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SUBMITTED by Vicky Daly, Village of Palmyra (17-Nov-2010)

Conversation with the Mayor

I have mentioned before that government agencies work on different calendars and that it would be helpful if we all – state, town and village – had the same fiscal year. We don’t, and so we live with it and go about our business. I cannot speak for state and town but I am sure that each also deals with different calendars internally as we do. For us there is ‘the calendar’ – January- December; the fiscal calendar – June- May, and the political calendar, December – November. In the Village of Palmyra we have had local elections in November for longer than I have been involved and new, or newly re-elected, officials take office the first Monday in December, the start of our new political year. Just as an aside, villages can also elect in March or June and, as a result, their political years would be different. This is, after all, New York State.

Anyway, we are just coming to the end of what has been an interesting and, for the most part, good year. Some of the accomplishments are more obvious than others – street and sidewalk work including Cuyler and sections of Fayette and all of Washington, which will be absolutely beautiful when its new flowering street trees are in bloom, and, of course, Canandaigua Street, which was a bear during the construction, but is now basically finished and, absolutely without question, had to be done. The water tower, less obvious, but another project which had to be done, is painted. The need to remove trees for the painting led to another project which will be getting under way shortly. With guidance and support from the NYS DEC, the village will have the 30+ acre wood lot atop Prospect Hill thinned. The harvesting of the trees will be beneficial to the remaining forest and the village will derive some unexpected income from the project.

In another realm, the presence of the Finger Lakes Ambulance in Palmyra marks the end of one era and the beginning of another. The new arrangement appears to be working very well. The surveillance system at the marina has been upgraded and has proved its worth in further reduction of the mischief and nuisance activities we had been experiencing. The saying one picture is worth a thousand words is very true. The new picnic tables at the pavillion have been well used making the area truly a village park.

And we are getting our name out there, and that, in turn, is bringing that much sought after outside money into the community. The Landmark Society of Western New York held its annual conference here in the spring. Historic Palmyra, already a major draw, has been named a Community Partner by the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission. Geva Theatre, Rochester, invited the Palmyra Pirates to represent Wayne County in ‘Five County Love’, their annual fundraiser. The Pirates also accompanied the Pal-Mac Marching Band to Palmyra, PA, for that town’s anniversary celebration. As mayor, I was invited to speak at the annual conference of the Association of NYS Historians in Buffalo. The topic? Palmyra. A similar talk is on the calendar for the Erie Canalway people in Canajoharie in early December. Through Palmyra’s membership in CANAL NEW YORK Marketing and Business Alliance we had a presence in tourism trade shows in New York City, Orlando and London. Palmyra Pirate kazoos went home to Tel Aviv with a group of touring Israeli traval writers. Is it a wonder that people are surprised at our size? We make a disproportionate amount of noise to let people know we are here and want them to come.

Right here at home, good things happened. A new tradition was established with the designation of a specific spot in our award winning cemetery for the burial of the ashes of the flags retired in an official ceremony conducted by the American Legion. The location will be marked by a handsome granite marker. For the first time, last holiday season, the village and the Community Center joined forces, bringing together the horse drawn wagon rides and the lighting of the Christmas trees in the park. Spring saw the ‘Taking Flight over Palmyra’ kite-flying day at the Fairgrounds. The Bird fest was rained out, but is scheduled again for this spring. Pirates of the Erie Canal continued to grow. The meeting of the Board of Supervisors at the Fair on opening day marked the start of another new tradition. The generosity of local resident Joe Van Scott, Pal-Mac art teacher Erin Nilsen, and the Pal-Mac Middle School Art Club made possible the beautiful new mural at the marina. Beautiful in itself, the mural is even more special as it was done by our students.

The return of the Lake Champlain schooner, Lois McClure, gave folks in Palmyra and the region another opportunity to tour the boat. We count the crew members as friends and it was good to see them again. Canal Town Days was bigger and better than ever. Its overlap of the World Canals Conference was unfortunate but some times good things just pile up. Palmyra was a presence at the WCC both in Historic Palmyra’s award winning booth and through CANAL NEW YORK and the efforts of Christine Worth, Wayne County’s Director of Tourism.

As soon as this goes to press, I know other things will come to mind, but even so, this gives you a flavor of what has happened in Palmyra in the village year just ending. All in all, it was a good year and we have every reason to believe that next year will be as good or better.


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