NT Common Council Sends Cease & Desist Letter to Gratwick Fire Hose for Fundraising Events

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By: Brendan McDonough

Reporter for North Toanwanda

Members of the Gratwick Hose in North Tonawanda are up in arms after receiving a letter telling them to cancel all remaining fundraising events for the year. For President Robert Brennan what upsetting is that there was no call or notice telling them of the unapproved fundraising events.

“They all have my phone number, we do so many events for the City, like National Night Out and others. These people all have my phone number, if these people had picked up the phone and said hey, we are missing documentation for this fundraiser that you had in October, I would have been here in an hour, with the proper paperwork,” said Brennan.

The letter written and signed by City Clerk Treasurer Dan Quinn says the events were not approved by the City Council. It states the events need to be approved by the Council according to the General Municipal Law, paragraph 8 section A. Quinn goes on to say that after cancelling the events the Hose should provide a more detailed list of all potential fundraising events at the beginning of 2019. The problem is that many of the fundraising events have been booked months in advance as a result Brennan says he will not be cancelling anything.

“I want answers, who authorized this letter. It did not come from the Mayor, it did not come from the City Council. It came from the City Clerk, mandating we stop, we never have nor will we ever take direction from the City Clerk,” said Brennan.

 

 

For years the Gratwick Hose has been undercharging the City cost to rent space for the fire trucks. Brennan says it’s about 20-thousand dollars a year but at market value it could be 15 to 20 thousand dollars a month. He says it’s because a good relationship that he had with the City of North Tonawanda.

“For them to turn their back and send a letter like this, it’s appalling. The members at Gratwick Hose are just beside themselves and the members of the public who have seen this letter are outraged,’ said Brennan.

Council member were in agreement that a warning telling Gratwick Hose they were missing documentation would have been more appropriate.

 

 

City attorney Luke Brown calls it an oversight.

“I do not see what you can not submit a letter saying why can’t you submit a letter saying can you approve these fundraisers for the rest of the year. I think that would be the easy solution here,” said Brown.

Going forward members of the Council and the Mayor hope to have better communication with Gratwick Hose, but Brennan says time will tell.

“The proof will be are things different going forward. I think the Council realized that things were done without their approval, I think communication was horrendous, it happened  and going forward we will see if things change,” said Brennan.

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