News - Should Private Club Get Public Funds?

Full story: WGRZ Buffalo 140
The story begins on July 18, 2005, when the New York State Office of Parks and Recreation notified the Town of Elma it had been awarded a $10,000 grant. Full Story
First Prev
of 7
Next Last

Since: Jun 07

Elma, New York

#121 Jun 4, 2007
resident in elma wrote:
My name is Jenn I live on Clinton Street in the town of Elma I am just a tax payer like everyone else if you have a problem with that too bad I am neither a politican or friedns with mike nolan or even mike nolan and further more this pertains to the people of elma and not people out of state
<quoted text>
Here is just another lie! You are either Mike Nolan, Dean Puleo or Wayne Clark. You claim to know a lot about the councilman who brought up this story, but you then claim that you don't know Mike Nolan and you are not a friend of his. Try being honest with yourself, but first let's try something new and novel... try being honest to the people who elected you. Stop being a coward. Be a real man and let the readers know who you are. Unless you are afraid to stand up in public and share your honest opinions. Only a coward would hide behind a computer screen name and trash talk another person. You have attacked a fellow Republican before in the media and then claimed it was not personal, when all the comments I read in the paper were in fact personal. You clearly tell everyone what they want to hear, because you think politicians should do that to make everyone happy. We now see right through you. You are pathedic!!!!!

Jim

Since: Jun 07

Elma, New York

#122 Jun 4, 2007
elma resident wrote:
Thank you Mike Nolan for looking out for everyone. We are behind you.
It's sort of funny that there are 4-5 posts one right after another all praising Nolan. Did he just post under a new name one right after another? Looking at all these posts in total, the majority of honest posts found Nolan to be wrong and some even called for his resignation. It appears that the honest comments from viewers like myself came out right after the story, now the Republican pary or Boss Nolan are just posting comments in support of him. I work nights and have the liberty to read what everyone posts at the end of the day. Just look at the pattern of Nolan "supporters". They come one after another. That's interesting!!!! Hmmmmmm.

Jim
elma resident

United States

#123 Jun 5, 2007
James S wrote:
<quoted text>
It's sort of funny that there are 4-5 posts one right after another all praising Nolan. Did he just post under a new name one right after another? Looking at all these posts in total, the majority of honest posts found Nolan to be wrong and some even called for his resignation. It appears that the honest comments from viewers like myself came out right after the story, now the Republican pary or Boss Nolan are just posting comments in support of him. I work nights and have the liberty to read what everyone posts at the end of the day. Just look at the pattern of Nolan "supporters". They come one after another. That's interesting!!!! Hmmmmmm.
Jim
Jim, No I am not Nolan or any of the councilman, I am a Elma resident and a tax payer who follows Elma Politics, reads local papers and knows Nolan,puleo, and Powers are here for the the people of Elma. The comments you are writing back are obviously a negative because you are a democrat. How come you havent seen sue Glownia backing Dave Polak she is a democrat, maybe you should ask that question.
mother of student

United States

#124 Jun 5, 2007
Just outside of town wrote:
<quoted text>
You naive little Iroquoian.
My child is the future of Elma, what is the matter with You people, My child has a right to speek and is probably smarter then you will ever be. I applaud my child for speaking the way she feels. She is far from Naive!!
Michael Burke

United States

#125 Jun 5, 2007
Hold on here. This is going way over the line. Please stop the name-calling. If you are for or against the grant, have your say and don't get personal! I would like to ask this question to those who support the grant. If you were the supervisor and knowing what you know now, would you go about getting the deck a different way?
Just outside of town

