Town of Ontario votes ‘no confidence’ in supervisor

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WAYNE COUNTY, N.Y. – The Ontario Town Board has voted “no confidence” in the town supervisor, Frank Robusto.

The vote was 4 to 1 Monday night, June 12, 2023, with Rubusto the only “no” vote. All four council members are Republican, as is Robusto.

The decision does not remove Rubusto from office.

At the meeting Monday, board members listed off a number of reasons for the no-confidence vote, including bounced town checks, retaliation against employees, and improper notice of public meetings.

Robusto said he was surprised by the vote and said he has been working hard on collaboration with the board. He said he intends to run for re-election and called the move “political theatre” because board members are supporting another candidate.

In a statement, Town Board member Deb Hibbard said in part:

“This is not a decision the board wanted to make. It was a decision we needed to make. This vote was not at all personal or political in nature in any way. Over the course of the last 2 years, we have grown increasingly frustrated by Mr. Robusto’s mistakes with regards to Town finances, poor handling of personnel issues, his unwillingness to implement board approved changes, and his overall lack of leadership.  The purpose of this vote is exactly what the definition of a ‘No Confidence’ vote is. This is just a tool for us to go on public record with our dissatisfaction in the job Mr. Robusto is doing.”

In a statement to News10NBC, Robusto said:

“I have done my best to avoid engaging in the political grandstanding members of the board insist on, but their latest act has left me no choice.

To begin, this action is rooted in retaliation for former board decisions brought against a department head running for Town Clerk, who is a partner of a board member and close friend to another. That individual has had multiple investigations brought against them – including workplace violence and sexual harassment which they were found to be guilty of by an independent investigator. (Which the board unanimously supported) She is also currently under investigation for timecard fraud.

In addition, petitions through the Board of Elections show the members of the board behind this have endorsed the Democratic opponent. The timing of this rhetoric also just so happens to be before the upcoming caucus, showing this is a political move to sway voters to the Democratic party. An example of the continued manipulation they deploy against our voters.

Lastly, there have never incur any insufficient funds fees under my leadership. The board knows this and has seen the statement from the bank showing there has never been a check returned for insufficient funds. However, they continue to spread misinformation which has no place in local government.

This is politics at its worst, and the Town of Ontario deserves better than the continued lies and political theater the current board engages in at the expense of our neighbors. I will no longer be bullied into silence by them and will continue to stand for the betterment of our community. My focus moving forward remains on building upon the foundation established under my leadership to keep the tax rate below the county average, continue economic development and expand the industrial park, and find additional ways to save our taxpayers money.”