Council Chambers

Tonawanda, New York

May 6, 2008

 

A Regular Meeting of the Common Council

 

Present:  Council President Zeisz

Present Councilmembers:  Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis

Excused:  Councilmember Kossow

 

Pledge of Allegiance led by Council President Zeisz

 

Prayer led by Council President Zeisz

 

PUBLIC HEARING

Capital Improvement Program

 

Nancy Paschen, 5 Main Street Ė On the Capital Plan on #6, Young Street resurface, are you talking about the other side of Broad Street.  If youíre going to build up Young Street, close it off, why resurface it?   

 

Council President Zeisz Ė Oh, no weíre talking about basically from Delaware, up.  Theyíre putting in new waterlines, and that will be for next year. 

 

Bill Kinmartin, 127 Grove Ė On the streets, #3 Niagara Street, Two Mile Creek Bridge repair, I thought under Mayor Gallagher and Louise Slaughter, we had money allocated for that. 

 

Council President Zeisz - You are absolutely correct. 

 

Mayor Pilozzi - Weíre still waiting for notification from New York State, we put our project proposal together and somewhere, over a year agoÖ.

 

Bill Kinmartin - Öalso, was that our money or from Slaughter? 

 

Council President Zeisz - Itís going to be money from us and the General Fund, from Federal monies and the General Fund.  We couldnít get enough money from the Federal government to do the entire project.

 

Mark Zahm, 33 Grove Place Ė I would just like to say that the format on this is really encouraging.  The only thing I see missing is Grove Place for being resurfaced because I know itís been discussed and considered and I didnít see it on here.  Perhaps I overlooked it.   

 

Council President Zeisz - Well, you probably, you know, where it talks about resurface various streets, itís not going to specifically outline every street.

 

Mark Zahm Ė Itís only because it seems Rick comes down, they start marking, painting and then it all washes away and nothing gets done and because Iím the big mouth in the neighborhood, the neighbors all come to me and inquire as to whatís going on and I thought Iíd inquire tonight.

 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE MAYOR

 

A proclamation proclaiming May 3, 2008, as Wyattís Walk Day in the City of Tonawanda.

 

A Quarterly Report, dated April 29, 2008, from the Erie County Community Development Ė Consortium.

 

A letter from Senator Mary Lou Rath, dated April 22, 2008, informing the City that she obtained a grant through the New York State Senate awarding the Gateway harbor $10,000 towards electrical upgrades.

 

A letter from Senator Mary Lou Rath, dated April 22, 2008, informing the City that she obtained a grant through the New York State Senate awarding the City of Tonawanda Parks & Recreation $10,000.00 towards the renovation of the Underwater Squad Building.

 

A letter and proclamation to Joyce Welch, coordinator of the North Tonawanda Meals on Wheels, Inc., dated April 21, 2008, thanking her and her staff for the much needed service they provide to the Senior Citizens of our community.

 

A letter to Superintendent Barbara Peters dated April 18, 2008, extending to her and her family the best in her new position in the Elmsford School District.

 

A letter dated April 28, 2008, to the Buffalo District Army Corps of Engineers regarding the evaluation of the Tonawanda Landfill.

 

A letter from Bruce Herrmann, 104 Ridgedale Circle, dated April 26, 2008, regarding the

removal of a silver maple. 

 

A letter to Captain James Michael, dated April 25, 2008, requesting that the Governorís Traffic Safety Committee to purchase a Speed Monitoring Awareness Radar Trailer to reduce the amount of speed related accidents in our community.

 

A letter from the NYS Division of Alcoholic Beverage, dated April 18, 2008, regarding new applications for on-premises retail licenses as well as printing more pertinent data on license certificates.

 

A proclamation proclaiming April 20, 2008, Harold Lloyd Day in the City of Tonawanda.

 

A letter to the Erie County Community Development Block Grant Program, dated April 15, 2008, regarding the Erie County Community Development Block Grant Consortium.

 

A letter from Time Warner Cable, dated May 5, 2008, stating that they have moved the date for discontinuing the analog transmission of HBO on channel 5 to June 24th.

A flyer announcing Erie County Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Day.

 

Agency profile of the Family Justice Center of Erie County, Inc., which serves Buffalo and Erie County.

 

A letter from Administrative Assistant Donald Witkowski, formally notifying the Mayor that he is resigning his position as Administrative Assistant to the Mayor in the City of Tonawanda, effective at the end of the day on Friday, May 16, 2008.

