West Seneca Town Board Meeting Minutes 02/25/2008
Supervisor Wallace C. Piotrowski called the meeting to order at 7:30 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.
4-A   MINUTES TO BE APPROVED
4-B   LEGAL ITEMS
1. Proofs of publication and posting of legal notice: “OF A PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER, DISCUSS, AND IF NEED BE, ACT UPON LOCAL LAW NO. 1, TAXATION, OF THE WEST SENECA CODE, TO PROVIDE FOR A VETERAN’S EXEMPTION KNOWN AS THE COLD WAR VETERAN’S EXEMPTION, IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 458-b OF THE REAL PROPERTY TAX LAW, FOR RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY OF VETERANS WHO SERVED DURING THE COLD WAR” in the Town of West Seneca.
4-C   TABLED ITEMS
1.   Designation of Official Newspaper
Remained on the table
2.   Resignation of Barbara Wagner
Motion by Councilman Graber, seconded by Councilwoman Meegan, to remove this item from the table.
On the question,
Motion by Councilwoman Bove, seconded by Councilman Clarke, to amend the motion and have this item remain on the table to be discussed at the upcoming Work Session on Wednesday, February 27th.
3.   Purchase of defib units
Remained on the table.
1.   Supervisor Piotrowski re Termination of Edwin Hunter as Planning Board member
Motion by Councilman Graber, seconded by Councilwoman Meegan, to terminate Edwin P. Hunter as Planning Board member effective December 31, 2007 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
2.   Supervisor Piotrowski re Correction of retirement date for Timothy Riedy
Motion by Councilman Graber, seconded by Councilwoman Meegan, to correct the retirement date for Timothy D. Riedy to be effective February 1, 2008 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
3.   Supervisor Piotrowski re Appointment of K. McCartan & P. Kosanovich as Library Board Trustees
Motion by Councilman Graber, seconded by Councilwoman Meegan, to appoint Kimberly McCartan as Trustee to the West Seneca Library Board effective January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2011, and Peter Kosanovich as Trustee to the West Seneca Library Board effective January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2010.
4.   Supervisor Piotrowski re Computer purchase
Received and filed.
5.   Town Engineer re Award for carpet replacement at Senior Citizens Center
Motion by Councilwoman Bove, seconded by Councilman Clarke, to award the carpet replacement work on the Senior Center (HUD) Renovations – Phase II Project, Job No. S-0704, to A.M. Carpet Service, Inc., 1711 Union Road, at their low proposal amount of $19,200.
On the question, Supervisor Piotrowski thought that approval of this purchase should have been given last year. He was not comfortable voting on this item when the material had already been purchased and installed and suggested tabling the item for further investigation.
Motion by Supervisor Piotrowski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to table this item.
On the question, Councilwoman Bove stated that at the time of installation of the carpeting, the project at the senior citizens center had lapsed. Someone had been in charge of it but did not follow through and because the project was not completed, other HUD projects for the town were in jeopardy. At that time, Councilwoman Bove contacted then Supervisor Clark and Comptroller Koller and asked if she could take the lead on the project to ensure that it would follow through. The County had informed her that because the project was taking place at the end of the year and there was a change in administration with the New Year, the carpeting would have to be ordered and installed by the end of January and there was a four week lead time for that to be taken care of. Supervisor Clark and Comptroller Koller gave Councilwoman Bove permission to order the carpeting and have it installed so the other town projects would not be in jeopardy. Councilwoman Bove stated that the motion to approve this purchase was simply an order of procedure and there was nothing illegal done. Councilwoman Bove noted that the 2008 street projects were not included in the HUD projects because the senior citizens project from 2006 was not completed. She suggested that the board approve this purchase so the project could move forward.
5.   Town Engineer re Award for carpet replacement at Senior Citizens Center   (continued)
Supervisor Piotrowski did not want to rely on the former Town Board’s opinion as to what was legal or illegal and preferred to have the NYS Comptroller’s Office determine if it was a violation of law for a council member to purchase materials or equipment prior to approval of the Town Board. He did not believe that tabling this item for two weeks would affect the town’s ability to complete the project at the senior citizens center, especially since the carpeting and furniture had already been installed.
