Jun 20, 2014 Tami Scott Uncategorized
In response to town clerk Lisa Dell’s accusations made at the May 19 town board meeting, Supervisor John Salisbury addressed in detail the sequence of events leading up to the proposed boys’ group home to be built on Doyle Road, as well as the April 24 meeting Dell claimed was illegal.
“This is not an argumentative presentation,” Salisbury said. “Just facts that I’ve been able to find out over the last two weeks.”
He began with the whereabouts of the March 18, 2013 letter sent by Toomey Residential and Community Services to notify the town of its project and finished with the purchase offer that was finalized in March 2014. Salisbury then addressed the April 24 meeting.
“We have never had an illegal meeting,” he said. “The meeting of April 24, 2014 was called by the town’s attorney at which all town board members were in attendance.”
The meeting, he said, was called to discuss items covered under attorney/client privilege, which are exempt from open meeting laws. “No minutes are to be taken and no notice is required.”
Councilor Melinda Shimer later asked Councilor Roman Diamond about his investigation into an alleged illegal meeting that Diamond was told took place at Lysander Town Hall between Salisbury, Shimer and Councilor Andy Reeves. Diamond requested 35 hours of security footage to review. Shimer said she wasn’t at town hall that day, but had she been present, the meeting would still have been legal. The three elected officials campaigned together under the party, Lysander First, which is a political committee registered with New York state. Salisbury said because Lysander First is a political committee, they can meet in a caucus at any time.
Though councilors Bob Geraci and Diamond urged other board members to vote in favor of reappointing Dell as the Freedom of Information (FOIL) officer, the resolution was defeated 3-2, with Salisbury, Shimer and Reeves voting no. When Dell asked why the responsibility was taken from her in the first place, Salisbury and Reeves refused to answer.
“We can’t discuss the reason why FOIL was taken away because it was discussed in executive session,” Reeves said.
Salisbury said he wouldn’t address it in a public meeting.
“This is nonsense. It’s all ridiculous,” Dell said. “We’re all elected officials. You all need to grow up, behave and let’s work together … let’s put this all in the past and work together.”
Some residents who attended the meeting applauded.
Dell later spoke out that she believed issues dating back to 2012 are what motivated Salisbury to appoint another FOIL officer. She said she and the deputy clerk had written a letter to the supervisor expressing their fear of a certain individual, who she did not name, as it related to workplace violence.
“It should be noted this individual is a friend/associate of Councilor Reeves, Supervisor Salisbury and Councilor Shimer and worked on their campaigns,” Dell said. “Approximately two weeks later, I received a FOIL request from this individual requesting a copy of mine and the deputy clerk’s letter to the supervisor. When I received this request, I was greatly concerned because obviously someone on the board at that time told that individual about our concerns at the workplace.”
Dell then consulted with town attorney Anthony P. Rivizzigno as well as the Committee on Open Government and it was determined the letter was not subject to disclosure and considered an intra-agency document.
Subsequently, similar incidences occurred which led to more FOIL requests from the same individual.
“This is why I feel I was removed as FOIL officer,” Dell said.
Salisbury said he would not respond to most of what she said.
In other news
Residents interested in obtaining a free mosquito control kit can pick one up at the town clerk’s office, 8220 Loop Road, in Baldwinsville. For more information on the kit, call Dell at 638-0224.
The Comprehensive Land Use committee report is now available for review. Residents can obtain a copy by contacting Karen Rice at 638-4810 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The board approved a new health insurance policy for non union town employees. Its contract with the Teamsters expires June 30. The new Blue Cross Blue Shield platinum health insurance for non union employees will be a savings of approximately $11,000. “This plan that we’ve adopted we feel will serve our employees and at a reasonable cost,” Salisbury said.
The board will next meet at 7 p.m. Monday, June 23 at Lysander Town Hall, 8282 Loop Road in Baldwinsville. For a DVD copy of the June 9 meeting, contact PAC-B TV at 638-2768.
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