Council Chambers

Tonawanda, New York

May 20, 2008

 

A Regular Meeting of the Common Council

 

Present:  Council President Zeisz

Present Councilmembers:  Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis

Excused:  Kossow

 

Pledge of Allegiance led by Council President Zeisz

 

Prayer led by Council President Zeisz

 

PUBLIC HEARING

Storm Water Management Plan & Annual Storm Water Report

 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE MAYOR

 

A letter from Erie County Clerk Kathleen Hochul, dated May 5, 2008, informing the City that the Mortgage Tax distribution from the Erie County Clerk’s Office will be in June and the City’s estimated share will be $71,764.50.

 

A letter to the New York State Director of Financial Administration, dated May 13, 2008, regarding the community project contract #TM51015, ADA ramps.

 

A letter to the New York State Director of Financial Administration, dated May 15, 2008, regarding the community project contract #MO20512.

 

A letter to the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, dated May 15, 2008, regarding funding that has been directed to City of Tonawanda residents for the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program and the First-Time Home Buyer Program.

 

A letter to Officer David Ray dated May 6, 2008, congratulating him for recently receiving recognition as having the highest number of DWI arrests in Erie County for a twelve month period.

 

A letter from Empire State Development dated May 15, 2008, regarding Tonawanda-RESTORE II – Spaulding Fibre Demolition, Project #2093.

            Ordered filed

 

COMMUNICATION FROM CITY OFFICIALS AND CORRESPONDENCE

 

The following monthly reports were received by the City Clerk:

            April minutes of the Board of Appeals

            March, April Executive Minutes of the City Clerk

            April minutes of the Planning & Zoning Board

            May minutes of the Civil Service Commission

            May minutes of the Traffic & Safety Board

            City of Tonawanda General Fund and Sewer Fund Revenue Control Reports

and Budget Control Reports as of May 20, 2008

                Referred to the Committee of the Whole

                        Ordered filed

 

Correspondence from the Town of Tonawanda dated April 25, 2008, regarding the Riverview Commerce Park Expansion.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

 

A letter from the City of Tonawanda Police Underwater Squad dated May 12, 2008, regarding the opportunity to purchase a dive boat for the underwater squad.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

 

A letter from the First Presbyterian Church, 149 Broad Street, dated May 13, 2008, thanking Linda Foels for her quick response to the removal of two trees in front of 135 Broad Street.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

 

A letter from the American Legion Post #264, to Recreation Director Linda Foels, stating that their Board of Directors has voted to move the AAA Muny baseball team next year if they continue to have scheduling problems at Vets 1 for their team.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

 

A Notice of Public Hearing for a variance to be held on May 19, 2008, requesting to be allowed to provide outdoor seating for 40 people at “The Dome”, 200 Main Street.

            Referred to the Board of Appeals

 

A Notice of Public Hearing for a variance to be held on May 19, 2008, asking to be allowed to store a one-ton dump truck in the rear yard at 277 Grove Street.

 

A letter from Niawanda Plaza, Inc., dated May 19, 2008, regarding various issues on or near Niagara Shore Drive.

            Referred to the Board of Appeals

                        Ordered filed

           

COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC ON RESOLUTIONS

 

Ed Gebera, 157 Brookside Terrace W. – On resolution #11, I’m unhappy with the Charter with our new City Charter, and I wasn’t too happy with the old City Charter.  I would like to see either a revision on the Charter for the strong Mayor to run the City or if we don’t want a Mayor to run the City, I’d like to see a strong Fiscal Manager, a City Manager and pay him a decent pay and let him run our City the way it should be run.  This half way in between, I’m not too happy about.

 

Council President Zeisz – Well, the Charter is structured in such a way that the Mayor does run the City.  The Administrative Assistance’s role is to assist the Mayor in a variety of functions, whether those be negotiations or personnel matters.  The long and short of it is, the Mayor has to have someone that can handle a lot of the day-to-day functions. 

 

Ed Gebera - You mean he can’t handle it by himself?  

 

Council President Zeisz – Well there’s a lot of personnel situations that come up, there’s a lot of contract situations that come up on a regular basis and it would be very difficult for one individual to handle all that. 

 

Ed Gebera – How was it handled in the past under the old Charter?

