Councilor Contemplations – August 2020

by Sara Bollinger – Manlius Town Councilor

Special Patrol Officers

The two new part-time F-M SPOs will report to the existing full-time School Information Resource Officers [SIRO].  All school police are paid for by the school districts.  The addition of SPOs [who are retired police officers that will participate in all training provided for all officers] was recommended by a F-M School District Task Force that included parents, teachers, students and administrators.  A public hearing was held August 26th.  F-M School Board President Mims opened by reading a statement.  Several comments both pro and con were received from the Public.  School Board member Catalina’s daughter Vivian also made a statement regarding the long-lasting relationships students may have with the Resource Officers at their schools. President Mims and Superintendent Tice answered questions.   There is a Psychologist in every building of the school – a total of seven – to address mental health concerns.  Chief Crowell described how the F-M program is different from the SCSD program that has been in the news recently.  Councilor Waters thanked local media for helping to make the public aware that this proposal would be discussed. 

The Board voted to authorize the SPOs with the clarifications that this is a ten-month contract and that the word ‘confidential’ will be removed from the agreement.  The Town Clerk will forward all the Public Comment letters and emails she received to the School Board for their information.

Enders Road Zone Change

John and Stella Penizotto own the corner of Route 92 [Manlius Cazenovia Road] and Enders Road.  You have probably noticed that they built a new day care center and tore down the old one that had been on that corner.  For several years they have been at odds with the Town regarding the appropriate re-use of the lot on the corner where the old day care center used to be.  A public hearing was held August 26th to change the zone for the lot from Residential Mixed-Use to Commercial A.  

Several letters of support and none in opposition were received. The Penizotto’s Engineer and Attorney provided some details. Supervisor Theobald read a statement regarding the historical context for the decision before the Board. The Board voted to approve the zone change.

Storm Flooding

The Town Board, Highway Superintendent and Town Engineer are aware of the flooding that occurred July 28th and are making plans for some abatement. We anticipate a Public Information meeting in October.

Signal Hill Noise Concerns

Residents of Signal Hill, Golden Heights and Briar Brook have submitted letters regarding their concerns about a firearms testing range near the entrance to Green Lakes State Park.


The Unified Solar Permit is official!  Contact Councilor Kreisel for more information.


Councilor Deer and Clerk Weber have been busy setting up the Board Room for in-person meetings that will be live streamed using BoxCast instead of Facebook and Zoom. This system was tested with the Planning Board and the Budget Workshop.

Town Court

You may be aware that most of the judicial system shut down due to the Public Health Emergency. Court was held in August for the first time since March.  During the PHE Judges provided ‘virtual’ arraignments and Clerks have been processing paperwork with only one allowed in the office at a time.

Tree Commission

The Tree Commission is a vibrant group of volunteers with environmental interests.  They met August 18th.  Councilor Waters is Co-Chair.  They plan to coordinate with the Village of Manlius Tree Commission.

Planning & Development Department

Town of Manlius Codes Enforcement is saving you money on your Homeowners Insurance!

Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) is a licensed rate service organization that provides advisory insurance underwriting and rating information to insurers.  They completed an analysis of the building codes adopted by Town of Manlius and the efforts put forth to properly enforce those codes. The resulting Building Code Effectiveness Grading Classification is 3 [of 10] for 1 and 2 family residential property and 3 for commercial and industrial property.  This is a significant improvement since our last assessment.

Onondaga County Police Reform Committee

A Steering Committee composed of County Legislator Linda Ervin, Sheriff Conway, Mayor Walsh and Manlius Police Chief Crowell will lead a county-wide process to comply with Executive Order 203.  The first meeting, held August 9th, was well attended.  The District Attorney’s staff will provide legal guidance.

Manlius Public Safety Advisory Committee

More than 50 people expressed interest. Thank you! Councilors Denton and Deer narrowed the list and have invited 12 people to serve on the new Committee which met August 27th.  All who expressed interest will receive regular updates.

Salt Springs Water District

Councilor Bollinger reported that the first Joint Planning Meeting with the Town of Sullivan has occurred and those involved have agreed to meet monthly. She has already begun some outreach with residents who may be impacted.

Sustainable Manlius

The Pandemic sidelined Sustainable Manlius after only one meeting.  Councilor Kreisel is happy to announce a re-start with a meeting October 1st at 7PM to discuss the proposed solar array on the closed Town of Manlius landfill.

Comprehensive Planning

Councilor Waters announced plans [dates TBD] for three Listening Sessions

  • September – Natural Environment
  • October – Historical Context
  • November – Built Environment & Commerce 

Women’s Equality Day

Councilor Waters recognized the anniversary of the Ratification of the 19th Amendment for Women’s Suffrage.  She announced a pay equity audit for Town employees in advance of the 2021 Budget.

Fire Districts

Councilors Denton and Bollinger met with the Minoa Fire Department and toured their two Fire Houses.  Thanks to Fire Chief McGarrity.  Minoa has an ALL VOLUNTEER Fire Department.

Critical Response Committee

Councilor Green thanked Onondaga County Emergency Management Director Dan Weirs for his leadership during these unprecedented circumstances.

Town Clerks Association

Clerk Weber has been voted District Director of the Clerks Association. Councilor Deer helped her develop a survey tool to help all Clerks standardize their annual budget process.

Police Department Offices

The Police Department is in a building owned by the Village of Manlius that is currently under renovation. Although necessary, this work is disruptive to efficient administration of the Department over the next several weeks. The Town is considering building a new Town Hall between Fayetteville and Minoa that would be more centrally located and would provide space for the Police Department to be co-located with the rest of the Town operations. The proposed new building would also address some security limitations of the existing Town Court.  

Thank you for reading all the way to the end of this long Post.

Please share your thoughts with us about the need for a new Town Hall Building that will house the Police Department and Courts with up-to-date facilities. We admit that the current facilities are marginally adequate but question the expense of a new building. On the other hand, our role is to plan long term. What is best for the Seventh Generation?

Send an email to with your thoughts.