Gowanda discusses officer in charge position

GOWANDA – At a recent Gowan-da Village Board meeting, there was more debate surrounding the officer in charge position.

Mayor Heather McKeever wanted to appoint interim Officer in Charge Steve Raiport permanently. Along with the appointment, McKeever proposed an updated job description for the OIC position.

According to McKeever, the job description has not been updated in over a decade. The reasoning to make the position permanent is that there has been so much changeover and the position was in “limbo,” according to McKeever. Former OIC Joseph Alessi was demoted in March with Sean Hotnich being appointed as OIC thereafter. In May, Raiport was appointed as acting and interim OIC when Hotnich ran out of civil service hours.

Trustee Carol Sheibley was not comfortable voting on the appointment until she had time to review the job description in detail. She did not want to vote on the appointment without the job duties and believed they should be approved concurrently. Trustee Pete Sisti questioned what the urgency to appoint Raiport permanently was.

“If (Raiport) is the interim (OIC), why not keep him for now?” Sisti asked.

Sisti said he did not want to vote no to the motion because he does not have a problem with Raiport, but instead did not see the urgency. The motion passed with four “yes” votes, but Sheibley abstained from voting. The board did not take action on the job description. The board also approved repairing Erie Avenue with funding from CHIPS in the amount of $74,112 and to repair Johnson Street, from the bridge to Main Street, for the amount of $12,844.

The board will meet again on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

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