Seneca Falls clergy worried about division, urge Town Board to consider mediation

Seven clergy members are asking the Town Board to consider mediation to deal with what they see as an “increase of mistrust and divisions” among the five-member governing body.

The clergy made the suggestion in a Nov. 5 letter to Supervisor Greg Lazzaro and board members Lou Ferrara, David DeLelys, Doug Avery and Vic Porretta.

“We are writing because we share a deep concern for our community. We have witnessed the increase of mistrust and division amongst the members of the board,” the letter states. “We have watched as members of the board have fought with one another and the constituents you serve. We have heard the same arguments continue month after month with no resolutions. And we have felt and seen the impact that the ongoing conflicts and division is having in our community as trust and respect deteriorates between the board and the people of Seneca Falls.”

The board is split 3-2 on several key issues, including the future and environmental impacts of the Seneca Meadows landfill, the town budget and taxes and the host community agreement between the town and landfill that provides significant revenue to the town each year.

“We believe it is time to actively engage in a process of mediation,” the clergy said.

They recommend the town contact the Center for Dispute Settlement of Wayne County, saying that agency has worked successfully with local town governments in the past. They said Director Kelly Porter is willing to engage in this confidential process with the board at no charge.

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