Town Board Agenda

 
WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES                                       TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road                                                             Minutes #2015-01
West Seneca, NY 14224                                                            January 12, 2015
 
Supervisor Sheila M. Meegan called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M. with 30 seconds of silent prayer followed by the changing of the colors from VFW Post 8113 to Navy Seabees Island X-5 and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag led by Supervisor Meegan.
 
ROLL CALL:           Present    -    Sheila M. Meegan              Supervisor
                                                  Eugene P. Hart                  Councilman
                                                  William P. Hanley Jr.         Councilman
 
Supervisor Meegan read the Fire Prevention Code instructing the public where to exit in case of a fire or an emergency.
         
The meeting was dedicated to the memory of Janice Forth, Peter Borgese, Christopher Hartnett and Stanley Buczkowski.
 
1-A   MINUTES TO BE APPROVED
 
§ Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hanley, to approve Minutes #2014-25 of December 29, 2014.
 
     Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried
 
1-B    COMMUNICATIONS

 
6.     Chief Denz re Appointment of Christopher Bednasz as Police Officer
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hanley, to appoint Christopher D Bednasz as Police Officer effective January 19, 2015 at the training rate of $22.95 per hour and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
 
Ayes: All                Noes: None              Motion Carried
 
7.     Chief Denz re Appointment of Ryan Miller as Police Officer
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to terminate Ryan Miller as part-time Public Safety Dispatcher and appoint Ryan Miller as Police Officer effective January 19, 2015 at the training rate of $22.95 per hour and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
 
Ayes: All                Noes: None             Motion Carried

           
          Town Clerk Jacqueline Felser administered the oath of office to Officers Bednasz and Miller.
 
 
 
WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES                                       TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road                                                             Minutes #2015-01
West Seneca, NY 14224                                                            January 12, 2015
                                                                                          Page two . . .
 
1-B    COMMUNICATIONS

       
1.     Supervisor Meegan re Appointment of Katie Hourihan as part-time law clerk
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to appoint Katie Hourihan as part-time law clerk at a rate of $16 per hour effective January 12, 2015 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.

           
            On the question, Councilman Hart questioned if Marleah Martinez had submitted her resignation. Supervisor Meegan responded that Ms. Martinez is still working and is training the new law clerk.
 
          Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried

 
2.     Supervisor Meegan re Resignation of Craig Kroll as Recreation Director II RPT
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hanley, to accept the resignation of Craig Kroll and terminate him as Recreation Director II RPT effective January 12, 2015 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
 
Ayes: All                  Noes: None             Motion Carried
 
3.     Supervisor Meegan re Status change for Lauren Masset to part-time seasonal
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to change the status of part-time Recreation Supervisor Lauren Masset to part-time seasonal effective January 12, 2015 at a rate of $18 per hour and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
 
Ayes: All                  Noes: None             Motion Carried
 
4.     Town Engineer re Camelot Square, Part III acceptance
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to accept the Camelot Square, Part III Subdivision (Sublot Nos. 1 - 55, inclusive) completed by NC Contracting, Inc., 151 South Avenue, West Seneca under Public Improvement Permit No. 14-01, with the exception of street lighting which will be set up in an escrow account and recommended for dedication upon completion, and further, subject to the Town Attorney’s review and approval of the maintenance bond.
 
Ayes: All                 Noes: None             Motion Carried

 
WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES                                       TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road                                                             Minutes #2015-01
West Seneca, NY 14224                                                            January 12, 2015
                                                                                          Page three . . .
 
1-B    COMMUNICATIONS

 
5.     Chief Denz re Retirement of Detective Gary Pauly
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to accept the retirement of Gary Pauly and terminate him as Detective effective January 11, 2015 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel, noting Detective Pauly is retiring after 35 years of service to the town.
 
