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Town Supervisor in Gaines leaves ZBA in dark on changes affecting the board

Posted 31 July 2018 at 10:42 am

Editor:

It’s been said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Are you aware that’s exactly what’s occurring in the Town of Gaines on a regular basis?

Prior to being elected, Supervisor Grube stated that he had no allegiances to anyone but the residents of Gaines, claiming he wouldn’t stand for anything but honest, open government and civil, respectful debate on topics of importance.

It is my experience as Chairman of the Gaines Zoning Board of Appeals, that communication has not been honest, open or respectful. Many concerns expressed the ZBA have gone unaddressed, and responsibilities delegated to the ZBA have been taken away and intentionally, selectively trampled.

On two occasions this year, the Town Board, led by Supervisor Grube has hired and shortly afterwards accepted the resignation of two secretaries and failed to notify the very board that was served, leaving us without coverage for regularly scheduled meetings. This fundamental lack of communication and understanding the implications of your decisions demonstrates an absence of attention to detail and a commitment to provide quality services to the residents of the town.

What should be more concerning to the residents of the Town of Gaines, is that that Supervisor Grube has attempted to personally propose changes to and modify specific Zoning Ordinance language without the assistance, input or having any dialog or discussion with the very board that is responsible for enforcing the rules, the Gaines ZBA.

It’s also inconceivable, and fiscally irresponsible, for a Supervisor to solicit one, single proposal for professional services for updating zoning/land use regulations in the amount of $27,700 of taxpayers’ money, and after a short discussion requests a motion from his board to adopt. The Town’s very own procurement policy was side-stepped and ignored. Most municipal procurement policies, including those followed by our very own Orleans County, recommends a written request for proposal with response from three sources for items over $20K.

It is extremely important to acknowledge that Supervisor Grube has led an effort to ignore his own town’s ordinance that requires the ZBA to prepare and amend as necessary the comprehensive land development plan for the Town.

Early in his new role as supervisor, he requested and was informed of the role the ZBA has played in its current comprehensive plan and all the work that has been invested to bring the current ordinance into compliance. Back in March a resolution was passed to have the ZBA Chairman and Town attorney research possible next steps. That all changed at July’s town board meeting. No explanation or discussion for the change in direction. The whole process was discarded and course of action changed when Supervisor Grube chose to personally present one option to the board and go forward.

Do you make your own rules, or follow sound, known, established procedures? I ask the residents in the Town of Gaines to decide……honest, open or just insane.

Michael Grabowski

Gaines ZBA Chairman