Thursday, May 26, 2016

Letter from CJERP Solicitor James Fareri to CJERP members, advising silence on procedures followed in passage of 2014 Eldred water extraction amendment

At the February 25, 2016 CJERP meeting, Eldred Township member Robert Boileau questioned the CJERP solicitor over whether he has a conflict of interest, because his law firm Newman Williams represents landowner Gower and Gower Estates, LLC, and it represented CJER in 2014 and now CJERP in 2016.  Mr. Fareri's response was "no, because CJERP and Mr. Gower both believe the procedures were followed correctly."

Now think about this - can Mr. Fareri objectively determine this?  What if he reviews the advertisement of amendments for the May 1, 2014 CJER meeting and he says to himself "wow, that's FUBAR"?  Or he reviews the transcript of the April 27 CJER meeting and decides that three "aye" votes to continue a meeting doesn't authorize changing an ordinance - that a vote to change the ordinance is required?  Incidentally, Carson Helfrich actually prompted the Eldred BOS to authorize the change at the meeting, but they failed to do so.

Excerpt of May 6, 2016 Gower court filing, arguing that continuing a meeting meets the requirement to authorize an ordinance change, and the May 1 meeting was "properly advertised" - lol

Carson Helfrich prompts Eldred Supervisors at March 27, 2014 CJER meeting for authorization to proceed with water extraction amendment, but no Eldred supervisor makes a motion in response, and there is no vote.

Or, what if he hasn't yet seen Rick Gower's attorney James "Jimmy" Wimmer Esquire's pre-arranged email to Eldred Planning Commission Secretary Darcy Gannon, in which Jimmy "suggests" that Ms. Gannon alter her minutes to reflect what happened what he wants her to report happened, even though this email was reported here two months before Newman Williams filed the following for Gower in the appeal:

Excerpt of May 6, 2016 Gower court filing, citing Gower attorney Wimmer's supplied minutes language in support of argument - in bold face, no less

Note: Ms. Gannon was questioned at the May 2015 Eldred Township Planning Commission meeting about her characterization in the minutes that the planners "concurred" with Mr. Wimmer's opinion.  Her response reportedly was she thought that she saw heads slightly nodding.  You just could not make this stuff up.

Can Mr. Fareri admit in public that procedures were not followed properly, and not compromise his law firm's client Rick Gower?  Hardly.  Is this a conflict of interest?  Does it appear to be?

Newman Williams agreed to represent Mr. Gower and Gower Estates, LLC as early as January 4, 2016 when they filed a document in the court appeal of the passage of the amendment.  A week later on January 12, 2016 Mr. Fareri sent the letter below to CJERP members, advising them not to speak about passage of the amendment.  Indeed, at the February 25, 2016 CJERP meeting Mr. Fareri did the speaking for CJERP, and announced the contents of the letter below to the audience.  CJERP does not appear to have voted on whether the amendment was passed properly.  They appear to be satisfied to not answer any questions about what happened on their watch, which is looking more questionable as each month goes by.  We know how Eldred would vote - they admitted in January that mistakes were made.

The role that Mr. Fareri played in the 2014 amendment review process is here.  The role that he played in the advertisement and adoption process is here.  Briefly, Mr. Fareri was the sole solicitor to review and advertise amendments during the period in question, and we know there are very serious issues with both the preparation and advertisement of the water extraction amendment.

Is CJERP as a body really going to hide behind Mr. Fareri until the court appeal is won by the Appellants, and it is proven in court that the amendment was passed by a totally corrupted procedure - letting Eldred Township's legal bills to accrue fighting this nonsense?  Any fool can see it was passed improperly, if they open their eyes and look.  But the leaders of this outfit don't give a damn about Eldred - go to one of their meetings and this is clear.  There is no "E" in CJERP without Eldred Township.  A better acronym for this organization is CJERK - for circle jerk.  You just could not make this up, people.  The organization that Eldred is a member of is taking the side of the landowner.  Come on - could you make up a more convoluted story, one that treats Eldred Township's citizens more cruelly?

Note: The letter from Mr. Fareri was obtained via a Right to Know request filed on May 12, 2016 with Monroe County Planning Commission Right to Know Officer Greg Christine.

Newman Williams has all the bases covered

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