Skaneateles to be ‘sister city’ with African village

— The villages of Skaneateles and Duk Payuel, South Sudan, are officially on the path to becoming sister cities after the Skaneateles Village Board of Trustees approved the relationship at its Nov. 29 meeting.

The action was requested of the board by the Rev. Dr. Craig Lindsay, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Skaneateles and secretary of the board of directors of the John Dau Foundation, in a Nov. 21 letter. The letter explains the history of the already decade-long relationship between the two villages, mainly through volunteers, donations and other assistance to the Duk Payuel primary health care clinic.

“By committing to this ‘Sister-Village’ relationship, the village board recognizes the ongoing hard work and dedication of all these persons, and extends the possibility of the Village of Skaneateles and the Village of Duk Payuel each coming to better know the outside world,” Lindsay wrote.

Lindsay, who was present at the board meeting, said that if approved, the adopted resolution concerning the sister city relationship could be brought to the Duk Payuel village chiefs and administrators next week when local residents travel to South Sudan to assist with eye surgeries at the health clinic.

The trustees all agreed this was a “wonderful idea,” as Mary Sennett said, and unanimously voted to approve the sister city relationship.

Mayor Marty Hubbard said the village would print an official response and resolution of the new relationship and have it ready by Dec. 9, when the next volunteers and missionaries from Skaneateles travel to Duk Payuel.

Also at the meeting:

—Mayor Marty Hubbard apologized to village residents for the late leaf pickup this year. He said the village DPW crews have been busy with numerous projects that have been taking precedence, but “next year we’ll do better.”

Director of Municipal Operations Bob Lotkowictz said that since last week he has had two crews working on leaf pickup to try to make up for lost time. He also wanted to remind residents that the village leaf machine cannot pick up sticks and residents must separate sticks and leaves into separate piles at the curb. “It would help the process,” he said.

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