 

Council President Zeisz – Well under the old Charter, the Mayor was more or less a figure head for the community, then matters were handled primarily through the Common Council, any personnel matters, all negotiations were handled by the Common Council, all contracts were handled by the Council.  That’s probably why we didn’t get out of here until 1:00 in the morning because a lot of times…

 

Ed Gebera - …nobody forced you to run…

 

Council President Zeisz - …no, no, I’m saying at the time, the Council was broken up into committees.  There was the Fire Committee, Police Committee, Finance Committee, everything was all broken up across the Council.  And if you remember, there were seven Councilmembers at the time and to better manage the City, the Charter was put together in a fashion where one individual was in charge with the Common Council serving as the checks and balances controlling the finances. 

 

Ed Gebera – You like this better than the old one?

 

Council President Zeisz – I liked the old Charter better, but you have to understand, I worked seven years under the old Charter so it was difficult for me in a lot of ways to have to go from those seven years, to the last ten years under this Charter.  I mean I was very comfortable with what our role was, so it was a little different for me to go through that.  

 

Mayor Pilozzi – Mr. Gebera, I understand where you’re coming from but I’m the guy sitting in the hot seat in this particular case and just to give you an example, we had to negotiate four contracts.  I, along with the Administrative Assistant, negotiated four contracts.  We didn’t have an outside attorney; we did it ourselves.  We got a hold of our labor attorney when necessary to dot the “i’s” and cross the “t’s”, but just to give you an example, that labor attorney today costs us $200 an hour.  So there’s four contracts.  On top of that, you have every contract that this City gets involved with, whether it be Community Development Block Grant Funds, the Spaulding Fibre situation, Young Street, you name it, you really need a professional Administrative Assistant and if you look at the key job elements of that particular person, it requires that you have as a minimum, a degree in Public Administration and three years of experience.  And I’m here to tell you, I spent over 30 years of my life in management in the private sector, not the public sector, and I’m convinced that you have to have a professional Administrative Assistant to make sure that this City isn’t short changed by lack of experience. It is not an easy job by any stretch of the imagination and that’s the kind of expertise you need to help you do things properly.  So, I can understand where Council President Zeisz is coming from because I worked under the old one too.  I was a Councilmember.  I didn’t really have a big problem with it, but I spent, again, 30 years of my life doing union negotiations with UAW at General Motors, so it became second nature, but the problem is, just doing that contract isn’t the end of the story.  Now you have to put it in legal language, you have to, again, make sure all the “i’s” are dotted and the “t’s” are crossed, because the slightest little mistake is going to cost this City dearly and I think, if you look at the last three Mayors that have been sitting in this seat, I think they would probably say the same thing. 

 

Ed Gebera - I understand you’re doing a good job.  I’m not complaining about the job you’re doing, I just don’t like paying two people. 

 

Mayor Pilozzi - Just so you know, he gets $62,000 a year and I get $32,000. 

 

Council President Zeisz - Just for the people that are here, whatever feelings I may have about the old Charter has nothing to do with what I think makes sense.  This format makes a lot more sense.  The reality is, the Councilmembers are part time, weren’t not in a position to supervise the Department Heads on a daily basis.  It’s totally unrealistic for that to happen.  From my standpoint, what I was getting at was that we had a better understanding of what was happening every week than we do today.  It’s just reality, it’s very difficult.  You know you can’t have a situation where we’re going to find out every single thing that’s happening day to day.  And that’s what’s really been good about having the Mayor serve in that capacity with an Administrative Assistant.  And that Administrative Assistant has to, as the Mayor pointed out, has to have HR skills, has to be able to coordinate the negotiations.  There’s a lot of things involved, there’s a lot of technical things involved that could get the community into trouble if them working with the City Attorney, if things weren’t followed properly or handled properly.

 

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

 

112.     By Councilmember Waterhouse                              seconded by Councilmember Perkins

            Resolved, that the bills be allowed as audited and the City Clerk be authorized to draw warrants on the Treasurer for the various amounts.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

 

 

113.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that the Annual Firemen’s Day Parade will be held on Saturday, June 21, 2008, at 2:00 P.M. and further be it

            Resolved, that the parade start at Niagara and Gibson Streets in Tonawanda and disband at Main and Goundry Streets in North Tonawanda with companies marching back to Tonawanda on Main Street through North Tonawanda, into Tonawanda onto Delaware Street and back to their respective companies.

 

Fiscal Impact:  Approximately $200

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

114.     By Council President Zeisz                         seconded by Councilmember Waterhouse

            Resolved, at the recommendation of the Executive Committee, that award of the contract for Planning and Design of Revitalization Projects for Gateway Harbor and the Niagara River be made to Wendel Duchscherer Architects and Engineers, at a cost not to exceed $87,970.00.

