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.
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.
The first response "letter to the editor", was posted on 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.
*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.
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.
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?
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.
Do you have something to say about this?
Send us your comments at: email@example.com
Is the 57 State St Driveway Expansion a Code Violation?
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".
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
Step 1: Put up a wobbly fence of some sort. It doesn’t have to be too strong because it will be
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?
home: (585) 637-7426
cell: (585) 230-5966
home: (585) 637-3327
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.
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!
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.
photos from: https://www.facebook.com/JuniorIditarod
sponsored by: http://avalancheracingkennel.com/
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.
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
Sidewalks = An Active Lifestyle and Healthy Future for Brockport Residents
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.
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-
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.
91 Park Ave, Brockport, NY 305-4656 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Trustee Blair yes
Trustee Blackman yes
Trustee Hannan yes
Trustee Hunsinger absent
Mayor Castañeda abstain
Result: Carried 3/0/1
Vacant or Abandoned Properties
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.
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.
Village Attorney Leni asked if he is suggesting the Village take ownership of such properties.
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.
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:
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
Report on Brock-the-Port
• 2008 First year of Brock the Port*
• 2009 Second year of Brock the Port and last year 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
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”?
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?
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
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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 email@example.com
All nominations must be in no later then May 25, 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 City, New York) is an American author, social critic, public 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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Resolution for mandatory referendum (6/19/12) re VC Chapter 59 Code Enforcement
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
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
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?
(Village of Brockport resident, real estate agent and owner of rental property)
91 Park Ave, Brockport, NY 14420 email@example.com 585-305-4656
Brockport Mayor Arrested on March 9, 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.
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:
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.
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
Lakeside Health Care System
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By: YNN Staff
Towns and Village Agree to Pursue Fire District Formation
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 Trustees, 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."
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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 91 Park Ave, Brockport, NY
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.
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.