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Albion Village Board members prioritize tasks before leaving office

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 January 2014 at 12:00 am

ALBION – The Albion Village Board will see a change a leadership on April 1. Mayor Dean Theodorakos isn’t seeking re-election in March, and Kevin Sheehan, a trustee the past eight years, also isn’t running.

Another Village Board member, Fred Miller, resigned last month so he could serve as an Orleans County legislator. Another trustee, Eileen Banker, is seeking re-election in March, but she could have a challenger from the Democratic Party.

There will be changes on the board, and the current members don’t want to be lame ducks, going easy their final 10 weeks or so in office.

Theodorakos identified the upcoming village budget as a priority. The current budget totals $6.3 million and runs until May 31. A new budget needs to be approved by April 30.

It would be a lot to ask a new board to do all of the budget work in one month, when the new members take office on April 1.

Theodorakos wants the current board to have the bulk of the budget work done by March 31, with the new members having a say in the process and finishing up the spending plan.

Village department heads are scheduled to submit their preliminary budgets by Jan. 31. The board will then meet with the departments to set priorities for the departments and perhaps trim the initial requests.

The board also has two union contracts that expire on May 31. The police officers and Department of Public Works both need to negotiate new labor deals with the board.

Theodorakos wants to leave those contracts to the next board.

“It’s silly for us to start it and leave it for somebody else to finish,” he said at Wednesday’s board meeting.

The DPW union sent a letter to the board, asking for an initial meeting about the contract. Theodorakos said the first meeting will be after March 31, when the new administration takes office.

“Realistically it should be the new board,” the mayor said about the contract negotiations. “We want to make the budget the priority.”