Skaneateles The Village Board of Trustees at its Sept. 22 meeting refused to overturn its previous decision to prohibit alcohol consumption on village-owned property, causing consternation and anger in members of the Skaneateles Historical Society who requested a new vote on the issue.
The board’s refusal to revote now forces the SHS and the Skaneateles Chamber of Commerce to revise their plans for a scheduled Oct. 6 Business After Hours event at The Creamery and the Boat and Transportation Museum on Hannum Street. What was going to be a wine and cheese event now must become a cheese and cider or iced tea event.
“I don’t think its going to be a big issue for [the chamber] going forward, but I feel bad for the historical society; they may have to change plans in the future for other fundraisers,” said Sue Dove, executive director of the Skaneateles Chamber of Commerce.
Historical society president Karlene Miller, on the other hand, was visibly angry after the board’s refusal, abruptly standing up, gathering her belongings and stalking out of the meeting.
The issue first surfaced at the board’s Aug. 24 meeting, at which the Trustees unanimously rejected the request to serve alcohol at the Skaneateles Historical Society boat museum as part of the chamber of commerce’s monthly Business After Hours event.
Trustee Marc Angelillo led the opposition, saying the village should not contribute to the “glorification” of alcohol consumption by allowing it on village property or by village groups. He also was concerned about possible legal liability to the village if an alcohol-related incident occurred at a village facility.
At the Sept. 8 meeting, Dove broached the Business After Hours alcohol subject again, calling the board’s previous rejection inconsistent since they allow the yearly Fire Department Field Days celebration at Austin Park — which is village property — to serve alcohol.