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Guest Column: Mayor Keith T. Pierce
“Exercise your right to vote”
ODESSA, Nov. 10 -- It seems like for months now all thoughts racing through my mind have been negative: dissolve this, get rid of that, he's resigning, she's resigning, I tell you, it's enough to bring a big man down. Anyone who knows me knows that's not the way I am. I attempt to be upbeat and jovial at all times. And in the past I have always tried to keep these columns in that same tone. So, as hard as it may be for me with all that's going on, I will attempt to keep that spirit going in this, my latest installment.
As most of you may know by now, we have had some changes in the last few weeks as far as Village employees go. Our dear Kay, the deputy clerk, has moved on to a job with the Odessa School District. Kay was a wonderful asset to our little Village and will be greatly missed by all. Kay will stay on as our Village Historian, so at least we will all get to see her every once in a while!
Kay's able replacement is Marilyn Brown, from Watkins Glen. Marilyn brings many fine attributes to the job that I think will make her a wonderful addition to our Village.
Our second new addition is Mark Candido. Mark comes to us from his previous job with the Village of Ovid, NY. Mark has been a Licensed Water Operator for Ovid for the last three years, so there will be no additional training needed for him to jump right in -- which he has done. Mark is a "young" man, which has no doubt created a bit of a stir within the Village, but having worked alongside Mark a few times already, I assure you he knows what he's doing. In fact, I think his youth -- and with that his fired-up and refreshing attitude towards our Village -- is just what Odessa needs. We wish outgoing Superintendent Paul Larow all the best with his new job.
Mark has been busy familiarizing himself with our Village and getting to know our water system. He has also been getting things ready for the upcoming snow season by putting a few finishing touches on our new salt storage facility and preparing salters and plows. You may also notice this week that we are taking down a few more trees. They are being cut down because they are no longer safe to remain standing. Replacement will have to wait according to how the vote goes December 7th.
By now you should have all received the information generated by the Scoping Committee on the dissolution of the Village of Odessa. I would just like to thank all those involved for the effort put forth to generate this study. Many good people sacrificed their Friday mornings for many weeks to get this information out to the people of Odessa. The Village Board was not mandated to do any form of study, but we felt as a group that all voters should have some information to help them decide how to vote. As hard as it was to remain objective at times, this report is without a doubt an unbiased view of life after dissolution.
As I have predicted many times in the past, there would be a small amount of tax savings to the taxpayers of Odessa, but it would be offset by an increase in water bills. But really, the question, as it has always been, is this: Is dissolution worth what we would all lose? That's a question we will all have to ask ourselves leading up to the December 7th vote. The reality is, once you dissolve a Village, you can't get it back.
Are there problems with our Village? Of course there are. Are there things we, as a Village Board and Mayor, can do better? Again, of course. We are all human and we all make mistakes, but I will guarantee you one thing: You would be hard pressed to find another group of people who care more about this Village than the people that are on this board. We all care, and we all get upset when we sit in board meetings and get attacked for things we have done -- not because we think we know all there is to know, but because we have all made decisions based solely on what we thought was best for our Village.
I know that we as a board aren't the only ones who care deeply about our Village. I have heard from many of you of late on how you feel about Odessa. Now is the time for all of us to show how we feel, at the polls -- a true democracy in action. Don't ever take that right for granted! Not all people have that right. We do. Go out on December 7th and exercise that right, whether you are for dissolution or against it. Exercise that right, and let your voice be heard.
Village Board members
Pictured below, from left: Mayor Keith Pierce and Village Board Trustees Peggy Tomassi, Timothy Hickis, Robin Thoman and Shawn Crane..
Mayor: Keith Pierce
Trustees: Peggy Tomassi, Robin Thoman, Shawn Crane, Timothy Hicks
Village Clerk: Kristi Pierce, 300 E. Main St., Odessa, 594-2100
Deputy Clerk: Kay Collins, 300 E. Main St., Odessa, 594-2100
Department of Public Works: Paul LaRow
Village Justice: Ronald Goossen
Municipal Building: 300 E. Main St., Odessa, 594-3792
Dutton S. Peterson Memorial Library: 106 First St., Odessa, 5942791
Schuyler County Officials
Top row (from left): Thomas Gifford, Dennis Fagan, Doris Karius, Glenn Larison
Bottom row: Michael A. Yuhasz, Barbara Halpin, Phil Barnes, Stewart Field
Thomas M. Gifford, 535-9517
Michael A. Yuhasz, 535-4967
Doris L. Karius, 546-5544
Barbara Halpin, 594-3683
Glenn R. Larison, 594-3385
Dennis Fagan, Tyrone
Phil Barnes, Watkins Glen
Stewart Field, Reading Center
County Clerk: Linda Compton, 535-8133
Sheriff: William Yessman, 535-8222
Undersheriff: Breck Spaulding, 535-8222
County Treasurer: Margaret Starbuck, 535-8181
District Attorney: Joseph Fazzary, 535-8383
State, Federal Officials for Schuyler County
Sen. Charles E. Schumer
United States Senate
United States Senate
U.S. Rep. Tom Reed
United States House of Representatives
State Senator George H. Winner, Jr. -- Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Yates, western Tompkins, Enfield, Ithaca (Town and City), Newfield, Ulysses(Trumansburg)
Room 415, Legislative Office Building
Assemblyman Tom O’Mara
-- Chemung, Schuyler, Tioga
Assemblyman James G. Bacalles
-- Steuben, Yates
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869