Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

C-PP Facilities Legal Battle Continues

Written By: Renata Stiehl
C-PP Facilities Legal Battle
     CORNING (WENY) -- A former Corning-Painted Post school board member, who is also an attorney, is moving forward with his legal fight to halt the district's facilities plan.
     Tom O'Brien claims the district's $97.4 million plan exceeds the debt limit.
      It's not the first time O'Briend's tried to block the plan. He filed a legal challenge after voters approved the plan in December 2010, by a 60% to 40% majority. O'Brien claimed the district violated several procedural rules, withheld information from voters and exceeded the debt limit.
     The state's Commissioner of Education dismissed O'Brien's suit in November 2011, saying many of O'Brien's allegations were without merit. O'Brien is now appealing that ruling in state Supreme Court. He says the district's so-called "interpretation" of the debt limit will hurt taxpayers and students down the line.
     "This is a very dangerous precedent that they are setting, and people should worry. If they succeed, there is no limit to the size of the facilities projects that a a simple majority can saddle us with," O'Brien says.
    Corning-Painted Post Superintendent Mike Ginalski won't comment on the ongoing litigation, but issued a statement saying "It is unfortunate Mr. O'Brien continues to raise challenges to a project that was approved by 60 percent of the District's voters and was upheld by the NYS Commissioner of Education in November of 2011... The District will once again work with our legal team to address this latest petition."