Rochester, NY

#126 Jun 5, 2007
mother of student wrote:
<quoted text> My child is the future of Elma, what is the matter with You people, My child has a right to speek and is probably smarter then you will ever be. I applaud my child for speaking the way she feels. She is far from Naive!!
So if your daughter asked you for money to buy X and then she turned around and bought Y, Y being a purchase made illegally, you would be OK with that? That is what she is condoning with her views. She is naive because she obviously hasn't felt the pain of an ever increasing tax burden caused by this kind of fraud statewide. Mind you, being naive is not an indication of intelligence, more so it's an indicator of lack of experience. I guarantee she will someday see these situations differently when she becomes a part of the real estate tax fiasco.
Because Nolan is seen at functions does not justify fraud. He is a politician, and being seen at pubic functions increases his chance of re-elction.
I highly doubt any of the Iroquois student body is the future of Elma. Most if not all will leave for college and migration to other locales to start a life. That has been the trend for years. With housing/land costs in Elma being as high as they are, only an elite few have that option after high school. 98% of my graduating class lives outside of Elma and its school district.
Dave in EA

United States

#127 Jun 5, 2007
I grew up in Elma and am quite familiar with the ups and downs, successes and failures, changes and traditions of this relatively small town trying to maintain its reputation for intimacy, natural beauty, frugal and sensible government and fairness towards as many of its residents and their wishes as possible. The way this money was
obtained is what upsets me; the Club has, for many years, provided out-of-pocket services for the benefit of non-members, the Town government has a long tradition of striving to maintain low property taxes and I think most residents would be willing to give the Town the benefit of the doubt because of this, although I realize there will be those who will simply ask for Mike Nolan's head on a platter, which seems to me to be an overreaction based on what seems to be intent of the grant money. Even so, this money is not strictly from Town taxpayers, the money was earmarked for something that wasn't needed, perhaps deliberately, which a reasonable person would deem unethical. I think this is a case of good intentions by good people being exercised in totally inappropriate ways. How could so many people make so many decisions that a reasonable
person would find unethical, even if technically legal and even if the end result can be seen as improving the quality of life for others?
Asking for money for something that apparently wasn't needed - that's what was wrong. Frankly, if this was done simply to thank the Club for providing decades of help to the Town residents, why not just explain it and admit it? I think it's time to move on and not try to collect from the Club, but it seems to me a lot of people
need to get together and learn from the many mistakes that were made. For the time being, it seems as though we haven't heard, as Paul Harvey would say, "the rest of the story".
Dave in EA

United States

#128 Jun 5, 2007
There was no indication that redirecting the grant money was illegal. Perhaps we can agree for now that it certainly didn't pass the "stink test", which was the phrase I learned in ethics training to describe the process of being able to identify when something might be legal, but unethical. From what I can tell, the people in Town government, including but not limited to Nolan, Polak, Puleo and Clark are all good people even though they might be at each other's throats from time to time. But the way this money was redirected...we expect elected representatives to make the right decisions, but sometimes doing the ethically correct thing means going a step beyond doing the legal thing - assuming, of course, if it is found the Town Auditor was correct in determining the funds could be obtained and reallocated in such a way.
Jean From Elma wrote:
Councilman Dave Polak is correct. It is about time someone stands up for the people. I am all about helping to make things better for disabled of all ages but do it the legal way. Please Mr Polak have all the other things the town has done and are doing to benefit the few in the town hall that are not legal or just not proper investagted and get it all out in public eye. Our town is very one sided they only help the ones they want ( who they can get a favor in return ) and sock it to the ones that are going by laws ! You have been around long enough and know what I am talking about. THANK YOU for at least opening this can of worms it is about time to clean house of all these people.
rose from elma

Penfield, NY

#129 Jun 5, 2007
elma resident wrote:
<quoted text> Jim, No I am not Nolan or any of the councilman, I am a Elma resident and a tax payer who follows Elma Politics, reads local papers and knows Nolan,puleo, and Powers are here for the the people of Elma. The comments you are writing back are obviously a negative because you are a democrat. How come you havent seen sue Glownia backing Dave Polak she is a democrat, maybe you should ask that question.
Sue Glownia is playing politics. I've read a few comments on how voters are not going to vote for Polak again, therfore, there will be one less democratic seat on the town board. If Sue spoke up, she too would risk the chance of not being elected-which in turn would be a all republician town board. The Democrats don't want that.
Dave in EA

