The Walden Village Board is taking a fresh look at how its council members handle their liaisonship assignments, and changes to the status quo could be coming in the near future. In January, the board discussed the matter, with Deputy Mayor Faith Moore and Trustee Dan Svarczkopf suggesting that the board members break with the tradition of each member being assigned a specific village department head to confer with before reporting back to the rest of the board about the latest developments in each agency.
Under the current system, Moore is the liaison to the Police Department, Trustee Larry Kraus is the liaison to the Library Board as well as the Town of Montgomery, Trustee Brian Sebring is the liaison to the Department of Public Works, Svarczkopf is the liaison to the Village Clerk, Village Treasurer, and village offices, Trustee Lynn Thompson is the liaison to Planning and Zoning Boards as well as the Building Department and Trustee John Ramos is the liaison to the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Valley Central School Board.
Moore had previously stated that she wasn’t sure that the present setup is the most efficient way to handle the issue, as Village Manager John Revella already meets with each department head and issues reports to the board. During the boards May 7 meeting, Moore said she and Thompson met with Revella recently to discuss potential changes to the system. “We have put together a couple of concepts with the idea of moving away from liaisons directly focusing on department heads so that the department heads can continue to report to the village manager,” Moore said during the meeting. “Their reports would then come out through the manager’s report. It would transition the liaisonships to more of a broad area. We’ve talked about six and/or seven areas that that’s going to look like. So right now we have an idea of how we’d like to divide it up, but we’re thinking of some names and some other tweaking that we’d like to do.”
When the liaisonship system was discussed in the winter, Ramos and Sebring voiced their objections to changing the structure, contending that members bring expertise to their particular assigned departments. Moore asked her fellow board members to send her any suggestions they would have by May 14 in advance of another meeting between herself, Thompson and Revella. Moore said she would have a report on the matter and a proposal on the liaison structure at the next board meeting on May 21.
During Tuesday’s meeting, the board also unanimously approved a resolution for a $535,000 bond to fund the village’s 2019-2020 capital projects.