Flurry of concerns raised in Rotterdam

Residents speak out over senior post, rezoning and dirt track

The Rotterdam Town Board meeting had residents speaking out on a gambit of topics on Wednesday, March 9, with council members responses pleasing some and frustrating others.

Efforts to fill a recent vacancy created by Supervisor Frank Del Gallo at the town's Senior Center continued, but with little avail. Diane Marco was terminated by Del Gallo after her 14 month probationary period and reappointment in the January organizational meeting. For the second board meeting in a row, Del Gallo pushed for the board to pass a resolution to hire John DeGeorgio, former head of the department, to the senior center leadership position.

While council members Wayne Calder and Matthew Martin voted down the resolution, Councilwoman Nicola DiLeva was absent from the meeting, Del Gallo appears persistent in hiring DeGeorgio even if the board doesn't approve it.

Mr. DeGeorgio is qualified for this job and, one way or another, he is going on that job, said Del Gallo before the vote. "Hopefully they will vote him on it whatever way I've got to do it, I'm going to do it. That's the way it is going to be done."

During the first public hearing earlier in the night on a proposed zoning change for 6.38 acres on the east side of Feuz Road, north of the intersection of Countywalk Road, from A-1 Agriculture to R-3 Multi-Family Residential there were residents arguing for the board to deny the change.

Residents in the surrounding community were concerned the proposed two eight-unit residential apartment buildings would ruin the surrounding atmosphere and environment, while possibility bringing down property values and increasing crime.

In another quality of life concern brought up at the end of the meeting, attorney Andrew Brick presented complaints from resident on the dirt track, which formerly was involved in a debate if it was a "racetrack" according to the town's code, citing the owner Marc Dell Villa is allegedly required to obtain a Land Development Activity permit due to the "extensive" soil erosion on the property. Reisidents did lose the attempt for the property to be determined a racetrack, but Brick, as well as board members previously, noted the poor town code language for the definition.

Brick presented aerial photos of the property from 2009 and 2010 to show the soil disturbance at the property. The town makes developers follow town code precisely, said Brick, so there should be equal enforcement of the law.

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