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Input sought on term limit for supervisor

by jmaloni
Fri, Aug 17th 2012 07:00 am

by Susan Mikula Campbell

Wheatfield Supervisor Bob Cliffe is once again trying to implement something he has been saying is needed in the town since he first took office - term limits.

The Town Board on Monday approved a public hearing for 7 p.m. Aug. 27 at Town Hall on Cliffe's proposal to increase the supervisor's term to four years and limit any one's service in that office to two terms, or a total of eight years.

The Town Board would have to approve a public referendum on Cliffe's proposal at the regular meeting that will immediately follow the public hearing in order to meet the deadline for November's general election.

"Eight years is plenty of time, then it's time for somebody else with new ideas to come on board," Cliffe said. "I have always felt that positions of power need to have clear limits."

Historically, Wheatfield has had three supervisors who have served more than eight years, most recently, Cliffe's predecessor Tim Demler.

Cliffe, who is in his second two-year term, said another benefit is being limited to two four-year terms would mean a supervisor, once elected, would only have to go out looking for election money one time. Money can be a problem and a corrupting influence, he noted.

He also pointed out that members of the Town Board primarily get their information from the supervisor.

"If I start to think I'm too important, I could stop working in the interest of the taxpayers and homeowners," he said.

In other matters:

•The board decided to accept the YMCA's proposal to use the town's Youth Center/gym for day programming from September through June at a rental rate of $800 per month. The town attorney, board liaisons and recreation director will work on a final contract for implementing the YMCA's proposal.

The town had also considered a proposal submitted by the YWCA.

Cliffe said the two proposals were similar in many ways, but the YMCA program had more programs for senior citizens. Also, the YMCA currently operates a summer camp at the Wheatfield Youth Center.

"We already have experience with the YMCA and know we can work well with them," Cliffe said.

The YMCA's programs for children and adults will offer preference to Wheatfield residents.

Cliffe said the arrangement is an opportunity to use the facility at times when it is usually empty at no additional cost to taxpayers.

•The board approved a request by Building Inspector Joe Caturia to establish fees for renewing building, electrical and plumbing permits for unfinished projects. The first year extension would be $20 for each permit area and the second year extension would be $45 for each area.

Caturia also noted that his department has been enforcing the town's new sign law, primarily in the Niagara Falls Boulevard and Williams Road area. He said about 30 to 40 violation notices have already been sent out from his office in an attempt to clean up that area.

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