How long are the terms of your community's officials? Ever think they should change?
The Marcellus Town Board proposed the second question at a public hearing Monday July 12. The board is considering extending the terms of three town positions -- clerk, superintendent of highways and tax collector -- from two to four years.
Few voiced their opinion in favor of or against the proposal in the hearing, but voters will have their say in November if a resolution is passed at August's board meeting -- a likely possibility.
Garth Snyder with the parks and recreation department was the first to speak up.
"I'm very much in favor of it," Snyder said. "I was on the village board for 10 years and I see the value of having a four-year contract instead of a two-year."
Town Supervisor Dan Ross decided not to include his office in the proposed local law.
"Supervisor will be the only two-year term remaining," he said during the hearing, "and that's fine with me." Ross feels that, as a policy-making position "intricately involved in shaping the future of the community," the town supervisor should have to answer to the voters on a regular basis.
The request to extend the term lengths was made by the position holders themselves. These positions are administrative and the holders' primary source of income.
"Extending the terms to four years allow them some additional peace of mind by not having to worry about keeping their positions and the rigors of an election campaign every two years," Ross said. By extending the terms, over the course of four years they could "devote all their efforts to serving the public for a longer period of time."
According to Ross, this move would allow the town to attract additional interest from those seeking the positions in the future.