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All content posted on the Pro-Brockport site is for informational purposes only. Posts by individuals are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the organization of Pro-Brockport. We value input, from various sources, that have researched facts and have an understanding of issues concerning the greater Brockport area. All posts from sources outside the Pro-Brockport Organization are noted and authors are credited for their contributions. 


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Brockport residents were invited to East Rochester for a Code Enforcement Seminar on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 4pm. East Rochester has a strong and successful codes office. We hope to help fortify the approach and standards in Brockport. Each community is unique but many of us want to absorb the ER vitamins and best practices, to stabilize Brockport neighborhoods, stop the loss of equity for single family homeowners and attract families to put down roots in our historic, walkable village filled with attractive amenities.




On April 4, 2015, Pro-Brockport led a field trip of Brockports to the town/village of East Rochester. We extend many thanks to our lovely, lively hosts in East Rochester for the informative and inspiring tour of the co-terminus, inventive, historic village/town formally known as Despatch. From start to finish, you shared with us a meaningful history/background of East Rochester and the multitude of ideas that you have so successfully implemented in your inviting community. We were all awe struck and truly appreciate your time and enthusiasm.






An article in the D&C, 

prompts Brockporters to respond 

The article, that sparked letters to the editor, was posted on February 13, 2015.

 Lyons laments imminentloss of local police*

                                                  Sarah Taddeo, Staff writer9:09 p.m. EST February 13, 2015

Here are a few highlights from the article. 


ØThe village voted to dissolve last spring to combat high tax rates, but residents recently learned that local police will be replaced with a roving squad of county sheriff's deputies who will take on Lyons' nearly 6,000 annual calls on a "closest car" basis. 
   
ØIn a community like Lyons, some say losing the local police presence could be damaging
     
ØWhen residents voted to dissolve the village, they hoped a suggested plan drafted by a joint town-village community committee — which called for a reduced local police department — would be accepted by the Lyons Town Board after the vote.
    
Ø"The plan didn't say to lose the department," said village resident Joanne Greco, who owns a jewelry store in the village. "Some people who signed the petition for dissolution are furious … they didn't sign up for this."
      
ØWhile community members were told that the town wasn't bound to follow the plan, many voted hoping the town would compromise, said village Mayor Terry VanStean, who took office in 2013, after the plan was already set in stone. 
   
Ø"What you're doing is setting people's expectations, saying 'This is what is going to happen,' " VanStean said. " 'But by the way, it may not.' " 
    
ØMurtari's one issue was the way the town handled announcing the decision to lose the village department — Town Board members declined to inform village officers or residents of their plans until after a county meeting to confirm the county policing agreement. 

*To read the entire article on the D&C website, click on the headline link. 


The first response "letter to the editor", was posted on February 16, 2015.

5:29 p.m. EST February 16, 2015

Regarding “Lyons laments imminent loss of local police” (Feb. 14), it seems that quite often a concentrated populace with a common sense of community will desire higher-quality, more localized, more targeted government services. If only there were a way this population could form some sort of incorporated municipal entity to provide these services.

BO SHOEMAKER

ROCHESTER

*To read the entire article on the D&C website, click on the headline link. 


The next response "letter to the editor", was posted on February 19, 2015.

Cutting duplication of services

9:59 p.m. EST February 19, 2015 

Regarding the Feb. 17 letter to the editor writer that suggested forming an “incorporated municipal entity to provide services” What he describes is a village government. A village government dissolution is simply a chartered corporation going out of business. Towns can form special districts to provide services and incorporation of a village is no longer necessary.

Today, many village residents feel the need to dissolve the redundant layer of village government and the costly duplication of services in favor of governing with one voice. New Yorkers pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation, and dissolving one layer of taxation (village government) is one of the few things we can do to reduce our onerous tax burden. Many villagers are finding it impossible to afford medicine, heat, school lunches and pay an extra layer of taxes to keep their homes.

FRANCISO BORRAYO

BROCKPORT


 The following responses have been submitted to the D&C "letter to the editor".  As of today, February 23, 2015, they have not been posted.

What muddled thinking! 


What muddled thinking! Francisco Borrayo will abolish one layer of government--the village--and replace it with another--a special district. With what magic does he propose that the latter will provide the same services as the former at less cost? And where will it get the taxes to pay for them? 

BILL ANDREWS 

BROCKPORT




Please tell us more! 

Francisco Borrayo would replace a village with a special district. As a Brockporter, he knows something about a special district. The Brockport Fire Special District replaced the Brockport Volunteer Fire Department and, immediately, boosted its tax rate by 40%, without voter approval. Then, it bought a new million dollar fire truck that is too big for its new $400,000 garage that has been vacant for more than a year. Please tell us more about special districts, Mr. Borrayo.

PAM KETCHUM

BROCKPORT



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posted 9/4/14

Albert Paley's "Conclave" Finds a New Home



Published on Sep 2, 2014 by The College at Brockport on youtube

Thanks to a generous donation from Prof. Emeritus Bill Andrews, an important early work from world famous sculptor Albert Paley has been refurbished and installed at The College at Brockport. Our cameras were on hand to capture the installation and hear from Bill Andrews about his reasons for supporting this project.




posted 7/27/14

Is the 57 State St Driveway Expansion a Code Violation? 

    Section 16-3 of the Village Code

"No new driveway shall be connected to a Village street, nor may an existing driveway entrance be changed or enlarged, nor may a Village curb be allowed or removed, without a permit therefor."


57 State Street - photo from 2012
At the corner of State St & Park Ave,
just east of the Brockport Village Hall.
   

May 3, 2014


Blocks creeping over into, what was once lawn, is now sprinkled with loose blacktop/stone.
   

May 25, 2014 

Blocks are up against the house and more crushed blacktop has been sprinkled on the new driveway/parking lot. 
 
Maybe the creative property owners will connect their driveway to the village hall parking lot to make one of those popular circular driveways that can be seen all around the village. It is a great place for partying, making a bonfire, easier snow removal and to clear the garbage after a year of the rental business, the owners can just push the garbage with a bull dozer over to the lot line creating a midden mound that will be of great archaeological interest in a hundred years.
 
 

July 23, 2014

The driveway/parking lot expansion continues. Digging and loading dirt and grass into a truck.
 
 
   
 
 

There, in the back of that truck, goes more green space from our village. Do the owners have a permit to do this work? 
 
 
Was this driveway expansion approved by the village? or the Code Inspector, David Miller? 
 
 

Then they came back to make some adjustments. 
 
 
 
 


911 was called and the village police arrived.




Mayor Margay Blackman responded via email to the complaint:
"There is a history to this. Last fall the driveway was expanded and Bobby was issued a notice of violation and, if I am not mistaken, an appearance ticket by Scott Z. Following that, he put up a line of stone blocks marking the original margin of the driveway but did not fill in the soil. If he's now expanding the driveway, he's in clear violation of the law, and I am confident that David Miller will handle the matter expeditiously and appropriately upon his return to the office tomorrow."

A concerned citizen commented via email: “This is a good example of why we really need to meet with Dave Miller!!!”

Comment posted on Facebook 7/24/14: “One more reason that prospective buyers wishing to live and raise their family in a beautiful, quaint village with amazing history will just keep on driving when they pass through Brockport....and then there is the taxes!”

Perhaps the landlords should be footing a larger part of the code enforcement cost by paying rental registration fees that are per unit. That would be fairer to the landlord population and the non-landlord single family homeowners. Wonder if all these photos are entered into the computer program property file for this address? Wonder what the codes officer did that next day? Are you confident "that David Miller will handle the matter expeditiously and appropriately upon his return to the office".


posted 7/24/14

Opinion: Creative Fencing?
by Pam Ketchum

I can’t, with a clear conscience, keep this a secret any longer…

Creative Fencing – one could come to your neighborhood SOON!

Wrap your property in a protective edging that provides safety and security for you and the critters in
your life:
Step 1: Put up a wobbly fence of some sort. It doesn’t have to be too strong because it will be
reinforced.
Step 2: Bring in logs and stack them parallel to the fence or lean them on the fence or better yet – both
– stack and then lean.
Step 3: Collect wood pallets that are 3 to 4 ft. square and stack them up one on top of the other so they
are 4 to 6 ft. high. Better yet, for a really impervious rodent condo, something really safe and secure for
your little buddies; lay the pallets down in a staggered brick pattern.
Step 4: Let vines and weeds grow over your fence “structure” adding English cottage flair.
Step 5: Ready for business, bring in lots of dumpsters and start a garbage collection company – you are
going to need to provide some nutrition for all the critters living in the fence condo.
Step 6: Pat yourself on the back and feel good that you are helping local wildlife and your community
stay stable; none of you neighbors will be able to move or sell their homes because of the “unique”
attributes that your property brings to the neighborhood. If a neighbor gets transferred, you can help
them out by buying their property at an inviting price – hey, you are “helping them out.”

Remember – it’s all about renew, reuse, recycle – you are only working to help educate local residents
and make Brockport a better place to live. Yeah – why would anyone ever want to leave?  
   
   
                
All good stuff ….. And don’t forget the water feature for the little guys. Once those critters see what you have for them, they will think they died and went to heaven. God, your generosity is just out of this world!
 














Everyone needs to watch this "Quality of Life" video. 
This "could be" a documentary filmed in the Village of Brockport. However, it was filmed in the college town of Boston. Different town ~ Same problems. 

What can be done to stop this in our neighborhoods? 

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2014/05/05/boston-shadow-campus-globe-spotlight-investigation/v2eD22p29UL5bcKuTGF2iP/video.html


















  

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Long-toxic site in Brockport to be cleaned up

Meaghan M. McDermott, Staff writer3:56 p.m. EST February 15, 2014

BROCKPORT – Cleanup is slated for a toxic site off the Erie Canal where fuel for streetlamps was manufactured more than a century ago.

On March 4, the state Department of Environmental Conservation will hold a public meeting on aremediation plan for the old Brockport Gas and Light Company facility, as well as contaminated lands along Perry and Erie streets in the village of Brockport.

The chemicals at issue are components of coal tar, waste from operations there to make "coal gas." The long-defunct Brockport Gas and Light ran from 1859 to about 1900, heating coal and turning it to gas that was piped throughout the community for streetlights, cooking and heating.

The property was purchased in foreclosure by Rochester Gas and Electric in 1932, and has been used since 1951 as a natural gas regulator/metering station.

In 1998, RGE initiated an environmental assessment on the property, and shortly thereafter installed a fence around the site, according to the DEC. A remedial investigation was complete in 2004 on the site and adjacent properties on Erie Street. Cleanup is being completed in phases, with work done at 128 Erie St. in 2006, 108 Erie St. in 2007 and at another portion of the site in 2011.

Groundwater in the area is not used for drinking water.

Contamination includes a zone of residual hardened coal tar ranging from a few inches to about 2 feet in thickness; areas of "taffy-like" tar near remaining sub-grade foundations of former gas holders at the site; and chemical compounds including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene, known collectively as BTEX, also were found on the site.

RG&E has reached an agreement with the state Canal Corp. to do cleanup work near the canal walls.

The remediation proposal includes excavation and removal of contaminated soils, backfill with clean soil; by-hand removal of tar-like substances from three areas at the base of the canal wall joints; landscaping; groundwater monitoring systems if needed; and a deed restriction on the site.

Work will be monitored by the DEC and the state Department of Health.

Input collected from the public meeting and comment period will be used to develop a final remediation plan. Once that plan is developed, cleanup will likely take six to eight months to complete, according to DEC.

RGE is participating in the state's voluntary cleanup program.

MCDERMOT@DemocratandChronicle.com

Twitter.com/meagmc

If you go

What: Public meeting on proposed remediation for the former Brockport Gas and Light property.

Where: Brockport Village Hall, 49 State St.

When: 7 p.m. March 4.

Comments on the plan will be accepted by DEC through March 10.


Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Watchdog Blog: Open Meetings Law isn't optional

Roc11:10 a.m. EST January 31, 2014 Meaghan M. McDermott, Staff writer, Democrat & Chronicle
On Tuesday, I stopped by a Town Board meeting in Sweden, after hearing it was possible the board might consider a tax break proposal for a decrepit property that's up for redevelopment in the village of Brockport.

Whether they're for it or against it, that tax break is an important topic to the residents of Brockport. Supporters of the proposal want it approved so Greg O'Connell, the developer who revitalized Mount Morris in Livingston County and the Red Hook neighborhood in Brooklyn, can step in and convert a vacant historic building on Clinton Street into apartments and commercial uses. Those who don't support the proposal are concerned about providing special breaks for a favored developer and adding further tax burdens to landowners in a community where the property tax rates are already some of the county's highest. Still, the village of Brockport and the Brockport Central School District have signed off. The last remaining hurdle is approval in Sweden.

Related story: Brockport debates renewal project

But when it comes to hearing what the Sweden Town Board — board members Donald Roberts, Danielle Windus-Cook, Rebecca Donohue, Robert Musebeck and Supervisor Robert Carges — think about the proposal, the public is out of luck. That's because the board opted on Tuesday to talk about the tax abatement behind closed doors, in an apparent violation of the state's Open Meetings Law.

That law, which is supposed to ensure that elected bodies conduct their business above-board and in front of the people, allows — but does not require — public bodies to close their doors to the public under only a very specific set of circumstances. The Sweden board on Tuesday went into executive session citing "legal matters" related to the tax break question. That's not one of those specific circumstances. 