 

Fiscal Impact:             $62,970  General Fund

                        $25,000  Dept. of State Costal Resources

 

Councilmember Davis – I’ve been very upfront with Council President Zeisz before these bids went out that I would be voting for and would be approving the low bidder in this case.  In this case, this is not the low bidder.  Their bid is $37,000 more than we had budgeted and $48,000 more than the lowest bid.  With reval, the price of everything skyrocketing, fuel, food, also we’re talking about bonding money for streets and sidewalks, I feel like it’s not prudent of us to spend this extra money on a project or a multitude of projects that we don’t know whether or not we’re going to move forward on.  Now I understand that this is part of the process that this is going to be the feasibility study of us moving forward but with the economic times the way they are and us not knowing what the budget is, I’m not comfortable going with anybody but the low bidder and in no way signals my displeasure with Wendel.  I think they’re a fine company. I think the other four companies that bid would also do a very fine job and I just feel like we’re overpaying for this service.  Also, me voting “no” for this by no means also doesn’t mean that I’m not in favor of us closing off Young Street at some point, as long as we have ample public input, so therefore I will be voting “no” for this resolution. 

 

Councilmember Perkins – Part of the reason why I am voting for Wendel Duchscherer Architects in this case is even though their cost was significantly higher than the lowest bidder, they are also significantly more qualified in this type of project.  We had a committee of five people who reviewed five different RFP’s.  Through that process that they followed, they came up with what they felt was the best recommendation and Wendel Duchscherer has actually done the Niagara River Greenway Plan where they’ve won several awards.  This project will actually piggy-back off the Niagara River Greenway, so I think this is an excellent recommendation by the committee and that’s why I’m voting for it.   

 

Council President Zeisz – Just to expand a little bit on what Ms. Perkins said, some of the things that we’re looked at with the five RFP’s, we looked at the expertise of the individuals involved with each firm, along with their qualifications, we looked at the work they had done in the past, we looked at the work the firm had done in the past, we also looked at the scope of work and how they intended to carry that out with this project and that’s how the group came up with the decision to go with Wendel. 

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Zeisz

Nays: Davis

Resolution declared adopted

 

 

 

115.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, at the recommendation of the Spaulding Fibre Master Plan sub-committee, that award of the contract for Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance Amendments be made to Wendel Duchscherer Architects and Engineers, at a cost not to exceed $31,000.00.

Funding/Fiscal Impact:  $25,000 from 5020.214 – Master Plan Project

                                          1,000 from 5020.205 – Spaulding City Share

                                          5,000 from Erie County

 

Council President Zeisz – On the question, just for anyone who doesn’t know, and I do see some merchants here, this will involve rezoning the Spaulding area, but also the downtown corridor, the retail district. 

 

Councilmember Davis - I just want to say that in this case Wendel was the low bidder; therefore, I am voting “yes”.  Thank you.  

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

116.     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 $2,500.00 in funding for Capital Improvements in the Fire Department.

 

Councilmember Davis – Is this for the telephone system up here? 

 

Council President Zeisz – No, the phone system was $6,000. 

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

117.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Whereas, a $25.00 Special Events application fee has been received by the City Clerk from the Inner Harbor Yacht Club, and the application has been reviewed and commented on by all appropriate department heads to insure the safety of our residents, now, therefore be it

            Resolved, that permission be granted to the Inner Harbor Yacht Club to hold their annual “Blessing of the Boats” on Sunday, June 8, 2008 at Noon, and further be it

            Resolved, that permission be granted to park one recreational vehicle on the south terminal wall of the Erie Barge Canal east of the Delaware Street Bridge at the Inner Harbor Yacht Club power poll from 12:00 P.M. until 3:45 P.M. and be it further

            Resolved, that “No Boat Parking” signs be installed 120’ along the canal wall by the recreational vehicle for the “Blessing of the Boats”.

