The Town Board had the right to conduct interviews behind closed doors with candidates for an alternate’s position on the Zoning Board of Appeals, said Robert J. Freeman, executive director of the state Committee on Open Government.
The Buffalo News during last Wednesday’s meeting questioned whether the executive session interviews violated the state’s Open Meetings Law. The Town Board started out conducting the interviews behind closed doors, before allowing media and public access so that the dispute could be resolved. The News followed up with Freeman to obtain his opinion.
Town Board members said their main reason for doing the interviews in executive session was so that they could talk to the four candidates one at a time, instead of allowing the other candidates to hear the others’ responses before it was their turn.
Freeman said while the Town Board has the right to conduct those interviews in executive session, it is not mandatory to do so. The Town Board has not yet named an appointee to the zoning board position.
In other news:
• Town Councilman Bernard J. Kolber says the town is looking at how to run its brush pickup program more efficiently, so that it would not necessarily have to be suspended during the summer months. The goal is to launch a pilot program this year, he said.
• More than 300 town quality of life surveys have been filled out and submitted. The leading trends thus far, according to Town Supervisor David C. Hartzell Jr.: “The taxpayers in the town of Clarence value their greenspace. Right along behind it is the schools, people love their schools.” Full results are expected to be released in March.
• The Youth Bureau will host a Father-Daughter Dance from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. March 15 at the Clarence Fire Hall, 10355 Main St. The dance is for girls in grades 4 to 8 and their fathers or other significant adult male. Music, light snacks and activities will be provided. The event is open to Clarence residents only, and the registration deadline is March 4. Tickets are $5 each and must be picked up at the Youth Bureau, 10510 Main St. For details, call the bureau at 407-2162.
• The Clarence Women’s Club will meet at 6:30 p.m. March 4 at the Town Park Clubhouse, 10405 Main St. Guest speaker B.G. Flickinger’s presentation will be, “The Landscape of Ireland.” Guests and new members are welcome. For more information, call 759-9797.
Also this week:
• Gabe’s Collision is renewing its effort to open an automotive collision, sales and service facility at 5871 Transit Road, between Highland Farms Drive and Laurel Park Lane. Gabe’s is requesting concept plan approval from the Planning Board, which will meet at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Town Hall, following a 6:30 p.m. work session.
• The Clarence Industrial Development Agency will meet at 8 a.m. Thursday at Town Hall.