For the second meeting in a row, Salina Supervisor Charles Iavarone and Second Ward Councilor David Stott got into a verbal altercation over a matter that came before the board.
This time, the focus of the argument was Stott’s request to put “No Parking” signs along the east side of Limestone Drive near Wemesfelder Park (formerly Electronics Park). The matter came before the town board at its last regular meeting Tuesday July 10.
“I talked to residents in that area and they’re frustrated with the parking,” Stott said. “They’ll support anything we can do to help.”
Stott said that cars parking along the east side of Limestone present a traffic hazard in that they obstruct drivers’ view of oncoming traffic. He said the site is an accident waiting to happen. There are no homes along that stretch of Limestone.
Iavarone, however, was not willing to support the motion without a petition from the residents. “I’ve always asked for [a petition] in similar situations,” he said. “I’m not comfortable doing it without some type of written documentation from the residents of the area that says this is what they want.”
“This is a safety concern,” Stott said. “I’m coming to you as a concerned resident. I’m saying we need it.”
“We’re not disagreeing that it’s a good idea,” Third Ward Councilor Michael Giarusso said. “But if we do it without a petition, we’re circumventing the policies this board put in place.”
“I’ll tell you right now, those are not parking spots,” Stott said. “It’s an unsafe situation. We’re talking about displacing four cars that could go and park in the real lot on the other side [of the park]. I can’t believe you’re going to make these people wait another month [until the board’s next meeting to improve this situation] when there’s games there every single day.”
“The problem I have is, everyone who has ever come to me [to ask for similar relief], I have said, get a petition,” Iavarone said. “And the parking problem has the potential to affect residents on the street –”
“No, it doesn’t,” Stott said. “There are no residents on that part of the street. Nothing is going to change.”
“If that’s what you believe,” Iavarone replied.
As the argument continued, Stott grew more and more frustrated. “If you guys vote against this, you’re killing me,” he said. “I’m not going to start a petition when it’s so simple and it’s so clear. It’s ludicrous. What is the downside of this?”
“I have no evidence to go on,” Iavarone shot back. “What you’re doing to the rest of us — we’ve been saying go get a petition. But now people will say, ‘No, just go to David Stott, because he’s the only one that doesn’t abide by the town board policy.'”
Ultimately, the proposal was defeated three to two, with Giarusso and Fourth Ward Councilor Mark Nicotra siding with Iavarone and First Ward Councilor Paul Carey voting with Stott.
“Nice vote,” Stott said. “Wow.”
In other business:
– The board tabled a resolution to install street lighting in Dixon Park as no final figure for the cost of the installation had been presented by National Grid. The matter will come before the board again at its next meeting.
– A special meeting of the town board will take place before the next regular meeting, which will be held Tuesday Aug. 14. The special meeting will happen at 6:30 p.m. July 24.
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.