Credit Clarke for Caz dialogue

Credit Clarke for dialogue

Village/town cooperation began with Route 20 Corridor Committee

By Willie Kiernan

Cazenovia's current effort at governmental transparency and inter-municipal cooperation began with a common need several years ago and has been blossoming ever since.

"One of my goals was to get the village and town together," said Tom Clarke, ex-mayor of Cazenovia.

Clarke has been the chief operator for the Madison County Sewer District for the past 31 years. His stint as mayor in '03 and '04 culminated a stretch of 13 years on the village board. As mayor, he encouraged increased cooperation between the village and the town.

"I think it started with Tom Dreisbach and me with the Route 20 Corridor Committee," Clarke said. "It seems that the town and the village have been working together ever since. And that's a good thing."

Dreisbach was a former Cazenovia Town Supervisor who passed away in office leaving the position to Tim Hunt who lost the next election to current supervisor Liz Moran. Clarke served as mayor when Dennis Gregg stepped down and then stepped down himself to move away from the village.

Key property transfer

Another sample of town/village camaraderie was when the town highway garage was moved leaving the parcel of land behind the library up for grabs to the highest bidder. At the time, Sparky Christakos was interested in the property for development of some sorely needed downtown apartments. There were other developers interested as well.

"We knew there were some private individuals interested in that land," Clarke said. "We were concerned that the library would have no parking if a private developer came in and decided not to deal with them."

The village and town then negotiated on the property and eventually a purchase offer was agreed upon to allow it to change hands and keep it from private enterprise.

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