LEWISTON – The Village Board made a number of new appointments at its annual reorganization meeting on Monday, including several appointments to replace Historic Preservation/Planning Commission members after a chairman and former chairman either stepped down or resigned. The Zoning Board Chairman Harry K. Wright was not officially reappointed, but remains in his position after the Village Board of Trustees met with him in executive session to discuss his position. Wright said after he left the meeting with the Village Board that he was also unhappy with how things were being run.
Former Planning Commission chairman David Giuisiana, resigned his seat and the current chairman Kenneth Slaugenhoupt, asked not to be reappointed. Both spoke to The Buffalo News prior to the reorganization meeting and said they were frustrated by the Village Board of Trustees’ disconnect with the Planning Commission. “It’s the trustees that are dropping the ball, not the Planning Board,” said Giusiana. “I don’t care what the rules are, but if you are going to have them you have to follow them, or get rid of them.”
Giusiana said the new Zoning Officer Harry Wright, appointed a year and a half ago, has done a terrific job identifying all the locations in violation, but said all Wright’s efforts also appear to fall on deaf ears. “[Mayor Terry Collesano] wants to be a good guy and in the meantime things have decayed,” said Guisiana. “When Ken left I said, ‘I’m right behind you,’” Wright said after Monday’s executive session. But Wright did not resign on Monday and said the issue is now in the hands of the Board of Trustees.
Slaugenhoupt said he left because he wanted to reclaim his retirement, but added, “I found there were a number of things we were not able to get completed and it was starting to get frustrating for me. I started to feel like I was employed full-time.” Mayor Terry C. Collesano called some of the complaints “sour grapes” with Giusiana dating one of his main competitors in the campaign for mayor. But he said the Village Board has received a lot of information and will look at everything. The board appointed Planning Board member Norman Machelor as chairman, former commission alternate Joseph Sorce as a member and added Richard Ries as a member and Kristen Savard as alternate.
The board will meet at 6 p.m. July 21, and it plans to discuss people using their private property for parking on Artpark concert nights. Members will also discuss how to bring more attention to pedestrian crosswalks on Center Street.