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Skaneateles candidates discuss local issues, government at forum

The candidates for town offices in Skaneateles.

The candidates for town offices in Skaneateles. Photo by Joe Genco.

The full slate of candidates up for election in the town of Skaneateles were present Wednesday night at Waterman school to discuss, and sometimes debate, local issues for nearly two hours.

Topics of discussion included the town’s lawsuit against the SRCT, development, attracting new people and businesses, town/village communication and town services.

The event was organized by the Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce and was moderated by Skaneateles resident and WSYR anchor Carrie Lazarus.

The candidates were first given two minutes to introduce themselves to the crowd.

The incumbent town board members – Jim Greenfield, Rick Keyes and Steve McGlynn – spoke about their accomplishments in office and trying to continue along the path they have set.

Skaneateles Party candidates Mary Sennett, Connie Brace and Claire Robinson Howard spoke about controlling development, planning a sustainable future as well as some of the more controversial decisions the town board has recently made including its lawsuit against the SRCT and passing on a chance to refinance its bond for the fire hall.

Town Clerk Janet Aaron, Tax Collector Lori Milne and soon-to-be Highway Superintendent Allan Wellington also introduced themselves though since their races are uncontested they did not participate in the question and answer portion.

Lazarus then asked the candidates a variety of questions that had been submitted by community members.

Some of the questions proved to be divisive and demonstrated differences in thinking as the candidates were split along both party lines and incumbent vs. challenger.

When asked about the Victory Sports Medicine Victory Campus proposal, the two sides demonstrated differing opinions.

Greenfield said that the planning board made a mistake in their initial determination on the environmental review for the proposal, but then corrected it. “Out infrastructure cannot support this big a project,” he said.

Keyes said that he thinks the current zoning laws and planning board review process are proven to be effective. “The system works,” he said.

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