By Matthew Saari

Former mayoral candidate Bob Tatko is investigating both the village and town of Granville in connection with the municipalities’ recent purchase of TD Bank.

Bob Tatko

Local officials, who want to convert the bank into a shared government office, confirmed last week they were in receipt of several Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests submitted by Brown & Weinraub LLC, an Albany-based law firm.

So many requests, Mayor Paul Labas said, that the village is contemplating hiring additional office personnel to ensure they adhere to state FOIL law and continue to get the day-to-day work done.

“I think there’s three or four down there now,” said Labas.

“We’ve received one or two,” added Granville supervisor Matt Hicks.

One request, dating to late December, indicates the law firm was retained by Tatko “in his capacity as a resident, voter and taxpayer of the Village of Granville.”

“There is so little known about this issue,” Tatko said Monday, adding he retained the legal firm because of their knowledge of municipal law.

“You have to know the specifics of the law,” he said. “It’s just to help…it’s depth of knowledge.”

For Tatko, the key issues at stake are the apparent lack of transparency on the part of the village and town as well as the number of unknowns – six weeks after the fact – which surround the purchase, namely cost of renovations, engineering study cost, potential village tax increases, and legal fees.

Labas argues that the FOIL requests are completely unnecessary with most of the information being readily accessible at the village office.

“It just seems an overwhelming amount of information is being requested,” said Labas. “He’s getting information already put out there.”

The FOIL requests seek a variety information ranging from details surrounding the TD Bank parcel purchase to village personnel pay and benefits to the village’s constitutional debt limit.

“I’m just trying to get the facts accurate,” said Tatko. “These are just legitimate questions about cost figures.”

 

This is only a preview of the story published in the Granville Sentinel. To read the full story, pick up a print copy of this week’s paper at the newsstand or read it online here.

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