The town lawsuit against the SRCT, filed Oct. 5 by the town attorney, is five inches thick and approximately 1,000 pages long. The majority of the suit is multiple exhibits of receipts for assets currently in the Skaneateles Community Center and YMCA showing where the money to pay for the assets in question originated.
Photo by Jason Emerson.
Skaneateles The town board and town attorney met twice last week in early morning executive sessions to discuss the status of its lawsuit against the Skaneateles Recreation Charitable Trust over disputed ownership of YMCA assets. Neither meeting, each of which lasted about an hour, yielded a resolution of settlement over the issue.
Town councilors said at the end of each meeting that the board was having “ongoing discussions.”
As of press time, there was only a few days left before the SRCT was required to file a response to the town lawsuit in state supreme court by the Oct. 31 deadline.
Without some sort of agreement that would void the lawsuit, attorneys for both the town board and the SRCT are scheduled to appear before a state supreme court judge at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, in the Onondaga County Courthouse. It is expected that the judge at that time will make a determination over whether the town board can legally donate the disputed items to the SRCT or whether the SRCT must return to the town the items in question.
The issue dates back to August 2010, when the town board transferred management of the Skaneateles Community Center to the SRCT — which subsequently hired the YMCA. All the assets inside the facility remained within the facility with no written agreement as to who owned the items or how and when any of the assets would be either returned to the town or purchased from the town. There was a verbal agreement at that time, however, that all assets would be returned to the town once the YMCA got on its feet.
In late December 2010, the town sent a 1,000-item inventory list to the SRCT of what it claimed were town-owned assets left in the facility that needed to be either purchased from the town or returned to the town, per state law. The New York state constitution prohibits the gifting of taxpayer-funded items from a municipality without fair compensation.