United States

#130 Jun 5, 2007
Those are two unrelated projects. I recommend you
contact Rep. Brian Higgins about your waterfront
concerns, contact information is at http://higgins.house.gov/
jennifer wrote:
Instead of giving money to privite clubs to let handycap fish, why not build a deck at the waterfront. So all handycap could fish. Arent we trying to rebuild the waterfront anyway? wouldn't it make sence to make the water front handicap accessable?
Dave in EA

United States

#131 Jun 5, 2007
For the time being, there has been no evidence of fraud, theft or any other illegality. What bothers many, including me, is that it, even if legal, certainly does not appear ethical. Had this money been requested and approved without change, for the Club, there would have been far less controversy. The fact is, the Club has allowed free use of some of its property for decades for sports purposes.$10,000 is nothing compared to the value of that service. Nevertheless, the way this money was obtained was ethically impure and what the heck were people thinking - not just one person, but many.
James S wrote:
<quoted text>
Dear Elma Resident,
Are you a friend of Supervisor Nolan? Defrauding the State of New York of money is illegal. Focus on the issue, not defending your friend.
The Conservation Club is not a handicapped child facility, it invites disabled kids out one day a year and that should justify using my taxpayer money? Helping disabled children is great and the club could do that on their own and should be a good neighbor, but that does not warrant the use of tax payer money .
Thank you.
Jim
Dave in EA

United States

#132 Jun 5, 2007
Lisa,
There's a rail line that goes through Elma, that about 30 miles south, at Machias Junction, has been sold by Norfolk Southern for $1 to a quasi-government agency and will be leased to and run by the WNY & Pennsylvania RR into Pennsylvania. There are tax abatements all along the route, the local governments are up in arms about the loss of tax revenue and that a private company will be getting public money for track maintenace and rehab. Fact is, where public money and private interests intersect, there will be a lot of heated opinions. What I think is similar about these two otherwise dissimilar situations is that there was a bigger picture at stake. Nevertheless, the way the $10,000 grant was obtained is hard to defend from an ethical standpoint, even if it was, as it appears, legal.
Lisa wrote:
While I think it's great what they're doing, I think they SHOULD NOT get the funds--- private sectors should NOT get public funds, plain and simple. Other places aren't supposed to do this, so why should this be any different???
Dave in EA

United States

#133 Jun 5, 2007
Michael,
The issue of handicapped access in private clubs comes under Title III of the ADA and from what I've read there is not a lot of clarity about whether private clubs are required to improve access under Title III and inasmuch as the Club, by virtue of its having provided free public access to its private property for decades and inasmuch as handicapped access at the Club, given the Club's history of benefitting non-members, could have provided a convincing argument for obtaining the grant money in a clear, more respectful way - for the Club, for Club improvements. I would have exhausted every attempt to get grant money that way, but I'm not sure that would have been the supervisor's responsibility, since as I read it, Sen. Volker had a hand in obtaining the funding. Nevertheless, the way the money was obtained is hard to defend from an ethical standpoint and just creates more distrust in government and that is a shame, because I think how the money was ultimately spent was a noble effort.
Michael Burke wrote:
Hold on here. This is going way over the line. Please stop the name-calling. If you are for or against the grant, have your say and don't get personal! I would like to ask this question to those who support the grant. If you were the supervisor and knowing what you know now, would you go about getting the deck a different way?
Silent observer

Batavia, NY

#134 Jun 6, 2007
rose from elma wrote:
<quoted text>
Sue Glownia is playing politics. I've read a few comments on how voters are not going to vote for Polak again, therfore, there will be one less democratic seat on the town board. If Sue spoke up, she too would risk the chance of not being elected-which in turn would be a all republician town board. The Democrats don't want that.
Rose,

Councilwoman Glownia has been out of town during this recent development. She is not playing politics. She has only recently been apprised of what has happened. This is not a political issue.

This is simply an issue of watching out for the taxpayers and is what eleceted officials are elected to do...not simply let things go through because they feel good doing it or get media coverage out of the project. I would note that neither Councilwoman Glownia nor Councilman Polak went to have their photo taken with State Senator Volker, Supervisor Nolan, Councilman Puleo or Councilman Powers on media day (May 24th) when the the elected officials were recognized for securing this grant.