           

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

118.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that the City of Tonawanda Common Council adopt the Five Year Capital Program for the period January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2013, and further be it

            Resolved, that the Capital Program lists all capital improvements which are proposed to be undertaken during the five fiscal years next ensuing and further be it

 

 

 

 

 

            Resolved, that the Five Year Capital Program that was presented to the Common Council on April 1, 2008, and was available for inspection in the Office of the City Clerk from that time until this evening is hereby adopted.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

119.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that permission be granted to St. Francis of Assisi Church to install 4 signs, at no cost to the City, identifying the location of St. Francis of Assisi Church in the City and be it further

            Resolved, that St. Francis of Assisi Church purchase the sign posts from the City and the Department of Public Works staff put the sign posts in the ground and further be it

            Resolved, that the locations are as follows:

 

Northbound on Delaware Street near Canton Street

Northbound on Mains Street near Delton Street

Northbound on Niagara Street near Veteran’s Park

Southbound on Delaware Street near Broad Street at Walgreen’s

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

120.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that permission be granted to St. Francis of Assisi Church to close Adam Street, between Seymour and Clinton Streets to vehicular traffic on Saturday, July 26, 2008, from 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. for an outdoor parish celebration and be it further

            Resolved, that ingress and egress be provided for local traffic and emergency vehicles.

           

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

121.     By Council President Zeisz                                     seconded by Councilmember Davis

                        Resolved, that the reading of the following resolution be waived.

           

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

122.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            WHEREAS, the City of Tonawanda is the project sponsor for a grant funding application for the demolition of Spaulding Fibre under the Restore NY Communities Initiatives program through the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC); and

            WHEREAS, the Common Council of the City of Tonawanda is the local legislative body of the project sponsor and as such has previously determined that the proposed Spaulding project is consistent with the existing local and regional plan; the proposed financing is appropriate for the specific project; the project facilitates effective and efficient use of existing and future public resources so as to promote both economic development and preservation of community resources and the project develops and enhances infrastructure and other facilities in a manner that will attract, create and sustain employment opportunities; and

            WHEREAS, the grant application was previously submitted to the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) and has now been approved in the amount of $2.5 million dollars under the Restore NY Communities Initiatives program for the Spaulding Fiber Demolition Project; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the City of Tonawanda is hereby authorized to receive the grant funds and to disburse and administer the funds in accordance with the terms and guidelines of the Restore NY Program; and be it further

RESOLVED, that Treasurer Joseph M. Hogenkamp is hereby authorized and directed to forward a check in the amount of $869.07 to the Empire State Development Corporation for reimbursement of out-of-pocket Public Hearing expenses related to the grant application process; and be it further

RESOLVED, that Mayor Ronald J. Pilozzi is hereby authorized to execute any and all agreements and/or documents necessary to accept the grant funds on behalf of the City of Tonawanda; and be it further

RESOLVED, that Mayor Ronald J. Pilozzi is hereby authorized to engage consultants and/or contractors that would be necessary and required to effectuate the scope of the grant and complete the project within the Restore NY Program terms and guidelines; and be it further

RESOLVED, that Mayor Ronald J. Pilozzi is hereby authorized to engage in any and all activities, execute any and all documents and to enter into any and all other agreements necessary and appropriate to carry out the terms and guidelines of the grant from the Restore NY Program to complete the project. These documents and agreements shall be subject to the approval of City Attorney Ronald C. Trabucco as to form and content.

 

Councilmember Davis – Pretty much the long and short of this resolution, it just gives the Mayor authorization to execute contracts associated with the $2.5 million that we received through the Restore New York Program to help speed up any kind of demolition that occurs there without him waiting for us to have to pass a resolution on the first and third Tuesdays of the month.  

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

123.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            WHEREAS, the City is in need of the services of an Administrative Assistant to the Mayor; and

            WHEREAS, Mayor Ronald J. Pilozzi has had discussions with Samuel F. Iraci, Jr., who is highly qualified and experienced in this field and who has offered to provide certain professional consulting services to the City, on an interim basis, now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, that Mayor Ronald J. Pilozzi is hereby authorized and directed to enter into and execute the proposed agreement between the City of Tonawanda and Samuel F. Iraci, Jr. who shall provide the City, on an interim basis, with certain professional consulting services as an Independent Consultant.  A copy of the agreement is on file with the City Clerk.

 

Fiscal Impact: $3500 per month

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

124.     By Council President Zeisz                         seconded by Councilmember Waterhouse

            Resolved, that in recognition and compliance with the “New York State Open Meetings Law”, 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 personnel of particular persons.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Nancy Paschen, 5 Main Street – I have a question.  I noticed every time we come to a Council meeting there are special events applications signed by the City Clerk, received by the City Clerk.  Does she take care of all the applications?

 

Council President Zeisz - Yes, they’re all going to go through the Clerk’s Office.

