Geneva City Council fills vacancy: Full recap of February meeting

Constituents in Ward 6 in the City of Geneva now have a new representative. Just 32 days after John Pruette’s resignation left the seat vacant, the Council unanimously moved to appoint Republican John Salone to fill the position until January 1, 2023, at last night’s meeting. Salone was sworn into the position just after the meeting adjourned.

“I will represent everyone, and I consider myself a Republicrat,” said Salone. “I looked forward to serving both the City of Geneva and the 6th Ward”. Counselors Gaglianese, Peeler, and Burrell all thanked the interested parties that applied and interviewed for the position last month.

Salone, who resides on Kirkwood Avenue, was born and raised in the Sixth Ward. Currently, he is the President of Baseball Operations for the Geneva Red Wings. His previous leadership roles include Mayor of Lyons from 1997-2001, President of the Wayne County Village Officials from 1997-2001, serving the Erie Canal Heritage Commission from 1998-2001, Executive Director of the Lyons Community Center from 2001-2006, and is a member of the Geneva Lodge 2397 Sons and Daughters of Italy.


Council will now be focusing simultaneously on the vacancies left last month by the resignations of Greg Bendzlowicz for seat representation for the Ontario County Board of Supervisors and former City Manager Sage Gerling. Counselors Noone and Burrell noted that he would like to see the same process occur at the end of February for the Supervisor’s seat that just took place for filling the Ward 6 position.

Acting City Manager Jen Slywka stated that the acceptance of applications for the City Manager position will occur until February 18, and Mayor Valentino commented that the roster of the search and advisory committee is prepared and ready for distribution to the Counselors.

In other Council news…

CDBG Program Application Submissions

Council approved submitting the applications for NYS Grant Funding for Assured Edge Solutions, with only Councilor Pealer opposing. The Solar Home Factor LLC application was unanimously passed.


Penalties for Late Payments of Water Charges

A Local Law amending the penalties for late water bill payments passed. Residents who pay their water bills late will see a 5% penalty on the cumulative balance after one month. The resolution passed unanimously, amending the resolution passed by Council in December. The late penalty will take effect on January 1, 2023, allowing proper budgeting and time to make necessary software changes.

Geneva City Police Officer Contracts

The City has completed the negotiations with the bargaining unit for the Geneva City Police Officers while staying in the directive of the Council of not exceeding a 3% increase. The unit consists of 22 total members and includes officers serving as road patrol, Detectives, the Court Liaison Officer, and a School Resource Officer.

Multiple reductions for new employees, including no HRA benefit and health insurance buyout cap amounts, health insurance at retirement, and educational incentives, will provide positive financial impacts for the City. Longevity amounts increased by $50 for parity, and uniform and clothing allowances increased by $100. Salary increases over the three years are set at 2% for 2021 and 2.5% for 2022 and 2023. Only current officers at the time of the ratification of tonight’s resolution will be paid retro payments for the 2021 year.


Counselor Pealer and Burrell commented, giving thanks to those involved in the negotiations and commended the work on staying under the 3% recommendation.

During the City Manager’s report, Acting Manager Jen Slywka noted that Sergeant Jeffrey Keyser, who has been with the department for 20 years, will be retiring this Friday. Two recruits, Aaron Douglas and Jonathan Brown are expected to complete the academy in the early Fall.

Parking Ordinance

Council approved the first reading of an ordinance that would create a “No park from here to corner” 30 feet on North Main Street to provide a safe line of sight for those turning north out of Patterson Alley onto North Main Street.


STAR Exemption

Council unanimously approved the resolution that would allow for Senior with Disabilities and Limited Income Exemption Opt-In extension. Those who qualified for this exemption in 2021, will be automatically renewed for the program in 2022 without needing to reapply.

Appointments

Andrew Spink, nominated by Councilor Galglianese, was appointed to the Police Budget Advisory Board.


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