The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports


April 3, 2014

In Your Opinion: Butternuts board acted unethically

I would have expected clarifying opinion pieces from Michele Farwell and Scot Lueck as Butternuts Town Board members. They only incriminated themselves of conflict of interest. 

The Daily Star’s Feb. 28 article was correct. Farwell split hairs regarding the last paragraph of the story. Town Attorney David Merzig provides guidance regularly. 

Lueck was appointed our dog control officer in summer 2013; plus, he decided to seek a town board position, and won. Unfortunately, Lueck believed that he could keep both positions, which is illegal without a local law. 

The local law was drafted, but defeated, in December. This should have ended the predicament. It did not. Lueck refused to acknowledge he could no longer pursue being dog control officer without relinquishing his board position. He resigned as DCO, then reapplied later in January. 

Jan. 22 could have held the sensible solution to our DCO issue. The vote went 2-2, deadlocked. Lueck had recused himself, since he was an applicant (illegally). Farwell and Covington refused to end the DCO predicament. 

The ensuing predicament is so complicated, readers must view board minutes (online or at the town hall) to understand. The bottom line: Liz Fish is our DCO. She comes highly recommended by the other towns she serves. 

Abuse of majority powers of town board members Farwell, Covington and Lueck to further the personal interest of one board member (Lueck) is a disgraceful breach of public trust. 

Butternuts lost a truly talented and dedicated DCO when Lueck decided to take the political turn in the road. His passion for the plight of animals that cannot speak for themselves is an example to be followed by any DCO and admired by anyone who cares about domestic and wild animals. 

I’m certain his now privatized animal welfare team idea will be successful. 

Joyce Pattengill


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