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Boston Board members speak against recent New York state gun legislation

BOSTON — In light of recent New York state legislation regarding gun control, two Boston Town Board members spoke out in support of two government officials’ decisions.

Before the Jan. 16 Boston Board meeting was held, Senator Patrick Gallivan and Assemblyman Dave DiPietro had voted against the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013, which was carried by the New York State Legislature, regardless.

“We are lucky enough, in this particular area, to have elected officials higher than us, that get to vote on things we don’t get to quite vote on or touch on,” said Boston Councilman Jay Boardway. “I am quite pleased to report – and I expressed this to both of them personally or through their staffs – Senator Gallivan and Assemblyman DiPietro both voted ‘no’ on this ridiculous gun control legislation that was jammed through the New York State Legislature, in the past two days.

“They both stood up for the people in this area, the concern of their constituents, to fight unfunded mandates, which essentially this legislation is, and to fight government taking over people’s rights,” Boardway continued. “They both stand for a smaller, more efficient government, not a more bureaucratic, impeding government.”

Councilman Jeff Genzel said that he shared Boardway’s sentiments. “I’d just like to thank Assemblyman DiPietro and also Senator Gallivan, for their recent vote,” he said.

Boardway termed the S2230-2013 bill a form of “cupcake legislation.” “You take a cupcake,” he explained, “and it’s sitting here on the shelf and you fill it full of stuff, like maybe a little bit of emotion, and you cover the top with nice, sweet frosting. You sprinkle all kinds of goodies on top of it and you feed it to the masses, and they all think, ‘Wow, that looks good.’ And this is what our legislature did. And they took that cupcake and they ate it, all the while knowing that cupcake’s really not that good for you. That’s what happened, here.”

The councilman again expressed his thanks to Gallivan and DiPietro, for their opposing votes to the SAFE Act and for “saying ‘no’ to stopping that nonsense, the best they could. The legislation still passed; we are probably stuck with it, pending about five years’ worth of litigation, but I would like to acknowledge them.”

In other board matters:

– Boardway brought back to the town’s attention the issue of annual performance review plans in the Hamburg School District, a matter that he estimated could put $450,000 of state aid at stake.

Boardway said, “The district itself, two days after our last meeting, did, in fact, submit the plan ... so Albany could start reviewing it, pending approval.” Boardway added that he received an email from Boston resident and school board Member Tom Flinn, saying that the teachers still had not agreed to the performance review plan.

“So, obviously, my request stays the same,” said Boardway. “Continue to direct your contact toward the teachers’ union, teachers’ federation; teachers you know. Tell them we can’t allow this to happen. That’s $450,000 that’s going to translate directly into tax dollars that are going to directly come out of your pockets.

“It’s a simple request: We want a performance review of our teachers for our children. I don’t think that should be that tough.”

– After an accident claimed the life of Boston resident Connie Gabel on Jan. 8, Councilman Larry Murtha addressed his concern, regarding the speed limit near the ramp for Route 219.

“We’re trying to expedite the resolution we presented, to reduce the speed limit near the Tim Horton’s area. We got a couple calls into the chief safety and traffic engineer for the county, but I’m not getting anything back. I’ll be calling Legislator [John] Mills in the morning, to get that going. We do want that expedited as quickly as we can, because of the fatality we had this last week.”

– The board accepted the audits of the town clerk, town justice and bookkeeper. “We came in early and did the annual audit,” Supervisor Martin Ballowe said. “This is an annual audit we hold once a year, where we go through the books and the money that’s brought into the town and the distribution of it and where it goes.”

– Ballowe announced that each councilman had been given a project for 2013, which will collectively be listed on the town website.

Genzel will be responsible for refurbishing the Lions’ shelter, which, according to Ballowe, is in need of painting, new gutters and new bricks to replace the old ones.

Ballowe will focus on the south end of the town. “We started last year, by taking the trees down,” he said, adding that he plans to redo the concrete and landscaping. “I think it’s been neglected for years and I think it’s time to put some money down for that end of town,” he said.

Murtha will clean up the stretch of creek from Zimmerman Road to Homestead Road. This issue was looked into last year, but concerns regarding the contract pushed the project back too late, forcing it to be put on hold. Ballowe said that he believes clearing up this stretch will help control flooding.

Councilman Gary Vara has been tasked with working on the town basketball courts. He will look into erecting new hoops and “go green” lighting, for the sake of energy efficiency.

Boardway will work on the fire contracts for 2013 and 2014, while working with Ballowe on other projects.

– The supervisor announced that, while he has been working on the ambulance contract, he was made aware that the emergency squad is in need of a new ambulance, in the future. “We kind of just talked about it downstairs, about getting rid of an old one and bringing in a new one and kind of getting together some numbers for everyone on that,” he said.

“They serve about 400 calls a year, in our community, so it’s nice when they have equipment they can depend on,” Ballowe said. “It’s newer, it serves our public at no cost to the town, for transport, for anything they do down there. So we’re trying to give them an opportunity to look at the newer equipment and get rid of some of the older equipment down there.”

– Genzel, who serves as the town’s engineering liaison, met with the contractor, town engineer and Erie County Water Authority, along with Ballowe, for a pre-construction meeting for the Keller Road waterline stabilization project.

“We had a good discussion on the facets of this project and, also, we’re going to come up with some possible ideas on the painting of the posts due to the inclement weather,” he said. “We may look at an alternative to that.”

He added, “They should be starting, here, within a few weeks. Again, when that project starts, if you can avoid that area, Keller Road between Feddick [Road] and East Eden [Road] – because it’s on a hill [and] there’s going to be people around there, it may be icy, so keep that in mind.”

– Genzel reported that he is attempting to obtain funding to get water to areas near West Hill Road, where money has been put into studies on that area for an estimated two decades, with no results. Genzel has also requested information from the water authority, regarding a gap in public water on Back Creek Road.

– The planning board meeting on Jan. 9 was canceled, due to no agenda. A Jan. 22 meeting was scheduled. “We’re always looking for quality members for all our boards,” Genzel said. “Please submit a letter of interest to our town clerk.”

– Two requests for appointment as a nutrition assistant, one from Sharon Bulger and the other from Lori Valentine, were tabled. “Because the annual audit took so much time with questioning, downstairs, we actually didn’t have the opportunity,” Ballowe said. “They’re both alternates, right now. They both help us out in nutrition, but we have to move one of them up to a permanent position. We just ran out of time tonight, doing the annual audit.”

– The board accepted the resignation of JoAnne Bonsack from the zoning board of appeals.

– The board accepted the request from the ZBA to appoint Beverly Kent to that board. ZBA Chairman Dennis Mead informed the town board that the board is still looking for two additional alternate members, as Kent was previously an alternate member.

The next Boston Town Board meeting is scheduled for Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m.

The meeting will be held at the Boston Town Hall, located at 8500 Boston State Road in Boston.

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