Despite public concern, Oxford council pushes new law forward

OXFORD – Last Wednesday evening, Town of Oxford officials passed legislation that allows certain variance of zoning laws by special exception – despite being strongly opposed by a number of community members.

At a Town Board meeting held in February, Town Supervisor Lawrence Wilcox set the matter down to be discussed with the current town attorney, Ed Downey, who was present at this month's meeting to address concerns and questions of the board.

When called upon, Downey more or less confirmed that the decision to move forward with the law was legally sound, but many of his legal queries were heavily scrutinized by community members.

More alarming to some community members, the issue of motive was brought into question once again as it was revealed that several of the Town Board and Town Planning Board personnel have current leases with gas companies within the town.

“Residents feel that the Town Board ignored the public's request that the board members follow the town's code of ethics which requires them to disclose financial conflicts of interest in legislation they are voting on,” said Oxford resident Mena Takahashi.

One resident presented and recited the Town’s own code of ethics to the Board – which clearly defines a “Disclosure of interest in legislation” clause.

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