The Village Board
January 19, 2021
2020 in Review
Imagine an average-sized college of, say, 5600 students. We’re talking about colleges the size of Williams, St. Lawrence Univ, Amherst, Dartmouth. Fifty-six hundred students and 45 faculty and staff. (Not many faculty for this many students, but we’ll ignore this for this exercise.) It’s got a sprawling campus, over 3 square miles. It also runs a major sewage treatment plant for a neighboring town and nearby state prisons. And operates a potable water system for the same neighboring town and prisons.
Instead of teaching these 5600 students, the faculty and staff take care of their water, sewer, and road maintenance needs, along with providing for their safety and quality of housing. Quality of housing means ensuring that rental housing for these students meets decent standards.
There’s more. The college president and administration spend much of their time and energy dealing with state mandates, telling them how to run the campus and run the lives of the students. There is an inherent conflict here, for the college has constitutional rights going away back to its founding in 1802, and yet the state keeps encroaching on those rights. It’s a constant battle for the president and senior administrators to keep the (expletive deleted) state from totally dictating campus policy.
The college has an annual budget of $7.3 million. Approximately $280,000 of this comes from the state, which, incidentally, has threatened to withhold this money if the college doesn’t comply with certain state dictates. Most of the $7.3 million comes from student tuition and other fees, like Dartmouth, St. Lawrence Univ., and all other colleges charge. Except in this instance the college charges the 5600 students for water & sewer along with other general operating costs.
I mentioned the 45 faculty and staff. Thirteen of the staff are cops. Why cops, you ask? Because the 5600 students have some real doozies living among them. There are huge drug problems, alcohol problems, and there’s loads of mental illness. Besides, the college welcomes visitors. Since the college straddles the local highway, there are thousands of these people driving through campus daily.
I neglected to mention that the college has an extraordinary number of streets for an average-sized college, or even a large university: 119! One hundred and nineteen streets! The college paves these, plows them, and otherwise maintains them. It does all this with 18 faculty and staff.
The faculty and staff who maintain the streets and sewage and water plants are not in the Department of History or Department of Chemistry, they’re in the Department of Public Works. While I’m at it, I should clarify that the 13 faculty who maintain public order are not in the college’s Department of Public Health or Department of Sociology or even the Department of Deviant Behavior. They’re in the Department of Public Safety.
Anyone who imagines that running this college is not a full-time job, needs his head examined. And yet, believe it or not, up until a year ago, the president was expected to run this complex organization on strictly a part-time basis with an annual salary of $12,000. President Joseph Riccio, who preceded the current president, was a capable man, but he couldn’t live on $12,000/year, so he kept his full-time job working in Saranac Lake. (Can anyone blame him?) The college suffered from neglect, as a result. Not because Pres. Riccio was an incompetent, but because the trustees didn’t figure out that (a) the job required full-time attention, and (b) an annual salary of $12,000 is worse than a joke for this task: it’s an insult.
Be that as it may, the campus under Pres. Riccio suffered from neglect and poor management. So did the departments within the college, especially the Department of Public Works. It needed leadership from the president, which it didn’t get. The faculty in the DPW did the best they could with limited funds, a building falling down around their head, and very little direction from the president’s office.
The Department of Public Safety, under the chairmanship of a man named Christopher Premo, managed to do much better during the years of poor administration from the president’s office. Let me be clear. The problem wasn’t Pres. Riccio or the presidents before him (Pres. LaPine, Pres. Stewart, Pres. Gokey, etc.); the problem was the trustees never realized this is a full-time job requiring a realistic salary. Anyhow, I’m happy to report that Chairman Premo was a strong leader who, despite being ignored and under-funded by the college administration, managed to maintain and further strengthen a superb department.
A year ago, all this changed. A new president was installed. A young woman who had been a trustee of the college for four years and had been a county legislator for several years. A woman with a passion for the college. She knew, I swear, just about everyone on campus, including all the faculty and staff. And, best of all, she knew this was a full-time job and she thought she had the brains and experience and courage and energy to bring this once-famous college back to life.
And she is succeeding. And this article is a celebration of this fact.
