Redesigned Seneca Falls website

SENECA FALLS — Before it considers a local law to create a position for a full-time, appointed town manager, the Town Board wants to hear from community residents.

The board will solicit public input at the start of its Feb. 1 meeting in the Ovid Street municipal building, beginning at 6 p.m.

In January 2021, Supervisor Mike Ferrara formed a citizens advisory committee to look at the feasibility of a town manager. That committee was headed by retired school superintendent Gerald Macaluso.

As part of its work, the committee hired the Center for Government Research to conduct an efficiency study of town government. The resulting work recommended some type of change in the managerial model for town government other than the current system of a part-time, elected Town Board and supervisor, and department heads responsible for day-to-day operations. The study also reported that a majority of the advisory committee favored a town manager.

According to the town website, the former village of Seneca Falls, which dissolved more than a decade ago, had a full-time administrator. The town absorbed the village at the start of 2012, thus becoming responsible for more land, employees, services, and streets and roads, along with a much larger operating budget.

The town website posting notes that a town manager could work on strategic planning, capital asset management and personnel issues.

The board budgeted $110,000 from its Host Community Agreement with Seneca Meadows to pay for the position this year. If the board receives positive support from the public, the next step would be drafting a local law to create the position; that would be subject to a public hearing before possible adoption. If those hurdles are cleared, the position could be included in the 2023 town budget.

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