Opinion: Is change at hand on Colton Town Board, asks Colton resident
To the Editor:
Picking up feathers from the carpet at Town Hall in Colton on Wednesday, November 16 caused me to reflect that birds of a feather flock together on our local Town Board. But little did I realize change was at hand! As I took my seat, I was greeted by the usual scowls and comments directed at me by Supervisor Robert.Shouting erupted with Robert’s attempt to eliminate ‘Courtesy of the Floor’ from the agenda and Councilman Beary questioned him by quoting New York State Town Law. The gist of it: the TB is the Town Executive not the Supervisor. Decisions were to be made by the entire board. Robert shocked everyone by challenging Beary to step outside. Councilwoman Fisher spoke in agreement with Beary.
A motion was made and seconded with four to one votes for public input from attendees and ZOOM participants. Birds of a feather disbanded? Robert’s wishes were not granted. Thank you, Lisa, for leading the revolt.
Workers of the DPW requested an executive session for a decision for an employee’s overtime issue. Robert wanted to deny that worker an executive session but the Board passed a motion and DPW employees went into executive session. Robert wanted ‘the public’ to leave but we held our ground and the session was moved into adjacent rooms. As we waited, three NYS Troopers came to address a report of shouting at the meeting and fear that a fight would break out. They were directed to the adjoining offices. Next the two Councilwomen emerged to claim belongings, state that they had enough, and left. When Troopers left, the executive session was abandoned, and DPW workers departed. Whew!
Robert, Beary and Poste constituted a quorum for the Board so the public meeting continued. After reports were presented the items under Unfinished Business and New Business were postponed except for the motion for a spending freeze that passed. Who initiated the concept of the freeze? Robert does the agenda. What are the implications of a freeze? Will the freeze result in late fees and cost more in the end?
Finally, we were back to Courtesy of the Floor! Citizens Fuhr, Rutley, and Mousaw made statements. A motion for adjournment left us to wonder about the leadership for the night. Has the flock’s approval of Robert’s actions been broken? Nice meeting, Supervisor Robert! How does the Town Board go forward?
Kudos to Ed Fuhr for his meeting summary received by northcountynow.com. Colton needs more citizen observers at meetings or joining via ZOOM.
Mary S. Rutley