Amherst Open Government Advisory Board Will Be Holding a Candidate Forum for the Candidates on the November Ballot for Town of Amherst Positions

Oct. 11, 2019

Thursday October 24, 2019, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Amherst Town Hall, 5583 Main Street

CONTACT Paul Wolf, Esq. (716) 435-4976 (Cell and Text Messages)
Paulwolf2@gmail.com

There are four candidates running for two Town Board positions and two candidates running for Town Clerk. All six candidates listed below have confirmed that they are attending the forum.

Deborah Bucki – Town Board
Steven Sanders – Town Board
Joseph Spino – Town Board
Michael Szukala – Town Board
Francina Spoth – Town Clerk
Jeffrey Zeplowitz – Town Clerk

This is a non-partisan forum, sponsored by the Amherst Open Government Advisory Board as a way to educate and engage the public regarding the upcoming election. The forum will be broadcast live on the Town of Amherst website and the video will be posted on the website afterwards for the public to view.
The format for the forum will be that each candidate will make a two-minute opening statement, followed by questions from the public where each candidate will have the opportunity to respond for one minute. At the end of the forum, each candidate will make a two-minute closing statement.

amherstimes.com – Last year this talk to the candidates night had over 100 people. in attendance. Their response to this event was high praise.

5 Responses to “Amherst Open Government Advisory Board Will Be Holding a Candidate Forum for the Candidates on the November Ballot for Town of Amherst Positions”

  1. Phil says:

    I would like to hear a response from the Amherst Board of Ethics, the Amherst Town Attorney and the Amherst Open Government Advisory Board as to whether they consider sitting on the Town Board and the IDA concurrently is a conflict of interest.

    Is it ethical that an IDA member make a proposal to the Town Board and then as Town Board member vote on that very same proposal?

    Is it ethical that Town Board members appoint IDA members who can become Town Board members concurrently and then are allowed to appoint new IDA members?

    This fosters cronyism and is appears to be the definition of “conflict of interest”.

    Can anyone from the Board of Ethics, Open Government Advisory Board, or Town Attorney explain why this is ethical, legal, and not a conflict of interest – what am I missing ?

    It seems that this practice should be stopped dead in its tracks immediately – before the next election.

  2. Michele says:

    I am neither a lawyer nor a member of the Ethics board or a town employee. but offer these comments in response nonetheless. There is no state law nor town ordinance which prohibits a tb member from serving on the IDA board. Past administrations have routinely appointed sitting tb members to the IDA. Mr. Weinstein appointed himself more than once while sitting as supervisor. So there is no question that there is no legal bar to this coincidental service The question then becomes is it proper and appropriate and does it create the appearance of impropriety which is just as damaging as if a substantive conflict exists. Or simply put,just because it may be legal doesnt make it right. The current quandary is complicated given 2 of the 4 candidates for tb this election season are sitting IDA board members. I am unaware that either of these 2 candidates have publicly stated their intentions to either step off/ or remain on the IDA board if elected. Further in campaign literature I recd yesterday from each of these gents, neither disclosed that they are at present on the IDA. Curious. Regardless, the tb is the appointing authority and thus retains the power to remove an IDA board member, no reason or basis required for removal, unlike other town statutory boards (like the planning board or ZBA). You raise interesting and substantial questions about motive and propriety that I believe should be directed to the tb. For what its worth, I believe the tb should pass an ordinance expressly prohibiting this practice of concurrent service as part of a larger effort to develop written qualification statements for appointees to the towns most powerful boards (ZBA, Planning and IDA)> Your pointed questions are both legitimate and well founded

  3. Doug says:

    Is it correct to conclude that Weinstein,his town board and the so-called attorneys were complicit in Sanders being allowed to remain on the two boards concurrently, thereby guaranteeing most favorable treatment to all developers at the expense of all other taxpayers?
    Now, Szukala feels entitled to have the same advantage and power bequeathed to him, if elected?

    It is no wonder people have lost trust in government in both parties, who blatantly plot to use their power to shaft regular citizens in deference to special interests and their agendas.

    Now, Szukala feels entitled to have the same advantage and power bequeathed to him, if elected?

    It is no wonder people have lost trust in government in both parties who blatantly plot to use their power to shaft regular citizens in deference to special interest and their agendas.

  4. Don Luke says:

    While all this Democrat town board keeps raising taxes on us residents. Time to vote them out

  5. Lydia says:

    Who do we vote for? The side that robbed Peter to pay Paul to keep taxes down while they simultaneously voted for millions and millions in tax breaks to their rich and famous developer cronies (Sanders). Or the side that is trying to correct the years of hiding expenses but is still in league with the IDA through (Zookala) who wants to serve both boards simultaneously.

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