PERSIA Reaching out on closed facility
Persia town Supervisor John Walgus and other board members, to their credit, saw an opportunity with the exit of former state Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Within the last month, the town reached out to new Gov. Kathy Hochul to see if a wrong could be fixed.
In this case, the group was discussing the abrupt closing of the Gowanda Correctional Facility. Right before Christmas last year, the state announced the location’s closing that took place at the end of March.
“A decision of this magnitude should have proper public disclosure to ensure the public that the actions being taken comply with the law and are in the best interests, and will benefit the state of New York and minimize the impacts on local communities,” town officials note in the letter.
Adding to the problems was the state ignoring a Freedom Of Information Law request regarding information on the site.
There is no question that what happened with Gowanda did so way too quickly. Despite protest from local state officials, including Sen. George Borrello and Assemblyman Joseph Giglio, a decision had been made with little public input.
Persia officials are right to bring this to Hochul’s attention. It may not fix a wrong, but it is one more tarnished action by the previous heavy-handed administration.