County and city officials hear from Fourth Ward residents


Approximately a dozen local residents turned out for a Fourth Ward meeting at City Hall hosted by District 7 County Legislator Barbara Wheeler and Fourth Ward Alderwoman Diane Hatzenbuhler on Monday.

Residents brought up a variety of questions and issues, including complaints about code violations on several different properties, dumping of vegetation waste near Fourth Avenue and the traffic situation at the “five corners” intersection.

Referencing a controversial plan from several years ago to build a construction and demolition landfill in the Fourth Ward area, Phil Lyford asked, “At one of the common council meetings a while back the issue of the landfill was brought up again. And I was wondering what Diane and Barbara’s position on that would be?”

“I am not in support of a landfill either as a landfill or recycling center,” said Hatzenbuhler.

Wheeler also said later that she was against reviving the idea.

Several residents said they had heard rumors about the project.

“It has not been presented to the Common Council, I don’t expect it to be presented to the common council in the near future,” said Hatzenbuhler.

In response to a question about the recent county-instituted motor vehicle fee, Wheeler said the $10 fee has not been charged yet, but would begin starting in September. Wheeler said that the county’s decision to impose the fee was not made lightly.

Dave Dybas, a former Fourth Ward alderman and county supervisor said, “That should have been on a referendum, and it wasn’t. So that is a violation, at least in my humble opinion, of state law. Did the state write you folks a letter saying we’re approving your illegal fee?”

“Well no, we actually consulted attorneys,” said Wheeler, “we consulted many, many legal advisers.”

Dybas suggested that county residents could petition for a referendum to have the fee removed.

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.