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New Albion town supervisor, board members begin terms

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 January 2014 at 12:00 am
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Photos by Tom Rivers – A new year brings a new team to the Albion Town Board, led by Matt Passarell, center, the new town supervisor. The board held its organizational meeting tonight. The group includes, from left: Councilman Dan Poprawski, Councilman Richard Remley, Passarell, Deputy Town Supervisor Jake Olles, Councilman Todd Sargent and Town Clerk Sarah Basinait, in front. Remley and Sargent are both new to the board.

ALBION – A new administration has officially begun in Albion Town Hall with former Town Councilman Matt Pasarell now the town’s top elected official as town supervisor. He is joined by two other newcomers on the Town Board: Richard Remley and Todd Sargent.

Two holdovers on the board – councilmen Dan Poprawski and Jake Olles – both have completed two years on the board. Previous Town Supervisor Dennis Stirk did not seek re-election, nor did Councilman Tim Neilans.

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Matt Passarell takes the oath of office as town supervisor with the oath adminstered by Town Justice Kevin Howard.

Passarell and Olles both ran for town supervisor and Passarell emerged as the victor in a very close race, 503 to 495. Passarell named Olles the deputy town supervisor tonight, a resolution supported by the full board.

Passarell said he wanted to extend the olive branch to Olles, and also recognize that Olles, a sergeant at Attica Correctional Facility, nearly won the election.

“We’ve had a lot of disagreements over the years but I think this is a good way to reach out,” said Passarell, who works in the quality department at Baxter Healthcare in Medina. Passarell, 34, also served in the Iraq War and is a past post commander for the VFW in Albion.

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Todd Sargent takes the oath with Town Justice Kevin Howard administering.

At tonight’s organizational meeting, when officials approve a list of appointments, it was smooth sailing except for the appointment of the town attorney. Passarell and Remley both favored bringing back John Gavenda, who served as town attorney until the Stirk-led board approved Robert Roberson of Lockport two years ago.

Roberson was paid $36,000 a year. Gavenda of Albion said he would do the job for $25,000. Poprawski, Olles and Sargent all said they wouldn’t support Gavenda in the position.

Remley and Passarell said they backed Gavenda but would be open to another attorney in Orleans County. Passarell tabled the resolution.

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Richard Remley is sworn in as town councilman.

“The cost was excessively high (with Roberson),” Passarell said. “We have plenty of options that are within the county.”

The board set the pay for elected officials with Highway Superintendent Jed Standish paid $53,740 plus $20,908 as water superintendent; Town Clerk Sarah Basinait will be paid $34,920 in that role plus $7,679 as water/sewer clerk and $3,000 as registrar of vital records; Town Justices Gary Moore and Kevin Howard will each be paid $16,480; the four town councilmen will be paid $3,704 with Passarell receiving $5,750 as town supervisor.

Some of the appointments include:

Cheryl Staines as historian, $450 a year; Phil McKenna as constable at $150 a year; Sarah Stirk as deputy town clerk at an hourly salary of $14.21; The Daily News of Batavia as official newspaper with the Lake Country Pennysaver of Albion as a supplement to publish town notices; First Niagara is the official depository of town funds; Todd Sargent will serve as fair housing officer; and employees will be reimbursed 56 cents a mile when using their own vehicles for town business.

The Town Planning Board members will be paid $600 a year with the chairman paid $1,000; The Zoning Board of Appeals members will be paid $250 a year with the chairman paid $350; Board of Assessment Review members shall be paid $175 for the year with the chairman getting $300.

The board’s regular monthly meetings will be the second Monday at 7 p.m.