Lack of quorum delays Granby budget vote

By Scott Allardice

The Granby town board, already shorthanded due to a resignation, was forced to cancel its meeting Wednesday Nov. 13 when only two of the remaining four board members showed up.

Supervisor Ed Williamson and Councilor Matt Callen sat on the dais at the Granby town hall with the empty chairs and nameplates for councilors Lori Blackburn and Sue Richardson, the two missing board members.

The board lacked the required quorum of three members, so Williamson thanked the 10 members of the public in attendance for coming and announced the meeting was canceled.

Richardson was absent due to a family illness, Williamson said, and she had emailed the town to inform them she would be unable to attend.

At about 7 p.m. when the meeting would normally have started, Deputy Supervisor John Snow texted Blackburn to ask if she was planning to attend. Blackburn’s response, Williamson said, was “no.”

Frustrated, Williamson said, “I can’t imagine why anyone would run for office and then not want to serve.” Blackburn also did not attend an Oct. 9 board meeting and a Sept. 25 meeting, which was also canceled for lack of a quorum. She did attend an Oct. 23 meeting.

The board was scheduled to adopt the town’s preliminary 2014 budget during the regular meeting. State law requires towns to adopt a budget by Nov. 20, which the town may yet do.

Williamson said there’s a public hearing at 6 p.m., Nov. 20 in the Granby Community Center on a proposal to create a new water district. After that meeting, if there are three board members present, Williamson could call an emergency town board meeting to adopt the budget.

But the town’s preliminary budget, Williamson said, “was all set.” The board was set to adopt it and now, with or without a vote Nov. 20, the budget discussed at an Oct. 23 public hearing will become the town’s 2014 spending plan.

The budget holds the line on taxes for the third year in a row, Williamson says. The project town tax rate is $2.46 per $1,000 of assessed value.

In late September, Councilor Joseph Cortini resigned from the board. His seat on the board and Susan Richardson’s were up for election this year. The winners of the Nov. 5 election, Republicans Brenda Frazier-Hartle and Eric Clothier were in attendance at the Nov. 13 meeting.

2 honored at OCO

Oswego County Opportunities recently honored Ewlina Wojnowska and Shauntelle Farden, supervised residence counselors with OCO Mental Health Transitional Living Services of OCO’s Residential Services, with the Outstanding Employee Award.

Nominated by fellow employees, the pair were recognized for their commitment, resourcefulness and dedication to OCO and those they serve. 

Shop local at holiday time

I like many other grandparents have our grandchildren living with us.

I am not seeking response here, just setting the tone for this letter. As such our holidays have been as they were when we were raising our two boys.

Full of work, planning, movement of furniture and working on the various lists…be they food items for menu planning, holiday cards to be written out, (who gets a letter, who gets a note, who just gets a signature), gifts for friends, family and finally that all important list….”this is what I want Santa to bring me”.

As such, my wife and I can find ourselves caught up in seeing the various lists grow in length to the point that we will set them aside and then go back to rework them to fit both the household budget and the square footage we live in.

(Several years ago we got the “boys” the complete micro machine village that was about 30 buildings, a couple hundred feet of connecting track and about a hundred mini sized cars), and within a half hour of setting it up our two dogs took on the roles of Godzilla and Megaton.

As a legislator, along with the others, we set the county budget and for several years in a row we have held the line. Each year we find that we have to look at what is important to everyday needs and what we can cut yet retain the tools, services and programs county residents want, need or insist upon.

Each year, the state passes down more costs to the county level, city level, towns and villages. The sources of revenue from our end are limited. Yet we all recognize that we cannot pass this down in the form of increased property taxes.

It does not work to seek growth, seek investment and commitment from companies to engage with our county if the property tax level is such that we cannot allow them to prosper and hire employees.

After the lists are created, and we have this rough battle plan which includes a semi approved menu, placement of household furniture, wish lists memorized we then start to map out the shopping extravaganza that will take place. (Remember with the price of gas, route strategy is very important).

In a last final step of this process, we will then seek out the routes and destinations that allow us to shop in Oswego County first. Here is the one avenue that holds no discrimination on property value, number of properties you own, size of house, total assessment, etc. You simply keep the sales tax in this county.

So if you shop anywhere in this county, or in the case of the City of Oswego, (who retains its sales tax) the sales tax monies stay local and go to fund programs, roads, security, health and so forth that we all use at one point or another.

The neat thing is that this form of funding is shared by all, not the single source budget line of revenue that comes from property taxes.

I know and fully accept that free enterprise and the excitement of going into other counties for that “shopping experience” is always going to be there and is always going to happen. All I ask is that as you put these lists together for your holidays take the extra few minutes to plan out a SHOP LOCAL FIRST day.

