Gaines ZBA chairman questions town supervisor’s actions with steering committee, push to revise zoning

Posted 17 December 2018 at 12:34 pm


The Town of Gaines is for sale. If you have a political chip from the last election to turn in please see Supervisor Joe Grube immediately, because he has given away most of the Town and there’s not much left. Are you concerned about the Cobblestone, solar farms or farm labor housing? – Joe’s your man (if you have one of those magical chips). If you attended the last Steering Committee to address proposed changes to the Towns zoning ordinances you know exactly what I am referring to.

In addition to Joe, the meeting was attended by two other town officials – Councilman Tyler Allport and Councilman-elect Corey Black. Supervisor Grube added Mr. Black to his committee along with hand selecting 10 members from the Gaines community. Interestingly none of these members were ever interviewed by the Town of Gaines Board to create a committee that fairly represented the concerns and views of the entire Town or to work within the goals and policies of its comprehensive plan, they were just presented by Joe for inclusion – no discussion required.

If you didn’t know better you might think you were attending a Cobblestone Society meeting. Let’s call this Joe’s “VISION” for the Town. Looking back the comprehensive plan and former ad hoc committee had this fair representation overall – a concept foreign to this supervisor and his desire to make unilateral decisions for HIS board. As I’ve previously stated the purpose of this committee is to propose changes to the Town Board to revise its zoning ordinance so it does not conflict with its revised comprehensive plan. It’s important to note that a committee had been previously working on this same task for 18 months prior to Joe became supervisor – a body work that was NEVER provided to a highly paid professional consultant, again hand selected from a short list of one by Joe – a part of his “VISION”. You might ask why, but it will be clear as you read on.

As Chairman of the Town’s Zoning Board of Appeals that Supervisor Grube is attempting to dismantle, I attended the last “STEERING” committee meeting and sat and listened to a consultant most of the night. At one point I addressed a question to Joe’s consultant, and before she could even address my concern, Joe jumped up to confronted me, saying and I quote “I’m going to throw you under the bus”, redirecting the conversation and did not allow the consultant to address or answer. No comment from the other town officials or other committee members present. It’s not the first time I have been verbally assaulted by Joe, but it really summarizes how this Supervisor runs the Town and his tunnel  “VISION” and his integrity as a person.

I personally found his actions to be insulting and not worthy of the office he holds. It should be clear that Supervisor Grube’s actions are yet another example of his desire to “STEER” the steering committee. But it doesn’t end there. Joe has directed the consultant to include items beyond her professional obligation and expertise to include bringing back a planning board and redefining the goals and policies of its comprehensive plan – sounds like more chips for everyone!

Another incident that should be made public is at that same meeting Joe did not find it necessary to follow any parliamentary procedures such as Robert’s Rules of Order in the election of a committee chair, instead choosing to follow “Joe’s Rules of Disorder”, and for that he and his fellow Councilmen and paid consultant should be embarrassed and held accountable for. This above all should highlight Joe’s “VISION” for the town and his integrity as a person. Truth be told Joe wanted to appoint the Cobblestone’s Executive Vice President as the chairperson of the committee, again a part of his “VISION”, A fact that can be substantiated by any current councilperson.

If you do attend the next “STEERING” committee you may want to introduce yourself to the Supervisor and ask him his role in the approximately $250,000 (that’s, Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollar) water billing overpayment by the Town of Carlton that he is refusing to return.

It is well know by officials of both towns, Carlton civic leaders and U.S. government officials – speaks volumes to Joe’s integrity as a person. Who knows, maybe it was his “VISION” to use this found pay for the highly paid professional consultant or other expenses and items he has included in the Town’s budget.

You may not feel you need to get involved because this issue does not concern you, but I warn you to see for yourself and get involved before it’s too late, and you have no voice. You may want to attend the next “STEERING” or Town Board meeting and make Joe and the other town officials responsible for there actions and decisions. The next meeting is scheduled for December 17th at the Gaines Town Hall.

Michael Grabowski

Gaines ZBA Chairman