Jun 12, 2014 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
In less than one week, Cazenovia village residents will go to the polls to elect — or, more correctly, to reelect — two members of the village board of trustees and the village justice. Voters also will decide whether to accept or reject a ballot proposition that would allow the village to create a retirement benefit program for village volunteer firefighters.
The only uncertain outcome on the ballot is the proposition, since the candidates for trustee and justice — all incumbents — all are running unopposed.
Current trustees David Porter and Jim Joseph are running unopposed for two, two-year seats on the village board.
Porter, a Democrat, is a licensed professional engineer, a certified energy manager and a LEED Accredited Professional for building design and construction. He worked for 20 years at Stearns and Wheler in Cazenovia, and currently is employed as senior mechanical and energy engineer at Bergmann Associates in Syracuse. Porter is seeking his third term on the village board.
Joseph, a Republican, is the former President and CEO of Oneida Ltd., and a member of the board of directors for Everyware, Inc. He also is also dean of the Madden School of Business at Lemoyne College.
Joseph is seeking his second term on the village board.
Current Village Justice Timothy A. Moore is running unopposed under the Republican line for a four-year term for village justice.
Moore is a Cazenovia attorney as well as the Cazenovia Town Justice.
Also on the June 17 ballot is a public referendum on whether the village may sponsor a Length of Service Award Program for member of the Cazenovia Volunteer Fire Department.
Proposition No. 1 reads, “Shall the qualified electors of the village of Cazenovia approve the resolution adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Cazenovia on the 21st day of January, 2014, authorizing the Board of Trustees of the Village of Cazenovia to sponsor a Service Award Program for the benefit of the members of the Owahgena Hose Company No. 1 and the Cazenovia Hook and Ladder Company effective January 1, 2014?”
The Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP), which was created by the New York state legislature in 1990, would allow firefighters with enough years of service to accrue a monetary amount — similar to a retirement or 401K benefit — at retirement at age 65, with a maximum allowance of 40 years’ worth. There is also a lump sum death benefit.
Enrolled firefighters would receive $700 in an account for each year of service accrued. The cost of funding the program — to be funded by the village — would cost approximately $77,000 annually for the first five years, and $40,000 every year thereafter, said Mayor Kurt Wheeler. “That [$77,000] is the highest possible cost if every eligible firefighter qualifies for the program,” which the village does not expect to happen, Wheeler said. About 60 percent of the department is expected to qualify, he said.
Comparatively, the salary of a professional firefighter is about $85,000 per year with benefits, the board has been told at previous meetings on the topic.
The main goal of instituting the program is to improve the department’s ability to recruit and retain members.
The village board unanimously endorsed the proposal at its January meeting. Trustee David Porter also submitted a letter to the editor to the Cazenovia Republican, which was printed in last week’s issue, explaining why the board supports the proposal and encouraging the public to vote yes.
Election day voting is scheduled from noon to 9 p.m. at the Cazenovia American Legion, 26 Chenango St. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by June 16 and received at the Madison County Board of Elections by 9 p.m. on June 17.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.