Owera top staffers resign suddenly; loud weddings, complaints continue

— “Although the setting and facility are exquisite, the management was a nightmare to work with. Their ‘in your face, take it or leave it’ attitude has no place in the hospitality business. They undermined any negotiations made by their events coordinator [Kristi Fondario], who is a gem, creating drama and unneeded stress. The abusive treatment of those that work for and with them is inexcusable. The vendors they had available at the time are the best, but it doesn’t make up for the management’s bulldozer style.”

Owera owner Nancy Muserlian did not respond to a request for comment.

The loss of two of its top employees — Reilly, former director of operations, was also the public face of Owera for two years as the construction permits and planning board hearings took place — comes in the middle of a dispute between the winery, its neighbors and the town of Cazenovia concerning loud music late into the night and excessively bright lights coming from the winery. Neighbors have been complaining to the town — and calling the police — since the winery opened in June to try to get the volume of the wedding music to be lowered and to have it stop at a more reasonable hour; they recently have started circulating a petition to present to the town board.

The town board held a lengthy discussion of the Owera issue with Town Codes Enforcement Officer Roger Cook and Town Planning Board Chair Michael Palmer on Aug. 12, during which it was stated that under the winery’s original site plan approval from the planning board all noise on the property is supposed to stop by 10 p.m. Owera’s weddings on Friday and Saturday nights end at 11 p.m. Cook and Palmer also said the noise level of the weddings was extremely loud — so loud that neighbors complained of shaking windows and walls.

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