Town seeks to dismiss landfill lawsuit

Attorney for plaintiffs says town’s issues are ‘insignificant’

— The Town of Colonie has requested a lawsuit brought against it by Albany County Comptroller Mike Conners and five other residents be dismissed, saying it fails to acknowledge the proper parties involved in the operating agreement the town struck with Waste Connections, Inc.

“The suing party is to name any defendant in the lawsuit whose interest could be adversely affected by the suit,” said Town Attorney Mike Magguilli. “They are considered necessary parties to the lawsuit.”

The lawsuit, which was filed because Conners and the other plaintiffs felt the town failed to refer to the operating agreement as a lease of the landfill, only names Supervisor Paula Mahan and the Colonie Town Board. Maguilli said the suit fails to mention Waste Connections, Inc., Capital Region Landfills Inc., and also Town Clerk Elizabeth DelTorto.

Maguilli said DelTorto should be included in the suit because the suit claims a permissive referendum should have been issued. It is the town clerk’s job to post the notice of the permissive referendum, he said.

The suit also doesn’t name the three unions involved in negotiating the contract that Maguilli said were there to protect worker’s rights. Due to all of those issues, the town felt the lawsuit should be dismissed.

Sal Ferlazzo, attorney for Conners and the other plaintiffs, said he believes the issues the town has taken up are “insignificant” and that they have already amended the lawsuit to included Capital Region Landfills, Inc. Maguilli argued they went against the statute of limitations set by Municipal Law Section 120-w, which the town executed the operating agreement under, which had a deadline of Oct. 17 to submit any amendments.

“We have a four-month period to bring inaction invalidating a provision,” Ferlazzo said. “The four-month period hasn’t expired yet.”

Conners has said he’s involved in the suit as a private party, not in his role as county comptroller.

Ferlazzo said the town clerk is not a necessary party in the suit but said if the town would like to add her to it they would have no problem doing so. He also said the labor unions deserve some relief and they would have no problem adding them to the lawsuit as well.

“The Town Board’s obligation was to pass a resolution that a permissive referendum should be done,” Ferlazzo said. “It is the Town Board’s obligation to call a lease a lease and this is clearly a lease.”

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