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Thread: Contentious resolution on Town General Administrative Appointments

  1. #1
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    Contentious resolution on Town General Administrative Appointments

    The town board voted Monday evening on a resolution to approve Town GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE APPOINTEES. These appointments shall be effective January 1, 2021. The individuals so appointed shall serve at the will of the Town Board.

    Resident Lee Chowaniec addressed the board on the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) appointments.

    Chowaniec: When presenting your suspended resolution on January 4th for Zoning Board of Appeal appointments, had you conferred with all the board members on your appointed selections? Had they all the opportunity to interview and vet petitioner applications?

    Supervisor Ruffino: They were all given what applications were put in.

    Chowaniec: Was there actually a sit-down interview and vetting process.

    Supervisor Ruffino: You would have to ask each councilmember because I basically took a few phone calls at separate times.

    I ask because in the great majority of times when an incumbent member’s term expired and that individual sought re-appointment, that happened. This year we not only had an incumbent seek re-appointment, but the very same individual who was also appointed ZBA Chair by his board peers to fill the seat vacated by the Chair who had resigned was not appointed.

    He not only has the experience, but IMHO his resume indicated he was most qualified of the five applicants for a ZBA position. Could you give me any reason why Mr. Sojka is not being re-appointed?

    Supervisor Ruffino: Basically, we have three votes.

    Chowaniec: So you had three votes. That’s looks like what the future voting will be – Ruffino, Mazur, Wozniak vs. Leary and Dickman.


    At the time of vote on the resolution to approve the town appointments Councilman Leary addressed the board:

    Councilman Leary: The non-appointment of Sojka to the Zoning Board of Appeals has already been discussed. You made the point that you had the three votes to appoint these people, so I am not going to argue that authority. My objection to this resolution was the way it was handled. We were given less than 24-hrs to come back with things. We were not familiar with some of the people at all. So, I don’t agree how this was done. There was no discussion between board members and councilmember Dickman and me. The gentlemen who agreed to the three votes may have changed their minds. You didn’t even know our opinions on who should have been appointed on these panels.

    Therefore, I object vehemently to the way it was handled. I would ask Town Attorney Loftus (opinion) if they come up on action of their own without discussion of two board members.

    Supervisor Ruffino: I am going to respond to that. We receive letters from people who want to be placed on boards. Those letters were put into emails and given to every board member. Every board member has that. They were no questions asked, no phone calls. I didn’t hear from any board members after that. We had three votes from the members that responded. No one else responded to those emails. You never responded to the email you received.

    Leary: You have three votes. I understand that. But you have to have discussions with the other board members. You tied their hands with this whole thing. Even if they wanted to change their minds t this point, then you don’t have three votes. Dickman and I feel left out that we didn’t have any discussion with the other board members.

    Supervisor Ruffino: I never tied anyone’s hands. It was a due process the way it was handled. I gave everyone an opportunity…I gave everybody every single applicant in there (email), even the ones that came in late. Everyone has a chance to look at it. I am sorry you don’t feel it was fair, but…

    Leary: How much time did you give us to look at this resolution, Ron? We had only 24-hrs. to look it over.

    I had to put everything in order because the Clerk’s Office needed it. I didn’t want to do it by suspended resolution. I tried to get the resolution done before the meeting.

    Leary: But it was less than 24 hrs., wasn’t it?

    Ruffino: Once I had two members voting (along), not hearing from anyone else, I wasn’t going to go further with it.

    The resolution was approved 3-2. Ruffino, Mazur, and Wozniak approving, Dickman and Leary ‘no’.

  2. #2
    Member mark blazejewski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Chowaniec View Post
    Could you give me any reason why Mr. Sojka is not being re-appointed?

    Supervisor Ruffino: Basically, we have three votes.

    Chowaniec: So you had three votes. That’s looks like what the future voting will be – Ruffino, Mazur, Wozniak vs. Leary and Dickman.

    Regrettably Lee, The Bee, as on previous occasions, appears to have failed to significantly report the news, so thank you for your transcribed product.

    I consider the Ruffino comment the rough equivalent of the Obama admonishment "Elections have consequences."

    Indeed, as a practical matter, such comments are essentially true, but IMHO, in the case of Ruffino, his arrogant words seem to contradict significant portions of many of the Supervisor's past campaign pledges of transparency, concern for civil discourse, and general tone of tolerance.

    If Lancaster perhaps had a truly unbiased and fully-functioning town newspaper, Mr. Ruffino would be held far more accountable for the apparent contradiction, which boldly separates his prior platitudinal campaign vomit from his present heavy-handed, petty, partisan governance.

    IMHO, to more fully credit his favored status, Ruffino may have said "Elections have consequences and so do my words, but basically, we have three votes and a very friendly newspaper."
    Last edited by mark blazejewski; January 22nd, 2021 at 08:58 AM.
    Ruffino's definition of transparency?: "Basically, I have three votes."

  3. #3
    Member Frank Lee Blunt's Avatar
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    The Cabal

    Ah isn't it refreshing to hear a small bit of truth come out of Ruffino's mouth? He does not sit in the Supervisors chair to represent ALL the residents of our Town. He has continually ruled as if the majority position gives him the right to not include any objecting opinions in the conversation. That is because he is NOT a people person. Ruffino is the least ready to serve of any Supervisor in the towns history. Ruffino has worked his way up through the aforementioned "Cabal". But not because he was the most qualified,indeed it is because he is the most pliable and able to stay in step with the demands of the long reaching involvement of the Giza Mafia. But a better question to me is "Who is telling the Giza clan what to do?" its time to mention a real puppet master folks, you guess where I'm going yet? Behind the curtain stands Mr. Ralph Mohr! I will have much Mohr to say on this subject Stay tuned

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