Councilman disenchanted with politics in Sardinia
Saturday January 12, 2013 | By:Daniel Miller |
I, as councilman for the town of Sardinia and a lifelong Republican, have become disenchanted with our party leadership, or lack thereof, in our town.
On Dec. 13, 2012, a public hearing was held, prior to the regular town board meeting. This meeting was to take comments on a proposed mining overlay district and an amendment to town zoning, which regulates mining in Sardinia. The hearing was attended by a number of residents whom spoke against such change; many of those affected are Republicans.
At the regular board meeting, it was on the agenda for public comment, from the public. During such period, it was a very heated discussion on the mining overlay district.
At this time, a letter was read from Maria Whyte, urging the town to refrain from taking action until mid-January, 2013. This letter was dismissed, by the supervisor, as being of no relevance. Ms. White is commissioner of environment and planning for Erie County, which has recently drafted a farmland protection plan. If the county executive had signed this into law, prior to the zoning change, it is required that the county would have final say in any land use, such as mining in a farm community.
I believe this is why this was done without regard to the citizens of Sardinia and the hamlet of Chaffee, whose homes will decline in value and destroy their quality of life.
Where I feel this becomes unethical is as follows. The chairman’s wife is the supervisor; one councilman works part-time for the chairman; another councilman’s son has worked for the chairman and the last councilman’s family has a large farm that has received assistance from the applicant, creating a conflict of interest.
A lot of town business is discussed at what is known as a Saturday morning “coffee clotch” at the party chairman’s office. At many of these meetings, a majority of the town board members are in attendance, a violation of the open meetings law. This being fact, as I used to attend.
Also, discussions have been made, regarding the chairman’s dislike of the town fire company, the veterans, historical society. The chairman also persuaded board members to terminate the employment of the code enforcement officer for untrue charges, when he failed to issue a permit to a committeeman of the party. This is currently in litigation.
Another unethical item being is that the applicants for zoning changes, attorney and the chairman share friendship and legal matters. I would call for a review of these matters by the town’s ethics board, but only the town board can convene a meeting of the ethics board. That’s akin to the fox guarding the hen house.
I submit this, not only on my behalf, but also on the behalf of many loyal Republicans in the town, whom are extremely disenchanted with the direction the party has taken.
I also wish to inform you that I will run for supervisor in the next election, this being with or without the support of the Republican Party. I will stand on my record and I will win.