Still no consensus on Albion Town Board for attorney

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 January 2014 at 12:00 am

ALBION – The five-person Town Board still hasn’t reached a majority decision on what is typically a routine annual appointment: hiring an attorney for the town.

Robert Roberson of Lockport did the job in 2012 and 2013 at a $36,000 annual contract. Town Councilmen Jake Olles and Todd Sargent favored bringing Roberson back for 2014.

But new Town Supervisor Matt Passarell and new Town Councilman Richard Remley favored either John Gavenda of Albion or Andrew Meier of Medina. Both offered to work for a base contract of $25,000, with litigation and some other non-routine work at an additional cost.

Councilman Dan Paprowski looks to be the swing vote. During a Jan. 13 meeting, he held off on voting for anyone, wanting to review the contract proposals. During a meeting on Monday, he said he wanted to look into additional attorneys, including the Hodgson Russ firm in Buffalo, which represented the town in the fight to halt a new landfill from Waste Management as well as other litigation.

The unresolved matter of hiring an attorney will be brought up again Feb. 10.

Passarell wants an attorney at the board meetings to provide advice. Most of the local Town Boards have an attorney present at their meetings. Passarell also said the town needs an attorney on board so Albion can implement a comprehensive plan that includes some zoning changes to encourage businesses and also preserve farmland.

“There’s work that needs to be done,” he said. “I’m concerned because right now that work isn’t being done.”