West Seneca Special Town Board Meeting Minutes 05/06/2009
Supervisor Wallace C. Piotrowski called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M. with 30 seconds of silent prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
ROLL CALL: Present -
Absent - None
Supervisor Piotrowski read the Fire Prevention Code instructing the public where to exit in case of a fire or an emergency.
Supervisor Piotrowski stated that this meeting was scheduled to review the particulars of a special election that was previously set by the West Seneca Town Board for June 3, 2009.
Motion by Councilman Graber, seconded by Councilwoman Meegan, to adopt the attached resolution on the proposed dismantling of town government and false savings.
On the question, Councilman Graber noted that there will be five polling locations as follows:
Deputy Town Attorney Shawn Martin stated that the opportunity for local registration was eliminated from the resolution because in order to accomplish that they would need a minimum of 20 days before the election.
Councilman Graber understood that by law the maximum closing time for a Special Election is 8:00 P.M.
Mr. Martin advised that the only time requirement for a special election was that there be a minimum of six consecutive hours of voting between 8:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M. He did not see anything that prohibited time added after 8:00 P.M. but would research this question.
Councilman Graber agreed to change the closing time to 9:00 P.M. unless the law prohibited that.
Supervisor Piotrowski understood that the law also required that the ballot use the language from the petition as follows: “Should the number of council members from the Town of West Seneca be decreased from four (4) to two (2) such that the West Seneca Town Board shall be comprised of the Supervisor and two (2) council members as of January 1, 2010.” He suggested that this language be added to paragraph #1 of the resolved section of the resolution and paragraph #2 of the Notice of Special Election. Supervisor Piotrowski further stated that he disagreed with the phraseology of the first 1˝ pages of the resolution regarding the impact of a decrease in the Town Board and he felt as the education process proceeds over the next 20 days the residents will come to understand the savings.
Motion by Supervisor Piotrowski, to amend paragraph #1 of the resolution and paragraph #2 of the Notice of Special Election to indicate the language of the petition as follows: “Should the number of council members from the Town of West Seneca be decreased from four (4) to two (2) such that the West Seneca Town Board shall be comprised of the Supervisor and two (2) council members as of January 1, 2010.”
On the question, Supervisor Piotrowski stated that there should be an effective date in the language.
Councilman Graber stated that the law specifies the effective date.
Mr. Martin advised that the provisions will have to be certified by the Erie County Board of Elections and that will set the calendar for when this will take place. He felt the language presented in the original resolution was appropriate based on Town Law.
Councilwoman Meegan questioned the date that the downsizing would take effect if approved by the voters and whether the current council members will have the opportunity to run this year.
Mr. Martin stated that this will be determined by the Erie County Board of Elections when they make the determination to certify the election.
Supervisor Piotrowski thought that this should be determined by the residents and the petition they signed indicated the date as January 1, 2010 not some date in the future.
Mr. Martin advised that the validation or invalidation of the election is something to be determined by the Board of Elections not by the West Seneca Town Board.
The amended motion was lost due to lack of a second.
On the original motion,
Motion by Councilman Graber, seconded by Councilwoman Bove, to adjourn the meeting at 7:15 P.M.
PATRICIA C. DEPASQUALE, RMC/CMC