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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Public Comment Be Dammed

Breaking a long standing tradition that there be time between Public Hearings and voting on the substance of those hearings, Al Spain has placed both the controversial residency law exemption for his friends on the agenda for the Board meeting which immediately follows the Public Hearing. He has also placed the appointment of his two out of town fiends on the same agenda.

Spain has made up his mind and he frankly doesn't give a dam what the public may say at this hearing and he certainly doesn't want his two new members to have time to weigh those comments or to be pressured in any way by the public into declining to vote for his two friends from Troy and Latham instead of any town residents who might want these jobs.

So far these new board members have been unable to break the umbilical cords and vote independently of Spain. But they will be able to shed Spain's muscle on the Board with the removal by the courts of Lou Desso from his council seat.

Spain has tried to mislead these board members and the public as to why these non resident should be in these jobs. His specious argument is that they are doing a good job. Well so were the folks Spain fired two years ago. He had no problem firing them to hire his friends and one of them was a town resident.

So we hope these new board members see the light. Its bad politics to hire non residents unless you have to. You build a political base by hiring here in the town. You get the families of your appointees in your corner and you reinvest in the community, the taxes they and not non residents pay to our community. One board member should understand that more than any other and he's Joe Bott. Joe runs a great local business here in town. We are confident he would feel strongly that local businesses should be given the opportunity to receive town business before an out of town firm is hired.

It's time to stand up for the folks who live here and invest in our community and not simply do the bidding of Al Spain who is simply using these board members to hire his friends and use his office to pay back one attorney who in exchange, is giving his brother free legal services. Yes, Al Spain should recuse himself from this vote and an ethics complaint has been filed with the town seeking his recusal. But Al Spain doesn't like Ethics Boards or anyone else second guessing him. And so, he hasn't bothered to appoint an Ethics Board for two years despite the law requiring it.

So whatever you might want to say about changing the residency law so Al can hire his friends, be assured that Al Spain doesn't care what you say. He's placed the law and his buddies on the agenda for the same meeting as the Public Hearing. Should be quite a show.

Defendants Motions
Town Ethics Law
Board of Ethics Spain 109

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