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Village officials, neighboring mayors take night off aboard ‘Judge Ben Wiles’

Members of the Skaneateles village delegation who attended the Onondaga County mayors Association dinner aboard the Judge Ben Wiles last week relax on the top deck after dinner. Seated from right, Municipal Board member Walt Blackler, Village Clerk Patty Couch (back row), Director of Municipal Operations Bob Lotkowictz and his wife Sue Edinger, and Village trustee Sue Jones. Standing from left, Planning Board member Megan Keady and Village Trustee Marc Angelillo.

Members of the Skaneateles village delegation who attended the Onondaga County mayors Association dinner aboard the Judge Ben Wiles last week relax on the top deck after dinner. Seated from right, Municipal Board member Walt Blackler, Village Clerk Patty Couch (back row), Director of Municipal Operations Bob Lotkowictz and his wife Sue Edinger, and Village trustee Sue Jones. Standing from left, Planning Board member Megan Keady and Village Trustee Marc Angelillo. Photo by Jason Emerson.

— More than two dozen elected and appointed Skaneateles village officials, along with their spouses, joined members of the Onondaga County Mayors Association for a three-hour dinner cruise aboard the Judge Ben Wiles last Wednesday, July 18.

The annual event was more pleasure than business, said OCMA President Dick Donovan, mayor of Minoa. “This is all about a thank you to our significant others. We all spend a lot of time away from home, and we appreciate what you do to let us do what we do,” he said in brief opening remarks.

The OCMA is composed of 15 villages in the Central New York region, and is comprised of not just mayors but any elected officials from those villages. The association meets once a month at different locations to discuss common issues and possible solutions, to look into collaborative efforts between municipalities and to occasionally have guest speakers discussing relevant municipal topics.

The dinner with spouses rotates different locations, but “everyone always seems to enjoy the cruises [on Skaneateles Lake],” Donovan said. “I could come every night. I love it out here.”

All OCMA members paid for their own cruise tickets and the association paid for all the spouses, Donovan said.

Present at the July 18 dinner cruise were the mayors and trustees, and their spouses, of numerous villages, such as Marcellus, Camillus, Jordan, Fayetteville, Liverpool and North Syracuse. Skaneateles village government had 28 officials attend the event, including the mayor, all four trustees, the village attorney, the director of municipal operations, the police chief, and at least one member of every appointed village board.

“I’m really glad our village officials turned out; it’s a good reflection on the village,” said Skaneateles Mayor Marty Hubbard.

Trustee and deputy mayor Marc Angelillo said that was the first time in six years that other members of the village government attended the dinner. “It’s great to recognize all the volunteers,” he said. “We rely on them a lot as board members.”

Trustee Mary Sennett said she enjoyed having the opportunity to meet and talk to people from other village boards. “And it was just a lovely night,” she said.

Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at editor@skaneatelespress.com.

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