquifer of Schenectady County supplies potable water to nearly 150,000 County residents and is a vital natural resource that needs to be protected and preserved.

800px-Great_Flats_General_ViewThe current level of penalties for people who violate regulations pertaining to the contamination of public water supplies does not adequately deter potential violators. That is why Schenectady County Legislators have sent a message to Albany lawmakers to increase the fines and penalties to those who do wrong to the watershed.

"The Great Flats Aquifer is a rare gem that supplies water to our entire County and the surrounding area", said Susan E. Savage, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature. "We must act to protect this precious natural resource from the hands of predators. We implore our state lawmakers to act on this legislation quickly and accordingly before the end of the legislative session, for the benefit of all County residents."

Long Term Care Insurance Breakfast Forum
seniorOn Thursday March 27, the Department of Senior and Long Term Care Services held its first annual breakfast forum on long term care insurance entitled “Easy Steps for Difficult Paths: Paving the Road for Good Long Term Care Planning”. This forum was attended by eighty professionals who represented thirty-five organizations and was held at The Glen Sanders Mansion.

Karen Johnson, a County Legislator who represents District 1 and who is the Chairperson of the Human Services and Aging Committee, served as Mistress of Ceremonies. The main speaker was Chris Cioffi, a partner in the law firm of Cioffi ? Slezak ? Wildgrube, PC whose presentation was entitled “Financing Long Term Care 101”. Chris reviewed some basic components of long term care planning an explained why it is important for everyone to have a will, a health care proxy and a durable power of attorney. She explained that these documents are very helpful in the event that you are no longer to make decisions for yourself.

Monica Kergel, who runs the new Long Term Care Insurance Resource Center for the Department of Senior and Long Term Care Services, spoke about “The New Face of Long Term Care Insurance in New York State”. Monica explained how the costs of long term care are sky-rocketing and why you should not leave to chance planning for your long term care needs. She advised forum participants that the purchase of long term care insurance is a viable option in long term care planning.

Cathryn Bern-Smith, Manager of the Department of Senior and Long Term Care Services, Trina Landacre, Principal Welfare Examiner from the County Department of Social Services and Melissa Hogan, Counselor from the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs, participated in a panel entitled “Exits Along the County Highway For Long Term Care Services”. Cathryn spoke about the Department’s many programs and services and ways to access them; Trina provided important information on how Medicaid relates to long term care planning and the criteria for accessing benefits; and Melissa conveyed information about long term care benefits available to veterans as well as some new benefits available for Vietnam-era Veterans.

If you would like more information about this event, please contact Cathryn-Bern-Smith, Manager, Schenectady County Department of Senior and Long Term Care Services at 382-8481 x1236.

16th Annual Indian Kill Open House/Fishing Day
fishing daySchenectady County's 16th Annual Indian Kill Open House and Fishing Day will be held on Saturday, May 10, 2008 from 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM at the Indian Kill Nature Preserve in the Town of Glenville.

In order for young fishing enthusiasts to participate in this spring event, they must register before Wednesday, May 7, 2008 at four area locations: Goldstock's Sporting Goods in the Town of Glenville, The Boat House in the Town of Niskayuna, and Taylor & Vadney in the Town of Rotterdam. The number of participants in this event will be limited. If there are any questions about this event please call the Schenectady County Department of Economic Development and Planning at 386-2225.

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