Court reverses Wright road takeover
Transfer made without board vote
WRIGHT The town is facing a $670 bill for court and filing fees following a court decision that reverses Supervisor William Goblet’s move to include three private roadways in the town’s roads program.
Three Town Board members, Edward Thornton, Jean Burton and Alex Luniewski, filed a lawsuit in September against town Highway Superintendent James McLean and Valley View Roads LLC after learning Goblet organized the takeover of Manchester Drive, Hilts Drive and Valley View Drive in May.
Goblet, who has said residents along the roadway have sought town road maintenance for years, conducted the property transfer without the approval of the Town Board.
When they learned about it, Town Board members later voted down the takeover and filed a lawsuit asking the courts to annul the transfers and order McLean to halt any maintenance on the roads.
Following arguments on Nov. 29, state Supreme Court Justice Eugene P. Devine ordered the annulment of the real property transfers and ordered the town to pay Valley View Roads LLC., legal owner of the roadways, $320 for costs incurred recording the transfers and another $350 to the Town Board’s attorney Michael L. Breen for court document filing fees.
Goblet last week said the issue isn’t over and he’s discussing areas of possible appeal with attorneys.
Goblet said residents wanting town road maintenance have “sort of thrown up their hands.”
“For 20 years they’ve been trying to get the town to do it. Fort the sake of a vote, it’s not done,” Goblet said Thursday.
He said he’s exploring an appeal with attorneys because he believes the town should serve residents who are paying taxes.
“Right is right, and we’re trying to do the right thing for these people,” Goblet said.
Assuming maintenance of more roads, however, is seen as a bad idea by some as a matter of principle and because of costs, Town Councilman Edward Thornton said.
Thornton said the Town Board can’t sit idle and let the supervisor make decisions that are to be made collectively.
“Hopefully some of us can install a little integrity in how things are handled here,” he said.
Thornton contends roads currently maintained by the town are in poor shape so the town can’t assume responsibility for more of them.
“We have so much work on the roads that we have now that to even consider taking anything else on would be ridiculous,” Thornton said.
Taking the private roads over would also present unknown costs, Thornton said, because it would set a precedent and lead to calls for more private roads to be taken over.
“Financially, it doesn’t make sense.”