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Friday, March 21, 2014 at 6:54 pm

Crash on bridge over Route 490, Le Roy responding

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Le Roy

An injury accident is reported on a bridge over Route 490 in Le Roy. One car is blocking traffic. Le Roy fire and ambulance are responding.

UPDATE 7:24 p.m.: "Patient transported. Roadway cleared. Le Roy assignment back in service," says the chief on scene.

Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Le Roy PTSO hosts weeklong Scholastic Book Fair starting Monday

post by Billie Owens in announcements, Le Roy

The Le Roy Parent Teacher Service Organization will host a weeklong Scholastic Book Fair beginning Monday, March 24, at Wolcott Street School.

Hours will be from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 24-25; from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. March 26-27; and from 4 to 8 p.m. March 28.

Wolcott Street School is located at 2-6 Trigon Park. Find the Book Fair in Room 103.

Students, faculty and the community are invited to attend the event, which helps inspire children to become lifelong readers. Funds raised will help purchase books for classroom libraries at the school.

The Book Fair offers specially priced books and educational products, including popular series, award-winning titles, new releases, adult bestsellers, and other great reads from more than 100 publishers.

The Book Fair helps celebrate the monthlong Parents As Reading Partners initiative. Parents As Reading Partners — or PARP — is a collaborative effort among parents, staff, and community to build a reading partnership between the home and school. PARP programs encourage parents to read with their children for at least 15 minutes per day. Experts say learning to read is the single most important activity in a child’s education.

Book Fair customers may help the school build classroom libraries by purchasing books through the Classroom Wish List program. In addition, the Book Fair will feature the “All for Books” program, which allows youngsters to share the thrill of reading by donating loose change to purchase books from the Book Fair for students who can’t buy books and for classroom libraries.

Scholastic matches monetary donations with a donation of up to 1 million books, which go to national nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping families in need, such as the Kids in Distressed Situations and Kids In Need Foundation.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 4:02 am

Thank You Le Roy

post by Jennifer Keys in Le Roy

I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to serve you the last four years. I have learned a great deal during this time and look forward to public service again in the future. I completed most of what I started out to do and started a few new things too. It has been an amazing time that I am grateful for. Congratulations to my running mate, Bill Kettle; to Bob Taylor on winning re-election; and John Mangefrida for running and putting himself out there. Bill is an amazing candidate with awesome ideas and a great deal of energy. Having him in office is an exciting time for our community. Thank you so much to everyone who helped during the election and to everyone who voted. Thank you to my amazing family for all of your help and sacrifices the last four years. Don't give up on your ideas and vision; anyone who knows me knows I certainly won't.

Envision a Re-Charged Le Roy!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Incumbents get unexpected challenger in Corfu; Taylor and Kettle win in Le Roy

post by Howard Owens in corfu, Le Roy

The only election in Genesee County tonight that was supposed to be contested was in Le Roy, but a last-minute write-in campaign in Corfu made that vote suddenly interesting.

Nick Skeet -- son of former mayor Todd Skeet -- decided just a week ago or so that he wanted to try and win a seat on the village board.

He got 17 write-in votes tonight, which wasn't enough to close the gap on incumbents Art Ianni (31 votes) and Ken Laurer (53 votes).

"I don't like some of the things going on at meetings," Skeet said after the votes were tallied. "I still don't like the way the village is being run. I think we can do a better job. I just think everything can done for the better interest of Corfu. There are details I don't like that I'd rather not get into."

Asked if he was targeting a specific incumbent with his write-in campaign, he said he wasn't. Asked to explain what was bothering him at meetings, he wouldn't go into details.

The village government has been a bit of a soap opera for about two years, ever since an investigation was opened into missing court funds. A year ago, Ralph Peterson was elected mayor and immediately became a controversial figure in local politics. Facing pressure to resign, Peterson took medical leave and has been on leave for about six months.

Meanwhile, in Le Roy, one incumbent won reelection and another lost.

The winners were Robert Taylor, a longtime village trustee, and Bill Kettle, a local businessman. Trustee Jennifer Keys lost as did challenger John Mangefrida.

Taylor had 279 votes, Kettle, 267, Mangefrida, 228 and Keys, 191.

Monday, March 17, 2014 at 9:45 pm

To Le Roy, NY Village Residents - Vital Issues Before You For Your Consideration-Vote is Tomorrow, Tuesday, Village Hall

post by Douglas Hill in Le Roy

Letter to the Editor: 

Bob Taylor’s and John Mangefrida’s political ad, they placed in the Le Roy Pennsyaver this week, is incorrect and misleading.  Decide for yourselves.  John is not running for re-election for Village Board Trustee, since he is not currently on the Village Board.  Trustee Jennifer Keyes and Trustee Bob Taylor are the only two running for re-election.  This is conspicuous in the title of Bob’s and John’s ad, yet only Bob speaks in this ad, as far as accomplishments, to currently being a Village Board Trustee in Le Roy.  Why?  It isn’t merely expedient to have had this ad go to print with what is an incorrect assertion that both Bob and John should be re-elected.  That is not possible for any voter or for all us to collectively re-elect them both!  It suggests, falsely that they are both currently on the Village Board. 

Also, while I used to deliver the D & C newspaper every morning to Bob Taylor’s house, when I was a teenager in Le Roy, and John Mangefrida and Jim Bonaquisti were in my high school graduating class in Le Roy, NY, these are not reasons one way or another for me to vote for them.  In the 20 years since I returned and have lived in Le Roy, NY, having returned as an adult, I have emphasized with new Le Roy residents, and old ones, that who we elect to represent us in our local Village and Town governments, should always be the most qualified candidate(s).  How long one has lived in Le Roy, NY, should not matter.  Each of our candidates on Tuesday have lived here for a number of years if that is how any of us decide who to vote for.   After 30 days of living in Le Roy, NY, one is qualified to vote here, and that for me is all that’s necessary to determine whether or not one is a Le Royan or not. 

What we need above all else in a candidate is intelligence, integrity, and current and well thought out ideas.  We need to elect people to our local public offices who are not looking for what will only lower our taxes, or make one or a few of us happy who may have clout here, but we need to elect individuals who will consider the impact now and in the future of his/her proposals and decisions.  A Le Roy Village Board Trustee should not do what is only expedient now, but should also consider the future impact of his/her votes. 

Bill Kettle is also running for the Village Board on Tuesday, and he and John Mangefrida are not currently on the Village Board.  But it is Jennifer Keyes and Bob Taylor who are running for re-election Tuesday, two who are currently leading us, and Bill Kettle is Director of the Le Roy Business Council, and the owner of the largest building on Main Street where his gym is located (Main and Mill Streets).  John said at the ‘Meet the Candidates Night,’ last week that he had been a Village Trustee in the past, but when he was or what he accomplished on the Board I don’t know.  
Our two current Village Trustees running for re-election, Jennifer Keyes, and Bob Taylor, are both taking a wait and see approach to the issue of whether our switch from a full-time code enforcement officer between the Village/Town to a part-time one, is enough. 

Jennifer Keyes, however is concerned that it won’t be enough, given that prior to the full-time one’s retirement there were complaints that full-time coverage wasn’t adequate.  Bill Kettle has stated that for the Village a part-time shared code enforcement officer, as we have now, isn’t going to be enough.  At the ‘Meet the Candidates’ Night’ last week, John cited the cost of a full-time one, and the need, we are told by the State is to consolidate and be cost effective with what services are provided by our Village.  John also cited the long length of time that can pass before a code enforcement violation is resolved, no matter how much coverage we have from a code enforcement officer.  He said the codes are written by the State, and they favor the property owner.

But, however long it takes to resolve a complaint or to determine that a code has been violated and then to determine whether or not the violation has been resolved, depends on whether there is enough time in a code-enforcement officers’ week to see that this is all accomplished.  The more code enforcement coverage we have, the more code complaints and violations can be responded to simultaneously, and the quicker, and the more consistently our Village properties will be up to code.  This is common sense. 

Maybe in the Town, that which is not a part of the Village, part-time will work, but consider this.  In the Village there are far more individual parcels and they are more densely situated, with far more structures on them, than in the Town.  I think, as someone who has restored a large home in Le Roy, where I live, 12 - 14 Church Street(s), and who has bought and torn down a four-unit tenement apartment house that was next door to my home (what was on the 14 Church Street property until 2001), I’m in a position to know about structures, 14 Church Street having been an example, that went without much maintenance for years, had obvious code violations, and could not be saved.  For years 14 Church Street was in very poor condition, yet fully rented.  I bought it to eliminate this blight on my neighborhood and on the Village of Le Roy. 

We need a full-time code enforcement officer for the Village.  Our homes, whether we own them, or rent, are our lives often, and whether or not our neighbors (often very close to us in the Village), take care of their properties has a health/safety/financial effect on each of us.  Not only that, but properties kept up are a boon to the Village that can then do more for the public because we have a larger tax base.  Our tax base shrinks the more we have properties not kept up.  And, our tax base has shrunk a lot in the past twenty years that I have been a resident here, having returned as an adult.  The result of a lower tax base is a decrease in services we can have such as full-time code enforcement, as only one of several examples in Le Roy, NY. 

A lower tax base has resulted in taxes being raised over the course of time on our properties even though they are worth less.  If any of us want to sell our properties and relocate, or to downsize and remain in Le Roy, potential buyers will compare our assessed property values and the tax rate here, with other properties and tax rates in other communities.  If Le Roy, NY’s properties, as seen by a potential buyer, will likely continue to lose value, and they have in the past, and if we have a higher tax rate, that buyer may buy elsewhere.  Wouldn’t you? 

Each of us who buys, owns, and then may list property here in Le Roy, wants to have the confidence that owning here is a comparatively good investment to where else we could live.    If we want Le Roy, NY, to remain steady in all respects and to possibly grow, than we have to be concerned with code enforcement.  We need a local Village of Le Roy government that supports our needs as individual property owners to be looked after.  We cannot individually do this on our own, and we need our local government to effectively and consistently provide this function to all of us. 

Please vote and please take the time to find out where the candidates stand on issues important to you.   Voting is on Tuesday, March 18th, at the Village Hall (corner of Main & Clay Streets, Routes 5 & 19), Le Roy, NY. 

Thanks for your time reading my thoughts and concerns for the Village of Le Roy, NY.  
Douglas Hill, Church Street, Le Roy. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 11:49 am

Driver can't get out of vehicle after striking tree on North Road, Le Roy

post by Howard Owens in accident, Le Roy

A car is off the road and the driver says he's unable to get out after striking a tree in the area of 8673 North Road, Le Roy.

That's near the county line.

The driver denies any injuries.

Le Roy fire and Le Roy ambulance dispatched.

UPDATE 11:56 a.m.: Subject is out of the vehicle. Units still responding can back it down.

Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Munson Street closed to traffic for pump detail

post by Billie Owens in Le Roy

Le Roy Fire Police are told to shut down Munson Street at both ends -- Wolcott and at Gilbert -- so a flooded basement can be pumped out.

UPDATE 2:56 p.m.: The Le Roy assignment is back in service.

Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 9:36 am

Please Vote on March 18, 2014

post by Jennifer Keys in Le Roy

I am up for re-election this year. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for the opportunity to serve you the last four years and to ask for your support in the election on 3/18/2014. I am endorsed by the Democratic, Conservative, and Re-Charge Le Roy Parties. Bill Kettle is running with me and makes an excellent candidate with local ties and a great deal of energy and ideas!

I campaigned on finding a solution to reopen the pool, the value of the comprehensive plan, coming up with a solution to blight, and working together with the Town Council. There have been some successes and some controversy; I’d like to take this opportunity and this excellent forum (thank you, Howard and Billie) to update you.

The pool was a very close call. Prior to my being sworn in the board voted to close it permanently. Fortunately, I was able to keep the dialogue going long enough for a group of citizens to come forward with a plan that called for private resources to fix and reopen it. Between the Town, the Village, and the Pool Committee we have been able to keep it running during the summer for our citizens to utilize. In addition, Jackie Whiting has been able to connect with recreation programs from other communities to open it for their use as well. There is even a scholarship fund to assist people in need with pool memberships. This year was a record breaking year for usage thanks to the concerned citizens who believed it was important enough to use their own resources on. The pool required working with two levels of local government, reaching across parties, and utilizing citizen expertise.

I have attended several government workshops conducted by the NYCOM (New York Conference of Mayors) and Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council to learn more about code, planning, and comprehensive plans. The state places great importance on comprehensive plans, including requiring them for grant applications. We have been working to come up with a cost effective way to update our plan without increasing the burden on tax payers. I continue to advocate for it, to reference it in decision making, and to learn more about it and its uses. According to the state it is worthy of the public effort that went into making it.

Blighted buildings are a big issue for us. As you probably recall even our Town Supervisor, Steve Barbeau, campaigned on that issue. They are unattractive in general, but particularly when they line the corridors to our community for everyone to see. This is an issue that I continue to work on with the Village Board and our Town Supervisor. As a Town we have a new code enforcement officer who has recently completed all of his training. The Town Supervisor works closely with him to address this issue with our input. Some of the solutions out there are costly to tax payers. Recently, though, this has been an issue that the Attorney General has become very interested in and my running mate, Bill Kettle, and I will work with his office to utilize their resources to get the job done. Le Roy is a picturesque community that anyone would be lucky to live in.

Our Village Board has a great working relationship with our Town Board. Supervisor Barbeau is accessible and easy to work with and the lines of communication have opened up a great deal. I have personally worked on code, blight, National Historic Registry, and the website with him. I will continue to work with the Town Board as you deserve seamless government.

I have also worked on a few things that I did not campaign on. I voted to support a letter from our board to our state officials asking them to take another look at the Safe Act. I developed the Main Street Revitalization Committee and am in constant contact with Main Street Businesses and Building owners. We have been working for the last year, at their request, towards an application for National Historic Registry Status for Main Street and a portion of West Main. This is an honorary status that opens up tax credits and other funding streams for building owners to help them maintain their properties and even do updates. There are no restrictions on status, only on public money that may be used by owners. Owners who use their own funds or private funds are free to do as they wish to their buildings.

