What's Coming?

Read previews of the Pipeline here

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Ethics Board Meets

The town's Ethics Board convened this morning and went into an Executive Session claiming a discussion of "personnel matters". There are two sets of correspondence to the Board seeking opinions on the Building Department chief's private business enterprise building homes in the town and questions about the Supervisor's potential ethics problems as detailed in a letter to the board posted on this blog from Ron Sinico.

After an hour behind closed doors, the board provided no information on what was discussed or whether any vote took place. Under the Open Meetings Law if any vote took place they must make the results public within 48 hours and provide the minutes of the meeting.

An attorney was hired, Brian Goldberger, because the attorney appointed by the town board recused himself due to a business relationship with Building Department head Michael Miner.

When asked whether they have scheduled another meeting, the Chair of the Board, Mark Ahern gave a curt "no".

So as it stands we don't have any resolutions to the serious questions about the conduct of two town officials and no idea when this board will meet again. Given the highly partisan connection of two ethics board members appointed by the town board, we should not expect they will find anything wrong with the conduct of anyone in town government. We also don't know how much the newly hired attorney will cost the town.

Stay tuned...

Monday, October 8, 2018

Ethics Board to Meet

The town's long dormant Ethics Board is scheduled to meet tomorrow, Tuesday Oct 9th at 10AM at Town Hall. The Board majority appointed the mandated body back in January and never notified them of their appointments. Hence, no one signed the oath book in the required 30 day time required by law.

Even after a Counil member asked for an opinion on the Building department chief building houses in apparent violation of sections of the code, the town board stayed mum or dumb about the invalid appointments, nop ethics board was legally seated to render any advice.

It was not until August that the town reappointed the ethics board after being publicly embarrassed the month before.

The Ethics Board will also have a second complaint filed last Friday by Ron Sinico, a former Supervisor candidate. It is far more comprehensive than the request filed by Council member Mary Frances Sabo. It also includes questions about the ethics of the Town Supervisor as well as the Building Department chief.

The meeting and the Ethics Board itself are governed by the State's Open Meeting's Law. The public can attend.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Troubled Waters

Looks like Lou Desso may need a bridge over his troubled waters, his swimming pool! Researchers who discovered that his Friendship Acres Estate, which recently had its property taxes reduced by 16% with Desso's GOP connections in Brunswick, had already used up the one time split that town officials said allowed Desso to avoid the 1400 sub division fee,also learned that his pool was constructed in part on a lot he does not own.

Maps of his lots show the pool half on his land and half on land he does not own or have clear title too. This will really affect him when he tries to sell the property as title search companies will find exactly what our investigators found. Ouch Lou!

Perhaps a toll collector can allow trespassers on their dino floats to enter the south side of the pool?
Oh well, Lou's motto stands, just take it and don't pay for it, Moscatiello's restaurant bill, sewer extensions, top soil, grading, engineering maps, you name it.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Conflict,Conflict Everywhere a Conflict!

It would be hard to make this up but tonight's Planning Board meeting exposes more conflicts of interest than one could imagine in Congress.

The Planning Board meets to schedule a Public Hearing on Building Department head Michael Miner's 15 home subdivision tonight. Neither the Planning Board or Miner is not waiting for the Ethics Board to meet and render an opinion on the town's Ethics Law which even a casual reader would agree, prohibits him from building houses in North Greenbush while running the town Building Department.

S13-4 Conflicts of interest.   “No Town employee shall have any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect, or engage in any business or transaction or professional activity or incur any obligation of any nature which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his duties in the public interest.”

To be fair, they are not approving the project tonight, rather it's a meeting to consider the subdivision of the parcel. However, proceduraly  they could vote on the project tonight if they choose. Apparently some on the PB do not see any conflict as the project is being presented by others on the applicant's behalf. That's nonsense.

The Ethics Board Chairman is also on the Planning Board. If he fails to recuse himself from this project he will be unable to be impartial in any decision he might make on the Ethics Board.

And it does not end there, The Planning Board attorney is also the Ethics Board attorney. Look out, it's an ethics traffic jam with no Town Board leadership with the will or brains to have prevented it from happening in the first place. The confusion and mess they have created reminds us of an old comedy skit by Abbott and Costello. Who's on first?