EDMORE — A local businessman is firing back at the Edmore Village Council, saying its members have their own “personal agenda” about his business loan.
Tony Maxfield owns The Depot in Edmore and Maxfield’s Restaurant in nearby Blanchard.
On March 11, council members approved having the village attorney send a letter to Averyville Acres (Tony Maxfield) regarding a loan Maxfield took out from the Edmore Economic Development Fund.
On May 13, council members agreed to give Maxfield until the next council meeting to remedy the $238,000 loan situation, per Village President Chet Guild’s recommendation. However, at Monday’s council meeting, an unnamed item was removed from the agenda and the matter was not discussed.
Maxfield was at Monday’s meeting after he said council members told him the matter would be placed on the agenda. However, Maxfield says he was removed from the meeting agenda immediately after the meeting started “with no explanation or prior notice.”
Maxfield issued a press release Tuesday detailing a recent timeline of his interactions with council members. A summary of Maxfield’s press release follows:
• March 14: Maxfield received a letter from the village attorney. He scheduled a meeting with two council members on March 28 to discuss the village’s investment loan from 2006 with Averyville Acres to replace a loan from the village to build a motel in Edmore in 2001.
“They said they knew nothing of any previous agreements as they were not members of the council at that time,” Maxfield stated. “It was quite obvious from this meeting that these two members had a personal agenda and were not interested at discussing the matter at hand.”
• April 3: Maxfield wrote a letter to the village council letting them know he would like to move forward in a positive manner, keeping the lines of communication open.
• April 16: Maxfield was asked to come to the village office for a meeting with the same two council members.
“I figured it was in regards to the letter I had sent asking to set up a committee to discuss loan options per the Edmore Economic Development Loan Fund program guidelines,” Maxfield stated. “When I asked if the letter was brought to the council, I was told only the members that wanted it had received a copy. Therefore, no action was taken by the council.”
• May 13: Maxfield said he received two messages from one council member.
“I was out sick, but promptly replied the next morning,” he stated. “I was told at that time I had only 30 days to reply to the council, in which I thought I was trying to do.”
• June 6: Maxfield read an article in The Daily News, which quoted directly from an audio recording of the May 13 village council meeting.
“I found many false accusations and inaccurate information pertaining to myself and my family that as discussed at the public May council meeting,” Maxfield stated. “I called and set up a meeting for the following day. Again, the same two council members were present. I asked to meet with the loan fund committee. As it has been over three years since the committee had met, the council members had no idea who that would be, but stated they would bring it up to council at the next meeting and that I was placed on the agenda.”
• June 10: The Edmore Village Council met.
“I was present at the June council meeting, along with many other members of the community,” Maxfield stated. “Once the meeting commenced, the first order of business was to remove me from the agenda with no explanation or prior notice.
“After listening to the audio released by the newspaper (The Daily News) in connection with the article on June 6, it became even more apparent that the way things have been handled — and continue to be handled and discussed — is an embarrassment to the citizens of Edmore and the rest of the council members,” Maxfield stated.
“While I believe many of the facts are being misconstrued by the council, I believe working with a committee will prove to be beneficial for all parties involved,” Maxfield summarized. “Going forward, I hope to be able to put all differences aside and communicate to come to an amicable agreement.”
Guild did not return a message from The Daily News seeking comment about Maxfield’s press release.
The Daily News has sent a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request to the village of Edmore, asking for the original loan paperwork between Maxfield and the village.