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Assessor narrowly wins new term

Kandace Witmeyer has been narrowly reappointed to another six-year term as Elma assessor, with one of the board members opposing the move contending she faces a conflict of interest.

Supervisor Michael Nolan and Councilman Dean Puleo voted against the reappointment Wednesday after Councilman David Polak moved to amend the agenda to include the action. That vote also was 3-2.

After the meeting, Puleo said he wanted more time to look for a qualified candidate who lives in Elma. Witmeyer lives in Marilla, where she is the elected assessor.

"It seems to bother residents that she is a Marilla resident and an elected Marilla assessor," he said.

Witmeyer is also the appointed assessor in Bennington in Wyoming County. All three towns are part of the Iroquois School District.

"The school taxes are based on her assessments. I think this is a conflict of interest," Puleo said.

Trudy Weber, president of the senior citizens club, called the vote "sneaky" because it was not on the original agenda. She said board members should have told residents at the last meeting they were considering it.

In another matter, Stephanie Nichter of Woodside Drive, Bridget Koch of Bowen Road and Tracy Peracatto of Chairfactory Road told the board they were circulating petitions opposing the size and location of the 14,000-square-foot Rite Aid Drug Store proposed near of Bullis and Bowen roads. Nichter said the three had already collected 400 signatures.

"People feel it's a done deal and they can't do anything about it," she said.

Nolan said the plan has been presented to the Town Board, but now is before the Planning Board. He said residents would have a chance to offer their opinions when public hearings are held.

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