To the editor;
It doesn’t seem possible that we’re approaching four years since I was elected mayor for the village of Manlius. I understand that the individual challenging me, Mark-Paul Serafin, is misinforming voters by telling them that I will not be running. As many of you already know, I’ve been out visiting your homes and getting the proper signatures to be placed on the ballot. As was the case four years ago, I will run a clean and positive campaign, while speaking solely on the accomplishments of the past four years and the projected plans for the next four.
I feel compelled to respond to comments made by Mr. Serafin about my volunteering with the local fire department, the same comments he made during the previous election. I’m not sure what his reasoning is for being so negative about the fire department and volunteering? But, that’s his choice as a resident of the community. As a former mayor, he should know that the volunteer fire and EMS personnel save the village taxpayers over two million dollars annually.
I joined the Manlius Volunteer Fire Department while attending college at Syracuse University. I decided I wanted to give back to the community where I was born and raised. The fire service was a character builder for me. I joined at a time when most members were veterans and had returned home to raise their families. Members such as; John Spina, Robert Henderson, Matt Tardio, Lee Judge, Mack Heffernan, Sid Mawson and Jack Voss, most of which have since passed, not only taught me how to be a good firefighter, but also how to respect the position and my role in the community.
I’m entering my 45th year as a volunteer member of one of the proudest organizations that I have ever served for. It’s been an honor and a privilege for me to work with the men and women of this organization, both past and present, and lead them as a Chief Officer for 25 years. They are like family to me, an extended family that will always be there for my family if something was to happen. The brotherhood and sisterhood in the fire service runs deep and is never taken lightly.
The fire service has also taught me to be passionate and dedicated to my position and my duties. As mayor the past four years, I have done just that. I’m committed to the people in the community we serve, and dedicated to providing the best services possible to our citizens while remaining fiscally responsible. Over the past 25 years as Chief, and another seven years as a Trustee, I’ve been fortunate to attend almost every village board meeting and learn the ins and outs of municipal government.
During my four years as mayor, I have continued to build on the knowledge needed to function as a good mayor. Three times a year I attend week long training and education sessions presented by the New York Conference of Mayors that teach the laws, rules and regulations, and ethics that apply to villages and the body that governs them. Every fall I attend the public works training school with our DPW Supervisors to learn about any new changes in employee rules and regulations, safety concerns, or new equipment and innovative ideas to handle the daily duties such as road and sidewalk improvements. I currently assist with teaching at many of the training and educational conferences, along with sitting on several NYCOM Boards.
In closing, I would like to thank the community for supporting me, and I hope that you will continue to support me in the upcoming village elections on March 21.
Current Manlius Mayor