December 13, 2003

Political transitions

The Journal also has an article today on the volunteer fire departments and the transition from the current board to the all-Republican board elected in November. A few pieces of it really struck me.

The Etna Fire Department is still refusing an audit, and Republican councilman Steve Stelick confirmed outgoing Supervisor Varvayanis' comment that ""I don't believe there'll be a contract unless they get audited," saying that "What it means is nothing right now but it's going to be a point of contention next year. Both Chris (Michaels) [another Republican councilman] and I are adamant on this point."

I'm reminded a bit of the minutes for the June 11, 2003 board meeting, where we heard:

Cl Michaels reported that he and Cl Stelick and Atty Perkins had met with Neptune Hose and their attorney yesterday. He said that the meeting did not go well and their attorney was uncooperative... Cl Michaels said it seemed that everything was wrapped up, and although he sensed a decent amount of cooperation from individuals at Neptune Hose and their board, he found it very difficult to work with and discuss the matter with their attorney. He said he left the meeting very discouraged about how things went for the meeting, given all the work he and Cl Stelick had put in trying to work toward developing a relationship with the chiefs of the departments. He felt it was a step backwards.

It's hard to believe that the fire department issues are simply going to disappear when a lot of the participants are still around and issues remain. I wish the Town Board and the fire departments luck in sorting this out, but have to admit some strong doubts about the "Democrats hate fire departments" theme that the Republicans used in the last election.

The other striking note was that Varvayanis has only met with incoming supervisor Steve Trumbull for an hour or so plus a Bolton Point water meeting, and notes "I know he's met for four or five hours with the town attorney [Mahlon Perkins], so he should be up to date on the projects if not the procedures." It seems like an odd way to manage a transition.

Posted by simon at December 13, 2003 10:08 AM in
Note on photos