Niagara Gazette

Local News

March 3, 2013

In My Opinion: Disputes comments about Black Brook audit

Niagara Gazette — Supervisor Randy Douglas’s comments in the Feb. 19 Press-Republican concerning the utility audit of the Town of Black Brook are nothing more than a cheap shot, from a small-town bully, at an employee of the Town of Black Brook, who was at all times just following instruction of the Black Brook Town Council.

Jay Town Supervisor Randy Douglas said that the litigation was not initiated by his town and that it was over shared billing for hours worked by the chief sewer plant operator. This statement is different from what is stated in letters from Supervisor Douglas.

On Jan. 15, 2010, Supervisor Douglas sent a letter to the Town of Black Brook stating, “I will not authorize any payments for 2010 until a new sewer contract agreement is reached.”

On April 7, 2010, Supervisor Douglas demanded, “as for contract negotiations, my town board requests (as stated in the contract) to send it to an arbitrator for a hearing. Because the Town of Black Brook is the lead agency on the sewer contract, I believe that it is your town’s responsibility to arrange the arbitration.”

We, the Black Brook Town Council, did exactly as requested. The sewer bills that the Town of Jay was refusing to pay were sent to arbitration. Supervisor Douglas requested that we initiate the action.

In that same April 7 letter, Supervisor Douglas clearly states his reasons for nonpayment of any part of the sewer bills. In not one part of those reasons did Supervisor Douglas mention any dispute of the hours that our chief plant operator worked. Reasons stated by Supervisor Douglas at that time were failure to agree on a new contract and his refusal to pay for any part of the hospitalization insurance for our chief plant operator.

On April 20, 2010, Supervisor Douglas sent a letter to our chief plant operator stating, “In closing, ... I thank you for your courteous working relationship with me and my town board over the last six and a half years. It’s unfortunate that Town of Black Brook officials do not wish to negotiate in good faith about our sewer contract and therefore you are no longer allowed to work on sewer-related issues in the Town of Jay. Please believe that this is business and not personal. I wish you the best.”

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