Lysander sets ball in motion

— In a 4-to-1 vote, the Lysander Town Board has scheduled public hearings to discuss changes in local laws affecting the highway superintendent and the town clerk. With the exception of Councilor Art Levy, who was the sole vote against the motion, officials seek to change the positions from elective to appointive, said Supervisor John Salisbury.

The board began talking about these changes after holding discussions with Van Buren and Baldwinsville officials about potential inter-municipal agreements designed to save taxpayers money, Salisbury added.

“We’re trying to make a better organization that can react to the needs of the town,” he said.

Prior to the July 30 board meeting at which the public hearings were scheduled, the Onondaga County Republican Committee sent out a press release criticizing the proposal.

“This smacks of political cronyism at the highest level,” OCR Chairman Tom Dadey said in the release. “There are a lot of questions on why the Lysander Town Board wants to take the people’s right to vote away from them and grant themselves that power.”

The board has also scheduled a public hearing to change a local law to allow the town board to designate the records access officer, who handles Freedom Of Information Law requests. Currently, department heads (town supervisor and town clerk) are in charge of handling the requests.

Prior to setting the public hearings, Lysander resident Hugh Kimball asked the board to consider postponing the hearings in order to give the public time to develop intelligent questions regarding the proposal. Salisbury responded that residents will be able to speak for and against the proposal at the public hearing and, if the proposed law is adopted by the board, the measure will also be on November’s ballot for residents to cast their vote.

The public hearings are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13, at the Lysander Town Hall, 8220 Loop Road, Radisson.

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