To the editor:
Last year, the Village of Liverpool Board of Trustees abolished the court. Voters petitioned to have this put on the ballot as a referendum. The board’s decision was clearly responsible for drawing the largest voter turnout in 20 years! The court was retained, and two board members were voted out of office.
More recently, the planning board voted to allow Dunkin’ Donuts into the heart of the village. The village board had already changed the zoning code to accommodate a demanded drive-thru. Clearly, the board(s) felt that this was appropriate in a village setting.
Next week, at 7 p.m. Aug. 21, the village board will discuss yet another village-altering zone change, this one to allow or disallow the building of over 108 two-bedroom apartments, known as Meyer Manor, on Tulip Street, just over the Thruway bridge. This will engender roughly 150 vehicles, and perhaps 60 to 70 students requiring busing to our schools. There will be only one access point, a driveway directly opposite Clean-Tec and Tawn Marie’s Dance Center.
The discussion itself will be for board members only. In accordance with the NYS Open Meetings law, the public has every right to attend, but it does not afford you any right to ask questions or voice an opinion; at regularly scheduled board meetings, you can listen only. A mandated public hearing will be scheduled, which is where you can speak, as allowed by the same Public Meetings law.
If you feel that, as a resident, you have been “left out of the loop” on these three issues, be aware that some elected officials and staff blame you! You don’t attend the meetings, and you don’t go to Village Hall to request the draft of meeting minutes to read. You don’t even visit the villageofliverpool.org website to read them after approval! You don’t look in the paper to find when hearings are to be held.
The lesson to be learned here is that If a lack of interaction continuously fails residents, then I suggest that a change is in order! I propose a one-page newsletter to tell you what is, has, or will be taking place. Mailing these would be costly. The second part of my proposal, then, is to have area Boy Scout troops hand-deliver them to households. You find out what is going on in your government, the Boy Scouts get community service hours that they need for the coveted rank of Eagle Scout and the cost to the village is two reams of paper! Please know that I maintain a phone line dedicated strictly for resident issues, questions, complaints, etc. You can call me 24/7 at (315) 572-6155.
Trustee, Village of Liverpool