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July 19, 2013 - 10:53am

Corfu mayor's newsletter column criticizes village staff

posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, Ralph Peterson.

Corfu Mayor Ralph Peterson is reportedly going to publicly criticize village office staff in his column in a newsletter being sent to village residents today.

Trustee Ken Lauer, who shared a copy of the mayor's column with The Batavian, called Peterson's words unprofessional and said trustees tried to dissuade him from publicly criticizing employees.

In the column, Peteson portrays himself as a reformer who is trying to bring more cordial communication and greater efficiency to village government, but that office staff is refusing to cooperate.

Peterson writes:

Attempts are being made to work with the all of the Village staff. We have been successful with the Maintenance, Court, and Police however we are struggling with the Office Staff. For us to improve we must communicate and understand the authority of the Mayor.

Peterson said he has been consulting with the New York Conference of Mayors (NYCOM) and that he's been told that as mayor he has a right to access all files and data owned by the village, but his efforts to exercise his lawful authority as mayor is being undermined by staff and trustees.

The lack of understanding of the lawful authority of the Mayor by employees and Trustees has made my first three-month as Mayor interesting. I want to insure the people who are responsible for me becoming the Mayor of Corfu I remain steadfast.

In April, Peterson allegedly fired Sandra Thomas and Denise Beal, but when the women refused to work after a confrontation with Peterson, the village office was left without any staff. The trustees did not support Peterson's actions and Lauer negotiated the return to work of Thomas and Beal.

The column characterizes a village in disarray and not up to "2013 standards." Peterson vows to fix these issues.

My goals as Mayor have not changed I trying change the tone from of communication from confrontational to teamwork. This has truly been a struggle. I realized my comments will not set well with some employees, trustees and residents. However, I must be truthful in my evaluation of the Village business at this time to the residents. I will remain focused on the goals I promised.

Michele Sformo
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Could this man be any more delusional???

matt riggi
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Is this copied word for word? If so, maybe he could sit in on a few high school English classes?....

Beth Kinsley
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Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse.

Steve Reese
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Has anyone considered bringing an arbitrator into this situation? You'd think both sides would be in favor of it.

Billie Owens
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Yes, Matt, the letter was posted via "cut-and-paste."

Doug Yeomans
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Well, at least he wants to insure them. I wonder if he's going with Geico.

mike nixon
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I think he is spot on. proper grammar aside. He seems to be turning the old school into the new school. I will say this, looking at from the outside in. It was broken, the town was broken, the court was painfully broken, the police department definitely needed to be revamped. I think he is doing the right thing. I'll tell you right now, he will absolutely piss people off when needed, but he has a job to do. FIX IT....... And remember a lot of his problems started when the Corfu court started to get turned upside down. He certainly was spot on with the decisions he made in the court, and the police department seems to be going in the right direction.

Doug Yeomans
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I'm assuming he meant "assure."

Gary Spencer
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I have to agree with Mike here, I am an outsider looking in but the whole program in Corfu seems to be broken and this guy, whom I know very little about seems to be trying to fix things and seems to be getting smaked in the face at evry turn. Maybe his methods are a bit unorthadox but he seems to want to make changes.

Michele Sformo
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I guess I am not sure what was "broken" before Mayor Peterson took over. If you are referring to the court system, that problem all had to do with the mayors buddy, Judge Alexander, which the current village board, along with the village attorney have been trying to get resolved(with no help from Mayor Peterson).

mike nixon
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From what Ive read in the past. The Mayor is not a friend to Alexander. Just sayin what ia seein.

Beth Kinsley
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The Mayor is the one (and I think one trustee because he was new to the position) who voted against sending a letter to Alexander demanding the missing money be returned. Sounds like a friend to me.

Al Graham
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Mike and Gary I am confused, Have you bothered to read any of the past posts about Corfu? The Mayor is the root of all the problems. He is under investigation by the D.A. office. The police dept is in total disarray! Half of them are suing the village! The mayor has voted repeatedly against any action taken on the judge or his daughter. All meetings that the mayor is at are taped because he lies repeatedly! He will lie about something at one meeting and people will check on it between the next and call him on it and he will deny he said it!! People on the inside know the damage the mayor and judge have caused. I can tell you that everyone of these post are true!! read them! This is a man who got himself elected to help his buddy Alexander get out of trouble!

Daniel Jones
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The Mayor is destroying the village by making it an untenable place to work and a regional embarrassment. As an outsider looking in, that's what I see. The people in Corfu are rightfully furious, they're proud of where they live, and they don't want it to become fodder for morning radio hosts and snarky comments.

Daniel Jones
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Its true that Mayors have executive powers in their municipalities, but there are also boards and councils to hold their power in check. This Mayor should take a lesson from Byron Brown in Buffalo, who makes it a point to work in a cooperative way with everyone, regardless of party or faction, and now is being largely credited to an economic rebirth in Buffalo and is on his way to a landslide reelection. He's the leader, but he and the City Council work as a team. That's the way local government should be run. The title of Mayor should not be confused with King.

Ed Hartgrove
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"My goals as Mayor have not changed I trying change the tone from of communication from confrontational to teamwork."

Uh-h-h.....
What the Double-H does that even mean?
I'm thinkin' I need help on this one. Usually, I can just move some letters or words around and get some clue, but, I gotta say - Peterson's got me stymied, too!

Raymond Richardson
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All I can say is I am glad I don't live in Corfu right now.

But then again, if I did live there, I would be organizing a tax strike, to withhold taxes from the village until such time as this clown is removed or resigns.

Just sayin'!

Paul Witkowski
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Ebonics....prison slang

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