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Police chief addresses permit law at DeWitt town board meeting

“In all that time, we have never been, in any way, harassed or put under pressure by the DeWitt police,” he said. “We have not felt like law-breakers, we are not engaged in civil disobedience.”

Councilor Irene Scruton agreed that the law needs to be clarified, and said she thinks the board should set up a meeting between DeWitt police, protesters and Gewanter.

“My concern is always just for your safety out there,” she said to Kinane. “I absolutely will defend your right to be out there, but we are always concerned for your safety and the travelling public.”

Town Supervisor Ed Michalenko said he could not agree more. He said he anticipates a group discussion about the issue, followed by a public hearing to amend any kind of change or clarification to the law. The process, however, may take more than a month, Michalenko said.

Other business discussed:

The board approved construction on a 1,000-foot stretch of water main on Erie Boulevard East and Kinne Road at an estimated cost of $200,000.

The board set a public hearing to increase the budget for replacing the street lights at Brittonfield and Pioneer Park. Town engineer Mike Kolceski said the budget will need to be increased by $20,000 in order to install LED lights, rather than high-pressure sodium lights. Currently, the budget is set at $70,000. The hearing was set for 7:45 p.m. Monday, July 9.

The board approved the creation of a property and operations manager to take care of the “day to day” operations of the town, including facility and land maintenance. The job would be a two-year non-competitive position, meaning the board elects the employee, but that person is not considered a town official, so the board also reserves the right to remove that person from the job if necessary. The board appointed Michael Moracco to the position.

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