Quarrels stall Guilderland Town Board meeting

The snow may have been falling outside, but fireworks were flying inside at the Tuesday, Feb. 12, Guilderland Town Board meeting.

The meeting marked the third time the Democrat-dominated board has met since the addition of two Republican board members, Mark Grimm and Warren Redlich, and it doesn't appear the two parties are any closer to getting along.

Before business could begin, the board found itself at a standstill involving a dispute over the addition of an item to the agenda. Redlich had requested a discussion of the town's property assessment process be added. Specifically, he sought to address what he believes are assessment disparities involving two properties on Western Avenue. Supervisor Kenneth Runion declined to add the item to the agenda. Before voting on approval of the minutes from the previous meeting, Redlich made his displeasure known.

I believe it was inappropriate for you to refuse to put this on the agenda, said Redlich. "I don't think it is unreasonable for me to ask to have an item on the agenda."

A half-hour feud ensued with Runion and Redlich trading words with each other.

Runion questioned whether Redlich had discussed the zoning issue with the town assessor or Zoning Board of Appeals, citing that as the proper protocol. Redlich responded he had not, in part, because he believed the assessment process should be discussed as a whole before the board.

"The proper procedure is to discuss these problems with the assessor," said Runion, adding he did not want the item added to the board's agenda. "The supervisor sets the agenda. If you have a problem with that, you should run for supervisor."

When Grimm pressed the supervisor on whether that was an endorsement, Runion responded, "I don't think anybody would want to endorse you."

Redlich reminded the board this was an issue he centered his election campaign on, going so far as to wave his campaign sign in the air that read, "Fair Tax Assessment."

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