Madigan replaced as Traffic Safety Advisory Board liaison
By Larry Austin
Island Dispatch Editor
Monday's Grand Island Town Board reorganization meeting included the appointment of Pete Marston to the town's Planning Board for a one-year term.
Councilwoman Bev Kinney, the Town Board liaison to the Planning Board, recommended Marston for the chairman's seat to her fellow council members during a workshop meeting Monday, citing Marston's interest in the position and his experience on that board.
"He works hard," Councilman Ray Billica added.
Marston will serve a one-year term. His appointment to chair the Planning Board passed by a 5-0 vote during the Town Board's regular meeting Monday night.
Town Supervisor Nathan McMurray said the reorganization meeting, held at the board's first meeting each year, addressed "all the housework for the entire year, including all the appointments."
Not everyone was happy with McMurray's housework.
Though there were no disputes during the reorganization meeting itself, Councilman Mike Madigan had a change of heart later on. In a letter to the Dispatch Thursday, Madigan acknowledged McMurray has the right to assign and remove Town Board member liaisons to committees. No council vote is required for the supervisor's appointments.
"That is an authority that has been entrusted in the supervisor's position for decades without abuse," Madigan said, but he added, "The current supervisor has decided to use this authority to remove board members from committees after they have taken positions in opposition of his position on two different occasions now."
Madigan said Councilman Chris Aronica was removed by McMurray from the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, and Madigan said he was replaced as liaison to the Traffic Safety Advisory Board, both because of their public disagreements with McMurray over the West River Connector Trail.
Madigan made no comment during the meeting, saying Thursday, "I chose not to start the year off with a very public confrontation regarding this matter - I avoided the conflict and did not think such a conflict would be the right way to start the year and I knew it would make no difference since the supervisor has the right to remove me - as we learned after his actions against Chris Aronica."
"I have decided that not having that confrontation may have been a bad choice on my part. I have decided that my failure to confront this action has left it behind closed doors and hidden from the public."
Madigan said he was "passionately engaged" in working with Traffic Safety and cited among his accomplishments as liaison "addressing the biggest traffic safety issues on the Island - the lack of properly marked and signed crosswalks on Staley Road where over a thousand pedestrian crossings occur daily - many of which occur at night. Crosswalks have been painted on the road and flashing signs are being ordered and will soon be installed."
"The supervisor has been entrusted to assign and remove board members from these committees and for decades this authority has not been abused," Madigan said. "Things have changed."
Liaisons between the Town Board and advisory boards for 2017
•Architectural Review Board: Raymond Billica
•Cable/Communication: Beverly Kinney
•Community Emergency Response Team: Chris Aronica
•Conservation Advisory Board: Raymond Billica
•Economic Development Advisory Board: Beverly Kinney
•Historic Preservation Advisory Board: Nathan McMurray
•Human Rights: Nathan McMurray
•Library Trustees: Nathan McMurray
•Parks and Recreation: Beverly Kinney
•Planning Board: Beverly Kinney
•Traffic Safety Advisory Board: Chris Aronica
•Executive Board of the Golden Age Club: Nathan McMurray
•Safety Committee: Mike Madigan
The next regular meeting of the Grand Island Town Board will be at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, a day later than normal because of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. The meeting will take place in Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road.
Grand Island Town Board