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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Comprehensive Plan Punt

We hate to say, "we told you so", but all that has been posted here about the failure of this new Comprehensive Plan Committee to comply with S272a of the Town Law and the Open Meetings Law has finally been recognized by Al Spain, the Chairman of the committee.

Sources say that a new meeting of the CPC called for July 7th has as part of its agenda, the scheduling of a required Public Hearing which they never bothered to do. The hearing must be held by the Committee itself under 272a. Sources also indicate that the Town Board is quietly canceling the two Public Hearing improperly scheduled by the town board via a request from the CPC on June 2nd. At that meeting, only 5 members of the committee were present, far below a quorum and the statute requires a resolution which of course, can only be passed by a public body with a majority of its members and a quorum. Neither condition existed on June 2nd and no minutes at all were taken nor surrendered under FOIL, a clear violation of the Open Meetings Law given the fact that an action was taken at this meeting.

So despite Al Spain's charming comments accusing his critics of "whining", it looks like they were correct and it's Al Spain who is being forced into the whining mode as be begrudgingly and without apology, cancels both improper Public Hearings and schedules one of his own via the Committee he chairs.

We have to ask though, what does this say about the competence of his $40,000 no bid consultant? Didn't they know a CPC is created and governed under S272a and thus required to adhere to the Open Meetings Law? Did Al Spain ever consult with the town's attorney or did all this come as a shock to him at the last Board meeting when he had the statute read to him from the floor? And how about Committee members Kelly Hoffman, a GOP candidate for Town Board and Leon Fiacco, a GOP candidate for the County Legislature. Hey guys, if this is any indication of your skills as part of a public body, you'll need more than cheap cigars to get yourself elected.

Well Mr. Spain, we have to ask how you plan to fix more than a dozen meetings held without properly recorded minutes at this late stage. We also wonder how your fellow Board members can vote to adopt your altered Comprehensive Plan when its clear the changes were made without any required public record of why, at who's request, to who's benefit and perhaps at who's expense? Still planning to run for Town Supervisor Mr. Spain? We'll you just handed your adversaries a powerful cannon with which to shoot at you.

That's what we call a hell of a punt.

Employees Use Cars instead of Cell Phones

It didn't take long for the gang in town hall to protect the town board's cost cutting which saw them lose most of their free cell phones. Now they are driving back to the office for "instructions" on what to do or where to go next. And yes, they are also grieving the Board's action to cut their accumulated vacation hours. Gee, do you think we''ll ever see a time clock installed in the Building Department? We doubt it, it would slow down the gravy train.

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