BUSTI- The Busti Town Board has decided the people of the town and village should be the ones who decide who will serve on an ad hoc committee concerning the long-term future of the town hall.
The board suggested the committee consist of five or seven people who are open-minded. They agreed it would be a good idea to have a mix of men and women; Republicans, Democrats and Independents; and Lakewood and Busti residents, so all viewpoints can be expressed.
Committee members would serve without compensation and would be responsible for reviewing and looking at potential town hall buildings with the understanding that the court needs to relocate from the second floor of Lakewood's Anthony C. Caprino building as soon as possible.
Town Supervisor Jesse Robbins suggested interested parties visit court proceedings tonight to understand why the court needs to leave its current location.
Councilmen Richard Thor and Todd Hanson will serve on the sounding board made up of the officers to whom the committee would report. They wouldn't be part of the actual ad hoc committee, or be able to vote on its matters.
Bill Evans and David DiSalvo will be responsible for getting the names of potential committee members to the town board by May 14 or May 15, so Busti can officially name them at its May 19 board meeting.
The sale of Busti's current town hall and purchase of the building next door have been sources of controversy in the town for several months.
The Busti Board has approved the sale of the current hall - located at 121 Chautauqua Ave. - to the Jamestown Area Federal Credit Union for $300,000. The town also purchased the former Tordella's Surfaces building - located at 125 Chautauqua Ave. - using $330,000 in surplus funds.
The credit union wanted the board to move quickly concerning the sale so they can possibly move into the current town hall by June 1. This would mean the residents of Busti and Lakewood would be able to gather signatures again, if they so choose, to bring the sale of the building to a vote.
In March, citizens submitted a petition to bring the sale of Busti's current hall to a public vote. The petition collected 222 signatures out of the 148 needed. However, Thor brought the petition to court in an action titled "Richard B. Thor vs. Darlene Nygren, as Town Clerk of the Town of Busti, et al."
Hon. Judge Deborah A. Chimes, Supreme Court judge for the 8th Judicial District, ruled in favor of Thor's motion in finding the petition for the referendum void, insufficient and not in accordance with the law. Thor's motion for restraining the submission of a Feb. 12 resolution of the Busti Town Board to the qualified electors of the town for their approval or disapproval was also granted.
Last month, the Busti Board adopted a new resolution concerning the sale of the building which included a State Environment Quality Review, a previous point of contention among some town residents. A SEQR was not submitted the first time the town passed the resolution to sell the building.