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Late Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson said,
"It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error."

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

"The beauty of doing nothing is that you can do it perfectly" Sowell

The responsibility of our municipal government does not lie in hands of a privilege few. We as citizens have the responsibility to keep tabs on our elected officials.  We have a town with a government, not the other way around. We are not a government with a town.  In the name of freedom, physical battles have been fought all over the world. Our call of duty on the home front is to be productive and educated citizens.  It is your sacred civic duty to pay attention.  If you can't take the roll of understanding what our local elected officials are doing in our name right here in Buffalo, then how can you justify bitching about what goes on down state and in Washington D.C.  Complacency is destructive.  An apathetic society will lead to tyranny. When few residents are paying attention to civic affairs city officials will continue to keep them disenfranchised.

FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT ARE STILL READING the following is the discussion that happened at the Aug 8th town board meeting.  This occurred following the board officially being made aware that they voted to sell the Duckwalls building when the agenda clearly stated that they were going to consider renovating and leasing the Duckwalls building.

Economic Developer-James Leonard- “On the Duckwalls property, if you all, if we want to put that back on the agenda, in a different manner, I mean that would be, I’m sure High Planes would like to know, if that’s not a favorite option, they probably would like to know if we don’t want to.”

Trustee Jarie Coggins- ”And, and we have been notified that the grant was received?”

James Leonard- ”yes”

Attorney- “And there will be several more opportunities for public input on that transaction because, of course, it’s all going to have to be declared surplus , the board has to enter into purchase to sell and a Real Estate purchase agreement a purchase to sell agreement, so there are several more opportunities for public input into that.”

Trustee David Orange/&(Attorney)-“Was our motion we made violate (No, no.) our authority under the open meetings act (No.) when we made a motion to sell something (No.) ?”

Attorney- “You don’t have to say exactly what it is you are going to do. Because then, of course, whoever drafts the agenda items would be binding you, and so Linda, by what she puts on the agenda would limit what the town board could do, well of course, that’s crazy. Obviously, allowing whoever prepares the agenda to control what your options are. So the purpose of an agenda item is to put the public on notice, generally, of what you are going to discuss. It was very clear from that agenda item that we were going to discuss Duckwalls, and what we were going to do with it, the the disposal. It did specifically say lease, but it was notice to the public that you were going to discuss Duckwalls and it’s future and that all that needed to be done. If anybody wanted to discuss Duckwalls, and what you all were going to do with it, that was certainly sufficient notice and they should have come and talked to you about it. If they had an objection to you leasing or selling it or doing or whatever or bulldozing it, they should have come to that meeting and addressed it at that time.”

Trustee David Orange- “Thank You.”

Concerned Citizen- “Can you tell me what the minutes reflect”

Attorney- “The minutes reflect: ‘the town board met with members of the High Planes resource and conservation development board to discuss options for the Duckwalls Building. Coggins seconded by Bishop made the motion to sell the Duckwalls building to High Plans RC&D in the amount of $5000 pending the approval of their rural business enterprise grant application for business incubation and office space. All voted Aye!”

Concerned citizen- “What did the agenda item reflect?”

Attorney- “That is in the consideration of the renovation and leasing of the Duckwalls building and of Town Hall.”

???- Inaudible question

Attorney- “It is disposal; I mean it is disposing of the interest in Real Estate. And once again, once again, this, it’s just to put people on notice of what is going to be discussed, they discussed that and it was disposition of an interest of length. Whether it’s leasing, whether it’s selling, you know they didn’t, you know they didn’t discuss, there is no indication then, that they discussed the renovation and leasing of Town Hall, even though it’s on the agenda. It was just to put the town on notice.”

Concerned Citizen-“This says to sell, the agenda said for leasing. What I’m saying is, if it is for sale, I’d like to know about that. I mean…”

Attorney- “Well you knew they were going to discuss Duckwalls, so you should have been there.”

Concerned citizen-“Wow, that’s pretty odd”

Attorney- “well yeah….”

Concerned citizen- “Well then, it should just say ‘we’re the town of Buffalo’ and we wouldn’t have to be here”

Attorney- “Well it does have to be, it was Duckwalls, it did indicate Duckwalls, and as I said, there are going to be several more opportunities to discuss the sale of Duckwalls.”

Concerned citizen- “It just doesn’t seem very transparent is all I’m saying”

Attorney- “Well whether it is transparent, and whether it’s legal, you know, whether it is transparent in your mind and whether it is legal are two different things.”

Concerned Citizen-“But still though transparency is important in government” “?????”

Trustee Alan Bishop- “I make the motion we adjourn”

Trustee David Orange- “I second.”


  1. Open Meeting Act is very clear about verbiage of agenda items. However, the items put on the agenda for discussion are the responsibility of the Board. Not Linda. The Board has to approve the agenda. Maybe a class on OMAn should be done to clarify their responsibilities.

    Any movement by the SO? Probably not.

  2. It is clearly a violation of the Open Meeting Act. The city attorney was just covering their butts as she's paid to do. However, when did she become a board member as well? I'm sure if one was to listen to the recording of the meeting, one would notice she just chimes in at will, not just when it's legal. Instead of thinking for themselves, the board members are just sitting and nodding like bobble-heads while the hired guns cover what they believe is best for TOB. They should be a reference at most, not the final decision makers.
    The accountant is all doomsday and what ifs. Is that how we really want to handle our town's politics, by relying on a worse case scenario statistic? I for one know that we can no longer put off needed change and improvements for our town. Our infrastructure is failing just like all small towns. Why are we putting away so much money for the what-ifs when there's plenty to work on right now?
    The current town board is made up of senior citizens who don't have the mental capability to be forward thinkers, let alone see the forest for the trees. The problems are not always right in front of you, they may develop due to your shortsidedness while making critical decisions.
    "No action at this time" has to be this board's favorite expression. Guess we'll have to wait until a local insurance company or failed sno-cone shop is broken into before they'll step up and take action against crime and violence in our town.
    We should be embarassed by the way our city manager and accountant "baraded" the mayor of Laverne while he was expressing concern about the lack of action taken by the TOB and the over reliance and usage of the County Sheriff's Office to cover our town. They should have treated him as a welcomed guest and possibly set up a time to meet with him to make comparisons of our budgets and learn from their successes with their police dept. Instead, the attorney spat out catty comments about how the sheriff's dept is overworked. She's not a citizen or a board member of this town, I for one would like her to stick with her job description. She needs to keep her personal opinions that aren't of legal advice, to herself.