The Town of Lyons is looking for citizen engagement and attendance at it’s regular and work shop meetings. Please consider your assistance to this process.
OneLyons observed with interest the Seneca Falls court case listed below. The Judge in that case threw out the petitions for the exact same reasons OneLyons challenged here before Honorable John Nesbitt. We look forward to reviewing the full case and commenting further later.
OneLyons pending Appeal before the Appellate 4th department is due Friday May 9, 2014 and will be updated when we have results to share.
Judge voids Seneca Falls petitions calling for vote on town hall
By DAVID L. SHAW email@example.com | Posted: Friday, May 2, 2014 11:04 am
SENECA FALLS — Acting State Supreme Court Justice Patrick Falvey has thrown out the petitions calling for a referendum on the
Town Board’s decision to transfer $2.55 million so that it can pay for a new town building.
In Yates County Court Thursday, Falvey upheld two of the technical objections to the petitions listed in a complaint filed by Town
Board member Chad Sanderson.
Falvey explained that the flaws which made the petitions void, according to state election law and town law, were:
• The wording of the preamble or heading of the petition did not include words that the signers attest that the addresses listed opposite
the signatures were accurate.
• The witnesses to the signatures did not attest that he or she physically observed the signers put their names and addresses on the
Arguing for Sanderson, who was not present, was attorney Steven Getman of Ovid. Getman said “active participation in government is
admirable, but you must follow the law to give the petitions power.”
He cited court cases to support the five reasons Sanderson said the petitions should be voided.
Petition drive organizers Joyce Brady and Susan Sauvageau appeared without an attorney. Sauvageau, with Brady’s consent, argued
against the objections and in favor of allowing the vote of 350 town resident to be meaningful.
“We feel the petitions clearly ask for voters to vote on this important matter,” Sauvageau said.
She told Falvey that she consulted town law and election law in preparing the petitions and failed to find any specific models or
guidelines for a referendum petition.
“I believe we substantially complied with the law. The addresses were opposite the signatures,” she said, arguing that they should not be
thrown out on technicalities when the meaning and intent was clear.5/2/2014 Judge voids Seneca Falls petitions calling for voteontownhall project funds – Finger Lakes Times: News
Seneca Falls Town Attorney Patrick Morrell and Town Clerk Nicaletta Greer attended Thursday’s proceeding. Morrell took no specific
position on the objections or the petitions, speaking only to the issue of service of court papers on the town.
Afterward, Brady said the desire of 350 people to have input into the use of taxpayer money was being rejected by the ruling.
“These are technicalities a layman could not understand,” Sauvageau said, adding that an Albany-area attorney, Frank Hoare, may be
retained to file an appeal. “A lot of time and effort went into these petitions.
“It’s disappointing. There was a lot of interest and far more signatures than were required were obtained. It was a true bipartisan effort.”
Sauvageau said once the Town Board transfers money from a reserve fund to the general fund, voters won’t have a say in the use of that
Brady and Sauvageau said the Town Board could do the right thing and schedule a referendum on its own, but both doubted that would
Getman said Sanderson spent his own money to save the town the cost of staging a permissive referendum.
“I see this as a win for the taxpayers of Seneca Falls,” Getman said. “The town has conducted this process in an open manner.”
While the board has decided to build a new town hall, officials continue working on the design. They have narrowed the locations to a
town-owned parcel on Ovid Street and the privately owned former Westcott Rule Co. at the corner of Spring and East Bayard streets.
The board says the $2.55 million it wants to transfer into the general fund will cover the cost of the building