Category “Town Board”

Golfers Gone Wild!

 

It was a raucous, riotous meeting in Town Hall Monday night—the likes of which hasn’t been seen in years. Audubon golfers furious about a cemetery encroaching on their links packed the parking lot and then the council chamber itself. And they were boiling mad.

To further add to the chaos, the 3 minute “Shut up and sit down” bell was apparently in the shop for repair because it was no where to be seen or heard. Just where is Marjory when you need her? After 4 elongated public hearings, golfers marched to the podium one by one and all seemed to have spent 15 minutes each of back and forth with the Supervisor.

Supervisor Kulpa only lost his cool once when the crowd catcalled a speaker from Forest Lawn Cemetery, in what mimicked a Trump rally. He was right to blow his top at the complete lack of decorum.

Town Board season ticket holders sat with mouths agape at what was playing out before their eyes.

And you can watch it all on video and its FREE. So make some popcorn and tune in.

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Town Board Meeting MONDAY

Here’s a quick summary of Town Board agenda items for this coming Monday’s meeting that we find the most intriguing (in no particular order):

Boulevard Mall Rezone – At the Town Board’s 4:00pm work session, the Planning Department will present the revised zoning for this 64-acre site. The Boulevard Mall’s current owner is expected to pursue redevelopment of the site as a mixed-use town center to include retail, office space and housing. This is the residents’ first glimpse of the town’s major rework of commercial zoning code and sure to be a blockbuster—zoning code tailor-made to the developers’ wishes.

At the Town Board’s 7:00pm regular meeting, there is a Deed Restriction Removal Request on Park Club Lane (behind the Walker Center). The standard MO developers employ in Amherst when confronted with neighborhood opposition to their projects is to offer a deed restriction to appease residents in the short term to quell unrest. (A deed restriction is an additional layer of restrictions on land use beyond the zoning code.) Then, after the passage of time, the same developer and the town together, remove the deed restriction and move forward with what the developer initially wanted. This has happened repeatedly in the past. And, now, here we are again with one on Park Club Lane. Typically the deed restriction relates to height. That’s what happening here. The powers that be either make a deal with the neighbors or they don’t. This is another major renege.

NYSDOTthe last agenda item is a notice from DOT designating Main Street, from Bailey Avenue to the 290 as a restricted highway effective immediately. There are no details on this at all but the designation means that a major construction or reconstruction activity is set to begin shortly. This is a huge heads up to all of Eggertsville and Snyder.

The Amherst Town Board meets this Monday, February 24, 2020, at 4:00pm for their work session and again at 7:00pm for their regular meeting. Both the work session and regular meeting are open to the public.

Town Board meetings are held in the Amherst Municipal Building located at 5583 Main Street Williamsville, NY 14221.

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Town of Amherst to Create a NEW “Economic Development” Department

What is this NEW Department of “Economic Development” and why do WE need it? What ever it is or what ever it does, it will be located in Town Hall just across from the Supervisor’s office, and apparently will be reporting to him after a the new local law is added to create it. The first public hearing about this new department will be held at the next Town Board meeting on Monday, February 24.

Link to Town Board Agenda: http://amherstny.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_LegiFile.aspx?Frame=&MeetingID=3610&MediaPosition=&ID=21633&CssClass=

To understand what is happening here, it is useful to understand that Amherst town government has many different parts where the supervisor leads both the legislative branch as chairman of the Town Board, and the executive branch as chief executive officer of the town. With the exception of the Police Department, Highway Department, and Town Clerk, the supervisor directly manages the operation of rest of town government structured as a collection of different departments.

So adding a new department is a big deal since it increases the operational complexity of government, extends the supervisor’s executive management control, can be expected to increase the town payroll permanently, and hopefully will produce real and measurable benefits.

We have some questions for the supervisor. Why is this NEW department needed, what will it do, what will it cost, who will run it, how will it be structured, how many people will it employ, will it get bigger, how will it interact with other departments, will they be doing new things or restructuring existing things or both, and how can we measure it’s results in order to justify the reasons given for creating it?

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Comment from a Concerned Citizen

If what Michele is saying is true, this whole charade is truly an outrage. Either Kulpa is naive or he believes the rest of us are. The cemetery was proposed by Mensch during the original land swap with Westwood. Weinstein refused to play their game mostly because of the lopsided value of the people’s parkland, versus Westwood’s. It appears what we have here is the Mensch swap by stealth, bit by bit to get all of the Audubon. Kulpa already finagled 93 acres of parkland using Westwood as the single reason. He initially wanted 240 acres. Now, he’s going back for more parkland to transfer to a for-profit corporation? What else will emerge down the pike to get more parkland? After all, it is still shy of 240.

