Tonawanda News

Opinion

September 14, 2013

GUEST VIEW: Council ignored public on Vets Park plan

Tonawanda News — The ongoing saga of whether or not 16-plus acres of Veterans Park in the City of Tonawanda becomes a high-end housing development is no longer a battle of parkland versus development, it is a battle between intransigent city officials and the public. It is a fight between people who question whether or not the city is doing what is right and city leaders who scoff at those who dare question them.

At a recent Common Council meeting, for example, a resident asked about filling the seat left vacant by the departure of Heather Little. Council president Carl Zeisz said the council has no plan to replace her. He was quoted in the Tonawanda News as saying: “There is no appropriate way to choose who would replace her.”

Apparently the council president hasn’t read the city charter, which states: “Vacancies occurring in any elective office shall be filled by the common council at its next regular meeting, where practicable, after creation of the vacancy. The person appointed to fill the vacancy shall hold office pursuant to New York state law. In the case of a tie vote to fill a common council vacancy, the mayor shall cast the deciding vote.”

To me, that reads like a pretty specific way to replace Ms. Little. As the council knew this was coming the action should have taken place immediately. Now for one-quarter of a term, a portion of the city is without representation. If the council votes on the Veterans Park development in the near future, it will be done with one vacant seat and two lame ducks — Councilmen Tyler Kossow and Blake Boyle.

The City Charter apparently isn’t on the reading list of the council. The City Charter Sec. 2-181 states: “All goods and services will be secured by the use of written requests for proposals, written quotations, verbal quotations or any other method that ensures that goods will be purchased at the lowest price and that favoritism will be avoided ...” 

Text Only
Opinion
  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • OUR VIEW: Arson suspect never deserved bail Two of the 11 fires reported on Fifth Avenue could have been prevented with some jurisprudence in evaluating whether the suspect, Michelle Johnston, deserved to be offered bail. Given the obvious nature of a repeat offender who was charged with nine felony arson counts, bail never should have been offered in this case.

    July 25, 2014

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo