‘Unfair’ acts are consistent
Despite a number of partnerships and similarities between the two, there rarely is harmony between the boards of the village of Fredonia and town of Pomfret. Even stranger is that most who serve on the Town Board are village residents who provide a large dose in the lack of trust.
The most recent spat over the billing for the Fire Department continues a tradition of ineffective governing. On Wednesday night, Town Board member Ann Eckman chided village Mayor Steve Keefe and Trustee Joseph Cerrie for their lack of communication in negotiating the contract for fire protection.
“I think the village owes it to us to come to the table and negotiate with us,” she said. “The mayor and Trustee Cerrie misled me in a meeting that I had with them. We’re willing to pay what we paid last year, we still believe that number is unfair, but we want to negotiate the balance. The town residents should be in an uproar.”
For the village’s part, Keefe says negotiations is a two-way street.
“We sent the contract over and I looked at it like the ball was in their court, so the next step would have been if they weren’t happy with the contract, just call and we’ll talk about it,” he said. “We want to be good neighbors and we want to work with the town closely.”
But, in the past year, Fredonia has not always been “good neighbors” with other municipalities. It has not been on board for the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan. It has refused the concept of a regional water district. It has not paid dues to the Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corp.
Fredonia, far too often, wants it done their way or no way. Based on that history alone – and Eckman’s surprising criticism – it would seem the village is again intent on continuing its power play.