Tribute and introduction in Cochecton

By LINDA DROLLINGER
Posted 11/18/20

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — “Jerry Yavarkovsky never held elected office in the Town of Cochecton,” said supervisor Gary Maas at the opening of the November 11 Cochecton Town Board …

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Tribute and introduction in Cochecton

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LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — “Jerry Yavarkovsky never held elected office in the Town of Cochecton,” said supervisor Gary Maas at the opening of the November 11 Cochecton Town Board meeting. “But he’s done at least as much for this town as those who did.”

Maas’s tribute to Yavarkovsky, who died two weeks ago after a long illness, was delivered in a voice shaking with emotion. “A lot of people know that Jerry headed up the Keep Cochecton Clean program of volunteer litter pluckers. And people associated with the youth commission know of his volunteer work with kids, instructing them in making birdhouses and other projects. But not many people know that this former high school mathematics teacher from NYC also tutored mathematically challenged local kids in his spare time. Jerry Yavarkovsky was the kind of guy every town needs more of.”

Moving on to agenda business, Maas said the town adopted a 2021 budget on November 5, immediately following a 6:30 p.m. public hearing dedicated to it. “Nobody except [acting town clerk] Peggy [Richardson] and the board was here, so we approved it as presented,” said Maas. “There was a 1.5 percent budget increase but, due to a 3.4 percent increase in assessed valuation, taxpayers will actually pay less this year than last. Last year, they paid $7.05 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. This year they will pay $6.97 per $,1000 of assessed valuation.” 

Then he introduced town clerk-elect Maryann Blaso Oumrim. Identifying herself as planning board member George Blaso’s daughter, Blaso Oumrim said, “I’m very excited about my new job and getting to know all the people of this town.” Elected on November 3, Blaso Oumrim will fill the vacancy created by Holly Schulman’s death last summer, completing the last full year of Schulman’s four-year term and succeeding deputy town clerk Peggy Richardson, who has filled the slot since Schulman’s death. Oumrim will run again next November to begin her own four-year term of office.

“A lot of people already know me from Lakeview Pizzeria, where I helped my father run his business.” Others may know her from her work as a nurse at the Sullivan County Adult Care Center or from the skilled nursing section of Catskill Regional Medical Center in Harris. The proud mother of two school-aged children, Blaso Oumrim enjoys doing handcrafts in her Lake Huntington home.

Code enforcement officer Greg Semenetz reported that the town’s housing boom continues, with six to seven new housing starts planned for Cushetunk subdivision and five housing starts already planned for Pine Meadows Farm.

Town attorney Karen Mannino said the state will soon require towns to develop pandemic response plans in anticipation of future pandemics. “That will be hard to do, given that we don’t know how future pandemics will spread. This one spreads via airborne particles, but the next may be transmitted through some other means,” said Mannino.

“We haven’t even gotten out of this one yet,” said Maas, at the same time congratulating the board and other town officials for rising successfully to the challenges of conducting their duties during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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