Court Decision in – Court defers to Village, decides lack of evidence to overturn.

Late on Februrary 20, 2014 members of OneLyons received the Court Decision of Acting Supreme Court Judge John Nesbitt to our Article 78 Proceeding filed January 6, 2014.

ONELYONS press release Feb 21 2014

Nesbitt Decision Bailey,DeWolf vs Clerk and Board Feb 190001

More information to be posted in the coming weeks, stay tuned!  Thank you for your support, please consider your own letter to the editor.  Help us help you, educate your friends and neighbors and send them to this page for further information.

 

 

 

OneLyons affirms integrity of the process is critical – takes Village to Court again

<Updates below>

Read the actual text of GML 17A HERE: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/GMU/17-A/3

OneLyons Jan 4 2014 Petition Exhibits D E F G0001  ***Compare and contrast these two certifications, do you find a difference in how they were certified?   Is it reasonable to question bias and ethical conflict in interest as a possible cause?  Is it reasonable to challenge that different criteria was applied?***

Brief recap:  On December 18, 2013 ‘Save the Village of Lyons’ Representative Connie Rios submitted a petition with over 600 signatures to Village Clerk Denise Darcangelis.  On December 20, 2013 OneLyons Leader Jack Bailey learned of the petition, obtained a copy, and filed a Notice of Intent to dispute the validity of signatures on the second petition.  The Village Clerk, upon returning from Christmas Break on the morning of December 26, formally certified the petition at question.  On December 30, 2013 Jack Bailey and Andrew DeWolf of OneLyons submitted formal objections to the certification with 66 pages of exhibits explaining.  The Village of Lyons never responded to OneLyons, and instead informed the community via the media that they would speed up the process and get this to a vote, and the only method OneLyons retained to seek review of the validity of the petition was to take the Village to court again.  Further, the Village Clerk Denise Darcangelis REFUSED to provide a copy of the formal certification until Friday January 3, 2014 after the village set a special meeting to speed the process up.

On January 6, 2014 OneLyons moved via order to show cause and sought via Civil Practice Law and Rules Article 78 proceeding to have the court review the legality and validity of the petition submitted, whether there was any potential fraud involved, and whether the Village Clerk ethically and legally compromised her position and the certification process by using different standards of review for the 1st and 2nd petitions, as well as her having personally signed the 2nd petition.

On January 9, 2014 Supreme Court Judge John Nesbitt signed an Order to Show cause commanding petitioners and respondents to appear before him on January 14, 2014 at 1100hrs and be prepared to argue the validity of this case.

We will be scanning and uploading the actual legal copies in the next few days, until then go to our DETAILED INFORMATION page above, and all filings for both cases will be placed there for review.

<Update 1/10/2014>  The FingerLakes Times reports that the Village of Lyons held a Special Meeting last night, accepted the Certification of the Clerk, and set a referendum date of March 18.  This was after they were served with an Order to Show cause that they must appear to answer the OneLyons petition of January 4, 2014.

At all parts of this process, the Village has chosen their own behavior, including how they interact with the public and how they have chosen to speed this process up instead of let it play out to show they acted with integrity.  The behavior speaks volumes.

<Update 1/18/2014>  The final papers in the current case Bailey,DeWolf vs. Village of Lyons Board of Trustees and Village Clerk have been filed.  Our goal here is to protect a legal vote of the general electorate on November 6, 2012 from being overturned by what we believe is a fraudulent petition that is fraught with illegalities.  As we noted, and will illustrate to everyone shortly, the Village Clerk used two different sets of rules for certifying the petition she signed, versus ours.  Such is not how we expect our government to behave and continues to exemplify the behavior we’ve been railing against.  Our understanding is that Honorable Supreme Court Judge Nesbitt will have 30 days to decide the case and notify us of his decision.  Due to the volume of papers submitted and our limitation in scanning capabilities, we’ve been much slower in getting all of this scanned and up for review.  We will be working on uploading all papers from both sides to the special Court Case page under our detailed information page.   

