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Coffee with the mayor

The first few months

“Is being mayor what you expected it to be so far?”

That’s the first question I asked Richard “Dick” Clarke, Baldwinsville’s new mayor elected in March.

“It’s different,” he said, adding it’s been busier than he expected.

With that said, Mayor Clarke is enjoying his new role.

“Ninety-nine percent of the things I’m involved with are positive things that the village is doing. It’s pats on the back for jobs well done,” he said. “I’m a good news kind of person as opposed to looking at the bad side of things. But unfortunately, I’m sure there will be things that come along where I’ll have to grit my teeth – I don’t enjoy that part of it.”

But so far, so good. He commented on the board, reflecting on its value and the consideration each member has for one another: “We all deal with the same question: What’s the best thing we can do for our citizens? Everybody kind of holds to that [which] makes it pretty enjoyable.”

Clarke said he works an average of 22 to 23 hours a week, about three to five hours more than what is typically expected for the position.

Village maps, a boat launch

Mayor Clarke said the village is trying to come up with a map of the Four Corners and the business district, particularly for parking purposes. This would benefit not only village residents, but also business owners who could email a digital map to potential customers traveling from another area.

In addition to a parking map, the mayor mentioned creating a map for the village trails, too. He would eventually like to include all key areas in the canal village, including the police department, the post office and the hardware store, on a handy sheet that visitors could easily obtain.

The mayor is also talking to the New York State Canal Corporation, a subsidiary of the New York State Thruway Authority, about adding a boat launch at Community Park, as well as a canoe/kayak launch and expanding the Visitor Center to include a bathhouse with showers, bathrooms and possibly a couple wash machines and dryers.

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