City split on commission vacancy

GLOVERSVILLE – City officials are split on how fill a seat on the Recreation Commission after member Jared Hammond resigned.

Mayor Dayton King announced during the Aug. 27 Common Council meeting Hammond resigned because he couldn’t commit as much time as he would like to the commission.

He made a motion to appoint city firefighter Bill Rowback to fill the seat, but it was unanimously defeated, 6-0. Councilman-At-Large James Robinson wasn’t present during the meeting.

Council members said they voted against King’s nominee because the city previously promised Christine Benson the position.

In June, King had appointed Benson and Natalie Sgambato to the Recreation Commission to replace departing members Matt Sherman and Hammond, but Hammond hadn’t yet resigned. The council in July vacated Benson’s appointment, but King said the appointment would be reinstated after Hammond’s resignation letter was received. But last week, he said Rowback would be better for the position.

“Mr. Rowback came to me a couple of years ago wanting to get on the Recreation Commission and he does a lot of fundraising and volunteering in the community,” King told the council.

First Ward Councilwoman Robin Wentworth agreed Rowback does great things for the city, but she said Benson has been attending Recreation Commission meetings despite not being a member and volunteering for its activities.

Second Ward Councilman Arthur Simonds said he believes the spot should go to Benson. Rowback could be appointed after the next vacancy, he suggested.

The council took no additional action, leaving the seat vacant. King said after the meeting he will propose increasing the commission’s size from seven members to nine.

“It would allow more people in the city that are interested to participate in the planning of events,” King said.

Recreation Commission member Jean Chain also updated the council during the meeting with upcoming commission plans and events including:

Chain said the commission is considering spending $3,000 on a portable ice rink at Littauer Field. The rink would be easier to maintain, she said.

Department of Public Works Director Kevin Jones previously told the council his department has built more storage below the Littauer Field scoreboard for the Little Huskies to store equipment, which frees up more space in the primary maintenance building for commission supplies.

Chain said the commission also is considering buying skates so rentals can be provided to allow more members of the community to use the public rink.

Chain said the Recreation Commission will host free movie nights twice a month, starting in October, at the senior center. The commission will sell drinks and snacks during the movies to raise money and pay for some of the cost to purchase the projector and license.

The commission will host a fall festival in Trail Station Park from noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 26.

Chain said the activities will include a chicken-and-rib barbecue, a hula hoop contest, a sack race for kids and adults, karaoke and a variety of vendors.

She said the Limbo Bar has asked to have a beer tent at the event, and Police Chief Donald VanDeusen said that would be OK long as the bar owner has the proper permit from the State Liquor Authority.

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