 

Appellate Division declines to dismiss case, orders it to continue

Reply to appellate motion to dismiss for Dec2 2013

Appellate 4th Denial to dismiss 1208130001

OneLyons court case against the Village of Lyons cleared a major hurdle on December 6, 2013.  The Appellate Court ruled against the Village of Lyons and ordered the parties to prepare for Oral arguments.

In order to succeed and achieve this stunning threshold “win,” 5 of the 10 Appellate Judges ruled the case had enough merit to proceed forward for a full Appellate Court review, but that they would still consider arguments from the Village on why it should be dismissed on moot grounds.

OneLyons is pleased that the Court affirmed that there is merit in the case and that it should be heard by the full Appellate Court of 10 justices.  The case is scheduled for full review in April, with a decision expected in May 2014.

Review full case HERE:  http://www.onelyons.com/wordpress/?page_id=677

 

Final dissolution plan = $9.21 savings versus Alternatives $1.74 Savings

See the Final Dissolution Plan – Addendum  adopted by the Village of Lyons.  http://www.lyonsdissolution.org/Addendum%2011-8-13%20combined.pdf

The proponents for saving the Village Government of Lyons argue many things, including that we cannot trust the Town Government.  History shows otherwise.

Please go to our detailed information pages and review the many studies and FOIL records.  Ask yourself - If the Village could have saved us $6 per $1,000 by following the recommendations of CGR in 2011 and declined to do so.  Why would we now trust them to implement the $1.74 per $1,000 savings they say the are WILLING to achieve now? 

Proponents pushing for everyone to sign another petition and push for a revote know – IF DISSOLUTION FAILS, then the chance of any of these savings and efficiencies every being pushed or succeeding is nil.  HISTORY in Lyons shows us this.

Please talk with your friends, family, neighbors and ask them to check out this website, review the reports for themselves.  Review the plans, and engage us and your representatives.

OneLyons – the vision. Our last chance to actually change our future.

Our vision is to create a community where taxes are reasonable and fairly shared, restrictions on business development and personal property are reasonable and as minimal as possible, and the government that represents us is responsive to us and treats us equally and fairly. We believe that Lyons is a community that encompasses all of the village and town of Lyons.  Dissolving the village of Lyons will not result in the loss of our history, heritage, culture, or common beliefs.  The benefits of a unified government may better prepare our community to attract businesses and citizens to live here.  We will have one set of zoning rules, codes, and laws that are predictable and not overly burdonsome.  We will have a more equitable distribution of costs that will benefit everyone as they tend to be more involved in the process of government.  Our public services will be unified in purchasing and efficiency, thus eliminating waste that hurts those on fixed budgets.  Together, we can unite under one government and work to solve our issues.

The reason “consolidation” or “Alternative Plans” will not work is they continue to rely on a poorly functioning and rigid system.  Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results is illogical.   Villagers will still bear the brunt of the majority of costs and subsidize 4 governments.  There will still be two communities with different rules and taxes, not one community united together in a more sustainable way.  It’s time to change the rules, recreate in a way that can rebuild this community we live in and love.

We have opened this discussion, it’s your turn to continue it.  We invite you to take a stand against the status quo.  Help us remove obstacles to business and economic growth that have taken away our nostalgic way of life here in Lyons.  Both the Town and Village residents need to unite and solve our common problems, but with the Village taxpayers shouldering the load of 4 governments at costs approaching $60 per $1,000 assessed value, the status quo is unsustainable.  

Regulations and unequal code enforcements hurt us.  The Lyons village code books are so cumbersome and full of regulations that the clerk reports they exceed 400 pages of regulations and are too large to put online!  As a community we need to freshly review code enforcement, laws, taxes, and how our services are provided.

We can’t keep paving over crumbling infrastructure without fixing the sewer & water lines underneath.  “Hope without action is like a screen door on a submarine.”  Just attempting to vote new trustees in has never worked to solve the overall issues before us.  Nostalgia won’t fix today’s issues.  It takes courage to change, but this community is worth it.

