No Decision Made In Busti Town Hall Referendum Court Case

BUSTI- As of Monday, there has been no new information released on the court ruling regarding the permissive referendum against the sale of the current town hall.

At Busti’s town board meeting, residents spoke up with comments and questions regarding both the permissive referendum itself and the court case of “Richard B. Thor vs. Darlene Nygren, as Town Clerk of the Town of Busti, et al.,” which was brought before the Hon. Judge Deborah Chimes in the Chautauqua County Supreme Court in Mayville last week.

Cara Birrittieri, the respondent in the Supreme Court case and one of the individuals who signed the petition and handed it in to the village clerk, accused the board of not contacting her with regards to there being a problem with the petition. She said when she called Jesse Robbins, Busti supervisor, and Joel Seachrist, attorney for the town, they told her it was in Mayville to make sure it was legal. Seachrist said Birrittieri asked the status of the petition, and he said that if the petition was found to be valid, the board would have to set an election date.

“Neither of you gave me a straight answer. You told me it was being undertaken legally and you had submitted a lawsuit,” she said. Seachrist countered saying by that time, notice of the lawsuit was already published in the paper, to which Birrittieri replied not everyone reads the legal notices.

David DiSalvo, a Lakewood village trustee, said the Busti Town Board pulled a fast one on the residents of Lakewood and Busti.

“The fact that there were objections to the referendum and we had a person who was designated with her telephone number and address to be contacted … I mean to me, if you want full disclosure, if you want public discourse, you should have at least told Mrs. Birrittieri if there were objections,” DiSalvo said. “We were lead to believe everything was OK until the last minute. And to say it was somewhere in Mayville – whatever that means – I mean you should be ashamed of yourselves. That’s horrible. People are trying to just put it to a vote.”

Eugene Archer, of Southwestern Drive, wanted to support the board and their decision with the purchase of the Tordella’s building at 125 Chautauqua Ave.

“All the comments come from within the village,” Archer said. “The petition has never been passed out around the town. Nobody has ever approached my house and asked me if I ever wanted to sign a petition. Where are these petitions at? No one ever brought them to our area. I think it’s time if you are going to do something, do it for the whole town, not just the village.”

Mary Griffin, of Busti-Stillwater Road, said her children were not given the same opportunities that Lakewood children were because they were the wealthy children.

“Anything our children seemed to want to do, they were always put to the back of the list. The other kids always got the number one spots for everything,” Griffin said. “And now it’s the same thing with this (Anthony C.) Caprino (Municipal) Building. Now they want us low-class farmers to pay for a building they wouldn’t sink any money into all these years. I think it is wrong. I think we need this building over here or come out to Busti. Why should we have to run down here and fix up their building for them?”

The current court case pending against the sale of the town hall at 121 Chautauqua Ave. stems from a petition signed by more than 200 people. In February, the town board approved a resolution to purchase the Tordella’s building at 125 Chautauqua Ave. at a cost of $330,000, contingent upon the sale of the current town hall. The Jamestown Area Community Federal Credit Union, which has an expiring lease, offered the town $300,000 for the building at 121 Chautauqua Ave. Some residents have argued, that despite the cost to upgrade the facility, the town and village should merge offices into the Anthony C. Caprino Municipal Building.