 

Nancy Paschen - For instance, the Fire Department, they want to have a picnic, they have to get a thing from the Clerk? 

 

Council President Zeisz - No, that’s different.  This would be, you know, we’re talking about things like walk-a-thons, when outside organizations want to use either the City streets, the City park, something of that nature.  Obviously, we do the parade for the firemen, things like that, but as a general rule, in recent years we don’t do resolutions when they have, lets say, they have a Turkey Raffle, we haven’t been doing resolutions for that type of thing.

 

Ken Clark, 78 Hackett – I was wondering why with the high cost of gasoline, you have a stop sign at every block.  The one on State Street in particular, by what used to be the railroad tracks, what purpose is that to have a stop sign there?

 

Council President Zeisz – First of all, the stop signs have been in place for, in most cases, for years.  Now years ago when the Master Plan was done, it did call for looking at removal of stop signs where possible.  One of the things that’s generally transpired, and there happens to be other Councilmembers out in the audience who can verify this, when moves are made to remove stop signs, generally what happens is we end up putting up more stop signs because what always happens is everybody worries about their street, their corner, where they live, so what ultimately happens is we end up with stop signs on every corner and I understand wholeheartedly what you’re saying.  As far as your comment on State Street, I think the reason for it is the hump because if you don’t stop there, you don’t necessarily know whose coming at you because you can’t always see them very well.  Now hopefully, I don’t know this year but definitely by next year, the plan is to pave State Street and removal of the hump and then of course, there would be no need for that sign anymore. 

 

Ken Clark – You shouldn’t have any three-way stop sign.  Okay, you got a minor street coming into a major street, everybody has to stop, it’s just wasting gas, it’s unnecessary. 

 

Council President Zeisz – Right, and I understand exactly what you’re saying and it’s something that the Council can certainly start talking about and we can get Traffic & Safety involved just to start looking at it. 

 

Ken Clark – It’s not a safety thing.  If somebody’s speeding, ticket them, but I mean it just seems really crazy to stop every block.

 

Council President Zeisz - And I do appreciate it and we will certainly take a look at it.

 

Fred Symes, 442 Adam Street – This is in regards to the bombardment of solicitors we’ve had in the City here.  I don’t know what the City’s doing, if they’re just issuing permits to anybody but I’ve had a numerous amount of solicitors at my house, day in day out, and I called the City Clerk’s office and we got nowhere and I’d like to know what the procedures are for this and if there’s a background check being done on the company, and not the individual like I was told. 

 

City Clerk Jan Bodie – That’s correct.

 

Fred Symes – Are companies also given background checks, we know these are legitimate companies?

 

City Clerk Jan Bodie – We follow what the Charter calls for and the Charter calls for the people that go door to door, they have to have a background check. 

Fred Symes – So I could put down Fred’s Hot Dogs and just get a background check and start soliciting?

 

City Clerk Jan Bodie – When you get into food, then you get into the County Health Department.  If you want to sell things door to door, you have to get a Peddler’s Permit.

 

Fred Symes - Well, another question I haven’t been able to get resolved from the City is, if I have a “No Soliciting” sign on my door, is that considered trespassing even though the City issued this permit?

 

Council President Zeisz – I would have to defer to the City Attorney because I can’t answer that. 

 

City Attorney Ron Trabucco - If somebody comes onto your property without your permission and you ask them to leave and they don’t, they are trespassing and you would be able to call the police and the police would respond to that.

 

Council President Zeisz - Right, but I think he’s assuming that they shouldn’t even knock on his door. 

 

City Attorney Ron Trabucco - And you’re probably right.  The question then becomes, if they come to your door, what you could do is call the police. 

 

Fred Symes - I did call the City Police on Saturday and I was told by the dispatcher since this individual, I asked him five times to leave my property and he finally did, I called the City Police and he said they’ve had several complaints about this individual, they did do a background check, looked into him for other residents, and there’s nothing they could do and referred me to the City Clerk on Monday which I called, and also the Mayor’s Office and my Alderman Rick Davis.  I just haven’t got anywhere. 

 

Council President Zeisz - This individual that you’re talking about, do you know where he was from?

 

Fred Symes – I have no idea, he had a badge on but he wouldn’t show me his name on the permit.

 

City Clerk Jan Bodie – I talked with the Police Officer this morning, he came in and told me that you had called but because we didn’t have the name of the person that you kicked off you property, the police couldn’t do anything. 

