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Fredonia unable to pass housing pledge

Fredonia Trustee Paul Wandel’s “no” vote put off for now village plans to take the state’s “Pro Housing Communities Pledge.

Two absent members and a third’s unclear vote led to confusion on the Fredonia Board of Trustees’ “Pro Housing Communities Pledge” resolution Monday. The measure did not pass, though it is almost certain to come back up at a future meeting.

According to Mayor Michael Ferguson, the resolution was merely a “letter of intent” to take the pledge, which is backed by state Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration as part of a housing grant program. He said the Fredonia Planning Board is also eyeing it.

“I understand people’s concerns about Section 8 housing and those types of things,” the mayor said. “There’s no financial commitment and no contractual commitment at this point.”

Trustee Paul Wandel wanted to table the matter until the Planning Board weighs in. However, he said he was “not opposed” to the pledge — and he did not say “no” to the resolution backing it, when the vote came up.

Trustees Ben Brauchler and Jon Espersen did not back Wandel’s tabling attempt and voted “yes.” Trustees Nicole Siracuse and Michelle Twichell were absent.

Ferguson said, “Passes,” and the trio of trustees went on to the next resolution.

However, as the meeting ended, Dave Fridmann pointed out that only Brauchler and Espersen explicitly voted for the resolution, and three trustees are needed to pass a resolution.

Wandel was asked to clarify his vote. He said it was “no.”

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