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Spafford to hire attorney, code officer

The Spafford town board meets on Jan. 9. From left: Councilor Jeff Ireland, Councilor Lou Hanlon, Supervisor Mary Bean, Councilor Dave Venezia and Councilor Chris Fesko.

The Spafford town board meets on Jan. 9. From left: Councilor Jeff Ireland, Councilor Lou Hanlon, Supervisor Mary Bean, Councilor Dave Venezia and Councilor Chris Fesko. Photo by Joe Genco.

Under new leadership, the Spafford town board discussed a number of changes in personnel and policies at its Jan. 9 reorganizational meeting.

Town Supervisor Mary Bean announced that she would be interviewing candidates for a position as the town attorney.

In the past, the town has used the legal services of Syracuse-based Hiscock and Barclay as needed, their rate for this year would have been $225 an hour.

Bean said, if the town can afford it, she would like to have an attorney who is able to attend town board, planning and zoning board meetings as needed. Having a person at the meeting who is knowledgeable about the law and can give advice on the spot would help a number of decisions move along more quickly, she said.

“We talked about the need for legal services in several contexts sitting here at the table tonight, so this is an issue that is right at the top of my agenda,” she said.

The board also moved to advertise for a new code enforcement officer. Howard Tanner, a temporary code officer, will stay on through the board’s February meeting. Tanner was hired in 2013 to fill in when previous code officer Kim Fairchild resigned. The position pays a salary of $20,000 a year.

Bean also talked about wanting to start a parks and recreation committee and an ethics committee, both made up of volunteers from the community.

The ethics committee would advise the board on matters such as the town’s proposed code of ethics, which was presented as a new local law at the meeting. An ethics committee was initially formed in 2005, but never met, Bean said.

The parks and recreation committee would be tasked with evaluating the town’s parks and recreation offerings. The town currently pays a stipend of $1,000 to the town of Scott for Spafford residents to use Scott’s swimming area and recreation programs.

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