FACT CHECK TIME: 4/11/13 Mayor Statements vs FLT 4/10/13 Investigative Article —>

Rulings: Fact checking Mayor Kleisle objections to FLT 41013 article

  1. Grant language requires that alternatives to dissolution are to be drafted = Partially True with explanation   The LGE grant process gives the option of applying for funds to research alternatives to dissolution AFTER completing the required dissolution plan as requried by GML 17-A.  PER the Mayor’s statements to FLT Reporter Jule Anderson, the MAYOR is the one who added this language to the grant application.  This is now required that the village consider alternatives.
  2. Mayor’s assertion that village board approved the creation of two plans on 9/11/12 board meeting = FALSE Mayor was approved to execute contract and submit a request for grant funding.  No discussion of actual approval of the language of the final grant funding is found in the village minutes.  However, an EMAILobtained via FOIL shows the Mayor acknowledges verbally obtaining permission from the Village Board on 9/26/2012 and notes a formal approval will be obtained 10/9/2012.  None is noted in the 10/9/12 minutes This appears to be an illegal act under the OPEN MEETINGS LAWS and is representative of behavior ONELYONS has challenged the village about. 
  3. Mayors assertion that MYRA Fedyniak of LGE required her to put the language into the proposal = Inconclusive          Review  of EMAILS does not support Mayors assertion here, but we note that Mayor reports she met in person with Myra Fedyniak.  We have no written correspondence to support the claim at this time.
  4. Trustees Vanstean and Alvaro deny knowledge of Mayor plan to create two plans, Trustee Greco asserting this was always the case = FALSE     Review of EMAILS 9/26/2012 by Mayor Kleisle report that she briefed the board the previous evening and received their approval. 
  5. Dissolution Committee Chair reporting at 3/21/2012 meeting that the requirement for two plans was IN THE LAW = FALSE     REVIEW of GML 17-A shows that this is not required in the law.  We don’t know how the chair received this information.
  6. MRB Diana Smith 4/11/13 assertation that this was clear from the beginning that there is ONLY one plan, and that alternatives would be part of the plan = FALSE     REVIEW of all Village Board meetings and all Dissolution Committee meetings does not support this assertion.  OneLyons Member DeWolf FOILED the Village of LYONS and received emails and the LGE plan, which revealed this information to us. 

OneLyons will be copying our research to the FingerLakes times encouraging a skeptical review of our findings here.  We also challenge the mayor and village board to challenge our findings and back up any challenges with proof. 

OneLyons continues to believe that the relationship between MRB and the village is extremely cozy and questionable.  There are many financial and ethical conflicts of interest present.  From the emails, and from the confusion, we can begin to now see and realize the results of this cozy relationship.  MRB was advising the Mayor on the process since at least 9/7/2012 in a direct relationship on how to proceed.  MRB actually CREATED the part 3 and WORK PLAN of the LGE Grant, and strongly guided the wording of the RFP that was put to bid.  Is it surprising MRB won the contract?

Further, the emails obtained via the FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LAW (FOIL) show that the Mayor held an illegal session of the board for the purpose of obtaining consent, and that the anticipated 10/9/2012 follow up approval of the language of the Grant was never entered into the minutes!  This is a violation of the OPEN MEETINGS LAW and clearly the behavior OneLyons has been campaigning against.

OneLyons looks forward to more media involvement.  We believe that such scrutiny helps open the doors and clear the secrecy and distrust.  We will be forwarding these findings to the FLT and INVITE the public to sign in and comment below this post:

Village grossly inefficent? Updates on Sewer/Water. 68 days left….Fact checking the FLT?

(0915hrs 4/18/2013 update)  —>  Village Timeline given to Employees, including Plan to put this to another referendum!!!    DOC260 Village handout to village employees on timelines      – Village came through on this FOIL request within 5 days as required by law, and explained the situation regarding other delays.  Essentially, most records are not scanned in upon receipt, and those that are spiral bound must first be copied, then scanned creating duplicative inefficient workloads that slow village business down.

(4/17/2013 Update)  The village has been stalling on providing the FOIL requests regarding Sewer Studies and emails.  They’ve given a May 3, 2013 date for possibly releasing the records.  Don’t get excited:  What tends to happen is they delay the release by suddenly claiming they forgot to charge for the records and must charge at the lowest hourly rate to copy them at $22 per hour, plus $.25 per page.  The amended FOIL law @ http://www.dos.ny.gov/coog/foil2.html encourages the village to freely post relevant information like this for the public to review.  Our village has scanners capable, but notes that it takes them 20 days to search for records and scan them due to their methods of filing.  When OneLyons discusses efficiency and responsiveness of government, its examples like this for the public to consider:  NYS had the records requested sent within 3 days, the Village of Lyons averages 20 – 27 days…..  WOW.  Our experience with Town of Lyons was responsiveness to FOIL within 2-5 days, which is the expected norm for an efficient government.