The parkland spoils being divided and Westwood still not in hand would indicate a giant con job on the people. Kulpa with his selected employees were to be different from the past. Sadly, they are. They are not merely tools of these developers, they are their agents. And, we’re paying for it.

Looks like Mensch gets the “mulligan” and the town’s people get shafted.

This comment was originally submitted on February 14, 2020 in response to Town of Amherst Asks for a Mulligan.

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Town of Amherst Asks for a Mulligan

Long rumored to be an Indian burial ground but now acknowledged as a relocated Potters Field, Amherst residents are about to get a brand new cemetery on the Audubon Golf Course. It is a reasonable solution to the shabby treatment of the remains of the poor.

And, as opposed to “Amherst is operating a cemetery”, the truth is that Amherst is allowing customers to golf in a cemetery. Maybe it would be wise to close the affected holes this golfing season.

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Amherst Supervisor’s 2020 “State of the Town” Address

On January 10, 2020, Supervisor Brian Kulpa delivered his annual “State of the Town” address at an annual luncheon to benefit the Amherst Chamber of Commerce. For those of us who were unable to attend (or perhaps unwilling or unable to afford the $50 price of admission), here is his speech on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-zv3ZVp6xw.

It is worth a listen.

(Suggestion: Skip thru the introductions and view beginning 03:32.)

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Concerned Citizen Letter: A Person Who is Right and Wants the Public to Know What’s Happening in Amherst

May 31, 2019

I am requesting that this letter be incorporated into the town public record.

After I read the recent articles in the Buffalo News and the Amherst Bee article on its front page regarding Supervisor Kulpa’s comments regarding Westwood and parkland alienation and conducting a rather speedy hearing scheduled for May 20 on this matter I found myself very much alarmed. For starters, this is hardly enough timely notification for a hearing on such an ambiguous matter to most town residents. To the best of my recollection the concept of “alienation” has never been mentioned publicly before. And then to turn around later on in the town board program to have the gall to put it to a vote via the town attorney resolution #2019-617 is nothing short of unbelievable. Also, specifically what will be presented at this hearing when it appears to me that at this stage no one knows what the heck is going on and if there is enough specifics to even have an intelligent hearing. This sounds very much to me like a sham hearing just to move this parkland alienation thing along to meet some preliminary requirement with the state to obtain its approval to swap land. Once this is accomplished on such very short notice without an adequate dissemination of the materials available to weigh benefits/ detriments of such a hasty action this will put far too much power in the hands of this town board to make a deal that I frankly do not think this town board on its own is competent enough to handle for the greater good of our town. Also, I do not like that it appears that the only elected official directly involved in whatever has occurred between the town and Mensch Capital Partners, LLC is the town supervisor. Too much is at stake here to trust just one person to get the story straight. Checks and balances are sorely needed.

let each of you remember that the Mensch Capital Partners are not driven here by some altruistic motive to make Amherst great again. They are driven to make their hasty purchase of Westwood as profitable as possible for them first and foremost. The town did not seek the Mensch group out to make this land swap. They sought the town out. The town holds the stronger cards in this poker game. If any good comes out of wheel spinning effort to-date the people the town folk put their faith better make dam sure the greater good of the town is served and that we come out with our interests best served. The town does not owe Mensch a deal. They didn’t elect any of you. And lastly to put the “cherry” on top of the sundae when all is said and done if anything comes of this The Mensch Capital Partners and associates will be suing the town for every bit of tax breaks and favorable funding our IDA can give them. Go figure.

In wrapping this up I’m going to let you in on a little secret, this deal, if it ever comes to fruition, is not going to be the equivalent of the Central Park of NYC. We are not New York City. And to make this park come even close to rivaling Central Park would bankrupt us. I’d expect this example of “Puffing” form a used car salesman, not something from our elected officials. Also, when this resolution comes to a vote later this evening, except for the supervisor the people deserve nothing less from each town board member a substantive explanation of why each voted the way you did. No cop outs by just merely saying, “aye.”

Sincerely,

Edward F. McKee 75 Hobnail Drive Amherst, NY 14051

P.S. Amherst comprises approximately 54 square miles or 34,568 acres. As of the most recent town records I have available (2016) the amount of designated town “green space the town has total designated green space, excluding land specifically designated for private development amounting to 4,428 acres, or 12.8% of town land.

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