Excited for Orchard Park to have an opportunity to benefit from this trail.
Town Councilman in Orchard Park, New York
Excited for Orchard Park to have an opportunity to benefit from this trail.
PSA for all Orchard Park residents: This may be the last nice day of the year.
Please get outside and enjoy it safely.
Important note from today's Town and Village call with County Executive Mark Poloncarz that I was happy to particpate in:
The growth in COVID-19 cases across the Southern Tier and Pennsylvania is concerning, and Towns in the Southern portion of Erie County, including Orchard Park, should be on high alert.
Understand that under new state guidance, a microcluster of cases in a Town or neighboring town can send an entire zip code into lockdown (similar to what we saw in March/April).
Many local business owners are still reeling from the last shutdown. If you want your favorite small business to stay open and not risk shutting down for good, please wear a mask.
Chipper in 5. Grapple in 4.
Chipper and Grapple are both in Zone 4
Town Board Meeting Agenda for Tonight at 7 (It is very short):
- NO Public Hearing on Budget tonight - that is rescheduled for November 4th
- Town Board to Amend approved PIP #2020-04 Pleasant Acres West Subdivision Pt.3, Ph. 2 to include Part 4 work.
- Town Board to set Ad Valorem and Benefit Basis Special District Budget Public Hearing for
November 4, 2020 at 6:00PM in the Town Municipal Center.
- Town Board to award contract for the Hydrant Replacement Project for 5033 Ellicott Road and 4805 freeman Road locations.
- Authorize the (Interim) Supervisor to sign the Memorandum of Agreement for the Western New York Storm Water Coalition and authorize the Town to pay the annual membership participation
fee of $1,800 per year until December 31, 2025
- Town Board to appoint Joseph Liberti to the Position of Deputy Supervisor.
- Town Board to outline expanded Senior Councilmember and Deputy Supervisor duties.
As always, you can watch online at www.orchardparkny.org
Early voting starts October 24th. You can vote early in Orchard Park at the Community Activity Center on California Road.
Orchard Park residents do NOT have to vote there, though. You can vote at ANY of the locations in the link below. If you work downtown, you can vote early on your lunch break. At the mall in Cheektowaga on a Saturday? You can vote in Cheektowaga.
Make sure your friends know this as well!
If you are the site owner (or you manage this site), please whitelist your IP or if you think this block is an error please open a support ticket and make sure to include the block details (displayed in the box below), so we can assist you in troubleshooting the issue.
Planning to vote by absentee this year? The last day to register is October 27th.
Please reach out to the bipartisan Erie County Board of Elections with questions!
Chipper in 4
Grapple in 3
Orchard Park Public Library
Good morning friends! You can stop by the library any time between Monday October 19th - Friday October 23rd to pick up a cute badger craft to take home and make yourself! See you at the library & Happy Reading!
Chipper and Grapple both in Zone 2
Chipper in Zone 2. Grapple in Zone 1.
Chipper is in Zone 2, Grapple in Zone 1.
Suburbs like Orchard Park have a big opportunity to capitalize on if they listen to the needs of the younger generation.
Apartment rents are rising in suburban markets across the U.S. as city dwellers look for bigger spaces in smaller towns and the work-from-home model removes long-standing barriers to living in the suburbs.
My full statement on last week's rail-trail vote:
Councilman Conor Flynn voted against the Resolution in Opposition to the development of the ECRT corridor in Orchard Park.
Flynn has met with ECRT, GoBike, and the Neighborhood Preservationists (NPI) groups to discuss the trail and how it impacts residents. It is clear that residents along the trail need to be protected, however the resolution in opposition, while supposedly well-intentioned, puts these homeowners at a greater risk than they were before.
Historically, this issue has been framed as the Town having the authority to either stop the further development of the trail or support its uninhibited growth. NPI had hoped that the Town would pass a resolution in opposition so that the trail would “return to nature” behind their homes.
This is an incorrect framing of the Town’s role. The Town cannot stop the trail from being developed, even if it wanted to. This is already settled law: State and local governments have the right to impose appropriate safety, land use, and zoning regulations on recreation trails only to the extent that such regulations do not frustrate development of a trial on the railbanked right of way. (Friends of the East Lake Sam. v. City of Sammamish 3651 F. Supp. 2d 1260 (W.D. Was. 2005)).
The Town is pre-empted by the Federal Rails to Trails Act: The trail is getting developed; it is never going back to nature. The only role the Town can play is to help the developing organization, ECRT/GoBike, secure funding for the safe development of the trail. The alternatives are not “trail or no trail,” but rather “safe trail vs. underdeveloped trail.”