NOW is the time.  This is the community’s only chance to make change happen in Lyons.  All 4 major political parties are represented by the members in the ONELYONS effort. This is not about advancing a political cause, its about saving our community and addressing the unsustainability of our current system.  If we don’t finish this dissolution process now, in all likely hood it will never happen again.  Procrastination, or even signing the petition for a revote, will NOT ensure change happens.  Stand firm, let the dissolution process play out.  Get involved at the Town level to recreate our community in a way that serves us all and gives ALL taxpayers equal skin in the game.

 

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Bailey Et AL versus Village of Lyons Board of Trustees – Motion to dismiss pending

OneLyons has filed a Notice of Appeal in the case Bailey et al Versus Village of Lyons.  We have started the appeal process due to what we see as bad precedent set, as we’ve previously described, and error by the court that we feel cannot be left standing without challenge.    For many in the community they will wonder why this matters now, when the Village technically won and was granted leniency.

Please review the case as presented in answer to most of your questions.

This week, 11/17/2013, Village Attorney Art Williams filed a motion to dismiss the case on the grounds that further appeal is moot as the Village of Lyons has now complied with court order.  OneLyons will answer the motion.  The court will hear the case December 2, 2013 at 1000hrs in Rochester.

If OneLyons fails, the court case and $1,000 of our personal cash and donations was for naught.  We have pursued this on behalf of all taxpayers – putting our $ where our mouths are.  One our Reply to the Motion has been filed, we will update the court page with information.  Check out that page for more details under the detailed info page.

Decision entered – Leniency, 60 more days to complete statutory duties.

5800759062013100SCIV Nesbitt Decision 08272013 in Bailey Et al v Lyons

 

Onelyons is disappointed with the decision of Honorable Judge Nesbitt and will be considering an appeal due to the precedent setting factors in this case that will be allowed to stand unless appealed.   The court deferred greatly to the Village in this matter, giving the Village an astounding 116 day extension to complete their statutory duties.   The court acknowledges “huge chunks of time were lost due to inaction.”  The Village acknowledged waiting 70 days to commence a dissolution committee, and acknowledged 175 days of delays in meeting with NYS to have questions answered.  The court relies on these lack of answers in granting leniency.  The court further states “Judicial leniency should not be the norm and justified only on a case by case basis supported by good cause.“    OneLyons is grateful to the court for compelling the Village to finish their statutory duties after granting extensive leniency, but is disheartened at the precedent set in this case.  We question the good cause the court relies on in this decision.   If this ruling stands, given the open intentional defiance of the Village illustrated since NYCOM’s 9/25 statements regarding Judicial Leniency and the arbitrariness of the law, then we question what checks and balances are left to the people to restrain their government and keep them accountable to the people. 

Costs of dissolution – Payouts, debt district, financials

As this process continues forward, remember the 2011 CGR Consolidation and Savings study that the Village of Lyons ignored.  That $55,000 study was presented to our Village officials and ignored, but now many parts of that report will be included in the “Alternatives to Dissolution” for residents to consider if the Village succeeds in forcing a revote.     Lyons – Final Report – Updated 12-23-11

We ask residents – If the Village ignored all these savings recommendations previously, why should we trust them now to implement them if dissolution fails in a revote?  What would be their impetus?  They would have 4 more years to continue as they have been….

The Village of Lyons reports that they have entered into Memorandum of Agreements with the Unions under current contract with the Village of Lyons.  The payouts planned currently will be about $644,000 to the Unions, and $152,000 to renovate a court room the Village would like to see the Town use.   Reference the Village filing for the Court and the Lyons Dissolution Website.  It looks like these payouts are to “make good” on promised sick time, vacation time, FICA payments etc.  The Village reports they will actually ‘cut a check’ for cash payment of sick time, vacation time etc.  Village residents will have to pay for the unemployment insurance for those layed off by dissolution, that will extend approximately 18 months?

What is a Memorandum of agreement?  : http://definitions.uslegal.com/m/memorandum-of-agreement/   &     http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/memorandum+of+agreement.

As of August 15, 2013 the Village reports approximately $1.3 Million in the bank, and any left over funds will be used to pay down debt upon dissolution.

