Tag Archives: Legislator Dan Farfaglia

Reapportionment plan decision will not be appealed

by Andrew Henderson

The legal challenge to the reapportionment plan approved by the Oswego County Legislature is being put on hold for now, according to Legislator Dan Farfaglia.

Oswego County Court Judge Norman Seiter recently dismissed the reapportionment lawsuit filed against the county. There was talk of an appeal, but that’s been put on hold.

“After careful thought and consideration, we are not appealing Mr. Seiter’s decision because of timing issues,” said Farfaglia, who was one of the 11 plaintiffs in the lawsuit. “But we are not done fighting this very questionable scheme. We are simply putting our efforts on hold and intend resume the legal battle to rectify this travesty later this year.

Every decade after the U.S. census is completed, most legislative bodies in this nation have to alter district lines so that they represent an approximately equal number of people per district.

“There are also a set of laws in place to guide this process, like not splitting towns and communities unnecessarily,” said Farfaglia. “These laws are not optional. The majority party members of the county legislature have ignored most of the rules in place in order to produce a politically-motivated plan that benefits no one but themselves.”

Farfaglia said that country residents will have to “tolerate the borders of many county legislative districts, which unnecessarily splits communities” for one term.

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State attorney general’s office evaluating treasurer appointment

by Carol Thompson

After filing a quo warrento with the office of the New York State Attorney General in regard to the Oswego County Legislature’s appointment of Fred Beardsley as county treasurer, Legislator Dan Farfaglia has heard back that the matter is being entertained.

“The Attorney General’s office called to tell me they received it and that’s it’s now with the Public Integrity Unit,” Farfaglia said.

Under quo warrento, anyone who participates in putting someone in office who isn’t legally entitled to hold office can be fined $2,000.

Beardsley was appointed to the position by the county legislature April 11.

For 90 minutes, legislators debated the appointment, questioning Beardsley’s qualifications and education.

Democrats proposed allowing the county’s chief accountant, Mark See, carry out the duties of the treasurer until the end of the year.

See said he would only request an additional five hours of pay per week, saving the county approximately $70,000 in salary and benefits.

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Reapportionment lawsuit dismissed

by Carol Thompson

Oswego County Court Judge Norman Seiter has dismissed the reapportionment lawsuit filed against the County of Oswego. The case now appears that it will move to appeals court.

“We are disappointed but not surprised by the judge’s decision,” said Legislator Dan Farfaglia, one of the plaintiffs. “We figured from the start that we would have to get the case out of Oswego County. We intend to appeal the decision.”

The plaintiffs are represented by Buffalo-based attorney Frank Housh, who said in a recent interview that he, too,  expected that the case would be dismissed in county court.

The lawsuit addresses several causes of action, including the manner in which the Republican majority proceeded with re-drawing the district lines. Housh alleged that the county legislature used “a baltantly political modus process to marginalize the Democrats.”

No one was available from the county to comment as of press time.

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Quo warrento proceeding requested to remove Beardsley as county treasurer

by Carol Thompson

An appeal has been made to New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman requesting a quo warrento proceeding to remove Fred Beardsley from the position of county treasurer.

Beardsley was appointed to the position by the county legislature April 11.

For 90 minutes, legislators debated the appointment, questioning Beardsley’s qualifications and education.

Last week, as the legislature was in session, residents were outside protesting the appointment.

Democrats proposed allowing the county’s chief accountant, Mark See, carry out the duties of the treasurer until the end of the year.

See said he would only request an additional five hours of pay per week, saving the county approximately $70,000 in salary and benefits.

The Republicans, with the exception of legislators Shawn Doyle and Margaret Kastler, rejected the idea.

The quo warrento is requested based on the claim that County Clerk Michael Backus failed to file the appropriate notice of vacancy upon the Feb. 27 retirement of John Kruk.

State law mandates that “within ten days after any vacancy occurs as prescribed by section thirty of the public officers law, the county clerk shall give notice thereof to the governor when the power of appointment is vested in the governor and to the board of supervisors when the power of appointment is vested in said board.”

According to the complaint, filed by Legislator Dan Farfaglia, the governor’s office did not receive the notice of vacancy, nor was one filed with the legislature clerk.

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Public can comment on legislative district lines tomorrow

The public will have the opportunity to comment on the proposed legislative district lines when the Oswego County Legislature meets tomorrow.

A public hearing will be held prior to the start of the regular session. The boundary lines for the 25 legislative districts have been redrawn to comply with the law that requires each legislator to have equal representation.

