Councilman Bauer at work

Jan 5, 2020

I would like to clarify some topics of conversations that took place during the Town of West Seneca’s Town Board Organizational meeting on Friday, January 3, 2020.

• Motion #1 – The appointment of Tina Hawthorne as the Town attorney:
o I had voted in favor of retaining Tina Hawthorn as the Town Attorney. My reasoning for the vote was that while I was a board member on the Town Ethics Board, I had worked closely with Tina, as she represented to Town of West Seneca in the Ethics Board meetings. The Ethics Board had worked on re-writing the Town’s ethics policy and Tina was very professional, closely involved with the review of legal matters pertaining to the policy and was very prompt with supplying information to the board. My vote in favor of re-appointing Tina was strictly because of the positive impression that she had made on me during our past work relationship.

• Motion # 28 – That Brian Adams be appointed as Dog Control Officer at an annual stipend of $7,000.00, effective January 1, 2020:
o Councilman Piekarec had proposed to reduce the stipend to $1.00 and did not receive a second vote. The vote was taken on approving the stipend of $7,000.00 as written and I voted against it because Brian Adams had made a campaign commitment to the voters not to take the stipend. The motion passed 3-2. The adopted 2020 Town budget does include the $ 7,000.00 stipend and I believe that Brian is entitled to this stipend because he will be required to do the additional job duties. I believe that the Town Board should not dictate the execution of election promises but it should be solely Brian Adams’ decision if he plans on accepting or rejecting the stipend. This decision is solely a matter between Brian Adams and the voters of the Town of West Seneca.

• Motion #38 – That the supervisor be included to receive full healthcare insurance, similar to the current “white collar” union contract.

o The supervisor’s position did not have healthcare benefits for the past 8 years. The approved 2020 town budget does not have finances allocated for this additional healthcare inclusion. The cost of this additional healthcare benefit that the Town would have to pay is $ 25,612.56 (information as provided by the Town finance department) annually or a wage compensation increase to the newly elected supervisor of over 38%, 2 days into his term of office. For this reason I voted against this motion. The motion passed 3-2