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Trustee candidates square off at League of Women Voters forum

Cazenovia village trustee candidates for the June 18 election, from left, Fritz Koennecke, Peggy Van Arnam and Amy Mann participated in a candidate forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters on June 12.

Cazenovia village trustee candidates for the June 18 election, from left, Fritz Koennecke, Peggy Van Arnam and Amy Mann participated in a candidate forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters on June 12. Photo by Jason Emerson.

— —Shared services between the village and the town, which are currently ongoing, are essential and logical; and that the idea of consolidating the village and town was not something they opposed, although none of the candidates came out and said they outright support it.

—The poor relationship between the village and Cazenovia College is something that must be addressed and improved, and that the creation of a “town and gown” committee to foster better communications is a good idea. The candidates all agreed that the college’s decision to sue the village in state supreme court over the proposed fencing of their athletic complex was not only wrong, but completely unnecessary.

They also agreed that it may be time to create a “fee for services” arrangement with the college, an institution that takes village services without paying any of the village taxes or costs, in addition to buying up village land and houses and thereby removing those properties from the village tax rolls.

There were few disagreements or differing answers among the candidates, with the biggest being the recent decision by the village board to make the upcoming parking lot at 22 Lincklaen St. a paid lot. Mann and Van Arnam both stood by their beliefs (and votes) that the lot should be a pay lot because it offers a “different menu option” for parking in the village, it caters more to visitors seeking an easy place to park and it avoids the probability that a free lot would be immediately filled every morning by college students and downtown employees.

Van Arnam, who is chair of the village parking committee, gave particular attention to the parking issue, saying parking requires some improvement in the village, and that while 90 percent of Cazenovians are courteous people who park appropriately for the time they spend downtown, the other 10 percent of Cazenovians “are entitled.” She said several groups of people are “ill-served” by the current state of parking in the village, and one of those the community needs the most is out-of-town visitors. Such visitors are willing to pay to park in order to find an easy and reliable spot.

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