The proposed maps have been shrouded in controversy primarily because some towns were sharply divided and will be represented by three or more legislators.

The Town of Volney, now represented by one legislator, will have three representatives under the proposal. The town board has sent a letter and a resolution to the county in opposition of the division.

Legislator Dan Farfaglia, who has spent many hours revising the maps, claims that the county is not following the laws in regard to reapportionment.

Members of a special committee formed to work on the reapportionment would not entertain his version of the maps.

At the last meeting of the legislature, Farfaglia handed out a copy of the law that included the guidelines to be followed. He argued that each requirement must be followed while county officials said they are not required to follow each of the listed laws.

by Carol Thompson

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Democrats irked over redistricting

by Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Legislature’s minority caucus is not pleased with the proposed legislative restricting plan that sharply divides some town.

“My district looks like a dragon’s tail,” Legislator Doug Malone, who represents the Town of Oswego, said Wednesday.

Under the proposed plan, the town will be represented by five legislators.

Cost is also a factor that has the ire of Democrats. The Board of Elections will need to have one voting district in the new district proposed for the City of Oswego’s legislative district 16, which will serve 38 registered voters, the Democrats said.

The college district will be split under the new plan, creating two voting districts for approximately 100 voters.

“We are trying to cut the budget by $3 million to avoid a property tax increase and here we go adding to the budget,” Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler said.

Each new district will require a location, personnel and ballots, all at an additional cost.

Legislator Jake Mulcahey’s legislative district 16 has been changed and he has lost a large portion of a heavily populated Republican area — one he carried in the last election.

Legislator Dan Farfaglia, who represents the City of Fulton and under the proposed plan will sprawl into the Town of Oswego, offered a plan that he worked on himself.

The redistricting committee, comprised of only one Democrat, refused to entertain Farfaglia’s proposal.

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New county legislative district lines unveiled

by Carol Thompson

The new lines for the Oswego County Legislature’s legislative districts were presented Thursday by a special committee.

Legislators must eventually approve new lines to bring the 25 districts to an average population of fewer than 4,900. Legislators must remain within five-percent of the total population for each district.

Legislator Dan Farfaglia, who represents the City of Fulton, had presented his own version of the maps with less division of towns. He attempted to have the committee consider his proposal, however, failed to gain any support from the Republican members of the committee.

Farfaglia is the lone Democrat on the committee. Other members include legislators Dan Chalifoux, John Martino, Kevin Gardner and Louella LeClair.

With some districts divided so that there are several legislators representing one town, Legislator Dan LeClair expressed concerns in regard to the division of the Town of Palermo.

He told the committee he was not pleased that so many legislators would be representing the town. Former legislator Barbara Brown was present for the discussion and said that the residents will not be pleased with multiple representation.

The new maps also show the Town of Oswego divided with five representatives.

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Democrat legislator kicked off panel to review data imaging services

by Carol Thompson

A Democrat legislator selected to serve on a panel to review proposals received for data imaging services for the Oswego County Clerk’s office had been kicked off the committee for allegedly violating the communication clause of the request for proposal.

Legislator Dan Farfaglia said he was notified July 12 that he was removed from the committee because he was quoted in the newspaper in regard to Info Quick Solutions, Inc., the current contract holder.

Farfaglia commented in regard to a system crash in the clerk’s office that left some computers down for two days.

Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler said he requested Farfaglia be replaced with another Democrat, however, that did not occur.

“I accepted the decision of the Chairman (Fred Beardsley) to remove me from the panel even though I completely disagreed with it,” said Farfaglia. “I did not violate the terms of the contract that the members signed when it was formed. It stated that the we were not to speak to the media about the process. And I didn’t, all I did was publicly state my opinion regarding a serious problem with the current vendor for the County Clerk’s office.

“It would not have impaired my ability to review the proposals objectively because these were blind bids, we didn’t know which RFP’s belonged to who,” Farfaglia added. “When their computer systems crashed, I was told that it was not a major crisis and that most systems were restored. I went to the clerk’s office myself and saw that it was not the case.

“Again, IQS was supposedly brought in so that these problems wouldn’t occur,” he continued. “Now I’m extremely disgusted that IQS was selected to keep the contract despite having the lowest rating and being the most costly of the proposals. So the work of this bipartisan panel over the last few months was all for nothing. All of us wasted our time with this because the decision was made beforehand.”

During Wednesday’s meeting of the Legislature’s Community and Consumer Affairs Committee, County Clerk George Williams noted that both Judge Norman Seiter and Judge James McCarthy receive the services of IQS free of charge. The two judges have reportedly had the service for approximately two years.

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