Despite my objection that the board wasn't properly applying open meetings law, the board nonetheless cleared the room. That simply does not comply with the law, said Bob Freeman, executive director of the state's Committee on Open Government. The board "might have had the ability to close the doors, but they didn't do it right," he said.

Caught on the phone Wednesday during his day job with the Brockport Central School District, Carges had no particular justification for what the board did: "Oh, sorry about that. I so hate to insult the D&C," he said. Pressed further to explain why the board went into executive session, Carges said "I don't know the answer to that. We were consulting with our lawyer." Then, he said he had to go to a meeting. Town attorney James D. Bell did not return a phone call on Wednesday afternoon.

Under the law, there are a few instances where a public body may — not "must" and not "shall" — conduct business exempt from open meetings law. One of those exemptions is meeting with their attorney to solicit and receive legal advice. But that wasn't the reason given Tuesday night. "Legal matters" doesn't cut it. And, even if it did, attorney-client privilege isn't a catch-all that lets a public body take (loud) talk that might be embarrassing, uncomfortable, unpleasant or even refreshingly honest outside public view.

"Let's say that a board is seeking legal advice, which is valid to do in private," said Freeman. "But the moment they stop asking for that advice and the attorney stops giving it, the conversation is no longer under attorney-client privilege." 

That some board members were angry that a reporter was at their meeting, felt backed into a corner by prior media coverage of the O'Connell tax break proposal and believed they'd be made to look bad in the press if they didn't approve the tax plan isn't "consulting with our lawyer."

It's not a valid use of executive session.

But it doesn't insult my employer.

It does, however, insult the people of Sweden.

 





Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Brockport debates renewal project

Meaghan M. McDermott, Staff writer, Democrat & Chronicle6:40 p.m. EST January 20, 2014

sd011614revitalizeametro.jpgGreater Brockport Development Corporation members, Jo Matela, left, and Bill Andrews at 60 Clinton St. in the village of Brockport Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. The development corp hopes the boarded up property, that fronts the Erie Canal, can be rehabbed developer Greg O'Connell.(Photo: SHAWN DOWD)


The former Whiteside, Barnett and Company warehouse on Clinton Street in Brockport doesn't look like a sturdy enough vessel to hold the community's hope for downtown renewal.

Cracks separate its blocks of Medina sandstone, weathered window-holes are covered with ancient boards, and its sagging roof seems to be shambling off toward the nearby Erie Canal.

But it's on the National Register of Historic Places, the Greater Brockport Development Corp. has sunk nearly $100,000 in rehab and environmental cleanup on the site, and now it's attracted attention from developer Greg O'Connell, a retired New York City detective who made his name breathing new life into Brooklyn's beleaguered Red Hook neighborhood.

His interest, and the other elements Brockport is hoping to base its revitalization on, may contain lessons for other small western New York communities that have seen better times.

O'Connell, who's also been instrumental bringing renewal to Main Street in Mount Morris, Livingston County, has a purchase offer in on the 1850s-era Brockport building and plans to redevelop it into a mix of apartments and commercial space. Officials hope his involvement could help turn the troubled area just west of the downtown business district — the site of a homicide just three months ago — back into a thriving neighborhood.

But the deal hinges on a tax break already approved by the village of Brockport being given the OK by the town of Sweden and the Brockport Central School District.

"There's a ton at stake here," said Margay Blackman, the village's mayor. "Clinton Street's a blighted area ... but this property is canal front property and although it's just one property there, it's an anchor for the whole street and we know what Greg O'Connell has done in Red Hook and Mount Morris."

For his part, O'Connell said that as much as he's interested in giving Brockport a boost, the building's in such a state that the project isn't feasible without the two-decade break on a property that's already tax-exempt right now.

"This is the project, they know what we want to do and the track record of what we've done in the past," said O'Connell. "And they know if they want this to happen, this is what we need."

Tax abatement

The tax break in question is relatively new: a state program that allows towns, cities and villages to adopt a local law that would designate a distressed area to receive a 20-yearproperty tax abatement for "newly constructed or substantially rehabilitated buildings for projects that have an affordable housing component." It sunsets in 2015.

The law, championed by state Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, Cattaraugus County, gives other localities the same power to offer tax abatement that New York City has long been allowed to provide. She has promoted it as a way to help communities combat blight and save historic buildings that have fallen into disrepair.

"Unfortunately, all across upstate, our downtowns are suffering from blight and decay," she said. "And this law helps make the economics work. Oftentimes if you don't have an abatement or exemption, it's difficult for it to be feasible to redevelop. And, the localities don't lose anything: if the property is not going to be rehabbed, it will just fall further into decline."

Properties within the areas designated by their municipalities for the break, known as a 421-m exemption, are put on a 20-year abatement schedule, with up to three years' grace for construction phases. The assessed value of a property would be frozen for the first 12 years, and phased in with a 20 percent increase each year until the two-decade mark. It's simliar to breaks New York City's long been able to give.

"I thought, if something like this is good for New York City, then why not do something similar for upstate?" said Young,

Bill Andrews, a Brockport village trustee and member of the Greater Brockport Development Corp. board, said no taxes are being paid now on the Clinton Street property, which has an assessed value of about $64,000. If O'Connell does purchase the property, he said, the law would allow the property to be taxed on that $64,000 during construction and 12 additional years. After that time, the exemption on the increase in assessed value would phase out by one-fifth every other year until full taxation was reached in year 20.

Michael Andriatch, president of the Brockport Central School District Board of Education, said the board is very concerned about the potential tax impacts, especially as so much of the village — largely The College at Brockport — already is tax exempt.

We have to "look carefully at how giving another property an exemption impacts future requests," he said.

Track record

Beginning around 2007, O'Connell bought up much of downtown Mount Morris. He sank his own money into rehabbing the tired facades and renovating Main Street's second-story apartments. His work there was modeled on his success in Red Hook, where he owns more than 1 million square feet of property, and his investments helped turn a once crime-ridden industrial area into a hip, thriving neighborhood of artists, artisans, businesses and even an IKEA.

"I can't lavish him with enough thank-you's," said Joel Mike, the mayor of Mount Morris. "He's a very astute business developer and what he's done here is nothing short of a miracle."

Where there were once abandoned storefronts and vacant buildings, there are now restaurants, antique shops and a clean, vibrant downtown. Interest has been sparked in what had been a slumping residential real estate market. Other developers have expressed interest in coming to the area: a Dunkin' Donuts is planned, and there's rumors of a Wendy's Restaurant.

"There's truly been a paradigm shift here," said Mike. "What's been done here is just a model for anyone. You can't go wrong if you follow his recipe: he's got it figured out."

O'Connell, drawn to Brockport by the hopeful encouragement of members of the Greater Brockport Development Corp., said he believes in New York's small towns. The key, though, is finding each community's essential character and capitalizing on it.

"You see the same thing, over and over across the state, you see all the vitality that the communities have and sometimes it's just a matter of being able to come in and give some direction and share what you've learned and go from there," he said. "Each village has its own personality and you have to find what that personality is, whether it's a college town or it's got Letchworth (State Park) nearby or industry. You have to go through the history to find businesses that complement each other."

For Brockport, O'Connell said he thinks Erie Canal history and the already funky and eclectic mix of shops and businesses along Main Street could be key to its resurgence. Balance needs to be struck between the village's identity as a home for full-time residents and its need to provide housing for transient college students.

But without being able to offer tax breaks to developers like him, communities like Brockport will have a tough time with renewal, he said.

A place to come home to

Blackman said that if the break gets approved, the sale goes through and redevelopment on the building commences, it would dovetail neatly with a pair of grants the village applied for in 2013. Already, approvals have been given for a $200,000 Main Street grant for building facade and interior improvements along Main Street near Clinton Street. Potentially still to come is $775,000 in state Transportation Enhancement Program grants for canal frontage improvements and rehab of the Smith Street bridge approach at the west end of Clinton Street.

Josephine Matela, president of the Greater Brockport Development Corp., or GBDC, and owner of the Red Bird Tea Cafe on Main Street, was instrumental in getting O'Connell involved in the Clinton Street property.

"This is one of the very few intact properties along the canal with the historic designation that it has," she said. "Rehabbing it is critical for that area."

Purchased by the GBDC in 2008, the complex of three inter-connected buildings has seen better days. In 2012, the local development corporation was cited by the village for code violations on the property and had to pump thousands of dollars into shoring up the structure, replacing structural beams and patching the roof. The volunteer-run organization, which was censured in 2012 by the state's Public Authorities Office for failing to file its financial disclosures on time, spent even more money on having contractors remove more than 200 tons of petroleum-contaminated soils from the site, which had previously been used as an auto repair shop. A small area of contamination remains, in a place that can't be excavated without endangering the foundation of the building. Any remaining clean-up would be O'Connell's responsibility.

"I'm seeing three or four residential units there, under the law it has to be mixed-use, and maybe some type of commercial there, what you want to do is put something in that keeps people walking from downtown," said O'Connell, who lives in Brooklyn but also owns a home in Geneseo. He said he's hopeful about getting homeowners and other business owners together to make the area more presentable.

"Getting a guy like me, from Brooklyn, to come out to Brockport isn't the top thing to do at my age. But at the same time, the people there, the community is working so hard and believes so strongly that I want to try to make it work for them, make it an example of what you can do throughout New York if you open up that Main Street and bring people back down, make it a place people come home to instead of a place people leave."

MCDERMOT@DemocratandChronicle.com

Twitter.com/meagmc

If you go

What: Brockport Central School District Board of Education meeting.

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Where: District Offices, 40 Allen Street

What: The board could discuss granting a tax break for a property on Clinton Street in Brockport that could be key to redevelopment of that section of the village.






http://www.brockportny.org/pdf/monika-w-andrews-award/monika-w-andrews-rules.pdf









posted 10/15/13
click the box to view the Power Point presentation











NIAGARA REGION - Only a 2-1/2-hour drive from the Niagara border is one of the prettiest towns in the United States. I had no idea this town even existed until ..... read more








Lakeside Reborn as URMC’s Strong West

Lakeside Board Sells Assets to URMC, Outpatient Services Restored

June 18, 2013

Less than two months after Lakeside Health System officially closed its hospital to patients, the Lakeside Board today announced plans to sell most of the system’s assets to the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). The deal breathes new life into the West Avenue campus in Brockport, reestablishing urgent care and outpatient services to support Brockport-area physicians and patients.

Following discussions with the Lakeside Board and its bank, URMC has agreed to purchase the land that’s home to portions of Lakeside’s main campus at 156 West Avenue. Subject to the completion of due diligence and agreement on final contract terms, the purchase includes a number of Lakeside assets including: 
  • the hospital itself which will soon house urgent care, orthopaedic surgeons, urologists and a host of other potential specialists along with lab, radiology, and a pharmacy to support patients cared for on the campus, 
  • the Physician Office Building in which current tenants will be welcome to remain, 
  • Lakeside’s Urgent Care Center in Spencerport, and 
  • the primary care practices of Vladimir Gaspar, M.D., and Didem Miraloglu, M.D., located in LeRoy and the Lakeside Physician Office Building, respectively. Both Gaspar and Miraloglu will join the URMC faculty.

“This is an exciting solution for the greater Brockport community and for Lakeside Health System,” said Nancy Plews, Board Chair of Lakeside Health System. “With the closure of Lakeside Memorial Hospital it became critically important to the Lakeside Board to use the Lakeside campus in a meaningful way to provide health care services to Western Monroe, Eastern Orleans and Genesee County citizens. This is an excellent culmination of the collaborative efforts in recent years between the Lakeside Health System and the University of Rochester Medical Center to assure a significant health care presence in Brockport.”

Lakeside had earlier this year proposed a plan to the DOH to transition from an inpatient hospital into a free-standing Emergency Department, an outpatient care center, professional office building, and nursing home. Unfortunately, the State was unable to provide a grant needed to assist with the transition costs inherent in the conversion to an outpatient treatment center. By selling its assets to URMC, Lakeside’s buildings remain functional and it satisfies the conditions of its plan for closing. 

“Faced with very difficult challenges, the Lakeside board has consistently acted to preserve as many services as possible for Brockport citizens,” said URMC CEOBradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D. “Their decision to sell these assets to URMC clears the way for critically needed health care services to continue.” 

Berk’s enthusiasm is echoed by community leaders. “I commend Lakeside board members for working with the University of Rochester Medical Center to develop a creative, courageous solution for our community,” said Assemblyman Stephen M. Hawley. “This move ensures that health care services will be available when our residents need them. This is the best possible outcome and I look forward to helping ensure support from New York State.”

"I am extremely grateful and thank the University of Rochester for their purchase of Lakeside Hospital and their commitment to the residents of the Greater Rochester Area," said Senator George D. Maziarz. "Many individuals rely on the hospital for emergency care and treatment, and it was of great concern to myself and the residents in my District that they can get service. The urgent care facility and subsequent Emergency Department will provide a much-needed service to the community that was recently cut short. I will do all that I can in Albany to assist the University of Rochester to open its facilities as soon as they are able."

