VanBuren, Walker Tabbed To Lead Council In 2015

OSWEGO, NY – Eric VanBuren (Sixth Ward) and Shawn Walker (Fourth Ward) were appointed president and vice president, respectively of the Oswego Common Council.

The rules of the council state that an additional compensation of $5,000 per year for the council president and $2,500 for the vice president be paid to those two councilors.

As council president, VanBuren will assume the mayor’s duties in his absence; and, if he becomes incapacitated for any reason, he would take over as the acting mayor.

Out-going president Ron Kaplewicz (Seventh Ward) said VanBuren was well-qualified to take over as the presiding officer of the council this year.

First Ward Councilor Fran Enwright acknowledged Kaplewicz’s leadership in helping the city through some tough times the past few years.

“I just want to thank Ron for everything that he’s done,” Mayor Tom Gillen added.

The rest of the council includes: Bill Barlow (Fifth Ward) and Mike Todd (Third Ward).

Incoming councilor John “Pat” McLaughlin Jr. (Second Ward) was sworn in prior to the start of Monday night’s reorganizational meeting.

His focus will be on improving the quality of life in the Second Ward, he told Oswego County Today.

“The first meeting was pretty simple; things went well. I’m sure we’ll be getting into some tougher issues as the meetings go on,” he said. “The main thing I want to do is take care of the ward and its residents and make sure trash pickups are being done, potholes are being patched and fix some of the bad sidewalks. Basically, do what I can to improve the quality of life.”

Among the other resolutions Monday night:

The councilors approved the Rules of the Common Council and voted to continue having council meetings at 7:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. Unless it’s a legal holiday and would then be held the following day.

Fifteen minutes prior to each council meeting will be an opportunity for the public to speak.

Three banks were designated as the depositories for public money – JP Morgan Chase and Community Bank, both in Oswego, and M&T Bank (EFC Funding) in Buffalo.

City Chamberlain Deborah Coad was appointed the chief fiscal officer for the city.

The council also adopted regular office hours.

Office hours for the mayor shall be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The following offices shall be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday: Assessor, City Chamberlain, City Clerk and Municipal Records, Community Development, City Engineer, Mayor’s Office, Personnel Department, Plumbing Inspector, Purchasing Office, Water Billing Office (in Chamberlain’s Office), Zoning and Planning Office.

The following offices shall be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Fire Chief’s Office, Police Chief’s Office and the Traffic Office/Police Department.

The following office(s) shall be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Public Works Department (includes Parks, Recreation and Waterfront).

The following offices shall be open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Wastewater Treatment Plant, west office; Water Treatment Plant office.

The Animal Control Shelter shall be open from 7 to 11 a.m. for staff only. It will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The council also approved a tax anticipation note for the new year.

Councilors waived the rules of the council to present two other resolutions without committee consideration.

The building known as Adath Israel Temple, located on East Oneida Street in the Washington Square park property, has been in the possession of the congregation pursuant to a lease agreement.

The congregation has merged with the congregation of Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas and abandoned the East Oneida Street site and it has deeded its interest in the building back to the city.

The council voted to accept the deed.

A self-insurance case, Helen Lupa vs. the city of Oswego was commenced against the city on June 22, 2010. The plaintiff and city have agreed to settle the claim in the amount of $30,000.

The council, for the city and mayor, authorized the execution of any and all settlement documents.

The chamberlain was authorized to make the payment to the Sugarman Law Firm, counsel for the plaintiff. The payment shall be made from the self-insurance fund.