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White urges Liverpool residents to chime in on term lengths for mayor and trustees

— At the Nov. 19 meeting of the Liverpool Village Board, Mayor Gary White reminded trustees that, in an effort to save money, they should consider lengthening their terms of office. The four trustees and the mayor currently serve two-year terms.

White invited residents to voice their opinions on the matter via a simple, one-question survey on the village website, villageofliverpool.org.

Last month, the trustees — Bob Gaetano, Dennis Hebert, Nick Kochan and Jim Rosier — suggested that the mayor’s term be expanded to four years, but the trustees’ terms might best remain at two years.

White proposed a re-examination of the terms of office because, over the past decade and a half, few village elections have been contested.

“I’ve been on the board for 16 years, and I think I’ve had opposition maybe once or twice,” White said. As a result, spending $570 to conduct each village election seems unnecessary, he said.

“Then there’s the learning curve,” White continued. “We’ve noticed that to be effective it takes at least a year before a new trustee really learns the ropes and comes to understand the annual budget cycle. By their second year of service, they’ve really just gotten up to speed.”

The trustees are also leaning toward canceling the mid-June village elections in favor of integrating village balloting with the general elections conducted every November by county and state governments.

Moving village elections to November could result in significant savings to the village, said Village Clerk Mary Ellen Sims, because then the election would be conducted by the Onondaga County Board of Elections.

Trustee Dennis Hebert said the cost of village elections is expected to rise when new federal regulations mandate electronic voting machines in the next few years, one reason he favors moving the elections to November. Also, “The turnout could be better in the fall,” Hebert said.

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