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Bloomingdale Mayor Will Seek Court Order to Mandate Council Attendance

Jonathan Dunleavy said borough business needs to be addressed by Monday.

Conflict continues between the Bloomingdale Council's Republican majority members and Mayor Jonathan Dunleavy as the mayor plans to ask the borough attorney to seek a court order mandating the council members attend Monday's scheduled special meeting.

"I am saddened, as a result of the council majority's inaction, that I must seek a court order to ensure I can properly execute the business of our borough," Dunleavy said.

Should council members not attend, Dunleavy said, he is asking that the court order include a clause that would allow him and Democrat Councilmen Ray Yazdi and John D'Amato, who have indicated they will attend the meeting, to govern the borough and vote without a quorum.

The special council meeting was scheduled after three majority members walked out of a regularly scheduled council meeting last week. The council members left after Councilwoman Linda Shortman said she felt "bullied" by questions by Yazdi on the rejected AvalonBay Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program, although Yazdi said he was not bullying Shortman.

"My whole thing was begging one of them to possibly listen and change their vote," he said.

But Shortman said Wednesday she felt uncomfortable with the way the issue was brought up again at Tuesday's meeting, especially considering the council members had already voted against it.

Dunleavy said Friday that he and Borough Clerk Jane McCarthy had not received confirmation from Council Members Linda Shortman, Mark Conklin or Glenn Schiffman by 5 p.m. Friday when notice of the meeting was sent to members on Wednesday. The mayor said he would need to know in advance of the meeting whether there would be a quorum.

In a Letter to the Editor sent to Patch Friday, Dunleavy said he and the borough clerk had heard from Councilwoman Jo-Ann Pituch, who indicated she would not be in attendance if the PILOT program would be discussed again.

"It's up to the attorney, I have no clue about it," Pituch said Friday in response to the mayor's plan to seek a court order. Pituch did not comment on whether she plans to attend Monday's meeting.

Council members Shortman, Schiffman and Conklin were unavailable for comment. But D'Amato said he plans to attend Monday's meeting because "it's my job." He said he feels it is important that the borough business that was not voted on last week, including items such as applying for a Municipal Alliance grant, approving a fix to a water main break and more, are discussed Monday.

D'Amato said that while issues come before the council at times that are uncomfortable to discuss, the elected officials owe it to the public to meet and make decisions on them.

"We took an oath to serve the borough, no matter what," he said.

Ann October 15, 2012 at 02:06 AM
You obviously have not read all of the Mayor's statements.
Kristen October 15, 2012 at 03:11 AM
Anne, You obviously do not think on your own. Read what I wrote and think about it. The Mayor is not telling you the truth.
Ann October 15, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Now why on earth would you think he would lie. Don't you think he wants a legacy that shows that he improved Bloomingdale? So you think he wants the town to go downhill? When you present someone with facts and they simply won't believe them then there's no further use in talking with them. The Majority hired Lerch. Lerch recommended this program (with the blessing of the Planning Board, the Attorney and the BOE) The majority said, "we don't believe the numbers". They were their man's numbers for god''s sake! . Are you going to believe the auditor's numbers or your own lyin' eyes? Why did we hire this expensive guy? Oh, please, this is nonsense. It's beginning to look more and more like you guys just are scared of a Democratic Mayor being a success. Trust me, that's what it looks like. You all have the same talking points too. Take a drive and look at the numerous towns who successfully used PILOT and how they're now booming. And we've cut an even better deal than they., Or are you unaware of how many towns have been a success because of PILOT> Don't be a knee-jerk follower. Do some research and do it soon.
Leeann Coleman October 15, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Jon is a very nice man. I've known him for nearly two decades and he really cares about people and also this town. Stop saying stupid stuff. Really. As far as attendance goes, I would like to remind certain council members that you were elected by your constituency to represent them on the council. If you are not there, you are not representing your constituency. I've never made a secret about my being far, far to the right in the political arena. You all volunteered to run, nobody held a gun to your head, and I voted for you. SHOW UP FOR WORK.
Gary October 15, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Ann Let me try to put this another way. The republicans hired Lerch, he suggested that Pilot programs are a good way to get revenue to the municipality. So for this the majority could take the credit. Ray calculated his numbers and said they are the same as the auditors except he left out the library and open space. Library is over 300,000 and open space is 100,000. If Ray had used the auditor’s numbers the result he came up with would be different. The BOE did not vote for the Pilot program. Don’t you think that just maybe the reps are not concerned about the mayor being a success using their auditors idea but they are concerned that the idea was not used properly. Wouldn’t it have been easier for them to just go along with it? Just think about it.

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