            Ordered filed

 

COMMUNICATION FROM CITY OFFICIALS AND CORRESPONDENCE

 

The following monthly reports were received by the City Clerk:

            March Activity Report of the Fire Department

April monthly report of the Building Inspector

April monthly report of the City Clerk

April minutes of the Civil Service Commission

            April minutes of the Traffic and Safety Board

                        Referred to the Committee of the Whole

                            Ordered filed

 

A letter from 4th Ward Councilmember Rick Davis to Mayor Pilozzi, dated April 18, 2008, regarding tax assessment abatement.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

 

A letter from Council President Zeisz and 4th Ward Councilmember Rick Davis to the New York State Department of Health, dated April 23, 2008, asking where their office stands on the cancer study for residents that are living in and around the Tonawanda Landfill.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

 

A letter from Council President Zeisz and 4th Ward Councilmember Rick Davis to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dated April 22, 2008, regarding the Tonawanda Landfill.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

 

A letter to the City Clerk from James Siracuse, owner of the Dome Stadium, dated April 30, 2008, informing the City of the Restaurantís intent to install a rear outdoor patio.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

                Ordered filed

           

COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC ON RESOLUTIONS

 

Bill Kinmartin, 127 Grove Ė On #9, the additional concrete paving, assuming, by Park and Main, that pole that was hit by the van and then replaced, they dig it upÖ

 

Council President Zeisz - Öwe had insurance coverage for that, we got money for it. 

 

Bill Kinmartin Ė Oh, okay.  Thank you. 

 

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

 

101.     By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that the Mayor be authorized and directed to sign an agreement with Drescher & Malecki, LLP to perform the annual audit of City finances for the fiscal year ended 12/31/2007 for a fee not to exceed $18,800.00.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

102.     By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that the Common Council authorize and direct Mayor Ronald J. Pilozzi to sign the contract signature pages needed to complete an application contract for a Legislative Member Item Initiation Project Grant intended to provide $6,000.00 in funding for the replacement of the current phone system at Fire Headquarters.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

103.     By Councilmember                                                            seconded by Councilmember

            Whereas, a $25.00 Special Events application fee and application were received by the City Clerk for the 9th annual Mississippi Mudds 5K Run to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and

            Whereas, the application was reviewed and commented on by all appropriate department heads to insure the safety and well being of our residents, and

Whereas, an additional fee of $100.00 for police services will be collected and a certificate of insurance will be provided naming the City as additional insured, now, therefore be it

            Resolved, that permission be granted to Mississippi Mudds to hold their 5K Road Race through various streets of the City on Saturday, August 16, 2008, at 6:30 P.M.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

 

104.     By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that Section 30-512, entitled Tree Memorial Program shall read as follows:  ďThe fee required by Section 70-78 for the public, which will cover the cost of purchase and installation of the tree and plaque, is established at $350.00 per tree.Ē

               

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

105.     By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that Mayor Ronald J. Pilozzi is authorized to execute a Lease Agreement between the City of Tonawanda and James R. Chilton d/b/a Waterbike Adventures, LLC, for the purposes of display and rental of hydro-bikes and electric crafts along the Canal and Ellicott Creek.

               

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

106.     By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

                        Resolved, at the recommendation of the City Engineer, Jason J. LaMonaco, P.E., that the award of the contract for Niagara Hose Fire Hall Asbestos Abatement be made to LiRo Engineers, Inc., at a cost not to exceed $9,714.00.

                               

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

107.     By Councilmember Davis                                        seconded by Councilmember Perkins

            Whereas, the City of Tonawanda Police Benevolent Association (PBA) filed a Demand for Arbitration with the Public Employment Relations Board regarding health insurance benefits provided by the City of Tonawanda to retirees who were former PBA members, and

            Whereas, the Mayorís Office has negotiated a tentative Memorandum of Agreement that addresses the concerns of the PBA and its retirees, and

            Whereas, said agreement is on file in the City Clerkís Office, now therefore be it

            Resolved, that the Common Council approves of the agreement pertaining to retiree health insurance benefits that has been negotiated by the Mayorís Office between the City and the PBA, subject to the signing of a General Release by the individually affected retirees, and further be it

            Resolved, that the Common Council authorizes and directs Mayor Ronald J. Pilozzi to execute any documents necessary to effectuate said agreement, and further be it

            Resolved, that the Common Council authorizes the extension of the health insurance benefits contained in the agreement to non-PBA retirees provided that the retiree signs a general release.

