Redundancy Eliminated In Fire Commissioners’ Board

WESTFIELD – A resignation on the board of fire commissioners led to the appointment of a village board member. Members of the Westfield Village Board tied up loose ends concerning the structure of the board of fire commissioners.

After being presented with the formal resignation of Scott Mason from the board of fire commissioners by representative Barry Underwood, the board acted “with regret” to approve Mason’s resignation, citing increased demands of his personal career as a reason. After announcing that newly elected Trustee Debra Puckhaber expressed an interest to serve on the board of fire commissioners, the board resolved to appoint her to take Mason’s vacant seat.

Before being appointed to the volunteer position, Puckhaber posed the question whether she should still continue to serve as the village board’s liaison to the fire commissioner’s board. After discussing the matter, to avoid redundancy, the board moved to eliminate the position of village liaison, allowing Puckhaber to serve solely as a member of the board of fire commissioners.

In other matters, members of the board expressed their condolences to a local family at the beginning of the meeting. Mayor Mike Vande Velde asked for a moment of silence to be observed following the Pledge of Allegiance in honor of fallen high school running back, Damon Janes.

“Our condolences go out to his family on behalf of the village of Westfield,” stated the mayor.

With a small public audience in attendance at the recent meeting, three of whom included students from WACS’ government class, the board also authorized the proclamation of October being Anti Bullying Awareness Month in the village as “a way to safeguard our schools and communities, and to serve as a symbol of our commitment to the year-round struggles faced by victims of bullying.”

Responding to the increased number of incidents contained in the August overtime report for the Westfield Police Department, Trustee Rob Cochran asked Police Chief Rob Genthner if there are any precautions the board should be asking residents to take against crime.

“Only a few weeks back, there were some reports of vehicle break-ins on South Portage Street. It is a good idea to ask people to please always lock their vehicles,” added the police chief.

On request of the police chief, the board also moved to accept the resignation of part-time officer Zachary Penhollow and accept Cody Bolinger as a part-time intern with the criminal justice program of SUNY Fredonia.

Code Enforcement Officer Jim Pacanowski reported to the board that the annual required fire inspections along Main Street are continuing in the village and that the property of 41 Clinton St. has been sold to a Buffalo-based developer.

The board will meet for its next meeting on Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. at Eason Hall.