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Cape Vincent’s zoning officer stepping down

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CAPE VINCENT — The town’s zoning enforcement officer is looking to step down because enforcing Cape Vincent’s new zoning law would be a “full-time job.”

Cape Vincent Zoning officer Edward P. Bender, who has held the part-time position for seven months, has asked the Town Council to start looking for his replacement. “I’m not interested in spending the time to enforce the new zoning law,” he said. “I don’t want to devote that amount of time.”

Mr. Bender, a former zoning board chairman, was hired in January, after the town board decided not to reappoint Alan N. Wood — the town’s longtime zoning officer — based on some “verbal complaints” from residents.

Town officials never elaborated on who made the complaints and what they were in regard to, but Mr. Wood suggested he lost his job because of local politics.

At that time Mr. Wood, who had briefly considered running against Supervisor Urban C. Hirschey in 2011, said he might have upset council members by issuing permits for personal wind turbines.

Cape Vincent is now looking for a “younger” zoning officer who can become an expert on the new, more comprehensive zoning law, Mr. Hirschey said.

The town formed a nine-member committee in January to revise the town’s outdated, 1998 zoning law.

On Aug. 1, the town board adopted the changes at a special meeting and filed the documents with the state the same day to have it go into effect immediately.

Those interested in the enforcement position should submit resumes to the Cape Vincent Town Clerk, P.O. Box 915, Cape Vincent, NY 13618, by Sept. 5.

Mr. Hirschey said the Town Council hopes to conduct interviews prior to its September regular board meeting.

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