By EAST AURORA EDITOR (6/27/2010 7:00:02 PM)
Part I Town Work Session 6/22/2010
Part II Town Work Session 6/22/2010
Town of Aurora Supervisor Jolene Jeffe suggested that because the town is in a tough financial position and can't afford the joint Town/Village/Library building on Main Street. Although she didn't say how she would vote, it seemed clear that she or the board will not pass a motion to send the decision to the voters.
The Bennett/Harris Cooperative building on 300 Gleed seems the likely silo'd location for the Town for years to come. Jeffe noted that because the previous board (only Harris and Bennett remain from that board and are staunch supporters of Gleed) wanted to circumvent a referendum on the purchase of the building by paying for it in only 5 years, $175,000 of the general fund is going towards the payment for Gleed. In addition the fund balance is getting to dangerously low levels because of the purchase as well as because of the transfer of a considerable amount of costs for police services from the village to the town.
In one of the more comical statements of the evening, councilwoman Friess said "what we are asking is if you want a 30% increase in the general fund...I perceive that the answer would be no". It's funny to me because while she championed the costs of police services from the village to the town I don't recall her asking if Town residents who pay Town outside of the Village taxes (which she does not as a village resident) would like 2 consecutive increases of 100% in that fund and a raid of their fund balance. I think the answer would be no. Since she lives in the town and benefitted from that through a reduction of her own taxes I doubt it mattered much to her but it seems to now.
After the meeting the Library board including Deborah Carr-Hoagland and Al Fontanese blasted the board members saying that the Town has done nothing to listen and respond to their issues. They pleaded for the board to let the residents decide yes or no. Carr-Hoagland said that the join facility is more cost effective than staying at Gleed. She also said that she wants this to come to a proper conclusion by letting it go to a referendum. The entire time she said that I was watching attorney Ronald P. Bennett shake his head no. He believes that the conclusion can be the Town simply dismissing the Main Street proposal and moving into Gleed. I said to him "Boy, you really like this building don't you." Hopefully the town board sees when an attorney goes beyond providing legal guidance and gets into setting policy.
I believe that if this went to a referendum it probably wouldn't pass simply because of the cost. However the real reason that the joint municiple facility is not likely to occur goes back to the anserine decision by glib board members to purchase Gleed in the first place. They could have stayed at the Roycroft virtually for free for several years as the Roycroft has no current plans for that building. I say glib becuase the board did not seek public input, heck they didn't even seek input from the village or the library and went all in on their own behind closed doors. Even councliman Harris thought they did a complete inspection of the building and only found out that they didn't after his own town engineer corrected him during a public board meeting.
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Belly Laughing ...(6/27/2010 8:42:49 PM)
Joe, that is really funny. The Bennett/Harris cooperative building. Careful though, they might miss the point and run out to have the sign made!