Do we really expect our local elected officials to tell us what to think? Quite the opposite, probably.
And yet instead of focusing on paving streets, keeping tax at a reasonable level, and providing whatever might be considered essential services, they seem increasingly determined to do just that.
Three examples popped up in the past few days that suggest this may be spinning out of control, including at the February meeting of the county Board of Representatives, where discussion of two proposed resolutions on the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol ate up an hour of rancorous debate.
A few days earlier, it surfaced that two unspecified Milford Town Planning Board members had threatened to fine the Village of Milford if it failed to remove the “Trump 2024” on Route 28 across from Wood Bull Antiques. (The billboard is in the town, but on property owned by the village.)
Let’s get back to basics. State law that created counties describes such as “formed for the purpose of exercising such powers and discharging such duties of local government and administration of public affairs as may be imposed or conferred upon it by law.” Pretty work-a-day, as it should be.
It’s unclear whether a Town Planning Board effort to have the “Trump 2024” billboard on Route 28 removed is going anywhere.
The town Planning Board was expected to take the issue up Monday, Feb. 1, but the meeting at the town hall in Portlandville was cancelled due to the snowstorm.
Meanwhile, Town Zoning Officer Barbara Monroe drew a line in the sand, saying she has the sole authority to levy fines when zoning violations occur, not the Planning Board.
I have no intention of writing a violation on that sign,” at least for now, she said Monday.
Tuesday, Town Attorney Hyde Clarke, while saying his advice to town bodies is covered by attorney-client privilege, said Monroe’s right.
“It’s not really a planning issue,” he said. “The town has zoning regulations.”
And Town Clerk Rosemary Aborn and Zoning Board of Appeals chairman Al Bullard both said they’re not aware the issue is on this month’s agendas of the town board or ZBA.
“It sounds like a Demo-cratic plot,” said Bullard.
Events were set in motion two weeks ago, Village Mayor Brian Pokorny said, when two town Planning Board members approached him, advising him to remove the billboard or face fines; no amount was specified.