 

We expect a decision on the Article 78 hearing Monday August 26, and will post it as soon as possible once received.  OneLyons took the Village of Lyons to court to hold them accountable for their actions and show that even municipalities are bound by the law.  An interesting argument the Village of Lyons used to the court should raise eyebrows in the community:  They argued to the Supreme Court that since they are a municipality, they should be afforded courtesy in violations of law and compliance.   OneLyons asks you in the community….  when it comes to Code Violations, Traffic Violations, Taxes, Water & Sewer Bills —>  Does the Village of Lyons afford you the same courtesy they now ask of the court?  Or are they asserting they are a “political class” not held to the same standards as JOE Citizen?

Please stay educated and involved in this process, pay attention to the arguments and facts presented, and consider attending Village and Town meetings.  This process has been fought on behalf of all village residents, and your voice in the papers and meetings is appreciated.

 

 

 

 

OneLyons files Special Article 78 Petition to compel Village of Lyons to complete statutory duties

Image

Citizens group OneLyons representatives who signed Article 78 Petition

Here is our Official Press Release:     OneLyons June 28 2013 Press Release of Article 78 Case0001.

Acting Supreme Court Judge Nesbitt signed the following order compelling the Village to appear and explain why an order should not be granted finding the Village in violation of State law.  Also attached in this file is the proof of service and affidavit of truth:      Onelyons Article 78 case 759060001.

Here is a copy of our complete case that was presented to the court and served upon the Village:     Article 78 petition for June 28 2013 FINAL, MMS – Guide to GML 17-A – Consolidation and Dissolution of Local Government (3).

 

THE deadline is past…. questions remain….

Recently in a facebook chat session Village of Lyons Trustee Joanne Greco respectfully challenged us why we keep referencing the Village of Lyons statutory duties when the Village Board turned the process over to a “Dissolution Committee.”   We applaud her public engagement, as well as continue to commend the “Dissolution Comittee” for the massive amount of work they have done in a very short time frame.

We refer everyone to the NYS CONSOLIDATION & DISSOLUTION LAW OF 2010

Further, regarding statutory deadline dates…. how did we arrive at June 25th as the legal date?  December 27 to June 25 is numerically 180 days by direct count, June 27th (the date the Village gives) is a guesstimate of approximate 6 months.

Questions we should ask Mayor Kleisle and the Lyons Village Board, or the members of the “Dissolution Committee:”  1)  Why do you think you were unable to meet the deadline of June 25?  2)  When do you believe your Village Board appointed duties will be completed?  3) Why did Mayor Kleisle wait to contact NYS with legal questions, when many of those questions could have been asked months ago and wrapped up by now?  4)  With over $55,000 spent on MRB Consultants, why didn’t they suggest all of this in advance instead of waiting until the 11th hour and having to be delayed…. weren’t they the expert consultants on dissolution?  or is there any financial and ethical conflicts of interest present that would promote MRB Consultants to delay a process, force a revote, and see dissolution fail????

Finally, as we wrap up this week and look to the next few months….. let’s review a recent “EMERGENCY” the Village declared regarding the Sohn Alloway Water Tank:  There was always concern by former Trustee Vanstean about shutting down all water production in Lyons and buying our water totally off one main coming from Newark without backup.  His objection was overrode because it was felt that the water tanks would always be here to take care of us in emergency…..  Further, if routine maintanence on the water and sewer infrastructure is being properly maintained, then why do we suddenly have to declare an emergency on what should have been caught during routine maintanence?  REgarding sewers….  we are told that the cross connection on Catherine Street was standard practice for years and legal, but now due to massive infiltration must be separated.   What’s the status of all of our sewer lift stations and pipes, are they aged and failing or in great shape?

We’ve been told by Mayor Kleisle that DISSOLUTION has NOTHING to do with Water and Sewer problems…… we continue to ask you to review your rising costs due to mismanagement, and ask yourself if such critical areas as Water & Sewer are allowed to rot, what other kind of management is performed in other areas?

Further information to come within the next 4 weeks!  Stay tuned!!!!