Skaneateles electees prepare to start terms, take oaths

From left: Connie Brace and Mary Sennett look on as Claire Robinson Howard takes the oath of office from Sue Byrne.

From left: Connie Brace and Mary Sennett look on as Claire Robinson Howard takes the oath of office from Sue Byrne. Photo by Joe Genco.

Town supervisor-elect Mary Sennett and town councilors-elect Claire Robinson Howard and Connie Brace took the oath of office at town hall on Dec. 18.

The oaths were administered by court clerk Sue Bryne, who was also a supporter of the three women during their campaigns, Sennett said.

By law, the officers are required to take the oath at most 30 days before, or after, the start of their elected terms — Jan. 1.

To a room full of supporters, Sennett said that she wants the new board to keep the idea of harmony in mind when they get to work.

“We talked about things like environmental issues and lake protection, let’s be in harmony with the land, let’s recognize that there are wetlands there for a purpose and let’s not fight it. Let’s be in harmony with the village and other entities within the community,” she said.

Since being elected, the three new board members have been meeting with department heads to prepare for when they take office. Since all three are newcomers to the town government, getting ready to take office has largely been a process of learning about how the town operates, Robinson Howard said.

“The whole process has been very exciting and informative,” she said.

The new board’s first meeting will be Jan. 2, when they will hold their annual organizational meeting to make committee appointments and prepare for the year ahead. The town has also hired a new attorney who will join the board for the first time on Jan. 2, Sennett said.

Brace and Robinson Howard have also met with the newly reconvened comprehensive plan review committee, which is in the process of drafting changes to present to the town and village boards and made available to the public sometime in 2014. One of the priorities of the board in 2014 will be to get the changes to the comprehensive plan adopted by both the town and village boards, Sennett said.

Other items Sennett said she would like to work on in the future include addressing the future of the ice rink in Austin Park Pavilion, the cleanup of the Stauffer Chemical Company brownfield site in Skaneateles Falls and having a better working relationship and communication with the village government.

Joe Genco is the editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at editor@skaneatelespress.com.

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