If something is improper or illegal your elected officials have an obligation to the people who elected them to protect their interests. Here, a lot of people got their photos in the paper and residents might think they are great for securing grants, that is until they know how the money was secured.

Feel free to come to the Town Board meeting tonight at 8pm and ask the entire board what they think about obtaining money for a lawn mower that was already purchased and then giving it away without ever getting the required approval from a majority of the Town Board. You can also search the Town Board minutes at www.elmanewyork.com There you are guaranteed not to find any approval of $10,000 to the Conservation Club. But in August of 2006 you will find approval for a grant for a lawnmower.

Unless this Town changes and real people are elected who will put the interest of the residents first, not their egos or political aspiration, Councilman Polak has told me that he does not intend to seek re-election again. For those saying they will not elect him again, realize he does not need this job. Frankly, he has absolutely nothing to gain and nothing to lose here. He is independent and serves the residents of this town, no one else. Not voting for him again means nothing to him, especially if he does not run for re-election again.

Councilman Polak only wants to accomplish open, honest and accountable government. By keeping people accountable maybe he can raise the bar for everyone to do the same.

Dave in EA

United States

#135 Jun 6, 2007
As dissimilar and contentious as Town Board officials can be, it is possible that just about everyone can be justified in what they believe and yet create such a mess. There's been no evidence of illegality, but the person or persons most responsible for diverting the money should "eat crow" and apologize for the mess they've created and how the procurement could be seen as unethical and for goodness sake, they all need to sit down and learn something from this. For many decades the Club has allowed public use of much of its land, and $10000 is far less than the time value of that usage, but this deck/ramp isn't really a major part of that property that was thus used. Whatever harm this has caused can be mitigated by a sincere apology to Town taxpayers by all the people involved in the way it transpired with an attitude towards understanding why people are upset. I'm not at all upset by how the deck will be used, but by how the money was obtained. Very few Club members will benefit from that deck/ramp, there are regulations governing accessibility to public facilities and the Club, by allowing some of its property to be used for sports purposes functioned as a "quasi-government" entity in the sense that government might otherwise have had to spend money to duplicate that free use at public expense. Bottom line...don't do something that might be legal, but unethical, it can ruin whatever good it sets out to accomplish.
Silent observer wrote:
<quoted text>
Rose,
Councilwoman Glownia has been out of town during this recent development. She is not playing politics. She has only recently been apprised of what has happened. This is not a political issue.
This is simply an issue of watching out for the taxpayers and is what eleceted officials are elected to do...not simply let things go through because they feel good doing it or get media coverage out of the project. I would note that neither Councilwoman Glownia nor Councilman Polak went to have their photo taken with State Senator Volker, Supervisor Nolan, Councilman Puleo or Councilman Powers on media day (May 24th) when the the elected officials were recognized for securing this grant.
If something is improper or illegal your elected officials have an obligation to the people who elected them to protect their interests. Here, a lot of people got their photos in the paper and residents might think they are great for securing grants, that is until they know how the money was secured.
Feel free to come to the Town Board meeting tonight at 8pm and ask the entire board what they think about obtaining money for a lawn mower that was already purchased and then giving it away without ever getting the required approval from a majority of the Town Board. You can also search the Town Board minutes at www.elmanewyork.com There you are guaranteed not to find any approval of $10,000 to the Conservation Club. But in August of 2006 you will find approval for a grant for a lawnmower.
Unless this Town changes and real people are elected who will put the interest of the residents first, not their egos or political aspiration, Councilman Polak has told me that he does not intend to seek re-election again. For those saying they will not elect him again, realize he does not need this job. Frankly, he has absolutely nothing to gain and nothing to lose here. He is independent and serves the residents of this town, no one else. Not voting for him again means nothing to him, especially if he does not run for re-election again.
Councilman Polak only wants to accomplish open, honest and accountable government. By keeping people accountable maybe he can raise the bar for everyone to do the same.
Florida

Orlando, FL

#136 Jun 8, 2007
Just outside of town wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah, for the most part Elma is classy. But I dare you to take a disabled child or veteran to the private club at a random time of day and try to access their facilities. You will be undoubtedly asked to leave. Come back during one of their scheduled events you will be told. They don't want their private club intruded upon when it is unexpected.
You are so wrong there is no member that would turn away any child
joe

