Jan 06, 2014 Joe Genco Uncategorized
The new members of the Skaneateles Town Board took their places for the board’s first meeting of 2014 on Jan. 2.
The meeting included the board’s annual resolution setting appointments and salaries. The board also introduced the new town attorney and gave an update on the code enforcement officer position.
Taking their seats on the board for the first time were Town Supervisor Mary Sennett, Town Councilor Claire Robinson Howard and Town Councilor Connie Brace.
Sennett introduced the new town attorney Tom Taylor. Taylor was picked unanimously out of a pool of nine candidates whom the board members interviewed in mid-December, Sennett said.
The position had been vacant since July when Pat Sardino resigned to take a job in New York City.
Taylor introduced himself as a Skaneateles-native who now lives in Baldwinsville, but still has strong ties to the community.
“I’m happy to be here. I consider this home and I truly do appreciate the confidence that has been put in me by the board and I hope that I can live up to your expectations,” Taylor said.
Taylor works for the Syracuse-based law firm Bousquet Holstein and deals with real estate real estate, banking, equipment leasing and financing, telecommunications, government relations, not-for-profit organizations and general business matters, according to the firm’s website. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from Syracuse University.
The board’s annual resolution included appointments of town officials and board and committee members. Notable changes include Brace being appointed deputy supervisor, Denise Rhodes being appointed zoning board of appeals chair and Brian Buff being appointed highway department labor crew leader.
The board recognized and thanked David Graham who chose to step down after 30 years of service to the town including service on the town planning board and ZBA.
“Dave leaves some pretty large shoes to fill and he’s been a great leader to the board and a teacher not just to me, but I’m sure the entire board would agree that he’s led by example and we’ve learned so much,” said Rhodes, Graham’s successor as ZBA chair.
During his tenure Graham also helped develop the town’s original comprehensive plan, the ideals of which he said he hopes the current board will work to uphold.
“I hope that this town board and everybody who is on the comprehensive plan committee will dedicate themselves to making sure that we have a new one that will serve out residents and our customers and especially the future of the lake,” he said.
The annual resolution included liaison duties for each board member. The liaison is responsible for reporting the activities of committees and departments to the board and can also handle questions or concerns for the public regarding their departments.
Sennett will be liaison for the budget, legal department and safety. Councilor Jim Greenfield will be liaison for animal control, highway and water departments, the transfer station and the agricultural advisory committee. Councilor Nancy Murray will be liaison for the parks, cemeteries, town historian, outreach, town hall, conservation committee and lake monitoring committee. Brace will be liaison for planning and zoning, codes enforcement and the comprehensive plan committee. Robinson Howard will be liaison for the assessor, constable, tax collector, justice court and open space committee.
—Board members read seven goals that they will strive to accomplish in 2014. They are:
Work cooperatively with other community entities such as the county, schools, village, YMCA and others.
Work with and support the comprehensive plan committee toward completion with public comment and adoption.
Update the planning and zoning process to better support board members, applicants and neighbors.
Work with the village and try to fix the water system to ensure adequate water pressure and fire flow to the entire system.
Work with the village, parks and community to ensure the future of our parks and recreation areas. Particular emphasis will be on the future of Austin Park Pavilion and connecting the creekwalk and the Charlie Major Nature Trail.
Encourage community involvement, input on projects and decision making.
Communicate with local businesses to establish a plan for economic support and development.
—Sennett gave an update on the town code enforcement officer situation. The town had hired Adam D’Amico to replace Debbie Williams who retired at the end of December, though D’Amico recently resigned to take another job.
The town has decided to hire former Deputy Code Enforcement Officer Todd Hall for the position. While Hall works on getting the proper certifications for the position and learns the town’s challenging zoning laws, he will be assisted by planning and zoning clerk Karen Barkdull and Dennis Dundon.
At the meeting, the board voted to give Sennett authority to sign a contract for Dundon to work for the town temporarily as a zoning officer. He is the clerk of the board for the village and served on the town ZBA in the past, Sennett said.
—Sennett announced that the town would like to start an engineering advisory committee. The committee would advise and help the board understand engineering issues involving technical language and concepts. Sennett compared the role of the committee to the village’s municipal board.
Graham, now retired from the ZBA, has already volunteered to be on the committee, and the board is looking for two or three other qualified individuals too.
Anyone interested in the ZBA or engineering committee vacancies is encouraged to send a letter to town hall, 24 Jordan St, Skaneateles, N.Y. 13152, or contact Mary Sennett at email@example.com.
Joe Genco is the editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.