New Commissioner’s Richardson and Liberto May Not Have to Step Down

April 17th, 2018

HORNELL, NY – At Monday night’s Hornell Common Council Meeting, the last two items on the agenda were to accept the resignations of newly appointed Commissioners Joe Liberto from the Board of Public Works and Scott Richardson from the Board of Public Safety, but according to City Attorney Joe Pelych that may not have to be the case.

“When these two were appointed, I did not realize who they were replacing,” said Pelych, “I realized that according to law, you can’t have two members of the same board affiliated with the same party, so we thought that in order for them to remain, a simple solution would be to have them change their parties, which both agreed to do. Then we found out that if they did change party affiliation, it would not take effect until after the November elections. So the question becomes do we even need this resolution accepting their resolution or was their appointment just null and void because they were not qualified?”

According to Pelych, both can still sit in on the meetings and participate but would not be able to vote on any matters until after the next major elections when their party change would become official. ”Anyone can sit in on the meeting,” explained Pelych, “They are open to the public. I suggest we let them remain where they are until we get this mess straightened around.” Mayor John Buckley added, “They are really assets to the board, and both agreed to do what it takes to remain, so I figured we could let them sit in until after the next election and still take their input, until after November when it would be an official vote.” The boards can currently get by with the manpower they have.

In other news the city recently conducted an Information Technology (IT) audit on their computer network and although there were some suggestions made, there were no major problems to address. Ed Flaitz of Ed’s Computers who conducted the audit and services the city’s computer network, suggested expanding the Acceptable Use Policy, provide IT User Awareness Training, and lastly to provide a Disaster Recovery Plan in case the system completely fails and daily business still needs to be conducted.

Also the council paved the way for TTA to receive a Community Development Block Grant. The application will now be officially submitted for $400,000, with TTA also contributing $900,000 up front for the upcoming project. The multimillion dollar renovations are planned for the interior of the building, and also the purchase up to date equipment. TTA said this could pave the way for the eventual addition of up to 30 new full time employees in the near future.

The Mayor announced that the Main Street renovation project will begin next week after a few delays, with the work being done in sections as to not create too much of a bottleneck for traffic. Plans are to go from the East Main Street Bridge all the way to the intersection of Main Street and Route 36. Buckley said if all goes as planned the completed street will be ready by July 15th, just in time for the annual Gus Macker Basketball Tournament.

And finally the Mayor announced that a developer is interested in the old Courthouse on 12 Allen Street in the City. Buckley said he will be meeting with the potential buyer this week in hopes that the city can sell the building and get it off the tax rolls.