Tensions rise between German Flatts town board and new supervisor

Just minutes after the new town supervisor of German Flatts was sworn in, the tensions began to boil over.

Posted: Jan 2, 2018 11:20 PM
Updated: Jan 3, 2018 10:06 AM

GERMAN FLATTS, N.Y. --Just minutes after the new town supervisor of German Flatts was sworn in, the tensions began to boil over.

As Peter Rovazzi oversaw his first town board meeting Tuesday night, the hour-long session was fraught with arguments and accusations.

Rovazzi claims his transition into the role has been difficult. He says unseated supervisor Frank Spatto and other German Flatts employees have not been forthcoming with details on the role's duties or town business.

"I haven't been given any information, I keep asking and asking for different information," Rovazzi said. "I've got no information and very little cooperation. The fact of the matter is, I have been asking many times on the computer, on the accounting software program."

Board members refused to take media questions, but during the meeting, they combated the charge that Rovazzi was stonewalled from learning his duties prior to swearing in.

"If you had any questions on that, I mean, you should have spoken up even at the meetings," Denny Mowers, a councilman said.

Rovazzi opposed two measures brought up by the board Tuesday night. One was to slash the supervisor's pay by $10,000. The other, which was passed, requires the public to submit all questions to the board in writing seven to ten days prior to a meeting.

Two members of the public who came to the meeting claim they are the reason the town board passed a new code of ethics before Rovazzi took office.

"The town board approved to borrow $95,000 for litigation against Creekside Park," William and Virginia Jaquish, the owners of the now-closed Creekside Mobile Home Park said.

The Jaquishes are embroiled in a lengthy legal battle against the Town of German Flatts. Town officials claim the park lies within a flood plain, while the Jaquishes say the Department of Environmental Conservation approved of their site.

They are also the parents of Rovazzi. 

"Our son is being sworn in," Virginia Jaquish said. "Because he's related to us and so forth, he can't have any say and really, he won't be allowed in any meetings."

"I mean, Mr. Spatto, we've been in litigation with him for prior years and all the sudden, ethics don't matter?" William Jaquish said. "It's funny in who they make it fit."

The park owners will appear in the state Appellate Court on January 19th.

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