To the editor:
For the past 30 years I have served the residents of the town as a laborer, manager and as an elected official. I have been privileged to have worked with four supervisors and their respective boards. I have witnessed their excitement with new projects and their frustration with the shortcomings that always accompany growth.
When I read the ad on the back page of the Skaneateles Press last week I was shocked and saddened to see that a once strong relationship between the Allyn family and the town of Skaneateles has descended to a point of boasting and finger-pointing.
I can remember at the onset of the community center project, articles, by Supervisor Pavlus and the SRCT, of a grand plan that would be funded solely by memberships and private donations. The town board truly believed in what they were saying to be truthful, and why not? They put their trust in studies that said it would. The business members believed it would. They had a strong long term relationship with the Allyn family, whose interest in betterment for Skaneateles, has always been at the top of their list.
Well now we come to the snag. It became apparent that management of such a big operation required more than the town could supply. Over time, the town boards chose to remove the taxpayers from a losing operation. I believe those decisions were made during Supervisor Tierney’s administration with input from the SRCT board.
The present problem stems from previous boards purchasing equipment with taxpayers’ money. As elected officials, the town board cannot, by law, give away property owned by the taxpayers. When it is declared surplus equipment, it needs to be sold for fair market value. This is usually accomplished by advertised bid or public auction.
Officials who knowingly do differently would be facing legal prosecution. This would be an extremely high price to pay to correct a problem made by a previous board. If the present town board has found a legal way to sell its equipment to the SRCT or YMCA, than I would praise them for doing what they can do to move toward an acceptable ending.
JAMES B. CARD