LYNDON, N.Y. (WIVB) – A small town in Cattaraugus County is the center of a big political battle.
two different men have been sworn in as town supervisor in Lyndon, and until it resolved which one is really the leader, the town hall is locked up.
The town has one of the lowest tax rates in the county and less than 700 residents. The Town Center consists of only a fire hall and a Town Hall attached to the highway barn, but the politics have become all out war.
Lyndon Town Clerk Frank Puglisi said, “It’s disgraceful. We are not in a communist country.”
Lyndon Town Board member Sid Emmons said, “Personal vendettas enter into this.”
It all started last month when newly elected Town Supervisor Bob O’Shei resigned at his first meeting because the board wouldn’t agree to change the meeting times. His Deputy Supervisor, Len Kaluzny, was then sworn in as supervisor.
“There was no objection; they all clapped and welcomed him,” Puglisi said.
Emmons added, “We were blindsided.”
But by the next meeting, the three member majority checked state law and found that to fill a vacancy, the Town Board or majority of the members may appoint a qualified person of their choice.
This past Tuesday night, they swore in John Linderman as supervisor, and when Kaluzny’s attorney tried to intervene, he was thrown out by sheriff’s deputies. Now reduced to a deputy supervisor, the board majority voted to eliminate that position altogether, forcing Kaluzny out.
Emmons said, “The board can make and the board can break and eliminate the position.”
Kaluzny said, “I mean, I just saw three people sitting at the board that reminded me of Hitler, Stalin and Lenin. It was just a terrible situation.”
For now the Town Clerk isn’t handing over the keys to Town Hall to the board majority.
Puglisi said, “They wanted to able to have anyone access the clerk’s office, the records, and I wouldn’t give the codes.”
Emmons said, “We’re trying to do that politely without going to court.”
Lyndon Town Hall is closed until at least Tuesday. Neither sworn-in supervisor is willing to budge.