Did you ever all of sudden get hit with a realization that something was wrong. It just hit me again. I have been posting here on how certain members of the Town Board vote and this thought just came to the realization. Something is very wrong here. You keep hearing my talk about cronyism. And how Mary Cooke, Dick Crawford, Ray Billica and Chris Aronica have been appointing family and friends to Town Board positions and granting work projects to their friends.
But, I have something else that keeps popping up in my brain that really is bothering me. And it is that High Density Apartment Project on Grand Island Boulevard across the street from the Sunoco Gas Station.
We all remember back in 2014 when the Lighthouse Pointe project was put on the table to build 410 apartments at Whitehaven and East River Road. The local residents circulated a petition with over 1000 names on it. And even though all of those residents of Grand Island were against it, Mary Cooke, Gary Roesch, Ray Billica and Chris Aronica were for it.
There were public meetings in Town Hall where residents came in a screamed at the board. But they were still for it. Why? I talk about this because I just wrote about the West River Bike Path. We have a petition that 76 people signed are against and 374 are for and Ray Billica, Chris Aronica and now Mike Madigan voted against. They have just 76 against and they voted with that small block. But, when 1000 residents were against Lighthouse Pointe they still supported it. Why? Was there some type of value in it for them?
I want to do some math for you to open your eyes. The real estate developer Rane Property Management bought a piece of property on Grand Island Boulevard that had a deed restriction that only allowed 6 units per acre to be built. That is where Heron Pointe is. That deed restriction means they should only have been able to build 154 apartments there. So if you use an average of $1200 a month in rent per unit it comes to $14,400 a year. Multiply that by 154 and you will find that the Apartment Complex should bring in $2,217,600 a year in Gross Income. That should have been it. They build 154 apartments.
But, here it is folks. Did you know that in an 8:00am meeting on October 5, 2015 that no one was at, Mary Cooke, Ray Billica, Chris Aronica and Gary Roesch voted to remove the Deed Restriction, so Heron Pointe could build 9 units per acre. CLICK HERE TO SEE MINUTES Remember, that date was one month before the Election where Mary Cooke and Gary Roesch lost their seats on the Town Board. Why the urgency to vote before the election? Why the secrecy to do this at 8:00am when no one was around or knew this was coming?
WHY would they do that? Did the Town of Grand Island get paid to do that? NO! Or maybe did someone get some under the table money for that? Did someone get paid to do this? Let’s look at this deeper. If they removed the Deed Restriction what does that do for the Real Estate Developer? Well, he can now build 232 Apartments without having to buy more property. So lets multiply $14,400 a year in rent times 232 apartments. That comes to $3,340,800 a year. Mary Cooke, Ray Billica, Chris Aronica and Gary Roesch removing that deed restriction was worth $1,123,200 more a year in income to that Real Estate Developer. That over $1 Million a year in income, every year. Year after year after year. Removing that Deed restriction had tremendous value.
So why did Mary Cooke, Ray Billica, Chris Aronica and Gary Roesch do that? What did the Town of Grand Island get for doing this? Nothing that I know of. They won’t even vote for a bike path if 76 people are against it and the Town gets $2,500,000 in grant funds for the West River. But they voted for a real estate developer to earn $1,123,200 more a year in income when 1000 people where against his project? Something smells pretty bad here! I think they should be investigated by the Erie County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit to investigate for corruption? I think there is something very wrong here?
Does anyone realize what is going to happen to our school taxes when this apartment complex fills with kids. Renters don’t pay school taxes. The apartment complex will pay a school tax but it will be a fraction of what 232 homeowners would pay in School Taxes. All us Grand Island tax payers are going to pay higher school taxes. So why did Mary Cooke, Ray Billica, Chris Aronica and Gary Roesch do this? If the Town didn’t get paid to do this, WHO DID? And lets not forget, Doug Learman. If the Town Board doesn’t like you, your project will get stalled by him for ever. This project slid right through.
So I ask all you Grand Island residents, what do you think about Mary Cooke, Ray Billica, Chris Aronica and Gary Roesch now? Should we call in the Erie County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit to see if anyone took a bribe? I think we should.
So Mike Madigan, how do you feel now? How do those prospects of a Congressional run look? The company you keep will define your future opportunities. Stop being Crawford’s poop boy. That ship is sinking fast. Grow some balls and stand up for your values. That’s what you ran your campaign on. It’s time YOU help us clean up the Republican Party and Town Hall. Your next move just might define your future. Are you apart of this group? Are you going to go down with them? Or are you the guy that you advertised you are in your campaign flyers? GC
Our next posts will be about THE SHED! And the bidding Process.
All Grand Island residents should go here and ask the Erie County District Attorney to investigate this.
This is what the Erie County District Attorneys Public Integrity Unit says
The Erie County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit was formed in January 2016 by Acting District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr. to crackdown on corruption in all levels of government and help restore the public’s trust in our elected officials. Led by Chief Paul E. Bonanno, Assistant District Attorneys assigned to this unit investigate and prosecute corruption and public integrity cases.
These cases involve crimes committed by public employees, elected officials, candidates for public office and other public servants. The crimes can include criminal conduct, including perjury, bribe receiving, official misconduct, larceny and falsifying business records.
To help root out wrongdoings, Acting DA Flaherty has set up a Public Integrity Complaint Form where the puiblic can report any possible violations.
Acting DA Flaherty has also laid out a new initiative to reform the Erie County Code of Ethics that governs elected officials.
The Flaherty Plan includes tougher rules for holding government and political party officials accountable and preventing waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer’s dollars.
“These are basic, common-sense proposals designed to make Erie County government more transparent,” says Acting District Attorney Flaherty.
The proposed changes would:
*Limit campaign contributions from companies who do business with Erie County
*Make it a misdemeanor to violate certain provisions of the Code of Ethics
*Prohibit political party officials and their family members from being appointed to county jobs
*Prohibit the hiring of relatives of political party officials to county positions
*Prohibit elected officials from earning outside income with anyone who has a financial interest with Erie County
*Require the immediate firing of an elected or appointed official if convicted of a crime
*Increase financial penalties for certain violations of Ethics laws