“I applaud the Lakeside Board and URMC in coming together and creating a plan that invests in and supports the Brockport community,” said John R. Halstead, Ph.D., president of the College at Brockport, State of New York. “Having access to the necessary emergency and medical facilities is critical for our students and staff, and Strong West will be a great asset for the College and the region.
Changes Ahead

At the newly renamed URMC’s Strong West, the Medical Center plans to establish an urgent care center as early as August while it eventually pursues DOH approval for a full-service, freestanding Emergency Department. In the coming weeks, URMC will reestablish laboratory and imaging services, programs that will support Brockport-area physicians and the urgent care center. Although it will not include any inpatient beds, Strong West will help close the gap left by the closure of Lakeside which, its final year of operation, handled 17,000 emergency visits. Lakeside will continue to own and operate its Beikirch Care Center, providing the same high quality care for which they have been historically known. 

URMC will also take ownership of Lakeside’s medical records and images. “Tomorrow’s health care is all about supporting physicians in caring for patients outside of hospitals and preventing the need for hospital stays,” Berk said. “So, while we do not foresee reopening inpatient beds, we are looking to establish progressive outpatient services that make it easier for Brockport residents to receive routine diagnostic and treatment services.” According to Berk, the Medical Center wants to continue working with local physicians to determine other specialties that may be needed. 



Help Save North Hampton Park
A meeting was held on Wednesday, June 5 at 7 PM, at the Union Street Eatery 2139 N. Union St, Spencerport(formerly known as the Pineway Ponds Restaurant)


If you are someone who loves Northampton Park as a “forever wild” with monarch butterflies, nature trails for year round peace and beauty, place to learn how to ski, family area for all seasons, please read on and pass it on. Hopefully we can keep it that way without the County Fair coming to Northampton Park.

“The Monroe County Fair Association is a privately held company. They sold the Dome Arena and now want to hold the fair at Northampton Park. Average attendance is 5000 people / day. Events have included tractor pulls and stock car races. They are planning multiple other events throughout the year.” The Monroe County Parks Department is being "paid" a one-time donation of $500,000 for the privilege of holding the fair there - without a specified end date. Monroe County Parks Director Larry Staub is quoted as saying "In this area, there's probably more cows than residents." The fair association is planning to have a minimum of 3 large permanent structures built where the ski hill and soccer fields are currently located. The bulk of the cost of building and maintaining these structures will be paid for by the taxpayer.

Please CONTACT your key player regarding this issue,  our area legislator:

Richard Yolevich - 1035 Parma-Hilton Rd, Hilton 14468; 753-1922<Monroe1@monroecounty.gov
Mike Rockow - 222 Ladue Rd, Brockport 14420; 637-6204 <Monroe2@monroecounty.gov
Steve Tucciarello - 18 Horatio La, Rochester 14624; 429-5575 <Monroe4@monroecounty.gov>
Jeffery McCann - 87 Larkwood Dr, Rochester14626; 865-7299 <Monroe19@monroecounty.gov>
Robert Colby - 261 Colby St, Spencerport 14559; 352-3537 <Monroe20@monroecounty.gov>

Please help save Northampton Park!

There is a "Save Northampton Park" hotline at 585-260-9861.


Below is the letter Pro-Brockport President Pam Ketchum wrote to our legislative rep, Mike Rockow:

Hi Mike,

My family and I have been adventuring through Northampton Park for almost 30 years. We have a tradition of sledding and snowboarding every weekend and even on the week days throughout the winter months. I go over to the park in the early morning to cross country ski throughout the winter. We walk through the woods and explore with kids and grownup friends. We many good memories connected with the park, one of the few spaces that might represent “wilderness” for our area.

We do not need to commercialize and destroy the woods, fields, creeks and animal habitats. There are other locations in Monroe County that have already been “striped” and denuded. It would be shameful to participate in such activity and ruin our beautiful park where we can enjoy peaceful picnics, winter activities, walking, hiking and exploring.

Please DO NOT support this idea. Save Northampton Park. 
Best regards, 
Pam Ketchum 
91 Park Ave, Brockport, NY 14420 305-4656  


Below is the letter Brockport Village Trustee Margay Blackman sent: 

Dear Mike,

As a frequent user of North Hampton Park in all seasons (hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing), I am very disturbed by the prospect of our wonderful rural park becoming the site of the Monroe County fair and other activities.  A carry-in, carry out park that serves a large population for year round recreation in an unspoiled woodland  is no place to hold a county fair, tractor pulls, and other similar activities.  Just imagine what the residents of Pittsofrd and Mendon would say if the Monroe County Fair Association tried to site the fair at Mendon Ponds.

We have few parks in the western part of the county like North Hampton.  Yes, there are a lot of cows here.  We like it that way--agriculture and unspoiled parks.

Please vote against bringing the Monroe County Fair to North Hampton Park.

Thanks for your consideration.

Margay Blackman, Trustee
Village of Brockport


Below is the response to Pam's letter Mike Rockow sent:

From: Rockow, Mike [HDS] [mailto:Mike.Rockow@hdsupply.com
Sent: Wednesday, June 05, 2013 2:03 PM
Subject: Monroe County Agricultural Youth Festival

Pam,

Thank you for your email regarding the Monroe County Agricultural Youth Festival being held in Northampton Park. I attended a tour last night and walked away with a positive attitude on the upcoming Festival. Many of my questions were answered including a detailed traffic and parking plan which will alleviate any stress on neighboring roads. You may already be aware that the four day festival will only be held in 1/5 of Northampton Park. I was also assured that this will not be the “Fair” that was held in Henrietta, for example, there will be no Ferris wheel and no demolition derby.

The Monroe County Fair Association representatives assured me that they have intentions of bringing the “Fair” back to its agricultural roots. This Festival will focus on the youth in our agricultural community and will showcase animals, 4-H projects and other agricultural activities. As you may know, we have many festivals at other county parks, including the Brockport Rotary’s Rib Fest, where they have a carry in/carry out policy and those parks are in beautiful condition. The Monroe County Parks Department staff will also be assisting in trash collection and removal. I asked many questions last night regarding hiking, walking, and the ski trails and was assured, those will not be affected or disturbed.

If you have any other questions please let me know, I am happy to get back to you with answers. I left the tour of the park last night feeling confident that Northampton Park makes the most sense as the location for our Agricultural Youth Festival.

Mike Rockow






April 16, 2013

Blackman, Hannan and Ciciotti Candidates for Brockport Village Board

Margay Blackman, Carol Hannan, and Val Ciciotti officially announced this week their candidacies for Brockport Village Board of Trustees. Blackman is running for mayor, having been elected as a trustee in June 2011. Hannan, trustee, is seeking re-election after serving a three-year term, and Ciciotti is a candidate to fill the position left vacant by Kent Blair’s decision not to seek re-election. Working together on the Revitalize Brockport team, they will join Bill Andrews who was elected as trustee last year.

The Village election is Tuesday, June 18, 2013.

Please contact us with your concerns:

March 2013 portraits, Margay Blackman
March 2013 campaign photos March 2013 portraits, Val Ciciotti
Margay Blackman
home: (585) 637-7426
cell: (585) 230-5966
email: margay.blackman@gmail.com
 Carol Hannan
home: (585) 637-3327
email: mixer42@frontiernet.net  
 
 Val Ciciotti
cell: (585)766-3602
email: vciciotti@hotmail.com




Official Statement from Pro-Brockport

Pro-Brockport endorses the Revitalize Brockport              
campaign team of Margay Blackman for Mayor, Carol Hannan for Trustee, and Valarie Ciciotti for Trustee. We have been actively concerned about the 2013 election for over two years. Choosing to endorse these three candidates was easy because they have the best interests of the Village of Brockport at heart. 

Please contact probrockport.org@gmail.com if you would like to help keep our Village strong and vital. 




Local Government Efficiency Program / Citizens Re-Organization Empowerment Grant

Jean O’Connell, grant writer for the village of Brockport participated in the Brockport Village Board Workshop held on April 2, 2013. At the workshop, Jean clarified that this grant (CREG) is strictly a grant pursuant to consolidation and dissolution. “Why would the citizens want to dissolve Brockport? I thought things were good in Brockport?” she asked the board members. She further went on to say that Brockport is not the kind of community that dissolves. The real onus is on small villages, like 500 people. The village of Brockport cannot apply for the grant because we already had a vote and not enough time has passed since the vote to apply for such a grant. The Citizens Re-Organization Grant is for people that are actually going to dissolve something right now. 

Jean did mention a number of other grants that would be appropriate for the Village of Brockport to apply. One is the Performance and Efficiency Grant in which money comes back to the municipality as a financial award to reduce growth in property taxes. These applications are made in December of the year in which cost savings are documented. The Village of Brockport would probably be eligible to apply for one of these based on our 2 year record of health care savings. Additionally, once the radio read water meters installation is completed and the significant savings are documented, that might also be an opportunity for us to apply for another grant.








On April 19th and 20th, 
The Landmark Society 
of Western New York 
will be having their annual conference this year in Brockport!

There are scholarships available, however you must apply ASAP! 
See the application on this page 















Scholar App Final 2




Basket List 2013.03.09 by


posted 03/09/13

Walk! Bike! Brockport! 
Plans to Develop "Safe Routes to School"
This past week, Harry Shifton and I met with BISCO leaders at Seymour Library to discuss Dr. Jim Goetz's "Safe Routes to School" (SRTS) project [SEE BELOW]. As the lead person in Walk! Bike! Brockport!'s  "Walk To School" events, Dr. Jim designed this project.

It is in response to BISCO's attractive offer of financial support if Walk! Bike! Brockport! could develop a plan to promote the well-being of children in the greater Brockport area. We are delighted that BISCO has made this offer, and to make a long story short, BISCO approved our project yesterday.

More information will follow, but for now, this SRTS project is officially underway, with Dr. Jim at the helm.

Keep moving and stay healthy!

Ray Duncan

Proposal Designed for a Bisco Grant by

posted 03/09/13


February 24, 2013


Noah Pereira Wins Jr. Iditarod
Congratulations to 16-year-old Noah Pereira for becoming the first non-Alaskan to win the Jr. Iditarod Sled Dog Race. The Clarkson, New York, resident won the 150-mile race this weekend, beating last year’s winner, Conway Seavey, by only four minutes. Conway is the younger brother of Dallas Seavey, last year’s 1,000-mile Iditarod champion.

This year’s Jr. Iditarod ran from Knik to Yentna and on to the finish line in Willow.
It was a surprisingly steady race given that Pereira reached the halfway point in Yentna ahead of Seavey—by four minutes! However, Pereira did say that in the last 50 miles, Seavey had closed the gap to one minute. Pereira made a push in the last 10 miles to extend his lead and cross the finish line first.

This was Pereira’s first outing in the Jr. Iditarod. He becomes the sixth rookie musher to win it. Coming in third was 17-year-old Jenny Greger of Bozeman, Montana, 33-minutes behind Seavey.
posted 02/27/13


The Board of Trustees of the Seymour Library
 in Brockport has voted unanimously to award an improved contract to Library Director Andrea Tillinghast thereby extending her stay and confirming her leadership. Tillinghast accepted the new contract on February 14, 2013 and will continue her duties which began last March. 

Former director of Red Jacket Community Library (Manchester-Shortsville) and Gorham Free Library, Tillinghast, plans to focus on a variety of goals this next year. First and foremost will be a concentrated effort to establish a new strategic plan for the library. “We would like to discover how the library could help the community of the greater Brockport area become what the people need. These needs and the library’s role in the fulfillment of these needs will become the basis for our new strategic plan. What we will be looking for is input from a cross-section of community members,” the newly reconfirmed director pointed out. 

Tillinghast is a graduate of Mynderse Academy in Seneca Falls. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Elmira College and completed her Master’s degree in Library Science at the University at Buffalo. She currently lives in Penfield with her son and spouse. 


posted 2/19/13


For more depth on the recipients, see Doug Hickerson's article on the Westside News website. The article is dated 2/3/13. You may need to scroll down the page, as more recent articles are added to the top. 


The results of the selection committee were presented for the 
Monika W. Andrews Creative Volunteer Leadership Award 
at the Village of Brockport Board meeting on Tuesday, January 22, 2013. 

The purpose of the award is to encourage, recognize and reward outstanding creative leadership as a volunteer. The recipients must have created new volunteer activities or made creative, imaginative changes to existing ones. Priority will be given to activities that directly benefit the needy. Monika Andrews made many lasting contributions to the Brockport community as a volunteer including the creation of the first playground for handicapped children in Monroe County and the transformation of the Brockport Ecumenical Food Shelf into a “client-centered” facility.

The perimeters of this award state that the award be given annually to one or more persons “who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in volunteer work by undertaking important innovative activities or creating significant new ways to serve the greater Brockport community”.

"On behalf of the election committee I wish to congratulate each of you for your outstanding contributions to community, family, friends and neighbors. It was a difficult decision to make. Each nominee gave so much of herself and himself to others.

First of all to
Pam Ketchum: The beautification to our Village Parks boards, working with our village court system help supervise community service, time spent on historic preservation, are just a few of the many ways Pam has enriched our community. The motivation in her volunteerism has been for the betterment of Brockport it was obvious by the application of Pam’s love for community and the work she performs is to make our community better and a more beautiful place to live.

And we had such a hard time with these decisions, we have another one: Chris and Jack Mazzarella have been helping others long than most of us can remember. They have given of themselves to church, service clubs, Lakeside Hospital, Morgan Manning House, and the Welcome Center just to name a few. Jack has been very busy rebuilding bikes and offering them to strangers young and old. He has chaired the Lakeside Golf Tournament for many years. Chris a regular in the halls of Lakeside Hospital, delivering mail, welcoming people, helping in any way she can. Chris and Jack have set the standard for volunteerism. This is just a few of the many reasons that the committee recommended that Pam Ketchum and Jack and Chris Mazzarella share the Monika Andrews Award.

