Dec 16, 2013 Joe Genco Uncategorized
The village board of trustees will operate with four members for the first three months of 2014.
Mayor Marty Hubbard announced that he would not fill the impending vacancy on the village board at the board’s Dec. 12 meeting.
There will be a vacant seat on the five-person board due to Trustee Mary Sennett recently being elected town supervisor, which means she will have to resign effective Jan. 1. The village will hold a special election on March 18 to fill her seat. The newly-elected trustee will start on April 1 and serve the remaining three years of Sennett’s original term.
Appointing a temporary trustee could potentially give them an advantage in the race, Hubbard said.
“Hopefully without the appointment it will be fair and equal grounds for all parties,” he said.
Any village resident interested in running for the position needs to collect 50 signatures of village residents, who are registered to vote, between Dec. 1 and Feb. 11 to qualify for the ballot. The three-year trustee position will be the only item on the March ballot due to the village passing a law in 2012 to make elections only necessary in odd numbered years.
Police Chief Lloyd Perkins told the board that he recommends the village police department go off of the state accreditation program for one year. The accreditation program, which is administered by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, is an optional program that is participated in by 130 of 560 police departments in New York, Perkins said.
Though it was an honor to get accreditation in 2005, the program is too large a commitment of time due to all the files the department has to maintain on a weekly and annual basis, he said. The accreditation paperwork requires five to six hours of work a week or $10,000 a year if the department were to hire an outside firm to handle the duties.
“It’s time consuming. It’s costly. The benefits we derived from it years ago and insurance breaks are not there,” Perkins said.
Leaving the program will have no negative effects on the department’s insurance or budget, he said.
Accreditation, according to the state criminal justice website, is a way of helping police agencies evaluate and improve their overall performance. It provides formal recognition that an organization meets or exceeds general expectations of quality in the field. Accreditation acknowledges the implementation of policies that are conceptually sound and operationally effective.
The department will notify the state that it is leaving the program when it submits its annual report this January.
Trustee Sue Jones said that the village board and police department should make a point to discuss whether or not they want to re-enter the program once a year moving forward.
–The board discussed the possibility of donating $10,000 from the Duke Schneider fund to Lakeshore Baseball and Softball for its project to build dugouts and refurbish Sims Field in Austin Park.
The village, school district and the Parks and Recreation Council of Skaneateles were each given a donation of $150,000 in Schneider’s will to be used for improving and repairing parks and recreation facilities in Skaneateles. So far the village used $10,000 of that money to help fund the construction of the Cameron Kenan memorial playground in Austin Park.
The trustees said they would revisit the topic at the board’s next meeting after acquiring more information about the plans and what other funding has been lined up for the project.
Village Historian Jorge Battle also brought up the issue of Lakeshore’s status with the Internal Revenue Service. According to irs.gov, Lakeshore Baseball and Softball has had its 501(c)(3) tax status revoked in 2013. This means that private donations to the organization are not tax deductable.
–In his report, Village Code Enforcement Officer Adam D’Amico wrote a reminder to local businesses that all exit doors need to be clear of snow and ice, even if they are only used in the case of an emergency.
–The board voted to hold a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 9 on local law no. 1 of 2014, dealing with home occupations. The proposed law will change the village’s zoning laws to allow some residents to lawfully conduct business in their homes without getting a $350 special use permit.
–The board voted to release a $151,700 letter of credit to Trason Skaneateles, LLC – the developer of Parkside Village. Releasing the letter, one of two it has with the village, signifies that the village has acknowledged the developers completion of constructing infrastructure in the development as planned, Village Attorney Michael Byrne said.
Joe Genco is the editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.