October 26, 2015
VIDEO: it starts out with a statement from Dan McManus…then at 3:36 – comments from the D’Arcys, who live near Concern for Youth…
at 7:15, Mayor Hogan speaks…10:32, Mayor Hogan and D’Arcys discuss things…at 13:22 Hornell City Hall Attorney Joe Pelych weighs in…
HORNELL, NY – Alderman Dan McMmanus spoke Monday night at the Hornell Common Council meeting about Hornell Area Concern for Youth. He began by handing out letters and complaining that Hornell Area Concern for Youth is a problem. McManus had copies of letters he sent to Concern for Youth, and City Hall. The McManus letter spoke of how, at a Hornell Area Concern for Youth board meeting, someone saw two teenagers laying on top of each other on a couch, kissing in front of a nine year old child.
McManus says he asked Hornell Police for a list of complaints that have been made about Concern for Youth. The alderman said that Police Chief Murray has been ignoring this request.
After speaking about Hornell Concern for Youth, McManus introduced Connie and Mark D’arcy. During the back and forth between the D’Arcys, Mayor Hogan, Alderman McManus and Hornell Attorney Joe Pelych, Hogan asked the D’Arcys if the real issues behind all of this was a parking issue.
Hogan also says that the codes office has been working on Concern for Youth, and that the only thing that could be done is to cut the $30,000 in funding that Hornell Area Concern for Youth gets from Hornell City Hall, in next year’s budget. However, Hogan stated that that would not be the right thing to do, because Concern for Youth is run by a staff of volunteer unpaid board, who have done a lot of good things over the years, is not appropriate.
Due to time constraints, we were unable to reach Concern for Youth Executive Director Susan Hooker, or Marie Lebanowski, who runs the board of directors for the Hornell Area Concern for Youth. However, we were able to reach Police Chief Ted Murray, who told us the following: he’s attempted to reach McManus and that McManus did not answer the phone when called. At the police station is a packet with McManus’s name on it, that has the list of the 15 complaints made over the last two years about Hornell Areea Concern for Youth. Murray noted that five of the complaints were over noise issues, five of the complaints were about fights, and several complaints were calls to the police station, to disperse crowds of teens there who were outside the East Main Street location. The Hornell Police Chief also stated that some of the complaints came from Alderman McMmanus himself. According to Murray, the 6th Ward alderman told police he was calling on behalf of residents.
McManus, who is not seeking re-election, began his term as alderman at the center of a dispute with a 6th Ward landlord. Both Mayor Hogan and 9th Ward Alderman John Buckley criticized McManus at that time, saying that McManus was wrong to publicly condemn the property owner.
See the Alderman McManus letter below, that was addressed to the mayor, the council and the media:
October 26th, 2015
As many of you have heard, I have been dealing with the Hornell Area Concern for Youth (HACFY) for some time now. It began immediately after I took my oath as the new alderman of the 6th Ward, and has gotten progressively worse.
Although the Board of Directors at the HACFY will tell you that they are doing wonderful things for our youth, what I have seen, what employees have seen, and what my neighbors have seen, contradicts what the board claims. – I have included a list of complaints that we are experiencing in the neighborhood.
I have attended the Board meetings to speak on behalf of my constituents, and they give a song and dance about once the center is closed for the evening, ‘it is no longer our problem what the kids do in the neighborhood. They have told me that they have guidelines and punishments for those kids that break the rules. That is all well and good, but the facts remain, whatever they are doing is not working. Poor management, improperly trained employees and temps are the foundation for a successful business – then they take the cake. Nothing spells disaster than walking into the center to attend a board meeting and seeing two young teenagers laying on top of each other on the couch as a 9 year-old stands there watching them kiss.
I emailed the Chief of Police on September 24th 2015 for a list of all police calls in involving the HACFY. I have received nothing. I have called the Chief numerous times including this morning, asking for his assistance with a list, so I could bring the list to this meeting and show you what really goes on. Still nothing. I have talked to patrolmen at the station and they agree with me that the center is…and I will use their words “a shit hole.’
Another troubling aspect of this is that I found out that they were given permission to operate as a business as long as they made some changes to the facility to make it compliant with the law. A variance was issued back in 2005. To this date – they have still not brought it up to compliance. A neighboring resident has made a formal request to have HACFY shut down on the basis of non-compliance. The city attorney has submitted his opinion on that matter, and I have to formally disagree with it. According to the city attorney’s opinion – if this is how the city does business, by requiring businesses to do certain things to come into compliance, and then after years of said business shirking that requirement, and then the city comes back and says it is no longer the city’s problem – that makes zero sense to me – and sets a bad precedence for the next business owner. Furthermore, the Hornell Codes report that we received in our packets, I would like it noted that the codes officer has informed me that HACFY that they must come into compliance on this matter.
6th Ward Alderman