Hamburg Supervisor Steven Walters said Monday night he never was in favor of downsizing the Town Board to three members.
“I was opposed to a three-member board from the beginning; there are a multitude of problems that are created by having three members of the Town Board,” the supervisor told resident Steve Strnad.
Strnad, who has been attending board meetings for 40 years, said he agreed.
“I’d like to see the Town Board pass a resolution,” he said.
Walters said he was unsure if the board could put the item on the ballot or if residents had to petition to put it up for a vote.
Residents in Alden and West Seneca put forward petition drives to increase their town boards from three to five members, and their boards have placed the measures on the November general election ballot.
Hamburg, Alden and West Seneca are among five towns whose boards were reduced from five to three members by referendums several years ago. Orchard Park and Evans are the other towns in Erie County operating with one supervisor and two board members.
Walters said there are problems operating with such a small board. Some have mentioned the workload increasing for board members.
Another issue is that two members are needed for a quorum to hold the meeting. One of the Hamburg meetings had to be canceled on short notice this year when the supervisor was out of town, and Councilman Joseph Collins left Town Hall shortly before the meeting started, saying he was ill.
“Three people on the board, while it’s difficult, they can manage the workload. There are technical problems that come into play,” Walters said, adding, “Nothing that I’ve encountered over the last intervening time period has changed my opinion on that.”
Walters said he was unaware of a move in Hamburg to increase the size of the board, and board members did not say whether they were inclined to forward a measure to increase the size of the board.
Also Monday night, Planning Board Chairman Peter Reszka told Collins he put in a request under the Freedom of Information Law for the research Collins did on enterprise funds. He said Collins said at the last meeting enterprise funds can give “false positives.”
Reszka produced a copy of a municipal accounting reporting manual for local governments, and he accused the councilman of making up his research.
Councilwoman Amy Ziegler also requested Collins’ research through a FOI law request.
Collins denied he said “false positives.”
At the board’s last meeting, Collins did say he found that, according to research by scholars, an enterprise fund “gives you the false feeling that you’re making money when you’re not.” He said that’s one reason he voted against setting up an enterprise fund for Woodlawn Beach State Park in 2010, but he will vote in favor of it this year.
Also Monday, the board set up a meeting to discuss the budget at 2 p.m. Saturday in Town Hall.