 

Councilmember Davis Ė I would just like to thank Joe Hogenkamp and Bill Strassburg for working through this.  Itís going to save the City, I believe Joe told me, anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000 over the life of the retirees signing up for this program.  And Iíd also like to thank the retirees for also signing on to this. 

 

Council President Zeisz - As for myself, I have to abstain from this resolution.  In the non-PBA retirees, in my particular case, itís my mother as a spouse is one of those individuals, so I have to abstain from voting on this. 

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis

Nays: None

Abstained: Zeisz

Resolution declared adopted

 

 

 

108.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that the Common Council approves of the five year agreement that has been negotiated between the City of Tonawanda and the City of Tonawanda Police Benevolent Association (PBA) union, for the period January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2011, and be it further

            Resolved, that the Common Council authorizes the Mayor to sign a contract document with the PBA which incorporates the terms and conditions of the negotiated agreement.

 

Councilmember Davis Ė Iíd just like to thank the Mayor and the PBA for executing a contract thatís good for taxpayers and good for the Police Department.  Iíd also like to thank Brian Baty who really pushed for the health savings account which, again, benefits us, and the City, and the Police Department. 

 

Councilmember Perkins Ė I was wondering if the Mayor could walk us through, just a little bit of what was negotiated. 

 

Council President Zeisz - One big factor in the negotiations was the switch to an HAS, which is a Health Savings Account.  It really saves quite a bit of money in the long run on the deductibles and things like that.  

 

Mayor Pilozzi Ė Basically, the background of this is itís a five-year contract, not four, which gives you stability and labor management negotiations for an extended period of time.  I donít think itís ever been five years in any place Iíve ever seen, at least in government and maybe private sector.  Highlights of the agreement are a 2.5% wage increase, thatís very reasonable today.  Again, Iím talking about municipalities not private sector.  We did give them some increases in briefing pay in 2008, 2009, and 2010.  That amounts to $430 and thatís a total amount, a yearly amount, $215 in 2009 and $215 in 2010.  Highlights of the savings are, in terms of the insurance is the introduction of a high deductible health care plan, combined with health savings account.  This is new.  As a matter of fact, we thought we had an insurance policy that both sides agreed to and then early this afternoon, we discussed a new one that eventually, if more and more people get on to the system, it will save the City money.  The base insurance plan for the retirees eligible for Medicare is solidified.  They had to go to Medicare Encompass A.  But at any rate, anybody that gets onto that, obviously, reduces the cost of insurance.  

 

City Treasurer Joe Hogenkamp - Itís a Medicare wrap-around plan rather than paying a full-blown plan itís really combined.  We were buying duplicate coverage. 

 

Mayor Pilozzi - The number of days available to union member for use of union business was reduced and the Chief was provided with more administrative control over the use of those days; elimination provision of the PBA members that are entitled to any extra time granted to City Hall employees.  That kind of stemmed from the fact that thereís a, just to use as an example, the October 2006 Storm, if we had closed City Hall, they all get an extra day off.  We affectionately called it the ďme tooĒ clause.  Thatís eliminated.  The clarification of employees that are entitled to retroactive pay, there were some other grievances and PERB cases that we eliminated by signing off on this contract.  There were a lot of things that we agreed to, it was a win-win, as I see it, for both the City and the union, and it gives us labor management stability for a five-year period.  It was not easy, this contract expired in January of 2007 and here we are in 2008 and I can tell you that Don Witkowski, myself, Joe Hogenkamp, Brian Baty, and everybody that Councilman Davis mentioned, spent a lot of time with this thing, but in the final analysis I think itís going to reduce the cost of government and still provide our employees with good health care coverage and a reasonable increase in pay. 

 

Councilmember Perkins - I just wanted to thank you for your efforts.  I know youíve been working on this since pretty much day one.  You too Don, I know.  Iím sure youíre tired.  

 

 

 

 

Mayor Pilozzi - Don deserves a lot of credit on this, believe me. 