 

Council President Zeisz - They don’t know who to…

 

Fred Symes - …no, they knew who it was because they described what he was wearing to me and they said they already checked him out and there was nothing they could do because he has a valid permit from the City. 

 

City Clerk Jan Bodie -  no, I was told the Police didn’t know who he was.  

 

Fred Symes - My question was, since we’re giving permits, I mean, just in and out the door here. 

 

Councilmember Davis – Mr. Symes called me up, along with two other residents and the company is APX Consultants.

 

City Clerk Jan Bodie - A security company. 

 

Council President Zeisz - The reason I asked is they came to my house. 

 

Councilmember Davis - And two other individuals also said that when asked to leave, they did not leave, so I don’t know, it looks like younger, maybe college kids.  If residents are asking them to leave and they’re not…

 

Fred Symes - …and there’s nothing the City Police could do because the individual did leave after five requests and also he has a permit so there’s nothing that they could do and I was referred to the Clerk’s office and I did call and got no resolution there and I kind of got the runaround.

 

City Clerk Jan Bodie - No, I don’t think you got the runaround.  I think we told what the law is.

 

Fred Symes – Is there something on the books, like we have “do not call” lists so somebody does not call your house, can we adopt that in the City, a “do not solicit”, so when you apply for a permit, you can have everybody’s name out of here but their addresses so they have to avoid that house. 

 

City Clerk Jan Bodie – There could be laws made up to have no solicitors in the City.

 

Fred Symes – I think, I mean that would be a step in the right direction since the City does not investigate if this is a legitimate company.  For all we know, it could be, they could put anything down on their application as long as this guy is getting a background check.  An individual running a scam construction company but is sending out young kids that have a clean background check.  I think that’s something the City needs to address.  Thank you for your time.

 

Council President Zeisz - I certainly think at the very least, what we can do is we can have the police, regardless of the individual, we can have the police check out the company and we can work through them instead of trying to work through whoever’s out on the streets peddling this stuff. 

 

Mayor Pilozzi - Let me add one other thing.  If there’re complaints about this company or any other company, we pull the peddler’s permit. 

 

Council President Zeisz - Yes, we can pull them.

 

City Clerk Jan Bodie - We’ve done it.

 

Fred Symes - Another thing, that’s what I was calling to complain about, I don’t understand who to complain to because it’s obviously not the Clerk’s office and I was shuffled to the Police Chief. 

 

City Clerk Jan Bodie – You did the right thing. 

 

Council President Zeisz – Well because the Clerk’s office, they’re just basically processing the information and it’s their job to turn it over then to the Police Department to handle complaints as far as whether or not these people are being abusive, they’re not leaving people’s property, etc.  So you took the right step.  Now with us being made aware of it, now we’re in a position where we can work with the police to resolve this situation.  And we have pulled licenses in the past, but the Clerk’s not in a position to do that. 

 

Fred Symes - So any complaints in the future I have, even if these solicitors do not break any laws and come on my property and leave orderly, I can still call the police and complain I’m being bombarded by solicitors, or do I call the City Clerk’s office about that?

 

Council President Zeisz – Actually, until something was put on the books that people could not solicit, there’s really not a whole lot you’re in a position to do.  Now what we can find out, and I need to get the answers to this, is whether or not it needs to be part of the license that if there is a no solicitation sign, then that’s what it means, you cannot solicit that home and I need to look into that because I know that currently the permit doesn’t call for that but maybe that’s something, and the attorneys can help us with that, maybe that’s something we can work into the license.  Always, always, call myself, call Rick, call the Mayor so that we can get involved to work through whatever the issue is.

 

Fred Symes – And everybody has been open here, I just got a little bit of a shuffle and I didn’t know where to go with this, I didn’t know the proper procedures, how to handle this and what is really on the books with the City because, you know, I just didn’t know. And I think I can speak for a lot of people on Adam Street. 

 

Councilmember Davis - I think Mr. Symes came up with a great idea about a “do not solicit” sign registry and I think maybe we can do a little background on that and see if any other communities have also done that.

 

COMMENTS FROM THE COUNCILMEMBERS AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Councilmember Perkins – I’d like to extend my sympathy to the Brady family.  Rose Marie was always an adamant advocate for her community and her neighborhood and I’m going to miss her participation here at our Council meetings and she was always a good friend to me. 