Fortunately, she has an excellent board of trustees who realized Pres. Andrea Dumas was devoting nearly all her waking hours to running the college, and that this was a good thing for everyone, and they increased her salary from $12,000 to $50,000/annum. That’s still ridiculously low for a campus this size and of this complexity, or even a corporation of this size and complexity, but the board, in consultation with the college budget officer, felt the budget couldn’t tolerate anything beyond this at present. (The board will revisit the salary issue at the start of the next fiscal year, June 1, 2021.
By the way, the board took account of the fact that Pres. Dumas quit her full-time job, where she was making well over $50K annually, to become chief executive of the college.)
No doubt you have guessed the name of the college. Malone College, founded in 1802 on the banks of the Salmon River in upstate New York. The college has weathered all sorts of tribulations: the Civil War, 2 World Wars, the Great Depression, myriad recessions, and now Covid. Covid has been a major blow. But Pres. Dumas has a steady hand on the tiller.
So, too, does the board of trustees. I would be remiss if I failed to acknowledge them. Archie McKee is the economist, and a very capable one. Norman Bonner keeps himself well informed on the myriad issues facing the village and offers wise counsel, time and again. Brian Langdon: another source of wise counsel with a special knack for courageously raising difficult questions which must be addressed. Matt Boyea. A year into the position, Matt has learned how the campus operates and, like his colleagues, offers wise counsel and gives generously of his time when Pres. Dumas needs assistance.
An outstanding mayor and board of trustees
With the above introduction in mind, here are 3 documents worth reading. (1) The 2020 Report on what, exactly, City Hall has accomplished over the past 12 months. (2) The state of the Code Office. (3) The response of the village to Gov. Cuomo’s mandate to municipalities throughout the state to re-evaluate their police department to ensure it is meeting community needs.
Item (4) is a current, vexing issue before the board regarding the installation of 5G pulsed microwave and millimeter wave transmitters on top of the village water tower. Scroll down to that item to learn more. I have been strongly opposed to this for reasons explained, below.
(1) 2020 Report
(2) Code Office
The Code Office was in disarray when Andrea became mayor. Record-keeping was unsatisfactory and in violation of state mandates, and there were serious personnel issues. Andrea hired a new code officer, Brian Lamondie, who seems to be working out well. He has a good relationship with contractors, homeowners, and property owners. He works with people, not against them. He’s patient, fair, and kind. The document, below, it typical of Brian’s monthly report. This one covers the period 12/4/20 to 12/28/20. (I have shown only the first page. Click, below, for the whole shebang.)
(3) Police Committee Report & Plan
In August 2020, pursuant to Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 203, all NY State municipalities were told to re-examine their police departments, “to develop a plan to improve deployments, strategies, policies, procedures, and practices” as well as to revisit “the particular needs of … communities … and promote community engagement to foster trust, fairness, and legitimacy, and to address any racial bias and disproportionate policing of communities of color.” Toward this end, the mayor empaneled a committee of diverse individuals to reach out to everyone in the village community for their thoughtful input. Here is the first draft of the report. The final report is due in the governor’s office by April 1, 2021. I have shown, below, only the first page. Click, below, for the entire report.
Notice the Village of Malone water tower on the map, below. Make a mental note of Davis School and the Middle School. The significance of the two schools will shortly become apparent.
Note the group of 3 “omnipoint” antennas/transmitters in the left-hand diagram. The right diagram shows 3 sets of these antennas/transmitters
Here is what is going on. In 2008, a telecommunications company, T-Mobile (T-M), signed a multi-year lease with the Village of Malone to install telecommunication transmitters/antennas on top of our water tower. The lease (see below) gives T-M the right to install any equipment it wishes, without permission from the village. In addition, T-M leased 128 ft.² of space within the base of the water tower for the company’s equipment. Over the years, T-M amped up the radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) of its transmitters/antennae, presumably beginning with 2G (“G” stands for Generation) to 3G to 4G. I assume the current transmitters are 4G RF-EMF. By the way, the purpose of the transmitters is for cellphone use. Verizon has similar antennae/transmitters on top of the county courthouse, although Verizon’s, according to County Administrator Donna Kissane, are not 5G.