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

109.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Whereas, it was resolved on September 4, 2007, that the Main Street Beautification Project be awarded to Mark Cerron, Inc. and amended through Change Order Number 1, at a total contract amount of $525,665.95, now therefore be it

            Resolved, that the contract be amended for an additional $5,410.26 for work associated with repair of damage to concrete work near the intersection of Park and Main and installation of a new driveway apron on Franklin.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

110.     By Council President Zeisz                         seconded by Councilmember Waterhouse

            Resolved, that in recognition and compliance with the ďNew York State Open Meetings LawĒ, this Common Council will meet in Executive Session in the Common Council Chambers for the purpose of pending exempt City business, and further be it

            Resolved, that upon conclusion of the above stated business matters, the meeting shall again be open to the general public.  The reason for the Executive Session is to discuss negotiations.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Nancy Paschen, 5 Main Street Ė This is for Mayor Pilozzi.  I know you just got the notice from Don and I was wondering if you hired another one, better? 

 

Mayor Pilozzi - Let me say this, the answer to the first part of your question is yes.  The answer to the second part of your question is there isnít any better.  Let me tell you, just to show the work ethic of that guy back there, last Common Council meeting we had last Tuesday, we were working on what we talked about tonight, the PBA contract.  At 10:00 at night we found a section that, the health care section that we had just talked about.  He stayed here until 1:00 in the morning to make sure they had it ready at 9:00 in the morning so they could take it back to their membership and to get ratified. 

 

Nancy Paschen Ė Don, Iím only teasing.    

 

Mayor Pilozzi Ė I know that Nancy, but I just wanted to show you the work ethic of that guy. 

 

Nancy Paschen Ė Heís a good guy.  Too bad somebody else ainít a good guy.   

 

Dave McCormick, 613 Niagara Street Ė I was wondering if somebody could come up and take a look at a sidewalk in front of my neighborís house, an older woman.  It actually goes down about 12Ē, split right in the middle and she took a tumble the other day.  My kids always had a problem with it too.  My 4th Ward Councilman, Iíd give him a call but I know heís busy but while Iím at the meeting I just thought Iíd bring it up.  Itís right to the right of my house, youíll see it dips down about a good foot.  I saw this woman take a tumble and she needed help, so if you get it fixed that would be great, thatís all Iím asking for this year.

 

Richard Dutton, 49 Murray Terrace Ė Iím a little confused right now, whether the rules got changed on our garbage pick up in the 4th Ward.  I thought we used to get everything picked up on Monday.  Now it seems to be my garbage and my other things get picked up on Monday, and then shrubbery, I donít know when itís going to be picked up.  Last month it was nine days before it got picked up and usually itís Tuesday.  My complaint is the totes we just got for garbage are supposed to make the community look nicer.  What happens is people start putting their trash out on Saturday, if weíre lucky we get it picked up on Tuesday.  I thought it was only supposed to be out 24 hours.  Does that mean if they donít pick it up on Monday, weíre supposed to bring it back in and then take it out again?  I thought it was set up that everything was picked up on Monday.

 

Council President Zeisz Ė Well, whatís supposed to happen is if your garbage day is Monday, they should pick up everything except for tree limbs and stuff like that which is always supposed to be the next day. 

 

Dick Dutton - When did that start?  I always thought everything was on the same day. 

 

Council President Zeisz - No, I mean, for as long as I can remember, theyíve always gotten my brush and everything the day after. 

 

Dick Dutton - You know the problem really is, like if you have a picnic during the summer time, you got people coming to your house, parking in the street, in our case, the 4th Ward, people get out of the car and the first thing they have to do is dodge your garbage, the neighbors garbage in order to park their car and I donít think thatís correct.  Itís been like this for years, weíve been Monday pick up, the rest of the time, they never have to worry about your weekend picnics, you know.  It just doesnít look nice. 

 

Council President Zeisz - We can certainly talk to Neal Myers to make sure that they are sticking toÖ.

 

Dick Dutton Öfor years they always picked everything up on Monday and now all of a sudden, somehow or another it got the shrubbery is the next day but sometimes it takes nine days to get picked up and thatís not right. 

 

Council President Zeisz Ė Weíll talk to him about that because that shouldnít be happening. 

 

Mayor Pilozzi - By any chance, did you call the DPW garage Dick?

 

Dick Dutton Ė Yeah, that doesnít do any good.  Yes I have, I call, I call Rick, he calls, theyíre gonna pick it up when they feel like it. 

 

Council President Zeisz - Well, Iíd still like to get an answer from Neal as to what is happening.  

