Reference: "Local Law #1 of 2007" and action taken against the agreement between me and the Village of Earlville
An open letter to the Mayor and Board of the Village of Earlville,
I am tired of your trickery and lies. After over 5 years of harassment, a targeted law, a lawsuit initiated and continued by 2 disgraced mayors, and false promises by a third and present mayor to fix the issue, you show your intentions, and it is time to set the record straight.
There is a five year litigation that the Village of Earlville continues in violation of an agreement and granted variance between me and the Village for me to raise small animals. After the new mayor Excell was elected, he told me that he would work on fixing the issue and requested that I do nothing that would stir up the issue any more. I agreed, accepting his promise that he would clear up the lawsuit that was initiated by the village. But after several years, he and the board have chosen to go another route. On many occasions you have misrepresented me in public meetings, public meeting minutes, and privately.
I received a letter dated June 18, 2013, "inviting" me to a special board meeting scheduled for June 25. As nobody on the board consulted me or my attorney on the date, I was unable to attend. Though instead, I sent a statement to be read in public session to clear up the past misrepresentations. But you refused my public statement and refused to place it in public record. After reading the minutes on record, it seems apparent that the meeting was an orchestrated attempt to create false evidence in public record to help your losing cause. It is rare to have as many as 2 people attend an Earlville public meeting, but this specially scheduled meeting "attracted" an unusual "7 members of the public." Your first hour was your secretive executive session, followed by a public session that is filled with false, possibly slanderous and libelous, statements.
I wrote my letter to be read in public session of the June 25 Village Board meeting and to be included in the public meeting minutes, but there is no record of it. Past minutes have grossly misrepresented me on this issue. I know even a letter can be misinterpreted, but I wrote anyway, reserving the right to clarify any questions of statements in the future. I could not attend the meeting, and I even wonder if my presence would have been beneficial, as I attended the last special meeting called to discuss this matter, only to be locked out of an approximately 2 hour long "executive session" ending with the members of the Board, the mayor included, to be silent to me at the close of the meeting.
I continue to call on the Village of Earlville to repeal "Local Law #1 of 2007," drop all charges related to my ownership, and follow the agreements in place for my raising chickens and rabbits.
I have been told by the mayor and several on the Board that the charges would be dropped if I agreed to additional conditions. (This sounds like blackmail to me.) I have been clear all along that I will not negotiate any new agreement or conditions when it was the Village of Earlville, through elected, appointed, or hired persons, created the law which in turn created the charges. The Village of Earlville, through the present elected Board, must throw out these charges and repair the damages done.
I have been told by several on the Board that I must "give a little" or "compromise." The 2007 law and court action was taken by several individuals in the name of the Village of Earlville when I had done nothing wrong. It is known and is clear I was targeted, and I was the only one that owned the animals in question. Permission was granted through following Village ordinances, before I purchased my property. Permission was granted to increase the number of animals a few years later. And then,after many months and false starts, the 2007 law was passed to ban the animals. I have continued with the agreement. I have never violated the agreement. I expect the Village to do the same. I will not renegotiate the agreement to include new conditions. There has been no cause for anyone to even consider a different agreement.
I have been told by several on the Board that it is all my fault that this law remains in place for the entire Village, restricting residents and in at least one case causing a loss of a home sale. I was not the author or cause of the 2007 law. I am not in control of the repeal of this law. Two past mayors and the present mayor and trustees of the Village Board are responsible, had, and still have power of this.
I have spent several thousand dollars and several hundred hours defending my property ownership and rights. This case brought on by the Village of Earlville has stressed my personal finances, life, and family. This has cost us personally, while it has cost nothing to all the individuals responsible, in the name and immunity of the Village of Earlville. The Village of Earlville, through past individuals, brought on this. And the Village of Earlville, through the present mayor and Board, has the power to end it.
I also call on you to purge the lies included in the minutes of the special meeting held June 25, 2013. There are at least seven:
1) This case has nothing to do with "non-domestic" animals. Even the State of New York does not need to define (or redefine) the animals in question as they are domestic animals, commonly defined as any animal under human husbandry.
2) It is not true that I have not been willing to end the litigation. Only you, the mayor and village board, can do that. I never initiated the litigation and only you have the power and control to end it.
3) There has never been a violation by me in the agreement between me and the Village. I am shocked that you would record this statement in the public minutes, and as being spoken by the village attorney William Getman.
5) As recorded as a statement from Getman, it is false for him to say that I "was not in compliance with the original permit." Permission was granted through a legal agreement in writing, a contract. The agreement was and still is being followed by me, and there is no record or cause for suspicion of any violation. This contract was violated by passing what you and others have acknowledged as a spite law, targeting me the only animal owner in the village.
6) The village is intent on recording misleading statements in the minutes but does not answer with factual information. After a question about "how or why the chickens were legally allowed in the first place," there is no mention of the permission granted to me on TWO occasions for raising and keeping the animals.
7) The village selectively includes a line attributed to "another resident" implying I am the cause of the problem keeping others in the village from having animals or selling their property. No, it is clear and has been stated that the problem and power lies with the mayor and village board. I did not violate any agreement. I did not write or pass the law. I did not initiate the lawsuit. And it is ironic that the "another resident" is criticizing me for defending my property and agreement, and right to own the animals, while claiming that I am responsible for blocking others that want animals!
In addition to the lies, falsehoods, and omission of truthful facts in the village board minutes stated above, I question why "matters regarding ongoing litigation" that were deliberately and secretly discussed in executive session were openly discussed during public session with residents. Again, these things may possibly open you and the Village of Earlville to libel and slander litigation.
You have stated to me in the meetings that you do not want to discuss this matter publicly, as you "don't want to be held liable." On the contrary - you are liable for initiating and continuing this litigation, along with damages, while also discussing it in public session without me present and without my permission.
Mayor Excell, trustees Henry Moore, Gerald Hayes, Margaret Cory, and Sara Chapman: Stop this attack on a single resident, a single individual, a single family, and a single property. While this law and court action remains in place, the Village of Earlville continues to look bad and continues to hurt all residents. If this law is repealed, a past administration's mistake will be corrected. But you, the elected managers of the Village, have chosen to continue with the litigation - and then you say you want to close out the litigation so you can make changes to the existing law. Your stated plan is clearly contradictory, but I thank you for publicly acknowledging your scheme to continue this spiteful and discriminatory attack to cause additional damage upon me before giving favor to others in the future.
You give Earlville a bad name through your unprofessionalism, your abuse of position and power against a resident. You refuse to admit wrong. You had the chance to distance yourself from two past mayoral administrations - now you have chosen to extend the blame to yourselves. There is only one way you can come out looking good. Maybe another meeting with the village attorney is in order.
Resident, Village of Earlville