To the editor:
My residency in Skaneateles goes back to the time of being a child and being able to see a couple of movies at the Colonial Theater for 10 cents. I later served on the Skaneateles town board and town zoning board of appeals for a total of 26 years. I have lived in at least 12 different locations within the town. My point being that I think that I know the community fairly well. Also, I think that I can recognize bad community decisions when they arise.
When the new firehouse was under consideration, those living in the area of the proposed location were very much opposed to the plan because of the noise factor. Of particular concern was the noise of the community fire siren. After several meetings the firemen and the village board got the area residents to agree to the proposal with one exception. The community fire siren had to remain with the old firehouse. It wasn’t wanted in their backyard. The short-sighted village board at that time, agreed with their request. Hence, the firehouse in one location and their siren in another for the less fortunate to live with.
Fast-forward. The old firehouse is to be converted into the new Skaneateles village hall. The siren is dismantled and remains so for a year. No dramatic mishaps take place during the year of silence. The community welcomes the peace and quiet of a normal lifestyle.
During the year of silence the firemen state that it is badly needed and must be returned. No mention was ever made that it must be returned to their new firehouse. Just return it to the former site regardless of how much those living there complain of its noise. Little to no effort was made to determine a better location that would appeal to the majority of the residents. The idea of putting it up as a referendum in the fall election and letting the people decide if they wanted it was rejected by village board members that I approached. I was told that they already know what the result would be.