Aug 06, 2012 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
William F. “Bill” Allyn, former president and CEO of Welch Allyn and scion of the Allyn family, has offered the town of Skaneateles $30,000 of his own money if it will end its battle with the Skaneateles Recreation Charitable Trust over YMCA assets.
Allyn, acting “as an individual” and not on behalf of any board, organization or company, made the offer in order to “bring this situation to a conclusion without any further frustration or waste of time,” he wrote to Town Supervisor Terri Roney in a July 26 email.
At issue is the ongoing disagreement between the town board and the SRCT concerning ownership of nearly 1,000 assets currently in the YMCA facility that had been carried over from the Skaneateles Community Center when the town managed the facility.
The town and SRCT had agreed to a deal in which the YMCA could keep the assets for $68,500, the town board approved the agreement but then the SRCT reneged and sought to have the town donate the assets to the SRCT instead. The town maintains that the New York state constitution prohibits such a gift from a municipality without fair compensation.
In the email exchange between Allyn and Roney, obtained by the Skaneateles Press through a Freedom of Information Law request, Allyn indicated he was trying to “bring some leadership to the table” to get the impasse between the town and the SRCT resolved. With the town anticipating a possible legal battle with the SRCT over the assets, Allyn indicated that his proposal would save the town board “unnecessary legal expenses” and “future embarrassment” over the issue. “I have lived here most of my life and have a pretty good understanding of the people. There is no way the [town board] can win in the court of public opinion,” he wrote.
Roney refused to consider Allyn’s offer. “I couldn’t even consider it,” she told the Skaneateles Press, indicating that the offer was less than half of what the town and the SRCT previously had agreed to before the SRCT changed its mind. It is also only one-fourth of the town’s assessed value of the assets in question.
Roney also indicated that any monetary solution to the issue needed to come from the SRCT, and the more appropriate way for an individual to offer the town money in this case would have been to give the funds to the SRCT, who could then apply them to the assets issue. “I don’t think any individual should be writing us a check,” she said.
Allyn responded by saying he was disappointed by Roney’s rejection of his offer. “There is no leadership in the board and plenty of dysfunction,” he wrote to Roney. “The [town board] has no interest in resolving this matter in the best interest of the people of Skaneateles.”
Allyn declined to comment on his emails and referred questions to SRCT President Charlie Wallace.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.
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