Special Recognition to Ruby Foote: The committee recommended that Ruby Foote be recognized for outstanding work. When Ruby was 12 years old, she raised $400 through school activities for the victims of Darfur., She has worked for AmeriCorps, caring for homeless people in Rochester, recruiting volunteers for such programs as Jeans for Teens (for homeless teens), Spa Night for Girls, and babysitting services so that young mothers could continue their education. The committee was quite impressed with what this young woman has accomplished in a very short time. And we all agreed we would be hearing more of this young lady’s achievements in years to come.  

Basket List by










Click here for the link to the article in


for their official site click here
posted 01/16/13










Greater Brockport Chamber of Commerce presents: 
a evening with Al Plumb the new owner of 100 Fair Street 
formally known as The Kleen Brite factory 
The presentation will be held at the club house at 
Salmon Creek Country Club October 18th @ 7pm 
Mr. Plumb will be presenting his plans and strategies for the revitalization of the property as a multi‐purpose facility. Reservations appreciated: bportchamber@gmail.co


Brockport Residents Respond to Mark Fenton's message on October 5th 
"Community Development by Design"
posted 10/08/12

At thluncheon yesterday for Mark Fenton there was much talk about the need for sidewalks and bike lanes outside the Village. I am on the comprehensive plan committee for Sweden and Brockport. We have pretty much finished our work, but I may still be able to add something. So, please let me know where you think we need such sidewalks and bike lanes. The sooner the better. I will try to make some additions.

Bill Andrews
Brockport Village Trustee
wandrews@frontiernet.net



Sidewalks = An Active Lifestyle and Healthy Future for Brockport Residents 
posted 10/08/12
As a person who bikes from Park Ave to Hinklyville Rd to Talamora and back to Park Ave on a regular basis …… and knows the route and where there are no sidewalks, I believe that we need sidewalks on BOTH sides of Route 31 and Route 19; east, west, north and south of the intersection of those 2 major roadways. Having a bike lane may be helpful to slow traffic and some bikers may prefer a bike lane but I feel much safer riding my bike on a sidewalk. When I ride from Park Ave to Sweden Village, I ride on the sidewalk along Main St. not the bike lane. 

Our community has people of all ages, economic and physical abilities also many people who are in wheel chairs and strollers. Residents enjoy walking their pets, exercising, taking young children out and others like to walk to “run” their errands. School kids enjoy being independent; walk to school, rent a movie, get an ice cream cone, walk to work or bike to the library. Some people have no car and are depend on walking to get to work and shopping. It is imperative that the greater Brockport area has sidewalks. 

We have incredible assets and amenities in our community including the Sweden Town Park/Trails, Rec Center, Senior Center, hospital, movie theater, cultural arts at the college and public schools, shopping on Main St. and at the Wal-Mart, Wegmans and old Ryan’s shopping centers and restaurants of all sorts. Unfortunately many of these destinations are not easy for people to get to on foot, wheel chair or bike. There are several senior housing and/or low income developments that are isolated with limited ability for the residents to avail themselves of shopping, schools, churches, banks, post office, cultural arts, library, restaurants and recreation unless they are driven in a car. Young children and teenagers also are dependent on parents / cars to get to these assets in a safe fashion. Residents on Talamora Trail, for example, are limited to car travel to the village and town amenities. It is very dangerous to walk, bike, push a stroller or ride in a wheel chair on Routes 31 and 19. West Ave. and East Ave. are also major roads that need sidewalks on both sides to connect amenities and housing. 

A major attraction for the Brockport area is that this community is in many ways a complete entity; a full service, attractive, walk-able community. As our population ages, it becomes even more important for safe, inviting, walk-
able accessibility to provide for independent living and also increased health that an active life style provides. NO ONE feels comfortable walking on Route 31 from Sweden Walker to Redman Roads AND NO ONE desires walking on Route 19 from Lakeview Cemetery and the Farmer’s Museum to Wegmans. WE NEED SIDEWALKS. 

Think about it – wouldn’t it be nice to have a parade from the Morgan Manning House to the Sweden Rec Center, play games, listen to a music concert and then watch the fireworks next July 4th? What a memory we would create. Support an active lifestyle and healthy future for Brockport residents - demand sidewalks and bike lanes. 

Pam Ketchum 
91 Park Ave, Brockport, NY 305-4656 pketchum@rochester.rr.com 
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 
More responses can be located on our Walk! Bike! Brockport! page under the Economic Development tab.


Bill Andrews and Margay Blackman take oath of office
posted 7/12/12

On Tuesday, July 10, 2012, the Revitalize Trustees took their oath of office, each a four year term. Former Mayor Mary Anne Thorpe had the honor of swearing in Bill for his first term as Trustee. Leslie Morelli had the honor of swearing in Margay for her second term as Trustee.Bill gave his inaugural speech. His first task as Trustee. 

Thank you, Mary Ann for those kind comments.
Madame Mayor, may I take a few minutes for a brief response? Thank you.

First of all, I wish to thank the many friends who made this moment possible. My running 
mate, Margay Blackman was an indispensable guide through the campaign process. Our campaign was organized and run by a truly excellent, hard-working committee. Hanny Heyen was its chair and was superbly organized and tireless. JacSONY DSC                     kie Davis was our treasurer. Linda Ketchum organized the petition campaign. Bernie Lo Bracco was in charge of lawn signs. Glenn Emerson produced our flyers. Other members of the committee included Pete and Carrie Maziarz, Sri Ram Bakshi, Ray Duncan, Wally Borowiec, Pam Ketchum, Laura Emerson, Carol Hannan, and Scott Winner. Eighteen people carried petitions and helped with the door-to-door canvassing. Many others were supportive in ways to numerous to mention. Most of all, I wish to thank the 575 voters who expressed their confidence in my ability to do this job, 70 percent of the voters. 

I asked Mary Ann Thorpe to do me the honor of this ceremonial swearing-in because—well, because she is more responsible than 
anyone else—for getting me into this mess. She gave me the first few shoves that sent me sliding down the slippery slope to my present predicament. 

As mayor, she responded enthusiastically when Kathy Goetz and I and the other members of the Historic Preservation Committee of the Western Monroe Historical Society proposed that the Village adopt an historic preservation law. She appointed me to that Board. She accepted our proposal to amend the law to make us eligible for Certified Local Government status and access to its grants program. And she appointed me Village Historian.

I was lured into that involvement because I observed and admired her leadership style. I saw how she worked respectfully and collaboratively with the other members of the Board and the Village staff, how she kept open all lines of communication and fostered a spirit of teamwork. And I thought, “Boy, it’s easy and fun to run the Village of Brockport” and I became involved.

Well, I am well aware that it is no longer so easy or so much fun. I’m reminded of the story Ab
SONY DSC
raham Lincoln told of the guy who was such a big troublemaker that his fellow citizens tarred and feathered him and rode him out of town on a rail. As he was passing one of his friends, he was asked, “Well, Joe, how do you feel about things now?” Joe replied, “Well, if it weren’t for the honor of it, I’d just as soon walk.”

Well, I’m not along for the ride. I don’t think being a Trustee is easy or fun and I’m not in it for the entertainment. I don’t have all the answers to Brockport’s problems or even any answers. But I intend to work with all of the other members of the board, respectfully, constructively, and in the kind of collegial atmosphere that existed when Mary Ann lured me down this path. Thank you.


July 21st is Monika Andrews Day
The Village Board of Brockport presented William G. Andrews with the following proclamation at their June 12th meeting: 

WHEREAS, on July 21st the Utica Street Playground will be dedicated as “The Monika Andrews Children’s Park” in recognition of Monika Andrews’ successful establishment of the first handicapped accessible playground in Monroe County for all the youth of the greater Brockport community; and 
WHEREAS, on July 21st the Brockport Ecumenical Food Shelf, whose mission is to reduce hunger by providing food relief to eligible residents in Brockport, Sweden and Clarkson, will dedicate its main room to Monika Andrews in recognition of her leadership as president of this community organization; and 
WHEREAS, on July 21st Monika Andrews’ life will be celebrated by her large family and many friends 
as her earthly remains are interred in Brockport’s historic High Street Cemetery; 
NOW, THEREFORE, Maria Connie Castañeda, Mayor of the Village of Brockport along with Trustees 
Blackman, Blair, Hannan, and Hunsinger do hereby proclaim July 21, 2012 to be Monika Andrews Day in recognition and commemoration of Monika’s lifetime of compassionate community service in these 
and myriad other volunteer activities including CROP, Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, Lakeside Twigs, and hospice nursing. 
WITNESS WHEREOF, we do hereby set our hand, and cause the Corporate Seal of the Village of 
Brockport to be affixed this 12th day of June, in the year 2012. 


Village Board Meeting Minutes from 6/14/12: Special Meeting! 
posted 6/28/12

PRESENT: Mayor Maria Connie Castañeda, Trustee Margaret B. Blackman, Trustee Kent R. Blair Trustee
Carol L. Hannan, Clerk Leslie Ann Morelli, Police Chief Daniel P. Varrenti
EXCUSED: Trustee Scott W. Hunsinger
ALSO PRESENT: Attorney Frank A. Aloi, Bill Andrews, Jim & Joan Hamlin, Kathy Snyder

Mayor Castañeda shared that at the June 12th Village Board meeting, after the Trustees and Police Chief
Varrenti met in executive, the Trustees called for a special meeting for 3pm June 15th and then rescheduled for
5pm June 14th to accommodate Attorney Frank Aloi’s schedule. 

Mayor Castañeda reminded the Trustees that Village Attorney Leni said he had no objection to the special
meeting in order to discuss the future possibility of special counsel in light of his firm’s necessary recusal.
However, any decision on that matter would be premature since the criminal charges against the Mayor are
currently being handled by the DA’s office and the Notices of Claim are pending review by the Village’s
insurance carrier and if determined to be covered claims, the carrier would then handle the defense.
Trustee Blair asked Clerk Morelli if there is an update as to the Notices of Claims. Clerk Morelli said they were
received June 4th and immediately submitted to the insurance carrier. She has received acknowledgement
that the carrier received them and assigned a reviewer. Once she receives response as to determination as to
whether they would be covered, she will notify the Board. 

At 5:03pm, the Board of Trustees of the Village of Brockport enterrd into executive session to discuss a potential litigation matter and possible hiring of special counsel. Police Chief Varrenti and Attorney Frank A. Aloi were invited to sit in.
At 6:00pm, the Board of Trustees of the Village of Brockport re-entered the regular meeting. 

Trustee Blackman moved, Trustee Hannan seconded to
engage Attorney Frank A. Aloi as special counsel to the Trustees (other than the Mayor) and the Village regarding the Notices of Claim filed by the Mayor and Norman Giancursio and any litigation commenced by either or both based on their Notices of Claim and to advise the Trustees concerning pending criminal and civil matters involving the Mayor. 
The terms of retainer are as follows:
1. The Village will pay Attorney Aloi a $5,000 retainer.
2. Attorney Aloi will bill his time for services against that retainer at the rate of $150 per hour, which rate will apply to both out of court and in court time.
3. Attorney Aloi will send the Village his time accountings every 30 days which will show the application of the retainer funds for his services.
4. At such time as the retainer is used up, the Village has the option to renew or cancel Attorney Aloi’s services.
5. The Village will reimburse Attorney Aloi for all customary disbursements he incurs in discharging his services.
6. His engagement as Special Counsel will be terminable by either party at any time; in the event of termination, we will determine whether his time billings exceed the retainer balance; if so, the Village will pay him that balance; if his time billings are less than the remaining retainer funds, he will refund the retainer balance over and above his billings to the Village. 

Discussion:
Mayor Castañeda reiterated what she said earlier and questioned the need to pay special counsel if there is a
chance that the insurance carrier would assign an attorney to defend the Village.
Trustee Blackman said even if the insurance carrier deems it coverable and assigns an attorney, the Trustees
still need an attorney to be able to consult. She said the Village is in some legal limbo due to the Village Attorney’s recusal. 
Regarding a concern of Mayor Castañeda, Attorney Aloi stressed that part of the terms are that his services
can be terminated at any time. The Village’s hands aren’t tied.
Mayor Castañeda said she still believes this to be premature.
Trustee Blair reminded her that she filed notice of claim to potentially sue the Village. 
Mayor Castañeda said potentially is the key word. She expressed concern of comments from the public and Trustees. 
Trustee Blair said the Trustees have been pretty much mum on the whole matter. There are multiple things going on and the Trustees need some counsel.

