Surprise resolutions rock Canandaigua

Philip Anselmo

Town Attorney Derek Brocklebank may resign following a heated series of votes at the Town Board’s organizational meeting Wednesday night, according to Town Supervisor Lloyd Kinnear.

“I think his comment was: ‘I find it hard to work under these conditions,’” said Kinnear. “It was surreal.”

What conditions? Kinnear said that earlier in the day, Board members Marion Cassie and David Dawson presented him with a pair of resolutions that could mean the end of the line for Brocklebank and Town Planning Consultant Ron Brand, he said. Both resolutions passed by votes of 3-2 with Kinnear and Ralph Brandt in the minority, and Cassie and Dawson voting together with the newest board member Oksana Fuller in the majority.

Brand, who left the meeting early and was not on hand when the resolutions were presented, said he was “totally stunned” and had “no indication” of what was coming.

Brand said the board also declined to reappoint Planning Board chairman Terry Fennelly, who could not be reached for comment.

The first of last night’s resolutions requires Kinnear to go shopping for new lawyers for each of the town’s boards — the Town Board, the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals. Brocklebank currently acts as counsel for all three.

“If we lose a lawyer of Derek’s caliber it will cost the taxpayers a lot of money,” said Kinnear. “Derek Brocklebank charges the town a phenomenal fee of $100 an hour. Other municipalities are charging between $150 and $200 an hour.”

Worse than that, said Kinnear, “we would have to bring a new lawyer up to speed on all our litigation.”

Brocklebank could not be reached for comment.

The second resolution requires the town’s human resources consultant to look into hiring a full-time director of planning and development. Brand serves as a contracted consultant — not a full-time employee of the town.

Brand said that neither his nor Brocklebank’s tenure were on the original agenda; he had “no indication from anyone that this was in the works.”

“I’m at a total loss,” Brand added.

Kinnear lamented the possibility of losing such a qualified candidate for the position.

“I consider it a step back from where we were,” said Kinnear. “This is a freaking disaster.”

Contact Philip Anselmo at (585) 394-0770, Ext. 322, or at