 

Ed Gebera, 157 Brookside Terrace W. Ė Whereís the flyer that tells you, a flyer announcing Erie County household hazardous waste drop off day, when is this day?

 

Councilmember Perkins Ė May 10th.  We got it in our folders, so do you want it?  The one thing that isnít included on there is under mercury, those new light bulbs, we were talking about it before the meeting started, those new light bulbs have mercury in them so you might want to dispose of those there too. 

 

Bill Kinmartin, 127 Grove Ė Thereís a house at 71 Grove thatís got two dozen bags of garbage out for two or three weeks.  Renters moved out of the apartment, the City wonít pick it up because it is in black bags. Whatís our recourse?  Itís apartments, the people move out the end of the month and just leave everything at the curb and I understand why, they donít want to take it with them but itís just a mountain of trash, you canít miss it.     

 

Council President Zeisz Ė Weíll get it taken care of.   

 

 

 

 

Amy Fleming, 199 Wheeler Street Ė First, I want to commend the beautiful trees coming into Main Street, theyíre beautiful, they look great, Iím thrilled that it got done.  Second thing, with the bags of trash on the street, thereís a house that was foreclosed on Wheeler Street that has the exact same situation, bags of garbage, they wonít pick them up.

 

Council President Zeisz - Do you have any idea what address it is? 

 

Amy Fleming - I donít. Thereís just bags right on the street because theyíre not in the bins.  The bins are next to the house.

 

Councilmember Davis - This is the house on the other side that has the second story fire, itís all boarded up? 

 

Amy Fleming - Yes.  The one with the rabbit in the window.

 

Mark Zahm, 33 Grove Place - Iíd like to take this opportunity to invite everyone to come and view my ďmagmopousĒ. It is 33 Grove Place, it is titled Zu-ZuMagmopous, thatís Latin for a really big work.  Itís a tribute to the Veterans of the First World War and it is a conceptual piece, it is ongoing, you can view it day or night.  I have received mixed reviews but basically, everyone says they stand behind me, which is encouraging.  And itís an ongoing work that I publicly declare a work of art.  You will be, I hope, intrigued and I will discuss it with whomever but it is a work of art, conceptual. 

 

COMMENTS FROM THE COUNCILMEMBERS AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Councilmember Perkins Ė Don, Iím not accepting it; you have to stay, figure something out.  Actually, one thing that Don has done great in his position, that has afforded all of us, is consistency over a bunch of elected officials.  We come in, we come out, you know Mayors, and Donís been there through it all and he remembers, he has the history, and heís always there to kind of set us straight in his nice little tone that he uses, and I used to call him ďbad news DonĒ because the Mayor likes to sound good and so then after the Mayor tells us all the wonderful things that are happening in the City, now time for the bad news and Don goes through his list.  So thank you for everything that youíve done for all of us.  We really appreciate you.    

 

Councilmember Waterhouse Ė Don, I havenít known you as long as the other people up here, but one thing I did notice right away, you really know your stuff.  When we sit in that back room and we talk about stuff, if thereís a hesitation, your papers are out.  Itís going to be very hard to replace you.  I wish you luck where you go. I donít think those people know how lucky they are.  You will truly be missed, replacing you is going to be very, very tough. 

 

Councilmember Davis Ė Some of you may have heard, the Army Corps has come out with a new round of testing for the landfill.  While this should be applauded, itís not going to make a difference unless they change their testing methods.  Theyíre going to go back there and (part inaudible) core samples and average out the amount of radiation thatís back there.  The only thing thatís going to do is cost more money and delay the closing of the landfill which the Town of Tonawanda has taken steps to address some of the quality of life issues, but ultimately they need to change the testing methodology and there needs to be testing of some sort on residents properties and Iím very disappointed to see that neither one of those two were addressed in our press release.  I know myself, Carl, the Mayor sent out letters to the Army Corps asking for an explanation, so as soon as we get something, weíll be sure to share it with everybody.  Iíd like to welcome Leisure Activities who purchased the decrepit building thatís known as the HyGrade building.  I think the City really lucked out on both the HyGrade and the car dealership on Delaware.  Weíve had two quality companies come in and Leisure Activities is willing to sink at least a quarter of a million dollars and you already see some of the changes to it on the outside.  They plan on employing 75 people during the off-peak, 150 during peak and should have their operations moved up here by the winter-time which is their off-peak time.  Ms. Fleming talked about Main Street.  I think the trees are beautiful.  One thing to know is that Main Street will be repaved here soon so there will be some traffic headaches over there and also to tie into that, the State Department of Transportation is also repaving Main Street, Military from Delton to all the way to Sheridan Drive, so thatís going to cause some headaches for some people, just to make you aware of that.  And lastly, good old Don.  He has been here through three Mayors, both democratic and republican, and the one thing in my job that we push for is continuity and Don was the epitome of that.  Itís remarkable how we can sit there and talk about a subject and Don pipes in, ďthe record 12 years ago, this happened and we shouldnít do thatĒ.  I mean the manís memory is impeccable and he truly will be sorely missed.  I wish him the best of luck in Hamburg. 