Upon roll call vote:
Trustee Blair yes
Trustee Blackman yes
Trustee Hannan yes
Trustee Hunsinger absent
Mayor Castañeda abstain
Result: Carried 3/0/1 

Link to Village of Brockport Meeting Minutes for 6/14/12http://www.brockportny.org/pdf/archives/minutes/2012/06-14-12.pdf


Village Board Meeting Minutes from 5/22/12: Codes Officer Zarnstorff Report 
posted 6/22/12

Vacant or Abandoned Properties

Codes Officer Zarnstorff said that P. Ketchum’s comments (*see below for Pam’s comments) regarding vacant property issues are close to hitting the nail on the head as their impact. He said the Codes Office is involved with approximately 20 such properties in various states of deterioration. Some have to be prodded to be minimally maintained. He shared that he has communicated with Police Chief Varrenti about the rapid increase in such properties this past year. He works to track down property owners or property managers and follow up. It has also been brought to the attention of Trustee Hannan and her Ad Hoc Housing Committee.
Mayor Castañeda asked for a list of these 20 or so properties. S. Zarnstorff promised to forward such to the Board. Mayor Castañeda said she has had some discussion with Village Attorney Leni on the matter. 
Village Attorney Leni said vacant or abandoned properties are an issue in many municipalities. The Village needs to do what it can to locate the property owners and get them to bring the properties into compliance. They can be red-tagged. If remediation efforts have to be taken by the Village, it can charge the cost to the property owners or relevy such costs onto their next Village tax bill. The Village needs to make all efforts to hold the property owners accountable whether they requires court action or not. 
Codes Officer Zarnstorff referred to the 2 former Kleen Brite properties at 200 State Street and 100 Fair Street being in court now.
Trustee Hunsinger said the 100 Fair Street property is now somewhat boarded up – a big step. Codes Officer Zarnstorff said he also works to keep the Brockport Fire Department informed as to any potential hazards to them should they be called upon to respond to particular properties. 

During Chief Varrenti's Report:
Chief Varrenti said he understands there is a difference between the two as vacant properties could be code compliant whereas abandoned properties are both vacant and non-compliant. He said he dropped the Village Attorney an e-mail recently with his concerns on the matter as it is a law enforcement issue as well as a code enforcement issue. There are times when individuals break in and steal or squat. If there is no property owner, there is really no crime, as there is no victim. He hopes all can work together to solve. He suggested the Village pursue “adopting” such properties so that they become the victim and can substantiate charges.
Village Attorney Leni asked if he is suggesting the Village take ownership of such properties. 
Chief Varrenti said yes. 
Village Attorney Leni said that is inadvisable for a myriad of reasons. Firstly, the Village is made good on property taxes by Monroe County if the owner does not pay them. The Village cannot do tax foreclosures.
Chief Varrenti said there must be some mechanism to solve the problem. There are going to be liability concerns as well.
Village Attorney Leni again said if the owner doesn’t remediate problems and come into compliance and the Village incurs costs to do so it can be charged to the owner and if not paid, be relevied onto their taxes. When taxes go unpaid, the County can do a tax foreclosure.
Mayor Castañeda suggested continuing discussion on this at another time.
Chief Varrenti said he thinks this is good dialogue and it helps everyone understand. 
Trustee Blair referred to a problem property, 110 Clark Street, with an out of state owner. Trustee Blair said the grass is knee high. There are motorcycles and junk on the property. There were squatters in the property.
Codes Officer Zarnstorff said he has the last known address for the owner and it gets returned.
Chief Varrenti said the property owner is AWOL.
Mayor Castañeda said if the property has been red-tagged, then anyone on the property is trespassing.
Chief Varrenti said there are only exterior code issues.
Village Attorney Leni said they can request a bench warrant.
Chief Varrenti said it just extends the process. A true resolution is needed to some of these vacant and abandoned property issues. There’s only so much action that can be taken at this point.

During Public Comment earlier this meeting: 

Pam Ketchum of Park Avenue – read the following that was placed as a paid advertisement in Suburban News:

Dear Fellow Residents,
Have you noticed? Brockport is NOT what it should be…dilapidated properties are scattered around 
our village. Why should you care? 

1. Run-down properties bring down neighboring house values.
2. Run-down properties lower and shift a greater tax burden onto the owners who maintain their properties – people like you, no matter where you live.
3. Run-down properties discourage stable families from moving to the village – families who might want to buy your house.
4. Run-down properties take more code enforcement efforts, generate expensive court cases and legal action – and that costs you more in tax dollars.

What can you do for positive change?
Vote YES to place code enforcement under the supervision of law enforcement.
Give code enforcement a full-time, professional supervisor.
Remove code enforcement from politics and cronyism.
Vote “YES” to improve code enforcement.
Vote “YES” for the referendum on Tuesday, June 19, 2012.

Link to Village of Brockport Meeting Minutes for 5/22/12 http://www.brockportny.org/pdf/archives/minutes/2012/05-22-12.pdf 

Village Board Meeting Minutes from 5/22/12: Chief Varrenti's Report
posted 6/22/12

Report on Brock-the-Port

Chief Varrenti provided the report below during the 5/22/12 Village Board Meeting. He thanked Trustees Blair, Hannan, Hunsinger for taking time out to do a ride along on that date and mentioned that Trustee Blackman had done a previous ride along. It is important to get that perspective and it is appreciated that they take an interest to see what the Police officers encounter. 

Brock-the-Port Statistics


• 2008 First year of Brock the Port* 
• 2009 Second year of Brock the Port and last year the event was held in the village* 
          *(stats would be skewed due to large police presence and the fact that the event was held in the village).



Note: Brock-the-Port began in 2008 and occurred on Main Street in the Village of Brockport. A number of NYSP, MCSO, and BPD troopers and officers were on duty in the village. In 2009 the 2nd annual Brock the Port event occurred in the Chase Lincoln lot between King and Erie St. Attendance was low and this was the last time the village agreed to hold the event within the village.

• In 2010 after learning the event was being relocated on campus I failed to perceive the before and after affects of Brock the Port. As such our officers were understaffed and violations of law were monitored rather than enforced.

• In 2011 and 2012 this wasn’t the case. Officers tactically and strategically responded to calls for service before citizens called, took a very proactive approach to violations and strived to enforce the law prior to citizen complaints. The high number of arrests indicates that the officers were very effective in their efforts.

Chief Varrenti said SUNY Police Chief Kehoe and SUNY Administration have asked for these statistics. He hopes the Village can collaborate further to allow for a fun event but ensure the safety of all and less disturbance to the Village resident’s quality of life.

Trustee Blackman noted that these figures represent about 20% of a year’s worth of such violations.

Chief Varrenti said Village ordinance tickets have also gone up due to the Police Department collaboration with Code Enforcement.


Link to Village of Brockport Meeting Minutes for 5/22/12 http://www.brockportny.org/pdf/archives/minutes/2012/05-22-12.pdf  


posted 06/11/2012

VOTE “YES” on the REFERNDUM

TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2012

Polls open 12 noon – 9 pm Village Hall, 49 State Street

Q:      Will the village become a “police state”?

A:      No.

The chief of police will only supervise the building code enforcement officers.  The chief of police answers to the mayor; therefore, the code enforcement officers will also ultimately be under the jurisdiction of the mayor. Daily supervision of the code enforcement officer(s) will merely be transferred from the mayor’s office to the police department. No changes to building code, or the treatment of violations, are included in the proposed referendum.

The police focus on penal and traffic law, village law (ordinances), and public safety. Building code enforcement focuses on property maintenance, housing safety, and public health.

Q:      Will the police be able to enter my home at any time to check for smoke detectors? Or cite me if my grass is too high?

A:      No.

          Police officers cannot enter your home unless they are invited, authorized to do so by court-issued search warrant, or have probable cause as defined in numerous Supreme Court cases. Currently, if police officers see a suspected violation of building code while on a call, they contact the code enforcement officer, who is a trained specialist in such matters, for determination. Police officers are not empowered by the referendum to issue citations for building code violations, nor will they be trained in building code inspection.

Exterior property maintenance is already overseen by the building code enforcement officers and will continue to be. If you let your grass grow too long, the Village can cut the grass and charge you for it—this will not change under the referendum.

In 2008 the Village adopted a law allowing code enforcement officers to enter a property for inspection. Further, the law allows code enforcement officers to obtain an administrative search warrant if denied entry to a property for purposes of inspection. This law was challenged by Sweden Landlords and upheld as Constitutional by the Appellate Division, Fourth Department. This will not change as a result of the referendum. What will change is that all properties will be equally subject to the law.

Q:      Why is this better?

A:      The mayor’s oversight is sporadic at best. The mayor is a part-time, political position; the chief of police is a full-time, professional position, as are the code enforcement officer(s). There would be continuity, accountability, and most importantly, equal enforcement of the building code. What will be changed is any real or perceived conflict of interest between the mayor’s political interests and the fair and equitable enforcement of the code already on the books.

Q:      What if I’m a single family homeowner and can’t afford to keep my property “up to snuff.”  Will I get frequent code violation citations?

A:      “Property Maintenance” is already in the Village Code, and homeowners are already subject to citation for failure to maintain property. The referendum will result in fair and equal enforcement on all property owners. It will not add any new codes.

Q:      Is Brockport the only place that has code enforcement under the police department?

A:      Absolutely not.  Currently, approximately 89,583 communities nationwide use the police department to enforce the codes, and more are doing so every day. So the idea is not new. http://www.examiner.com/article/brockport-moves-to-just-enforce-the-code

Q:      I live in a neighborhood with no rentals around. How would this affect me?

A:      If rental properties’ assessments go down because they become unkempt, you, as a single family homeowner, are propping up the tax base. Having landlords keep their properties maintained, and thus the market value preserved, helps lessen the tax burden on family homeowners.

Q:      WHAT ABOUT THE RENTERS?

A:      In 2004, six students in a village rental home were hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning. The home they occupied was found to have a “used” furnace and faulty or missing carbon monoxide detectors. Sadly, their story is not unique. In 2009, a student was paralyzed when he fell from a second floor window that was alleged to be unsafe. Their safety can only be preserved through fair, equitable and consistent code enforcement.

Q:      And what about the rental business?

A:      Home rental is a business. Over 50 percent of the homes in the Village are rentals. Business owners are required to have certification and compliance to provide safe service. The NYS Attorney General’s Office provides for tenants’ rights. Enforcing the code in a systematic, professional manner would enable renters to maintain these rights.

One of the largest businesses in Brockport is that of rental property owner.  All businesses have laws to conform to.  As a business owner/landlord we are not exempt from these laws.  A restaurant must pass health inspections; a bar must obtain a liquor license; electricians, hairdressers, etc, must be licensed.  Get the idea…when you provide a service to the public you have a responsibility to follow rules and regulations.  For rental property owners you must conform to local building code, adhere to the NYS Tenants’ Rights, report your income to the IRS and pay taxes on that income, etc.  Moving code enforcement to the police department will assist in providing that local codes are adhered to and tenants’ rights are upheld.”—rental property owner




05/09/12 Andrews and Blackman Candidates for Brockport Village Board
posted 05/10/12
Margay Blackman and Bill Andrews have announced their candidacies for Brockport Village Trustees. Running on the Revitalize Brockport ticket, the two have worked well together on many community projects and will apply those same successful skills when serving on the Village Board of Trustees. Blackman is seeking re-election, having been elected in June 2011 to complete an unexpired term on the Board. Andrews is a candidate to fill the position left vacant by Scott Hunsinger’s decision not to seek re-election. The Village election is June 19, 2012.

Blackman has resided in Brockport since 1977, where she raised her daughter and stepson. She was a member of the College of Brockport faculty for 30 years before retiring in 2007. In addition, Blackman is the former chair of the Village of Brockport’s Tree Board (2005-2011), a founding member of Walk! Bike! Brockport!, and a volunteer in various Village organizations.

Her first year on the Village Board has been active. She focused on raising non-tax revenue, found a firm that has contracted with the Village to collect years of unpaid parking tickets, and secured a two-year NYSDEC tree-planting grant. Furthering town/gown partnerships, she created internships in local government and supervised four college student interns, who worked on economic development, historic preservation, off-campus student housing, and researched options regarding justice courts.

When summarizing her role in developing the 2012-2013 Village budget, Blackman said, “I believe I took a sensible, prudent approach to the budget, with a focus to protect taxpayers, replenish the reserves, and keep spending down--resulting in a healthier fund balance.” She spearheaded budget initiatives--the hiring of a grant writer and part time code enforcement officer—that represent sound investments with good financial returns to our community, but still kept the tax levy below inflation and the 2% New York State tax cap.

Andrews came to Brockport in 1967 and has resided at 46 College Street since 1970. He taught college students for 41 years, the last 29 at the College at Brockport, where he founded the political science department and was a dean for nine years. He was recently widowed after 42 years of marriage to Monika and has six children and thirteen grandchildren. He has been active in local civic affairs for many years as chair of the Historic Preservation Board, founding president of the Brockport Community Museum, vice president of the Greater Brockport Development Corp., organizer of Max’s Mardi Gras Parade, and coordinator of the volunteer program at the Village’s canal side Welcome Center. Also, Andrews is Village Historian emeritus and has published three books on Brockport history.

Andrews said that he hopes to work, especially, to strengthen Village finances, ensure the integrity of the code enforcement process, promote the downtown business community, and promote Brockport as a tourist destination, especially for canal travelers. He has been instrumental in obtaining nearly $700,000 in outside grants for the Village and hopes to work with the new grant-writing expert in continuing those efforts.

He described the present Trustees as “a conscientious, hard-working, responsible team” that he hopes to join. “They have accomplished a great deal, but much remains to be done,” he said. “I believe that my experience as a leader and problem solver in many civic and academic roles will enable me to make valuable contributions in tackling the remaining problems.”

As retirees, both candidates emphasize their ability and willingness to give the trusteeships their full attention.




05/08/12 - A Message From Pro-Brockport's President Pam Ketchum

Grass Roots Response to Code Enforcement

Pro-Brockport started 2 ½ yrs. ago as a grass roots response to the dissolution question. People from different streets and backgrounds met in living rooms to discuss, analyze, gather intelligent ideas, respond to and ultimately fight back the idea of dissolving our village.

