New year. New beginning. Geneva City Council met for its first full session of 2022 with new resolutions, as well as the task of filling three vacant positions in the city’s management.
With the recent resignations of Sage Gerling and Adam Blowers, Council set its sights on searching for a new City Manager, which will begin officially on January 14, 2022. The search process will resemble the method used after the resignation of previous City Manager Matt Horn in 2018.
On that date, the position will officially be publicized and open for applications until February 14. A search committee, which will consist of approximately 20 people broken up into four groups, will be formulated, in which Mayor Valentino stated it will “be a wide stroke throughout the community from different organizations and community members.” Each of the candidates and counselors will evaluate the incoming City Manager applications and move the qualified candidates through phone and in-person interviews until a candidate is chosen.
Until then, City Manager Assistant/Human Resources Director Jennifer Slywka will be placed as Acting City Manager until a council appoints a full-time candidate or until July 31, 2022.
The search for a new Counselor for Ward 6 is also underway to replace John Pruett, who resigned on December 31, 2021. Counselors are seeking out interested candidates who live in the Ward and will be interviewing candidates on January 25 and reviewing the candidates on the 26th from 6-8 PM at City Hall with hopes to vote on that candidate at the February 2 meeting. Interested candidates are encouraged to submit their resumes and personal statement by January 22 so that the counselors have time to review the information before the interview process.
In Other Council News:
On January 17, the annual MLK celebration will be at 9:30 at the Public Safety Building.
Mayor Valentino read the findings of the Ethics Committee, which found James McCorkle to be in violation of the City’s Ethics Code one and thirteen for an incident that occurred on October 3 on social media for comments deemed detrimental to the Geneva Police Department while serving as a sitting member on the police budget committee. Counselor Salamandra, who shared the post, was not found in violation.
Gerling presented a Foundry update, stating that the NYSDEC will be on a construction break until March. Still, the department engineer continues to work on remedial designs for upcoming properties. Construction will begin with six more properties south of Middle Street between Exchange and Wadsworth Street in March, and Genesee Park remediation is expected to start in the Fall of 2022.
Water and Sewer
All present counselors unanimously passed Ordinance Amending Section 341, which allowed for a minor adjustment to water and sewer rates to reflect changes in treatment and distribution costs.
City Council established a license for micro hauling that shall be renewed each year with a $350 licensing fee within the city after the second reading of the Ordinance Amendment. Counselor Jan Reagan proposed that Micro Hauling include construction debris, yard waste, recycling, and solid waste, which passed unanimously.
Closed Loop CEO Jacob Fox stated that pick-ups and drop-offs would create a blended opportunity, with the mission to keep large trucks off the road and cost-savings to residents.
Upon discussion, Council introduced two additional amendments to the resolution. The first was to redact the limit on how many vehicles the Micro Hauler could utilize. Counselor Camera dissented, and the resolution passed. The second amendment was introduced by Counselor Burrell, tying the license to the Resource Recovery Park with the first right of refusal. The amendment passed unanimously. Council passed the final resolution to establish the Micro Hauling license with the added amendments, with Counselor Camera dissenting.
Council established two public hearings for February 2. The first will be a public hearing on a local law amending water penalties for late payments with a 5% penalty on the cumulative balance after month one.
The second is for NYS Funding under the Federal CDBG Economic Grants for Assured Edge Solutions and Solar Home Factory.
- Mary Beer as the Local Health Officer.
- Chevy Devaney and Paula Bucklin to the Local Development Corporation.
- The City Recreation Committee is seeking three individuals to serve on the Board.
Julie Coleman is a resident of the City of Geneva and freelance contributor to FingerLakes1.com. Formerly, she was a reporter with the Finger Lakes Times and Director of Marketing and Communications for the City of Geneva. Currently, she manages two businesses in Ontario County, enjoys spending her free time with her husband and child, and participates in several community working groups.