Weekly Feature

2018-09-13 / Local News

Village Board appoints new code enforcement officer/building inspector

Former West Seneca official accepts OP post

John Gullo John Gullo The Village of Orchard Park has found a new code enforcement officer and building inspector, selecting John Gullo, who held the same posts in the Town of West Seneca until his resignation in August.

In a written statement submitted to the West Seneca Bee on Aug. 2, the West Seneca Town Board reported the acceptance of Gullo’s resignation as part of a settlement agreement.

Gullo was appointed by the Orchard Park Village Board during Monday’s meeting. Mayor Jo Ann Litwin Clinton, Deputy Mayor Matthew Hartung and Trustee Jonathan McNatty voted in favor of the appointment, while Trustee Francis Hogenkamp abstained and Trustee Shannon Fuhrman voted against it.

After the meeting, Litwin Clinton discussed her reasoning for selecting Gullo for the position.

“I understand that there is some bad press about him,” Litwin Clinton said. “His qualifications were exemplary, and I checked with our code enforcement in the town, and they worked with him and they also stood by him as a reputable person. If he made mistakes in the past, I hope he’s learned from them. We’re giving him a chance in the Village of Orchard Park, and I feel with his education and knowledge, he was the best suited for the position.

“We know what we read in the paper, but as to all the personnel issues and what happened over there, I was not privy to that, so he’s starting with a clean slate in Orchard Park.”

Litwin Clinton said she did not consult the West Seneca Town Board about Gullo during the hiring process.

“As it was a personnel issue, I did not reach out to them because I did not think they could tell me anything,” she said.

The mayor added that she interviewed several candidates before bringing Gullo to the board for the appointment. She added that he went through the same hiring process as every employee, including a background check by the Orchard Park Police Department. He has also been hired on a temporary three-month basis, as are all employees.

Gullo will be replacing former code enforcement officer and building inspector James Larivey, who resigned in May.

Gullo’s appointment is effective until the start of the next fiscal year.

The new code enforcement officer and building inspector has his first task, which will be looking into the issue brought up by residents in the area of Canterbury Court and Potter Avenue about a commercial trailer being parked on Canterbury, a residential neighborhood, and causing a number of concerns for residents.

Canterbury Court resident Patricia Justicia-Linde, along with other residents from the neighborhood, attended the meeting and extended their best wishes to the new hire.

“We just respectfully ask that whatever decision is made going forward, that it’s communicated to us,” Justicia-Linde said.

The board also held a public hearing on the use of Community Development Block Grant program funding. No one spoke during the hearing, and the board is pursuing its continued partnership with Rural Transit Service, a nonprofit organization that transports elderly, disabled, and low- to moderate-income residents.

The next meeting of the Village Board will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1, in Village Hall, 4295 S. Buffalo St., Orchard Park.

West Seneca Bee Editor Jennifer Waters contributed to this story.

email: cgraham@beenews.com

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