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October 15, 2008 - 7:50am

News roundup: Rec decision postponed

posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, wbta, city council, youth football.

Batavia's City Council last night postponed a decision on whether to pitch in $2,750 to look into maybe sharing recreation services with the school district and town, according to WBTA's Dan Fischer. The Batavian reported earlier this week on the proposal by the school district to fund an $11,000 needs assessment.

Fischer reports that Council members Bill Cox and Kathy Briggs were willing to support the study because "it was keeping with council's to share services among municipalities." Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian was opposed to the plan, saying that we already pay enough in school taxes.

Council will take up discussion again at its conference meeting later this month and vote on the request at its business meeting in November.

Charlie Mallow
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The decision wasn’t postponed. Our new council rules were designed to slow down the ability of council to spend money and let the public have time to get involved in the process. Regular issues like this are first added to a conference meeting where council discusses the idea. If there is merit to the idea a council person makes a motion at the conference meeting to add it to a business meeting. The business meeting is where a vote is taken to spend money. That process can take up to two months and gives the public time to give us feedback.
Philip Anselmo
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My bad, Charlie. That was just how I rewrote "delayed until November," which was what Dan Fischer had on the site this morning. It was not meant negatively. But you're right. It's not really a postponement. It's procedure. The public should get a chance to have their say. One question still remains: Why did it take until this meeting for this to come up before Council? The town acted on this back in the beginning of September. Why was Council not notified of the initiative before now? It seems to me that Jason Molino should have distributed this letter to the Council as soon as it was received. Why didn't he?
Mark Potwora
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I glad they have this process..i think the real question is why are these always things that if we dont act right now we will lose out on a grant..the public needs time to see all the pros and cons..Sorta of like the bailout..comes out of nowhere that the whole world is going to collapse if we dont give up 700 billion right now....too many chicken littles out there ..the sky is falling.....
Charlie Mallow
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Phillip, I understand that you were passing on a report. My only intent was to clear things up for your readers. As for your question as to why it took so long. Jason has been busy with replacing the fire and police chiefs, consolidating dispatch and a whole host of things that council has given him as priorities. I didn’t see this as a priority, the request had to wait in line and now it needs it’s time for the public to securitize it. I have not made up my mind yet about it, I’m sure that the majority of council is in the same boat. If it’s a good idea and it will save money in the long run, I’m for it. If we can’t decide and our time runs out, then it wasn’t right for the city. I agree with Mark, why rush? It might only be a couple thousand dollars but, it looks like we are going to have to raise taxes a little bit next year just to pay for essential services. We are still working on borrowed money and I don’t like the idea of borrowing more to pay for things we can’t afford and are not a solution to lower costs in the future.
John Roach
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This sounds like a waste of money and a way for the school board to spread it's cost around. The school district owns the land at the end of North Street, in ward 1. Ward 1 is the only ward without a park. Either the school board gives the city the land, or let them decide what to do with it. They do not say the city will get the land, so why should we pay for a study? Let the land on North Street stay open as a green space. The cost is then just mowing it. Bill Cox's statement that this goes with consolidation is wrong. Consolidate with who? The school district? That will not happen. The Town? Do you really think the Town of Batavia wants to pay for any of our parks? The city does not need any more sports fields to spend money on, but a green space park, like Centennial Park would be nice. Plant some trees and let people use it.

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