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FREDONIA: Board damages village reputation

A mass exodus continues in the village of Fredonia — even before an applicant has officially started a new position. Last week, the Village Board rescinded its approval of a previous resolution hiring Jason Tarbell, of Fallston, Md., as Fredonia Fire Department’s chief.

“Following the village of Fredonia’s adoption of the (Oct. 20) resolution, Mr. Tarbell withdrew and rescinded his acceptance of the position,” the measure stated.

Since no reason was provided as to why Tarbell did not take the position, we can only make assumptions. That’s not fair, but board members did not elaborate — as is usually the case.

There is no question there has been an uneasy feeling from department heads when it comes to dealing with this board. Since 2019, a village attorney has left, a Department of Public Works director resigned, a fire chief and police chief retired and the current police chief has given some sort of notice since the village is hiring for that position.

In all, that is at least five managers who have left. During a time when it is tough to find employees, the reputation of the village and how it has been run in the last decade may be just too damaging.

Four new board members who take office in January — Michelle Twichell, Jon Espersen, Nicole Siracuse and David Bird — need to be on a mission to repair what has happened during these times. This just is not only with this group — it goes back to before 2010 when the bickering was just as evident but not on public access television for everyone to see.

Fredonia’s standing has been tarnished for far too long. Residents agreed during the last election.

Time will tell if this new group of trustees can change the direction.

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