Weekly Feature



2014-07-17 / Front Page

Ethics Committee hearing involves two town officials

by CHRIS GRAHAM
Reporter

Before the West Seneca Town Board meeting on Monday, the West Seneca Ethics Committee heard two cases of alleged ethics violations.

Councilman Eugene Hart faced the committee first, with his hearing being held in the public forum. Hart reiterated that he made a mistake in the hiring of a relative to a position with the town.

“I made an error,” Hart said. “I didn’t realize that the code of ethics barred a vote for direct descendants of my grandparents because a cousin was promoted to full-time cleaner from part time. I voted in error not knowing it was an error. I’ve apologized for it. I don’t know what else to do.”

George Clifford, chairman of the Ethics Committee, spoke about the next step for Hart.

“We’re reconvening on Aug. 11, and at that point in time we hope to have recommendations to the board,” Clifford said.

The committee also addressed the case of Timothy Elling, chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals, who allegedly received Super Bowl tickets, airfare and hotel accommodations from a Niagara Falls developer. Elling had his matter held in executive session.

Clifford spoke on Elling’s process going forward.

“They’re additional procedures on Aug. 11 for Mr. Elling, so a decision won’t be made until that’s completed,” Clifford said.

Following the Ethics Committee meeting, the Town Board held a public hearing on the rezoning of an 11.5-acre property at 4592 Seneca St., to be developed into a 26-building, 52-unit townhouse complex.

A representative for the project said the group is still awaiting comments from the Erie County Water Authority.

The board granted a special permit application for the proposed property, saying the development of the project would not adversely affect the surrounding properties.

The board also awarded two road reconstruction bids. The Stephenson Street reconstruction contract was awarded to Nova Site Company of West Seneca for a bid amount of $599,795. The board also awarded a bid contract to Visone Construction Inc of Depew for a reconstruction project at Hilltop Court and Beechwood Drive for $1.27 million.

Code Enforcement Officer John Gullo announced at the meeting that the town would be looking to hire a part-time electrical inspector in January. Gullo detailed that an advertisement for the job would be placed in November, with interviewing beginning in December

The next meeting of the Town Board will be at 7 p.m. Monday, July 28, at Town Hall, 1250 Union Road, West Seneca.

email: cgraham@beenews.com

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