To the editor: On July 13, I addressed the Lysander Town Board and inquired about a board meeting I witnessed being held behind closed doors earlier that day. The town attorney later provided me with an advisory opinion from the NYS Committee on Open Government, indicating the board can meet to seek legal advice and the Open Meetings Law does not apply. However, the opinion also stated: “Further, if at some point in a discussion the attorney stops giving legal advice, a public body may begin discussing or deliberating independent of the attorney. When that point is reached… the attorney-client privilege has ended and the body should return to an open meeting.”
The Lysander town clerk raised concerns about the propriety of a closed-door meeting of the town board last week. Town Clerk Lisa Dell raised questions about a meeting she said took place prior to the July 13 regular town board meeting. During the public comment period, Dell said the town board met behind closed doors without calling an executive session or announcing it to the public.
A month after revoking its conditional approval of the North West Fire District’s request for an exemption from the Planned Development District zoning on Smokey Hollow Road, the village of Baldwinsville board of trustees have given new life to the NWFD’s proposal to build a fire response station. The board voted July 16 to approve the PDD exemption request after fire district officials, their attorney and developers provided the village with more information about firefighter response times, alternate sites and the size and scope of the new station.
As we mark the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about two important bills that would help to empower individuals with certain disabilities. Both of these bills that I sponsored passed the state senate and state assembly during the 2015 legislative session and await the governor’s consideration. I hope you will join me in urging Gov. Cuomo to sign these bills into state law.
To the editor: Wow! After four long years of staying up into the wee hours of the night, I can proudly say, “It is finished!” This summer I completed my last requirement in obtaining my bachelor’s degree in political science from SUNY Oswego. I am very excited as I move into the next phase of my life. On July 9, one week after I completed my last summer course, I left early in the morning for a five-day vacation to California. This was my first time there, and I had a wonderful time hiking in the mountains and going to see the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. However, while I was away, everything was not cool and copasetic like I had hoped it would be.
The 2015 legislative session has ended. There were many accomplishments but the list of what did not get done for Upstate is longer. Instead, the end of session was dominated by New York City issues like rent control, property tax exemptions for NYC (421a) and discussions on the control of New York City schools.
As our country evolves and strives for a “more perfect union,” we have just witnessed three profound and historical events that have moved our nation to more closely reflect the words of the Preamble to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The Lysander Town Board invites interested citizens to get in touch.
To the editor: After reading an article in the Baldwinsville Messenger dated June 17 [“Questions raised about Lamson Road water costs,” page 3], I felt compelled to reach out to our wonderful community and ensure the residents that, as an elected town councilor for the town of Lysander, I always strive to represent the people in the best, fairest way possible with cooperation, openness and transparency.
The legislature recently passed a bill that, if signed by the governor, would reform the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) and expedite the process for those in search of public records. The measure passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both the senate and the assembly. I am urging the governor to sign the bill into law and make this change effective immediately. Its unanimous passage shows there is overwhelming public support for a more open government. Any legislation that cuts through the many layers of bureaucracy the public has to deal with in order to get public information is good legislation.
There are times during the legislative session in Albany that you just scratch your head and think, “This is a ‘no-brainer.’” Two such bills were passed last week by the New York State Assembly, and each I am proud to have voted for.
It is not a secret that New York is a challenging state in which to do business because of our high taxes and oppressive regulatory scheme. Some, but not all, of these policies originate out of New York City which faces different demographics and economic conditions than we do in Upstate New York.
Residents of the Lamson Road area continue to raise questions about the proposed water district the town of Lysander is considering.
To the editor: To my neighbors within the proposed Lamson Water District: You have probably heard by now that there is a petition to develop a water district in the Lamson Road area. The full Map, Plan and Report can be found on the town of Lysander website at townoflysander.org.
Here are some bills introduced by lawmakers that make some of us scratch our heads. Even by Albany’s standards, these are a bit unbelievable. I want to share a few with you this week.