A few members of Concerned Citizens for Honest & Open Government decided to attend the meeting for Chapman Road residents held last evening in Kellogg Road Community Building. Chapman Road residents were invited to this meeting in a memorandum sent to them from Councilman Robert Payne and Highway Superintendent Roger Cleveland for the purpose of discussing the possibility of street lighting on Chapman Road.
About 20-25 Chapman Road residents were in attendance. However, we only heard 1 person speak in favor of street lights. At the November 15, 2006 town board meeting Mr. Cleveland stated that there are some people who want the lighting, yet last night only one person showed up in favor so where were all the people that were purported to want lights? Councilman Payne even admitted that he also had a phone call from a person who did not want lighting on Chapman Road.
If you have read our Is the Tail Wagging the Dog blog entry and visited our website, you will see that in September 2006, Roger Cleveland was ready to add $4,000 to the General Lighting budget for 2007 to cover the cost associated with street lighting on Chapman Road without anyone on Chapman Road having gathered signatures on a petition and it would appear that he intended the cost to be paid by all town residents. However, at the Chapman Road meeting, Mr. Cleveland told residents that in order to form a Special Lighting District, they would need to get signatures on a petition and that only Chapman Road residents would be paying the costs of street lighting based on their assessed value--not the whole town. Sounds like Councilman Payne and Highway Superintendent Cleveland must have read the town law sometime between September and now. Special districts can neither be formed nor expanded without signatures on a petition of the people who will be affected.
Street lights were not the only thing that Chapman Road residents were not particularly fond of; a good number of the residents had some sidewalk issues too. I’ll being writing more on that topic in a day or two.
Mr. Payne suggested that maybe they should have another meeting with Chapman Road residents in the Spring. We have an idea! Let’s take that one step further---how about each of the councilmen has meetings with all their constituents so they can see first-hand what the residents really want instead of trying to tell everyone that “people are clamoring” for all of these spending ideas. Or better yet, why not convene town board meetings at 7 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. and have the meetings last longer than 23 minutes.
One lady summed it up very nicely at last night's meeting by saying, "If you want street lights, move into the Village". I guess it is fair to say that both Councilman Robert Payne and Highway Superintendent Roger Cleveland found out last night that residents of Chapman Road are not “clamoring” for street lights.