Why? Simply put….I DO NOT want more money to spend, I WANT the responsibly of financing government to be equitable.

Pat, (my wife) and I wish you the very best for the holidays and look forward to bumping into you or behind you at a check out line at a business somewhere in Oswego County.

James Karasek

Oswego County Legislator

Mahaney thanks voters

I thank everyone for the support you gave me in my re-election journey to keep my superintendent’s position for the Town of Hannibal.

Everyone’s help, no matter what is was, was very important to me. I personally had fun with everyone, the phone calls, sign preparation, mailers and strategy meetings, all with great people that I consider to be good friends.

I thank everyone that cast a vote for me. I will continue to do the best for our community and work hard for you.

Every year it is always a challenge to be able to improve and keep our roadways safe for all and still remain within a strict budget. New strategies and technology have allowed the department to use taxpayer dollars wisely and more efficiently.

I look forward in the next two years to do the best at meeting the concerns of the community and always moving ahead to improve our roadways.

Thank you all.

Dan Mahaney

Hannibal

Sign up now for Wednesday cover photos in The Valley News

As regular readers of The Valley News know very well, each Wednesday’s paper has a photo on the front page highlighting an event coming up in the community.

Organizations, nonprofits and other groups call us to line up this spot in the paper. Our photographer, Kelly LeVea, takes the photos ahead of time and the photos usually run one or two weeks before the event.

The Valley News has some open Wednesday papers coming up for which we have no photos scheduled. They are: Dec. 18, Dec. 26 and and Jan. 8.

We also have no one scheduled for Jan. 22.

If you have an event after but close to one of these dates, give me a call. Debbie Groom, 598-6397, ext. 31.

Follow these tips to get photographs into The Valley News

We at The Valley News love photographs.

We love photos of kids doing great work in school, people getting promotions at work, organizations conducting fundraisers for the community and people attending one of the many things to do here in Fulton and Oswego County.

I’m sure readers like opening their Valley News on Wednesdays and Saturdays to see the fabulous photos we run. Most of these great shots are taken by people just like you and then sent to me by email or snail mail.

But there are some guidelines to ensure your photos can be used in the newspaper. Here they are:

1)Do not take photos with your phone. Smartphones and iPhones take photos that are clear enough for online posting such as on Facebook or Flickr. But they do not reproduce well enough to put in the newspaper. We need photos to be at least 300 ppi (pixels per inch).

2)Try to use a digital camera. It doesn’t have to be some fancy smancy expensive camera. I have a point-and-shoot Canon PowerShot 2500. It shoots at 16 megapixels and has a 5 times zoom. Put in on the Auto mode and ANYONE –  even I – can take great photos. And the camera cost me only $89 on Amazon. Might be worth it for every organization to have one of these hanging around to take shots to submit to the newspaper.

3)Once you take that great shot, be sure to get the names of the people in the photo. Usually people are in rows, so get the names going left to right and, if there are more than one row of folks, do front row, then second row and on and on. It’s always important to remember for newspaper photos to not have too many people in the photos. We will not use photos submitted without names identifying the people in the photo.

At The Valley News, we are sensitive to issues surrounding children and photographs. Every school district I know has a policy about students being photographed for newspaper or website use. Usually, on the first day of school, a permission slip is sent home for the parent or guardian to fill out on whether the child is allowed to be in photos for the newspaper or a newspaper website.

When a person takes a photo for use in a newspaper or website, he or she can be steered clear of students who cannot have their photos taken. Then photos can be taken and names of the students can be includes for use in The Valley News.

We enjoy having photos emailed to us because it is easy for us to get them ready for publication. If someone has a hard copy photograph to put in the paper, it can be mailed to the office or dropped off and we can scan it into the computer system. That takes about two minutes and then we can return the original photo.

If anyone has any questions about how to submit a photo to The Valley News, please don’t hesitate to ask. You can reach me at dgroom@scotsmanmediagroup.com or editor@valleynewsonline.com  Or call me at 598-6397 or stop in the office at  67 S. Second St., Fulton.

On Borrowed Time enters second weekend

The second weekend of the Oswego Players latest show, “On Borrowed Time,” directed by Richard Mosher will begin at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22.

There will be two other chances to catch this production – 8 p.m. Saturday Nov. 23 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24.

Paul Osborne adapted the Broadway play version from the novel by Lawrence Edward Watkin.

Joannie Anderson, who plays Marsha, is a recent graduate of SUNY Oswego, concentrating on the study of musical theatre. This is her third show with the Players, having had roles in last summer’s successful “Mame” and the Woody Allen comedy, “Don’t Drink the Water” in September.

