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Sullivan Town Council flushes Fox Road toilet squabble

There's a new sheriff in town as far as codes and zoning are concerned. At least that's the message Sullivan Supervisor John M. Becker tried to send residents of Fox Road at the town council's April 18 meeting.

Becker said councilmen were done listening to arguments over the portapotty located on the Fox Road property of Antonino Patane. Lawrence Kinne was hired earlier this year as the town's full-time codes enforcement officer, Becker said, and the board is determined to let him do his job.

"We are not going to be judge and jury on this," Becker said, also instructing those who chose to speak to keep their tones civil.

Patane objected that he has been paying taxes on a house that isn't there.

"It depreciates our property value having a toilet on a lot in the middle of a residential neighborhood," said Fox Road resident Dan Capeling. "If you needed something like that for emergencies, you could get a little one like you would for a boat and put it in the garage. This has been dragging on for several years. Other communities wouldn't tolerate it."

Patane said Rusty Cowburn, former part-time codes enforcement officer for the town, with former Supervisor John E. Gladney told him to move the toilet from Capeling's kitchen window line of sight to where it is now.

"I did everything the town told me to," Patane said.

"This country was based on freedom," said Paul Edem of Chestnut Ridge Road.

Edem said he felt the town was overstepping its bounds, infringing on Patane's and other residents' rights to do what they wish with their properties.

Becker said municipalities have to come up with rules to protect all citizens' quality of life.

"People work to keep their homes nice and don't want to live next to a dump," Becker said.

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