In early December 2020, T-M sent Mayor Dumas a letter explaining that it intends to replace the current transmitters/antennae with new ones. Although T-M didn’t reveal this in its letter, it is clear from the nature of equipment involved (I researched it) that the new transmitters will be 5G.
This is the problem: 5G transmitters within the village. If you’ve been following the world news for the past few years, you are aware that there is an uproar over health and environmental impacts from 5G transmitters in proximity to homes, schools, hospitals, frankly everywhere there are people and animals. The health effects are explained in detail in the documents, below.
Alarmed by a groundswell of scientific evidence that 5G is dangerous, the State of New Hampshire in Sept 2019 set up a blue-ribbon committee of experts and industry stakeholders to investigate the health and environmental impacts of 5G.
The committee submitted its report to the governor and legislature on Nov 1, 2020, titling it the Final Report on Commission to Study the Environmental and Health Effects of Evolving 5G Technology (RSA 12-K:12-14, HB 522, Ch. 260, Laws of 2019).
Click here for a copy. The committee read thousands of documents and interviewed numerous other experts and stakeholders. Here is the summary of the report.
Here are two of the report’s 15 recommendations, #6 and #7:
Here are the questions the committee asked of the telecommunications industry and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC):
Here is a copy of the email Dr. Pierpont and I sent to Mayor Dumas, Town Supervisor Stewart, and County Administrator Kissane about all this. Andy Stewart replied that there are currently no cell towers in the township. Donna Kissane responded that there is a Verizon telecommunication mast on top of the courthouse, but it doesn’t have 5G transmitters. Andrea Dumas didn’t respond, since she and the village board are currently contemplating allowing T-Mobile to install 5G on the water tower. According to these 3 individuals, there are no 5G transmitters in the town or village as of this writing. T-Mobile hopes to change this and, according to its contract with the village, it has the unilateral authority to do so.
Dr. Joel Moskowitz is Director of the Center for Family and Community Health in the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley.
This article directly addresses the 5G transmitters/antennae that T-Mobile will be installing on the water tower. It’s called 5G downlink. (Downlink refers to the RF-EMF and millimeter wave signal going from the transmitters/antennae to your cellphone and your body.
There’s another problem with T-Mobile’s plan. It intends to install several large containers, each about the size of a double-door refrigerator/freezer combination, which are made to house industrial-grade Lithium-Ion batteries, in case of power outages.
Here is a video made by the National Fire Protection Association on these batteries. They are extremely combustible and volatile and temperamental. That is, they easily catch fire and go into what’s called “thermal runaway.” The electrolyte in the batteries is lithium hexafluorophosphate which forms hydrogen fluoride gas (vapor or mist or smoke) and hydrofluoric acid during thermal runaway or fire or explosion. HF is the most insidious acid known to mankind.
We have 3 schools and numerous homes downwind of this explosion, should it occur, with release of HF acid in the air.
Do we really want to install potential bombs at the base of our water tower? Click here for further information on these things.
Here is the village’s lease agreement with the village. It’s absolutely outrageous in its terms.
Here is the termination clause in the lease. The village can notify T-Mobile any time before 2023 (the anniversary of the renewal date) that it is canceling the lease in 90 days. No reason needs to be given.
The mayor can do this in a single-sentence email to T-Mobile, if she chooses to. I have pointed this out to her. Repeatedly. I have repeatedly pointed it out to the village board. Instead, the board, at the urging of Brian Langdon, seems to wish to continue the lease and thus allow T-Mobile to put this community at risk for 5G and, with those Li-ion batteries, blowing up the water tower.
Brian Langdon is a smart man. He’s a careful and thoughtful man, as I pointed out, above. Why he doesn’t recognize the manifest danger from 5G and these Li-ion batteries is beyond my comprehension.
If you agree with me and the State of New Hampshire, and Prof. Moskowitz at UC Berkeley, and the numerous scientists and clinicians who formed the International EMF Scientist Appeal against 5G, and with a growing number of American cities and towns, and with the country of India and Switzerland that you and your family don’t want to be guinea pigs for 5G, please contact the mayor and board members and tell them to exercise the Precautionary Principle and send T-Mobile down the road. Here is their contact information.
Andrea Dumas or call her at 518-483-4570 (village office)