Anderson is trained in voice as a mezzo, and has experience with jazz and modern dance. In her spare time she enjoys drawing, dancing and studying the Japanese language and culture.

She is interested in a wide array of things, including film theory, classical theatre, folklore, and sociology.

Norman Berlin, III, requires no introduction to Oswego audiences. He joined the Players in 2003 as a young lad, and has participated in nearly every production since that time in some way, shape or form.

“Normie,” as he is affectionately known, is currently a junior at SUNY Oswego, majoring in history and museum studies. His most recent on-stage roles were Sheldon Marcus in “The Best Man” and as Junior Babcock in “Mame.”

Berlin has a passion for theater and is always willing to fill in wherever needed on or back stage. He enjoys giving back to the community and plans to continue with the Oswego Players for many years to come.

Other cast members are Anne Raynor, Wayne Mosher, Peter Mahan, Matthew Oldenburg, Beverly Murtha, Jim Oldenburg, Michael Moss, Kyle Walton, Jonathan C. Altman, Troy Pepper, Zach Dumott and Tippy (Betty the Dog).

Location is the Francis Marion Brown Theatre in the Oswego Arts Center at Fort Ontario. Ticket prices are $10/adults; $8/seniors and $7/students.

Reservations are advised and can be made through the Box Office at 343.5138.  Check the Oswego Players website at www.oswegoplayers.org for additional information.

What’s happening at the CNY Arts Center

As the holidays draw near, CNY Arts Center has lots to offer.

Mark your calendars!

TH3, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 is Happy Hour at the Gallery for you to meet the artists and shop the gallery. With more than 30 artists on exhibit there is always something new to see.

At the Arts Center in 357 State St. Methodist Church, the Drama Club will debut at 7 p.m. Nov. 22 with monologues, skits and other original work.

The Drama Club is sponsored by Shineman Foundation for seventh- and eighth-graders to study theater twice a week after school at the Arts Center. This debut is a culmination of their efforts.

Ben and the Magic Paint Brush follows at 6 p.m. Nov. 23 with one performance only presented by Kids Onstage. The play written by Bathsheba Doran is produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc. www.Playscripts.com.

Both events, Drama Club Debut and Kids Onstage, are open to the public for “Pay-What-You Can” at the door. In lieu of a ticket, you can support our young thespians with your donations.

At 6 p.m. Nov. 26 is an artist meet-up at the gallery for all artists – those already exhibiting their work and those thinking about it. Artists exchange ideas, share works in progress and socialize with others. The Studio Arts tab on the CNYArtsCenter.com web site can provide details.

“Sew You Can” Christmas projects class will be offered Nov. 30.

Level One meets from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. followed by Level Two from 3 to 5 p.m. The project will be making Christmas cookie coin purses.

Students must have taken the beginners class and class will be limited to six students. All classes take place at the Arts Center at 357 State St. Methodist Church. Use the Park Street entrance.

Our Gingerbread House contest kicks off the holiday season for us. Gingerbread creations made by teams or individuals are due at the gallery between 2 and 4 p.m. Dec. 1.

Use your Thanksgiving holiday to make more than turkey. Stop by the gallery between Dec. 1 and 14 to vote for your favorite gingerbread creation. Winners will be announced Dec. 14 at our Holiday Open House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Arts in the Heart Gallery, 47 S. First St.

Following our open house on the evening of Dec. 14, we are planning a lovely dinner – Gifts of the Season Dinner Cabaret. This is a capital fundraising event. There will be specific details in columns to come.

From 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4 we offer a class in collage. Learn about theme and composition to create interesting pieces. This class is in our classrooms on Park Street.

On Saturday, December 7 we are offering a full day of art fun with Holiday Goodies: 9-noon; Holiday Crafts: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.; and Watercolor: 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

All classes require pre-registration. Classes and workshops charge a modest fee.

Visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com  for all the latest details and updates or call 592-3373. All classes are held in CNY Arts Center located in the lower level of State St. Methodist Church, 357 State St., Fulton unless otherwise noted.

Remember we bring all arts to all ages at two separate locations. Classes, Writer’s Café, Author Spotlight, live theatre, and Arty Camp, are held in CNY Arts Center located in the lower level of State St. Methodist Church, 357 State St., Fulton. Use the Park Street entrance.

Arts in the HeART Gallery is located at 47 S. First St. in downtown Fulton across from the gazebo for local artists who want to display their artistry. Monthly artists’ meet-ups and TH3 Happy Hour also takes place at the gallery. Artists can apply for gallery space online at www.CNYArtsCenter.com.

Your hometown. Your news.