The seven-member committee charged this summer with analyzing the staying power of village government in Marcellus presented some surprising suggestions to members of the village and town boards and Marcellus Central School District Board of Education in a closed meeting Dec. 8.
The Committee on the Future of Marcellus met with village Mayor Mike Plochocki, Trustee Mary Jo Paul, Marcellus Supervisor Dan Ross and Board of Education member and village treasurer Julie Brissette earlier this month to share five months of discussion, research and data collection and the committee's conclusions.
The presentation included five recommendations by the committee on how the village, town and schools could work more cooperatively within the community but refrained from taking a clear stand on whether or not dissolving the village would be in the community's best interests.
The approximately 30 residents present at the Oct. 27 public forum had voiced loudly their opposition to the dissolution of the village, a decision that the committee had no authority over. But by that point, committee chair Pat Cox said, the committee had long decided that it would concentrate on providing suggestions to the village, town and schools on how to better work together, rather than try to "answer a true-false type of question" about dissolution and consolidation.
Committee recommendations, presented as "points to consider," include exploring a joint municipal building, expanding the village borders to annex adjacent urbanized neighborhoods, formalizing cooperative agreements between governments, establishing a joint economic development board and developing joint capital improvement projects.
Cox said the range of opinions and backgrounds present among committee members made for well-rounded discussion and fresh ideas, but there was one point where all seven members agreed.
"If there was any one point that everyone easily agreed on, it was the joint economic committee board," he said.
The suggested board would include representatives from the village, town and school and would be charged with promoting the community's assets and adopting business targets, organizing community-events and strengthening the connection with the school district.