Village and town of Camillus dignitaries gathered at Town Hall Wednesday, Sept. 7 for a special work session regarding the dissolution of the village.
Mayor Michael Montero, who announced that he will step down effective Sept. 30 after debate on whether the village should dissolve, joined the meeting by conference call — Montero’s family moved in August to Emmaus, Pa., outside of Allentown, and opened up a violin shop.
“The meeting was to steward some things that came up from the village residents during board meetings and also address board concerns,” Montero said.
One obstacle that lies ahead for the village board is the decision of what to do with the assets — fire trucks, anything bought with tax dollars — of the fire department.
“The board will have to make a decision whether to transfer them to the non-profit entity of the fire department,” Montero said, “or to the town. They will have to weigh the decision and come to the best option.”
The mayor said the town was “more than accommodating” to the village board’s concerns, which included having a planning committee with the town that would encourage village residents to talk about zoning and planning issues, property development and making sure the character of the village stays intact.
The conversation also turned to the village’s infrastructure. The town’s highway superintendent, Mark Pigula, pointed out that in the past the town has assisted the village with plumbing, road and sidewalk problems.
“There seems to be, for whatever reason, this stigma, on behalf of the village” Montero said, “that there is a distrust that the town’s going to take proper care, which I think is laughable. There has always been, in my opinion, a nice relationship.”
He made note of the highway crew leader who, in an effort to save money, has done a lot of the repairs himself. Even that, Montero said, takes a considerable amount of time and labor. There have been times where the village has called upon the town because of sparse equipment and tools.
Montero said he would issue a final report and recommended budget to the board before his resignation.
The vote to dissolve the village and elect the next mayor of the village of Camillus will both be on the Nov. 8 ballot. If the village isn’t dissolved, the village board would have to write budgets for four more years before it can be petitioned by the voters. However, these budgets, according to Montero, should be realistic and reflect the true cost of running an efficient government. Should the people vote to dissolve the village the elected mayor will be responsible to see the process through. Once the process is complete, the term expires.
The appointed mayor will assume duties effective Jan 1.
Christina Alexander is editor of the Eagle Observer. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.