CAROGA – The Town Board approved the creation of a committee to help determine the future of the former Sherman’s Amusement Park property Wednesday night.
In January, town resident Kent Kirch proposed creating an independent committee to review proposals of what to do with Sherman’s. Kirch suggested the committee would solicit and assess legitimate proposals for the property, present all of them to the board and recommend the ones they think are viable.
Wednesday night, board member Jay Manning and Kirch produced a packet of information explaining what the committee would do and who would serve on it.
Seven of the committee members are town residents, and three others are professionals from the local region. Supervisor Robert Sullivan said, “I think that’s as diverse and as well-versed as anything you can come up with.”
These are the people who are on the committee:
Caroga Town Board Representative- Jeremy Manning
Caroga Town Board Representative Beth Morris
Caroga resident – Kent Kirch committee chairman
Caroga Planning Board Representative – Lynne Delesky
Caroga business owner – Jim Blaise, Royal Mountain
Caroga education leader-Richard Ruberti, Wheelerville School superintendent
Caroga financial professional-John Saunders, Edgewater Advisors LLC
Caroga Environmental Leader – James Long, Protect the Adirondacks
Fulton County Center for Regional Growth- TBC Ron Peters, CEO
Fulton County Department of Tourism- Gina Dabiere-Gibbs, director
Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Council-Wally Hart, Council Member
According to Manning and Kirch’s packet, the committee will establish a criteria and rating approach guideline to view each proposal. Anyone is allowed to submit a proposal.
Eventually the committee would present the proposals to the board. Their purpose is not to make decisions, nor generate ideas or proposals for the Sherman’s property, said Kirch.
Board member Beth Morris said she had received negative feedback from town residents regarding the formation of the committee.
“People are not very excited about this. The reason being – and it doesn’t matter if I’m talking to someone who’s 90 -years- old or if I’m talking to a 25 year-old kid-they elected us, this board, to make decisions. They are not comfortable with an outside group, especially people who don’t live here, making decisions,” Morris said.
Kirch, who would be leading and organizing the committee, explained how all their actions would be open to the public.
“The one reason we would like to have people from outside the town is because the people on the committee have big networks of people that they know around the town and the state. They may be able to get the word out that would generate more proposals that we could take a look at then we would otherwise have,” Kirch said.
Board member Jack Glenn suggested that Morris be added to the advisory committee.
In a dramatic moment, Morris asked those in attendence at the meeting if she should serve on the committee.
“If you are in favor of me being on the committee just raise your hand,” she asked.
Most of the attendees indicated support for Morris joining the committee.
The board approved the proposal of a Sherman’s committee. They also approved Morris being added as the second board member.
Manning said they hope to proceed with selecting the template and rating approach in the next few months.