An item which has been on the agenda of the Fredonia Village Board at nearly every one of its meetings for over a year has been implemented.
At a special meeting on Friday, the village board enacted a change in its local law to allow for elections of trustees and the mayor in November instead of March. A public hearing will take place Jan. 7 regarding the issue.
The March election will take place, however, to let voters decide whether or not to enact the law as well as to elect two trustee positions which expire at that time.
OBSERVER Photo by Shirley Pulawski
Fredonia attorney Sam Drayo supports changing the village elections from March to November.
If approved by a majority of voters in March, the change will not take place until 2015 and will extend the terms of the two positions filled in March of 2013 and Mayor Stephen Keefe's term by roughly eight months.
Village attorney Sam Drayo, also acting as clerk in the absence of Richard St. George, said the decision benefits the village in several ways. "Sure, it will save money, and everyone wants to save money, but what I think is the real advantage is the newly elected trustees will have three or four months to review the budget," he explained. He said the village of Celoron enacted the same legislation two years ago, which he said was strongly supported and has worked well for it.
Trustee Janel Subjack concurred. "It really does just get dropped on you," she said, referring to the lengthy budget process the village undergoes each year which typically must be approved shortly after new trustees take office.
If enacted, the decision also changes the annual year of the village to Jan. 1 to swear in elected officials, instead of in April.
Drayo said proper legal notices had been submitted, including letters to election commissioners and the OBSERVER. He explained the reason for the special meeting was he realized "we're coming into a squeeze here" with timing. The change to the law must be adopted at least 60 days before the March election.
Two trustees, Adam Brown and Thomas Brown II, were not present for the meeting, but Judge David Prince attended, and said he plans to run for one of the trustee positions in March.
In other business, the board authorized the hiring of a new Department of Public Works employee after a physical had been completed. The worker, Joshua Cybart, will begin on a six-month probationary period at the rate of $14.66 per civil service law.
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