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2018-02-21 / Front Page

LaLota contract law tabled; board will discuss it further

by Carolyn James

A proposed law, presented to the Amityville Village Board by Trustee Nick LaLota, was tabled after the majority of the members agreed to review it with an effort toward reaching a compromise.

The measure, if enacted, would mandate that the Village Board take certain measures related to any contracts it signs in excess of $1 million. It was written to address the police and highway department contracts specifically, said LaLota.

The measure has five requirements including:

•prohibiting the board from signing any contract that exceeds the Mayor’s term on the board by more than 12 months;

•all contracts in their final form must be put on the Village website for at least seven days before they come before the board for a vote.

•the office of mayor and treasurer must supply a financial impact statement on the contract before it is approved.

•on the night of the vote of the contract, donations in excess of $250 to any member of the board must be publicly disclosed.

•establishment of financial penalties for noncompliance by individual board members.

Following an outline of the proposal, Trustee Kevin Smith appeared confused. “Is this a joke?” he asked LaLota. “Most of this is public information anyway and everything we do is transparent.”

He pointed out that the state law outlining disclosure of contributions to elected officials is tougher, and that the proposal takes away the board’s obligation to act on behalf of the public. “This is not something I would vote for,” he said.

“I believe there is no need for this law; that is my opinion on it,” said Mayor Dennis Siry. “There is already full disclosure for campaign contributions and we already have full disclosure about contracts and everything we do.”

The change had the approval of Trustee Jessica Bernius, while Trustee Tom Whelan said he wanted more time to review the measure.

Following that the board agreed to table the measure and discuss it further.

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