In the past year, since the code enforcement office moved to the same building as the police department, we have seen stronger more consistent, better managed code enforcement in Brockport.


On Tuesday, June 19, 2012 we will be voting on the referendum. We need to process and respond to this question:
SHALL THE LOCAL LAW BE APPROVED ENTITLED A LOCAL LAW MODIFYING CHAPTER 59 OF THE CODE OF THE VILLAGE OF BROCKPORT TITLED “CODE ENFORCEMENT”, THE PURPOSE AND EFFECT THEREOF BEING THAT THE CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER AND CODE ENFORCEMENT INSPECTOR WOULD BE REMOVED FROM THE SUPERVISION OF THE MAYOR AND INSTEAD DIRECTLY REPORT TO AND BE SUPERVISED BY THE CHIEF OF POLICE?

Please answer these questions:
How does code enforcement affect you?
. Do you have quiet enjoyment of your home and neighborhood?
. Do you have confidence that properties around you and in our village will be properly maintained and used in a safe fashion?
. Do you have security that the value of your property won’t be adversely affected by other properties and behavior in your neighborhood and the village?

Please take a minute, answer one of these questions and send it back to me at pketchum@rochester.rr.com . Pro-Brockport needs each and every one of you – THE POWER OF GRASS ROOTS – to make Brockport a better place to live.

Thank you for your efforts.
Best regards,
Pam Ketchum



04/29/12    Article copied from the Westside News (link: http://westsidenewsonline.com/Local-News.html)

Brockport trustees pass spending plan 4-1
by Kristina Gabalski

Taxpayers in the Village of Brockport will see a drop in their tax rate of $0.18/$1,000 assessed valuation under the 2012/2013 budget adopted by the Brockport Village Board during the regular meeting April 24.Trustees voted 4-1 to adopt the $4.6 million budget for the fiscal year beginning June 1, 2012. Mayor Connie Castaneda cast the only no vote.

The tax levy actually increased 1.6 percent, but Village Treasurer Dan Hendricks said the tax rate dropped because assessment value rose more than three percent. The tax rate for 2012/2013 is $12.10/$1,000 assessed valuation. The 2011/2012 rate was $12.28/$1,000.

Mayor Castaneda noted that despite the removal of the ambulance, dispatch and fire services from the budget, there was still an increase in the tax levy. “The majority of taxes are going to support one department,” Mayor Castaneda said. She said the tax levy is $2.4 million and the total cost of the Brockport Police Department is $2.2 million.The budget includes utilizing just over $200,000 from the fund balance. “The Board could have worked better at trying to reduce expenses,” the Mayor said.
“That’s your opinion,” Trustee Scott Hunsinger responded.

During his report, Trustee Hunsinger thanked the entire board for “doing their due diligence with the budget.” He said he hopes the budget is one that the people in the village “are happy with and proud of.” During public comment, village resident Linda Ketchum thanked trustees for making amendments to the budget. “We appreciate that we will stay under the two percent cap,” she said. 

During their meeting April 10, trustees voted to make several amendments to the budget including the hiring and training of four part-time police officers; re-instating an assistant building inspector; increasing the hours of the Building Department secretary and hiring a grant writer.

In other business during the April 24 meeting, tensions arose between the mayor and trustees over the issue of selecting a deputy clerk treasurer and making an appointment to fill a vacancy on the Parks Committee. On the issue of hiring a deputy clerk treasurer, trustees asked the mayor if they could review the resumes of the five final applicants before they vote on the mayor’s recommendation for the post. Trustees also asked who the members of the deputy clerk treasurer search committee are.

The mayor said the search committee consists of herself, Village Clerk Leslie Ann Morelli, and Village Treasurer Dan Hendricks. She said she would be bringing forth her recommendation for deputy clerk treasurer at the May 22 meeting of the Village Board. It’s the mayor’s appointment to make, village attorney Robert Leni said. “She’s not required to share (the information).” But he recommended that “it makes sense that the resumes be shared,” so that trustees can have some knowledge about the candidate brought forward.The mayor stated that she would share the resumes of the final two candidates with trustees.

Trustees also expressed concern later in the meeting when the mayor refused to make an appointment to fill a four-year term on the Parks Committee. Trustee Margaret Blackman asked if the name of a qualified applicant was going to be brought forward. The mayor responded that she was not making an appointment at that time. Trustees expressed their dismay, as did some members of the audience. Trustee Blackman said the village needs volunteers to step forward for such positions. “This discourages (residents) from taking part,” she said.



Stetson Club's Helping Hands
This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Stetson Club. Over the past thirty years the Stetson Club has had a long tradition of giving back to the community and this year should be no different. The Stetson Club is proud to announce a new program designed to assist a local resident in need.

The goal of the Stetson Club’s Helping Hands program is three fold. We aim to help a resident of family in need and in doing so help to beautify our Canal Village while brining the community closer together. The Stetson Club will, at no charge, spend a Saturday (if not several) helping the selected household with odd jobs around the house in anyway we can. These jobs could include, but are not limited to, mowing the lawn, wedding gardens, cleaning gutters, painting etc. We will select the person in need of assistance based upon public referrals. Please take the time and nominate a friend, relative or person in your neighborhood that you know that could use a little help around the house. 

Applicants must meet the following criteria:
The person needing assistance lives within the Village of Brockport
The residence is an owner occupied family residence
The resident(s) are experiencing some sort of difficulty (financial, elderly, death of a family member, physical impairment, etc)

For more information or to nominate someone please email us at thestetsonclub@yahoo.com
All nominations must be in no later then May 25, 2012


JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER will be in Brockport on Friday, May 4, 2012

 

KUNSTLER attended the College at Brockport. He is a nationally and internationally recognized writer on the state of American culture and economic development. 

 

Jim Kunstler will be here to address our community

Where:  Brockport Village Hall

When:   Friday, May 4, 2012

Time:    10:00 a.m-11:30, taking questions along the way

 

Co-sponsored by:  The College at Brockport Alumni Association, Greater Brockport Development Corporation and Walk! Bike! Brockport!

 

Kunstler will also be present at the FIRST FRIDAY ALUMNI (PUBLIC INVITED) GATHERING AT THE ALUMNI HOUSE, 4:00 P.M, FRIDAY, MAY 4TH.

 

James Howard Kunstler (born on October 19, 1948, New York CityNew York) is an American authorsocial criticpublic speaker, and blogger. He is best known for his books The Geography of Nowhere (1994), a history of American suburbia and urban development, and the more recent The Long Emergency (2005), where he argues that declining oil production is likely to result in the end of industrialized society as we know it and force Americans to live in smaller-scale, localized, agrarian (or semi-agrarian) communities. He has written a science fiction novel conjecturing such a culture in the future, World Made by Hand in 2008. He also gives lectures on topics related to suburbia, urban development, and the challenges of what he calls "the global oil predicament" and a resultant change in the “American Way of Life.” He is also a leading proponent of the movement known as "New Urbanism."

 

Kunstler believes a lot of people share his feelings about the tragic landscape of highway strips, parking lots, housing tracts, mega-malls, junked cities. etc. He attended the State University of New York at Brockport, where he majored in Theater. After college, Kunstler worked as a reporter and feature writer for a number of newspapers, and finally as a staff writer for Rolling Stone. In 1975, he began writing books and lecturing full-time. He lives in Saratoga Springs, New York and was formerly married to the children's author Jennifer Armstrong.       


Link to his website: http://www.kunstler.com/index.php



Village Treasurer Appointed

posted April 16, 2012

On March 27, 2012, at the Village Board Meeting, Daniel P. Hendricks was appointed as Village Treasurer (part time) to fill a vacancy to 6/30/13. Dan Hendricks introduced himself, gave a brief overview of his experience, and said he looks forward to the opportunity to assist the Village of Brockport.

The Treasurer is the Chief Fiscal Officer of the Village of Brockport and is responsible for maintaining custody of all Village funds and keeping accounts of all Village receipts and expenditures. In addition, the Treasurer serves as the Budget Officer, Purchasing Agent and Grants Administrator.

You can contract Dan Hendricks at the Village Hall by phone 637-5300 extension 15 or email: dhendricks@brockportny.org



Resolution for Mandatory Referendum 
posted March 29, 2012

02/27/12 - Village Board Meeting Minutes
Resolution for mandatory referendum (6/19/12) re VC Chapter 59 Code Enforcement
RESOLUTION
WHEREAS, the Village Board of the Village of Brockport duly adopted a local law entitled A LOCAL LAW MODIFYING CHAPTER 59 OF THE CODE OF THE VILLAGE OF BROCKPORT TITLED “CODE
ENFORCEMENT” on April 27, 2011, and WHEREAS, the passage of said above-referenced local law is subject to a mandatory referendum pursuant to Municipal Home Rule Law § 23, and WHEREAS, the mandatory referendum on said above-referenced local law was originally scheduled to be conducted on June 21, 2011, but then not held on said date as it was determined necessary to be rescheduled pursuant to the requirements of Municipal Home Rule Law § 23, with said mandatory referendum thus instead to be held at the next general election of the Village of Brockport in June, 2012.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT,
1. That the mandatory referendum with respect to the above-referenced local law entitled A LOCAL LAW MODIFYING CHAPTER 59 OF THE CODE OF THE VILLAGE OF BROCKPORT TITLED “CODE ENFORCEMENT”, shall be held at the scheduled general election of the Village of Brockport on June 19, 2012, and
2. With respect to said mandatory referendum, the proposition to be voted on shall be as follows:
SHALL THE LOCAL LAW BE APPROVED ENTITLED A LOCAL LAW MODIFYING CHAPTER 59 OF THE CODE OF THE VILLAGE OF BROCKPORT TITLED “CODE ENFORCEMENT”, THE PURPOSE AND EFFECT THEREOF BEING THAT THE CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER AND CODE ENFORCEMENT INSPECTOR WOULD BE REMOVED FROM THE SUPERVISION OF THE MAYOR AND INSTEAD DIRECTLY REPORT TO AND BE SUPERVISED BY THE CHIEF OF POLICE?
3. With respect to said mandatory referendum, the above-referenced proposition shall also comprise the abstract thereof and be published accordingly in the corresponding election notice.

MOTION for adoption of this resolution by Trustee Hunsinger
Seconded by Trustee Blair

Discussion:
Trustee Blair said this is a great opportunity to let the public decide who should supervise Code Enforcement. He said the Trustees are not necessarily trying to strip the Mayor of her powers. They are working to align the departments that enforce the laws. The statistical reports provided by Police Chief Varrenti and Code Enforcement Officer Zarnstorff show just how busy they are and how working together the last few months has been beneficial. The physical move of the Codes Office to the Police Department has already taken place and cost was minimal. The proposed change in supervision is at no additional cost.
Trustee Hunsinger said this alignment of functions came up after seeing a Democrat and Chronicle article on how it works in the Town of Gates. It was researched and included having met with Gates officials on how it is handled there.
Mayor Castañeda read the following prepared statement: The attempt by some members of the board to give the Chief of Police power to control the Code Enforcement Department is extremely troubling and dangerous. Many residents have already expressed their fear that Brockport is turning into a police state. Do residents want the police knocking on their door to enforce code violations? Some residents are afraid that the police would use their power to punish those who complain about the high cost of the police. They are fearful that the police could use this new power to harass them in their homes. Chief Varrenti frequently complains about not having enough manpower. How many more policemen will we have to hire to handle the added code enforcement duties? Almost certainly, the
police overtime will skyrocket. Can residents afford that? This move is politically motivated to undermine the powers of the Mayor, and it will only serve to justify the existence of the police department, with a larger, more expensive police force. Clearly, Trustees who vote for this are not acting in the best interest of the people they represent. I forcefully oppose this move. It is extremely detrimental to our community. I am confident Village residents will oppose it too. I don’t know of any Mayor that would vote yes to have their powers reduced. Our goal should be to have a Code Enforcement Officer who is responsive to all code violations in a firm, fair and consistent manner.
Trustee Blair said a title is what is printed on your business card. It doesn’t make that person a leader. The Police Department is now enforcing Village codes. Police and Code Enforcement are working together to protect owners investments in their properties.
Trustee Hunsinger said it is a matter of public safety and quality of life. He said he would be remiss as a Village Board member to not move forward on this. It has been a good project to work on. He imagines the Mayor will vote against. He will vote in favor. It will be up to the voters to weigh in.
Trustee Hannan said she believes it best to have the Codes Officer work under a Supervisor who is here full time. The Police Chief is full time. The Mayor is part time. She also believes it best to have politics taken out of it.
Trustee Blackman said it is important to stress that this is a decision she would favor regardless of who serves as Mayor and who serves as Police Chief. She has already seen the results of the physical relocation and alignment with Police.
Mayor Castañeda reminded the Board that several months ago Trustee Hannan and the Code Review
Committee proposed changes to Village Code Chapter 36 that already had the Police Chief supervising the Code Enforcement Officer. This was not the case. It was determined that it was subject to a mandatory referendum. They also labeled Police Officers as being Inspectors, which they are not. A Building Inspector has a different set of training and certification.
Village Attorney Leni concurred that it is subject to a mandatory referendum since it proposes reducing the Mayor’s powers.