Ayes: All                 Noes: None             Motion Carried
 
8.     Chief Denz re Leave of absence for Clerk Typist Martha Franklin
 
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hanley, to approve a leave of absence for Martha Franklin from her position as Clerk Typist in the Police Department effective January 20, 2015 through January 20, 2016 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
 
Ayes: All                  Noes: None          Motion Carried

           

9.     Chief Denz re Termination of Kristen Kaminski as matron
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hanley, to terminate Kristen M Kaminski as matron effective January 1, 2015 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
 
Ayes: All                  Noes: None          Motion Carried
 
10.   Town Clerk re Appointment of Martha Franklin as Senior Clerk Typist
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hanley, to appoint Martha Franklin as Senior Clerk Typist, Group 3, Step 2, at an annual salary of $42,736.99 effective January 20, 2015 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
 

            On the question, Councilman Hart noted that Mrs. Franklin is being appointed off a civil service list for this position. He questioned if there is a probationary period.
 
          Town Clerk Jacqueline Felser stated there is no probationary period; however, Mrs. Franklin will have a one year leave of absence from her clerk typist position in the Police Department.
 
          Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried
 
WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES                                                     TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road                                                                             Minutes #2015-01
West Seneca, NY 14224                                                                January 12, 2015
                                                                                                            Page four . . .
 
1-B    COMMUNICATIONS

 
11.   Code Enforcement Officer re Rezoning request for 1053 Seneca Creek Road
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hanley, to refer the rezoning application for 1053 Seneca Creek Road to the Planning Board for review.
 
Ayes: All                 Noes: None              Motion Carried
 
12.   Senior Recreation Therapist of Senior Services re Pay rate change for senior center staff
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hanley, to change the pay rate for the staff of the West Seneca Senior Citizens Center to $10 per hour effective January 4, 2015 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
 

            On the question, Councilman Hart questioned how many employees will be affected by this rate change.        Senior Recreation Therapist of Senior Services Mary Josefiak advised there are 17 employees eligible for the rate change and new employees will be hired at $9.50 per hour.
 
          Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried

 
13.   Town Historian re appointment of Elaine Corey as part-time clerk
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hanley, to appoint Elaine Corey as part-time clerk at a rate of $16 per hour effective January 13, 2015 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
 
Ayes: All                 Noes: None              Motion Carried         
14.   Assessor re Rate increase for part-time clerk Marcia Turner
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to grant a rate increase to $11.49 per hour for part-time clerk Marcia Turner effective January 13, 2015 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
 
Ayes: All                 Noes: None              Motion Carried         
15.   Town Justices re Rate increase for Court Security Officers
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hanley, to grant a rate increase to $18 per hour for Court Security Officer Joseph Turkovich and $17 per hour for Court Security Officers Robert Maza, Dale Wight, Robert Murphy and Mary Caulfield effective January 12, 2015 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
 
Ayes: All                 Noes: None              Motion Carried

WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES                                       TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road                                                             Minutes #2015-01
West Seneca, NY 14224                                                            January 12, 2015
                                                                                          Page five . . .
 
1-B    COMMUNICATIONS

 
 16. Code Enforcement Officer re Electronic message board at 789 Center Road
 
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to approve a temporary electronic message board for Schwabl’s located at 789 Center Road not to exceed one week at a time.
 
Ayes: All                 Noes: None              Motion Carried
 
 17. Supervisor Meegan re EBC, Inc. Client Engagement Letter
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hanley, to authorize the Supervisor to execute the attached Client Engagement Letter with EBC, Inc. for human resource needs for the Town of West Seneca for a one year period.
 
Ayes: All                 Noes: None              Motion Carried
 
18.   Supervisor Meegan re 2015 West Seneca Farmer’s Market
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to approve the request of Kirchmyer Media to operate the West Seneca Farmer’s Market on town property on Thursday’s beginning May 14th thru September 3rd.
 
Ayes: All                 Noes: None              Motion Carried
 
 19. Supervisor Meegan re Resignation of William Bond as Town Prosecutor
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to accept the resignation of William Bond and terminate him as Town Prosecutor effective January 12, 2015 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
 
Ayes: All                 Noes: None              Motion Carried
 
 20. Supervisor Meegan re Appointment of John Fenz as Town Prosecutor
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hanley, to appoint John Fenz as Town Prosecutor effective January 12, 2015 to serve without remuneration and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
 
On the question, Supervisor Meegan stated Mr. Fenz will be filling in as Town Prosecutor on a temporary basis until another individual is selected.
 
