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OUTSPOKEN OFFICIAL BIDS COUNCIL FAREWELL

Over the past year, Alderman Richard Say has often reported on current events of importance to his North Olean constituents during the five minutes allotted to him in the public comment portion of Olean Common Council meetings.

At this week's regular session, Say -- who will relinquish his Ward 7 post next week to John J. Padlo -- used that time to bid farewell to city officials and staff.

During his single two-year term in office, Say emerged as an outspoken advocate for reforms in the Cattaraugus County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which receives about $30,000 annually under a contract for citywide animal control, and drew public attention to several environmental problems and land-use issues in his ward.

He also pressed for fiscal accountability from the Cattaraugus Economic Development Zone and Greater Olean Inc. During his final committee meeting Tuesday night, Say announced he had just received a financial report from Greater Olean in response to his recent call for an audit of the organization's records.

Related legislation sponsored by Say calls for an accounting of finances by the Cattaraugus Economic Development Zone, an allied business development group that receives $26,250 in city funds annually and is led by the same management official, George Schanzenbacher.

Say referred to his departure as a "small happening" and stated his admiration for the "integrity, skill, hard work and honesty" displayed by city workers during his term.

Say, who ran on the Republican, Conservative and Freedom Party tickets, was defeated, 408 to 334, in the November election by Padlo, on the Democratic and Independent Party lines.

In other business, the Council:

Removed from the agenda a resolution for condemnation of 123 S. First St. because a Dec. 19 closing finalized the sale of the property to developers assembling a real estate package for expansion of the post office building at State and Union streets.

Enacted a sales and use tax amnesty on clothing and footwear purchased within the city between Jan. 17 and 23. The Cattaraugus County Legislature had previously agreed to drop its 4 percent portion of the sales tax for such items purchased during that period.

Approved installation of stop signs on the northwest corner of River Street and Elm Street, and on the southeast side of River Street intersecting with Elm Street.

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