OBSERVER Photo by Braden Carmen
Hanover Supervisor Todd Johnson voiced his displeasure with the lack of a police protection contract at a Hanover Town Board meeting.
HANOVER — Outgoing Town Supervisor Todd Johnson did not hold back his frustration at a recent meeting regarding the lack of a contract between the Town of Hanover, the Village of Silver Creek, and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department for police protection.
Speaking to the contract negotiations as they stood at the time of the recent meeting, Johnson said, “I think we can do better. Everybody wants police protection, and here we are, we’re going almost into the final hour, and we have nothing.”
Johnson, a 32-year member of the Silver Creek Fire Department, directed criticism at County Legislator Thomas Harmon for not offering assistance to the Town Board throughout the negotiations.
“I’m a little disappointed with our no-show County Legislator, Mr. Harmon, who is on all these budget and audit committees and finance control committees. He’s our local representative and I’ve never seen him at one of our Town Board meetings,” Johnson said.
Johnson continued, “First and foremost, he should have a vested interest within the area that he does represent as a legislator. I’m not looking at making any political slams, I’m looking at facts and reality here. He’s representing us, and he has a vested interest in what we pay for police protection too, but we never hear any comments. We never hear any rebuttal or any opposition to what we do have to pay here, and I’m a little displeased with that.”
Town Councilman Bernie Feldmann, Jr., stated one of the issues with the contract negotiations is a $60,000 raise that the Town Board did not budget for. Feldmann and Supervisor-elect Lou Pelletter had a meeting with the department to ask for considerations on the increase, along with other concerns.
“Hopefully we can come to some kind of a consensus here relatively quick. … Hopefully we don’t have to go into any contingent money for this to happen, and hopefully we can come to some type of resolution before our Dec. 11 meeting. If sooner, we can call for a special meeting,” Johnson said.
Also at the recent meeting of the Town Board, Supervisor-elect Pelletter voiced his support of the recently approved Silver Creek senior housing project at the former Main Street School site in Silver Creek. A resolution expressing support of the project passed unanimously.
“This is exactly what I had talked about for the last eight years, that the Town of Hanover really needs,” Pelletter said.
The meeting concluded with a round of applause for Town Councilman Wayne Ashley, who is stepping down from the Town Board at the end of the year after 20 years of service. He departs alongside Johnson as Supervisor and Town Clerk Tim Crino.
“I guess there’s three of us up here that will be sailing off into the sunset,” Johnson said, while addressing Ashley. “I appreciate everything that you’ve done.”