Village, town leaders spar in emails over upcoming meeting

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 July 2014 at 12:00 am

MEDINA – The first email went out on Friday, an entreaty by Medina Mayor Andrew Meier. He sent several potential meeting dates to village officials and members of the Shelby and Ridgeway Town Boards.

Meier’s email came after a Village Board meeting on June 23 when town officials urged the Village Board to hold off on setting a date for a public referendum on dissolution of the village government. Shelby and Ridgeway officials wanted to first discuss more shared services or consolidation of functions among the entities.

Ridgeway Town Councilwoman Mary Woodruff responded to Meier’s email, saying the full board from the municipalities should all attend. (Members of the media have been copied in these emails.)

“I cannot support partial boards meeting to discuss these pertinent topics,” Woodruff said in an email on Monday. That was the format in past shared services and consolidation talks, she said.

Village Trustee Mike Sidari suggested at the June 23 meeting that two representatives from each board meet to discuss shared services and consolidation. He said the mayor and two town supervisors should be excluded because of a lack of trust and “butt-heading” among the three leaders.

Meier on Monday agreed with Woodruff, saying the full boards should attend the meeting.

“Given the time and resources spent by the village in developing the dissolution plan, and the resources consumed by the towns in discrediting it, we owe our residents an open, transparent, and unfiltered discussion,” Meier said.

That drew a response from Brian Napoli this morning, where he insisted dissolution won’t be part of the discussion, only shared services and consolidation of services.

“As for being discredited, the plan was discredited from the beginning,” Napoli wrote. “Manipulating the choice of committee members, along with placing yourself and Mark Irwin on the committee, was blatant disregard for openness, fairness, transparency, and unfiltered discussion. Then, narrowing the focus of the committee so they could only come to one conclusion…yours.”

Napoli also criticized the Center for Governmental Research, the village’s selection as a consultant for the plan.

“The last joke was hiring second rate consultants to justify your misguided idea,” Napoli said. “The taxpayers in Medina did not get fair value for their money.”

Napoli also alleges Meier used village taxpayer dollars for the “One Medina” campaign “after bragging that it is privately funded without taxpayer money.”

After Napoli’s email at 9:37 a.m., Sidari followed with one at 10:13 a.m. He told the officials to “drop the attitudes, roll up our sleeves and come to a working solution to the problems we are facing.”

He said residents have demanded officials from the village and two towns work together on the community’s problems.

“Wrong has been done on both sides of the lines,” Sidari said. “However both sides are showing a willingness to work on the same goal.”

He urged the elected officials to come to the upcoming meeting with an open mind “and leave the attitudes at the door.”

Sidari also requested the media be excluded from emails about planning for the upcoming meeting.

“I am sure they are thriving on this ongoing showing of remarks and accusations,” he said.