Have you ever noticed how quickly rumor and innuendo are spread and accepted? Recently, there has been talk about certain actions of the village, the implication being that there has been wrongdoing. Interestingly enough, with one exception, no one other than village employees has asked me for the real story. So here is what I have heard and what I know.

Have you ever noticed how quickly rumor and innuendo are spread and accepted? Recently, there has been talk about certain actions of the village, the implication being that there has been wrongdoing. Interestingly enough, with one exception, no one other than village employees has asked me for the real story. So here is what I have heard and what I know.

The first rumor had the village giving away water to a construction firm. Nothing was given away. When the state redid state Route 256 between Stagecoach Road and Sliker Hill Road, the contractor and the village did an exchange, water for road millings, the latter being a much desired material for road and parking lot repair. Frankly, we received far more than we gave.

And speaking of millings, there was none from the Red Jacket Street project, which cost us about half of what it could have been had we contracted it out. The street was completely dug up and rebuilt, not milled and filled. The material was of no value to the village. It was spoil, some of it fill from the old shoe factory. Rather than taking it to the village dump, which is rapidly filling up, the spoil was offered to anyone who wanted it. Some was hauled by a contractor out of the immediate area. Local deliveries, several of them adjacent to the construction area, were made by village and town vehicles and a private contractor hired by the village.

A second issue arising out of the Red Jacket project was the paving of a private driveway on the lower end of the street. That should not have occurred, and Superintendent of Public Works Scott Tracy notified me about it the very next morning. It is being paid for privately, to include the sales tax, and we have discussed ensuring this does not happen again.

Another couple rumors arose over the clearing of a trustee’s property. The village was not involved in any of that work, though we could have been in the hauling away of the brush during the October brush pickup. As it was, the trustee hired a private hauler to remove the greenery. Some of the confusion probably arose over the fact that Superintendent Tracy had stopped at the site after he had refueled a payloader and was also there on Saturday to inspect the material being taken away. He had previously asked me if the brush could be taken to the village’s landfill. I said yes because a trustee, not a commercial entity, had cleared the land. However, I had emphasized to Mr. Tracy that only brush (no junk, construction materials or fill) was to be deposited at the landfill, so Mr. Tracy was present to ensure my instructions were followed.

Interestingly, a Department of Environmental Conservation official was present at the site on one of those two days, apparently because of a tip that the land may be contaminated (the reason for my instructions to Mr. Tracy). The same official inspected our landfill this past week. He indicated all was well on both occasions.

This administration is committed to ensuring that the village complies with law and policy in all areas. If there are questions, please feel free to contact me, even anonymously. If I do not have the answer, I will get it.

One last point. If the preceding focused on the Department of Public Works, there is an excellent reason for it: the department is out there working hard getting things done. I commend our employees for this. Ironic isn’t it? Last year I wrote a column asking people not to speak disparagingly of the workforce because the perception then was that our workers did nothing. Now there are people looking for missteps as our employees diligently pursue their duties.

God bless and dare to dream wonderful things.