Further, the Resolution passed on October 7th states that the Town of Orchard Park “recommends this ROW be left undeveloped for greenspace, wildlife habitat, and a natural buffer to protect adjacent homeowners from the general public access to and view into their private areas,” which is in-line with NPI’s efforts to have the trail pursue an “alternate route.” This is also in direct conflict with the same precedential Federal caselaw cited above, which states “The purpose of the Rails to Trails Act is not to encourage the development of recreational trails near inactive railroad rights of way; it is to encourage the transition of these railbeds into recreational trails, and to preserve the right-of-way for possible future railroad reactivation.”
The Town of Orchard Park should learn a lesson from the City of Sammamish, which spent nearly a decade and much taxpayer money fighting on behalf of an anti-trails organization. The Town should avoid making the same mistake, especially when the law on this is clear.
Chipper and grapple are both in Zone 1
My statement on the Town Supervisor situation is below. If you are interested in applying to be appointed to the Deputy Town Supervisor position please send an email to me ([email protected]) and Councilman Majchrzak ([email protected]) by close of business Friday.
The announcement of the departure of Town Supervisor Patrick Keem effective October 9th created a novel problem for the three-person Town Board in Orchard Park. I would prefer that Orchard Park voters select Mr. Keem’s replacement, but it is too late for a special election under the NYS public officer’s law.
After a thorough review of the law and what options might be available to continue Town business, I support re-creating the Deputy Supervisor position that was abolished in 2002 and appointing a caretaker to that position through the end of 2021.
Under New York State Town Law, a town board, as a group, is the executive head of a Town (unlike a Mayor in a city). Accordingly, although the Town Supervisor is sometimes referred to as the Chief Executive in a Town, the statutory powers of the Supervisor are limited generally to chairing Board meetings and acting as Treasurer of Town finances.
A key function that results from the Supervisor’s statutory role as town Treasurer is the authority to sign checks for payroll. The now two-member Town Board must vote to create the Deputy Supervisor position and then appoint someone to this position so that our hard-working police, blue-, and white-collar union employees, who have worked throughout a pandemic, do not have their paychecks delayed.
Now is not the time for political brinkmanship, and I am happy to support a Deputy Supervisor candidate from any political party. The Town needs a responsible caretaker for the next 14 months while Orchard Park voters choose a new Town Supervisor.
The appointed Deputy Supervisor will not have a vote at Town Board meetings. The Orchard Park Town Board will continue with two voting members for the remainder of 2020 and 2021, and it is up to the voters to decide who their next Town Supervisor will be in next year’s elections.
The Town Board will schedule a special meeting this Wednesday, October 14th, in conjunction with their previously-scheduled work session, to re-create the position of Deputy Town Supervisor. The Town Board then plans to vote to appoint a Deputy Supervisor at next Wednesday’s Town Board meeting.
I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the Board tonight voted to oppose the rail trail.
I will fight to get a resolution supporting the trail on the agenda as soon as I have the votes to do so. With Town elections in 2021, that may not be until 2022.
Chipper and Grapple are both in 5.
Thank you to the many residents that have reached out regarding the resolution in opposition to the trail. Your comments are always welcome, but you don't need to persuade me.
For a variety of reasons, I am not in favor of adopting this resolution. I informed the NPI leadership of these reasons last week.
The law is fairly clear here: a trail is getting built whether or not the Town supports it. Any Town action here is preempted by Federal Law. The only decision the Town can make is whether to adopt a nonbinding resolution opposing or supporting it.
The question is not "trail or no trail," but rather "undeveloped trail or safe trail." Adopting a resolution in opposition, which can impact funding for the trail, will do more harm to those homeowners along the trail than a resolution in favor.
Agenda for tomorrow's Board Meeting:
***Note the item on the trail below***
Nobody will be turned away for public comment.
- Local Law 2020-7 – §144-49 “Approvals Required”
- Local Law 2020-8 – §144-51 Communications facility permit standards (b) Aesthetics (B)(7)
- Dangerous and Unsafe Properties – 3949 Southwestern Blvd.
- 2020-2021 Community Development Block Grant Funds.
ITEMS TO BE VOTED ON:
- Town Board to approve Paul Pepero’s benefit eligibility.
- Town Board to approve Final Payment Release of Retention to Javen Construction for the Brush Mountain Community Activity Center Project.
- Town Board to appoint Amy Glende to the position of Full-time Records Management Supervisor for the period of January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
- Town Board to approve Final Payment Release of Retention to Pinto Construction Services for the Brush Mountain Community Activity Center Grading, Seeding and Landscaping Project.
- Town Board to approve Change Order #1 to our contract with Union Concrete and Construction Corp. for Asphalt removal and replacement of shared Driveway for Brenner Drive Lexington Avenue Project.
