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ALBOND APPOINTMENT PULLED; 2 ADDRESS CHARTER ISSUE

Two potentially explosive issues on the City Council agenda failed to materialize Monday evening -- one of them because it was withdrawn before it could be considered.

The other issue, a public hearing on the formation of a commission to review the City Charter, attracted only two speakers.

The item that never made it to the floor for discussion was the mayoral appointment of Harvey Albond as a member of the the Love Canal Area Revitalization Agency.

A majority of the agency's board of directors, headed by its executive director, Susan L. Bloss, attended the Council's committee-of-the-whole session in the afternoon to let the Council know that they would protest publicly Albond's appointment.

Mayor James A. Galie had nominated Albond, along with Councilwoman Connie M. Lozinsky and Bruno Mercurio to one-year terms as members of the Love Canal agency. Albond would replace Councilman Ralph Aversa, who was not re-elected to his Council seat. The naming of Ms. Lozinsky and Mercurio would be reappointments.

At Monday's Council committee session, Ms. Lozinsky announced that she had asked Galie not to reappoint her, because of an increase in her personal schedule. Ms. Bloss said she was prepared to speak publicly to warn the council that Albond was fired from his job as executive director of the agency in June of 1995 "for the good of the agency." He had held the post since 1993.

After an interim director was hired, Ms. Bloss was named executive director in April of 1996.

On Monday she said, "I'm still trying to clean up some of the mess he left the agency in."

Gay Molnar, an agency member was asked if she was prepared to oppose Albond's appointment.

"You bet I am and I will if I have to," she said.

Council Chairman Vincent Anello announced before the regular meeting that the appointments had been removed from the agenda and that Galie would submit a new set of names in the near future. The action meant that Ms. Lozinsky and Aversa will remain on the agency until their replacements are named.

The hearing on the formation of a Charter Review Commission failed to bring out the festering problem between members of the Council and Galie who have indicated there might be two commissions named, one by the mayor and the other by the Council.

Jeff Paterson, one of the speakers, did, however, say that he is "not in favor of a politically charged, wholesale change" in the City Charter. He said the faults in the present charter are not in the charter itself, but "in some of the people we have elected to administrative positions."

In calling for changes in the charter, Paterson said no changes should be made just for the sake of making changes. "Let's not throw out the baby with the bath water," he said.

The second speaker was Richard Horn, a Niagara Falls firefighter who has had previous differences with Galie. He said, without naming names, that some "elected officials should realize that they are elected, not crowned."

Councilman Vincent Morello was the only member who voted against establishing a commission to revamp the City Charter, noting that any changes that are necessary could be accomplished "on our own by putting them on the ballot next November." He said a commission could "supersede anything the Council might want to do."

Anello said it is apparent that there are changes needed in some charter articles and a commission "is the only remedy that I know of and I am going to take it."

Councilman Anthony Quaranto also noted there are areas in the charter that need changing, "but I want to make sure the people involved in the commission are not politically involved."

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