Keep up to date with village minutes on their website at www.villageoflyons.com.  <<Current debt reported by Village as of 2/21/2013:  $1,568,007.84.  or $880 per tax parcel, but remember almost $35 million in exemptions are enjoyed by 300+ property owners including Federal/State/County/Town/Village and other tax exempt properties…. so taking out 350 properties leaves possibly 1432 properties shouldering the tax loads @ possibly 1094.98 per property>>> (Relevant in this debt are projects related to water and sewer:  Route 31 water project from 1995, Cole Rd Sanitary Sewer from 1995, Waste Water Renovation from 2002, Phelps St Sewer Line from 2006, and Water Meter Installations in 2012.)

Keep up to date with the Dissolution Committee at MRB’s website setup for them:  www.lyonsdissolution.org

At the March 12, 2013 Village Board meeting, MRB was authorized to submit grant requests on the village behalf with a goal of obtaining grants to build new sewer lines to Newark.  We then discovered that the village had commissioned a study of the sewer plant and operations but not shared it publically — Obviously OneLyons began digging….  What we know so far is that our Sewer Plant is rated low on the state’s Risk list at 68 out of 72 plants.  We’ve received back in less than 5 days the FOIL requests from NYS — Here is the results of our recent Sewer Inspections:  2012 Inspection sewer plant, 2011 Inspection Sewer Plant  What we are trying to find out is how shutting down a sewer plan that we still owe $695,000 on (Upgraded in 2002 for $1.8 Million) and turning all over to Newark, will fix the underlying infiltration problems of the sewer collection system that serves almost 1700 residences and business inside the village?  NYS has notified the Village since 2011 that they have Sewer infrastructure problems to address…..  they commend the Sewer Plant operators and chastise the village administration….  What has the village done since 2011 to address this????

We know that shutting down the water plant and buying all water from the Wayne County Water Authority did save the Village Board $ on gallons per 1,000 purchased; but still has not fixed the underlying water loss.  Also remember, we are now dependent on our water supply soley via ONE pipe from the village of Newark that we also share with the County Jail/Nursing Home and they have priority.  The village has taken steps to address the issue after heavy scrutiny since 2009.  1) Borrowed $440,000 to replace all water meters in system, waiting for commercial meters to be changed next.

Don’t forget their budget, which contains the exact numbers above:  V of Lyons 2013 to 2014 Budget

Coming up next week:  Fact checking the fact checkers… did FLT mess up like Mayor claims, or was the reporting accurate?  Did the Mayor mislead the village board and the community as the newspaper seems to allege?  Clues to these answers are sprinkled in the village minutes and the FOIL results, we are researching and tying it all together for future release….

 For those interested in joining the mailing list… KEEP Scrolling down to our original posting!

Fingerlakes Times Investigative Reporting – Appears Mayor acted unilaterally without board approval?

FLT 041013 article on alternative to dissolution plan.  (Kudos to Julie Anderson FLT reporter for this investigative peice).

Prior to the November vote, MRB Group, the Rochester-based consultants assisting the village, showed trustees a PowerPoint presentation explaining all options on how it could proceed. Mayor Corrine Kleisle decided to incorporate alternatives to dissolution when she applied for grant money from the state.

However, not only is the decision to explore alternatives not listed in any of the Village Board’s meeting minutes, Trustee Dennis Alvaro and former Trustee Terry VanStean said they don’t even remember discussing that approach.

Trustee Joanne Greco said she was under the impression there had to be two plans…..

The work plan cited by the village in the grant application binds the dissolution committee to creating an alternative plan along with the dissolution plan. In fact, in the request for qualifications and again in the contract provided to MRB for its services, the phrase “for the purpose of development of a Dissolution Plan and Analysis of Alternatives for the Village of Lyons” is used.

Also stated in the grant application: “In addition to the Work Plan specified in Attachment A, the Village Board has determined that taxpayers deserve full analysis and disclosure of the financial impacts per service for dissolution and for alternatives for dissolution, including the non-financial impacts on the delivery of services themselves.”

Ultimately, Kleisle decided alternatives were necessary in order to provide the most information to village and town taxpayers about the financial impacts of dissolution.

 

DOC249 LGE grant application with background info

Results of 021413 FOIL request of v of lyons

MRB Invoice for disseminating village dissolution information dated 111412

Water Loss – Still a major concern in Lyons: 23.6 gallons per hundred still lost.

Per the 2012 Yearly Water Report, Lyons has made progress on its problem of excessive water loss.  We are down to 23.6% loss.  Previously and per NYS Audit, we were losing 42% of all water pumped in the system.  KUDOS to the Mayor and board for working to get this under control and for following the reccomendations of the state audit.

NYS EPA Goal and Statewide Standard is 10% loss…. we have made progress but still with alot of work to do…

NYS Comptroller Audit of Water and Sewer

yrly watr reports 04 05 06    yrly water rpt 07 08 09

DOC206 water main and valve replacements

brown watr and sewer study 2010

2007 to 2011 water in vesus loss

Long range watr plan 04