Message From the Mayor
I’m very pleased with the work that our Village Board accomplished this past year providing and maintaining the services that our residents expect while continuing to be fiscally responsible and stay within the budget that remains adequate for supporting the infrastructure of the community. This has all been done while our Governor continues to hold municipalities to the 2% Tax Cap that now has shrunk to .03%. The same holds true with the $800,000 sales tax revenue we lose to the County Executive every year.
Over the past two years, the Trustees and I have worked extremely hard to realign our departments and staffing needs to meet the lost revenue and changes in municipal government. The Board decreased the number of trustees from six to four, realigned our office hours and reduced our staff from three down to two, and by doing so hired personnel qualified and trained to handle several positions.
This past summer we hired a new DPW Supervisor and Assistant Supervisor that came to us highly recommended and are very knowledgeable about the daily operations of the Public Works Department.
The Board purchased a new truck for brush and leaf pickup that will be operated by one individual that will allow us to provide a better service and put more manpower on other jobs. We recognize that the leaf and brush season are always challenging. Therefore, the DPW Supervisors are currently working closely with the Trustees and the Mayor outlining a more efficient and productive leaf and brush schedule for the coming year. I was fortunate the past two years to attend the Public Works Training Conference, the same one that our DPW leaders attend to learn about safety, new equipment and new technology for our roads and sidewalks, trash pickup, maintenance and personnel.
The Fire Department has been very busy as usual handling numerous fire and EMS alarms. The membership is anxiously awaiting the completion of the new fire station where they will be able operate and train more efficiently and safely, plus, provide better coverage for the entire response area. Currently, the emergency responders are gearing up for the annual volunteer recruitment drive. This program solicits residents to volunteer for their local fire department. This will help maintain our volunteer ranks while also helping sustain tax payer dollars. The firefighters provide several programs annually for the community and our local schools. The FM Schools have adopted the Fire Departments Fire Prevention Program as part of their K-12 curriculum. This program instructs each grade level in fire prevention and life safety tips all taught by your local firefighters. The “Every 15 Minutes” program is presented every other year to the Junior and Senior classes. This is a very intense two-day program that stresses the point of not drinking or texting while driving. The most popular program is the Junior Firefighter “Boot Camp”. This is a weeklong all day summer program where 4th – 8th grade students get to learn and participate in fire and EMS training like that of our firefighters.
The Village Recreation Department is constantly busy with its programs even while our Director is out on maternity leave enjoying the birth of her second child. Megan, one of our summer playground directors, has been filling in and doing an exceptional job. The 2016 year ended with the lighting of the Village Christmas Tree and the arrival of Santa to the Village Centre where he greeted all the children.
We jumped right into 2017 with Frosty Forest, a joint venture with the Town and Village Recreation Departments in the Town of Manlius. The first annual Winterfest held at the Village Centre drew a large crowd as they enjoyed an early morning pancake breakfast followed by activities and vendor booths throughout the day. One of the Villages most prestigious and delightful events will be the Valentine’s Day Daddy/Daughter Dance. This year over 200 exquisitely dressed Dads and their Daughters will gather at the beautifully decorated Village Centre for an evening of fun, food and dance.
The Senior Center is always bustling with activities daily here at the Village Centre. The mornings start with exercise programs that take them to daily lunches. Speaker presentations, bus trips and holiday luncheons are all part of the activities provided to all Seniors wishing to participate. A couple of their biggest fund raisers are the Spring and Fall Rummage Sale and the Christmas Basket Raffle. Those Seniors not familiar with the Senior Center are encouraged to stop by the Village Centre and check it out.
Our office staff here at the Village Centre are always busy, but more so this time of year as they begin preparing the Preliminary Budget and Organizational Meeting for 2017-18. Unfortunately, they will be doing most of the work amongst the noise and confusion of construction taking place to install a security window and counter in the office. The Village Administrator; Martha Dygert, and Village Treasurer; Lou Anne Randall, have done a tremendous job handling the daily business that takes place in a municipal office, while at the same time making sure that each department within the village is doing their job and following the proper procedures. This has been more noticeable these past four years as we have received the highest rankings from our auditors.
A little over a year ago, the Village Board re-instated the services of a part-time Codes Enforcement Officer. Previously, the Village shared the services of the Town Codes Officer, but realized that their services and availability were not meeting the needs of our community. Our Codes Officer currently maintains daily office hours and is kept busy updating maps and codes, completing inspections, and meeting with developers, businesses or homeowners looking for information for a potential project.
It’s my pleasure and privilege to work with such dedicated individuals and departments, whose goal is to serve this village and its residents by making it a community to be proud of. We strive to continuously improve our services while at the same time maintaining a workable budget and reasonable tax base. As we move forward this coming year, please don’t hesitate to contact me with your concerns, questions or suggestions.
Paul Whorrall, Mayor
Village of Manlius