Councilwoman Bove questioned Supervisor Piotrowski’s intention.
Supervisor Piotrowski stated that the town’s policy was clear with regard to purchases, and anything over $1700 must be approved by the Town Board prior to the purchase being made. His intention was to contact the NYS Comptroller’s Office and determine if NYS law had been violated with this purchase of carpeting in the amount of $19,200 and also the purchase of $26,000 in furniture and $12,000 in other miscellaneous items without prior Town Board approval.
Councilwoman Bove responded that all the amounts in question were 100 percent reimbursable and they would be reimbursed within the next couple of weeks. She had spoken to Mike Alspaugh from the County of Erie who instructed her on the process and procedure for doing this and she was following that.
Supervisor Piotrowski preferred to check the facts himself and did not believe that holding this item for two weeks would be a problem.
Councilman Graber stated that they needed to clarify the protocol for purchasing material, but during his ten years on the Town Board the rule had always been that purchases over $1700 must have prior Town Board approval.
On the tabling motion,
6.   Town Engineer re Purchases requiring Town Board approval
Motion by Councilman Graber, seconded by Councilwoman Meegan, to authorize payment of the following vouchers for the Engineering Department:
Erie County Water Authority (hydrant replacement at Louise & Camelot Drives) $2568.66
John L. Peterson Plumbing & Heating, Inc. (unit heater at Plant 6) $3207.50
Vouchers for Service Office Supply Corp., izzydesign, and The HON Company were received and filed.
7.   Highway Supt. re Purchase requiring Town Board approval
Motion by Councilman Graber, seconded by Councilwoman Meegan, to authorize payment of $2455 to Ron Sainsbury Painting for wallpaper in the Town Clerk’s Office.
8.   Chief Gehen re Bid award for police vehicles
Motion by Councilman Graber, seconded by Councilwoman Meegan, to award the bid for purchase of two (2) marked police vehicles and one (1) four-wheel drive vehicle to Delacy Ford, 3061 Transit Road, Elma, NY 14059, at their bid of $61,257.00, noting that although Delacy Ford was the only bidder they have been a reliable, competitive and successful bidder in the past.
9.   Tax Receiver re Status change for Margaret Pomana from seasonal to part-time
Motion by Councilman Graber, seconded by Councilwoman Meegan, to change the status of part-time seasonal clerk Margaret Pomana to part-time effective February 19, 2008 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
SUPPORT FOR COLD WAR VETERAN’S EXEMPTION
Anthony LaForte, 57 Lorraine Place, President of the French Quarters Mobile Home Park Association, referred to the proposed Cold War Veteran’s exemption and stated that he was speaking on behalf of the men and women that served in the armed forces during the Cold War and peacetime years. Mr. LaForte had served from 1952 to 1960 (the National Guard for three years, the U.S. Army for three years, and the Reserves for two years), but was not considered a veteran. He urged the Town Board to adopt the Local Law concerning the Cold War Veteran’s exemption.
Thomas Tworzydlo, 4256 Clinton Street, stated that he served in the U.S. Navy from 1957 to 1960, was on a carrier that landed Marines in Beirut, Lebanon and was stationed in Formosa for six months when they seceded from China. He saw pilots killed and seamen burned to death but was not considered a veteran because he served during peacetime, yet some Viet Nam veterans never left the United States. Mr. Tworzydlo asked for the Town Board’s support for the Cold War Veteran’s exemption.
Town Attorney Edwin Hunter stated that the purpose of the proposed Cold War Veteran’s exemption was to recognize the value the servicemen and women provided during peacetime and fill a gap that has been in the Tax Code.
Motion by Councilman Graber, seconded by Councilman Clarke, to adjourn the meeting at 7:50 P.M.
PATRICIA C. DEPASQUALE, RMC/CMC