July 25, 2007

Shoemaker's Cash Cow

Am I the only one who picked up on Ed Shoemaker's amazing acknowledgement in Tuesday's Buffalo News? Shoemaker, Town Attorney for Somerset, made the statement in the Buffalo News that "politics in Niagara County used to be a game. It was fun. Now it’s down and dirty and ugly and totally uninteresting. If it weren’t for AES Somerset, I’d be out of the political game".

What is Shoemaker's motivation to stay in the game? I'm going to go out on a limb and speculate that it's the $300,000 per year that Shoemaker and his law firm, Andrews, Pusateri, Brandt, Shoemaker & Roberson, has been paid the past three years by the Town of Somerset to represent the town in litigation with AES Somerset regarding their assessments and landfill issues.

That is a hell of a motivation to stay in the game, and it's an even bigger motivator to see that the AES PILOT agreement is never signed and the issue continues to be tied up in court. After all, if all sides reach an agreement, there would be nothing to litigate, and thus, no cash cow.

How motivated is he to keep his goose laying those golden eggs? He went out and found someone to run against Majority Leader Rick Updegrove. Was this someone with a long history of serving the community? Someone who has been vocal about county issues? Someone who attends Leg meetings on a regular basis? No, it was his car mechanic; his mechanic that works on his MG.

When Somerset Supervisor Rich Meyers attempted to quell some of the spending by presenting a legal billing proposal to the Somerset Town Board recommending a six-minute minimum billing limit rather than 30 minutes or putting Shoemaker on salary to keep costs low, Meyers was met with "he wants to know exactly what I’m doing for the Town of Somerset for every minute", by Shoemaker. Uh, yeah, they're tax dollars and he's the Supervisor;, he has the right to know and so do the taxpayers who pay your salary.

The Somerset Town Board has refused to turn over Shoemaker's billing records that Meyers requested months ago so Meyers could review them. Why would that be such a difficult request to fulfill, especially coming from the Supervisor? One could certainly speculate that when someone refuses to hand over records, that someone is hiding something. Time will tell, but in the meantime, Shoemaker can only hope that the AES issue doesn't get resolved soon. Afterall, he may still need some additional work done on his MG.


Pirate's Code said...

Poor guy. I know those MGs have always been expensive to maintain.

Does make you wonder how much less a mess this AES thing would have been if there weren't $300k a year in it for this guy.

Big Daddy said...

Shoemaker then added:

"If only I could bilk the Shellberry Sisters out of more of their life savings, I would have been set for life."

Fast Eddie is a a despicable human being...the type who takes whatever he can with both hands with no regard to those he is supposedly serving.

He is an absolute disgrace and the electeds in the Town of Somerset who continue to pay this piece of garbage a nickel ought to be ashamed of themselves.

cracker jack said...

Do I understand this right? The Town of Somerset pays over 300,000 dollars in legal fees per year! How many people even live up there? 1000 or so? If that is correct that would be $300 per person going to pay the town's legal bills. That's nuts! That's just crazy! I would like to know how much does the City of Lockport pay John Ottaviano. If anyone deserves that type of dough, its him who turned South Block around. If you ask me, that smoke stack and plant up there looks like it did 25 years ago. On my way back from Bye's Popcorn stand tonight (which is the best popcorn on earth) I made a point to go look at it. Nothing has changed. Well, its time people wake up in Somerset and turn off this water tap for lawyers getting rich at their expense.

Anonymous said...

shoemaker's partner bilks the taxpayers of Niagara County one more time....nolan goes 0-fer-lifetime representing Niagara County

Group loses bid to get power share
By Thomas J. Prohaska - NEWS NIAGARA BUREAU

LOCKPORT — Eastern Niagara County municipalities seeking a share of the bounty from Niagara Power Project relicensing were handed a defeat in court last week.
The Appellate Division of State Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Eastern Niagara Power Project Alliance is not entitled to a hearing challenging a water quality certificate for the Power Project.

The alliance was seeking to challenge the terms of the 50- year relicensing of the project, which includes cash payouts and electricity allocations to Niagara County and the project’s host municipalities in western Niagara County.

The New York Power Authority has refused to negotiate with the alliance of 17 municipalities and school districts in eastern Niagara County unless the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission orders it to do so.

The commission is considering the question, since it “stopped the clock” more than two months ago on a deadline for rehearing the license application it previously approved.

Also waiting for a ruling on a rehearing is the Niagara Improvement Association, a primarily African-American civic group in Niagara Falls that seeks benefits from the Power Authority.

Thursday’s ruling by the Appellate Division’s 3rd Department in Albany threw out all the Eastern Niagara Alliance’s complaints against the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The DEC issued a certificate in January 2006 attesting that the Power Authority’s use of the waters of the Niagara River to generate electricity is not environmentally harmful.

The alliance asserted in its lawsuit that the DEC was required to hold a public hearing on the water quality certificate; should have given more consideration to environmental questions ranging from the impact of the ice boom to bird mortality; and didn’t do enough analysis of the actual water quality.

Wrong, wrong and wrong, the court ruled.

“I am absolutely not surprised by the outcome,” said Paul V. Nolan, the alliance’s attorney. “It looks like New York is saying, ‘We’re going to protect our New York agencies.’ ”

DEC spokeswoman Maureen Wren wrote in an e-mail to The Buffalo News, “We are very pleased with [Thursday’s] court decision. It is important because it upheld DEC’s interpretation of water quality standards and our adhering to the federal environmental review process for federally regulated hydropower facilities.”

Nolan said, “DEC also agreed under the [relicensing] settlement not to entertain any changes unless significantly new information was presented. However, DEC and the court put the cart before the horse by saying, ‘Come up with proof of new information, enough to win a hearing,’ and at the same time denied any opportunity for a hearing.”

Larry S said...

At least he's consistent, like the '62 Mets.