- Town Board to approve the priority of grant projects to be submitted and authorize the Supervisor to sign, submit, and execute applications/ contracts for the ECCDBG program.
- Town Board to appoint seasonal part time for the Fall/Winter/Spring Recreation Department.
- Resolution of Opposition to the conversion of the Abandoned Buffalo & Pittsburgh Rail Bed for use as a Recreational Trail.
- Town Board to approve Police IT Equipment Budget Amendment.
- Town Board to schedule a Public Hearing for the 2021 Preliminary Budget and Benefit Basis Special District to be held October 21, 2020 at 7PM in the Orchard Park Municipal Center.
- Town Board to appoint members to the Orchard Park Recreation Commission.
- Town Board to authorize the Transfer of $398.04 from Engineering Equipment Account (A01440 50200) to Engineering Vehicle Maintenance Account (A01440 50445).
- Town Board to authorize advertisement in the Orchard Park Bee for the Bids for the Green Lake Maintenance Dredging Project.
- Town Board to refer the following easements to the Conservation Board:
Henry Lewandowski, 6106 Cole Rd, 34.66 acres (extension of easement #60) – 14 years
Donald & Jennifer Brady, 6215 Scherff Rd. 29.868 acres – Perpetual easement
Chipper and Grapple are both in Zone 4
My budget proposal creates a 1.44% tax levy increase (under the Tax Cap) by doing the following:
- Eliminating raises across Town Government
- Reducing elected official salaries by 5%
- Eliminating unnecessary office supplies
- Eliminating all travel and conference
- Reducing overtime availability for police services
- Merging the Departments of Senior Services, Recreation, Youth Services, and Parks and Playgrounds into one cohesive Department of Livability
How has the Town's spending changed over time? See below.
**Note: There was no public safety fund in 2010. Police spending was included in the general fund. I have split this up for 2010 to the best of my ability.
A smart person once said, "Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value."
We should set a goal to be the nicest and most livable suburban community in Western New York.
Using 2020 adopted budgets, below is a rough estimate of per-person spending comparing the Town of Orchard Park to one of the nicest suburbs of Rochester, the Town of Pittsford. Reviewing the census data is like looking in a mirror, and it also has a small central village.
- We spend more, total, per person.
- This excess spending is almost entirely due to debt service and public safety spending.
- We invest less, per person, in our infrastructure and general Town services
I want to make sure that our Town budget aligns with our priorities as a community. How do you think this breakdown should look? Let me know at [email protected].
Chipper and Grapple are both in Zone 4.
Important reminder for Orchard Park residents: the Bills game is at 4 pm today, not 1 pm.
Your day is clear for mowing the lawn, etc.
The tentative ad valorem budget that was recently submitted to us by the Town Supervisor can be found at the link below. It is buried within the Town website and it took me almost 10 minutes to find the link.
This tentative budget would carry a tax levy increase of just under 10%.
You should have a voice in this process, and too often residents only learn about the budget after-the-fact through the weekly local news cycle.
Please review and let me know your thoughts at [email protected]
I think we need female representation on the Orchard Park Town Board. The majority of Orchard Park is female, but we have an all-Male Town Board.
Like if you agree.
Several people have reached out to express their interest in having the Supervisor's seat filled by a special election. I agree: The people should have a voice.
Unfortunately, we were notified of the Supervisor's intent to resign after the deadline to have the position on this year's ballot. It is my further understanding that a special election for the position prior to next year's general election can only occur if the Governor calls for one. I am fairly confident that the Governor is not going to call for a special election for the Town of Orchard Park.
This is a state law issue and involves the state and county Boards of Election. It is not within the Town's control.
Accordingly, because we are a three-member Board (including the Supervisor), the Supervisor's departure risks gridlock over the next fourteen months on any issues where I do not agree with my fellow Councilmember. This is especially concerning given the upcoming budget calendar. Moving forward with only two voting members of a three person Board would be a great disservice to the residents of Orchard Park.
I will continue to work to find a way to remedy this situation so that the best interests of Orchard Park residents are protected. That is, and always has been, my primary concern.
Feel free to reach out by emailing me at [email protected]
I wish the President and First Lady a speedy recovery.
This is a serious virus; it can affect anyone. Continue to follow state and local health guidelines.
Chipper in 3
Grapple in 3 and 4
In case you haven't heard, the Town Supervisor is resigning effective October 9th.
I thank Pat for his service to The Town of Orchard Park.
Patrick Keem, who is in the middle of his second term, said he is leaving office early to help take care of his wife, who has a chronic illness.
If you need to pause and think about the politically savvy way to answer the question "Do you denounce white supremacy," it is the wrong answer.
4295 SOUTH BUFFALO ST.
Orchard Park, NY
Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Councilman Flynn posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Send a message to Councilman Flynn: