Village looks at homeowner maintenance
WATKINS GLEN-- Watkins Glen Mayor Luke Leszyk addressed the local protests at Lafayette Park against police brutality during the village board meeting Tuesday, June 6. Leszyk said the protests did not cause any further incidents. The rallies have been sparked by the murder of a Minnesota black man by a white police officer.
"There were 30-35 people there and it was peaceful with no problems," Leszyk said. "I spoke to the officer on duty and he said that the (protesters had cleared out by 6 p.m.)."
Leszyk and other board members addressed questions leveled at them during the public portion of the meeting regarding COVID-19 from resident Barbara Cook. Specifically, Cook asked Leszyk to address a comment he made in an email that it took real leadership to push Gov. Andrew Cuomo to allow the Southern Tier region to enter into Phase 2 of the recovery.
"This is public be heard, not a question and answer session, but I will say what I was referring to was local leaders upstate who have pushed [that] they wanted this to happen and it is my opinion this was the catalyst for us entering Phase 2," Leszyk said.
Leszyk and other board members would not answer when asked by Cook if they would continue to wear masks when in public in order to set an example for residents and tourists alike.
"It is up to an individual to wear a mask," Leszyk stated.
"I am interested in leaders who want to lead," Cook replied.
The board also discussed 92 properties on a list for possible property maintenance issues created by Deputy Mayor Louis Perazzini. Board member Laurie DeNardo asked Perazzini how the list was determined.
"I just took the time to drive through, and I looked at everything as if it belonged to me or I lived next door," Perazzini said. "Issues like garbage piling up on the porch, the house needs a coat of paint or a roof is falling in."
Perazzini also released a statement on the village website (which has since been removed) that read, in part, "The misinformation started by some individuals, is that I am reporting, "snitching", and turning in properties in the village. This is not true."
The board also held a special meeting on Saturday, June 6 voting to allow local restaurants to expand seating into their parking lots, with certain exceptions.