Fredonia Board moving in right direction
There’s been some bright spots recently when it comes to representation in the village of Fredonia. For more than a decade, the recent boards and trustees came across as dysfunctional and stubborn.
Much of this group, which was elected in last November’s election, appears to be getting down to business when it comes down to tackling the major issues that include water improvements and a new fire chief. Those are major steps in the right direction.
To be fair, as we have noted in this corner, there are items discussed — or approved — that we don’t always agree with once the board makes a decision. That view today is much different than what we saw more than one year ago when trustees were consistently defending illegal closed-door meetings or overpaying the group of village attorneys at a rate of $235,000 in 2021.
These current trustees, as well as Mayor Douglas Essek, appear to work better together and are making progress on some longtime problems that have either been ignored or just kicked down the road. Some of the strongest voices, Jon Espersen and David Bird, appear to actually listen to what constituents are saying. That also is important.
At a recent meeting regarding a Complete Streets project on Route 20, tensions ran high — and the board maintained their composure. One audience member disrespectfully called one trustee “an idiot.”
Essek handled the incident with a bit of grace. “You need to leave, please. Thank you,” he said.
In the past, a situation like that had the potential to become even uglier. That alone proves a different attitude that bodes well for another year.
Local representation is not easy. Fredonia’s trustees, for now, are turning an important corner.