The standoff that began as a dispute between Skaneateles Codes Enforcement Officer Debbie Williams and local car dealer Pat Bombard took a new step last week as Bombard and the Skaneateles Town Board exchanged heated words over the car dealer's proposed expansion.
At last week's town board meeting, Bombard, a Skaneateles resident, criticized the board for singling out his development. Although he was represented by attorney Joseph Coti, Bombard approached the board several times and at least twice responded emotionally.
At issue is the town's ability to inspect continued progress on the expansion. In September, the town issued a special permit for construction of storage sheds at the dealership.
What's in dispute is whether the town had ample opportunity to inspect the foundations of these sheds before concrete was poured.
Coti said his client made several attempts to contact the town to request an inspection so that work could progress. When those calls went unanswered, he decided to pour the concrete.
When Williams arrived for the inspection, she found contractors ready to pour the concrete and told Bombard to stop the work. Bombard refused and had the contractors pour the concrete. Later, he had holes dug so that inspections could take place.
Bombard has answered an appearance ticket and the dispute has been taken to the state Supreme Court, which ruled that the impasse is little more than a personality conflict, Coti said.
Coti urged the board to consider the project rather than personality of the owner.
"Understand his (Bombard's) commitment to this town," Coti said. "This is a significant project. $4,000,000 invested."
"The town would like you to know that we wish your project success," Skaneateles Supervisor Phil Tierney said. But he warned Coti and Bombard that the town has rules and regulations they must adhere to, and the town must have access to the property for the proper inspections.