Town of Boston councilman speaks against gun legislation
BY: Matt Sargeant | January 23, 2013
In light of recent New York State legislation regarding gun control, two councilmen at the Town of Boston’s latest board meeting voiced their support of the decisions of two other government officials. Prior to the Jan. 16 board meeting, Senator Patrick Gallivan and Assemblyman Dave DiPietro voted against the legislation, which was carried by the state of New York regardless. “We are lucky enough in this particular area to have elected officials higher than us that get to vote on things we don’t get to quite vote on or touch on,” said Councilman Jay Boardway. “I am quite pleased to report – and I expressed this to both of them personally or through their staffs – Senator Gallivan and Assemblyman DiPietro both voted ‘no’ on this ridiculous gun control legislation that was jammed through the New York State legislature in the past two days.
“They both stood up for the people in this area, the concern of their constituents, to fight unfunded mandates, which essentially this legislation is, and to fight government taking over people’s rights,” Boardway said. “They both stand for a smaller, more efficient government – not a more bureaucratic, impeding government.”
Councilman Jeff Genzel shared Boardway’s sentiments: “I’d just like to thank Assemblyman DiPietro and also Senator Gallivan for their recent vote,” said Genzel.
Boardway termed this particular type of legislation “cupcake legislation.” “You take a cupcake,” he explained, “and it’s sitting here on the shelf and you fill it full of stuff, like maybe a little bit of emotion, and you cover the top with nice sweet frosting. You sprinkle all kinds of goodies on top if it and you feed it to the masses, and they all think, ‘Wow, that looks good.’ And this is what our legislature did. And they took that cupcake and they ate it, all the while knowing that cupcake’s really not that good for you. That’s what happened here.”
The councilman concluded by reaffirming his sentiments. “I want to thank again personally Senator Gallivan and Assemblyman DiPietro for saying ‘no,’ to stopping that nonsense the best they could. The legislation still passed; we are probably stuck with it, pending about five years’ worth of litigation, but I would like to acknowledge them.”
In other board matters:
• During his report, Boardway also brought back to the town’s attention the issue of annual performance review plans in the Hamburg School District, a matter that, he estimates, could put $450,000 of state aid at stake. “What happened with this,” said Boardway, “the district itself, two days after our last meeting, did in fact submit the plan . . . so Albany could start reviewing it, pending approval.” Boardway said that he receive an e-mail from Tom Flinn (a Boston resident on the school board who was also in attendance for the town board meeting) stating that the teachers still had not agreed to the performance review plan.
“So, obviously, my request stays the same,” said Boardway. “Continue to direct your contact toward the teachers’ union, teachers’ federation, teachers you know. Tell them we can’t allow this to happen. That’s $450,000 that’s going to translate directly into tax dollars that are going to directly come out of your pockets.
“It’s a simple request: we want a performance review of our teachers for our children. I don’t think that should be that tough.”
• After an accident claimed the life of Boston resident Connie Gabel on Jan. 8, Councilman Larry Murtha addressed the concern regarding the speed limit near the ramp for Route 219. “We’re trying to expedite the resolution we presented to reduce the speed limit near the Tim Horton’s area,” said Murtha. “We got a couple calls into the chief safety and traffic engineer for the county, but I’m not getting anything back. I’ll be calling Legislator (John) Mills in the morning to get that going. We do want that expedited as quickly as we can because of the fatality we had this last week.
• The board accepted the audit of the town clerk, town justice and bookkeeper. “We came in early and did the annual audit,” said Supervisor Martin Ballowe. “This is an annual audit we hold once a year, where we go through the books and the money that’s brought into the town and the distribution of it and where it goes. We meet with the head of each department and do that.”
• Ballowe announced that each councilman had been given a project for 2013, which will be listed on the town website. Genzel will be responsible for refurbishing the Lion’s shelter, which, according to Ballowe, is in need of painting, new gutters and new bricks to replace the old ones.
Ballowe himself will focus on the south end of the town. “We started last year by taking the trees down,” he said and added that he plans on redoing the concrete and landscaping. “I think it’s been neglected for years and I think it’s time to put some money down for that end of town.
Murtha looks to clean up the stretch of crick from Zimmerman Road to Homestead Road. This issue was looked into last year, but concerns regarding the contract pushed the project too late, forcing it to be put on hold. Ballowe believes clearing up this stretch will help control flooding.
Councilman Gary Vara has been tasked with working on the basketball courts. He will look into putting up new hoops and “go green” lighting for the sake of energy efficiency.
Boardway will work on the fire contracts for 2013 and 2014 while working side-by-side with Ballowe on other projects.
• The supervisor has been working on the ambulance contract, and it has been brought to his attention that the emergency squad is in need of a new ambulance in the future. “We kind of just talked about it downstairs about getting rid of an old one and bringing in a new one and kind of getting together some numbers for everyone on that,” said Ballowe. “They serve about 400 calls a year in our community, so it’s nice when they have equipment they can depend on. It’s newer, it serves our public at no cost to the town, for transport, for anything they do down there. So we’re trying to give them an opportunity to look at the newer equipment and get rid of some of the older equipment down there.
• Genzel, who serves as the town’s engineering liaison, met with the contractor, town engineer and Erie County water authority along with Ballowe for a preconstruction meeting for the Keller Road waterline stabilization project.
“We had a good discussion on the facets of this project and also we’re going to come up with some possible ideas on the painting of the posts due to the inclement weather. We may look at an alternative to that.” He said, “They should be starting here within a few weeks. Again, when that project starts, if you can avoid that area, Keller Road between Feddick (Road) and East Eden (Road) – because it’s on a hill (and) there’s going to be people around there, it may be icy, so keep that in mind.”
• Genzel reported that he is looking to get funding to get water to some areas by West Till Road, where money has been put into studies on that area for an estimated two decades but no results have come about. Also, Genzel has requested information from the water authority regarding a gap in public water on Backcreek Road.
• The planning board meeting on Jan. 9 was cancelled due to no agenda. The next meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 22.
“We’re always looking for quality members for all our boards,” said Genzel. “Please submit a letter of interest to our town clerk.”
• Two requests for appointment as a nutrition assistant, one from Sharon Bulger and the other from Lori Valentine, were tabled. “Because the annual audit took so much time with questioning downstairs, we actually didn’t have the opportunity,” said Ballowe. “They’re both alternates right now, they both help us out in nutrition, but we have to move one of them up to a permanent position. We just ran out of time tonight doing the annual audit.
• The board accepted the resignation of JoAnne Bonsack from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
• The town board accepted the request from ZBA to appoint Beverly Kent to that board. Dennis Mead, chairman of ZBA, informed the town board that ZBA is still looking for two additional alternate members to ZBA, as Kent was previously an alternate member.
The next town board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Boston Town Hall, located at 8500 Boston State Road in Boston.