After a lengthy discussion at last Tuesday’s meeting, the Walden Village Board decided to eliminate trustee liasonships.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Walden village trustees were assigned to different boards around the Town of Montgomery in order to build relationships between the village board and the community as well as to stay up-to-date with events around town. For example, when John Ramos was a village trustee he was the board’s liaison to the Valley Central School District Board of Education. Liaisonship positions had been in existence for eight years.
“Each trustee will have their own ability to go to the different department heads and explore what they do and how they do it,” said Village of Walden Deputy Mayor John Ramos. “If they have any questions then they can direct them to the manager.”
Ramos added that this move will allow trustees to focus more on their jobs. The decision also allows for trustees to visit other departments around town as opposed to focusing on just one.
“It’s a good thing for all of us with our form of government,” he said. “With the village manager being responsible for the overall responsibilities of the village when it comes to department heads. We’ll continue being trustees. The other 33 areas of interest we can explore and see if we can develop relationships with them. And bring back the news and bring back information from those respective committees to the village board or the people of the Village of Walden.”
As a newly elected village trustee, Cheryl Baker noted that she likes the idea of being able to explore other departments. She believes that exploring them will bring her up to speed on what is happening in the community.
“I don’t think that there should be assignments as to where you should volunteer or as to when,” Baker said. “I think that should be left up to the trusted, to their availability.”
Walden Village Trustee Willie Carley underscored the fact that village trustees can listen to residents, however it is the village manager’s power to make decisions.
“If somebody says ‘I got a complaint’, you can listen,” he said. “But make it very clear that you have no authority. Your job is not to go in there and tell somebody if they’re right or wrong.”