 

Mayor Pilozzi Ė I donít know what I can say about Don Witkowski that hasnít been said already but I feel like Iím losing my right arm and left arm both.  Don is a professional, our loss is the Village of Hamburgís gain, heís moving for some personal reasons, but if I were him, Iíd say to myself, ďboy, oh boy, no police force to speak of there, thereís no fire department to work with there, and Iím going to get a pay raiseĒ.  I canít blame him

but either way, he will be sorely missed.  I got to tell you, I think it was a mid-March Council meeting, after the Council meeting, about 9:30, 10:00, I was sitting at my desk in the office and Don comes walking in and I could just sense there was something on his mind and thatís when it all started and I said, ďDon, you have to follow your conscience and do whatís right for yourself, youíve done everything you could for this CityĒ, and again, I just canít say enough about Don Witkowski, his work ethic, his professionalism, and as was already mentioned by Councilman Davis, he served three Mayors, so heís been around a long time, weíre going to miss him, and itís going to be hard to replace him.  Weíll have to figure that part of it out later.  Thanks for everything Don. 

 

Councilmember Waterhouse Ė Why donít you give him a raise and heíll stay?

 

Mayor Pilozzi Ė Something tells me that wasnít the only, I donít want to get into the personal part of it, it has to do with a young lady though.  Anyway, congratulations to Patrolman David Ray, believe it; or not, our patrolmen here in the City received an award at a DWI Awards Breakfast on Friday the 26th for having the highest number of DWI arrests in the whole County.  Youíve made our streets safer for our kids, our residents, and personally, I donít drive and drink and Iím elated at the fact that he was given that award and hopefully, heís done somebody within this City a real big favor because is someone is driving drunk in this City, thereís a risk to children and adults.  I have to say thanks to the PBA, as Don can attest to, we spent many, many, many hours within the last year and several months to make this thing happen.  To be honest with you, up until about three weeks ago I thought we were going to go to an arbitrator which I didnít want to do but for whatever reason, things just started to change, became a little bit more positive, we let them win a little bit, we won a little bit, and I have to thank their negotiating team which is made up of Lt. Strassburg, Officers Matt Burke, Joe Scarpena and James Butcher.  Did I forget anybody?  It wasnít easy but we did it.  Leisure Living, as Councilman Davis already mentioned, weíve been very fortunate to have them.  I remember walking them through that facility in early November, I really didnít think they were going to take it but they did, I maintain contact throughout with their real estate agent, we had the local Empire Zone expand the footprint of the Empire Zone to take them into that Empire Zone.  Iím waiting for the state to determine whether or not theyíll go along with that, but regardless, itís a major economic shot in the arm for the City of Tonawanda, along with Awnings Plus.  I examined the records of our Building Inspector from the month of April and theyíve already put in for permits totaling $210,000.  Thatís just for siding and roofing, so the major input there is going to take that corner and hopefully merge with our beautification program. 

 

Council President Zeisz Ė I just have one comment to make.  Don, I donít know about you, but I havenít aged that much since you started at all.  So I donít know what age you tell people you are, but Iím definitely not that old.  But itís really been great Don, youíre really going to be missed. I think probably most of all, itís just the experience that youíve had with everything that weíve gone through here in the City and you know as we always joke, the hamster in the cage, things go round and round and before you know it, five years go by and youíre right back to the thing you talked about five years before that.  (tape ended).    

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

111.     By Councilmember Davis                            seconded by Councilmember Perkins

            Resolved, that this Common Council adjourn until May 20, 2008.  

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

 

 

 

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