VOTE BY ROLL CALL AND RECORD VILLAGE OF BROCKPORT
Mayor Maria Connie Castaneda Voting no
Trustee Margaret B. Blackman Voting yes
Trustee Kent R. Blair Voting yes
Trustee Scott W. Hunsinger Voting yes
Trustee Carol L. Hannan Voting yes
Carried 4/1


You Can Ask
posted March 27, 2012

There is an application scheduled to be reviewed at the 4/5/12 zoning board meeting at 7 PM. The house at 19 Park Ave. was recently purchased for reportedly $30,000 (assessed value of $124,600) by “Mr. Z”. Now, the new owner wants to have the zoning changed from single family to two-family. He purchased the house knowing that it is a legal single family residence. A real estate agent associated with this transaction, recently said that houses in Brockport are too big; they need to be divided up. 

Mr. Z’s 19 Park Ave. is next to 23 Park Ave, a house that was a single family when purchased by the W Family some years ago. Reportedly, the W Family illegally converted 23 Park Ave. to a two-family, 4 bedrooms / unit (as per 2010 rental registration). And reportedly, this house was part of the lengthy, costly law suit that the village was entangled in for many years. In the end, the W Family got away with the conversion and this past summer sold 23 Park for $100,000 (assessed value of $84,400 - still on the tax records as a single family) and the neighboring 69 State St. (on the NE corner of Park and State) for $200,000 (assessed value of $196,000 - zoned apartments) to K. Oaks of Spencerport.

Other developments in that neighborhood (the east side of Park Ave. between the canal and State St.) include concern for the house at 15 Park Ave. It has been observed that the single family home is now secretively and illegally set up as a two family with 2 entrances, 2 kitchens and 2 full bathrooms. If this is true, it is dismaying that there is such disrespect for the law in the Village of Brockport. The single family owner occupied houses in the neighborhood (across the street from and behind 15, 19, 23 Park Ave. and 69 State St.) now must put up with loud disruptive behavior, open flamed barbeque grills and partying on the front porch, paved over back yards, poorly maintained houses and a transient population.

USE VARIANCE TEST
New York State criteria:
In making its determination, the ZBA (Zoning Board of Appeals) shall take into consideration the benefit to the applicant if the variance is granted, as weighed against the detriment to the health, safety and welfare of the neighborhood or community by such grant. In making such determination the board shall also consider:
1) the applicant cannot realize a reasonable return, provided that lack of return is substantial as demonstrated by competent financial evidence
2) that the alleged hardship relating to the property in question is unique, and does not apply to a substantial portion of the district or neighborhood;
3) that the requested use variance, if granted, will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood; and
4) that the alleged hardship has not been self-created.

The ZBA, in the granting of use variances, shall grant the minimum variance that it shall deem necessary and adequate to address the unnecessary hardship proved by the applicant, and at the same time preserve and protect the character of the neighborhood and the health, safety and welfare of the community.

Mr. Z bought the house for a small amount of money.
Mr. Z knew the house was zoned as a single family residence before he bought it.
Mr. Z has created his own hardship. 
Brockport doesn’t need any more conversions of single family properties to multiple family. The village has more than enough rental property as observed by all the “for rent” signs. Additionally, the number of college students “allowed” to live off campus will be reduced starting this fall. The new rule is that freshman and sophomores must live on campus.

Mr. Z can ask for a variance but the answer is no.

And after Mr. Z is turned down and the house remains a single family, what is going to keep Mr. Z from illegally and secretively turning the house into a two family home – like other illegal conversions in the village? Can the law abiding citizens of Brockport rely on the over worked code enforcement officer to carry out the letter of the law? Can we feel confident and secure that our single family owner occupied real estate investments will be enhanced by legal, stable use and maintenance of houses in the historic core?

Pam Ketchum
(Village of Brockport resident, real estate agent and owner of rental property) 
91 Park Ave, Brockport, NY 14420 pketchum@rochester.rr.com 585-305-4656


Brockport Mayor Arrested on March 9, 2012
posted March 23, 2012

Brockport Mayor, Connie Castañeda has been charged with 14 counts of official misconduct, a misdemeanor, and violations of numerous Village code and New York State property maintenance code. Norman Giancursio has also been arrested for reckless endangerment. Both were ordered to appear in Sweden Town Court on March 26, 2012. Brockport Mayor, Connie Castañeda has been charged with 14 counts of official misconduct, a misdemeanor, and violations of numerous Village code and New York State property maintenance code. Norman Giancursio has also been arrested for reckless endangerment. Both were ordered to appear in Sweden Town Court on March 26, 2012.


Referendum on Code Enforcement
posted February 28, 2012

By transferring the Brockport Code enforcement office from the Village office to the law enforcement office will provide an efficient means of code enforcement. This question will be on the referendum at the Village elections on June 19, 2012. We urge all the residents to vote in favor of the proposal.


Economic Development
posted February 24, 2012

The Executive Board of Pro-Brockport believes that economic development of Brockport is crucial to have a stable local community. The Board formed a committee to initiate Main Street development programs in cooperation with other local organizations. The Committee consists of: B. Andrews, S. Bakshi (Chair), M. Blackman, V. Ciciatti, C. Hannon, S. Winner, and P. Ketchum as ex-officio member. Any body who likes to participate in this program may contact any member of the Committee, or S. Bakshi at srirambakshi@hotmail.com


Village Board Adopts Resolution 
posted February 23, 2012

01/24/12: Village Board Meeting minutes
Consider resolution proposed by Lakeside Health System CEO - Trustee Hunsinger moved, Trustee Blackman seconded, to adopt the following resolution proposed by Lakeside Health System CEO Wissler:
RESOLUTION
WHEREAS, Lakeside Health System consistently provides high quality, cost effective healthcare to the Brockport residents and residents of the immediately surrounding area who have utilized Lakeside’s services since 1932; and
WHEREAS, Unity Health System proposes to offer to Brockport residents redundant medical services that are already provided by lakeside; and
WHEREAS, the following services are being provided by lakeside: Primary Care Physicians, Lab Services, Diabetic Education, Physical Therapy and Radiology; and
WHEREAS, Lakeside currently provides medical care to 80,000 people annually from Monroe, Orleans,
and Genesee counties; and
WHEREAS, Lakeside is the second largest employer in the Brockport area and has an annual economic impact on the community of $60 million;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Village of Brockport Board of Trustees, in a meeting assembled at Brockport Village Hall at 49 State Street, Brockport, New York on January 24, 2012, that the Board opposes the Certificate of Need (CON) application that has been submitted to New York State by Unity Health System, and which seeks approval to lease and occupy a $3.1 million building in the Town of Sweden to provide services that directly compete with Lakeside Health System and thus will negatively impact our residents, our economy and our quality of life. 

Discussion:
Mayor Castañeda said Lakeside CEO Wissler spoke during public comment on December 13th and January 10th. The Village Attorney reviewed the proposed resolution and provided feedback to the Board before the Lakeside public forum. The majority of the Board attended the public forum. Three Trustees spoke and identified themselves as Village Board members. She said she supports Lakeside, utilizes its services, and that both her boys were born there. However, she does not believe adopting the proposed resolution is prudent.
Trustee Hunsinger asked Mayor Castañeda if she has an amended resolution. Mayor Castañeda said no. She suggested working together to craft an amended resolution that addresses the concerns the Village Attorney identified.
Trustee Blair asked Village Attorney what he is afraid of. Village Attorney Leni said he is not opposed to a supporting resolution but is concerned that the Board be able to back up the resolution’s statements as factual and accurate. The Board should be sure that the statements set forth in the resolution contain factual information by data shown as accurate. Otherwise, he considers it a policy determination by the Board.
Trustee Blackman said she feels confident that the statements and statistics included are accurate. She said she appreciated the Village Attorney’s review and feedback on the proposed resolution. She said she does not wish to stifle competition. However, Unity has a predatory reputation here. She said she feels she owes it to the community to protect Lakeside and the services they offer.
Village Attorney Leni concurred that support is warranted, but simply cautions against setting precedent. The Board should be sure the data supports it and that new business isn’t discouraged. He provided his best recommendation, a measured opinion. If tasked to do so, he would be happy to speak to Lakeside counsel to craft an amended resolution.
Trustee Hunsinger said this is a pressing need.
Trustee Hannan said she understands, but they are talking about saving the one and only hospital, not one of many pizza parlors. Trustee Hannan said she believes she has been counted as one of the 5,000 people that Unity credits with supporting them. She said her daughter received a service billed by Unity. The Board should stand up for Lakeside, an amazing community resource.
Trustee Blair said he took an oath to support the community and will support this resolution and do so tonight. He is comfortable with the resolution as proposed.
Mayor Castañeda suggested not letting emotions get in the way. The Board can support Lakeside, but should be careful in doing so. She said she would recommend either staying neutral or having counsel work on an amended resolution. She said competition is not always a bad thing and citizens / users of the services can choose who to go to.
Call to question:
Margaret B. Blackman Voting yes
Kent R. Blair Voting yes
Carol L. Hannan Voting yes
Scott W. Hunsinger Voting yes
Maria Connie Castaneda Voting no
Carried: 4/1


Lakeside Health Care System
posted January, 2012

Unity Health System is bringing health care services into Brockport According to Dr. Zhoglin of Likeside Hospital, the services being brought by Unity are redundant and unnecessary. He opposes this move for the following reasons

1. The Lakeside Hospital and surrounding doctors are providing the services needed, therefore, Unity's help is not needed.
2. The Unity's plan will not enhance the medical services to people. Lakeside is already offering services of higher quality. Moreover, this move will not add jobs as claimed by Unity, but actually, it will have an adverse effect.

Dr. James Wissler, President/CEO of Lakeside Health System points out that new primary care physicians are not needed in Brockport area according to the US Department of Human and Health Services and the Hospital Association of New York State. Therefore, Unity's move creates a burden on the community.

Pro-Brockport stands with the Lakeside System and strongly opposes the Unity's plans of invading Brockport. Let the government officials, who are responsible for issuing the certificate of need (CON) to start a new facility, know that the residents of Brockport and other towns express their opposition by signing the petitions.

For further details contact Lakeside Hospital.


Pro-Brockport Annual Meeting 
posted January 28, 2012

WHAT HAPPENED AT THE ANNUAL MEETING
The Annual Meeting of Pro-Brockport, held on January 28, 2012, was very successful. Mr. Michael Giardino, Village Manager/Treasurer, explained his functions and responsibilities at the Village Office. As a financial officer he manages the revenues and expenditures according to the budget passed by the Board, and proper accounting. He urged the members to actively participate by attending the Board meetings, and express ideas, ask questions, and most importantly, provide suggestions.

EXECUTIVE BOARD
As per the recommendation of the Nominating Committee chaired by Annie Crane, the following members were elected to the Executive Board: Pam Ketchum: Chairpoerson; Bill Andrews: Vice-Chair; Linda Ketchum: Secretary; Sriram Bakshi: Treasurer; Bethany Centrone, BernieLoBracco, David Markham, Marcy Stickler, and Scott Winner as Members-at-Large. Many thanks to Valerie Ciciotti as Chairperson and Marcy Stickle as Secretary. 

STRATEGIC PLANNING
Beth Centrone explained the details of Strategic Planning process. Three committees: Finance , Membership, and Public Relations were formed to carry out the activities, and requested the members to sign up to volunteer to be the members on the committees. If you are interested please visit website: Pro-brockport.org and leave a message.Next Executive Board meeting is on Monday, Feb 13, 2012, 7 pm, 58 Market Street, Brockport.
Next General Body meeting is on Saturday, February 18, 2012, 9 am, 91 Park Avenue, Brockport. 


Monika W. Andrews
posted November 3, 2011

Brockport: October 31, age 69, after a lifetime serving her family and the needy, as a nurse; in the Peace Corps; building Habitat houses; running a food shelf and a shelter for homeless families; creating a handicapped-accessible public playground; and volunteering at hospices, a shelter for homeless women, a Dominican Republic health project, a help line, Meals-on-Wheels, a wellness center and many other outreach programs at Incarnate Word Lutheran Church. Survivors are her husband of 42 years, William G.; sons William G. Jr.(Alison), Edwin B.(Marilyn), C. Scott(Chloe), and Thomas N. (girlfriend Karen); daughters Dona (Martin) Rifken and Jennifer (William) Hughes; grandchildren Andrew, Kate, and Ben Rifken; Ben and Rebecca Hughes; and Nathan, Alec, Aidan, Nicholas, Joshua, Jeremiah, Sophie and Jasper Andrews; and sponsored Guatemalans Edgard and Rosaria; sisters Christine and Gabriele Wickert and Eva Imhof, brother Max (Katka) Wickert; Bill's sisters and their husbands and many nieces and nephews. She organized family reunions and vacations and trips throughout the U.S. and to fifteen European countries, Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Peru, Costa Rico, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Dominican Republic, Mexico, New Zealand, Borneo, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, China, Turkey, Thailand, and Taiwan. She was an avid tennis player, hiker, swimmer, and bicyclist, having pedaled 100 miles in a day twice, 400 miles on the Canalway Trail twice, the Katy Trail, and 250 miles along the Danube. She hiked 191 miles across England, the Grand Canyon, the Inca Trail in Peru, and the Milford Track in New Zealand; and climbed several 46ers in the ADKs and Pico Duarte in the DR. Monika was a beautiful woman in every way and her vibrant energy, loving compassion, and sunny disposition will be sorely missed by all who knew her.

