On Jan. 15 the Camillus village board approved VFW post 8664's request to continue holding their monthly meetings at the village hall, as they have done for the past 20 years.
The vote was 2 to 1, with board members Anne Clancy and Edward Norcross voting for the measure. Sharon Hannon was the lone trustee to vote against the measure, citing security concerns. Deputy Mayor Kurt Brunger, who according to a December letter from the VFW granted the vets permission to use the hall late last year, was absent from the meeting.
Norcross stated that this was the first time he had heard about the VFW being denied usage of the village hall, and he had only heard about the controversy on television. Mayor Grant responded, saying that it had been discussed at previous meetings. Village attorney Robert Greenough said it was discussed, but was not sure if a resolution had been passed.
"There was some talk as to whether this building meets requirements for disabled people," Greenough said. "I took a cursory look at the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Open Meetings Law and it appears that older buildings seem to be grandfathered in. I wanted to make that comment so there is no impediment or perceived impediment to approving or disapproving this."
"I think there is a security concern for this building," Hannon said. "There are parts of this building that are vulnerable and not secure, and I personally don't feel comfortable allowing any, and I emphasize any, outside group using this building until these security issues are addressed. Once the issues are addressed and taken care of, then certainly outside groups will be welcomed."
The security concerns pertain mainly to physical access to the building. The front door of the village hall has been found unlocked or open on several occasions, and keys for the building can be copied.