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Letter: Hamburg Zoning Board pick reeks of politics

On June 4, Hamburg’s Town Board voted to replace a well-respected and dedicated member of the Zoning Board of Appeals with a career political operative of the Conservative Party.

Ray Gallagher, Chairman of Hamburg’s Conservative Party, was appointed to this important board that often decides on issues that literally shape what Hamburg looks like. The seven-year appointment will pay him over $20,000.

Councilman Mike Mosey, whose bid for reelection next year would be dead in the water without Gallagher’s Conservative Party endorsement, deviated from his pre-filed resolution which listed him as putting forth a motion to name the highly regarded incumbent for reappointment. Without input from the public, and to the detriment of the Town, it was affirmed by Republican Councilmembers Mike Petrie and Beth Farrell, also past beneficiaries of Gallagher’s endorsement. Supervisor Shaw called the move for what it was – politically motivated.

This is another example of the local Republicans bending to the will of the Conservative Party, and cheap backroom politics at its worst, at the expense of good government.

When asked about the appointment Councilman Mosey said the move “was about experience and zoning knowledge, period.” If Councilman Mosey was telling the truth, and he actually believed Chairman Gallagher was more experienced and knowledgeable than the 12-year incumbent, why was the public and the supervisor kept in the dark about the scheme until just before the vote?

Terry MacKinnon

Chairman

Hamburg Democratic Committee

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