Calling hours, 2-4 and 7-9, Thursday, November 3, at the Fowler Funeral Home Inc. 340 West Ave, Brockport. Funeral service at Incarnate Word Lutheran Church, 597 East Avenue, Rochester, NY, 14607, 2 pm, Friday, November 4, 2011. Please honor her memory with gifts to Incarnate Word and Isaiah House, 71 Prince Street, Rochester, NY 14605.


Markham Announces his Candidacy for Sweded Supervisor
posted October 11, 2011

On Tuesday, October 11, 2011, Dave Markham announced his candidacy for Sweden Supervisor. 


Two Men Arrested in Brockport Arson Spree
posted August 18, 2011

Updated 08/17/2011 05:01 PM

By: YNN Staff

Two men have been accused of intentionally setting five separate fires in the village of Brockport early Tuesday morning. According to police, all of the incidents in the village happened between midnight and 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. Police charged 23-year-old Phillip Ziegler with intentionally setting some of the fires in the village. Ziegler is charged with three felony counts of arson and two counts of criminal mischief. 19-year-old Adam Bond of Clarkson was also charged with one count of third degree arson and one count of criminal mischief. Authorities said within two and a half hours early Tuesday morning, a dumpster, two cars, a trash can, and a barn were set on fire. Police found evidence of arson in the vehicles that were burned. Police said they discovered something in the necks of the gas tanks in the cars. If the gas tanks had ignited, police said the nearby occupied houses could have set on fire. No one was injured during the fires, but property was damaged. "Potential was great because the vehicles were so close to houses, and also the barn was very close to a house, so it could have been very bad," said Lt. Mark Cuzzupoli, Brockport Police. "Part of the thing that worked so well here was when we were able to canvas the area and talk to people and see what residents actually saw, certain things, that's what's most helpful to us. And if somebody sees something, to call right away as opposed to, not thinking they're bothering us." Police said the locations of the fires are believed to be random. Ziegler is in the Monroe County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond. Bond remains in the Genesee County Jail, where he is behind held on an unrelated burglary charge.



A Message From Val
posted August 10, 2011


Towns and Village Agree to Pursue Fire District Formation
posted August 1, 2011

The following is "News at press time" article written by Kristina Gabalski, which appeared in the Suburban News West Edition on July 31, 2011 at the bottom of page 4. "The Brockport Village Board of Trustee
s, the Sweden Town Board and the Clarkson Town Board have all agreed to and approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to move forward with the creation of a joint fire district. The three boards met Thursday, July 28 and, “hammered out an agreement," Clarkson Supervisor Paul Kimball says. "We are grateful for the cooperation of the village," he told Westside News Inc. following the meeting. Supervisor Kimball says the three municipalities will meet again at 6 pm on Tuesday, August 9 at the Sweden Town Hall to call for a public hearing on the creation of a joint fire district."


Reflections on a Day Doing Community Service
posted July 26,2011

On Sat, July 23, 2011, I met with a young man and we worked on two of the community gardens that I have been involved with. Despite the day’s high temperature, we accomplished a lot and had great conversations. My co-worker was very positive, enthusiastic and hard working.

From 8 until 11:30, we worked in the garden in Remembrance Park (triangle garden on Park Ave.) and weeded, trimmed the spent flower stalks and my helper rebuilt one of the two Peace signs in the garden. He cleared the space and prepared it, loaded stones (from our house across the street) in a cart, laid out the stones, selected the plant material from our garden (hens and chicks) and placed the plants. We also dumped the weeds in our mulch pile. We talked about how the garden was started years ago and how enjoyable it is for me to walk or drive by and see people there enjoying the sculpture and plants. I mentioned that for the past 2 years, I have seen people using the garden for prom photos and other special occasions. 

In the afternoon, we worked in the garden at the Brockport Village Hall. Again, we weeded, edged along the sidewalks, trimmed plants and shrubs, removed poison ivy(!) and picked up litter. My helper is an artist and we talked about 3 D design and "sculpting" the bushes. By the end of the afternoon, we were both tired but had accomplished a ton of work. The gardens look terrific and we had a great sense of accomplishment and team spirit.
This was a wonderful experience and I highly recommend that this kind of program continue. I would be glad to participate on a regular basis. I especially enjoy the idea that the participants are doing something that really matters and makes a difference in this community. All of us can see and enjoy the results and have a major sense of ownership and pride. Additionally, the participants are learning real skills and hopefully also being allowed to use their talents as well. I work in a number of gardens and I know there are people looking for someone who can help with garden design and maintenance. It is an opportunity to make money and perhaps develop a career. There are other areas in the village that I would like to tackle and it would be very helpful to enlist a few people to work with me to have a major accomplishment.

At one point, my co-worker said to me, "you are being too nice to me; I am supposed to be your slave." I said I believe in respect. And that was the way the day went; we had a great exchange and we worked hard with great respect for each other and for the community that we live in. At 4:00, on our way back to the Visitor’s Center, we stopped at the Different Path Gallery on Market St. I had mentioned to him that he might be interested in it as a place to visit, get involved in the Brockport Artist Guild (BAG) and also, possibly, show his work. He met the owner, Kathy Weston, and they had a short conversation about the opportunities.

I would like to continue to work with this program. Other areas to work on are: 
  • Visitor’s Center; edging gardens, trimming, weeding, digging up, dividing and replanting, design work. 
  • Sagawa Park; weeding, trimming, edging
  • Corbett Park; weeding, trimming, edging 
  • Gardens on Erie St. by the Chase Bank parking lot 
  • North side of the canal, across from the Visitor’s Center 
  • Main St. garden squares; design, plant and maintain
  • Help local homeowners maintain their gardens in a similar way that the village organized people to paint local homes a few years ago. (A program David Wagenhauser promoted.)

Another idea for Community Service is helping with the area church’s soup kitchens on Sundays. Heather Packer (cell: 259-6949) is a good contact person for that program. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns AND please contact me for future participation in this program.

Best regards, Pam Ketchum
H: 637-6594 C: 305-4656 pketchum@rochester.rr.com 91 Park Ave, Brockport, NY



Volunteers Needed
posted July 18, 2011

Andrea Perry, of the Brockport Parks Committee, is looking for volunteers for this coming Saturday, 7/23/11, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Volunteers are needed to supervise five community service people who will be picking up litter along the canal and throughout the village and also will possibly be spreading chips in the park(s). Andrea is hoping to have enough volunteers so that each supervisor has a relatively short stint, i.e. 2-3 hours. Please call Andrea at 637-5648 and let her know if you are able and willing to help out. You can discuss with her the time period(s) that you are available. Thank you for your consideration of this volunteer opportunity.


Brockport Historical Society Wins Fourth of July Grant
posted June 27, 2011

The annual Fourth of July celebration in Brockport has won this year's online Bring Back the 4th contest sponsored by Liberty Mutual Insurance. The Western New York Historical Society, which runs the Morgan-Manning House on Main Street, will receive $10,000 to spend on Fourth of July events. The society sponsors an annual Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration in the village, which includes musical entertainment, children's games, a kiddie parade, patriotic displays, food vendors and a Cake Walk.

Gordon Fox, the society's treasurer, said the grant money will likely help provide the celebration for more than just this year. The society learned of the win too late to expand this year's event. "Next year, we'll have more time to plan," he said. "But we do want to get some banners and things and see if we can spend some of the money to jazz the house up a little bit more."

Village Clerk Leslie Morelli entered Brockport in the contest last year and was disappointed when the community didn't win. This year she enlisted help from the historical society to drum up voting interest. Voters cast ballots by taking a short U.S. history quiz on the Liberty Mutual website. Ten municipalities with the highest number of votes won this year. Morelli was pleased the village won this time around. "I was so excited when I found out, that when I went to hang up the phone, I dropped it," she said, laughing. "You would have thought they told me I won $10,000 personally."

The Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 4 on the Morgan-Manning House grounds, 151 Main Street. Admission is free.

McDERMOT@DemocratandChronicle.com



Ideas Sought for Brockport, Spencerport Stories
posted June 27, 2011

A team of reporters and photographers from the Democrat and Chronicle will visit Brockport and Spencerport in a few weeks to find out what makes these communities unique.

We are looking for interesting people of all ages who live and work in Brockport and Spencerport. E-mail your suggestions to Life Editor Nestor Ramos at NRAMOS@DemocratandChronicle.com or mail them to Nestor Ramos, Life Editor, 55 Exchange Blvd. Rochester, NY 14614.

We will publish the stories in a special section in July.



Margay Blackman is our new trustee for the Village of Brockport
posted June 21, 2011

Unofficial reports are Blackman 379 to Kuhn 336 with about 20 absentee ballots not counted. Congratulations Margay and to your support team! Thank you to all the voters. This will be an exciting year. 







Is there fairness in the Mayor's hiring process?
posted June 10, 2011

At the Brockport Village Board meeting on June 8, 2011, former Trustee Hanny Heyen made this presentation to the Village Board:
I’m here because it is time to do the right thing. It is not right the way our new Village Manager is being hired. As a former VB member and a resident in our Village, I urge the mayor to implement a fair-minded, open hiring policy that means no exclusions of trustees who want to serve. How can there be any disadvantage whatsoever by having the entire Board participate in the selection process? You don’t have to look back to our forefathers for advice; instead, our recent Village mayors have set the right tone and precedent. They should be your guide. Here are some examples:

The Thorpe Administration: Resumes of all the potential candidates for a job were shared, looked at by all board members, and discussed. Once the prospective candidate list narrowed to 5-6 candidates, they were invited to be interviewed. Evaluations by the full Board of Trustees using a matrix assessment (scoring candidates in categories such as skills, experience, work ethics, etc.) brought consensus. Board members were active in the whole process. As NYS municipal law stipulates, the mayor puts forth the name of the applicant for the VB to formally approve.

The Matela Administration: When Ian Coyle first became our treasurer and later our Village Manager, the process was very open. A panel, including board members and individuals from our community, interviewed candidates, used a rating scale, added commentary and discussed candidates strengths, weaknesses, etc. Agreement was reached and the mayor submitted the prospective employee’s name for a Board vote. The same process was used to hire Police Chief Dan Varrenti.

The Wexler Administration: As Mayor Castaneda knows from her term as trustee, Mayor Wexler always encouraged and invited trustees to be involved in the interview process of a candidate for a Village position. Mayor Castaneda and I were trustees when the Village needed to hire an attorney. I recall Mayor Wexler, Trustee Wagenhauser and I interviewing a potential attorney. We gave our opinions, discussions ensued, and the mayor put forth the name of a candidate for a Board vote, based on interviews involving him and other trustees.

The Castaneda Administration: The hiring of Treasurer Lovejoy, the handling of grant writer presentations/interviews, and now selecting a new Village manager have not been fair. Not to the Board, not to the public whose taxes pay the salaries, and not to the candidates.


Think for a moment, about the candidate who will be hired, knowing the Board majority didn’t see his /her resume nor have any input. What a loss. How can the three trustees in good conscience vote for someone they know nothing about? Let’s learn from history. The former mayors and trustees used fair and inclusive hiring practices that took no power away from the mayor. It’s not too late to do the right thing!

Hanny Heyen

June Fund Raising Event: Bottle & Can Drive
posted June 10, 2011


DATE: Saturday, June 18th
TIME: 3:00 pm
PLACE: Brockport Police Department, 1 Clinton Street Meet at the Brockport Police Department parking lot at 3pm.


We anticipate 2 to 3 hours of collecting bottles and cans. We will target the Village core during this event. Please bring large bags with you if possible and if you have a vehicle that can hold a large number of cans and bottles volunteering your vehicle would be great. Our first attempt took place in the rain with only a handful of people collecting for about an hour. We raised $60 in just that one hour under bad conditions. With several more people, a nice summer day, collecting for a couple of hours, we can raise hundreds of dollars. Please come out and help raise funds which will enable us to get the facts out to the community.

Your participation is greatly appreciated

Election Terms of Local Boards
posted June 10, 2011

Brockport Village Board
Mayor - Connie Castaneda - 4 year term – expires 2013
Deputy Mayor - Dan Kuhn* - 4 year term – expires 2012
Trustee Scott Hunsinger - 4 year term – expires 2012
Trustee Kent Blair - 4 year term – expires 2013
Trustee Carol Hannon** - 3 year term – expires 2013

*Position originally held by Hal Legg for the 4 yr term dates of 7/1/08-06/30/12. After he resigned, the mayor appointed Dan Kuhn until the June 2011 election.
** Position originally held by Kelly Smith for the 4 yr term dates of 7/1/09-06/30/13. After she resigned, the mayor appointed Chris Martin until the June 2010 election. Carol Hannan was elected to finish the term ending in 2013.


Town of Sweden
Supervisor Jack Milner 2 year term – expires 2011
Deputy Counsilperson Robert Carges - 4 year term – expires 2013
Counsilperson Patricia Connors - 4 year term – expires 2011
Counsilperson Michael Myers - 4 year term – expires 2011
Counsilperson Rebecca Donohue* 4 year term – expires 2013

*Position originally held by Danielle Windus-Cook for a 4 year term 2009-2013. After she resigned, R. Donohue was appointed until the General Election in 2011.

Town of Clarkson
Supervisor Paul Kimball - 2 year term – expires 2011
Counsilperson Patrick Didas - 4 year term – expires 2013
Counsilperson Christa Filipowicz - 4 year term – expires 2011
Counsilperson Allan Hoy - 4 year term – expires 2013
Counsilperson Sheldon Meyers - 4 year term – expires 2011