Ayes: All                 Noes: None              Motion Carried

WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES                                       TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road                                                             Minutes #2015-01
West Seneca, NY 14224                                                            January 12, 2015
                                                                                          Page six . . .
 
1-C REPORTS
 
§       Jacqueline A Felser, Town Clerk's report for December 2014 received and filed.
§ John A Gullo, Code Enforcement Officer's report for December 2014 and Plumbing Inspector's report for year end 2014 received and filed.
 
1-D APPROVAL OF WARRANT
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to approve the vouchers submitted for audit, chargeable to the respective funds as follows: General Fund - $79,740.97; Highway Fund - $47,162.43; Special Districts - $8185.27; Capital Fund - $297,805.81 (voucher #’s 86983 - 87320)
 
          Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried
 
PRESENTATION OF COMMUNICATIONS BY BOARD MEMBERS AND DEPARTMENT HEADS
 
FEMA REIMBURSEMENT UPDATE
 
Code Enforcement Officer John Gullo stated he attended the applicant’s briefing with FEMA. A kickoff meeting is next and paperwork and receipts will be submitted. This is the first step in the application for up to 75 percent reimbursement of the total claim. Mr. Gullo stated they put in for $1.8 million, but the amount will be a little less because FEMA takes the top 48 hours of the storm for snow clearing. He further stated this is a long, complicated process.
 
RECREATION UPDATES
 
Recreation Supervisor Lauren Masset thanked everyone that attended the Youth Theater production of Tangled with a Twist. She further noted that Summer Camp registration will begin February 2nd.
 
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
 
          Supervisor Meegan excused herself from the meeting at the start of Issues of the Public.
 
          LEXINGTON GREEN UPDATE
 
          David Monolopolus commented it has been one year since the devastating flood in Lexington Green, noting that NYS public officials promised an amphibious duck and nothing has been received yet. Code Enforcement Officer John Gullo responded that he reached out to the New York Canals Department and the state will be sending out a 36’ reach excavator at the end of January or beginning of February.  If it works they will have it in both creeks to break up the ice. He thought it will probably start at the foot of South Park Avenue at the drawbridge and work its way upstream.
WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES                                       TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road                                                             Minutes #2015-01
West Seneca, NY 14224                                                            January 12, 2015
                                                                                          Page seven . . .
 
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
 
          PUBLIC COMMENTS AT TOWN BOARD MEETINGS
 
          David Monolopolus disagreed with the requirement for the public to write questions down and felt they should be able to ask questions at the meeting and have them answered honestly.
 
          Dale Clarke questioned if the public will be allowed to speak at board meetings.
 
          Councilman Hart stated the board members agreed to let the public speak as long as they are civil. He suggested Mr. Clarke talk to Supervisor Meegan regarding her proposal that questions be submitted in writing rather than asked at the meeting.
 
          REPAIR OF STREET LIGHTS
 
          David Monolopolus reported over 155 street lights out on the west side of town and suggested the town not pay the electric bill until they are fixed.
 
          Highway Sup’t. Matthew English responded that repair of street lights is NYSEG’s responsibility.
 
          Karen Lucachik stated she called NYSEG on the street light issue and there has been no response. She felt the town should have more clout with NYSEG.
 
          Councilman Hart stated he called NYSEG and was told they wait until they have a large number of lights to repair and then they send a crew. He will discuss with the Finance Department the possibility of not paying NYSEG’s bill.
 
          Councilman Hanley suggested they may be able to put the money in some type of escrow account where the bill is paid, but the money is held until the street lights are fixed.
 
          ST. BONAVENTURE CHURCH PROPOSAL
 
          David Monolopolus commented there is no money to buy a community center and suggested the board members work with the schools instead. Councilman Hart responded the former Recreation Director had attempted to work with the schools but was unsuccessful. St. Bonaventure Church has to be the right situation before the town will go forward and engineers will be looking at the property and reporting back. The price is $400,000 and they will be meeting with Grantwriter Connie Miner to apply for grant money for an energy project. The rectory can also be sold for up to $100,000. Councilman Hart commented on the need for something on the west side of town and felt this was an opportunity to be looked at. The cost is $5000 to look which is refundable if they decide not to go forward. Councilman Hart further stated there are costs involved in using the schools and they have to pay janitors according to their union contract.
 
WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES                                       TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road                                                             Minutes #2015-01
West Seneca, NY 14224                                                            January 12, 2015
                                                                                          Page eight . . .
 
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
 
          SUPPORT FOR COUNCIL MEMBER HART
 
          Karl Spencer stated he witnessed and heard disturbing reports that council members and their reputations have been attacked. Mr. Spencer stated he works with Councilman Hart on the West Seneca Environmental Commission and believes him to be an upstanding public servant and tireless advocate for the citizens. He further commented that good public servants don’t get enough credit for the work they do.
 
          ETHICS COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION 
 
          Dale Clarke questioned the status of the Ethics Committee recommendation concerning Zoning Board Chairman Timothy Elling’s acceptance of Super Bowl tickets last January from a developer who currently has an $8 million project at West Seneca Fire District 2.
 
          Councilman Hart responded the town has nothing to do with fire districts.
 
          Code Enforcement Officer John Gullo stated the fire district may have to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals for variances and the Planning Board for site plan approval.
 
          Mr. Clarke referred to Ethics Committee Chairman George Clifford’s comment that “to have a violation of the Ethics Code there must be solicitation and quid pro which was not found in this case.” Mr. Clarke stated this has nothing to do with accepting gifts over $75 and felt Mr. Elling had accepted a bribe and should pay the consequences.
 
          Town Attorney John Fenz cautioned Mr. Clarke on calling this a bribe and stated it was improper and fairly irresponsible to state this at a public meeting. 
 
          Councilman Hart stated the Ethics Committee held hearings, followed a process and came to a conclusion. 
 
          Mr. Clarke did not believe the Ethics Committee had followed the process, noting they went into Executive Session when they should have addressed the issue in public. He questioned if the Town Board members thought Zoning Board Chairman Timothy Elling violated the Ethics Code when he accepted Super Bowl tickets.
 
          Councilman Hart stated he believes the Ethics Committee did their due diligence. Also, Mr. Elling did not have the Ethics Code and had never signed it. Councilman Hart did not believe it was prudent for Mr. Elling to accept Super Bowl tickets, but noted the District Attorney and NYS Comptroller’s office are not acting on it.
 
          Councilman Hanley stated he had forwarded a response to Mr. Clarke’s question to the Supervisor’s office and Mr. Clarke stated he did not receive the response.
WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES                                       TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road                                                             Minutes #2015-01
West Seneca, NY 14224                                                            January 12, 2015
                                                                                          Page nine . . .
 
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
 
          RESIGNATION OF WILLIAM BOND AS TOWN PROSECUTOR
 
          Dale Clarke referred to the appointment of William Bond as Town Prosecutor at the reorganization meeting and questioned if he is a relative of Councilman Hart’s.
 
          Councilman Hart responded that Mr. Bond is not his relative.
 
          Mr. Clarke questioned why Mr. Bond resigned from the Town Prosecutor position.
 
          Councilman Hart stated about 20 years ago Mr. Bond was censured for giving a client a loan and according to a ruling by the Appellate Division it is a violation of ethics, so he chose to resign.
 
          Attorney John Fenz stated he reviewed the decision of the 4th Appellate Department and they made it clear it was not Mr. Bond taking advantage of a client. He was helping a client and simply did not have a letter signed that he should have.
 
          Mr. Clarke understood there were several ethics violations.
 
          Mr. Fenz stated the 4th Appellate Department has all their decisions on record and they are all public. He further stated that District Attorney Frank Sedita did not highlight in his letter to Supervisor Meegan what Mr. Clarke is referring to and Mr. Bond also did not reference it in his resignation, so that may not be the reason Mr. Bond was not designated by District Attorney Sedita.
 
          TOWN ATTORNEY POSITION
 
          Karen Lucachik questioned if Town Attorney John Fenz is experienced with municipal law.
 
