Inside the FLX: Supervisor Mark Venuti talks issues

Geneva Town Supervisor Mark Venuti didn’t take the conventional path to political leadership. While he had roots in politics – he took a number of years off to reset his mind. During that time, he became the Geneva Town Justice. Long before he was serving as Town Justice, Venuti was in Washington, D.C., where he went to law school. He speaks fondly of those years, but cautiously reminds those he speaks with that “city life” isn’t for everyone, or suitable for every lifestyle. He met his wife in D.C., and started a family – but soon began to get an itch to return to the Finger Lakes. Eventually, they would take a gamble and move to the place he called home for the first part of his life. Coming back to the Finger Lakes reminded Venuti what was important to him. “What do we have,” he said on Inside the FLX on Tuesday. Answering his own question, he continued, “We have the lakes. We have clean air. We have the environment.”Ultimately, it was protecting those things that made Venuti consider a life in politics. After serving as Town Judge for 12 years in Geneva – he decided a political move was necessary. He is now two-and-a-half years into his term as Geneva Town Supervisor – and speaks fondly of the things he and his board have done to make the Town of Geneva a destination.His interest in becoming the Geneva Town Supervisor stemmed from his interest in also getting involved at the county level. Recently, the Ontario County Board of Supervisors dealt a significant loss to Casella Waste Systems, who operates the Ontario County Landfill. Casella had sought a variance request in Ontario County, which would allow the required distance between bedrock and liner at the landfill to be reduced from 10 feet to just five feet. The net loss of five feet, according to Venuti, was something that simply couldn’t be ignored. He also elaborated on some of the hazardous materials coming into the Ontario County Landfill, through what he called “loopholes” in the regulatory system.While Venuti has been vocal in opposition to landfilling, he said that a major focus needs to be on dealing with the waste that is created. For him, it goes far beyond just shutting down landfills, which has been a sticking point for many. Opponents now are shifting additional focus onto dealing with the municipal solid waste creation problem, instead of just focusing on the landfills themselves, which are a bi-product of excessive waste creation.He applauded communities that are working together, and said that it was something he hadn’t seen in a number of years. “It’s been several years in the making,” he explained – referring to the collaborative efforts of those living throughout the Finger Lakes to ensure that the environment inside the Finger Lakes remains healthy for generations to come.Venuti also broke down the short-term rental law, which has been a polarizing issue in the Town of Geneva over the last two years. On Tuesday at the Geneva Town Board’s regularly scheduled meeting, movement could happen on this front – as the item that has been debated, modified, and talked about for years – turned into law.Check out the full-interview above and stay tuned to FingerLakes1.com for more information on the results of Tuesday’s Geneva Town Board meeting.

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