 

Councilmember Davis – I’d like to send out my thoughts and prayers to the Cadwalader and Brady family.  Just a quick cliff note version of some updates at the Spaulding and Little League development and the Landfill.  Spaulding, we’re pretty much waiting for contracts from the State and from the Federal level in order to commence with them.  Little League development, the hold up is the weather, waiting for there to be drier weather for them to get out there and do their wetland delineation and survey.  Once those are done, then based on the readings that we get back on that, we as a Council will have a decision to make as far as what type of property that we’re going to swap for this land.  And lastly, the Landfill, to my knowledge and Council President Zeisz and the Mayor, the two letters we sent out to the Army Corps asking for further clarification on the direction that the further testing that they’re going to accomplish is taking us, has not been answered as of yet, so we’re still waiting on that.  I’d like to thank Mr. Symes and Mr. Clark for getting up and speaking.  And lastly, remind everybody, you still have about an hour and twenty minutes to go vote and I would like to say good luck to all the candidates running for school board. 

 

Mayor Pilozzi – First of all, my deepest condolences to the Brady family.  Colleen was right, Mrs. Brady was a regular here and I was wondering why we hadn’t seen her.  I had no idea she had passed away.  In addition, the Cadwalader family, years ago when I was a Councilmember and we had the committees set up that were so aptly described by President Zeisz, I happened to be the chairman of the Water Committee, John was the Superintendent at the time, and you couldn’t find a gentler man, he was just a great guy and unfortunately, he got Alzheimer’s and went down hill very slowly at first and then it really got a hold of him and it was terrible to see.  At least he’s at peace and our condolences to his family.  Sam Iraci, I had the pleasure of dealing with Sam Iraci back when we were doing some work with the, called the Power Coalition.  I got to know him a little bit but I didn’t know the extent of his background. I’m talking about the gentleman we’re going to have here on a consulting basis.   Just so you’re aware of it, he was the City Manger in the City of Elmira from 1994 to 2005, he was Deputy Mayor from 1986 to1992, an Executive Assistant to the Mayor in the City of Buffalo, Commissioner in the Department of Community Development, he comes with a lot of credentials, also has a Masters Degree in Public Administration, so I’m looking forward to working with him and I think he’ll be a true asset, at least in the interim, not only for myself, but to the Common Council.  Lastly, I was looking at some numbers that were I felt were being generated by the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning and as I got deeper and deeper into the numbers, and I’m talking about the housing rehabilitation loan program and the first time home buyers program, I was trying to measure the extent and the success of those two particular programs in our City.  Come to find out, in the last two years, they actually loaned the residents of the City of Tonawanda $707,000 to upgrade their properties and also first time homebuyers.  So I sent them a thank you note but I thought it’s kind of important for residents to know that there are programs out there if you need help with home rehab.  Call my office and we’ll get you going, I’ll send out the forms and what we do is basically refer you to the County because they’re the resident experts and they control the cash, so if there’s anybody out there you know that could use that kind of help, please let us know. 

 

Council President Zeisz – It’s already been said but I just wanted to make a comment about Rose Marie Brady.  She was actually a very nice woman who probably in many ways was perceived the wrong way by some.  She was very passionate about how she wanted to express herself when she came to Council meetings, whether it be issues with her street, with her home, with her property, but she was a very nice lady and my condolences to her family.  And John, as the Mayor said, Cadwalader was a great guy.  He was just the kind of guy that you, I can’t imagine that he ever got upset about anything because he was so easy going but he was a hard worker, he put a lot of years into the City, and my condolences to his family.  I’d like to thank everyone for coming tonight, I realize most of you are compelled to be here tonight, it certainly wasn’t by choice, but I do think that this is something that is very important for young people to understand that this is the process that the City goes through to run the City and very much like our State government and the Federal government, only on a much smaller scale and I think it’s really important that young people take an active role in their community because this is the world we live in and you’re the ones that are going to grow up to control the world that we live in.  I realize many of you are young, but it’s not going to be very long before you’re going to be working, paying taxes, and becoming part of the labor force in this country and I think it’s important that people take an active role and it’s very apropos with the school board election tonight that those are people that want to make a difference, they want to play a role in what the schools can do for students and do for the community, so just think about that.  And to everyone else, I thank you for coming and sharing your thoughts with us, have a great night and drive home safely.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

125.     By Councilmember Perkins                         seconded by Councilmember Waterhouse

            Resolved, that this Common Council adjourn in memory of John Cadwalader until June 3, 2008.  

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

 

 

 

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