          Mr. Fenz responded he was hired as law clerk to former Town Attorney Timothy Greenan in June 2004 and frequently worked with the Town Board to shape legislation, schedule public hearings, etc. Mr. Fenz stated he has been an attorney since March 3, 2011 and has handled clients with larger annual budgets than the town and also handled Article 78 proceedings dealing with zoning matters for clients against the City of Buffalo.
 
          Councilman Hart stated he wanted to continue with Mr. Grieco, but Supervisor Meegan and Councilman Hanley wanted to go in a different direction. He further noted that to date he has been very impressed with Mr. Fenz.
 
          Karen Lucachik questioned if Shawn Martin is still working for the town.
 
 
 
WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES                                       TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road                                                             Minutes #2015-01
West Seneca, NY 14224                                                            January 12, 2015
                                                                                          Page ten . . .
 
 
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
 
          TOWN ATTORNEY POSITION   (continued)
 
          Councilman Hart responded the board members had received a resignation from Mr. Martin, so he will no longer be working as a consultant for the town. Mr. Grieco has agreed to assist Mr. Fenz at no charge to the town.
 
          Mrs. Lucachik questioned why it was beneficial to have an attorney from within the town.
 
          Councilman Hanley responded that he believes an attorney that resides in West Seneca cares more about the town.
 
          Councilman Hart noted Mr. Fenz is working at $50,000 annually as opposed to Jaeckle Fleischmann’s $70,000.
 
          UPDATE OF TOWN WEBSITE
 
          Karen Lucachik referred to the town website, stating she hopes the information is current; however, the senior center page has not been updated since October 2014.
 
          Senior Recreation Therapist of Senior Services Mary Josefiak stated she had an issue with the website reverting to old info after it was updated. She further noted information on the senior center events and activities is in the newsletter and also the Bee.
 
          Mrs. Lucachik suggested the problem might be with I-Evolve. She further stated a number of agenda items were added after the agenda was posted on the website and previous Town Boards had resolved to not add anything to the agenda after it was posted.
 
          Councilman Hart noted the board members just received the human resources contract this afternoon and they wanted them to get started as soon as possible. They will be starting tomorrow morning based on approval of the contract at this meeting.
 
          LIBRARY BOARD MINUTES
 
          Amy Carpenter requested meeting minutes from the Library Board be posted on the website so the public can keep informed on the proposed expansion. Councilman Hart responded he will talk to the Library Board, noting he provides them with a report on the expansion, but they are not really involved other than giving their input on what they would like to see.
 
 
 
WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES                                       TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road                                                             Minutes #2015-01
West Seneca, NY 14224                                                            January 12, 2015
                                                                                          Page eleven . . .
 
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
 
          MASTER PLAN UPDATE MEETING
 
          Amy Carpenter questioned the date of the next public Master Plan meeting. Councilman Hart responded there is a committee meeting scheduled for January 27th, but no other public meetings have been scheduled.
 
          RECREATION COMMISSION
 
          Amy Carpenter requested meeting minutes from the Recreation Commission be posted on the website.
 
          Councilman Hart responded the Recreation Commission has not been active, basically because they have had nothing to discuss.
 
          Mrs. Carpenter questioned the Town Board’s position on the need for recreation when no one comes to the meetings with requests and the Recreation Commission is not active.
 
          Councilman Hart stated they are making a concerted effort to make the Recreation Department more efficient and cost effective. He has discussed reactivating the Recreation Commission but it is difficult to get good people to serve on a committee.
 
          Recreation Supervisor Lauren Masset stated she has been meeting with the Youth Board and there have been discussions pertaining to the YES program and recreation programs. They have been assisting with coming up with ideas.
 
          Councilman Hart commented on the need to rebuild the town’s website so it is easier to use and more informative with regard to meetings and events.
 
          Mrs. Carpenter suggested reaching out to the schools and asking parents and students to participate. She further commented on the need for a communications person for the website and suggested a college intern.
 
ADJOURNMENT
          Motion by Councilman Hart, seconded by Councilman Hanley, to adjourn the meeting at 8:05
P.M.
 
          Ayes: All                                    Noes: None                                 Motion Carried
 
 
_______________________________________
 JACQUELINE A FELSER, TOWN CLERK