LYONS — Former Mayor John Cinelli stormed out of the Lyons Dissolution Committee meeting last night as soon as it was adjourned.
When asked why he opposed the public safety sub-committee’s recommendation to employ six full-time police officers, including the police chief, and 60 hours a week worth of part-time help, he answered with a stern, “No comment.”
Cinelli was the only person to oppose the recommendation last night. With Jim Brady absent and Police Chief Dick Bogan abstaining, the final count was 6-1 with the recommendation passing.
The department currently has seven full-time officers, including the chief, and four part-time officers.
The committee recommended keeping the fire department status quo, with two full-time drivers and enough part-time drivers to fill in the gaps.
In another decision, the Dissolution Committee voted 8-0 to move the final dissolution date once again, this time to Dec. 31, 2015.
“There are a lot of complexities with dissolution. It takes time to transition the departments. There are things that can be done beforehand, such as moving the fire department into a fire district, and having the highway department absorb the public works. But this gives us time to get everything done,” said Chairman Sergei Bartishevich.
Mayor Corrine Kleisle provided further explanation.
“The town budget goes from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, and the village budget is from June 1 to May 31. It is much easier for the village to budget for half a year than it is for the town. The comptroller agrees,” Kleisle said.
Town Supervisor Brian Manktelow also said that it will provide time to educate residents about what differences they will see on their tax bills and better inform the public about the changes that will be made.
After an initial executive session lasting for just over half an hour, Bartishevich and Manktelow presented some diplomatic comments prior to the introduction of the sub-committee’s final recommendations.
“It gets more complicated when you get down to the details. We are talking about people’s livelihoods and we wanted those discussions to be private, and to come to a consensus before we presented it to the public,” said Bartishevich.
“This is a tough committee, and it is a tough job,” said Manktelow. “Especially for the mayor, she is getting the brunt of it. Discussions are difficult. With the vote being as close as it was, no matter what we do, half of the people are going to be unhappy. Nothing we do is pointed to one person or department. You may lose your job, and I can’t promise that you will have one in the town. We will fit you in where we can.”
Most of the work is done for the Dissolution Committee at this point. Now the consultants from MRB need to analyze the fiscal impact of each of the options. The committee is hoping to meet again July 11, in order to find out from Michael Hattery, with his experience as the director of the Rockefeller Local and Intergovernmental Studies in Albany, if there are any gaps that need to be addressed.
From here, the committee will approve a final dissolution plan, present it to the Village Board and the public, work out any amendments if necessary and patiently wait to see whether petitions are filed in order to keep the village.
“We are a month late, but it is the best that we could do,” said Bartishevich.