Jan 09, 2012 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
The town of Skaneateles has a new town constable to enforce town laws, particularly at the transfer station and as a town court officer. The new constable, Thomas Adessa, is trained in and will have a variety of law enforcement tools and weapons, and will carry a sidearm while on duty.
The passage of the new local law to create the town constable position, and the subsequent appointment of Adessa to the job, was unanimously agreed to by the town board after a public hearing on the issue at its Jan. 5 meeting.
Resident Joe Southern, who also is a member of the town planning board, was the only person to speak at the public hearing. He questioned the need for a town constable to carry a sidearm.
“I fail to see the need, especially at the transfer station [for a sidearm]. I am strongly against it other than for court security,” Southern said.
During board discussion on the law, after the close of the public hearing, Town Supervisor Terri Roney said the constable will be trained in and will carry all the necessary law enforcement tools and weapons, including a firearm, baton, pepper spray and handcuffs. The constable is not permitted to identify himself as a police officer and is not permitted to make traffic stops.
The constable also is required to maintain all requirements and certifications necessary for the job, such as firearm training, Roney said.
Town Councilor Nancy Murray asked if a firearm was necessary for a constable in all situations, or if the constable would only carry the weapon while acting as town court officer. She felt it should be a “consistent” policy, and had no problem with a firearm being carried by the constable at all times and not only in court.
“I understand where Joe [Southern] is coming from [with his concern], but times have changed and I have no problem with a sidearm,” said Town Councilor Jim Greenfield.
The board voted unanimously to pass the local law and appoint Adessa to the position.
The board also unanimously agreed to amend the constable pay from $18 per hour to a pay range of $15 to $22 per hour in order to have a wider range of pay options for future full-time or part-time hires for the position.
―The board approved the “official undertaking” for each recently elected and appointed town officials.
―Highway Superintendent Jim Card said the department is currently working to convert an old garbage truck into a snow plow.
―Parks Department supervisor Sue Murphy said she is currently reviewing the rules for the 2012 farmers’ market, and plans for the new Austin Park playground are “going great,” according to PARCS head Meg Keady.
―Town historian Beth Batlle said for 2012 she will be working to complete her War of 1812 project, which will place the names of Skaneateles War of 1812 veterans on the war memorial in Shotwell Park. She will also take down the current Civil War history display in the vault at the old First National Bank (now First National Gifts) and change it to a War of 1812 display.
―Codes Enforcement Officer Debbie Williams said building permits had decreased from the previous year, with 162 issued in 2011 compared to 177 issued in 2010. She also said the most recent Zoning Board meeting had no new business to discuss, which was probably the first time in 20 years that has happened.
―The board renewed the lease agreement with the Lacy Road marina to share the turnaround property there. This is the same agreement the board has had with the marina for the past 18 years.
―The board unanimously voted to contribute $648 for the year to allow the SPCA to investigate animal cruelty claims in the town. The SPCA’s budget was cut and would not be able to do such investigations without the town’s agreement to pay $.09 per resident.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.