Orlando, FL

#137 Jun 8, 2007
al of hamburg wrote:
Public monies should never be used for anything done at private intuitions.
can't happen ie: How will buffalo get a big company to there city with pubic money!
RESIGN NOLAN

Batavia, NY

#138 Jun 13, 2007
How pathetic, Nolan now tells the Southtowns Citizen in the June 9, 2007 issue that he was told by the Parks Department that he can do with the money as he sees fit after they got the grant. ILLEGAL!!!!!! That is FRAUD if he must have signed a grant application swearing that the Town was in fact going to purchase a lawnmower with the money, but it never did. Don't use handicapped kids as a shieled for your political illegality. You stold from the public. You should resign out of respect for the people.
The Town Attorney Phyllis Todaro says in the same article, "They didn't do anything wrong" and "They got guidance and did what they were told to do."
So if someone tells you to jump off a bridge that will cause your death are you going do it because someone else told you to do it? What happened here is ILLEGAL, you canot give away public money. Who do you represent Todara, the Town of your political friends?????
No one seems to take ownership of their illegal actions, but they all want media coverage giving the money away. Go ahead and pass the buck like a typical politicians. In November you are all done!!!!
Do you think the Town Attorney is only backing her politicians who appointed her to this nice paying job without interviewing anyone else? Maybe because they have now endorsed her to run for town judge after her brother started representing Chief Brian Nolan from the Jamison Road Fire Company (the same one where $180,000 or $140,000 of taxpayer money was stolen under the Nolan leadership there too and only a fraction was ever receovered) who was arrested for DWI after he hit another vehicle and he is Mike Nolan's brother?
Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that her other brother was able to put a 29 home subdivision in on my street and all the Republicans voted for it and now the lots alone sell for over $120,000. Sounds a little close to me. A lot of political favors and close relationships. Weren't people outraged when they learned how Giambra hired all his friends and family? Welcome to Elma's friends and family plan.
According to the Citizen Senator Volker's Office's takes the position that, "...after helping the town obtain the grant, Miller seemed to say it was no longer in Volker's hands". Miller was quoted as saying, "What the town does with their money is their call".
Volker wants his picture in the papers all the time and even issues press releases on his web site about all he does for us (hahahaha around election time only!!!!), but does not want anything to do with the misuse of public money. TYPICAL politician.
This whole transaction stinks. Nolan knew what he was doing was wrong and he did it anyway to help his polical friend Senator Volker. He never thought he would get caught with his hand in the cookie jar, but he did and now he is up for relection in November.
The taxpayers will speak in November!!!!!!! I sure will. I'll vote for anyone other then an incumbent member of the Elma friends and family plan.
Look a little deeper

Batavia, NY

#139 Jun 15, 2007
Maybe our town board and residents should take a look at Councilman Dean Puleo. Rumor has it he got a free driveway in exchange for his vote to rezone Stone Ridge Estates on Rice Road, the development that Town Attorney Phyllis Todoro's brother is part of? She became Town Attorney right around that same time didn't she?
mother of student

Buffalo, NY

#140 May 15, 2014
Mr Nolan should clean up his own backyard....since his son is the school bully!

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 7
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Elma Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
3 Teens Arrested In West Seneca Murder (Jul '07) Dec 15 Ezra 162
Study Buddy Dec 12 bank5662 1
Where's John Tansosch Jr.? Dec 10 U mean 4
Most of Thruway open after massive NY snowfall Dec 5 HERE COMES DA JUDGE 3
Leichia M Reilly (Apr '09) Dec 4 Page 3
Snow ending, but rain possible for Buffalo Nov 21 Redneck 2
Steuben Foods Sep '14 Curious 1
Elma Dating
Find my Match
More from around the web

Elma People Search

Addresses and phone numbers for FREE

Elma News, Events & Info

Click for news, events and info in Elma

Personal Finance

Mortgages [ See current mortgage rates ]

NFL Latest News

Updated 10:10 pm PST