There has been healthy debate on controversial issues, including the Wiss and Robbins Nest. While people may disagree with my votes on some of these topics please understand that my votes are always based on numerous conversations with constituents and an analysis of the cost versus benefit of each situation. I research every topic in depth and always seek and welcome feedback from everybody.  You elected me to represent you and I take that very seriously.

I am sure we do not always agree on issues, but I believe that we all agree that Le Roy is a beautiful and wonderful community to raise a family. I have worked very hard for you over the last four years and will continue to do so. This is the community we chose and I will continue to try to make it the place where all of our children want to raise their families as well. You will find that my running mate has a similar vision and drive, so please consider supporting both of us on Election Day. With Bill Kettle and Jennifer Keys you get Re-Charged Trustees who look towards the future. When you “Envision Le Roy” what do you see? 

I am always accessible, your voice counts, trusteekeys@rochester.rr.com.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 4:35 pm

Rollover accident, unknown injuries, on Quinlan Road, Le Roy

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Le Roy

A one-vehicle rollover, unknown injuries, is reported at 7213 Quinlan Road. Le Roy Fire Department and Ambulance Service responding.

UPDATE 5:23 p.m.: The Le Roy assignment is back in service.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Le Roy candidates love their community, residents concerned about delapidated properties

post by Howard Owens in Le Roy

Village living conditions were of the greatest concern to residents at a candidates' forum in Le Roy on Monday night.

Property upkeep by landlords and homeowners, vacant and abandoned properties, the care for the village demonstrated by downtown business owners, and the condition of streets and sidewalks were all touched on by residents at some point.

Meanwhile, the candidates talked of their love for Le Roy and desire to make the village a place where people want to live and raise families.

"We choose to live here," said Jennifer Keys. "We're not lifelong residents. We're here because it's a great community. You can walk down the street after dark and be safe. I love the architecture. The community. These are things we can sell to get other people to come here."

Keys, who won her first term on the village council four years ago, is seeking reelection along with incumbent Robert Taylor. There are two four-year terms up for election and joining the fray in the March 18 election are John Mangefrida and William Kettle.

Keys opened the forum in the dining room of the Greens of Le Roy by talking about her first bid for election four years ago. She campaigned on the pool, the comprehensive plan, working better with the town, and the matter of blighted houses. She said she was able to work with others to help get the pool reopened, which now serves record numbers of patrons, communications with the town have improved, and the council is still working on the comprehensive plan. Blighted houses, she said, remain an issue.

Kettle noted his dedication to the village as a Main Street property and business owner.

"If you're going to be in the game, you've got to be able to step up to the plate and I'm willing to do that," Kettle said. "I'm committed to Le Roy. I'm invested. I'm vested. I love Le Roy, as everybody here on the board does."

Mangefrida, whose been a trustee before, said he decided to run again because he loves the village. He recalled that during his military duty he knew he could count on the people of the community to help watch over and care for his family.

"It isn't about policies," Mangefrida said. "It's about maintaining the quality of life in Le Roy. We need to take care of our infrastructure and take care of the things that have gotten us here. If elected, I'm going to listen to everyone and make informed decisions and represent the people of Le Roy."

Taylor noted that except for the years he was away in college, he's lived his entire 72 years in Le Roy.

"We do this because we all love the community, and that's the only reason," Taylor said. "Without a good foundation, nothing lasts forever, and we've lasted a long time because Le Roy has a good foundation."

When the Q&A started, much of the discussion focused on vacant and abandoned housing. It's a vexing problem because these are typically properties that the banks refuse to foreclose on because it's cheaper just to pay the taxes and any fines related to lack of upkeep.

There's also a problem with property owners -- both landlords and homeowners -- who let their property fall into disrepair to the point of them being a nuisance to neighbors and other residents.

 "We all have a right to live in a village that is kept up and if it takes a sharp stick, then we need code enforcement that does it," Kettle said.

These are tough problems, Taylor said.

"The amount of problems we have are not going to be fixed in 10 minutes, but they are being addressed," Taylor said.

One resident called for a full-time code enforcement officer.

Mangefrida took a realist tact to the question and said the money to pay for a full-time officer, rather than a shared part-time officer with the town, would have to come from somewhere.

"Do we hire a full-time code enforcement officer?" Mangefrida asked. "If we hire a full-time code enforcement officer with the current budget are we willing do without one of our part-time police officers? Because that's what it's coming down to in running a village in the State of New York."

Another residents probed candidates on how much they know about the comprehensive plan, which he suggested needed to be revised to meet changing times.

Keys said the plan was last revised in 2007 and has been under review during her time in office.

John Mangefrida

William Kettle

Robert Taylor

Jennifer Keys

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