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Supervisor apologizes for her outburst

Orchard Park Supervisor Janis A. Colarusso apologized Wednesday night for her outburst at the last Town Board meeting.

"I do not condone my behavior," she said. "I know it was inappropriate, and it will never happen again."

At the Jan. 5 meeting, the supervisor yelled at residents and pounded her fist on the desk, saying she was tired of being criticized. She also threatened to eliminate comments from the public at regular Town Board meetings and told a resident that if he didn't like the way things were done, he should run for office.

"I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect. I never was and never will be," Colarusso said Wednesday night. "What I can do is learn from my mistakes and move forward."

From this point forward, she said, the rules of decorum will be followed by her and everyone else speaking at board meetings.

And then the public comments began.

"While my comments quite often are critical of the board, they are not meant to be personal and disrespectful," said Louis Boehm of Lake Avenue, a regular anti-Walmart commenter whom Colarusso had questioned during the last meeting. "I'm one that believes that it is always best to accept the flak before something is done, instead of afterward, when there is nothing that can be done about it."

Boehm went on to speak against the proposed Walmart store, adding that Orchard Park residents know a bad idea when they see one.

Some residents told the board that reducing the number of regular meetings, which include comments from the public, from two per month to one is a bad idea. Kathryn Gorkiewicz, of Melberry Trail, said that it may be necessary for the board to vote on issues during its work sessions because some things may need attention before the regular board meeting.

Ed Flynn, of Sunset Lane, said he appreciated the supervisor's apology, saying that everyone makes mistakes but that it takes courage to admit them. Then he asked when and where the board decided to switch its meeting schedule, since it was announced at the last meeting without discussion.

Also Wednesday, board members voted to include e-mails as part of the town's official communications recorded in meeting minutes, if the writer requests it. That was after a resident said he had asked that his e-mail to board members be part of the minutes.


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