New Scotland schedules code hearing

The Town of New Scotland has set a date to hear arguments regarding a potential violation of the town ethics code by a member of the Commercial Zone Advisory Committee.

Town Supervisor Tom Dolin said the town will hold a meeting Wednesday, Oct. 29, to discuss ethics questions surrounding Commercial Zone Advisory Committee member Liz Kormos.

Kormos has been cited as having a conflict of interest in her role on the committee to draft new language for the town's zoning laws because she once acted as a consultant for a prospective buyer of the Bender melon farm, the site of a proposed development that has resulted in a temporary retail building moratorium.

CZAC Chairwoman Roz Robinson drafted the formal conflict-of-interest allegations, Dolin said.

In addition to her committee seat, Kormos is also a member of New Scotlanders for Sound Economic Development, known as NS4SED, and a supporter of a 50,000-square-foot size cap on retail developments in the town of New Scotland.

A temporary moratorium on new retail buildings larger than 30,000 square feet has been in place since May to allow officials, through recommendations by CZAC, to draft zoning laws that better coincide with the town's comprehensive plan. The moratorium was enacted in response to a commercial development proposed by Syracuse-based Sphere on the Bender melon farm property that would include a 137,000-square-foot anchor store.

Peter Lauricella, Kormos' attorney, said Kormos has not yet decided if she will waive her right to confidentiality at the Oct. 29 hearing. He said all ethics hearings are confidential unless the subject chooses to waive that right.

He also said there is some confusion about statements Kormos previously made about waiving her right to confidentiality regarding the matter.

"She never had any confidentiality to waive," Lauricella said.

He said that since there had been no formal charges made at the time of Kormos' statement, she still has the option to maintain her confidentiality at the meeting.

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