Changes coming in Town of Hamburg government - The Buffalo News

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Changes coming in Town of Hamburg government

Look for changes in the Town of Hamburg government as a Democratic majority takes control of the Town Board Monday.

Some are the usual political appointments, like town attorney and members of various boards.

The town board is also expected to create new oversight committees on Woodlawn Beach State Park and fiscal stability.

The Democrats are also calling for a new audit of the town. “We’re calling that an audit of the audit,” said Town Supervisor Steven Walters, a Republican. “You expect things to change. It’s a new majority. That’s the privilege of the majority.”

Then there are items that might be seen as slightly more political, such as elimination of the stipend of $7,500 for budget director that Walters has received the last three years.

“There’s a few matters that appear to be entirely political,” Walters said.

He declined to specify which ones.

“I’m hoping that clearer minds prevail before the end of the meeting,” he said.

The two Democrats on the board, newly-elected Michael P. Quinn Jr. and Cheryl Potter-Juda, said they are looking to do the best they can for the town.

If any cuts are made, they would be for the town’s benefit, Potter-Juda said.

The aim is not to affect town services but to save money, Potter-Juda said.

The agenda for the reorganization meeting includes the appointments of Walter Rooth III as town attorney, Ted Casey as traffic safety coordinator, and retired police Capt. Stephen Mikac as assistant superintendent of buildings and grounds to replace William Dash ,who retired.

Rooth ran unsuccessfully for supervisor against Walters in November. Craig Cwick would be the deputy town attorney.

Casey ran unsuccessfully against Highway Superintendent Tom Best Sr. in November.

There also would be a different housing discrimination officer, new bingo inspectors and some new members of boards.

“To the victor goes the spoils,” Best said.

He said he has heard about more possible changes in the buildings and grounds department he leads. In addition to eliminating the $2,500 stipend he has received for heading up buildings and grounds, he said stipends for his deputies also are being eliminated.

Also on the agenda is a resolution terminating annual contracts with human resource consultants Brian Doyle and Mary Eisenhauer and the marketing contract with Linda Rogers.

Rogers, who worked for the Town Board and buildings and grounds offices as a clerk before being hired as a consultant, has been hired by Best as a laborer in the Highway Department. She is assigned temporarily in the highway office answering phones, Best said.

“Under the classification of laborer she can do a multitude of things,” he said.

He said she passed the physical, and she has applied for her commercial drivers’ license.

Walters said he will announce his appointment of deputy supervisor at the meeting.

The supervisor said he is prohibited from discussing town business with Quinn and Potter-Juda outside a meeting, and he will not be able to ask questions about some of their proposals until the meeting.

“We’re not going to know until Monday,” he said.

“I plan on everything running smoothly,” Potter-Juda said. “We are concerned with the community, as always.”

Walters scheduled a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday in Conference Room 1 to discuss personnel issues, and the reorganization meeting is to start at 7 p.m.


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